Eva Colombo, Donne d' acqua e d' inchiostro, capitolo quinto: Gisella.
Eva Colombo, Water’s and ink’s women, fifth chapter: Gisella

Berto ( protagonist of Paesi tuoi [ Your villages ] novel written by Cesare Pavese, 1941 ) is a mechanic of Turin that one summer morning leaves the prison and having nothing in prospect decides to follow his cell – mate Talino to Monticello, a little town in Piedmontese countryside where Talino’s family lives. It’s a large, patriarchal family of farmers and Berto casts immediately an eye on Gisella, the youngest among Talino’s sisters. Berto approaches for the first time Gisella while she is taking a buck of water from a well: under the pretext of drinking Berto swoops down on the girl who seems to appreciate. Short afterwards Gisella arranges a date with Berto that very evening at the water cistern but she misses the date because she doesn’t succeed in eluding Talino’s guard. The following day another date is successful: during a torrid after lunch, on the shores of a watercourse crowned with willows, Gisella and Berto become lovers. The next forenoon Berto, chattering at the tavern, finds out something terrible: years before Gisella has been victim of incestuous acts perpetrated by Talino. That very afternoon the threshing turns the threshing floor of Talino’s family home in a hell’s duplicate: everything seems to burn, everything seems to taste of dust and blood. Talino is completely at ease since fire is his element: he has been jailed for having burn a farmhouse. Water’s woman Gisella descends in this hell bringing a bucket of water for the workers: Talino rushes at the bucket, Gisella cries << No, you dirty water >> and he sticks a pitchfork into her nek. The bucket drops, water and Gisella’s blood spread out on the ground. That year the rain has been scarce: Gisella’s blood is the rain called for nourishing earth’s veins.