Study Guide

Number the Stars Chapter 15

By Lois Lowry

Chapter 15

My Dogs Smell Meat!

  • Annemarie tries to play dumb and go along with her mother's advice. She decides she will take her little sister Kirsti as a model. (This would be a good place for a joke about little sisters being dumb, but we'll resist.) Kirsti is protected by her own innocence, and Annemarie has to create that innocence for herself. 
  • So Annemarie lies to the soldiers when they question her, pretending that she is self-absorbed and interested only in what's going on with her own life. 
  • The soldiers' questions are pretty tough, but Annemarie weathers them. Hang tight, A.
  • A single soldier seems to lead the others, and he steps up to go through all the things in Annemarie's basket—one by one. As he does so, he keeps asking her questions, while feeding each of the items in the basket to the two big dogs. 
  • It seems like the dogs can tell that Annemarie is hiding something in her basket (she is!), and so the soldier keeps taking things out and asking her about them.
  • Talk about nerve-racking.
  • Then, to Annemarie's great horror, he finds the secret package. She bursts into tears and says, without lying, that she doesn't know anything about it.
  • The soldier opens the package and is totally unimpressed. It's just a hankie. Even the dogs lose interest. 
  • He gives Annemarie a mean message for her uncle, and then he and his fellows leave.
  • Annemarie waits until they're gone, then grabs what's left of the basket, including the hankie, and runs to her uncle's ship. 
  • Can we breathe yet? 
  • Yes. She gets to the boat and is able to deliver the hankie to a super-grateful Henrik.
  • She wants to ask him questions but she can't. He just reassures her and tells her to head back to the house.