Study Guide

The Quiet American Part 2, Chapter 3: Section 2

By Graham Greene

Part 2, Chapter 3: Section 2

  • Fowler's assistant, Dominguez, has taken ill. Visiting him one day, Fowler is asked to meet a friend of his who has a story of interest.
  • Dominguez asks him how well he knows Pyle.
  • Fowler gives him the basics, which is pretty much all he knows, aside from the personal stuff concerning Phuong.
  • He goes to meet this friend, Mr. Chou, at a junk metal warehouse. While he waits, he drinks tea offered to him. When Mr. Chou arrives, he seems unsure as to why Fowler is there, but his manager, Mr. Heng, is in the know and takes him down to the warehouse.
  • There, Mr. Heng shows Fowler moulds picked up from the garage of Phan-Van-Muoi, a relation of General Thé.
  • The moulds are trademarked Diolacton and were made in the USA. They are flawed, and so were thrown away, but apparently they should not have been placed with the junk. Mr. Muoi apparently came to the junk metal warehouse to retrieve them (without being obvious about it), but without success.
  • According to Mr. Heng, Mr. Muoi later called the American Legation and asked for Pyle.
  • So, to recap, whatever these moulds were used to make, Pyle seems to be involved, and their specific use is supposed to be a secret. Seems shady, no?
  • Oh, and Diolacton is one of the American plastics—another connection with Pyle.
  • Mr. Heng won't tell Fowler what the mould was used to make, but asks him to remember what he saw, and tells him he may have cause one day to write about it. Of course, he must not mention where he saw the moulds.