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The Book Thief
by Markus Zusak
The Book Thief Chapter 64 Summary
The Promise Keeper's Wife First, we get a preview: in six hours Hans will be gone. He's telling Liesel that he wowed a crowd
with his accordion playing. Other than the sip of champagne this summer, Hans hasn't any drinks in a decade. Their wives protest, but Alex and Hans go to the bar. Before Hans gets drunk he plays "Gloomy Sunday – the anthem of suicide from Hungary" (64.4). The crowd wowed. Liesel imagines the scene. Coming home drunk, Hans accidentally tries to get into Frau Holtzapfel's house instead of his own. She curses him. When Papa comes in and stands in Liesel's doorway, she asks, "Is that you?" He says that it's him, knowing she's thinking of Max. It almost nine, the next day. Rosa has Liesel fill up a bucket of water. Liesel sees what she's up to and protests. But Rosa is in charge. Rosa and Liesel go down to the basement where Hans is sleeping among the drop cloths. He didn't feel he was worthy of sleeping on Max's mattress. Rosa throws the water on him, and he wakes up. She threatens to do it again if he falls back asleep. Rosa goes back upstairs, and Liesel starts getting up the water. Hans asks if she thinks Max is still living. She says she hopes he is. He tells her about his night in the bar and about going to Frau Holtzapfel's house afterwards. Two hours before Hans's departure, Liesel begs him not to go. He tells her she needs to take care of Rosa while he's gone. Rudy's dad will leave in four days, and he comes to tell Hans good-bye. At the train station, Liesel begs him to stay, again. He tells her to take his accordion back home, and tells her to "keep reading in the shelter" (64.69). Rosa and Liesel are the last people in the train station after Hans leaves. Afterwards, Rosa can't yell at anybody, and Liesel isn't even inspired to steal. After about two weeks of this, Rudy comes to Liesel's and makes her come out with him. They walk around Molching. Rudy says he wants to go and kill Hitler! Liesel is so down, she turns to go back home. Rudy follows her. She remembers a chapter from A Song in the Dark. The girl in the book's heart is tired. Liesel feels too young to have such a tired heart. After about an hour, she starts to perk up; she and Rudy reminisce and tease each other. Rudy looks at the suits in the window of his father's shop, but Liesel gets him to keep moving. When they get back, both of their moms are waiting, looking mad. Liesel tells Rudy's mother that Rudy was off killing Hitler. When Liesel is sleeping, a noise wakes her. When she goes to investigate, she finds Rosa sitting on the bed, with Hans's accordion around her neck. Liesel wishes she would play it, but she doesn't. She goes back to bed, the image of Rosa and the accordion in her brain. When her customary nightmare wakes her again, she finds Rosa still sitting on the bed with the accordion. Now she's snoring. This time, the picture stays with her, and she has a really hard time getting to sleep.
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