Pinuccio Lovero has always dreamed of being an undertaker. Five months ago, at the age of forty, ha was finally hired to be the custodian of the cemetery in Mariotto, a town near Bitonto in Italy’s scorching deep South. This particularly torrid summer he awaits his fist funeral but it will not come. In fact, since he was taken on the job no one in Mariotto has passed on to a better place. Pinuccio pines on and the townspeople rejoice. Sooner or later someone will have to die. Pinuccio has faith. He waits on in silence at the gate to his cemetery.