Marian is sitting in the fuselage, surrounded by metal and packages and assaulted by the noise. She had to be placed here half an hour ago because she was too encumbered by her parachute to walk up the ladder by herself. She wishes she could sleep like Benoit, the man sitting across from her. His eyes are closed and his head is swaying; sleeping whenever and wherever he can is one of the most infuriating things about him.
The young dispatcher makes his way to them through the clamor and opens the floor hatch, allowing darkness and cold to rush into the fuselage. Marian sees a town huddled below; Benoit opens one eye to see what is happening before giving her a quick smile and returning to his nap. The dispatcher tells her the city is Caen as he drops bundles of papers through the hatch into the darkness below. He does not believe the French read the flyers, but as long as the Germans think propaganda is all that the planes are dropping, they will not suspect that parachutists are also being dropped.
Suddenly they are being sprayed with flak from below, and the dispatcher laughs at the look of surprise on her face. He grins as if flak is nothing, and indeed it seems as if there truly is nothing important other than the roaring of the engine as the plane pitches and banks. Soon they are past it and the hatch is closed. Calmness lay ahead.
Later the dispatcher brings Benoit and Marian a thermos of tea and some sandwiches; Benoit eats hungrily but she is unable to eat at all because of her nerves. Her stomach muscles have been constricted since Vera told her that Trapeze was scheduled for the next moon, assuming the weather was good. As they made their final preparations at the airfield, Vera said Marian was pale and asked if she was all right. Marian assured Vera she was only pale because of the “damned English weather” and was just fine.
Now they are in France, and finally Marian is able to sleep awkwardly...
(The entire section is 606 words.)