When formal introductions were concluded, the principal told me that would be all for today. I was to discuss lesson plans with the head mathematics instructor and begin my teaching duties two days hence. And of course the head mathematics teacher was none other than Yama Arashi. I did not at all look forward to serving under this guy. As he picked up some chalk and headed toward the classroom, Yama Arashi spoke to me briefly. "Hey, where are you staying? Yamashiroya? I'll come by later to talk." It seemed lacking in dignity for a head instructor to visit his new charge. However, I appreciated not being summoned to his place.
After that I left again out the main gate. My first thought was to return to the inn, but since there was nothing to do at the inn, I decided instead to stroll around and take in the town. I saw the prefectural office. It was an old building constructed in the style of the former century. I saw the army barracks. They didn't measure up to those of the Azabu regiment. I saw the main street. It was half the width of Kagurazaka, and lined with inferior residences and shops. A castle town supported by a quarter million was nothing spectacular. While walking on and thinking how anyone who took pride in such a place was pathetic, I found myself back in front of Yamashiroya. The town had seemed bigger but turned out to be quite limited, and I'd apparently seen the most of it. It was time to eat, so I passed through the inn's gateway. The hostess seated at the front desk jumped up at the sight of me and greeted me with a deep bow. As I took off my shoes and stepped inside, the maid informed me that a better room had become available and led me to the second floor. It was a spacious 15-mat room on the front side of the second floor with a large alcove. I'd never in my life set foot in such a splendid room. I didn't know when I ever would again, so I changed into a cool summer robe and spread myself out in the very middle of the floor. It was a wonderful feeling.