Pino did his best to control the panic swirling in his stomach while his brother and then Mr.D'Angelo kept chipping at the obstruction. Please god, he prayed. Please don't let us all die here like this. Mimo and I were trying to help these people. We don't deserve to die like this. We deserve to get out and keep helping people escape the
But he felt good about it, elated actually. Fooling the Nazis like that made him feel empowered. In his own way, he was fighting back. They were all fighting back, part of the growing resistance. Italy was not German. Italy could never be German.
It was passive, hiding out and for that Pino was glad he wasn't with her. He was not hiding out. He was a spy at the heart of Nazi power in Italy. A thrill went though him and for the first time, he really thought about being a spy, not espionage as a boy's game but as an act of war.
"I'm sorry," Pino cried. "Oh, Carletto, I'm so damned sorry. I loved him, too." Carletto stopped rocking his father, looked up at Pino, blind with hatred. "Don't say that!" he shouted. "Don't ever say that! You Nazi! You traitor!
For a few moments, Pino couldn't say a word. Then he fought back tears as he said, "The Nazis and the the Fascists, they did a decimation at San Vittore in retaliation for the bombing. They counted off every tenth man until they got fifteen. Then they took them to the Piazzale Loreto and machine-gunned them to death. I saw..." He broke down. "Tullio was one of them."
General Leyers followed and they all vanished into the depths of the apartment. None of it seemed real to Pino. Leyers was going on as if he'd not seen fifteen people murdered in cold blood that morning. There was something reptilian about the general, he decided. Leyers could watch men jerking bullets and spurting blood in the last moments of their lives, and then he could go out to eat with his mistress.