The Grand Budapest Hotel

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Book: The Grand Budapest Hotel by Wes Anderson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Wes Anderson
long pause
    I’m an attorney, Dmitri. I’m obligated to proceed according to the rule of law. Not agreed.
    Dmitri’s eyes peer sideways. He says quietly, menacing:
    This stinks, sisters.
    Deputy Kovacs looks insulted. Dmitri stands up, walks to the door, and exits. The cat squeals. Jopling follows Dmitri out the door. Deputy Kovacs’ mouth falls open. He points, astonished, across the room:
    Did he just throw my cat out the window?
    The three sisters turn around quickly. They answer simultaneously:
    I don’t think so.
    No. Did he?
    Deputy Kovacs waits for the punchline – but it does not come. He dashes to the window and looks down at the sidewalk.
    Cut to:
    A pedestrian in a bowler hat far below standing over a sprawled speck on the sidewalk. He looks up.
    Four small hammers tap rapid-fire at four half-scale chisels, chipping away into a cement pot-hole. They are making good progress.
    M. Gustave, Pinky, Günther, and Ludwig work diligently by candlelight under a wooden table. Periodically, Wolf scoops up the powdery debris with a soup ladle and throws it aside.
    Ludwig looks up suddenly, alerted. He holds up a finger.
    M. Gustave, Pinky, and Günther stop tapping at once. They listen attentively. Feet creak along the thick, wooden floor outside the cell – and come to a halt directly in front of the door. Silence.
    There is a loud but muffled sneeze.
    The feet begin to creak again and fade away until they are inaudible. Ludwig signals to the others. They resume their tapping.
    An attic bedroom the size of a broom closet. The walls and ceiling are  bare planks. Thick beams hold the crooked roof in place. A small skylight window is propped open with a pencil. Zero and Agatha are naked under the rough sheets of her narrow bed. They share a plate of little miniature Courtesans au chocolat. Zero whispers:
    There’s something I haven’t told you, Agatha.
    A look of dread crosses Agatha’s face. She says reluctantly:
    We stole a painting. It’s very valuable (maybe five million Klubecks, in fact). I don’t know if anyone’s even noticed it’s missing yet – but if something should happen to me and M. Gustave –
    You stole – art?
    One picture. Anyway: we need to make a plan for your survival. Hide this.
    Zero produces a square of tissue-paper the size of a large postage stamp with neat, minuscule handwriting all over it. Agatha squints at it.
    It’s in code, and you might need a magnifying glass to read it, but it tells you exactly where and how to find ‘Boy with Apple’. Don’t take less than half the retail asking price. Also –
    Zero. I’m a
correcting her
    You’re a
chef. One of the best in the –
    Not a ‘
’ (if that’s the term). I don’t trade in stolen property.
    I said it wrong. She
it to him!
    A door bangs open down the hall. In an instant: Zero jumps out of the bed, leaps with both feet at once into his trousers, and shimmies up out of the skylight.
    Cut to:
    Zero’s point-of-view from the roof. The bedroom door creaks open and Herr Mendl looks in at Agatha. She is now calmly reading her volume of romantic poetry. He grunts:
    Go to sleep.
    Yes, Herr Mendl.
    The door closes. Agatha looks up to Zero. He holds up the sliver of paper. She shakes her head and whispers:
    OK, but take it, anyway.
    Zero releases the square of tissue-paper. Agatha sits up quickly as it descends, darting and fluttering, and moves her hand around underneath it while she watches trying to estimate where it is going to land.
    At the last second, she reaches up and cleanly plucks it out of the air between thumb and finger.
    Zero smiles. He runs away, shoeless, past gutters and

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