Marie-Laure and Madame Manec continue to walk through the streets together, until Marie-Laure feels fairly comfortable doing so on her own. She collects items from the street—shells, leaves, pinecones, etc. She meets an old man named Crazy Harold Bazin, who fought in World War I and lost much of his face in an explosion. Bazin likes to brag about the history of Saint-Malo—years ago, he claims, it was a fortress against pirates.
Here we meet a new character, Harold Bazin, who fought in World War I, and he, like Etienne, is considered “crazy” because of the trauma he experienced during the war. The fact that Bazin loses his face makes no difference to Marie-Laure—we’ve already come to recognize that her blindness makes her a better judge of character than many others, since she’s not thrown off by outward appearances.
Marie-Laure wonders what has become of Daniel. She feels the model city he built for her, and wonders about the letter he sent her. She hopes he was telling the truth about his delicious meals.
In times of crisis, Marie-Laure turns to her beloved model of the city. In another sense, she’s turning to what she knows to be true. Marie-Laure finds it almost impossible to confront the fact that she doesn’t know where her father is, or whether or not he’s telling the truth. She finds comfort in the small, idealized model of the city, especially when the “big” version of reality is so uncertain and frightening.