It is late at night in Saint-Malo. Werner sleeps beneath the hotel—only Volkheimer is awake. He fiddles with the radio, trying to find a clear station. Suddenly, he hears the sound of piano music. He wakes up Werner, who’s amazed to hear his favorite music.
Just when Werner has given up, he’s inspired by the sound of his favorite music—the music associated with the words that first inspired him to become a scientific thinker.
Volkheimer stands up and begins stacking heavy pieces of timber and masonry into one corner. Then he pulls Werner behind the barrier, and produces a grenade. Volkheimer has decided to do what he and Werner had previously agreed was suicidal—try to bomb their way out. Volkheimer throws the grenade at what used to be the stairwell.
It’s as if the inspiration of the music has trickled into the cellar from miles away. Volkheimer realizes that they have no choice—they can either use the grenade or die, but there’s no harm in trying at this point. This isn’t exactly optimistic, but the fact that they have nothing to lose means that the two young men can be exceptionally brave.