I took my time at the onsen, entering the hot bath a number of times. Finally, as the sun was beginning to set, I rode the train back to Komachi station. From the station to the school was a short walk. As I started at a leisurely pace, Tanuki approached from the opposite direction. He was probably heading for the onsen on the same train. He was walking at a brisk pace, but he noticed me as we passed, so I greeted him. He then assumed a serious air and asked if I wasn't on night duty. He needn't have asked. Two hours earlier he'd confirmed with me directly that today was my first turn at night duty and thanked me in advance. Apparently school principals speak in veiled nuances rather than direct statements. This annoyed me, so I said, "Yes, I'm on night duty. I'm on night duty, so I'm headed back to spend the night at the school," and promptly took my leave. At Tatemachi crossing I ran into Yama Arashi. One couldn't take two steps in this little town without running into someone. "Aren't you on night duty?" I replied that I was. "Then don't you think it improper to be out here walking?" Not about to back down, I stated that, on the contrary, I thought it improper not to take a walk. He replied, uncharacteristically, that my indulgence would land me in hot water if Tanuki or Red Shirt were to see me. I informed him that I'd just met Tanuki, who'd complimented me for beating the heat with an evening walk. To avoid further debate, I quickly made my way back to the school.