(When?) Toshiko comforted her, saying, "It's alright. I think Maru is our kind of person", Nagayama smiled, saying "That's right Sakura is on our side" and Tama amiably nodded her head in agreement.
I've only ever seen the ば form used to mean 'if' rather than 'when'. But 'if' certainly doesn't make sense here. How should I interpret なぐさめれば in this context?
Edit: I understand that in general the distinction between 'when' and 'if' is a bit blurry in Japansese, but I was under the impression that the ば form always meant 'provided that...'. The 'when' in this sentence seems to be a definite 'at/after this point in time something definitely happens'. There doesn't seem to be any hint of a conditional in it. I would have thought とき would have been better here. I must be missing something.