The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel by Wes Anderson Read Free Book Online

Book: The Grand Budapest Hotel by Wes Anderson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Wes Anderson
turn around quickly and see Anatole standing in the doorway. M. Gustave mumbles, anxious:
    The police are here. They asked for you.
    Silence. M. Gustave nods. He says cheerily:
    Tell them we’ll be right down.
    Anatole goes back down the steps. M. Gustave and Zero look down into the lobby through a window. Eight uniformed officers wait at the concierge desk. M. Gustave says tensely:
    Have you ever been questioned by the authorities?
    Yes, on one occasion, I was arrested and tortured by the rebel militia after the Desert Uprising.
    Right. Well, you know the drill, then. Zip it.
    Of course.
    You’ve never heard the word ‘van Hoytl’ in your life.
    Got it.
    OK. Let’s go.
    M. Gustave and Zero descend into the lobby. M. Gustave’s face brightens as he crosses the room and greets the visitors:
    How may we serve you, gentlemen?
producing a warrant
    By order of the Commissioner of Police, Zubrowka Province, I hereby place you under arrest for the murder of Madame Céline Villeneuve Desgoffe und Taxis.
somehow vindicated
there was something fishy! We never got the cause of
! She’s been
– and you think
did it.
    M. Gustave turns away and breaks into a sprint through the lobby. The police chase him. Zero watches, stunned.
    A buttressed castle on a high rock spur. Clusters of tangled barbed-wire decorate the tops of the walls above a sheer cliff that drops straight down into the medieval village below.
    Zero stands waiting with a small pink pastry-box in his hands. There is a guard with a tommy gun next to him. Silence.
    A hidden gear begins to crank, and a heavy iron and oak gate swings slowly open. The guard makes an offhand toss of the head to signal for Zero to proceed. Zero nods politely and starts across a narrow bridge over a moat. Two more guards wait at the far end in front of the doors to a fortified keep.
    A converted armory containing a row of chairs along an extended table with a penitentiary-style wire-glass partition down the middle. Zero sits alone. The pastry-box is in front of him next to a glass of water. A door opens, and another guard escorts M. Gustave into the room.
    M. Gustave is now dressed in a striped prison uniform with his cap worn at a slight tilt. His hands are shackled. His face is purple and misshapen, covered almost entirely with bruises and abrasions, with one eye swollen completely shut. He sits down facing Zero on the other side of the partition.
There is a glass of water for him, as well
    The guard waits in the corner. He checks his watch.
    Zero looks horrified. He gasps:
    What happened?
    What happened, my dear Zero, is I beat the living shit out of a snivelling little runt called Pinky Bandinski who hadthe gall to question my virility – because if there’s one thing we’ve learned from penny dreadfuls, it’s that, when you find yourself in a place like this, you must never be a candy-ass. You’ve got to prove yourself from day one. You’ve got to win their respect. Of course, I’ve got about a foot and a half of reach on Pinky, so once I’d pried him loose out from under my armpit, it was short order before I whipped him into scrambled eggs. (
Takes a sip of water
.) You should take a long look at
ugly mug this morning. (
Spits blood back into the cup
.) He’s actually become a dear friend. You’ll meet him, I hope. So.
    M. Gustave slides closer to the glass. So does Zero.
    You talk to Kovacs?
    I saw him last night in secret. He made me take an oath (on a Bible). I wouldn’t tell a soul. You’re supposed to, also.
    I’ll do that later.
    He suspects you’re innocent.
    Of course he

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