Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 50 of a new online serial novel, The Black Sheep, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week. Click here for previous chapters.
Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications.
Bitton wiped his hands and walked to the door of the restaurant. Binyamin noticed Shikovitzer biting his bottom lip nervously. They heard a babble of voices from the door, and Binyamin glanced again in surprise at Zelig’s father. It did not sound like just two people were speaking; it sounded louder. The two Jews did not know that they were both thinking the identical thing, even if in different words: Was it an Arab mob bursting into the restaurant because they had discovered their presence?
As they both spun their heads around, it became clear that they were thinking along the same lines. “We can get out through the window,” Shikovitzer whispered hoarsely. “You certainly will be able to, and I’ll try.”
They stood up hastily, ready to escape if they discovered that it was necessary. But after listening for another moment, it seemed as if they would not have to put their plan into action. The voices did not sound bloodthirsty. There was a loud argument going on between Emmanuel Bitton and someone else, and they could hear a guttural voice chime in every minute or so. The tones were loud, but not more than that.
“I only invited you to the meeting,” they heard Emmanuel say coolly.
“It’s the business of our entire hamoula, not just him!” someone else said.