Forced to witness the barbaric acts of Ruiz’s crew, Mark impulsively reacts with outrage.
Mark, Vargas, Pepe and Arrube eat breakfast on the porch of an overseer’s hut. They observe near naked Indians, a hundred yards away, lining up to have their rubber weighed at the scales. Ife and El Barbadiano run the operation. As Ruiz joins Mark on the porch, a endless screaming starts behind the hut. Mark and company follow a perturbed Ruiz to the edge of the jungle and a small hut. Ruiz explains this ‘cepo’ is where they put the Indians who try to cheat the scales by putting rocks in their rubber. They enter to find six Indians sitting among stifling human excrement, whose hands and feet are locked in crude wooden stocks, their necks manacled with chains attached to a post. Two of the Indians’ bodies are swollen from disease, one is screaming, obviously out of his mind.
Ruiz gives a kurt order to a guard then apologizes to Mark and Vargas for ruining their breakfast. Ruiz leads them back to the hut, justifying the fear tactics employed to keep the Indians in line. In the distance, a shot rings out and the screaming ends. Ruiz walks them to the scales where he prompts El Barbadiano to demonstrate their methods. With no cause, the massive strongman pulls a timid and innocent Indian from the line, throws him to the ground and proceeds to whip him. Then he throws down his whip, picks the screaming young man up by his ankles, swings him back then with all his power swings him forward, plowing his body and head into a tree trunk. The Indian stops screaming. His skull split open.
Outraged, Mark impulsively grabs Ruiz’s gun from his holster and shoots down El Barbadiano. He quickly shoots Ife before he can react, dropping him where he stands. He puts a shocked Ruiz in a headlock and jams the gun in his back, using him as his shield and his interpreter. He commands all guards to disarm. Vargas, Pepe and Arrube arm themselves and free the Indians, who run off into the jungle. Pepe and Arrube then ready the launch while Mark and Vargas lock Ruiz and the remaining guards in the small hut.
They board the launch and motor off down the river. After the shouting and gunshots and excitement, the chugging of the antique engine is peaceful to Mark. As the collection center recedes behind them, Mark confesses to Vargas, “I’ve never killed a man. Now I’ve killed two.” Both men understand how necessary it was.
After a while, they find a shaded inlet and leave the river to catch fish and gather wood for powering the old engine. It’s here that Mark comes to realize the danger both Pepe and Arrube will face for their involvement. He and Vargas offer options to help both get situated in safe environments. The generous offers are beyond their comprehension and the youngsters reluctantly decline.
The crew stands motionless. Through the trees out in the main river, they watch the Felicidad pass by, with a half dozen armed men on the deck. It’s days ahead of any planned schedule and Mark quickly realizes that Flores somehow became aware of his efforts. The crew scrambles for cover.
The Felicidad circles back and heads into the inlet.