"Is your health okay? You look quite fatigued."
"Nothing in particular to complain of."
"Glad to hear that. Poor health is the end of a person."
"You seem the hardy type yourself."
"That I am. I'm skinny, but I don't get sick. It's because I find illness so completely disagreeable."
Uranari smiled at my answer.
At this point a young woman's laughter carried to us from the entrance. I turned reflexively and was captivated at the sight. A tall beauty, with fair skin and her hair done up stylishly, stood with a middle-aged woman in front of the ticket vendor's window. I'm not artful in describing beautiful women, so I can't elaborate, but she was without doubt an absolute beauty. I felt as though I were gripping tightly, in the palms of my hands, a crystal globe that had been warmed over with perfume. The older woman was shorter, but they bore a resemblance, so most certainly they were mother and daughter. Since noticing their arrival, my attention had been fixed on the young lady, and I'd completely forgotten Uranari. As I watched her, Uranari suddenly rose beside me and, to my surprise, began walking leisurely toward the two women. I realized it must be Madonna. The three of them conversed politely in front of the ticket counter. I couldn't hear what they were saying on account of the distance.