They did, on my behalf, pull together all that was duly mine. When everything was appraised, it was far less than I'd expected. I could accept it without objection, or I could challenge my uncle publicly in court. These were my two options. I was indignant. I was at a loss as to what I should do. Litigation, I feared, would prove lengthy. I was in the middle of my studies, and I hated the thought of losing precious time. After much consideration, I asked my old middle school friend, who lived in town, to liquidate everything for me. My friend advised against this, but I didn't listen. I'd already decided I was leaving and not coming back. I swore to myself I would never again see my uncle's face.
Before departing, I went once more to the graves of my father and mother. I haven't seen these graves since. Nor will I ever see them again.
My friend handled things according to my wishes. This all happened, though, a good while after my arrival in Tōkyō. Selling farmland and such in the countryside is no easy task. Prospective buyers are apt to take advantage of the situation. In the end, the amount I received was significantly less than market value. In all honesty, my assets were nothing more than some public bonds I'd left home with and the later remittance from my friend. My parents' bequest, without a doubt, had been greatly diminished. The fact that this was in no way my own doing made it all the much harder to stomach. At the same time, I had more than enough to sustain my studies. In truth, I didn't spend but half of my interest income. This abundance during my student days, as it turned out, would have wholly unforeseen consequences.