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Unformatted text preview: t occasion, she stated that she simply forgot about that place—a poor excuse if ever I’ve heard one—
as the house straddled the hill, overlooking the town, and it was unforgettable. When she went back and still
returned empty-handed, she lied that there was no one home.
“No one home?” Mama was skeptical. Skepticism gave her an itch for the wooden spoon. She waved it at Liesel
and said, “Get back over there now, and if you don’t come home with the washing, don’t come home at all.”
That was Rudy’s response when Liesel told him what Mama had said. “Do you want to run away together?”
“I’m starving anyway!” They laughed.
“No,” she said, “I have to do it.”
They walked the town as they usually did when Rudy came along. He always tried to be a gentleman and carry
the bag, but each time, Liesel refused. Only she had the threat of a Watschen loitering over her head, and
therefore only she could be relied upon to carry the bag correctly. Anyone else was more likely to manhandle it,
twist it, or mistreat it in even the most minimal way, and it was not worth the risk. Also, it was likely that if she
allowed Rudy to carry it for her, he would expect a kiss for his services, and that was not an option. Besides, she
was accustomed to its burden. She would swap the bag from shoulder to shoulder, relieving each side every
hundred steps or so. Liesel walked on the left, Rudy the right. Rudy talked most of the time, about the last soccer match on Himmel
Street, working in his father’s shop, and whatever else came to mind. Liesel tried to listen but failed. What she
heard was the dread, chiming through her ears, growing louder the closer they stepped toward Grande Strasse.
“What are you doing? Isn’t this it?”
Liesel nodded that Rudy was right, for she had tried to walk past the mayor’s house to buy some time.
“Well, go on,” the boy hurried her. Molching was darkening. The cold was climbing out of the ground. “Move
it, Saumensch.” He remained at the gate.
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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