For Whom the Bell Tolls Chapter 7

He was asleep in the robe and he had been asleep, he thought, for a long time. The robe was spread on the forest floor in the lee of the rocks beyond the cave mouth and as he slept, he turned, and turning rolled on his pistol which was fastened by a lanyard to one wrist and had been by his side under the cover when he went to sleep, shoulder and back weary, leg-tired, his muscles pulled with tiredness so that the ground was soft, and simply stretching in the robe against the flannel lining was voluptuous with fatigue. Waking, he wondered where he was, knew, and then shifted the pistol from under his side and settled happily to stretch back into sleep, his hand on the pillow of his clothing that was bundled neatly around his rope-soled shoes. He had one arm around the pillow.

Then he felt her hand on his shoulder and turned quickly, his right hand holding the pistol under the robe.

“Oh, it is thee,” he said and dropping the pistol he reached both arms up and pulled her down. With his arms around her he could feel her shivering.

“Get in,” he said softly. “It is cold out there.”

“No. I must not.”

“Get in,” he said. “And we can talk about it later.”

She was trembling and he held her wrist now with one hand and held her lightly with the other arm. She had turned her head away.

“Get in, little rabbit,” he said and kissed her on the back of the neck.

“I am afraid.”

“No. Do not be afraid. Get in.”


“Just slip in. There is much room. Do you want me to help you?”

“No,” she said and then she was in the robe and he was holding her tight to him and trying to kiss her lips and she was pressing her face against the pillow of clothing but holding her arms close around his neck. Then he felt her arms relax and she was shivering again as he held her.

“No,” he said and laughed. “Do not be afraid. That is the pistol.”

He lifted it and slipped it behind him.

“I am ashamed,” she said, her face away from him.

“No. You must not be. Here. Now.”

“No, I must not. I am ashamed and frightened.”

“No. My rabbit. Please.”

“I must not. If thou dost not love me.”

“I love thee.”

“I love thee. Oh, I love thee. Put thy hand on my head,” she said away from him, her face still in the pillow. He put his hand on her head and stroked it and then suddenly her face was away from the pillow and she was in his arms, pressed close against him, and her face was against his and she was crying.

He held her still and close, feeling the long length of the young body, and he stroked her head and kissed the wet saltiness of her eyes, and as she cried he could feel the rounded, firm-pointed breasts touching through the shirt she wore.

“I cannot kiss,” she said. “I do not know how.”

“There is no need to kiss.”

“Yes. I must kiss. I must do everything.”

“There is no need to do anything. We are all right. But thou hast many clothes.”

“What should I do?”

“I will help you.”

“Is that better?”

“Yes. Much. It is not better to thee?”

“Yes. Much better. And I can go with thee as Pilar said?”


“But not to a home. With thee.”

“No, to a home.”

“No. No. No. With thee and I will be thy woman.”

Now as they lay all that before had been shielded was unshielded. Where there had been roughness of fabric all was smooth with a smoothness and firm rounded pressing and a long warm coolness, cool outside and warm within, long and light and closely holding, closely held, lonely, hollow-making with contours, happymaking, young and loving and now all warmly smooth with a hollowing, chest-aching, tight-held loneliness that was such that Robert Jordan felt he could not stand it and he said, “Hast thou loved others?”


Then suddenly, going dead in his arms, “But things were done to me.”

“By whom?”

“By various.”

Now she lay perfectly quietly and as though her body were dead and turned her head away from him.

“Now you will not love me.”

“I love you,” he said.

But something had happened to him and she knew it.

“No,” she said and her voice had gone dead and flat. “Thou wilt not love me. But perhaps thou wilt take me to the home. And I will go to the home and I will never be thy woman nor anything.”

“I love thee, Maria.”

“No. It is not true,” she said. Then as a last thing pitifully and hopefully.

“But I have never kissed any man.”

“Then kiss me now.”

“I wanted to,” she said. “But I know not how. Where things were done to me I fought until I could not see. I fought until— until—until one sat upon my head—and I bit him—and then they tied my mouth and held my arms behind my head—and others did things to me.”

“I love thee, Maria,” he said. “And no one has done anything to thee. Thee, they cannot touch. No one has touched thee, little rabbit.”

“You believe that?”

“I know it.”

“And you can love me?” warm again against him now.

“I can love thee more.”

“I will try to kiss thee very well.”

“Kiss me a little.”

“I do not know how.”

“Just kiss me.”

She kissed him on the cheek.


“Where do the noses go? I always wondered where the noses would go.”

“Look, turn thy head,” and then their mouths were tight together and she lay close pressed against him and her mouth opened a little gradually and then, suddenly, holding her against him, he was happier than he had ever been, lightly, lovingly, exultingly, innerly happy and unthinking and untired and unworried and only feeling a great delight and he said, “My little rabbit. My darling. My sweet. My long lovely.”

“What do you say?” she said as though from a great distance away.

“My lovely one,” he said.

They lay there and he felt her heart beating against his and with the side of his foot he stroked very lightly against the side of hers.

“Thee came barefooted,” he said.


“Then thee knew thou wert coming to the bed.”


“And you had no fear.”

“Yes. Much. But more fear of how it would be to take my shoes off.”

“And what time is it now? lo sabes?”

“No. Thou hast no watch?”

“Yes. But it is behind thy back.”

“Take it from there.”


“Then look over my shoulder.”

It was one o’clock. The dial showed bright in the darkness that the robe made.

“Thy chin scratches my shoulder.”

“Pardon it. I have no tools to shave.”

“I like it. Is thy beard blond?”


“And will it be long?”

“Not before the bridge. Maria, listen. Dost thou—?”

“Do I what?”

“Dost thou wish?”

“Yes. Everything. Please. And if we do everything together, the other maybe never will have been.”

“Did you think of that?”

“No. I think it in myself but Pilar told me.”

“She is very wise.”

“And another thing,” Maria said softly. “She said for me to tell you that I am not sick. She knows about such things and she said to tell you that.”

“She told you to tell me?”

“Yes. I spoke to her and told her that I love you. I loved you when I saw you today and I loved you always but I never saw you before and I told Pilar and she said if I ever told you anything about anything, to tell you that I was not sick. The other thing she told me long ago. Soon after the train.”

“What did she say?”

“She said that nothing is done to oneself that one does not accept and that if I loved some one it would take it all away. I wished to die, you see.”

“What she said is true.”

“And now I am happy that I did not die. I am so happy that I did not die. And you can love me?”

“Yes. I love you now.”

“And I can be thy woman?”

“I cannot have a woman doing what I ao. But thou art my woman now.”

“If once I am, then I will keep on. Am I thy woman now?”

“Yes, Maria. Yes, my little rabbit.”

She held herself tight to him and her lips looked for his and then found them and were against them and he felt her, fresh, new and smooth and young and lovely with the warm, scalding coolness and unbelievable to be there in the robe that was as familiar as his clothes, or his shoes, or his duty and then she said, frightenedly, “And now let us do quickly what it is we do so that the other is all gone.”

“You want?”

“Yes,” she said almost fiercely. “Yes. Yes. Yes.”