Finally, after even more meandering through the bureaucratic maze, Andres and Gomez reach General Golz's camp. Hardly, surprising, the general is not there. When they ask high-ranking officer Andre Marty for help, he has them arrested as fascists. As the soldiers around him affirm, he is mad: Esta loco, the guard said, "he is crazy" (419). From Jordan's report, Marty believes that Golz has turned to the fascist side. Next, Karkov, the Russian journalist who is really a high -ranking official, and Jordan's friend, frees the men after the corporal on duty reports Marty's mistake. Then Golz is contacted. He says how unfortunate it is that the message was relayed so late and that the attack cannot now be delayed. As Gomez says, "tonight we have been impeded by the ignorance of he anarchists" (420).
It is because of Loyalist incompetence that the guerilla band have suffered and will continue to suffer for a mission that hardly anyone cares about, one in which they will very likely sacrifice their lives. Hemingway here paints a sad picture of the realities of war and how "the machinery of war had been put in motion a long time ago for it to be stopped suddenly" (423).