Downing the remainder of his tea, which had grown cold, Tōfū broached a new subject. "The real reason I called today was to present a modest proposal." "I see. What can I do for you?" the master, regaining his composure, responded in turn. "As you know, arts and literature mean the world to me, so ..." "Splendid," the master encouraged him. "Those of us of like mind have banded together to form a recital group. We gather together, once each month, to further our pursuits. We held the first of our gatherings late last year." "If I may ask, when you say 'recital group,' I imagine poetry and such, read out with dramatic intonation. How exactly do you conduct yourselves?" "Well, we're starting with works of the old masters, and bit by bit we'll work our way to the present." "Would that be classical works, like Hakurakuten's Biwa Sojourn?" "Not that one." "Buson's spring wind and such?" "Nor that." "What did you choose, then?" "The other day we did Chikamatsu, one of his lovers' suicide works." "Chikamatsu? Chikamatsu of the jōruri?" There's only one Chikamatsu, and I was thinking the master a numbskull for having to ask. Unaware of these thoughts, he most kindly caressed my head. Who hasn't, in this world of confusion, mistaken a stray glance for infatuation. With that in mind, the master's oblivion was nothing noteworthy, and rather than disabuse him, I let him caress away. "Yes," Tōfū replied with a glance at the master's countenance. "In that case, do you choose a single reader, or do you assign roles?" "We did it with roles, as a dialogue."