Study Guide

Code Name Verity Part 1, Chapter 3

By Elizabeth Wein

Part 1, Chapter 3

Ormaie 10.XI.43 JB-S

  • The narrator begins by listing a variety of military acronyms and abbreviations. Good times.

She titles the next section "Coastal Defense."

  • The narrator begins to give away secrets about Radar and Britain's coastal defense system, saying she doesn't think it matters now because Hitler's planned invasion of Britain already failed.
  • She decides she can't do it.
  • The narrator next describes how she and Engel have been baiting each other over the pen nib. First the narrator bends it, so Engel straightens it against her teeth—the narrator's teeth, that is; it would be kind of dumb to use her own teeth.
  • Then the narrator bends it again, so Engel uses it to prick her skin several times, the way the nurse at Engel's school would for a blood test.
  • Engel reminds the narrator that if she doesn't write the confession, the interrogation will begin again, so the narrator continues.

The narrator titles the next section "Coastal Defense, Unabridged Version."

  • In this section, the narrator taunts the Nazis with how little they knew of Britain's Radar capabilities in 1940.
  • She also tells them how Maddie learns about Radar, which is so secret her title is only "Clerk, Special Duties," or clk/sd for short.
  • Maddie is made an officer and transferred to Maidsend on the Kentish coast in the summer of 1940, where she does not operate Radar but a telephone, which she uses to guide aircraft home.
  • Engel and Thibaut get in a minor argument.

The narrator titles the next section "Coastal Defense, Damn It."

  • The narrator describes how an air battle looks on a Radar screen: green dots meeting up and disappearing as aircraft go down.
  • This leads her into a story about an incident in which Maddie communicates with a returning aircraft.
  • Maddie realizes the aircraft is German and the pilot thinks he's communicating with Calais, in occupied France, rather than Kent, in Britain.
  • The chief radio officer decides to bring the injured German plane in, but he needs someone who can speak German in order to fool the pilot into thinking he's headed for Calais.
  • He sends a runner to the wireless room to find someone, and the runner comes back with Queenie, a girl known for being more aristocratic than the Queen but also for being funny and brave.
  • With Maddie's help, Queenie pretends to be speaking from the German airfield at Calais, and they lure the limping bomber into a controlled crash at Kent.
  • The chief radio officer tells Queenie he'll need her help questioning the German pilot.
  • Maddie admires Queenie's ability to keep cool and fool the German pilot into believing he was headed for Calais.
  • That night, there's a German raid on the airfield, and Maddie and Queenie end up sharing cigarettes and an umbrella in the air raid shelter. They admire each other's work with the German pilot and become friends. Queenie tells Maddie she learned German first at her Swiss boarding school and was studying it at university before the war.
  • The afternoon following the air raid, everyone, including the captured German pilot, pitches in to repair the runway.
  • Maddie finds Queenie asleep in the canteen afterward. They share an iced bun, a cup of tea, and their fears—apparently nothing gives you an appetite like the threat of being bombed.
  • The air raid siren goes off again, like it's bound to do.

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