Dawn finally broke. They washed their faces and sat down to their breakfast trays. The woman asked with a grin, "Did you survive the fleas last night?" Sanshirō answered, "Yes. Thank you for asking," in all earnestness as he kept his head down and poked at a cup of sweet beans.
They settled their bill and left the inn. When they arrived at the station, the woman disclosed to Sanshirō for the first time that she would be taking the Kansai Line toward Yokkaichi. Sanshirō's train arrived shortly. The woman had some time yet, so she accompanied him as far as his ticket gate. "Sorry for imposing so ... safe travels and good luck." She bowed her head to him graciously. Sanshirō held his bag and umbrella in one hand, removed his cap with the other, and said simply, "Goodbye." The woman studied his face for a moment, then commented in a casual tone, "Not exactly a ladies' man, are you?" She smiled at him mischievously.
Sanshirō felt as though he'd been hurled out onto the platform. When he entered the train car, both his ears were still burning. He hunkered in place for a time and made himself inconspicuous. Finally, the conductor's shrill whistle echoed down the length of the train, and they began to move. Sanshirō carefully looked out the window. The woman was long gone, and only the large clocks caught his eye. He sank quietly back into his seat. There were a good number of fellow travelers in the car, but none took any notice of him. However, a man diagonally across from him had glanced his way as he sat back down.