Jordan and Agustin in a sense grow closer. During a huge breakfast Agustin wonders at Pilar's "giving" Maria to Jordan after spending months keeping her safe from the other men. Jordan tells Agustin that he loves Maria and plans to marry her. Agustin admits that he too is in love with Maria although he has never touched her. He wishes Jordan well and urges him to care for her. Jordan, who is worried about Pablo and Rafael, then asks Agustin to follow his orders when it comes to blowing up the bridge, even if the orders don't make any sense. Agustin swears to obey him. A loud noise interrupts them. Ed Sordo's camp has been attacked by the cavalry who followed their tracks in the snow, and Agustin wants to go and help. Jordan convinces him it would be useless to do so and they must carry out orders to blow up the bridge.
Tension increases in this chapter. Like sand through an hour glass, time is running out and compressed. As Jordan realized earlier, he must live his whole life in a period of three days, but, so too, do the others. Pilar realizes there is no time for romance and roses and thus she pushes Maria into Jordan's bed. Maria's behavior could be construed as that of a whore, but she too cannot afford the time to be coy. Agustin realizes he will never come to know Maria although he loves her and wishes Jordan well. The attack on El Sordo and his men bring home the fact that Pablo's group are more than likely next to die and that nobody will come to help them as they have been unable to help El Sordo.