Thursday was the only delivery day left for Liesel Meminger now, and it was usually able to provide some sort of dividend. She could never dampen the feeling of victory each time she found a Molching Express or any other publication. Finding a newspaper was a good day. If it was a paper in which the crossword wasn’t done, it was a great day. She would make her way home, shut the door behind her, and take it down to Max Vandenburg.
Heinz Hermann, the mayor, was quoted as saying that although the war was progressing splendidly, the people of Molching, like all responsible Germans should take adequate measures and prepare for the possibility of harder times. “You never know,” he stated, “what our enemies are thinking, or how they will try to debilitate us.” A week later, the mayor’s words came to nasty fruition…. [T]he mayor’s wife… reached into the chest of drawers and withdrew an envelope… “I’m sorry. It’s for your mama.”
If only Tommy Müller hadn’t disappeared for seven hours on one of the coldest days in Munich’s history, six years earlier. His ear infections and nerve damage were still contorting the marching pattern at the Hitler Youth, which, I can assure you, was not a positive thing.
“You know what would cheer me up?... No, not that.” He sighed and stepped closer. “Something else.” After a moment’s thought, he raised his head, just a touch. “Look at me. I’m filthy. I stink like cow shit, or dog shit, whatever your opinion, and as usual, I’m absolutely starving.” He paused. “I need a win, Liesel. Honestly.” Liesel knew… They had to steal something.
Eventually, it was the opportunity to join a different division that swayed Rudy in the right direction. This was fortunate, because if he didn’t show his face soon, the Steiners would be find for his non-attendance. His older brother, Kurt, inquired as to whether Rudy might join the Flieger Division, which specialized in the teaching of aircraft and flying. Mostly, they built model airplanes, and there was no Franz Deutscher. Rudy accepted, and Tommy also joined. It was the one time in his life that his idiotic behavior delivered beneficial results.