Today Chapaco talked about leaving. He said he was no coward and only meant he’d like to leave some time in the future. Pombo says I have to treat him decently because he’s raving and not in his right mind. But we need everyone pulling together right now, not falling to pieces. I hope this attitude doesn’t spread. The radio has given up about the caves and is talking about the Frenchman Debray again. I hope he didn’t betray us. I can’t believe he did, but then I never thought Camba would turn coward.
We’re staying where we are today. Coco went out looking for food but it was Chapaco who got some. He shot a monkey and a urina. We can’t be fussy about what we eat but I didn’t want to eat a monkey. Che had another bad asthma attack tonight and there’s little we can do to stop it now. The radio said there were guerrillas near Sucre- that’s nowhere near where we thought they were. It’s hard to know which report is true and without a clue from them we may never find Joaquin and his group.
More monkeys were shot. I had to get over my disgust and just eat the meat. Che had to have another foot abcess lanced. Someone let the white horse go and Che was angry because he said we should have shot it for food. We got it back again. Moro isn’t well – no one is good at the moment but he is really bad. Che tries not to eat the meat because it makes his asthma play up. But there’s not much else for him to eat so he is getting weak, though he will not admit it. I am doing okay.
We thought there was a soldier by the river and prepared to move – only to find out it was Urbano who had lost his way. He nearly got shot the idiot. So then we moved on anyway, we were getting a bit jittery. Moro and Che were on horseback. Pacho walking. His foot is nearly better now. We have some tapir meat but Che says that after tomorrow we’ll not be able to hunt. I didn’t understand why but I don’t like to ask. It’s getting a bit tense round here.
We spent most of the day climbing a cliff, or trying to find a way around it without having to climb right over it. The white horse finally breathed its last and was left in the mud No one thought till it was too late to take it for meat. We are all just trying to keep going and stupid mistakes keep happening. We stopped at a hunters cabin and set up an ambush. Soon two peasants came along. We captured them. The peasants told us that the army are near and are setting up many ambushes. It sounds like they may have captured Benigno. They say the army come round here to fish each day, about twenty men at a time. We had caught some fish ourselves but it reminds us it’s dangerous to go down to the river unguarded. The radio was talking about Debray’s trial which isn’t going to happen now till September. I don’t know why, the signal kept breaking up.
So we set off to the ravine but pretty soon had to set up an ambush as we saw eight soldiers coming. We meant to open fire on them once they had crossed the river, but they didn’t cross so we didn’t fire although they came pretty close to us. Che sent some men out to make a trail ahead while we waited. My heart is in my mouth every time this happens as I’m constantly expecting them to run into soldiers and to hear shooting. But they came back with some delicacies – a rotten cat for one. Also some big bird. We put everything into a pot to make a stew with beans.
I am ready to shoot Camba myself. He is such a coward. I wouldn’t be surprised if he runs off. That would be desperate for all of us and if I think he’s going I’ll shoot him and bear the consequences. The radio keeps talking about guerrilla clashes and capturing equipment from caves. I wonder how much is true and how much designed to get us to show ourselves, or to shit ourselves with fear – it’s working on Camba.
Early again and the path clearers set out. We have to get on the move. Another load of soldiers came really close to us but didn’t see us. We would have shot them but we haven’t got a clear escape path and because we can’t move fast we need that. Otherwise reinforcements could be close by and they will just wipe us out. Pombo says we need to be smart now. Che says tomorrow if the soldiers are back, we’ll fight them.