"You mustn't needle me. What I'm relating is most serious ... At any rate, I thought of said lady suddenly so ill and was at once overwhelmed by emotion. Flowers blossom, they say, only to scatter on the wind. Energy drained from by body, vitality deserted me, and I staggered on, reduced to a tottering shell, to Azumabashi. Whether the tide was in or out, I cannot say. Resting against the railing, the dark water below was a single moving mass. A lone rickshaw, on the road from Hanakawado, rushed across the bridge. I watched the light of its lantern recede and then disappear behind the Sapporo brewery. I looked again at the water. As I did so, I heard a voice, from far upstream, calling my name. Who at this hour, I thought, could possibly be calling me. I gazed across the surface of the water, but all was dark and nothing could be seen. Concluding it was all in my head, I thought it best to return straight home, and I resumed my pace. Just then, a faint and distant voice again called my name. I stopped in my tracks and perked my ears. When I was called for the third time, I was gripping the railing, but nevertheless my knees trembled beneath me. The voice carried from afar, or perhaps from the water's depths, but it was unmistakably the voice of that certain young lady. Unconsciously, I called back in response. I was surprised at my own voiced and how it resounded over the water's surface. I surveyed my surroundings. There was nothing to see. Not a soul. Not even a dog nor the light of the moon. I was seized in that moment with a sudden longing to yield to the night and follow that voice to its source. The same voice, distressed, appealing, crying for help, again pierced my ears. This time I called back, "I'm coming!" I leaned over the railing and fixed my gaze on the black water. This voice that called me, it seemed, was forcing its way from beneath the ripples. Focusing my attention on the water's depths, I climbed onto the railing. Resolved to leap if called again, I studied the moving current. Once more, a thin, pitiful voice wafted upward. That was my cue. With full abandon, I leapt into the air and then felt myself drop like a stone."