Fowler returns to Saigon from Phat Diem after three weeks. He intended to be away for only one week, but getting out proved more troublesome than getting in.
Pyle had left the morning he arrived, having completed his mission. He was not delayed, but in a letter he leaves for Fowler, he assures him that he won't see Phuong until Fowler gets back. Pyle doesn't want to be unfair or mean.
Having nothing better to do, Fowler goes to the press conference.
There, a colonel speaking French reports that the enemy has suffered a defeat and losses.
An American correspondent asks about French losses, a question the colonel evades with an ambiguous answer.
Granger, who is there, asks how it could be that the French know the number of the enemy dead but not the number of their own.
More evasion from the colonel. The French correspondents don't join in the baiting.
Granger keeps pressing.
The colonel's temper begins to fray.
Granger next asks what the French plan to do next.
The colonel, surprisingly switching to good English, says they'd have more drop if the supplies the Americans had promised had arrived.
Granger begins to write this news.
The colonel tells him it is for background, not for reporting. He worries about diplomatic problems and not causing trouble between the two countries.
He gives Granger some basic facts about their shortage in supplies then storms off.
Granger goes to write his telegram.
Fowler's is short. He can't report what he witnessed in Phat Diem. The censors wouldn't allow it and he'd be expelled from the country, ensuring Pyle's victory.
Returning to his hotel room in Hanoi, he sees he received a telegram of promotion. He's to be an opinion editor in England.