Patti just escaped internment and has the ability to change the subject from that to Opa's bad picture. Apparently no one likes the picture he sent- he must have been trying too hard to look debonair or something and everyone outright refuses it. I bet August liked it.
I do think that Opa's debonair photo (I have no idea what it looked like) was likely almost a slap in the face for everyone. To have an aloof picture with a not-so-serious letter from someone who is enjoying the peace of America- it probably felt fake or forced to Patti. Yet that is what everyone is doing in these last letters. They are writing about the war, about near-misses, and they are shrouding their fear in little maternal jabs at Opa for looking aloof. Patti says "my exams- adieu"- but she has been studying for these exams for quite some time, and I imagine her as a little Hermione from the Harry Potter stories who is disappointed when the exams are cancelled. Her exams aren't even cancelled- it's just not safe for her to take them. Maurice is still able to take his- and it seems like every note he writes to Opa is ended with "sorry so short, got to study!"
Patti has been protected by the United Press men (the company that August works for) and her engagement to Maurice. She is back in Grenoble- her place of second birth- and there she will have to stay to hide for the time being. She fusses at Opa for his aloof letter- but she hardly gave him any details in hers!
Give me the details people! Tell me what happened! Why do you all have your hands in your pockets? I know, I know, they had so many different codes of censorship working against them. Literally they were worried about Nazi censors. Socially, they had been brought up to be stoic. And with great love and care for each other- they are trying not to worry or bother the other.
Well everyone's still worried. So stoicism isn't working. Hopefully Patti finds out that August is doing OK before having to wait the three months it seems to take for a reply to come from Opa (who should know through his mother's letter that August is fine).
Patti is alright, and Paris is about to fall.