The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

Shelters were more clearly marked windows were in the

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Unformatted text preview: all had been found for Himmel Street soccer. That was the good news. The somewhat unsettling news was that a division of the NSDAP was heading toward them. They’d progressed all the way through Molching, street by street, house by house, and now they stood at Frau Diller’s shop, having a quick smoke before they continued with their business. There was already a smattering of air-raid shelters in Molching, but it was decided soon after the bombing of Cologne that a few more certainly wouldn’t hurt. The NSDAP was inspecting each and every house in order to see if its basement was a good enough candidate. From afar, the children watched. They could see the smoke rising out of the pack. Liesel had only just come out and she’d walked over to Rudy and Tommy. Harald Mollenhauer was retrieving the ball. “What’s going on up there?” Rudy put his hands in his pockets. “The party.” He inspected his friend’s progress with the ball in Frau Holtzapfel’s front hedge. “They’re checking all the houses and apartment blocks.” Instant dryness seized the interior of Liesel’s mouth. “For what?” “Don’t you know anything? Tell her, Tommy.” Tommy was perplexed. “Well, I don’t know.” “You’re hopeless, the pair of you. They need more air-raid shelters.” “What—basements?” “No, attics. Of course basements. Jesus, Liesel, you really are thick, aren’t you?” The ball was back. “Rudy!” He played onto it and Liesel was still standing. How could she get back inside without looking too suspicious? The smoke up at Frau Diller’s was disappearing and the small crowd of men was starting to disperse. Panic generated in that awful way. Throat and mouth. Air became sand. Think, she thought. Come on, Liesel, think, think. Rudy scored. Faraway voices congratulated him. Think, Liesel— She had it. That’s it, she decided, but I have to make it real. As the Nazis progressed down the street, painting the letters LSR on some of the doors, the b...
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