"You're finally here."
She spoke in the same intimate tone. Her words were music to Sanshirō's ears. Her outfit was of shiny silk. Given how long he'd waited, she may have changed into something elegant to receive him. She sat upright on her chair. She surveyed him in silence, with the hint of a smile in her eyes and on her lips, driving him to a state of sweet distress. From the moment she'd seated herself, he'd struggled under her steady gaze. Compelled to say something, he opened his mouth. He was on the verge of panic.
"I presume Sasaki talked to you," she stated, her white teeth visible. Behind her, the candle holders were arrayed on both ends of the mantelpiece. They were crafted of gold, in a curious style. Sanshirō had supposed they were candle holders, but on second thought he wasn't sure. Behind these enigmatic holders was the plain mirror. Due to the thick curtains, the light was insufficient. On top of that, the sky outside was overcast. Sanshirō had been glancing at Mineko's white teeth.
"Sasaki came by."
"And what did he tell you?"
"He told me to come and see you."
"I expect he did. -- And that's why you're here?" She pressed this point.
"Yes," he said, then hesitated. After a short pause he added, "I guess so."
Mineko concealed her teeth. She rose from her chair, went to the window, and gazed out.