In Saint-Malo, the Germans decree that all houses must report their residents. Etienne reports himself, along with Marie-Laure, and posts the names on the front door of the house. In the summer of 1943, Marie-Laure delivers a loaf of bread to Etienne. Etienne, who’s learned how to interpret the numbers, interprets the message to say that a man wants his daughter to know that he is recovering well.
Apparently Etienne and Marie-Laure have become very competent in their roles in the French Resistance—Etienne seems to have no qualms or difficulties interpreting French codes and then broadcasting them over the radio for thousands of people to hear. It’s also poignant to learn that many of these messages don’t involve violent acts of sabotage or resistance, but are simply loved ones trying to communicate with each other. This again shows the radio as a means of connecting people, however briefly.
Marie-Laure receives another letter from Daniel. The letter contains the line, “If you ever wish to understand, look inside Etienne’s house, inside the house.” Marie-Laure isn’t sure what her father means by this. Sometimes, Marie-Laure thinks she can see the ghost of Madame Manec.
Madame Manec’s presence clearly does linger in a powerful way, as her bravery and commitment to the Resistance has influenced both Etienne and Marie-Laure to follow her example. Tragically, this is the last letter Marie-Laure receives from her father. We as readers already know the answer to Daniel’s riddle (the Sea of Flames is inside the model of Etienne’s house), but to Marie-Laure, it just seems like an oddly-phrased sentence.