Chapter 42 Summary

Andres, still riding on the back of Gomez’s motorcycle, is making rapid progress toward Golz’s headquarters but is delayed by a traffic accident. The safe-conduct pass does little to get them through quickly, but eventually they make their way past the wreck and on toward headquarters.

The two men stop in front of an official-looking building and ask where General Golz’s headquarters are located. The sentry resists giving any information, but Gomez insists. The sentry calls the corporal of the guard, and at that moment a large staff car arrives, out of which emerges a large old man dressed in the style of the French army. Gomez recognizes him as Andre Marty, one of France’s great military advisers. He is not aware, however, how much Marty has become embittered in war.

Gomez approaches Marty with his mission of delivering a dispatch to General Golz. Marty requests to see the dispatch, and Andres gives it to him. Marty looks at it, places it in his pocket, and orders the arrest of Gomez and Andres. Gomez is outraged. The sentry tells Gomez that Marty is crazy and that none of this would have happened if he had not approached Marty but let him get the corporal of the guard. Andres and Gomez are brought into a room where Marty has placed himself behind a long table. To Andres, this is just one more thing that has kept him from completing his mission swiftly. Gomez, however, is furious. Andres tells him of Robert Jordan and his role in the coming attack. Marty orders them to be taken away, thinking to take the dispatch to Golz himself. Andres thinks how stupid Marty is, but he is doubtful if the outcome of his mission would have been any different if he had made it through to Golz.

While they are being held, Robert Jordan’s friend Karkov arrives. Karkov confronts Marty, who is intimidated by the Russian. Karkov orders the dispatch returned to Andres so the mission can continue. Andres and Gomez are released and resume their motorcycle journey to Golz’s headquarters. On arriving, they deliver the dispatch and wait for an answer. Duval, Golz’s second in command, relays the message. He considers calling off the attack himself but does not have the authority to do so. Golz realizes that it is too late to call off the attack and that the mission will end in failure. He hears the planes leaving to bomb the location.