Yama Arashi hadn't spoken to me since. The ice water money that I'd returned onto his desk still sat there. The two coins were gathering dust. Of course, I wasn't about to touch them, and Yama Arashi was absolutely not going to pick them up and take them home. These coins became a wall between us. I couldn't talk to him even if I wanted to, and he kept up his stubborn silence. Each day I arrived at the school, the sight of these coins distressed me.
In contrast to my standoff with Yama Arashi, Red Shirt and I maintained our relationship as before and continued to socialize. The day after our encounter by the Nozeri River, he approached me immediately upon his arrival at the school. He asked me how my new lodgings were, suggested we go fishing again for 'Russian literature,' and made various other small talk. I was feeling a bit spiteful toward him, so I mentioned how we'd seen each other twice the previous evening. "Yes, at the station. Do you always set out at that time? Isn't it rather late?" I told him point blank that I'd seen him on the embankment of the Nozeri River, and he denied it. He told me he had no business in that direction. He'd bathed and then immediately returned home. He needn't have bothered to hide it. It's a fact that I saw him there. The man was a shameless liar. If this is middle school head teacher material then I should be a university chancellor. At this point, he had lost all credibility in my eyes. So I was conversing with Red Shirt, whom I didn't trust, and I couldn't speak to Yama Arashi, whom I admired. The world is truly strange.