"That's most unfortunate." This early into the new year, and the master was already doling out condolences. "We're working hard to ensure a much more successful second outing. To that end, I've come here today to ask you to join in and support us." "I could never pull off convulsions." The master, always the faint of heart, moved immediately to decline. "No need for convulsions, but we're signing up supporters." So saying, he unwrapped his purple furoshiki and carefully produced an account book. It's cover was imprinted with small chrysanthemum marks. "I'd like to request your signature and seal." He opened the account book and set it before the master. Neatly entered on the page was an imposing list of well-known literary scholars and men of letters. "I see. As a supporter, what would my obligations be?" The oyster teacher shows his concern. "There's no particular obligation involved. Just the entry of your name as an expression of support is sufficient." "In that case I'm in." On learning there were no obligations, the master was immediately at ease. From the look on his face, in absence of responsibility he'd happily add his name to a full-fledged insurrection. Moreover, he was presented here with the rare honor of adding his name to an esteemed list of scholars, a chance he was only too eager to grab. "Just one moment." He was off to the study for his seal. I was dumped off onto the tatami. Tōfū reached for the cake bowl and stuffed his mouth with a piece of castella. At first he could hardly chew. I recalled my own zōni mishap of the morning. By the time the master returned from the study with his seal, the castella had found its way to Tōfū's stomach. The master took no notice of the missing piece. Had he noticed, his suspicion would have landed most surely on me.