1940, United States
Approx. 270,000 words
For Whom the Bell Tolls
He lay flat on the brown, pine-needled floor of the forest, his chin on his folded arms, and high overhead the wind blew in the tops of the pine trees. The mountainside sloped gently where he lay; but below it was steep and he could see the dark of the oiled road winding through the pass. There was a stream alongside the road and water of the dam, white in the summer sunlight.
I am no romantic glorifier of the Spanish woman, nor did I ever think of a casual piece as anything much other than a casual piece in any country. But when I am with Maria I love her so that I feel, literally, as though I would die and I never believed in that or thought that it could happen.
"But are there not many Fascists in your country?"
"There are many who do not know they are Fascists, but will find it out when the time comes".
He did not like these people who were like dangerous children; dirty, foul, undisciplined, kind, loving, silly and ignorant but always dangerous because they were armed. He, Andrés, was without politics except that he was for the Republic. He had heard these people talk many times and he thought what they said was often beautiful and fine to hear but he did not like them. It is not liberty not to bury the mess one makes, he thought. No animal has more liberty than the cat; but it buries the mess it makes. The cat is the best anarchist. Until they learn that from the cat I cannot respect them.
If we win here we will win everywhere. The world is a fine place and worth the fighting for and I hate very much to leave it.
Think about Montana. I can't. Think about Madrid. I can't. Think about a cool drink of water. All right. That's what it will be like. Like a cool drink of water. You're a liar. It will just be nothing. That's all it will be. Just nothing.
Robert Jordan lay behind the tree, holding onto himself very carefully and delicately to keep his hands steady. He was waiting until the officer reached the sunlit place where the first trees of the pine forest joined the green slope of the meadow. He could feel his heart beating against the pine needle floor of the forest.