After the vote Harry makes it clear that there can’t be any other escape attempts. Col. Crawford makes it clear to Harry “you get out your way, I’ll get out mine”. Col. Crawford wants to try tunneling in the castle chapel. It’s decided that before a full scale glider is built a model will be built. This way any modifications can be made before the full scale glider is built. Flaherty volunteers to build the “dodo” as he calls it. He works night and day on the model, and in just a matter of days its ready for its one and only flight.
The Germans discover that Flaherty is building a model glider, but don’t think anything about it. They even get a bit a chuckle out of the name “Das Dodo”. Sparrow sets up a glider flight pool where fellow prisoners bet on how far the model will fly. The currency is not money, but cigarettes. One cigarette for every foot of flight bet. When the doors to Flaherty's workshop open he marches proudly to the castle wall, holding the model gently in his hands. He walks up the stairs to the spot where he will let it go. Commandant Schiller watches the proceedings with interest. Flaherty dusts off the model, adjusts the tail flaps, and gives it a small kiss before chucking it past the castle walls. To everyone's amazement it soars up, and begins to orbit the castle courtyard. Suddenly the wing strut where wing joins the fuselage breaks. The wing snaps off, and the model plummets to ground just inside the courtyard. Sparrow pays off cigarettes to the winners while Col. Crawford starts telling others “I told you so”.
That evening after dinner the escape committee convenes to try and determine what went wrong. Col. Crawford tries to convince others that the idea will simply not work. Fitz will have none of his bluster. He maintains the model showed where the weak spots are, and that’s all a model is supposed to do. Crawford wants to know why the needed modifications will work. Fitz responds “I’m an engineer. Its my job to make sure they work”. Crawford is
Its my job to make sure they work
unimpressed and walks out. His actions speak volumes and Tanker submits that the construction of the actual glider would go more smoothly and quicker if he was with the rest of them.
Commandant Schiller notices the change in behavior and strongly suspects that there is a plan to escape. He’s also noticed that Harry is now the officer with the most clout, taking the place of Col. Crawford. He’s also noticed a change in the prisoners which is unsettling: they’re smiling. And from his experience prisoners who smile also plan to escape. Not at all happy at he
There won’t be anymore smiling !
orders Harry to his office. Harry arrives not having a clue why he’s been summoned. Commandant Schiller offers Harry a drink as he’s having one. Harry politely declines the offer. When Harry rejects the commandants offer of civility the commandant gets right to the point. He tells Harry what he’s noticed and what it usually means. To prevent an escape the commandant increases the number of roll calls, and that a prisoner will be selected at random to spend an undetermined amount of time in solitary confinement. If no one tells him what he wants to know he will make things more uncomfortable. Most of all he wants an end to the smiling. Harry feels like he’s just been called to the principals office. After he is dismissed he informs everyone working on the glider.
That night work begins on building a false wall, a wall which will conceal their work from the guards. It’s erected with greater ease than was first thought. Bed slats make up the skeleton of the glider. Tools are fashioned out of what’s available, and when that’s not an option they’re stolen from the plumber who is a frequent visitor to the castle. When an adjustment is made to the wing strut design, Fitz tells Harry. They now need threaded pipe, and only Sparrow can get it. The plumber is replacing the pipes in the prisoners bathroom, and Sparrow becomes friends with the plumber. Soon he is assisting the plumber, but when some pipe mysteriously vanishes the apprenticeship abruptly ends. Tanker cuts the pipe to the proper length using a hacksaw.
Schiller calls an unscheduled roll call, and all the men working on the glider drop what they’re doing, and scramble into the courtyard. Almost everybody is there. Guards are sent to locate and bring the missing prisoner. Col. Morgan Crawford comes running with a green towel wrapped around his waist. Most of the prisoners laugh. Harry doesn’t. When Harry confronts Crawford Crawford says “You gotta stay clean”. When Schiller goes back inside Harry holds up Crawford's hands and says “Try getting the brush closer to your skin”.
Schiller increases the pressure and now there is a roll call every hour, night and day. Work slows to a snails pace. The men working on the glider can hardly get any work done because of the constant interruptions. Harry notices his friends starting to snap at each other and realizes that something must be done. Work on the glider has reached a point where no one has the option of making a mistake.