Chapters 3-4 Summary

Paris, 1942

The girl is stunned to see her mother sobbing, quietly at first and then growing louder. In her ten years, she has never seen her mother cry. She watches the tears fall down her mother’s face and wants to tell her to stop, that she is ashamed of her for crying in front of these strangers. The men, however, are not paying any attention to the spectacle and only want her to hurry.

Though she asks where they are being taken and reminds the officers that her daughter is French and was born in Paris, the men remain silent. After spending a few minutes in her room, the mother turns to her daughter and tells her to wake her brother, get dressed, and put some clothes in a bag. The four-year-old is frightened into immobility when he peeks out of his room and sees the men. Despite her sister’s cajoling, he refuses to move. She begins to get dressed as he watches her, and then he whispers that he is going to their “secret place.”

She reaches for him, insisting that he must come with them, but he wriggles free and slips into the hiding place in which they often play hide and seek. It is a cupboard hidden in the wall of their bedroom, and they lock themselves in regularly. Their parents are aware of their children’s hiding spot, but they play along and pretend not to be able to find them. Inside their little “house,” the girl often reads books to her brother. Now she looks in at him in the darkness of the cupboard. He is huddled there with his teddy bear clasped tightly to his chest, so he is not afraid. The girl wonders if she should let him stay.

The men would never be able to find his hiding place, and she can come back to get him as soon as she and her mother are allowed to return to their home. If her father comes up from his hiding place in the cellar, he will know where to look for his son. She asks the young boy if he is afraid; he tells her he is not afraid and she should...

(The entire section is 667 words.)