Eleven weeks later, Pino is walking around Milan, now in a Nazi uniform, as part of Organization Todt. His commanding officer orders him to stand watch with another boy near the train station. While they are there, air raid sirens start to sound, and shortly afterwards, a bomb drops on the train station, killing Pino’s fellow watchman and injuring Pino in the process. Pino sees that two fingers on his right hand are barely attached, and this causes him to pass out. Pino is taken to a hospital where his fingers are reattached. He is discharged in early August, and heads to his aunt and uncle’s store.
Outside the store, he spots a Nazi attempting to fix a vehicle. Pino offers to help and quickly gets the vehicle up and running. Immediately afterward, Greta and Albert exit the store with a man who looks like a high-ranking Nazi officer. They tell Pino that the man—General Leyers—would like to speak to him. After seeing his skill with the broken-down vehicle, Leyers wants Pino to be his new driver. Pino accepts the position. Leyers departs and then Greta and Albert inform Pino of Leyers’s importance. Apparently, Leyers is one of the most high-ranking members of the German army. As such, Greta and Albert want to use Pino to spy on him.
Here, the novel introduces another key player as well as another real historical figure: General Leyers. Though Leyers was a high-ranking member of the Nazi party, he has not traditionally been seen as a major player in the Nazi regime. This novel likely emphasizes his importance for dramatic purposes. Notably, Pino can serve as a driver for Leyers because of his experience with Alberto. Additionally, even in Organization Todt, Pino finds a way to be useful for the Allies.