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    Joe Hill

    33. Abraham’s Boys

    By Joe Hill

    Maximilian searched for them in the carriage house and the cattle shed, even had a look in the springhouse, although he knew almost at first glance he wouldn’t find them there. Rudy wouldn’t hide in a place like that, dank and chill, no windows and so no light, a place that smelled of bats. It was too much like a basement. Rudy never went in their basement back home if he could help it, was afraid the door would shut behind him, and he’d find himself trapped in the suffocating dark.

    Max checked the barn last, but they weren’t hiding there either, and when he came into the dooryard, he saw with a shock that dusk had come. He had never imagined it could be so late.

    “No more this game,” he shouted. “Rudolf! We have to go.” Only when he said have it came out hoff, a noise like a horse sneezing. He hated the sound of his own voice, envied his younger brother’s confident American pronunciations. Rudolf had been born here, had never seen Amsterdam. Max had lived the first five years of his life there, in a dimly lit apartment that smelled of mildewed velvet curtains and the latrine stink of the canal below.

    Max hollered until his throat was raw, but in the end, all his shouting brought only Mrs. Kutchner, who shuffled slowly across the porch, hugging herself for warmth, although it was not cold. When she reached the railing she took it in both hands and sagged forward, using it to hold herself up. . . . Read More.


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