Study Guide

The Quiet American Part 3, Chapter 1: Section 2

By Graham Greene

Part 3, Chapter 1: Section 2

  • Fowler feels he has been punished because whenever he returns home, he expects disaster with Phuong. She'll have left him.
  • We're back in the past again. Pyle is still alive, but we're closer to the events leading to his death.
  • Times have not been blissful. Fowler feels lonely even when she's around Phuong. He makes love to her as though he hates her.
  • Around this time Fowler gets a note from Dominguez, asking to come to the corner of the Boulevard Charner at 10:30 the next morning. Seems Mr. Chou or Mr. Heng requires his presence.
  • He's there waiting when police officers run up to a bunch of parked bicycles, grab some, and carry them to a fountain away from pedestrians.
  • Fowler is about to go look at them when Mr. Heng shows up, telling him to wait.
  • The fountain explodes.
  • Mr. Heng takes Fowler to his own bicycle and shows him the pump. Suddenly the shape of the mould he saw in the warehouse makes sense.
  • Fowler learns that ten explosions had hit Saigon that day, injuring six people and a lot of bicycles.
  • Contrary to his colleagues, Fowler reports that the bicycle bombs were a demonstration on the part of General Thé, but his report is altered in the office. Everyone assumes they were the work of communists. The police included. It's better for them if people assume the communists are to blame.
  • Fowler believes this is York Harding's Third Force in action. Possibly put into action by Pyle.
  • He returns home and Phuong is away. A note left says she's at her sister's.
  • In the morning Fowler finds that Phuong has taken all of her things.