There was much more to Kangetsu's speech. He'd intended to touch next on the physiological effects of hanging, but Meitei, acting the part of the unruly interloper, interrupted endlessly with offbeat remarks. The master, for his part, made no effort to suppress his yawns. Kangetsu gave up midway and took his leave. What happened that evening, in what manner and to what effect Kangetsu delivered his oratory, I cannot say. It was a far-removed event, and I've no report of what transpired.
Several quiet days passed. Then one afternoon, around two, Meitei, per habit, came fluttering vacantly in, like his own proverbial Coincidental Child. "Did you hear about Ochi Tōfū and the Takanawa incident?" he asked immediately upon seating himself. His enthusiasm for this news seemed no less than his enthusiasm for the fall of Port Arthur. "Haven't heard. Haven't seen him lately." The master was his usual dour self. "I'm quite busy today, but I must, I thought, find time to relate to you the tale of master Tōfū's misadventure." "Flattering yourself again. Your insolence knows no bounds." "Ha ha ha ha ha. Not insolence, mind you, but impudence. I'd like you to mark that distinction, given my honor's at stake." "Same difference," the master counters with swagger, the quintessential Natural Man reborn. "This past Sunday, so it seems, Tōfō went to Sengakuji in Takanawa. Why he went in this cold is beyond me -- first of all, the only visitors to Sengakuji anymore are bumpkins fresh from the country who know nothing of Tōkyō, wouldn't you say?" "If Tōfū wants to visit Sengakuji then what right have you to interfere?" "I certainly have no right to interfere. Rights aside, though, there's a hall within the temple grounds where they keep relics from the 47 Rōnin on display. I assume you've seen it?" "No." "You haven't? Well, I'll be. No wonder you're vouching for Tōfū. What respectable Edo man doesn't know Sengakuji?" "This Edo man doesn't know Sengakuji, yet he's functioned thus far as a teacher." The master, at long last, assumes the role of Natural Man. "Be that as it may then, as Tōfū was in the hall there viewing the exhibition, a German couple entered."