"That's what troubles me. I wish I had an answer, but I honestly just don't know. I've begged him so often to open himself to me, to share what he's feeling."
"What does he say?"
"He says it's just his nature. There's nothing to be said, and there's no need to worry. He won't confide in me."
I listened in silence. She stopped there. The maidservant, in her quarters, made not a sound. I'd forgotten the burglar completely.
"You don't think I'm to blame, do you?" she suddenly asked me.
"No," I answered.
"Tell me the truth. I couldn't bear for you to think of me thus." She continued. "I like to believe that I'm doing all I can on Sensei's behalf."
"Rest assured, you are. I can attest that Sensei knows it."
She leveled the coals in the brazier and replenished the iron kettle. The kettle's singing was quickly quenched.
"I finally came to my wit's end and confronted him. I implored him to tell me my faults. I promised I'd try to do better. He told me it wasn't me, that the fault lay with him. I became despondent and burst into tears. More than ever, I wished for his rebuke."
Her eyes were moist with tears.