The next morning Gianni was waiting for me in the kitchen. He proposed to take one of the golf cars and go around the island showing me a little of the place. Indeed, it was an excellent idea. So, I agreed and we left with one small electric car. He showed me the vineyards and the olive trees. They also have some lemon trees on the island. By the way, we gathered some lemons for Maria. She needs them for cooking.
While we were sitting under the trees and drinking some water, I decided to ask Gianni about Angelo. “Gianni, yesterday Angelo told me his parents died when he was twelve. But when I asked him how they had died, he avoided answering me”.
“Do not ever ask him again. He will never tell you”, Gianni replies.
“Alright, but what happened to them?”, I curiously insist.
“Car explosion”, Gianni merely says.
“Oh!” I surprisingly exclaim. I honestly was not expecting this kind of answer!
“It was during my aunt’s marriage, my mother’s and Angelo’s mother’s sister. We were at the estate of our grandparents in Campania. During the reception, Uncle Andrea said he had to return to Naples. Aunt Bianca decided to go with him. They left Angelo and Valeria, his sister, to the estate with the grandparents and the rest of the family. They were on the road when the car exploded”. I am in shock!
“Oh, my God! Who did this?”, I say horrified.
“Everyone knows it was Bancini, but no one told that out loud. Three days later, they killed Angelo’s cousin, uncle’s Marco son. Shot while he was going out of his car in Rome. He was nineteen”, Gianni bitterly continues.
Holy me! And after Angelo wants to persuade me that he is not a member of the Mafia, when his family was massacred by them. “But why?”, I want to know more.
“I do not know”, Gianni replies, but I have an idea in my mind. Most of the Mafia’s assassinations are made either for revenge either for power.
“And Bancini, is he dead or alive?”, I curiously ask.
“He is very much alive!”.
“But why? I mean, why they didn’t reply to him if he is the cause of the death of these people?”, I continue asking cautiously.
“Because Aleggati didn’t want it”.
“Honofrio Aleggati?”, I ask him. This is the name of the previous chief of the Mafia.
“Yes”, he confirms.
“He was the Head of the Mafia in Naples, isn’t it?”, I wait for his confirmation.
“He was the head of the Family. After his death five years ago, Angelo took his place, as per Aleggati’s wish and designation”, Gianni carefully explains.
“Sorry Gianni, but I do not understand. What is exactly the role of Angelo in the Family?”, I respectfully ask him, replacing the word Mafia with the word Family. Apparently here they like naming it like that.
“He is the Chief. He coordinates everything. If there is a problem, a disagreement between two or more families, they go to see him and Angelo decides what”.
“Is he like the Godfather in the movie?”, I ask jokingly. Gianni laughs.
“He is the godfather of many children, but not like the movie, no”. Smilingly, he explains further, “Forget the movies. It is true though, that it is better for you if you have a godfather with a certain status and wealth. In the last century, during the raising of democracy in Italy, many fights occurred, not only between the Royalists and Revolutionists but also between people with each other. They found the occasion to seize properties and lands by killing the males of a family, as the women didn’t have the right to have any property. This changed with the Revolution later. At this time, if a family had a godfather relation with a certain power, then the family was protected. Because even if the males were killed, the godfather could take possession of their properties and lands. That meant, the family could stay in their home and work in the fields as before. Also, sometimes no one was trying to harm a family which was related to a powerful family. Di Ambrosio family is one of the oldest families in Italy. And of course, they gave their protection to the family of their godchildren. Now, it is different. There is no war or something like that. Angelo has three godchildren, two boys and one girl. They are still young, but he is visiting them very often. They are passing together Christmas and Easter. He is giving them presents and of course, when they will start going to school, he will take care that everything is paid for them. As he is also doing actually for the godchildren of his parents”.
Seriously, I think all this is a very good extortion scheme. Take advantage of people in need, people without power, to enrich themselves in the past and now to be certain that they are related with people who will help them with their business. I do not think that Angelo or his father when they became godfathers was only by pure concern for their godchildren. What Gianni says is a very good cover-up of the real story. I do not comment. There is no use in saying anything to him. After all, he belongs to that family. So, I stay silent.
Arriving back at the house, I seize the opportunity to ask Gianni about the helicopter. “Gianni, when the helicopter comes again?”.
“Why?”, he asks me.
“I was thinking I might need some things and would like to pass an order”, I lie easily to him.
“Alright, tell me before Friday, because on Friday they will be here”.
I thank him with a big smile and enter my room. I fall on the bed happy with the answer I have obtained. Now, I should find a way to enter the helicopter without seeing me. It will be difficult, because the last time I saw Gianni, Marco and some of the security guards were there to unload and load the goods in the helicopter.
That’s it! An idea crosses my mind! They load boxes with wine, olives, lemons and olive oil for the land. I could empty one box little by little until Friday. In three days I could do it. I could hide them inside my cupboard. Bottles of wine or oil are easier to take and store in my room. And when the box is empty, just before the helicopter’s arrival, I will enter the box and wait to load myself inside. Perfect! In the meantime, I will also search the house to see if I could find something related to the illegal activities of di Ambrosio.