Bruno recalls telling a story about their old neighbor, Herr Roller, to his mother and sister. Herr Roller was mad, and Bruno had often seen him arguing with himself in the streets. Bruno's mother had told him that he "shouldn't laugh at Herr Roller." She went on to recall the man from many years ago:
"[He] was a very lovely young man--I knew him when I was a little girl. He was kind and thoughtful and could make his way around the dance floor like Fred Astaire. But he suffered a terrible injury during the Great War, an injury to his head, and that's why he behaves as he does now. It's nothing to laugh at. You have no idea of what the young men went through back then. Their suffering."
She also recalled how Herr Roller and her husband had fought in the trenches during the Great War. She then told Bruno that war was "not a fit subject for conversation."
In the chapter, Bruno makes a tire swing. He falls and gets slightly injured. Pavel, a Jewish man who works in his house, tends to his wounds. Bruno learns that Pavel used to be a doctor. Bruno's mother arrives home. She asks "what on earth happened to" her son. Bruno explains and she orders him to go upstairs to his room. As he goes up, Bruno overhears his mother thanking Pavel, and telling him how she will say that she cleaned her son's wounds. Her words show a more human side. She is grateful to Pavel for helping Bruno. She is also nervous about what might happen if it were discovered that Pavel tended to Bruno.