He disentangled himself from the dusty army blankets, put on his shoes and coat, and saw to his surprise that they were wet as they had been the day when it had rained so hard.
He looked for the book he had stolen that day, the book that had started him on his adventure. He was determined to bring it back to that grumpy Mr. Coreander. What did he care if Mr. Coreander punished him for stealing it, or reported him to the police? A person who had ridden on the back of the Many-Colored Death didn’t scare so easily. But the book wasn’t there.
Bastian looked and looked. He rummaged through the blankets and looked in every corner. Without success. The Neverending Story had disappeared.
“Oh well,” Bastian finally said to himself. I’ll have to tell him it’s gone. Of course he won’t believe me. There’s nothing I can do about that. I’ll just have to take the consequences. But maybe he won’t even remember the book after all this time. Maybe the bookshop isn’t even there anymore.”