Summary and Analysis
Rachel observes that Beck is handsome as he chops wood, and Vianne feels uncomfortably attracted to him. Meanwhile, the man who caught Isabelle vandalizing the propaganda poster takes her to a roomful of French resistance fighters, which is a relief to Isabelle, who thought she was being arrested. They ask if she would be willing to do more for the resistance cause by distributing tracts—anti-Nazi propaganda pamphlets—for them. She agrees, taking one set of tracts with her and arranging a system to collect more.
On her way home, Isabelle meets Beck, who offers to carry the basket containing the hidden tracts. Beck becomes suspicious because Isabelle seems so nervous. However, she isn’t found out, and she successfully distributes the tracts in the middle of the night.
Vianne is obviously distracted by the presence of a German soldier in her home, not only because of her fear but also because she finds him difficult to despise. He is both kind and handsome, traits that Vianne has trouble reconciling with his status as the enemy. When Rachel points out his good looks, Vianne pretends not to have noticed, making her friend suspect that Vianne is trying to deny her attraction to him. When Rachel asks what he is like, Vianne responds, “German.” Vianne wants to think of Germans simply as enemies, but Beck makes this difficult.
Isabelle’s encounter with Beck proves that Beck’s chivalry can be dangerous as well as endearing. If, by kindly carrying Isabelle’s basket, Beck had discovered the tracts, she might have been executed. Thus, because he is kinder and more humane than an enemy ought to be, Beck is, in a sense, even more dangerous.