Do you actually like children?
Esther Hartlieb shook her head violently… “I will find Bo, before he dies of pneumonia or consumption in this infernal city. He has to be protected from his selfish brother.”
Victor just shook his head wearily. “Has it still not occurred to you?” he asked impatiently. “The two of them only ran away because you wanted to separate Bo from his brother.”
… “We’ll get Bo a dog,” Max Hartlieb answered calmly. “And then you’ll see how quickly he forgets his big brother.”
Victor stared at Mr. Hartlieb as if he had just unbuttoned his shirt and shown him an empty heart. “Please answer me one question,” Victor said. “Do you actually like children?”
Max Hartlieb frowned. “Children in general? No, not really. They are so fidgety and loud, and often quite dirty.”
… “And,” Max Hartlieb continued, “they have no idea of what’s really important.”
Victor nodded. “Well,” he said slowly, “it must be a miracle, then, that such useless creatures grow up into something as great and reasonable as you, don’t you think?”
With that he turned and walked out of the room and down the long hotel corridor.
Extract from the book The Thief Lord
By Cornelia Funke
All Rights Reserved.
New York : Scholastic, 2002
Call Number: J FUN
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