In Saint-Malo, the Nazis order the French to voluntarily surrender all their weapons. Anyone who doesn’t do so will be shot. The townspeople seem to surrender their guns without a fight—there are only about 300 of them, in all. Meanwhile, Marie-Laure bonds with Etienne. They talk about Darwin and joke about the English. Etienne tells Marie-Laure about the places he’s studied, such as Borneo, Scotland, Santiago, and Scotland.
So far, we’ve been given almost no signs that Etienne is “crazy,” as Marie-Laure’s father had told Marie-Laure. On the contrary, he’s just old and eccentric, and his interests in science, travel, and exploration quickly endear him to Marie-Laure. Marie-Laure loses herself in a kind of fantasy—hearing Etienne’s stories and thinking about traveling—as her own world gets more oppressive.