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Unformatted text preview: he best standover man I’ve ever known . . .
Liesel read and viewed Max Vandenburg’s gift three times, noticing a different brush line or word with each
one. When the third reading was finished, she climbed as quietly as she could from her bed and walked to
Mama and Papa’s room. The allocated space next to the fire was vacant.
As she thought about it, she realized it was actually appropriate, or even better—perfect—to thank him where
the pages were made.
She walked down the basement steps. She saw an imaginary framed photo seep into the wall—a quiet-smiled
No more than a few meters, it was a long walk to the drop sheets and the assortment of paint cans that shielded
Max Vandenburg. She removed the sheets closest to the wall until there was a small corridor to look through.
The first part of him she saw was his shoulder, and through the slender gap, she slowly, painfully, inched her
hand in until it rested there. His clothing was cool. He did not wake. She could feel his breathing and his shoulder moving up and down ever so slightly. For a while, she watched
him. Then she sat and leaned back.
Sleepy air seemed to have followed her.
The scrawled words of practice stood magnificently on the wall by the stairs, jagged and childlike and sweet.
They looked on as both the hidden Jew and the girl slept, hand to shoulder.
German and Jewish lungs.
Next to the wall, The Standover Man sat, numb and gratified, like a beautiful itch at Liesel Meminger’s feet. PART FIVE
a floating book—the gamblers—a small ghost—
two haircuts—rudy’s youth—losers and sketches—
a whistler and some shoes—three acts of stupidity—
and a frightened boy with frozen legs THE FLOATING BOOK (Part I)
A book floated down the Amper River.
A boy jumped in, caught up to it, and held it in his right hand. He grinned.
He stood waist-deep in the icy, Decemberish water.
“How about a kiss, Saumensch?” he said.
The surrounding air was a lovely, gor...
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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