"A word with you," she addresses him. "What?" His voice whumps like a gong struck underwater. The wife is clearly not satisfied with this response. "A word with you," she begins anew. "What is it then?" he replies. At the same time, he pushes his thumb and index finger into his nostril and yanks out several nose hairs. "We're a little short this month ..." "We shouldn't be short. Didn't we pay the bookseller and settle the doctor's fee last month? This month should be fine." Without further concern, he gazes in admiration at the extracted nose hairs, as though they were miniature marvels. "The problem is that you've taken to bread rather than rice, and you put so much jam on it." "How much jam did I use then?" "I bought eight jars this month." "Eight? I couldn't have eaten that much." "It's not just you. It's the children too." "However much we ate, it couldn't be more than five or six yen." With calm composure, the master carefully plants his extracted nose hairs, one by one, on his paper. There's flesh on one end, and they stick up straight like needles. Continuing his experiment, he blasts them with a puff of breath. They hold strong to the paper. "Tenacious things." He blows again as hard as he can. "It's not just the jam. There are other things I buy." Her face is ripe with discontent. "I suppose there are." The master goes back with his fingers and yanks out more hairs. Among various browns and blacks is a white one. Seemingly shocked at the site, he stares intently for a moment. Then he presents the hairs, still held between his fingers, to his wife. "No thank you!" She pushes his hand away with revulsion. "Look, look! A gray nose hair!" The master is quite animated. The wife laughs, yields on the subject of finances, and retreats back to the living room. The master, for his part, returns his thoughts to Natural Man.