When Moniek (Morris) Goldner and his family were uprooted from their Polish farming village during a German action, the child-sized sixteen-year-old fled into the forests. He eventually met up with his father, who had also escaped, and together they managed to survive until a former friend betrayed the pair. Wounded and left for dead beneath his father’s murdered body, Goldner was rescued by the enigmatic outlaw Jan Kopec, who was also in hiding, looking for ways to profit from his criminal expertise.
For eighteen months Kopec hid the boy with him, moving from one area to another, often staying in hideouts he had fashioned years earlier. At first Kopec trained Goldner simply to serve as his accomplice in robberies and black market activities. But before long he pushed the training to a whole new level, making it possible for him to sell Goldner’s services to a shadowy resistance group which was becoming interested in the daring young saboteur.
And through it all, these two disparate personalities—the quiet, small-framed boy and the stocky, callous mercenary—forged an remarkable friendship and co-dependency born of need and desperation in a hellish time and place.