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Unformatted text preview: nt of Rudy Steiner. “Does this look about your size?”
While Liesel sat in the dark, Rudy tried on the suit behind one of the curtains. There was a small circle of light
and the shadow dressing itself.
When he returned, he held out the lantern for Liesel to see. Free of the curtain, the light was like a pillar, shining
onto the refined suit. It also lit up the dirty shirt beneath and Rudy’s battered shoes.
“Well?” he asked.
Liesel continued the examination. She moved around him and shrugged. “Not bad.”
“Not bad! I look better than just not bad.”
“The shoes let you down. And your face.”
Rudy placed the lantern on the counter and came toward her in mock-anger, and Liesel had to admit that a
nervousness started gripping her. It was with both relief and disappointment that she watched him trip and fall
on the disgraced mannequin.
On the floor, Rudy laughed.
Then he closed his eyes, clenching them hard. Liesel rushed over.
She crouched above him.
Kiss him, Liesel, kiss him.
“Are you all right, Rudy? Rudy?”
“I miss him,” said the boy, sideways, across the floor.
“Frohe Weihnachten,” Liesel replied. She helped him up, straightening the suit. “Merry Christmas.” PART NINE
the last human stranger
the next temptation—a cardplayer—
the snows of stalingrad—an ageless
brother—an accident—the bitter taste
of questions—a toolbox, a bleeder,
a bear—a broken plane—
and a homecoming THE NEXT TEMPTATION
This time, there were cookies.
But they were stale.
They were Kipferl left over from Christmas, and they’d been sitting on the desk for at least two weeks. Like
miniature horseshoes with a layer of icing sugar, the ones on the bottom were bolted to the plate. The rest were
piled on top, forming a chewy mound. She could already smell them when her fingers tightened on the window
ledge. The room tasted like sugar and dough, and thousands of pages.
There was no note, but it didn’t take Liesel long to realize that Ilsa Hermann had been at it again, and she
certainly wasn’t taking the chance that the c...
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This note was uploaded on 01/17/2014 for the course ENG 99 taught by Professor Michal during the Winter '13 term at CSU Sacramento.
- Winter '13