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Unformatted text preview: ever used it. He
was only called Pfiffikus because you give that name to someone who likes to whistle, which Pfiffikus most
definitely did. He was constantly whistling a tune called the Radetzky March, and all the kids in town would
call out to him and duplicate that tune. At that precise moment, Pfiffikus would abandon his usual walking style
(bent forward, taking large, lanky steps, arms behind his raincoated back) and erect himself to deliver abuse. It
was then that any impression of serenity was violently interrupted, for his voice was brimming with rage.
On this occasion, Liesel followed Rudy’s taunt almost as a reflex action.
“Pfiffikus!” she echoed, quickly adopting the appropriate cruelty that childhood seems to require. Her whistling
was awful, but there was no time to perfect it.
He chased them, calling out. It started with “Geh’ scheissen!” and deteriorated rapidly from there. At first, he
leveled his abuse only at the boy, but soon enough, it was Liesel’s turn.
“You little slut!” he roared at her. The words clobbered her in the back. “I’ve never seen you before!” Fancy
calling a ten-year-old girl a slut. That was Pfiffikus. It was widely agreed that he and Frau Holtzapfel would
have made a lovely couple. “Get back here!” were the last words Liesel and Rudy heard as they continued
running. They ran until they were on Munich Street.
“Come on,” Rudy said, once they’d recovered their breath. “Just down here a little.” He took her to Hubert Oval, the scene of the Jesse Owens incident, where they stood, hands in pockets. The
track was stretched out in front of them. Only one thing could happen. Rudy started it. “Hundred meters,” he
goaded her. “I bet you can’t beat me.”
Liesel wasn’t taking any of that. “I bet you I can.”
“What do you bet, you little Saumensch? Have you got any money?”
“Of course not. Do you?”
“No.” But Rudy had an idea. It was the lover boy coming out of him. “If I beat you, I get to kiss yo...
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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