Jordan finds he does indeed need the gun when he wakes to hear a horse on which sits a Fascist soldier. He orders Maria to hide beneath the robe, and aiming just above the heart, kills the interloper. The camp is suddenly cast into chaos as Jordan gives orders on what to do and where to go. Pablo takes the soldier's fine gray horse away. Maria begs Jordan to let her go but he tells her to help Pilar: "she had no place in his heart now" (267).
Although Jordan kills the Fascist soldier, he hesitates momentarily to make sure he does not hit him in the Sacred Heart insignia he wears, as do all the people of Navarre, a region in Spain. Maria shows her concern about this and Jordan reassures her that he did not aim at it. So, although the communist group denigrates religion as hypocritical, they nevertheless put great store in it. And, it would seem, Jordan does as well.