Chapter 37 Summary
Robert Jordan, calming down after his rage at Pablo’s betrayal, waits impatiently for time to pass. With his arms around Maria, he constantly looks at his watch, but the time moves so slowly without a second hand. The feel of Maria’s hair against his neck causes his throat to swell with love and longing. He does not want to wake her, but he cannot leave because this might be the last time they are together.
Maria quietly awakens and responds to Robert Jordan’s caresses. She clearly wants to make love, but he hesitates because he does not want to cause her pain. Maria denies there is pain. Robert Jordan thinks of time only in the now: there is no past and definitely no future. Expressing his love and gratitude, Robert Jordan makes love to Maria for what he believes is the last time. Maria also expresses gratitude that she may have one more time of “la gloria.”
Robert Jordan tells Maria that it is almost time to prepare for the attack. She tells him first they must have something to eat. She asks him if he is worried. He says that he was for a while, but he is no longer. She asks if she may help him, but he says that she has helped enough. He thinks of the great mysticism in the sexual experience he has shared with Maria. He thinks of how little they all know of what there is to know. He wishes he were going to live a long time to reflect on it, but he believes he will die this day.
Robert Jordan tells Maria that she has taught him much. She has given him a very small beginning in the education of love and life. He feels that he has lived his entire life among these hills. He can think of no closer friend that Anselmo. As for Maria, she is not only his wife but his sister and his daughter. She is all that a woman is.
Maria asks him if they will be together that day. He tells her they will after the start, but she cannot be with him in the beginning. She offers to take care of his sleeping robe. She shakes it out and rolls it up. Robert Jordan picks up the two sacks, taking care that nothing should fall out of the slit one. At ten minutes to three o’clock, they go into the cave.