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Unformatted text preview: the bread—he was not hungry—but the first Jew saw it.
His ragged hand reached down and picked a piece up and shoved it deliriously to his mouth.
Is that Max? Liesel thought.
She could not see properly and moved to get a better view.
“Hey!” Rudy was livid. “Don’t move. If they find us here and match us to the bread, we’re history.”
More Jews were bending down and taking bread from the road, and from the edge of the trees, the book thief
examined each and every one of them. Max Vandenburg was not there.
Relief was short-lived.
It stirred itself around her just as one of the soldiers noticed a prisoner drop a hand to the ground. Everyone was
ordered to stop. The road was closely examined. The prisoners chewed as fast and silently as they could.
Collectively, they gulped.
The soldier picked up a few pieces and studied each side of the road. The prisoners also looked. “In there!”
One of the soldiers was striding over, to the girl by the closest trees. Next he saw the boy. Both began to run.
They chose different directions, under the rafters of branches and the tall ceiling of the trees.
“Don’t stop running, Liesel!”
“What about the bikes?”
“Scheiss drauf! Shit on them, who cares!”
They ran, and after a hundred meters, the hunched breath of the soldier drew closer. It sidled up next to her and
she waited for the accompanying hand.
She was lucky.
All she received was a boot up the ass and a fistful of words. “Keep running, little girl, you don’t belong here!”
She ran and she did not stop for at least another mile. Branches sliced her arms, pinecones rolled at her feet, and
the taste of Christmas needles chimed inside her lungs.
A good forty-five minutes had passed by the time she made it back, and Rudy was sitting by the rusty bikes.
He’d collected what was left of the bread and was chewing on a stale, stiff portion.
“I told you not to get too close,” he said.
She showed him her backside. “Have I got a footprint?” THE HIDDEN S...
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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