The station clock showed five minutes until the next departure. I was growing impatient, having lost my conversation partner, when a man dashed into the station. I saw that it was Red Shirt. He was wearing a flimsy kimono fastened hastily with a silk-crepe sash and was dangling his signature gold chain. That gold chain was imitation. Red Shirt showed it off with confidence, thinking no one could tell, but I knew for a fact it was fake. As soon as he dashed in he'd glanced around busily. He politely greeted the three who were conversing in front of the ticket counter. After exchanging several words he suddenly turned my way and walked over with his usual cat-like steps. "So, you're headed for the baths too? I thought I was late for the train and hurried over, but I see it's still three or four minutes. I wonder if that clock is correct." He took out his own gold watch, remarked that they differed by two minutes, and then sat down beside me. He rested his chin on his walking staff and gazed ahead without looking back toward the women. The elderly woman occasionally glanced his way, but the young lady fixed her gaze elsewhere. She had to be Madonna.
Finally the whistle sounded and the train arrived. The waiting crowd filed onboard and vied for their seats. Red Shirt jumped into the first class compartment ahead of all others. First class here was hardly anything boast-worthy. The first class fare to Sumita was five sen, and the second class fare was three. The difference was a mere two sen. Even one like myself could splurge on first class and hold a white ticket in his hand. But country folk are tight-fisted by nature. They seemed to fret considerably over this two-sen difference, and the great majority rode second class. After Red Shirt, Madonna and her mother also entered the first class compartment. Uranari was a man who invariably traveled second class. As he stood in the entrance to the second class carriage he seemed to hesitate, but as soon as he saw my face he jumped in with resolve. I felt myself overcome with sympathy and followed him into the same carriage. There's certainly no harm in riding second class on a first class ticket.