In October 1943 John Weidner went on a secret mission for the Dutch military attaché in Switzerland. He left Geneva at 1:00 pm on a Wednesday and crossed the border with the help of an unidentified “R”.  On the French side of the border he took the bus from St-Julien to Annecy, arriving at 3pm. Two hours later, he took the train to Paris, arriving at 7:00 am on Thursday without more than a documents check by Germans. He departed from Paris at 8:00 am to arrive in Brussels at 3:00 pm, again without serious difficulties. By 4:00 pm he had made contact with the person he was meeting, a certain “N”.

Weidner’s mission was to give “N” some documents in exchange for others. But “N”’s man hadn’t come from Holland with the documents yet, so Weidner spent the weekend in Brussels as the guest of “N”. They discussed their common interests in helping refugees and moving information, and “N” introduced Weidner to some of his contacts in Brussels.

Even though the papers hadn’t shown up by Monday morning, Weidner left Brussels as per his instructions. Without more than the usual customs and documents formalities, he arrived in Paris at 3:00 pm on Monday. He made contact with several members of the Dutch colony there, again discussing the possibility of coordinating efforts to help Dutch refugees, and caught the train at 10 pm. He arrived in Annecy at 10:00 am on Tuesday with nothing more than a German document verification in Dijon to trouble him. He took the bus back to Saint-Julien, arriving an hour later. And at 12:30 pm on Tuesday, Weidner crossed the Swiss border. He reported that it didn’t seem to be absolutely guarded by the Germans, but it had been raining hard that day.

Weidner ended his report with the plans he’d made to get the missing documents to Geneva and the following summary:

“Even though, in my opinion, the results of my mission did not equal the great risks of my voyage, I nonetheless had the satisfaction of eating some excellent French fries in Belgium and some of that famous ice cream. On the other hand, I got two rips in my pants while crossing through the Swiss barbed wire….. [sic] which has really pleased my wife.”

From which we can conclude that if a tendency to see the glass half full wasn’t an absolute necessity for bearing the risks of resistance, it certainly helped.