The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

In terms of stealing conditions were perfect it was a

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Unformatted text preview: air was wound tight enough to frighten from behind. It seemed to tighten further when she repeated the question. “What, Liesel?” She stepped closer, afraid of the answer. “Is he alive?” The bun nodded. Rosa turned then and said something with great assurance. “Now listen to me, Liesel. I didn’t take this man into my house to watch him die. Understand?” Liesel nodded. “Now go.” In the hall, Papa hugged her. She desperately needed it. Later on, she heard Hans and Rosa speaking in the night. Rosa made her sleep in their room, and she lay next to their bed, on the floor, on the mattress they’d dragged up from the basement. (There was concern as to whether it was infected, but they came to the conclusion that such thoughts were unfounded. This was no virus Max was suffering from, so they carried it up and replaced the sheet.) Imagining the girl to be asleep, Mama voiced her opinion. “That damn snowman,” she whispered. “I bet it started with the snowman—fooling around with ice and snow in the cold down there.” Papa was more philosophical. “Rosa, it started with Adolf.” He lifted himself. “We should check on him.” In the course of the night, Max was visited seven times. MAX VANDENBURG’S VISITOR SCORE SHEET Hans Hubermann: 2 Rosa Hubermann: 2 Liesel Meminger: 3 In the morning, Liesel brought him his sketchbook from the basement and placed it on the bedside table. She felt awful for having looked at it the previous year, and this time, she kept it firmly closed, out of respect. When Papa came in, she did not turn to face him but talked across Max Vandenburg, at the wall. “Why did I have to bring all that snow down?” she asked. “It started all of this, didn’t it, Papa?” She clenched her hands, as if to pray. “Why did I have to build that snowman?” Papa, to his enduring credit, was adamant. “Liesel,” he said, “you had to.” For hours, she sat with him as he shivered and slept. “Don’t die,” she whispered. “Please, Max, just don’t die.” He was t...
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