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Unformatted text preview: n one hand and the potato in the other. He called out the dreaded word to his wife.
“No,” Rudy begged, “please.” He would tell Liesel later on that he was not the slightest bit afraid, but his heart
was certainly bursting at that moment, I’m sure. “Not the police. Please, not the police.”
“Polizei.” Mamer remained unmoved as the boy wriggled and fought with the air.
Also in the line that afternoon was a teacher, Herr Link. He was in the percentage of teachers at school who
were not priests or nuns. Rudy found him and accosted him in the eyes.
“Herr Link.” This was his last chance. “Herr Link, tell him, please. Tell him how poor I am.”
The grocer looked at the teacher with inquiring eyes. Herr Link stepped forward and said, “Yes, Herr Mamer. This boy is poor. He’s from Himmel Street.” The
crowd of predominantly women conferred at that point, knowing that Himmel Street was not exactly the
epitome of idyllic Molching living. It was well known as a relatively poor neighborhood. “He has eight brothers
Rudy had to hold back a smile, though he wasn’t in the clear yet. At least he had the teacher lying now. He’d
somehow managed to add three more children to the Steiner family.
“Often, he comes to school without breakfast,” and the crowd of women was conferring again. It was like a coat
of paint on the situation, adding a little extra potency and atmosphere.
“So that means he should be allowed to steal my potatoes?”
“The biggest one!” one of the women ejaculated.
“Keep quiet, Frau Metzing,” Mamer warned her, and she quickly settled down.
At first, all attention was on Rudy and the scruff of his neck. It then moved back and forth, from the boy to the
potato to Mamer—from best-looking to worst—and exactly what made the grocer decide in Rudy’s favor would
forever be unanswered.
Was it the pathetic nature of the boy?
The dignity of Herr Link?
The annoyance of Frau Metzing?
Whatever it was, Mamer dropped the potato back on the pile and dragged Rudy from his premises....
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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