When he awoke, he saw that the woman had struck up a conversation with the old man seated next to her. This old man was a country fellow who had boarded several stations back. He'd come running on with a wild shout as the train was about to pull away. On board, he'd immediately loosened his kimono top to wipe off his sweat. Sanshirō remembered the moxibustion marks on his back. He'd watched attentively as the old man put his kimono back in place and then took a seat next to the woman.
Sanshirō and the woman had been riding together since Kyōto. Her dark complexion had caught his eye as soon as she boarded. Once he'd left Kyūshū and transferred to the Sanyō line, he'd noticed the women grow fairer in color as he approached the Kyōto-Ōsaka region. It drove home the feeling that he had really left home, and he felt a tinge of sadness. The woman's presence in the car was comforting, as though he'd found a compatriot of the opposite sex. Her skin tone was unmistakably southern.
She reminded him of Omitsu Miwata. Omitsu was a pesky girl, and he'd been quite happy to leave her behind. But he felt now, after leaving, that maybe she wasn't so bad after all.
In terms of appearance, this woman on the train was far superior, from the tightness of her mouth to the keenness in her eyes. And her forehead was not unduly wide like Omitsu's. All in all she had a pleasant air about her. Every five minutes or so he'd raise his eyes and glance in her direction. Occasionally their glances would meet. When the old man had sat down next to her, he'd taken the opportunity to study her appearance. She'd smiled as she invited the old man to share her bench. Shortly thereafter, Sanshirō had grown drowsy and dozed off.