The radio gave reports of a clash in the hills with one guerrilla dead. It sounds like it could be true because the name they gave was very similar to one of the men in Joaquin’s group. I hope not. Nothing much else happening. It’s horrible just sitting around listening to the radio and not knowing what’s going on. Che says we must find the other group and soon.
We killed a horse today. That gives us meat for nearly a week. Miguel and Camba brought some provisions and then went on their way. Arturo got some turkeys. We are running out of corn. Food makes all the difference to our conditions here. But asthma medicine would make the most difference of all. Che’s asthma was better yesterday but he’s taken three pills again today and they are nearly all gone. He says his foot is better but he’s still not up to moving any distance.
The radio announces that the army have found the caves where the medicine is. I don’t know what we can do now. Che was more worried about the men he had sent to get the medicine than not having it. It sounds like they have found documents and photographs that were left in the caves. The worst thing is thinking that someone must have told them about all this, which means someone has informed on us.
Che sent out Pablito to contact Miguel and Benigno and let them know about the caves so they don’t run into trouble. Every time someone leaves the camp I worry more. We are like sitting ducks here, but where can we go? Che says we have to move tomorrow at the latest, once we’ve told everyone we are going. Leon came back to say the trail is completed. The radio gave out more reports of a clash of guerrillas. It sounds like Joaquin’s group are having a tough time of it, if the reports are to be believed. There is so much news about fighting with the guerrilla group that some of it must be true – but what? The only way we will know is if we find them, but that will mean heading right into trouble.
He’s trying not to let folks know but Che has had another absess drained in his foot so he’s still really not fit to travel but we went anyway. He rode on a mule until it threw him off. I caught it and we got him back on. It’s painful to watch him and I wish there was something I could do. There are planes all over the place and it feels very dangerous.
We got to Rosita around nine in the morning. Then, with the usual getting lost and arguing over the way ahead we made it to the Rio Grande late afternoon and set up camp. Now there is some hope we’ll find Joaquin’s group. We have a couple of days rations left so let’s hope we find them quickly. At least we still have a couple of mules and horses which can be slaughtered for meat in the worst case. But we have to keep one for Che to ride on – and ideally another to carry things or it puts the burden on the rest of us and many are feeling pretty sick and weak at the moment. The radio keeps going on about all the things they’ve found in our caves at Nacahuazu and another camp. I’m glad I kept my diary on me and will do so at all times because they’ll not get any information about us from me. Mind you, who would read this diary? Pombo says one day we may have to eat it. I said it would taste better than lard soup anyway!
We move along the river, fording crossings time after time – getting wet each time and every time I’m afraid I’ll be swept away. By the time we got to our stopping place at a creek everyone was exhausted. But that is no excuse for what happened. Camba said he wanted to leave. I couldn’t believe it. To pick now to turn a coward! Pombo said that when times get tough, men crumble. He is so right. But not all men.
Che told Camba he could not leave now because he knows our planned route. He can only leave when we can conceal our progress from him. So Camba stays with us. I can’t talk to him. It’s like having a deserter right in our midst. I hope his mentality doesn’t spread. He sickens me.
Movement is still slow because of the terrain. It’s hard for the horses and Che is unable to walk at all at present. He tries to cover the fact but he’s in a really bad state.