My arm went down to my side. "That's not true. You know that's--"
"Anywhere else, something would happen to him. Worse than jail," Mikey said. "Worse than anything. And to you, too."
Why was he saying this? Maybe because I'd told the lifeguard at the beach that he was out too far.
But maybe not. He'd always been mean.
Or maybe that was what people really thought, that Grandpa was a spy, that I . . .
Somewhere down the block I heard a door slam. The two of them slipped past me along the side of the house. When they were halfway down the driveway I plunked the stone after them, hitting the pail of paint.
"Crummy aim," Muscle Man said, and Mikey called, "Heil Hitler."
"Watch out, next time--" and then I broke off because it looked as if they were going to come back after me.
I darted around back, but now I heard them marching up the street yelling, "Heil, heil," with that same accent.
I went up to Grandpa's window and put my finger on the painted swastika. It was thick and still shiny wet, and I could feel that my cheeks were wet, too.
Grandpa was the biggest pest in the whole world, calling me Margaret every two minutes instead of Meggie, whispering during movies so I couldn't even hear what was going on, saying bah whenever he didn't agree with me.
So why was I crying?
Excerpted from Willow Run by Patricia Reilly Giff Copyright © 2005 by Patricia Reilly Giff. Excerpted by permission of Wendy Lamb Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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