But however much they now looked at each other, they still had no words to say about this thing that had happened, and so he nodded and went out.
She heard the apartment door close. And no sooner was she certain he was gone than she turned back towards the sewing machine, and swept up the scraps of the fateful field post letter. She tried to put them back together, but quickly saw that it would take too long now, and above all she had to get the dinner ready. So she scooped the pieces into the envelope, and slid it inside her hymnbook. In the afternoon, when Otto was at work, she would have time to fit the pieces together and glue them down. It might all be lies, mean, stupid lies, but it remained the last news she would have had of Ottochen. She would keep it safe, and show it to Trudel. Maybe she would be able to cry then; at the moment it still felt like a flame in her heart. It would do her good to be able to cry!
She shook her head crossly and went to the stove.
Excerpted from Every Man Dies Alone by Hans Fallada. Copyright © 2009 by Melville House Publishing. Excerpted by permission. 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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