Sanshirō thought to return the greeting, but the chance eluded him as he struggled for proper words. All he could manage was to remove his hat and bow modestly. This was too formal for Yojirō, and it was lacking in deference toward Professor Hirota. He'd split the difference and addressed neither party appropriately.
Yojirō intervened immediately. "This fellow is one of my classmates. He went to high school in Kumamoto, and it's his first time here in Tōkyō." He seemed all too eager to divulge Sanshirō's provincial background. Then, turning to Sanshirō, "This is Professor Hirota. He's a high school ..." In his easy manner he concluded his introductions.
At this point Professor Hirota told him, "We know each other. We know each other."
Yojirō took on a puzzled expression as the professor repeated this twice. However, rather than ask after mundane details, he charged ahead with his business at hand. "Say, do you know of any houses for rent nearby? We need something spacious, attractive, and with an extra room for a lodging student."
"A house for rent ... actually, yes."
"Whereabouts? Are you sure it's nice enough?"
"It's quite nice. There's a large stone gate out front."
Yojirō jumped at the thought of this. "Sounds good. How 'bout it Professor? A stone gate would be impressive. Maybe that's our house."
"I don't want a stone gate," said the Professor.
"You don't want one? Why not?"
"Because I just don't."
"But stone gates are imposing. You'll look like a modern-day baron."
Yojirō was earnest. The professor was grinning. In the end, earnest won the day, and it was decided to go have a look. Sanshirō led the way.