"You must be bored. I would hope he'll be back soon." She refills his teacup and sets it before him. "Where do you suppose he went?" "Hard to say. He comes and goes without a word. Perhaps he's at the doctor's." "Doctor Amaki? With a patient like that I pity the poor fellow." "Huh?" Seemingly at loss for an answer, the wife responds only tersely. Meitei pays no heed. "How is he these days? Is his stomach any better?" "I'm not sure if he's better or worse. The way he wolfs down jam, though, I don't think Amaki can help." The wife airs her outstanding grievance to Meitei. "How much jam are we talking? Sounds like a child." "And it's not just jam. Now he's on to grated daikon, claiming it aids digestion." "Well, I'll be." Meitei expresses his astonishment. "Ever since he saw in the paper that daikon contains diastase." "I see. He aims to offset the damage done by the jam. Masterful reckoning. Ha ha ha ha." Meitei revels in the wife's indictments. "The other day he fed some to the baby ..." "Jam?" "No, not jam ... grated daikon. 'Come child, dad has a treat for you,' he says. He's affectionate toward the children on occasion, which is fine, but it always ends in some foolish stunt. Several days back he scooped up the middle daughter and plonked her down on the dresser ..." "What was his aim in that?" Meitei, in all that he hears, seeks to assign some purpose. "No aim whatsoever. He tells her to try jumping down. A small girl of three or four does not cavort like a tomboy." "He clearly hadn't thought things through. But it wasn't ill will. In his heart of hearts he's a good man." "With all the grief he gives me, who needs ill will?" She fans the flames of her own resentment.