Kiyo showed me even more affection after Mother was gone. In my childish heart, I couldn't understand this, and I sometimes doubted the sincerity of her affection. I thought her pathetic. Even so, she continued to show me kindness. Sometimes she would buy me sweets or crackers with her own pocket money. She secretly laid up a store of buckwheat flour, and on cold nights I would wake find warm broth that she had brought to my bedside. Sometimes she also bought me hot udon noodles. And her gifts weren't limited to food. She bought me socks, and pencils and notebooks too. Some time later, she even lent me three yen. I never asked her for money, but she brought it to my room and said how I must find it hard to not have any spending money. Of course I told her I didn't need it, but she insisted, so I took it. Truth be told, this made me very happy. I put that three yen into a coin purse, which I put in my pocket. Then I proceeded to go out to the bathroom and somehow dropped the purse into the pit toilet. What was done was done, so I came sheepishly back from the bathroom and explained to Kiyo what had happened. Kiyo immediately found a bamboo pole and told me she would retrieve it for me. After a while I heard water running by the well and went out to see Kiyo rinsing off the purse, which was hanging by its strings from an end of the bamboo pole. After she finished, I opened the purse and unfolded the bills. They had turned brown, and their markings were partly faded. Kiyo dried them over charcoal and returned them to me. When I smelled them and expressed dissatisfaction, she took them back and said she would exchange them. I don't know how she managed it, but in place of those bills I received three silver coins. I've forgotten how I used that money. I told her I'd soon pay her back but didn't. I wish now I could pay her back ten times over, but I can't.