After reading Kiyo's letter, it was past my usual bathing time. However, I'd made it my routine to visit the baths daily and didn't want to skip. I decided to take the train and headed for the station, dangling my signature red towel. A train had departed just prior to my arrival, so I would have to wait for a bit. As I sat on the bench and smoked, Uranari happened to arrive. Having learned his story, I pitied him now even more than before. The way he carried himself so meekly, like a sheepish interloper between heaven and earth, had always evoked a sense of misery, but tonight the word "misery" seemed grossly inadequate. I wished I could double his salary, see him married to the young Tōyama lady without delay, and send the two of them off to Tōkyō for a month. "Headed for the baths? Have a seat." I called to him gallantly and made room for him on my bench. He seemed uncomfortable, asked me not to trouble myself on his account, and out of deference, or for whatever reason, remained standing. "The train will be a while. No need to tire yourself standing." I repeated my offer for him to sit beside me. To tell the truth, I felt so bad about his situation that I desperately wanted him to sit with me. He finally relented and, excusing the intrusion, accepted my offer.
In this world there are insolent fellows like Noda, who always show up when least wanted. There are fellows like Yama Arashi, who see themselves as indispensable champions of justice and carry their faces like badges of honor. Then there are types like Red Shirt, a self-anointed ambassador of dandyism and charm. There are also fellows like Tanuki, who fancies himself the spirit of higher education, incarnate in a frock coat. Each and every one, in some manner or other, displays 'fore the world his own merits. But I'd never before met a man like Uranari, utterly self-effacing, a captive puppet yielding to the strings of fate. His face may be swollen, but I can't fathom how this Madonna could be so fickle. How could she discard such a fine man in favor of Red Shirt? Let Red Shirts court her by the dozens. She’ll find among them no better man.