Chapter 36 Summary

Andres continues his climb to the government position, where he is challenged as he knew he would be. He could have passed the position silently in the dark but he decided that it would be better to acknowledge his presence and get it over with. He shouts up to the sentry, who fires back at his general position. He begs the men at the post not to shoot him and explains that he wants to come in. Someone calls down and asks how many are with him. Andres repeatedly has to assure them that he is alone and that he is not a Fascist. He tells the soldiers that he has come from Pablo’s band with a message for the general staff. From above, Andres hears one of the soldiers suggest that they throw a bomb down on him. Andres tells them not to because the message he carries is important.

In response to their command, Andres stands up and holds his rifle above his head. He is told to come carefully through the trip wires, but Andres tells them he cannot hold the wires aside because both his hands are on the rifle over his head. Andres reassures them again that he is not a Fascist, so they let him sling his rifle on his back and proceed through the wires. The suggestion is again given to throw a bomb down on him. Andres tells them that he is of no importance, but his message is.

As Andres approaches the post, the man who had suggested throwing a bomb down on him embraces him and kisses him on both cheeks. Andres shows them the papers he is carrying, which include his safe-conduct papers and the dispatch from Robert Jordan to Golz. The officer in command of the post asks him questions about his background to prove he is the person listed on the safe-conduct pass.

Andres tells the officer that his message is of the greatest importance. The officer tells him he should give up being a guerrilla fighter and join the regular army of the Republic. There is too much division between those fighting against the Fascists. Andres patiently listens to him, then tells him that his dispatch is important because it relates to the attack the next morning. The officer does not trust any of this, so he volunteers to go with Andres to deliver the message. Andres gives his rifle to the officer, and the two go down the hill in the dark.