Due to the dog and the children, Sensei had not had concluded his thoughts, and I was left hanging. Assets and the like, over which Sensei seemed so concerned, were of little interest to me at that time. Because of my nature, and perhaps too because of my circumstances, the concept of vying for gain was far from my mind. I was not on my own yet and had not been exposed to such matters. At any rate, my youthful self was duly oblivious to the issues of wealth.
There was one thing, though, on which I wanted to question Sensei further. He had said that when the moment of truth arrives, any man may become a villain. I wanted to know what he meant. On the surface, or course, I understood his words well enough. There was more to it, however, and I wanted to know the rest.
After the dog and the children had gone their way, the orchard fell back into silence. We sat motionless for a while, like two men encased in stillness. The exquisite colors of the sky began to slowly deepen. The trees around were mostly maples. The light green of their new leaves, glistening on the branches as the breeze stirred them, seemed to turn gradually darker. The rumble of a cart sounded from a distant street. I imagined a fellow from the village had loaded it with shrubs or other such wares and was headed for a fair. Sensei rose abruptly at the sound of the cart, like a man called back from distant reveries.
"Shall we be going? The days are getting longer, but we've whiled this one away. The sun will be setting before we know it."
Sensei's backside betrayed his earlier nap on the platform. I brushed it clean with both hands.
"Thank you. Did I pick up any resin?"
"No, everything's gone."
"I just got this haori. The wife will be cross if I go and soil it already."