As I continue to describe things, piece by piece, I realize it's well beyond my abilities to sum the scene into one coherent picture. I may have bitten off, I'm afraid, more than I can chew. In this moment, an older gentleman, of seventy or so years, with shaved head and outfitted in pale yellow cotton, suddenly makes his entrance. Surveying the sea of naked brutes, he lowers his bald head deferentially by way of greeting. "My thanks to all for your continued patronage. There's a chill in the air today, so take your time -- Let the medicated bath work its magic. Soak till you're warmed through and through -- Where's my attendant? You - watch that water and keep it hot." All of this rolls off his tongue in one continuous stream. "On it!" the attendant calls back in response. "Charming fellow. There's a true proprietor for ya." Mr. Watōnai is very much taken with the old man. So intrigued am I by the sudden appearance of this eccentric old man that I abandon my heretofore narrative and focus my attention on his doings. The old man spots a boy of four or so, newly emerged from the bath. "Hey there young lad," he calls while extending a hand. The child, regarding the old man's withered face, akin to a trampled-on bean-jam cake, responds with a terrified shriek. "Don't cry now. What's wrong? Frightened by this old face? Dear me." Taken aback by the child's reaction, the old man quickly changes tact and addresses the father instead. "Hey there Gen-san. A chilly day, is it not? Some dolt burglar broke in at Ōmiya last night. Cut his way in though the side door, and you know what he took? Not a thing. A patrolman or watchman must have scared him off." Grinning with glee at the burglar's empty haul, he engages another patron. "It really is cold. You don't feel it? You're all so young still, that's why." It's the old man alone, it seems, who feels the chill.