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Genevieve's War by Patricia Reilly Giff

Genevieve's War by Patricia Reilly Giff

Author:Patricia Reilly Giff
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Holiday House
Published: 2017-05-20T16:00:00+00:00


eighteen

It was warmer the next morning; icicles dripped from the kitchen window, and a pale sun, like a lemon drop, appeared over the back field.

I sat at the table, yawning, as Mémé brought me a cup of cocoa, so weak it barely had color.

Fürst came into the kitchen and frowned. “Certainly not a nourishing breakfast, Gerta.”

Gerta! How harsh that sounded.

I didn’t answer. And Mémé kept her eyes on the hearth. Didn’t he know how little food we had? That we were always hungry?

“That cat,” he said. “Always in the way.”

Anger filled my chest. Sister gone, the cow, the chickens. And Louis, our beloved Louis. The cat was all we had left.

I clenched my hands into fists and Mémé reached forward, her hands covering them.

He paid no attention. He opened the door, melting snow cascading into the kitchen, and then he was gone, leaving a puddle on the stone floor.

Mémé combed her fingers through my hair. “Oh, Genevieve.”

I looked up at her. “Too much. Even though that cat doesn’t care one bit about me. She struts around, tail high, as if she owns the place.” I tried to smile.

“Sometimes it takes a long time before you earn a cat’s trust,” Mémé said. “And this cat just wandered in. Who knows what her life was like before.”

“Fürst had better not get too close to her. She’ll scratch him to pieces. I wish she would.”

It was time for school, and I knew I had to be there. “Katrin will be waiting,” I said, wiping my eyes.

Mémé nodded. “You found your gloves.”

“They were under the bed, waiting for me.”

Her lips moved a little. Almost a smile. But she looked as tired as I was.

I went out the door and Tiger darted in. At the end of the path, I looked up, staring at the attic window. Somewhere inside, Rémy waited. I hoped he was warm enough; I hoped he wasn’t too hungry.

Katrin came along, books in her arms, her woolen hat pulled low over her forehead.

The snow had melted on the wall, and I motioned to her to sit with me. “Just for a minute.” We eased ourselves down on the damp stones, and I stretched my legs out, trying to think of where to start.

She frowned. “Something’s happened?”

“Rémy’s in the attic.”

Eyes wide, she glanced toward the house, even though she couldn’t see the window from where we sat.

I told her everything, rushing along breathlessly: climbing on the roof, a courier to take Rémy’s mother and sister to Switzerland, that maybe there’d be one for him.

I lowered my head. “But Philippe. I think he’s a German sympathizer.”

“How can that be?”

“To begin with, I’m almost sure he has my brother’s sweater. Why?”

She stared up at the trees along the path. “He might have found it somewhere.” She glanced at me sympathetically.

“I’m so afraid . . . ,” I began, and stopped. I couldn’t say anything more.

We sat there a little longer; we’d be late for school, but neither of us cared.

I saw tears in her eyes.



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