Sanshirō kept company with Mineko as myriad futures flashed before his mind's eye. His thoughts were unsettled, and he struggled greatly to maintain his outward composure. Much to his relief, Yoshiko returned. The two young ladies talked of returning to the competition. They decided, however, that with the short autumn day getting late, and with a growing chill in the outdoor air, they should head home.
Sanshirō thought to take his leave and return to his lodgings, but the three of them talked as they walked off, and no clear-cut point for disengagement arose. He felt that the two of them were sweeping him along. He also felt that he wanted to be swept along. Together, they skirted the pond, passed the library, and headed for the Red Gate, away from Sanshirō's lodgings.
Sanshirō turned to Yoshiko. "I hear that your brother is back to boarding."
"Yes, he's finally pawned me off on Mineko. Terrible, isn't it?" Yoshiko answered, looking for a little sympathy.
Before Sanshirō could comment, Mineko spoke up. "It's hard for us to understand a man like Nonomiya. His mind works at a higher level, engaged in ground-breaking ideas."
Mineko praised Nonomiya warmly. Yoshiko listened in silence.