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Unformatted text preview: nches, Liesel noticed
the closed window, and then the object leaning on the glass.
“Is that . . . ?”
They debated the issue for many minutes before they agreed it needed to be done. It had obviously been placed
there intentionally, and if it was a trap, it was worth it.
Among the powdery blue branches, Liesel said, “A book thief would do it.”
She dropped the bike, observed the street, and crossed the yard. The shadows of clouds were buried among the
dusky grass. Were they holes for falling into, or patches of extra darkness for hiding in? Her imagination sent
her sliding down one of those holes into the evil clutches of the mayor himself. If nothing else, those thoughts
distracted her and she was at the window even quicker than she’d hoped.
It was like The Whistler all over again.
Her nerves licked her palms.
Small streams of sweat rippled under her arms.
When she raised her head, she could read the title. The Complete Duden Dictionary and Thesaurus. Briefly, she
turned to Rudy and mouthed the words, It’s a dictionary. He shrugged and held out his arms.
She worked methodically, sliding the window upward, wondering how all of this would look from inside the
house. She envisioned the sight of her thieving hand reaching up, making the window rise until the book was
felled. It seemed to surrender slowly, like a falling tree.
There was barely a disturbance or sound.
The book simply tilted toward her and she took it with her free hand. She even closed the window, nice and
smooth, then turned and walked back across the potholes of clouds.
“Nice,” Rudy said as he gave her the bike.
“Thank you.” They rode toward the corner, where the day’s importance reached them. Liesel knew. It was that feeling again,
of being watched. A voice pedaled inside her. Two laps.
Look at the window. Look at the window.
She was compelled.
Like an itch that demands a fingernail, she felt an intense desire to stop.
She placed her feet on the ground and turned to face the mayor’s...
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- Winter '13