"No, a different day. Around the 20th, as I recall. My wife asked that, in lieu of a year's-end gift, I take her to hear Settsu Daijō. 'I don't see why not,' I responded, and asked what work he was performing that day. She consulted the paper and found it was Unagidani. I'm not fond of Unagidani, so we took a pass on that particular day. The following day, she came in with the paper and announced that that day's work was Horikawa, which she thought would be fine. Horikawa, with its shamisen accompaniment, is lively enough but lacks substance, so I suggested another pass. She withdrew, but not without a look of dissatisfaction. The following day, she came in and informed me it was Sanjūsangendō. She was intent on seeing Settsu perform this work. I may not like it, she told me, but it was her treat, and what would it hurt me to take her. This time she was adamant. 'Very well then,' I told her, 'but they say it's his final performance, and the crowds are overwhelming. One can't just show up unannounced and expect to be seated. There's a tea house associated with the venue, and the proper process is to work through the folks in the tea house to secure suitable spots in advance. It's not right to circumvent established protocol, so let's go at a later date.' She glared back at me. As a housewife, she replied, she was not privy to such intricacies, but Ōhara's mother and Kimiyo from the Suzuki's had both been, with no such proper arrangement, and enjoyed themselves splendidly. 'Teacher or not, must every outing with you be painstakingly orchestrated? It's just too much,' she said, close to tears. 'In that case then,' I said, 'let's give it a shot.' By way of capitulation, I suggested we take the train over after dinner. 'If we're going to go,' she told me, 'we need to be there by four.' 'One mustn't dally,' she added, suddenly revitalized. I asked in return why we needed to be there by four. She'd heard from Kimiyo that unless one arrived early, by four at the latest, one couldn't secure a spot. I questioned again for good measure, and she assured me that after four was too late. Oddly enough, at that very moment, the chills took hold."
"Your wife came down with the chills?" Kangetsu asked.
"My wife was racing about. It was me. I felt myself wither like a punctured balloon. Before I knew it, my head was swimming and I was flat on my back."
"A flash illness," Meitei commented.