The woman returned and apologized for her absence. He heard a clanging sound as she organized her things in the shadow of the mosquito netting. No doubt it was one of the toys she had bought for her children. Finally, she wrapped her things up again into her bundle. From the far side of the netting, he heard her say goodnight. Sanshirō replied briefly and remained seated on the doorsill, still fanning himself. He thought to stay there all night, but mosquitos were starting to buzz round his head. Enduring a night in the open was out of the question. He stood up, took out a printed cotton shirt and pair of underpants from his bag, and slipped them on under his robe. Then he fastened a navy blue sash over the outside. Next he took two long towels with him into the netting. The woman was still fanning herself in the opposite corner.
"Excuse me, but I'm very particular. I can't sleep in unfamiliar bedding, and I'm going to rig up a flea barrier. Please don't take offense."
Thus saying, Sanshirō started at the loose edge and began rolling their sheet toward the woman. When he finished, there was a long, white partition down the center of the futon. On the other half, the woman rolled over to rest on her side. Sanshirō spread out the two towels, laid them end-to-end on his own half, and lined himself up on top. Throughout the night, his hands and feet remained securely within the confines of his towel zone. The woman said not a word. She slept facing the opposite wall and never stirred.