"They will have to follow the government line," the Venetian professor said.
The woman shrugged. "As usual. Still, we have a few friends there, and a simple word or two, alleged or supposedly, can cast a shadow. Nobody just reads the news these days, they decipher it, like a code."
"Then how do we counter?" the lawyer said. "Not an eye for an eye."
"No," Salamone said. "We are not them. Not yet."
"We must expose it," the woman said. "The true story, in Liberazione. And hope the clandestine press, here and in Italy, will follow us. We can't let these people get away with what they've done, we can't let them think they got away with it. And we should say where this monstrosity came from."
"Where is that?" the lawyer said.
She pointed upward. "The top."
The lawyer nodded. "Yes, you're right. Perhaps it could be done as an obituary, in a box outlined in black, a political obituary. It should be strong, very strong--here is a man, a hero, who died for what he believed in, a man who told truths the government could not bear to have revealed."
"Will you write it?" Salamone said.
"I will do a draft," the lawyer said. "Then we'll see."
The professor from Siena said, "Maybe you could end by writing that when Mussolini and his friends are swept away, we will pull down his fucking statue on a horse and raise one to honor Bottini."
The lawyer took pen and pad from his pocket and made a note.
"What about the family?" the pharmacist said. "Bottini's family."
"I will talk to his wife," Salamone said. "And we have a fund, we must help as best we can."
Excerpted from The Foreign Correspondent by Alan Furst Copyright © 2006 by Alan Furst. Excerpted by permission of Random House, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher
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