Peter attached the detonator wires to the small explosive device that Abraham, the sewer scientist, had fashioned from TNT and wires hooked to the sometimes faulty connectors. He set the timer that would press against the wires on the connectors, creating friction, and making sparks that would ignite the TNT. He hooked the device under the guard station, and motioned for Noah to exit the area.
As they backed out, a guard grabbed Peter and Noah by the neck, stopping them. Noah looked up. It was Adler. Noah’s body tensed.
Adler stared at him. “I thought Dirk killed you in the woods.”
“Me? No, must have been somebody else. I’m alive,” Noah said, patting himself down to prove it. He shrugged. “We all look alike.” He looked quickly at the bomb underneath the guard station. It could go off at any moment.
Adler pointed to Peter. “He doesn’t look like one of you.”
Peter stepped forward, pulling away from Adler’s grasp. Sounding disgusted, he said, “I’m not one of them. I’m Johan. My father’s a policeman. I brought him some food.”
“You that shoeshine boy?” Adler asked.
Peter nodded and patted his rucksack. “I’ll give your boots a good polish the next time I see you, for a reduced charge.”
“You need to get out of this area,” Adler said to Noah.
“I’ll take this boy back to the central area,” Peter said.
“Who’s your father?” Adler asked.
“I’ll tell him to watch this one,” Peter called, glancing over at the device underneath the guard station near the back fence.
Peter grabbed Noah’s arm and quickly marched him away without responding. He sneered at Noah. “What are you doing in the forbidden zone? Don’t you Jews know how to read?” Peter shouted. “Or are you too stupid?”
Adler smiled, but followed them for a way.
When Noah and Peter rounded the first building, Noah let out his breath. “How many minutes before it goes off?” Noah asked.
The explosives blew.
“None,” Peter said. “Run.”
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