‘Nero and Vanno were childhood friends. Nero’s younger brother Frate was far apart in age from him, and his younger sister Fio was a girl so it was hard to play with her. The one he’d grown up rolling around with as with a dog had been Vanno.’
Nero’s upset because he couldn’t do anything to a dead man, and Fango has the body anyway, and he has his hands full trying to escape from him. ‘He was pained and angered by Vanno’s death and disappointed by his inability to do anything. The dark feelings came and went countless times. Nero shook his head and decided to forget those feelings for the time being. If he were to spend a boring few hours in the passenger seat, he should remember the good times.’
So he decides to remember the day Vanno, a teetotaller, got wasted because of the announcement that Fio was getting married. [I like that whenever they mention people drinking in ‘a small speakeasy’ it’s always Cerotto’s :P]
‘Vanno had adored Fio as if she were his own sister.’
‘Nero’s younger brother Frate was a slender boy who wasn’t suited to fights. Vanno had adored him greatly as well. So he stared at Nero when he said they hadn’t spoken, mystified.’
Nero suddenly has a thought when he sees Vanno fall into a drunken stupor: ‘What if Vanno had seen Fio not as a younger sister, but as……?’ Vanno died, so Nero would never know :( ‘Nero thought it was truly sad that he would never be able to tease his best friend about his love life.’
‘Nero, who had lost the person he was closer to than any other, was still caught up in that sadness. He was more sentimental than usual — a fitting air exuded from his body.’
‘Avilio neither consoled nor comforted him; he simply kept driving on.’
On Avilio’s line about driving not being a problem: ‘He hadn’t said he was particularly good at it. He hadn’t lied, but his driving skills had quite a lot left to be desired. He had already caused the death of one car.’
At the pancake store: ‘Paying him no mind, Avilio slurped up the syrup-drenched pancakes without cutting them, as if he were drinking them. Nero grimaced at those manners. Though it was a wholly unrefined way of eating, for some reason it didn’t quite look that way. That pissed him off.’ [If they cut their hair and they still look good to you —]
Nero wonders how it can be that he hadn’t seen Avilio smile once in the week they’d been together.
Nero grumbles at Avilio about lodgings, crashing the car etc but Avilio isn’t cowed. ‘Nero felt a belated sense of regret. Perhaps choosing this bullheaded guy who wasn’t moved by his complaints as his travel companion had been a mistake.’
‘I wish I were making this trip with a pretty girl and lots of money’ [same as in the novel but interesting translation choice, for personal ref? It makes sense in context but Nero doesn’t actually say the ‘lots of money’ bit; it’s more like ‘I’d rather had had a pleasant trip with a pretty girl’.]
There are a lot of families at the campsite — ‘it was a completely different world to Lawless, where mafia disputes were unfolding.’
On the boys playing with the ball: ‘Avilio followed them out of the corner of his eye. They looked like him and his younger brother had.’ ‘He had lost that paradise long ago.’
Nero’s whoop of joy when the child hits the pinata is something he does unconsciously because he’s been caught up in the excitement. Avilio had been staring ‘blankly’ [I’m choosing to interpret this as him still affected by the kids from before]. When the kid approaches him for candy he averts his eyes because ‘he hadn’t dealt with children for a while now’. The child’s smile makes him remember his younger brother.
Avilio’s eyes are also unwittingly captured by Nero’s juggling.
After Nero insults Avilio for his sullenness: ‘Pouting slightly, Avilio walked forwards and clapped Nero, who was having fun explaining that to the children, on the shoulder from the back. He was already carrying a wallet in one hand.’
Avilio ‘timidly’ held the hat out to the children. ‘You couldn’t even call it trash, but Avilio knew that to the children, they were treasures. Looking at that, he smiled unthinkingly.’
‘At that moment, Nero saw Avilio’s true smile for the first time. So he can smile like this too……Nero, who had only seen his sullenness and composed, cold smiles, stared in surprise.
Juggling ‘required a different skill set again to that of a pickpocket.’
Avilio’s glance at Nero after he murmurs that Vanno was better than him is documented, but without additional commentary :(
Re: the ‘only child’ thing, Avilio actually says he was brought up in an orphanage.
[Whenever Nero says his first job was at fourteen, I remember that he’s only twenty-one, and that Avilio’s not even twenty…]
‘Unexpectedly, a good opportunity to discuss ‘that day’ presented itself.’ Avilio takes advantage of Nero’s mood to ask more questions. His emotions are thrown into disarray when Nero says there were four people, but he ‘hid his shock and continued to listen.’
Nero’s dissatisfied with the quality of the drinks at the dive bar (the largest one in the small town) because he’d been drinking Corteo’s lately. He’s worried about money so he chooses to try and earn some with the betting.
Avilio honestly had no other options when Mad Mack was about to kill him. I’m pretty sure he thought he was going to die.
Re: why the farmer was suspicious of Mad Mack instead of Nero+Avilio, the town of Khota is on guard against outsiders. [I suppose the Goliath seemed like more of a threat]