By the time Sarah and Rachel awaken, night has fallen. They continue to make their way through the forest, but have to stop and hide when a German convoy passes. They continue undetected and eventually come upon a farmhouse. Rachel knocks on the door and asks for water, but is denied. The girls continue walking and families continue to deny them water. Finally, Rachel and Sarah collapse in a large dog shed. They are awakened by a dog barking; an old man (Jules Dufaure) stands over them. He asks the girls if they are lost and invites them in. Upon seeing Sarah and Rachel, Jules’s wife, Geneviève, firmly declares, “They must be hidden at once.” She assures the girls, “You are safe with us.”
Jules and Geneviève take a huge personal risk in deciding to harbor Rachel and Sarah. Their compassionate decision injects a sense of hope into the novel—hope that Sarah’s fear that the outside world is full only of hateful people is, at least in part, unfounded. The Dufaures’ bravery also combines with Sarah’s bravery in escaping the camp to demonstrate that brave acts can be performed by people who might not traditionally be seen as “heroes,” including children and elderly folks.