book] grabs you by the ear, the eye, the throat and drags the reader of the nation, Hannibal is a great popular novel and a plausible. HANNIBAL RISING a novel by THOMAS HARRIS D E L A C O RTE PRESS PROLOGUE THE DOOR TO DR. HANNIBAL LECTER'S memory pal. All the Hannibal Books by Thomas Harris in PDF Form spffn: “Reposting hahaha but again, I'll just leave these here: • PDF of Red Dragon.
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thomas harris hannibal series thomas harris hannibal books thomas harris hannibal rising thomas harris hannibal lecter thomas harris hannibal pdf. A series of four novels about the exploits of psychologist and serial killer Hannibal the Cannibal Lecter. The fourth book is a prequel that takes plac. Get Free Read & Download Files Hannibal Book Series PDF. HANNIBAL BOOK SERIES. Download: Hannibal Book Series. HANNIBAL BOOK SERIES - In this.
The wounded swan thumped heavily in an open field and did not move. His mate swooped down beside him, poked him with her beak, waddled around him with urgent honks.
He did not move. A shellburst in the field, and Russian infantry were visible moving in the trees at the edge of the meadow. A German Panzer tank jumped a ditch and came across the meadow, firing its coaxial machine gun into the trees, coming, coming. The swan spread her wings and stood her ground over her mate even though the tank was wider than her wings, its engine loud as her wild heart.
The swan stood over her mate hissing, hitting the tank with hard blows of her wings at the last, and the tank rolled over them, oblivious, in its whirring treads a mush of flesh and feathers.
The long forest path to the lodge was filled with snow in winter and overgrown in spring, the marshes too soft in summer for tanks. The lodge was well stocked with flour and sugar to last through the first winter, but most importantly it had salt in casks. In the second winter they came upon a dead and frozen horse. They were able to cut it up with axes and salt the meat. They salted trout as well, and partridges. Sometimes men in civilian clothes came out of the forest in the night, quiet as shadows.
Count Lecter and Berndt talked with them in Lithuanian, and once they brought a man with blood soaked through his shirt, who died on a pallet in the corner while Nanny was mopping his face. Every day when the snow was too deep to forage, Mr.
Jakov gave lessons. He taught English, and very bad French, he taught Roman history with a heavy emphasis on the sieges of Jerusalem, and everyone attended. He made dramatic tales out of historical events, and Old Testament stories, sometimes embellishing them for his audience beyond the strict bounds of scholarship. He instructed Hannibal in mathematics privately, as the lessons had reached a level inaccessible to the others. Among Mr. Jakov's books was a copy bound in leather of Christiaan Huyghens' Treatise on Light, and Hannibal was fascinated with it, with following the movement of Huyghens' mind, feeling him moving toward discovery.
He associated the Treatise on Light with the glare of the snow and the rainbow distortions in the old windowpanes. The elegance of Huyghens' thought was like the clean and simplified lines of winter, the structure under the leaves. A box opening with a click and inside, a principle that works every time. It was a dependable thrill, and he had been feeling it since he could read. Hannibal Lecter could always read, or it seemed that way to Nanny.
She read to him for a brief period when he was two, often from a Brothers Grimm illustrated with woodcuts where everyone had pointed toenails. He listened to Nanny reading, his head lolling against her while he looked at the words on the page, and then she found him at it by himself, pressing his forehead to the book and then pushing up to focal distance, reading aloud in Nanny's accent.
Hannibal's father had one salient emotion-curiosity. In his curiosity about his son, Count Lecter had the houseman pull down the heavy dictionaries in the castle library. English, German, and the twentythree volumes of the Lithuanian dictionary, and then Hannibal was on his own with the books. When he was six, three important things happened to him. First he discovered Euclid's Elements, in an old edition with hand-drawn Page 7 illustrations.
He could follow the illustrations with his finger, and put his forehead against them. That fall he was presented with a baby sister, Mischa. He thought Mischa looked like a wrinkled red squirrel. He reflected privately that it was a pity she did not get their mother's looks. Usurped on all fronts, he thought how convenient it would be if the eagle that sometimes soared over the castle should gather his little sister up and gently transport her to some happy peasant home in a country far away, where the residents all looked like squirrels and she would fit right in.
At the same time, he found he loved her in a way he could not help, and when she was old enough to wonder, he wanted to show her things, he wanted her to have the feeling of discovery. Also in the year Hannibal was six, Count Lecter found his son determining the height of the castle towers by the length of their shadows, following instructions which he said came directly from Euclid himself.
Count Lecter improved his tutors then-within six weeks arrived Mr. Jakov, a penniless scholar from Leipzig. Count Lecter introduced Mr. Jakov to his pupil in the library and left them. The library in warm weather had a cold-smoked aroma that was ingrained in the castle's stone. Are you unhappy?
No, I'm glad. If at first appearance a person seems dull, then look harder, look into him. Look at the windowpane in your room. It has a date he scratched with a diamond into the glass. These are his books. The last one was charred. The walls were lined with hay bales to muffle his utterances. Jakov said. As soon as he got sunlight, he lit the hay with the monocle he wore as he composed these books.
They passed through the courtyard, with its big block of stone. A hitching ring was in the stone and, in its flat top, the scars of an axe. By measuring the stone's height and its shadow, and measuring the shadow of the castle at the same hour. It's called the Ravenstone. Nanny calls it the Rabenstein. She is forbidden to seat me on it.
Often Mr. Jakov turned his head to the side and spoke into the air above Hannibal, as though he had forgotten he was talking with a child. Hannibal wondered if he missed walking and talking with someone his own age. Hannibal was interested to see how Mr.
Jakov got along with the houseman, Lothar, and Berndt the hostler. They were bluff men and shrewd enough, good at their jobs. But theirs was a different order of mind. Hannibal saw that Mr. Jakov made no effort to hide his mind, or to show it off, but he never pointed it directly at anyone.
In his free time, he was teaching them how to survey with a makeshift transit. Jakov took his meals with Cook, from whom he extracted a certain amount of rusty Yiddish, to the surprise of the family.
The parts of an ancient catapult used by Hannibal the Grim against the Teutonic Knights were stored in a barn on the property, and on Hannibal's birthday Mr.
Jakov, Lothar and Berndt put the catapult together, substituting a stout new timber for the throwing arm. With it they threw a hogshead of water higher than the castle, it falling to burst with a wonderful explosion of water on the far bank of the moat that sent the wading birds flapping away. In that week, Hannibal had the keenest single pleasure of his childhood.
As a birthday treat Mr. Jakov showed him a non-mathematical proof of the Pythagorean theorem using tiles and their impression on a bed of sand. Hannibal looked at it, walked around it. Jakov lifted one of the tiles and raised his eyebrows, asking if Hannibal wanted to see the proof again. And Hannibal got it. He got it with a rush that felt like he was being launched off the catapult.
Jakov rarely brought a textbook to their discussions, and rarely referred to one. At the age of eight, Hannibal asked him why. A palace in your mind. What is the most beautiful room you know, a place you know very well?
Twice Hannibal and Mr. Jakov watched the sun touch Uncle Elgar's window in the spring, but by the third year they were hiding in the woods. From the east and from the south the Russians came, up toward the Baltic Sea from the 3rd and 2nd Belorussian Fronts, driving ahead of them broken and retreating units of the Waffen-SS, desperate to reach the coast where they hoped to be evacuated by boat to Denmark.
It was the end of the Hiwis' ambitions. After they had faithfully killed and pillaged for their Nazi masters, shot Jews and Gypsies, none of them got to be SS. They were called Osttruppen, and were barely considered as soldiers. Thousands were put in slave labor battalions and worked to death. The family, flushed from the basement by the first shellburst and killed by the second, were dead in the ground-floor kitchen.
Dead soldiers, German and Russian, lay in the garden. A German staff car was on its side, blown half in two by a shell. An SS major was propped on a divan in front of the living room fireplace, blood frozen on the legs of his trousers.
His sergeant pulled a blanket off a bed and put it over him and got a fire going, but the room was open to the sky. He got the major's boot off and his toes were black. The sergeant heard a noise outside. He unslung his carbine and went to the window.
Grutas got out of the ambulance first with a white cloth. You have wounded? How many are you? Will you go with them, sir? Grutas and Dortlich, a head taller, pulled a stretcher out of the half-track. The sergeant came out to speak to them. His toes are frozen. Maybe frostbite gangrene. You have a field hospital? The man's legs collapsed and Grutas stepped over him through the doorway and shot the major through the blanket.
They wore a mix of uniforms- Lithuanian police, Lithuanian medics, Estonian medical corps, International Red Cross-but all wore large medical insignia on their armbands. There is much bending involved in stripping the dead; the looters grunted and bitched at the effort, scattering papers and wallet photos. The major still lived, and he raised his hand to Milko.
Milko took the wounded man's watch and stuffed it into his pocket. Grutas and Dortlich carried a rolled tapestry out of the house and threw it into their half-track truck. They put the canvas stretcher on the ground and tossed onto it watches, gold eyeglasses, rings. A tank came out of the woods, a Russian T in winter camouflage, its cannon traversing the field, the machine gunner standing up in the hatch. A man hiding in a shed behind the farmhouse broke from cover and ran across the field toward the trees, carrying in his arms an ormolu clock, leaping over bodies.
The tank's machine gun stuttered and the running looter pitched forward, tumbling to fall beside the clock, his face smashed and the clock's face Page 10 smashed too; his heart and the clock beat once and stopped.
They threw a corpse on top of the loot on the stretcher. The tank's turret turned toward them. Grutas waved a white flag and pointed to the medical insignia on the truck.
The tank moved on. A last look around the house. The major was still alive. He gripped Grutas' pants leg as he passed. He got his arms around Grutas' leg and would not let go. Grutas bent to him, seized the insignia on his collar.
The man let go of Grutas' pants leg and looked at his own bare wrist as though curious about the time of his death. The half-track truck bounced across the field, its tracks mushing bodies, and as it reached the woods, the canvas lifted on the back and Grentz threw the body out. From above, a screaming Stuka dive bomber came after the Russian tank, cannon blazing. Under the cover of the forest canopy buttoned up in the tank, the crew heard a bomb go off in the trees and splinters and shrapnel rang on the armored hull.
Jakov asked, as though he didn't know.
Jakov, this is the year after leap year. So was , the last time we watched. Jakov was pleased, but his response was just another question: "Will the year be a leap year? Perhaps, on that day, surviving all gross corrections, you will remember our talk. In this strange place. He left the bucket on the well and in his haste he came into the lodge without wiping his feet.
A Soviet tank, a T in winter camouflage of snow and straw, crashed up the horse trail and into the clearing. Two soldiers in white rode on the back over the radiators.
The turret swiveled to point the tank's cannon at the house. A hatch opened and a gunner in hooded winter white stood behind a machine gun. The tank commander stood in the other hatch with a megaphone. He repeated his message in Russian and in German, barking over the diesel clatter of the tank engine. If we are fired on, every one of you will die.
Now come outside. Gunner, lock and load. If you don't see faces by the count of ten, fire.
Page 11 Count Lecter stepped outside, standing straight in the sunshine, his hands visible. We are no harm to you. The tank commander showed his palms. The count showed his palms. The count turned to the house. Watch the upstairs windows. Start the pump. You can smoke.
He was no more than a boy, the skin of his face paler around his eyes. He saw Mischa peeping around the door facing and smiled at her. Among the fuel and water drums lashed to the tank was a small petrol-powered pump with a rope starter. The tank driver snaked a hose with a screen filter down the well and after many pulls on the rope the pump clattered, squealed, and primed itself.
The noise covered the scream of the Stuka dive bomber until it was almost on them, the tank's gunner swiveling his muzzle around, cranking hard to elevate his gun, firing as the airplane's winking cannon stitched the ground.
Rounds screamed off the tank, the gunner hit, still firing with his remaining arm. The Stuka's windscreen starred with fractures, the pilot's goggles filled with blood and the dive bomber, still carrying one of its eggs, hit treetops, plowed into the garden and its fuel exploded, cannon under the wings still firing after the impact. Hannibal, on the floor of the lodge, Mischa partly under him, saw his mother lying in the yard, bloody and her dress on fire.
The pilot sat in the cockpit, dead, his face burned to a death's head in flaming scarf and helmet, his gunner dead behind him. Lothar alone survived in the yard and he raised a bloody arm to the boy. Then Mischa ran to her mother, out into the yard and Lothar tried to reach her and pull her down as she passed, but a cannon round from the flaming plane slammed through him, blood spattering the baby and Mischa raised her arms and screamed into the sky.
Hannibal heaped snow onto the fire in his mother's clothes, stood up and ran to Mischa amid the random shots and carried her into the lodge, into the cellar.
The shots outside slowed and stopped as bullets melted in the breeches of the cannon. The sky darkened and snow came again, hissing on the hot metal. Darkness, and snow again. Hannibal among the corpses, how much later he did not know, snow drifting down to dust his mother's eyelashes and her hair. She was the only corpse not blackened and crisped. Hannibal tugged at her, but her body was frozen to the ground.
He pressed his face against her. Her bosom was frozen hard, her heart silent. He put a napkin over her face and piled snow on her. Dark shapes moved at the edge of the woods. His torch reflected on wolves' eyes. He shouted at them and waved a shovel.
Mischa was determined to come out to her mother-he had to choose. He took Mischa back inside and left the dead to the dark. Jakov's book was undamaged beside his blackened hand until a wolf ate the leather cover and amid the scattered pages of Huyghens' Treatise on Light licked Mr. Hannibal and Mischa heard snuffling and growling outside. Hannibal built up the fire. To cover the noise he tried to get Mischa to sing; he sang to her. She clutched his coat in her fists.
In the corner of a pane, a dark circle appeared, made by the tip of a glove. In the dark circle a pale blue eye. Hannibal grabbed a boar spear from the wall and Grutas, with his sure instinct turned his gun on the little girl. Do you understand me? The looters in the house, Grentz outside waved for the half-track truck to come up, the truck slit-eyed, its blackout lights picking up wolves' eyes at the edge of the clearing, a wolf dragging something. The men gathered around Hannibal and his sister at the fire, the fire warming from the looters' clothes a sweetish stink of weeks in the field and old blood caked in the treads of their boots, they gathered close.
Pot Watcher caught a small insect emerging from his clothes and popped its head off with his thumbnail. They coughed on the children. Predator breath, ketosis from their scavenged diet of mostly meat, some scraped from the half-track's treads, made Mischa bury her face in Hannibal's coat. He gathered her inside his coat and felt her heart beating hard. Dortlich picked up Mischa's bowl of porridge and wolfed it down himself, getting the last wipe from the bowl on his scarred and webbed fingers.
Kolnas extended his bowl, but Dortlich did not give him any. Kolnas was stocky and his eyes took on a shine when he looked at precious metal. He slipped Mischa's bracelet off her wrist and put it in his pocket. When Hannibal grabbed at his hand, Grentz pinched him on the side of the neck and his whole arm went numb. Distant artillery boomed. Grutas said, "If a patrol comes-either side-we're setting up a field hospital here.
We saved these little ones and we're protecting their family's stuff in the truck. Get a Red Cross off the truck and hang it over the door. Do it now. Get your ass out there and do it. Kolnas snapped on the heavy padlocks. Grutas and Dortlich chained Hannibal and Mischa to the banister on the upper landing of the staircase, where they were out of the way but visible.
The one called Pot Watcher brought them a chamber pot and blanket from a bedroom. Through the bars of the banister, Hannibal watched them throw the piano stool onto the fire. He tucked Mischa's collar underneath the chain to keep it off her neck. The snow banked high against the lodge, only the upper panes of the windows admitted a grey light.
With the snow blowing sideways past the windows and the wind squeal, the lodge was like a great train moving. Hannibal rolled himself and his sister in the blanket and the landing carpet. Mischa's coughs were muffled. Her forehead was hot against Hannibal's cheek. From beneath his coat, he took a crust of stale bread and put it in his mouth.
When it was soft, he gave it to her. Grutas drove one of his men outside every few hours to shovel the doorway, Page 13 keeping a path to the well. And once Pot Watcher took a pan of scraps to the barn. Snowed in, the time passing in a slow ache.
There was no food, and then there was food, Kolnas and Milko carrying Mischa's bathtub to the stove lidded with a plank, which scorched where it overhung the tub, Pot Watcher feeding the fire with books and wooden salad bowls. With one eye on the stove, Pot Watcher caught up on his journal and accounts. He piled small items of loot on the table for sorting and counting.
Beneath the names he listed each man's share of the loot-gold eyeglasses, watches, rings and earrings, and gold teeth, which he measured in a stolen silver cup. Grutas and Grentz searched the lodge obsessively, snatching out drawers, tearing the backs off bureaus. After five days the weather cleared.
They all put on snow-shoes and walked Hannibal and Mischa out to the barn. Hannibal saw a wisp of smoke from the bunkhouse chimney. He looked at Cesar's big horseshoe nailed above the door for luck and wondered if the horse was still alive. Grutas and Dortlich shoved the children into the barn and locked the door. Through the crack between the double doors, Hannibal watched them fan out into the woods.
It was very cold in the barn. Pieces of children's clothing lay wadded in the straw. The door into the bunkhouse was closed but not locked. Hannibal pushed it open. Wrapped in all the blankets off the cots and as close as possible to the small stove was a boy not more than eight years old. His face was dark around his sunken eyes. He wore a mixture of clothing, layer on layer, some of it girl's garments. Hannibal put Mischa behind him. The boy shrank away from him. Hannibal said "Hello.
The boy did not reply. Red and swollen chilblains were on his ears and fingers. Over the course of the long cold day he managed to convey that he was from Albania and only spoke that language. He said his name was Agon. Hannibal let him feel his pockets for food. He did not let him touch Mischa. When Hannibal indicated he and his sister wanted half the blankets the boy did not resist. The young Albanian started at every sound, his eyes rolling toward the door, and he made chopping motions with his hand.
The looters came back just before sunset. Hannibal heard them and peered through the crack in the double doors of the barn.
They were leading a half-starved little deer, alive and stumbling, a tasseled swag from some looted mansion looped around its neck, an arrow sticking in its side. Milko picked up an axe. Kolnas came running with his bowl, his eyes shining. A cry from the yard and Hannibal covered Mischa's ears against the sound of the axe. The Albanian boy cried and gave thanks. Late in the day when the others had eaten, Pot Watcher gave the children a bone to gnaw with a little meat and sinew on it.
Hannibal ate a little and chewed up mush for Mischa. The juice got away when he transferred it with his fingers, so he gave it to her mouth to mouth. They moved Hannibal and Mischa back into the lodge and chained them to the balcony railing, and left the Albanian boy in the barn alone.
Mischa was hot with fever, and Hannibal held her tight under the cold-dust smell of the rug. The flu dropped them all; the men lay as close to the dying fire as they could get, coughing on one another, Milko finding Kolnas' comb and sucking the grease from it. The skull of the little deer lay in the dry bathtub, every scrap boiled off it. Page 14 Then there was meat again and the men ate with grunting sounds, not looking at one another. Pot Watcher gave gristle and broth to Hannibal and Mischa.
He carried nothing to the barn. The weather would not break, the sky low and granite grey, sounds of the woods hushed except for the crack and crash of ice-laden boughs.
The food was gone days before the sky cleared. The coughing seemed louder in the bright afternoon after the wind dropped. Grutas and Milko staggered out on snow-shoes. After the length of a fever dream, Hannibal heard them return. A loud argument and scuffling. Through the bars of the banister he saw Grutas licking a bloody birdskin, throwing it to the others, and they fell on it like dogs.
Grutas' face was smeared with blood and feathers. He turned his bloody face up to the children and he said, "We have to eat or die. Because of the Russian rubber shortage the tank was running on steel road wheels that sent a numbing vibration through the hull and blurred the view in the periscope.
It was a big KV-1 going hard along a forest trail in freezing weather, the front moving miles westward with every day of the German retreat. Two infantrymen in winter camouflage rode on the rear deck of the tank, huddled over the radiators, watching for the odd German Werewolf, a fanatic left behind with a Panzerfaust rocket to try to destroy a tank.
They saw movement in the brush. The tank commander heard the soldiers on top firing, turned the tank toward their target to bring his coaxial machine gun to bear. His magnifying eyepiece showed a boy, a child coming out of the brush, bullets kicking up the snow beside him as the soldiers shot from the moving tank. The commander stood up in the hatch and stopped the shooting.
They had killed a few children by mistake, the way it happens, and were glad enough not to kill this one. The soldiers saw a child, thin and pale, with a chain locked around his neck, the end of the chain dragging in an empty loop.
When they set him near the radiators and cut the chain off him, pieces of his skin came away on the links.
He carried good binoculars in a bag clutched fiercely against his chest. They shook him, asking questions in Russian, Polish, and makeshift Lithuanian, until they realized he could not speak at all. The soldiers shamed each other into not taking the field glasses from the boy. They gave him half an apple and let him ride behind the turret in the warm breath of the radiators until they reached a village. They were moving before dawn, leaving melted places in the snow of the courtyard with dark oil stains in them.
One light truck remained at the castle entrance, the motor idling. Grutas and his four surviving companions, in their medical uniforms, watched from the woods. It had been four years since Grutas shot the cook in the castle courtyard, fourteen hours since the looters fled the burning hunting lodge, leaving their dead behind them.
Bombs thudded far away and on the horizon anti-aircraft tracers arched into the sky. The last soldier backed out the door, paying out fuse from a reel. The soldier unreeled fuse to the bottom of the steps, cut it and squatted at the end. They had picked up the French when the Page 15 Totenkopfs refitted near Marseilles, and liked to insult each other with it in the tight moments before action. The curses reminded them of pleasant times in France.
The Soviet trooper on the steps split the fuse ten centimeters from the end and stuck a match head in the split. Grutas had the field glasses. The soldier walked to the truck, taking his time, laughing as his companions on the truck yelled at him to hurry, the fuse sparking behind him on the snow.
Milko was counting under his breath. As soon as the vehicle was out of sight, Grutas and Milko ran for the fuse. The fire in the fuse crossing the threshold now as they reached it. They could not make out the stripes until they were close. Burns at twominutesameter twominutesameter twominutesameter. Grutas slashed it in two with his spring knife.
Milko muttered "fuck the farm" and charged up the steps and into the castle, following the fuse, looking, looking, for other fuses, other charges. He crossed the great hall toward the tower, following the fuse and saw what he was looking for, the fuse spliced onto a big loop of detonating cord. He came back into the great hall and called out, "It's got a ring main cord. That's the only fuse. You got it. The Soviet troops had not bothered to close the front door, and their fire still burned on the hearth in the great hall.
Graffiti scarred the bare walls and the floor near the fire was littered with droppings and bumwad from their final act in the relative warmth of the castle. Milko, Grentz and Kolnas searched the upper floors. Grutas motioned for Dortlich to follow him and descended the stairs to the dungeon.
The grate across the wine room door hung open, the lock broken. Grutas and Dortlich shared one flashlight between them.
The yellow beam gleamed off glass shards. The wine room was littered with empty bottles of fine vintages, the necks knocked off by hasty drinkers. The tasting table, knocked over by contesting looters, lay against the back wall. Together they pulled the table away from the wall, crunching glass underfoot. They found the decanting candle behind the table and lit it. Dortlich reached for his pistol when it moved. Grutas went into the chamber behind the wine room.
Dortlich followed him. The kitchen garden, its bounding hedges overgrown, was now the People's Orphanage Cooperative Kitchen Garden, featuring mostly turnips. The moat and its surface were important to him. The moat was constant; on its black surface reflected clouds swept past the crenellated towers of Lecter Castle just as they always had. Forbidden to play in the orphans' soccer game on the field outside the walls, he did not feel deprived. The soccer game was interrupted when the draft horse Cesar and his Russian driver crossed the field with a load of firewood on the wagon.
Cesar was glad to see Hannibal when he could visit the stable, but he did not care for turnips. Hannibal watched the swans coming across the moat, a pair of black swans that survived the war. Two cygnets accompanied them, still fluffy, one riding on his mother's back, one swimming behind. Three older boys on the embankment above parted a hedge to watch Hannibal and the swans. The male swan climbed out onto the bank to challenge Hannibal. A blond boy named Fedor whispered to the others. We'll see if the dummy can cry.
Disappointed, Fedor took a slingshot of red inner-tube rubber out of his shirt and reached into his pocket for a stone. The stone hit the mud at the edge of the moat, spattering Hannibal's legs with mud. Hannibal looked up at Fedor expressionless and shook his head. The next stone Fedor shot splashed into the water beside the swimming cygnet, Hannibal raising his branches now, hissing, shooing the swans out of range.
A bell sounded from the castle. Fedor and his followers turned, laughing from their fun, and Hannibal stepped out of the hedge swinging a yard of weeds with a big dirt ball on the roots. The dirt ball caught Fedor hard in the face and Hannibal, a head shorter, charged and shoved him down the steep embankment to the water, scrambling after the stunned boy and had him in the black water, holding him under, driving the slingshot handle again and again into the back of his neck, Hannibal's face curiously blank, only his eyes alive, the edges of his vision red.
Hannibal heaved to turn Fedor over to get to his face. Fedor's companions scrambled down, did not want to fight in the water, yelling to a monitor for help.
First Monitor Petrov led the others cursing down the bank, spoiled his shiny hoots and got mud on his flailing truncheon. Evening in the great hall of Lecter Castle, stripped now of its finery and dominated by a big portrait of Joseph Stalin. A hundred boys in uniform, having finished their supper, stood in place at plank tables singing "The Internationale. First Monitor Petrov, newly appointed, and Second Monitor in jodhpurs and boots walked among the tables to be sure everyone was singing.
Hannibal was not singing. The side of his face was blue and one of his eyes was half-closed. At another table Fedor watched, a bandage on his neck and scrapes on his face. One of his fingers was splinted. The monitors stopped before Hannibal. Hannibal palmed a fork. Hannibal did not change his expression. Neither did he sing. A trickle of blood came from the corner of his mouth.
Hannibal blocked the blow with the fork in his fist, the tines digging into First Monitor's knuckles. First Monitor started around the table after him. Do not hit him again. I don't want him marked. It was here that the change in the castle's smell struck Hannibal most. Instead of lemon-oil furniture polish and perfume there was the cold stink of piss in the fireplace. The windows were bare, the only remaining ornament the carved woodwork.
It has a sort of feminine feeling. He could be kind, or cruel when his failures goaded him. His little eyes were red and he was waiting for an answer. Hannibal nodded. Headmaster took a cable from his desk. Your uncle is coming to take you to France. Hannibal in shadow watched the cook's assistant asleep and drooling in a chair near the fire, an empty glass beside him.
Hannibal wanted the lantern on the shelf just behind him. He could see the glass mantle gleam in the firelight. The man's breathing was deep and regular with a rumble of catarrh. Hannibal moved across the stone floor, into the vodka-and-onion aura of the cook's assistant, and came close behind him.
The wire handle of the lantern would creak. Better to lift it by the base and the top, holding the glass mantle steady so that it would not rattle. Lift it straight up and off the shelf. He had it now in both hands. A loud pop, as a piece of firewood, hissing steam, burst in the fireplace, sending sparks and small coals skipping across the hearth, a coal coming to rest an inch from the assistant cook's foot in its felt boot liner. What tool was close? On the countertop was a canister, a mm shell casing full of wooden spoons and spatulas.
Hannibal set the lantern down and, with a spoon, flipped the coal to the center of the floor. The door to the dungeon stairs was in the corner of the kitchen. It swung open quietly at Hannibal's touch, and he went through it into absolute darkness, remembering the upper landing in his mind, and closed the door behind him.
He struck a match on the stone wall, lit the lantern and went down the familiar stairs, the air cooling as he descended. The lantern light jumped from vault to vault as he passed through low arches to the wine room.
The iron gate stood open. The wine, long ago looted, had been replaced on the shelves with root vegetables, primarily turnips. Hannibal reminded himself to put a few sugar beets in his pocket-as Cesar would eat them in the absence of apples, though they turned his lips red, and gave him the appearance of wearing lipstick.
In his time in the orphanage, seeing his house violated, everything stolen, confiscated, abused, he had not looked here. Hannibal put the lantern on a high shelf and dragged some sacks of potatoes and onions from in front of the rear wine shelves.
He climbed onto the table, gripped the chandelier and pulled. He released the chandelier and tugged it again. Now he swung from it with his full weight. The chandelier dropped an inch with a jar that made the dust fly off it, and he heard a groan from the rear wine shelves. He scrambled down. He could get his fingers in the gap and pull. He went back to his lantern, ready to blow it out if he heard a sound. It was here, in this room, that he had last seen Cook, and for a moment Cook's great round face appeared to him in vital clarity, without the scrim time gives our images of the dead.
Hannibal took his lantern and went into the hidden room behind the wine room. It was empty. One large gilt picture frame remained, threads of canvas sticking out of it where the painting had been cut out of the frame. It had been the largest picture in the house, a romanticized view of the Battle of Zalgiris emphasizing the achievements of Hannibal the Grim. Hannibal Lecter, last of his line, stood in the looted castle of his childhood looking into the empty picture frame in the knowledge that he was of his line and not of his line.
His memories were of his mother, a Sforza, and of Cook and Mr. Jakov from a tradition other than his own. He could see them in the empty frame, gathered before the fire at the lodge. He was not Hannibal the Grim in any way he understood. He would conduct his life beneath the painted ceiling of his childhood. But it was as thin as Heaven, and nearly as useless. So he believed. They were all gone, the paintings with faces that were as familiar to him as his family.
There was an oubliette in the center of the room, a dry stone well into which Hannibal the Grim could cast his enemies and forget them. It had been fenced round in later years to prevent accidents. Hannibal held his lantern over it and the light gave out halfway down the shaft. His father had told him that in his own childhood a jumble of skeletons remained at the bottom of the oubliette.
Once as a treat, Hannibal had been lowered into the oubliette in a basket. Near the bottom, a word was scratched into the wall. He could not see it now by lantern light, but he knew it was there, uneven letters scratched in the dark by a dying man-the word "Pourquoi? They were in the order of their age.
The youngest end of the dormitory had the brooder-house smell of a kindergarten. The youngest hugged themselves in sleep and some called out to their remembered dead, seeing in the dreamed faces a concern and tenderness they would not find again.
Further along some older boys masturbated under their covers. Each child had a footlocker and on the wall above each bed was a space to put drawings or, rarely a family photograph. Here is a row of crude crayon drawings above the successive beds. Above Hannibal Lecter's bed is an excellent chalk and pencil drawing of a baby's hand and arm, arresting and appealing in its gesture, the plump arm foreshortened as the baby reaches to pat.
There is a bracelet on the arm. Rinaldo Pazzi, a disgraced Italian detective, pursues Lecter in the interests of collecting Verger's bounty on him. However, Lecter disembowels and hangs Pazzi in reference to the lynchings of the Pazzi conspirators.
After killing one of Verger's men, Lecter escapes to the United States, where he begins pursuing Starling. The novel briefly touches upon Lecter's childhood, specifically the death of his younger sister, Mischa. The two were orphaned during World War II , and a group of deserters killed and ate Mischa, something that haunts Lecter. Barney briefly works for Verger, meeting Verger's sister and bodyguard Margot, a lesbian bodybuilder whom Verger molested and raped as a child.
Her father disinherited her after learning of her homosexuality. Margot, who is infertile, tells him that she works for her brother because she needs Mason's sperm to have a child with her partner, Judy, and inherit the Verger family fortune.
Verger's men capture Lecter, and Starling pursues them. When Starling catches up to Lecter, she is able to cut him free before succumbing to tranquilizer darts shot by one of Verger's men.
The boars are unleashed by Lecter; they feed on the henchmen that Starling had already shot dead or incapacitated but ignore Lecter when they smell no fear on him.
In the confusion, Lecter carries the unconscious Starling to safety and escapes. At the same time, Margot releases one of the henchmen and kills another, then obtains Mason's sperm by sodomizing him with a cattle prod and murders him by shoving his pet moray eel into his mouth. Lecter, who had briefly treated Margot after her brother abused her, had urged her to blame the murder on him, so she leaves a piece of Lecter's scalp at the scene.