On stealing into the Kaneda's time and again, even with no intention of sleuthing, I've inevitably seen things I don't wish to see and learned things I don't wish to know. Madam Kaneda, for example, takes extra care in washing her face to wipe down her nose. Tomiko, the daughter, binges on Abekawa Mochi. Then there's Mr. Kaneda -- Mr. Kaneda, in sharp contrast to his wife, has a flat nose. It's not merely his nose, but his entire face, that's flat. It's so flat one has to wonder. Perhaps in his youth he took on the neighborhood bully, who subsequently collared him and pressed his mug into a wall. Fate took its course, and forty years hence he sports a flattened face. It's without doubt the calmest of faces, devoid of all severity, expressionless almost to a fault. No amount of anger can perturb it. -- Mr. Kaneda pats his own bald head while feasting on tuna sashimi. His height is low as his face is flat, so he clomps about in super high clogs and sports a super tall hat. The rickshaw driver finds this amusing and confides so with houseboy. The houseboy compliments the driver on his keen observation. -- I could go on and on.
Lately I've taken to scoping the grounds. I pass by the kitchen entrance and enter the garden. I circle round to the far side of the berm and poke my head over the top. Only after confirming the shōji are shut and all is quiet do I make my way in. If I hear voices, or if I fear I might be seen from within, then I circle the pond to the east, cut up past the lavatory, and quickly duck under the veranda. I've wronged no one, so I've no need to hide and nothing to fear. But then again, these humans are a lawless lot, and I know it won't end well if I'm seized. In a world of bandits like Kumasaka Chōhan, men of virtue would guard there movements just as I do mine. Mr. Kaneda is a prominent industrialist, so of course he doesn't wield a long sword like Kumasaka Chōhan, but they say he's prone to disdain for his fellow men. If he's prone to disdain for men, then more so still for cats, I expect. However virtuous, a cat within these grounds is well advised to stay on its toes. Staying on one's toes is somewhat enthralling, and perhaps its this thrill that draws me back so often. At some later date, when I've dwelt on this further, I'll publish my full analysis of the feline psyche.