Chapter 6 Summary

Robert Jordan goes back into the cave, sits, and listens to Pilar. She is washing dishes while Maria dries them and puts them away in a shelf dug into the cave wall. Pilar says it is strange that El Sordo has not come, as he comes every evening. Robert Jordan says that perhaps he is doing some work. Pilar agrees that this is a possibility, but if he does not come the next day they must go to see him. She says that it will not be a long trip, but it will be good for exercise. Maria asks if she may go as well, and Pilar gives permission.

Pilar asks Robert Jordan if he thinks that Maria is pretty or if she is too thin. Robert Jordan replies that she is “very well.” Maria gives him a cup of wine, telling him to drink and she will become even better. Robert Jordan says he had better stop drinking then, because she already seems beautiful and more. Pilar is pleased with this remark and tells Robert Jordan that he is one of the “good ones.” She asks him to speak further of Maria’s qualities. Stumblingly he says she is intelligent. Maria giggles and Pilar is disappointed. He started out well but ended lamely. She refers to him as “Don Roberto,” but he asks her to not do this. When she says she was only joking, he says he does not believe it is a matter to joke about. The only title he will accept is “camarada,” or “comrade.” He does not joke about politics. Maria speculates that Robert Jordan is a Communist, but he says he is simply an anti-Fascist and has been for ten years. Pilar says she has been one for twenty years. Maria tells him that her father was shot for being a Republican. Robert Jordan says that his father was a Republican as well, even serving on the Republican National Committee. Maria says that America is a country of Republicans so there is no danger. When Pilar asks him if his father is still active in the “Republic,” Robert Jordan tells her that he is dead, having shot himself. She asks if was to avoid being tortured. Robert Jordan says it was, but it is not the type of torture the Spanish woman means. He changes the topic.

Pilar says that Robert Jordan and Maria are like brother and sister, but it is probably good that they are not. Robert Jordan brushes Maria’s hair back, which she enjoys. Pilar remarks that they are getting her aroused, to the point that she would even be glad when Pablo returns. When Maria leaves, Robert Jordan tells Pilar that Rafael says he should have shot Pablo. Pilar say that it is not necessary. Pablo is no longer a threat. They all prepare to go to sleep.