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Unformatted text preview: sly. A pause. “They fired my mama.”
When they angled toward it, Rudy asked just how in God’s name they were going to get inside, but Liesel
knew. “Local knowledge,” she answered. “Local—” But when they were able to see the window to the library
at the far end of the house, she was greeted with a shock. The window was closed.
“Well?” Rudy asked.
Liesel swiveled slowly and hurried off. “Not today,” she said. Rudy laughed. “I knew it.” He caught up. “I knew it, you filthy Saumensch. You couldn’t get in there even if you had the key.”
“Do you mind?” She quickened even more and brushed aside Rudy’s commentary. “We just have to wait for
the right opportunity.” Internally, she shrugged away from a kind of gladness that the window was closed. She
berated herself. Why, Liesel? she asked. Why did you have to explode when they fired Mama? Why couldn’t
you just keep your big mouth shut? For all you know, the mayor’s wife is now completely reformed after you
yelled and screamed at her. Maybe she’s straightened herself out, picked herself up. Maybe she’ll never let
herself shiver in that house again and the window will be shut forever. . . . You stupid Saumensch!
A week later, however, on their fifth visit to the upper part of Molching, it was there.
The open window breathed a slice of air in.
That was all it would take.
It was Rudy who stopped first. He tapped Liesel in the ribs, with the back of his hand. “Is that window,” he
whispered, “open?” The eagerness in his voice leaned from his mouth, like a forearm onto Liesel’s shoulder.
“ Jawohl,” she answered. “It sure is.”
And how her heart began to heat.
On each previous occasion, when they found the window clamped firmly shut, Liesel’s outer disappointment
had masked a ferocious relief. Would she have had the neck to go in? And who and what, in fact, was she going
in for? For Rudy? To locate some food?
No, the repugnant truth was this:
She didn’t care about the food. Rudy, no matter how hard she tried to resist the idea, was secondary to her plan...
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- Winter '13