The following excerpt is a chapter from the Il sentiero dei nidi di ragni (The Path to the Spiders' Nests, translated by Archibald Colquhoun, New York: Harper Collins, 1976). The novel, a coming of age story set against the backdrop of World War II, describes the life of Pin, a cobbler's apprentice in a small town on the Ligurian coast. He lives with his sister, a prostitute, and spends as much time as he can at a bar, where he amuses the adult patrons. After a mishap with a Nazi soldier, Pin becomes involved with a band of partisans. In the dark morning, without a glimmer of light, Dritto's men are moving silently around the barn, preparing to leave. They wrap blankets around their shoulders; it will be cold up on the boulders of the crest before dawn. As they do so, they think not of what will happen to themselves but to the blanket that each takes with them. Will they lose it running away, will it be soaked with their blood as they lie dying, or be taken from them by a Fascist and shown around the town as booty? But what does a blanket matter?