Unformatted text preview: he shifted again and watched the lights become only a handful and then disappear altogether.
Look proud, he advised himself. You cannot look afraid. Read the book. Smile at it. It’s a great book—the
greatest book you’ve ever read. Ignore that woman on the other side. She’s asleep now anyway. Come on, Max,
you’re only a few hours away.
As it had turned out, the promised return visit in the room of darkness didn’t take days; it had taken a week and
a half. Then another week till the next, and another, until he lost all sense of the passing of days and hours. He
was relocated once more, to another small storage room, where there was more light, more visits, and more
food. Time, however, was running out.
“I’m leaving soon,” his friend Walter Kugler told him. “You know how it is—the army.”
“I’m sorry, Walter.”
Walter Kugler, Max’s friend from childhood, placed his hand on the Jew’s shoulder. “It could be worse.” He
looked his friend in his Jewish eyes. “I could be you.”
That was their last meeting. A final package was left in the corner, and this time, there was a ticket. Walter
opened Mein Kampf and slid it inside, next to the map he’d brought with the book itself. “Page thirteen.” He
smiled. “For luck, yes?”
“For luck,” and the two of them embraced.
When the door shut, Max opened the book and examined the ticket. Stuttgart to Munich to Pasing. It left in two
days, in the night, just in time to make the last connection. From there, he would walk. The map was already in
his head, folded in quarters. The key was still taped to the inside cover.
He sat for half an hour before stepping toward the bag and opening it. Apart from food, a few other items sat
inside. THE EXTRA CONTENTS OF
WALTER KUGLER’S GIFT
One small razor.
A spoon—the closest thing to a mirror.
A pair of scissors.
When he left it, the storeroom was empty but for the floor.
“Goodbye,” he whispered.
The last thing Max saw was the small mound o...
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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