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Unformatted text preview: me group as the previous year, the only exception being the leader. Liesel wondered why none of
the other boys had assumed the helm, but looking from face to face, she realized that none of them had it. They
had no qualms about stealing, but they needed to be told. They liked to be told, and Viktor Chemmel liked to be
the teller. It was a nice microcosm.
For a moment, Liesel longed for the reappearance of Arthur Berg. Or would he, too, have fallen under the
leadership of Chemmel? It didn’t matter. Liesel only knew that Arthur Berg did not have a tyrannical bone in
his body, whereas the new leader had hundreds of them. Last year, she knew that if she was stuck in a tree,
Arthur would come back for her, despite claiming otherwise. This year, by comparison, she was instantly aware
that Viktor Chemmel wouldn’t even bother to look back.
He stood, regarding the lanky boy and the malnourished-looking girl. “So you want to steal with me?”
What did they have to lose? They nodded.
He stepped closer and grabbed Rudy’s hair. “I want to hear it.”
“Definitely,” Rudy said, before being shoved back, fringe first.
“Of course.” Liesel was quick enough to avoid the same treatment.
Viktor smiled. He squashed his cigarette, breathed deeply in, and scratched his chest. “My gentlemen, my
whore, it looks like it’s time to go shopping.”
As the group walked off, Liesel and Rudy were at the back, as they’d always been in the past.
“Do you like him?” Rudy whispered.
Rudy paused a moment. “I think he’s a complete bastard.”
The group was getting away from them.
“Come on,” Rudy said, “we’ve fallen behind.”
After a few miles, they reached the first farm. What greeted them was a shock. The trees they’d imagined to be
swollen with fruit were frail and injured-looking, with only a small array of apples hanging miserly from each
branch. The next farm was the same. Maybe it was a bad season, or their timing wasn’t quite right. By the end of the afterno...
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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