"If there's anything I can do for you, just name it -- My assignment to Tōkyō was entirely on account of your good graces." The caller happily accepts his charge. Judging from the manner of their exchange, it would seem Mr. Kaneda has the caller firmly in his pocket. The intrigue thickens. My outing this day was motivated by fine weather, with no anticipation whatsoever of stumbling on juicy intelligence. This is like making one's equinoctial pilgrimage to the temple and chancing to end up in the priest's chamber, feasting on botamochi. Under the veranda, my ears are perked, and I listen to hear what Kaneda wants of his caller.
"That crank Kushami, for whatever reason, has been putting bugs in Mizushima's ear. He's intimated, it seems, that the Kaneda daughter is no worthy bride. -- Isn't that right, Hanako dear?"
"'Intimated' is hardly the word. 'Who on earth would be dumb enough to marry that thing's daughter?' is what he said."
"What's he mean by 'that thing?' The insolence! Is he really so crass?"
"'Crass' is hardly the word. The cartman's wife heard it firsthand and rushed over to tell me."
"There you have it, Suzuki. Not a good situation, I'm sure you'd agree."
"Quite troubling indeed. This isn't the kind of thing to meddle in lightly, especially as a complete outsider. Even Kushami should know as much. I can't imagine what's got into his head."