The next day was a Sunday. Sanshirō set out for Nishikatamachi as soon as he finished lunch. He was wearing a new uniform, and his shoes were finely polished. As he entered the quiet lane and stopped in front of Professor Hirota's place, he could hear the sound of voices.
On entering through the main gate, the garden was immediately on the left, so one could bypass the entryway and reach the living room veranda directly via means of the garden path. As Sanshirō found the gap in the hawthorn hedge and reached to unlatch the wooden gate, he could discern clearly now a conversation from the garden. The voices belonged to Nonomiya and Mineko.
"Anyone who tries will just fall to earth and die." This was Nonomiya's voice.
"I think it's better to die than to never have tried." This was Mineko's answer.
"The only fitting end for such daredevils is a crash from the heights."
Sanshirō opened the gate. Nonomiya and Mineko, who were standing in the middle of the garden, both looked his way. Nonomiya greeted him in his usual manner with a "Hey!" and a nod. He was sporting a new brown fedora. Mineko asked when the postcard had arrived. They didn't continue their conversation.
The master of the house was seated on the veranda in western dress, smoking with a philosophical air. In his hand was a foreign periodical. Yoshiko was next to him. She had both hands planted behind her and was propping herself away from the house at an angle, extending her legs and gazing down at her thick straw sandals. -- It seemed they'd all been waiting on his arrival.