The day after the fence was built, they came dropping into the north-side lot, just as they'd done before. However, they no longer encroached on the living room. If pursued, their escape time was greater now, and they took this into account, limiting their incursions to a safe distance. The master, of course, could not see them from the east wing of the house. To gage their movements on the north side, he had to either open the wicket gate and circle round the house or go to the toilet window and peer across the hedge. From the toilet window he could spot any intruders at a glance but was powerless to act. All he could do was rant and rave from within. If he went out through the gate and circled round, they'd flee at the sound of his steps, dropping back to their own side before he came near. They were just like seals, sunning themselves till the hunter drifts near and then slipping into the water. The master couldn't spend his days on the toilet staking them out. And he wasn't about to leave the gate open and dash out at every slightest sound. If it came to that, it would command all his time, and his teaching days would be done. The master found himself at a severe disadvantage. Working in his study, he could hear their voices but couldn't see them. From the toilet window, he could see them but take no action. Realizing his predicament, the student made the most of it. When they sensed the master was holed up in his study, they raised up their voices. One could catch in their chatter, on occasion, what seemed to be gibes at the master. To make matters worse, the source of the sounds was not at all clear. Should the master go out, they would quickly retreat. Or, as the case may be, they'd been on their own side from the start and hence showed no concern. Then again, when the master was in the toilet -- Let me apologize here for all this toilet talk. I don't relish dwelling on the toilet, and I'm sorry if the reader finds it unsavory, but in describing this conflict it can't be helped. -- At any rate, when the master was in the toilet they were sure to be loitering among the paulownias, deliberately drawing his attention. If the master called them out, raising his voice so all the world could hear, they simply sauntered back, at full leisure, to their own property. These tactics had the master at his wit's end. Sensing their presence, he'd grab his walking stick and rush out, only to find no one there. Thinking they were gone, he'd peek through the toilet window, always to find one or two intruding. He'd go round back, then peek through the toilet window. He'd peek through the toilet window, then go round back. I could go on, but it's all the same. Over and over, again and again. It became, in the end, a war of attrition. The master's duties as combatant were no less demanding than his duties as instructor. His world was descending into disarray, and at the height of it all, an altercation occurred, which I'll proceed to describe.