The Power and the Glory Part 2, Chapter 1 Summary

Graham Greene

Part 2, Chapter 1 Summary

The priest rides a mule back to his home village. He sees a group of children, including one girl who is about six years old. She mocks him laughingly. He goes to the hut of Maria, who takes him in and gives him some brandy. The priest had a five-minute affair with Maria several years ago. He asks her how Brigitta is, the daughter who was born of their brief relationship. Maria calls her in; it is the girl who laughed at him. The priest is awkward in talking to her. He reaches out to her, but Maria tells him to leave her alone. She shows the priest to a room where he may sleep.

The next morning, the priest is celebrating the mass when he receives news that the police are on their way to the village. They have been going to each community and holding a hostage to force the people to reveal where the priest is hiding. The police arrive and begin to question the villagers. When they interrogate the priest, he says he is married, and Maria announces herself as his wife. The police look at the priest’s hands and find the calluses of a worker. They take a boy hostage until the people reveal where the priest has gone. The villagers tell the priest to leave the village as soon as possible and they will protect him. The priest begins to leave along the road. He goes to the dump to find his case that Maria threw away. He finds Brigitta, who has nothing but contempt for him because she wants a father who works and who stays around. He tells her that he loves her, but he leaves anyway.

At the river, he asks a mestizo if there is a boat to go to the other side, but the boat has been stolen. The priest finds a place to ford the water. On the other side, he hears the mestizo calling out to him, saying that he wants to go to Carmen with him. They walk together, but the priest has the feeling that the mestizo will betray him as Judas betrayed Christ.

They find a hut to sleep in, but the mestizo is ill and keeps talking. The priest tries to leave him in the night and rides off on the mule, but the mestizo follows him. The priest feels badly about how he has treated the sick man, so he lets him ride on the mule. When they approach Carmen, the priest tells the man to go on ahead while he takes another road. The mestizo is upset because he had wanted to turn the priest in for a reward.