The Postcard from Paris
THERE WAS TOTAL silence in the gymnasium. Nothing was making a sound—not the twelve sets of brown wooden climbing bars along the walls, not the old pommel horse covered in cracked leather, or the eight gray well-worn ropes hanging motionless from the ceiling, or the sixteen boys and girls who made up the Dølgen School Marching Band and who were now all staring at Conductor Madsen.
“Ready …,” Mr. Madsen called out. He raised his baton, and squinted at them through his dark aviator sunglasses. Mr. Madsen, with dread in his eyes, searched hopefully for Nilly. He knew the...