Unformatted text preview: d cripple—sitting there just wasting away. She’s never had to do a
day’s work in all her life.”
Rosa’s greatest disdain, however, was reserved for 8 Grande Strasse. A large house, high on a hill, in the upper
part of Molching.
“This one,” she’d pointed out to Liesel the first time they went there, “is the mayor’s house. That crook. His
wife sits at home all day, too mean to light a fire—it’s always freezing in there. She’s crazy.” She punctuated
the words. “Absolutely. Crazy.” At the gate, she motioned to the girl. “You go.”
Liesel was horrified. A giant brown door with a brass knocker stood atop a small flight of steps. “What?”
Mama shoved her. “Don’t you ‘what’ me, Saumensch. Move it.”
Liesel moved it. She walked the path, climbed the steps, hesitated, and knocked.
A bathrobe answered the door.
Inside it, a woman with startled eyes, hair like fluff, and the posture of defeat stood in front of her. She saw
Mama at the gate and handed the girl a bag of washing. “Thank you,” Liesel said, but there was no reply. Only
the door. It closed.
“You see?” said Mama when she returned to the gate. “This is what I have to put up with. These rich bastards,
these lazy swine . . .”
Holding the washing as they walked away, Liesel looked back. The brass knocker eyed her from the door.
When she finished berating the people she worked for, Rosa Hubermann would usually move on to her other
favorite theme of abuse. Her husband. Looking at the bag of washing and the hunched houses, she would talk,
and talk, and talk. “If your papa was any good,” she informed Liesel every time they walked through Molching,
“I wouldn’t have to do this.” She sniffed with derision. “A painter! Why marry that Arschloch ? That’s what they told me—my family, that is.” Their footsteps crunched along the path. “And here I am, walking the streets
and slaving in my kitchen because that Saukerl never has any work. No real work, anyway. Just that pathetic
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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