Since the boat ride back from fishing with Red Shirt, I'd begun to distrust Yama Arashi. When he told me to vacate my lodgings on sham pretexts, I finally decided that he really must be a reprehensible rogue. But then, contrary to expectation, he argued eloquently at the staff meeting that the students be strictly punished. This struck me as most peculiar. I learned from the old Hagino woman that Yama Arashi had tried to intervene with Red Shirt on Uranari's behalf. That was admirable, and I applauded his initiative. I was starting to think that, in light of all this, maybe Red Shirt was the devious one, and maybe he'd been manipulating my thoughts with unfounded insinuations and behind-the-scenes posturing. When I caught Red Shirt out strolling the Nozeri River embankment with Madonna, I became convinced that he was the true scoundrel. Scoundrel or whatever, he's certainly no gentleman. He's a deceitful two-face. Unless a man is straight like bamboo, he cannot be trusted. If one is straight and true, then even a quarrel can be satisfying. Those like Red Shirt, who proudly shows off his amber pipe with a gentle, kind, and noble air, are the ones to watch out for. They can't be confronted. And if they are confronted, it never ends like the Ekōin sumō matches with a clear-cut outcome. Yama Arashi, with whom I'd argued over a trivial ice water payment, stirring up the entire staff room in the process, was far preferable as a human being. I'd thought him despicable when he scowled at me in the meeting with his meanest glare. But when I thought on it later, better that than Red Shirt's syrupy coaxing voice. In fact, I'd thought to reconcile with Yama Arashi after the meeting, but when I tried to address him he brushed me off with a hostile look. This made me angry again, so I'd left it at that.