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Unformatted text preview: Liesel now as well. The book thief and her best friend sat back to back on a patchy red toolbox in the middle of the street. Each
facing a different way, they remained for quite a while. When they stood up and went home, Rudy changed his
socks and left the previous ones on the road. A gift, he decided, for Gelb Strasse.
THE SPOKEN TRUTH
OF RUDY STEINER
“I guess I’m better at leaving
things behind than stealing them.”
A few weeks later, the toolbox ended up being good for at least something. Rudy cleared it of screwdrivers and
hammers and chose instead to store in it many of the Steiners’ valuables for the next air raid. The only item that
remained was the teddy bear.
On March 9, Rudy exited the house with it when the sirens made their presence felt again in Molching.
While the Steiners rushed down Himmel Street, Michael Holtzapfel was knocking furiously at Rosa
Hubermann’s door. When she and Liesel came out, he handed them his problem. “My mother,” he said, and the
plums of blood were still on his bandage. “She won’t come out. She’s sitting at the kitchen table.”
As the weeks had worn on, Frau Holtzapfel had not yet begun to recover. When Liesel came to read, the woman
spent most of the time staring at the window. Her words were quiet, close to motionless. All brutality and
reprimand were wrested from her face. It was usually Michael who said goodbye to Liesel or gave her the
coffee and thanked her. Now this.
Rosa moved into action.
She waddled swiftly through the gate and stood in the open doorway. “Holtzapfel!” There was nothing but
sirens and Rosa. “Holtzapfel, get out here, you miserable old swine!” Tact had never been Rosa Hubermann’s
strong point. “If you don’t come out, we’re all going to die here on the street!” She turned and viewed the
helpless figures on the footpath. A siren had just finished wailing. “What now?”
Michael shrugged, disoriented, perplexed. Liesel dropped her bag of books and faced him. She shouted at the
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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