The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

One wednesday in early november his true punishment

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Unformatted text preview: t Hans Hubermann in four days (that is, if he wasn’t taken away). It was at a place far down the Amper, where a broken bridge leaned among the river and trees. He would make it there, but he would not stay longer than a few minutes. The only thing to be found there when Papa arrived four days later was a note under a rock, at the base of a tree. It was addressed to nobody and contained only one sentence. THE LAST WORDS OF MAX VANDENBURG You’ve done enough. Now more than ever, 33 Himmel Street was a place of silence, and it did not go unnoticed that the Duden Dictionary was completely and utterly mistaken, especially with its related words. Silence was not quiet or calm, and it was not peace. THE IDIOT AND THE COAT MEN On the night of the parade, the idiot sat in the kitchen, drinking bitter gulps of Holtzapfel’s coffee and hankering for a cigarette. He waited for the Gestapo, the soldiers, the police—for anyone— to take him away, as he felt he deserved. Rosa ordered him to come to bed. The girl loitered in the doorway. He sent them both away and spent the hours till morning with his head in his hands, waiting. Nothing came. Every unit of time carried with it the expected noise of knocking and threatening words. They did not come. The only sound was of himself. “What have I done?” he whispered again. “God, I’d love a cigarette,” he answered. He was all out. Liesel heard the repeated sentences several times, and it took a lot to stay by the door. She’d have loved to comfort him, but she had never seen a man so devastated. There were no consolations that night. Max was gone, and Hans Hubermann was to blame. The kitchen cupboards were the shape of guilt, and his palms were oily with the memory of what he’d done. They must be sweaty, Liesel thought, for her own hands were soaked to the wrists. In her room, she prayed. Hands and knees, forearms against the mattress. “Please, God, please let Max survive. Please, God, please . . .” Her suffering knees. Her painful feet. When first light appeared, she awoke and made her way back to the kitchen. Papa was asleep with his head parallel to t...
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