The Power and the Glory Part 3, Chapter 2 Summary

Graham Greene

Part 3, Chapter 2 Summary

After a 7-hour journey, the priest and the mestizo arrive at a group of huts clustered on a peninsula over a canyon. Although they are only 200 yards away, it will take another hour because of the winding trail.

The priest comments that there does not seem to be anyone there, but the mestizo assures him that the gringo is there. He says that the outlaw could not very well have left because of his injuries. The priest is sure that this is a trap, designed to turn him over to the police for the reward money.

The priest dismounts, causing the mestizo to wonder what he is doing. The priest says that they will not need the mules anymore because he is not planning any return trip. The mestizo asks him why he is in such a hurry, but the priest says that he said the man was dying.

They drink up one bottle of alcohol but leave the other two. He pays the mestizo for the job of guiding him, warning him that he should go away now, but the mestizo follows.

When they reach the hut, they find the gringo lying inside, wallowing in the stench of vomit, sweat, and stale alcohol. The priest is not sure if the man is living or dead because he has his eyes closed and his hands crossed on his chest.

The outlaw tells the priest to “beat it,” but the priest asks him for his confession. He asks him how long it has been since his last confession, and the gringo says that it has been ten years. The priest curses, wanting to know why he came all this way if the man did not want to make a confession. The outlaw has changed his mind and does not want to confess.

The gringo tells the priest to take his gun, but the priest says he has no use for a gun. He finds the holster empty. He again urges the man to confess his sins, although he is not sure how effective a death-bed confession is.

The gringo tells the priest to take his knife. He makes a move to retrieve his knife, but he dies, leaving the priest to pray over his body for the forgiveness of his sins. He thinks that the outlaw was simply one criminal trying to help another one escape, but there is not much merit in either one of the men.