I had heard that one tips when traveling. I had also heard that one who didn't tip could be treated brusquely. That's probably why I ended up stuck in this dark and cramped room. Also probably due to my shabby dress, jute travel bags, and drab black umbrella. These country folk are quick to disparage a person. I decided to hit them with a tip they'd remember. I'd left Tōkyō with thirty yen in my pocket, the remainder from my education fund. After train and boat fares and miscellaneous expenses, I had about fourteen yen left. I could spend it all if I wanted, since I'd soon be receiving my monthly pay. But these country folk were a stingy lot, so five yen should suffice to knock them off their feet. I settled on this course of action, finished washing my face, and returned to my room. The same maid from the prior evening came in with my breakfast tray. She served me with a mischievous smirk. There was nothing about my face that should have amused her. It was, in fact, far superior to that mug of hers. I had planned to spring the tip on her after the meal, but I was too annoyed to wait. I pulled out my five yen note and instructed her to hand it over to the front desk. She responded with a curious look on her face. I finished my breakfast and immediately left for the school. My shoes had not been polished.
I had ridden to the school the day before, so I knew more or less where it was. I turned several corners and arrived at the gate. The way from the gate to the entrance was paved with granite. I'd felt somewhat self-conscious the day before when my rickshaw had made such a racket passing over these stones. Today, I met many uniformed students on my way, and they all entered through this gate. Some of them were taller than me and looked to be stronger. I was uncomfortable at the thought of having to instruct such fellows.
I presented my card and was shown to the principal's office. The principal was a man with thin whiskers, dark skin, and large eyes who looked like a tanuki [raccoon dog]. He reeked of arrogance. He told me to work hard and do my best, and then ceremoniously presented me with an official letter of appointment to which a large seal was affixed. On my later return to Tōkyō I would crumple this letter into a ball and hurl it into the sea. The principal told me I would soon be introduced to the staff, and I was to show this letter to each of them in turn. What a bother. Instead of such laborious pomp, why not just post it on the staff room wall for three days?