After a night's sleep at home, the tempura soba affair didn't bother me so much. I made my appearance at the school, and the students were there too. I wasn't sure what to make of things. Three days passed without further incident, but on the evening of the fourth day I went to a place called Sumita and ate dumplings. Sumita was known for its onsen and was about ten minutes from the center of town by steam train or thirty minutes on foot. There were restaurants, an inn, a park, and even a red-light district. The dumpling shop I ate in was on the edge of the red-light district. I'd heard they made the best dumplings there, so I stopped on my way home after bathing at the onsen. This time I met no students, so no one would even know I was there. The next day at school, when I stepped into the first hour classroom I saw "Two plates of dumplings for seven sen." I had indeed eaten two plates and paid seven sen. What an annoying lot. I expected something more in second hour, and I was greeted with "Red-light dumplings tasty, tasty." Incorrigible delinquents. That was the end of the dumpling story, but next they set their sights on my red towel. There was nothing of substance behind this, except that since my arrival I'd decided to bathe at Sumita each day. Nothing else here could compare with the sights of Tōkyō, but the onsen was truly spectacular. Since I was here, I made the most of it by going each day. I set out each evening before dinner, getting my exercise in the process. When I went, I always took a large, Western-made towel that I dangled at my side. After being steeped in the hot bath waters, the red stripes on this towel had bled together, so that the whole thing appeared deep red. Whether coming or going, on the train or by foot, I trailed this towel. For this reason, it seems, the students had started referring to me as "Red Towel." Pesky small-town folks. And there was more. The onsen was of new, three-story construction and offered a premium service with cotton robe rental and back scrub for eight sen. And the maid would bring out tea on an elegant stand. People began to comment on my extravagance in paying for premium service each day from a forty-yen salary. None of their business! And there was more. The bathing area was tiled with granite and about twenty five square meters in area. There were usually thirteen or fourteen people soaking at any time, but once in a while I had the place to myself. When standing, the water was chest deep, so swimming through the bath was a pleasant form of exercise. After checking carefully that no one else was present, I would allow myself a pleasurable swim round the basin. Then one day, when I descended from the third floor in high spirits and looked in to see if the coast was clear for a swim, I found they had posted in big black letters "No Swimming in the Bath." There were not likely many guests who actually swam in the bath, so it's possible they'd had this sign made especially for me. From that day on I no longer swam. I was done with swimming, but back at school I was surprised to find "No Swimming in the Bath" written across the blackboard in the usual manner. It seemed the entire student body was stalking me and observing my every move. What a miserable feeling. I wasn't one to let the whispering of students dictate my actions, but I couldn't help feeling self-pity at what an oppressive and stifling place I'd landed in. And each day when I arrived home, I was pressured to buy antiques.