The gap in the dike has widened to the point that the soldiers and their horses must swim across. When they reach the other side, Robert falls off his horse into the water, but his men pull him up the bank. The soldiers warm themselves and sing songs around a fire, spending the night in the middle of the road. In the morning, they set off along the muddy path and Robert realizes that the crows are following them.
Though Robert’s men are aware of the danger posed by the gap in the dike (the orderly having drowned here in Chapter 3), they do not hesitate to jump in to save Robert. This self-sacrifice suggests that the soldiers are eager to fulfill their duties, even if that means putting themselves at risk. While the men seem to be safe from immediate threats the next day, the persistent presence of the crows foreshadows more danger on the horizon.