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The Book Thief
by Markus Zusak
The Book Thief Chapter 27 Summary
Tricksters Now we are back to Liesel. Rosa has lost another customer—there are two left. Liesel is very glad that the Hermanns are still customers. She still gets to see Ilsa Hermann, and the books. Liesel and Rudy pull a few more jobs with Arthur Berg. For diversity, they steal onions and potatoes. Rudy and Liesel also pull a job on their own, with great success. They've noticed that a guy named Otto Sturm delivers food and other things to the priests at the Catholic church. It's now October. On a certain very cold Friday, Liesel and Rudy make a plan to intercept him. First Rudy pours water where Otto will ride on his bike. This will make the already icy road extra-slippery. Sure enough, Otto hits the icy patch and falls hard with his bike. Rudy and Liesel take his basket and run. From a distance, they watch him get up and get back on his bike. They are loyal to Arthur Berg and the other thieves, so they go to Arthur. The whole gang is summoned, and they have a feast by the Amper River. On the way home, Liesel wants to know if Rudy "feel[s] bad" (27.38) about hurting Otto and stealing from him. He doesn't seem too. Death tells us that, "in years to come, he would be a giver of bread—not a stealer" (27.43). A little less than a week later, the gang is robbing the potato field. Arthur Berg screams the warning—he sees the farmer carrying an ax. Everybody gets over the fence but Rudy. He gets stuck and calls for help. Liesel runs back to him and helps him free his pants from the barbed-wire. Later, Rudy looks ashamed, and Arthur tells him, "It's happened to all of us" (27.65). Liesel and Rudy would never know for sure if this was true or false. In several weeks, Arthur moves to Cologne. The last time they see him, he gives them a bag of roasted chestnuts. Death has seen him. Arthur is still alive. Death sees him in Cologne holding the dead body of his sister. Liesel and Rudy sell the chestnuts door to door and go back to Frau Diller's to show her they can afford mixed candy.
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