The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

Her fingers hovered above the keys she did not move

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Unformatted text preview: stood outside. First and third. “First was you, Schwarz,” said Rudy. He then questioned Olaf Spiegel. “Who was third?” Spiegel made a few calculations. Did she mean third in line or third examined? It didn’t matter. He knew what he wanted to believe. “That was you, I think.” “Cow shit, Spiegel, it was you.” A SMALL GUARANTEE The coat men knew who was third. The day after they’d visited Himmel Street, Rudy sat on his front step with Liesel and related the whole saga, even the smallest details. He gave up and admitted what had happened that day at school when he was taken out of class. There was even some laughter about the tremendous nurse and the look on Jürgen Schwarz’s face. For the most part, though, it was a tale of anxiety, especially when it came to the voices in the kitchen and the deadbody dominoes. For days, Liesel could not shift one thought from her head. It was the examination of the three boys, or if she was honest, it was Rudy. She would lie in bed, missing Max, wondering where he was, praying that he was alive, but somewhere, standing among all of it, was Rudy. He glowed in the dark, completely naked. There was great dread in that vision, especially the moment when he was forced to remove his hands. It was disconcerting to say the least, but for some reason, she couldn’t stop thinking about it. PUNISHMENT On the ration cards of Nazi Germany, there was no listing for punishment, but everyone had to take their turn. For some it was death in a foreign country during the war. For others it was poverty and guilt when the war was over, when six million discoveries were made throughout Europe. Many people must have seen their punishments coming, but only a small percentage welcomed it. One such person was Hans Hubermann. You do not help Jews on the street. Your basement should not be hiding one. At first, his punishment was conscience. His oblivious unearthing of Max Vandenburg plagued him. Liesel could see it sitting next to his plate as he ignored his dinner, or standing with hi...
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