The mother pulled her daughter close to her. The girl could feel the womans heart beating through her dressing gown. She wanted to push her mother away. She wanted her mother to stand up straight and look at the men boldly, to stop cowering, to prevent her heart from beating like that, like a frightened animals. She wanted her mother to be brave.
My husband is . . . not here, stuttered the mother. I dont know where he is. I dont know.
The man with the beige raincoat shoved his way into the apartment. Hurry up, Madame. You have ten minutes. Pack some clothes. Enough for a couple of days.
The mother did not move. She stared at the policeman. He was standing on the landing, his back to the door. He seemed indifferent, bored. She put a hand on his navy sleeve.
Monsieur, please, she began.
The policeman turned, brushing her hand away. A hard, blank expression in his eyes.
You heard me. You are coming with us. Your daughter, too. Just do as you are told.
Excerpted from Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. Copyright © 2007 by Tatiana de Rosnay. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Griffin. 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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