Paolo was too young to doubt reality. He trusted everything his eyes and ears and hands told him.
The metal was cold to the touch; the glint of the barrel caught his eye as he tilted it a little; and there was a dull thump as he let it fall back into the drawer filled with cheap writing paper.
He had to believe in the reality of the gun in his father's desk drawer.
For a little moment, he was filled with panic for Papa. Mama would be furious; she hated guns and violence of any kind. She wouldn't even let Paolo play with toy guns or swords. And here was a real gun in Papa's drawer!
Then it occurred to him that if either one of them came home and found him poking around in Papa's things, they would be furious with him. He shut the drawer rapidly, taking care not to let it slam, and scrambled down hurriedly from the chair. He scurried back to his room and stared blankly at the model aeroplane he had left half-finished, forgetting that the reason why he had gone to Papa's desk in th