After the best night of his life, Pino wakes up to the sound of boots outside his door. He gets up and finds Mimo pointing a gun at him. Still under the impression that Pino is a traitor, Mimo threatens his older brother and calls Anna a whore. Pino knocks Mimo’s rifle away and almost punches him before Anna makes him stop. Pino tells Mimo to leave before he changes his mind. Afterwards, Pino and Anna cuddle up to one another and go back to sleep.
Although Pino understands his brother’s frustration, he seethes with anger at how Mimo treats Anna, and seems to genuinely want to hurt him. Neither Mimo nor Pino is fully right or fully wrong, once again underscoring the moral complexity of war.
In the following days, the weather gets worse and the Germans—and, in turn, the Italians—get more and more desperate. Leyers tells Pino that he thinks the war is nearing its end. He also makes a passing reference to “the ungodly things done for Hitler,” though he does not go into detail. Pino takes Leyers back to Dolly’s place and lets him out of the car. Pino quickly realizes Leyers left his briefcase in the back of the car, so he grabs it and takes it to his aunt and uncle’s shop. Together, they go through its contents, which include a letter written by Leyers expressing his view that the war is over. Pino also tells his aunt and uncle that he thinks Leyers’s most recent trip to the Swiss border was another instance of gold smuggling.
Leyers knows the end of the war is near and that the Nazis will suffer because of what they’ve done for Hitler. In particular, he is likely thinking about what’s happened in the labor camps. Perhaps because he's distracted, Leyers leaves his briefcase for Pino to finally get his hands on. Ultimately, the opening of the suitcase proves to be anticlimactic. The novel does not address its contents in detail, nor does it suggest the contents are particularly useful or insightful.
On his way to return the briefcase to Leyers, Pino is stopped by Rauff who questions him. Pino tells Rauff that he brought the briefcase to his aunt and uncle’s shop to get it repaired. Rauff buys the story and leaves Pino be. That evening, Pino gets a call from his mother asking for a favor. A friend’s daughter was accidently killed in a skirmish, and Porzia wants Pino to go and recover the body. Pino makes his way to the body’s location to find that the fight still hasn’t died down. Eventually, he finds the body, but gets caught by fascist soldiers. Pino tells the soldiers that he works under Leyers and shows them his papers. Ultimately, the soldiers decide to let Pino go. While leaving with the girl’s body, Pino sees other fascist soldiers putting heads on stakes. The sight revolts him.
Rauff’s presence is always unsettling because of his capabilities, but each time his interactions with Pino amount to nothing. After his meeting with Rauff, Pino goes on a horrifying mission to recover the body of a child and it affects him more deeply than anything he’s seen up to this point. Although he’s used to seeing Nazi atrocities, this is the first time he’s seen the handiwork of the Italian fascists up close. When he sees what the Italian fascists have done, he can no longer excuse himself—or his country—from the horrible acts that were committed in the name of Italy.