During this time, it finally dawned on me that I'd better wake the master and his wife without delay. But how to do it was another matter. Thoughts swirled in my head, but insight eluded me. Thinking I might bite onto the skirt of the bedding and shake it, I tried several times. To no avail. Thinking I could rub my cold nose on the master's cheek, I drew near to his face. Still in his sleep, though, he extended his hand and gave me a sharp muzzle shove. The nose, for us cats, is a tender spot. It smarted keenly. There was no option left but to wake them with cries. I tried to mew, but on this occasion, of all times, my throat was constricted, and the desired sounds never arose. What finally came out, after concerted effort, was a disappointingly soft, low-pitched grunt. My all-important master showed no signs of waking. The sound of the burglar's steps suddenly resumed. They creaked along the veranda, drawing nearer. They were finally here. All was lost. Abandoning my efforts, I quickly hid myself between the fusuma and wicker trunk, eyes peeled to see what might come next.
I heared the burglar's footsteps approach the bedroom shōji, where they stopped dead. I held my breath, wondering frantically what he intended to do. It occurred to me later that in this frame of mind, with all one's spirit ready to burst through one's eyes, to catch a mouse would be no great chore. Owing to the burglar, my mind was newly enlightened. I really should thank him. In the next moment, though, the center of a square in the shōji, just above the third crosspiece, began to change color, as though wetted by the rain. A light red color appeared, gradually deepening until the paper tore and a red tongue wagged in the gap. Then the tongue disappeared into the dark. In its place an eye, glimmering frightfully, appeared on the other side of the hole. The burglar's eye, no doubt. Oddly enough, though, the eye seemed not to observe the room, but instead to be trained directly on me and my hiding place behind the wicker trunk. To be glowered at so, even for less than a minute, surely shortens one's days. Just when I can no longer take it, when I'd resolved to make my break, the bedroom shōji glides open. The burglar, finally, after much anticipation, is right before my eyes.