If he had known how many men in history have had to use a hill to die one it would not have cheered him any for, in the moment he was passing through, men are not impressed by what has happened to the other men in similar circumstances any more than a widow of one day is helped by the knowledge that other loved husbands have died.
You only heard the statement of the loss. You did not see the father fall as Pilar made him see the fascists die in that story she had told by the stream. You knew the father died in some courtyard, or against some wall, or in some field or orchard, or at night, in the lights of a truck, beside some road. You had seen the lights of the car from down the hills and heard the shooting and afterwards you had come down to the road and found the bodies. You did not see the mother shot, nor the sister, nor the brother. You heard about it; you heard the shots; and you saw the bodies.
I don’t know, Robert Jordan said. When I get very tired sometimes I speak English.Or when I get very disgusted. Or baffled, say. When I get highly baffled I just talk English to hear the sound of it. It’s a reassuring noise. You ought to try it sometime.What do you say, Inglés? Pilar said. It sounds very interesting but I do not understand.Nothing, Robert Jordan said. I said, ‘nothing’ in English.