A violin sounded from another room. As soon as it started, it stopped, as though a breeze had carried it in and away. It seemed a shame. Sanshirō leaned back in the thickly upholstered chair and listened carefully, hoping to catch more, but none followed. A minute later, he had forgotten the violin. He was gazing at the mirror and candle holders on the opposite wall. They seemed curiously occidental, even suggesting Catholicism. Sanshirō had no idea why Catholicism. At that moment, the violin sounded again. This time, a series of high and low notes reverberated in succession. Then they abruptly stopped. Sanshirō was not familiar with classical music. However, he was certain that these notes were not part a larger work. They had simply been floated out. In his present mood, Sanshirō felt an affinity for these indecorous notes, sounded only for their own sake, like errant hailstones dropping inexplicably from a blue sky.
Sanshirō shifted his half-dreaming eyes to the mirror and there, reflected, stood Mineko. The door, which he thought the maidservant had closed, was open. Mineko, with one hand pushing aside the curtain that hung behind the door, was clearly visible from the chest up. Mineko looked at Sanshirō in the mirror. Sanshirō looked at Mineko's reflection. Mineko smiled.
Her voice came from behind. Sanshirō had to turn around. They faced each other directly. She tipped her head, with hair done up in voluminous curves, ever so slightly in salutation. Her subtle movement, barely qualifying as a greeting, expressed intimacy. Sanshirō, for his part, rose from his chair and bowed. Disregarding his formality, she circled round and took a seat directly facing him, her back to the mirror.