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Unformatted text preview: raight into the
path of another.
At first, they thought nothing of it.
The group crossing the bridge and smoking cigarettes could have been anybody, and it was too late to turn
around when the two parties recognized each other.
“Oh, no, they’ve seen us.”
Viktor Chemmel smiled.
He spoke very amiably. This could only mean that he was at his most dangerous. “Well, well, if it isn’t Rudy
Steiner and his little whore.” Very smoothly, he met them and snatched The Whistler from Liesel’s grip. “What
are we reading?”
“This is between us.” Rudy tried to reason with him. “It has nothing to do with her. Come on, give it back.”
“The Whistler.” He addressed Liesel now. “Any good?”
She cleared her throat. “Not bad.” Unfortunately, she gave herself away. In the eyes. They were agitated. She
knew the exact moment when Viktor Chemmel established that the book was a prize possession.
“I’ll tell you what,” he said. “For fifty marks, you can have it back.”
“Fifty marks!” That was Andy Schmeikl. “Come on, Viktor, you could buy a thousand books for that.”
“Did I ask you to speak?”
Andy kept quiet. His mouth seemed to swing shut.
Liesel tried a poker face. “You can keep it, then. I’ve already read it.” “What happens at the end?”
She hadn’t gotten that far yet.
She hesitated, and Viktor Chemmel deciphered it instantly.
Rudy rushed at him now. “Come on, Viktor, don’t do this to her. It’s me you’re after. I’ll do anything you
The older boy only swatted him away, the book held aloft. And he corrected him.
“No,” he said. “I’ll do anything I want,” and he proceeded to the river. Everyone followed, at catch-up speed.
Half walk, half run. Some protested. Some urged him on.
It was so quick, and relaxed. There was a question, and a mocking, friendly voice.
“Tell me,” Viktor said. “Who was the last Olympic discus champion, in Berlin?” He turned to face them. He
warmed up his arm. “Who was it...
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- Winter '13