I was trying my utmost to see past the edge of the mirror. Suddenly, I noticed a woman seated behind the counting room lattice. She was a heavy-set woman, with a dark complexion and thick eyebrows. Her hair was fastened behind in the Edo style, and she wore a simple lined kimono with black satin neckpiece. One knee was drawn up, and she was counting bank notes. They looked like ten-yen notes. Her eyes were turned down and her thin lips were pursed as she counted the notes intently and with great speed. No matter how many she counted, it seemed there were always more. The pile on her lap couldn't be more than a hundred, but count as she would, a hundred remained.
I was gazing vacantly at the woman's face and the ten-yen notes. Then the man in white spoke loudly at my side. "I'll wash your hair now." Taking the opportunity, I rose from the chair and immediately turned toward the counting room lattice. There was nothing behind it, neither woman nor bank notes.
I settled my bill and stepped out front. To the left of the entrance were five oval basins laid out in a row. In them were numerous goldfish of all types. Some were red and some were mottled. Some were slender and some were plump. Behind the basins was the goldfish seller. He sat motionless, chin in his hands, his gaze fixed on the fish before him. He paid no heed to the boisterous motions of the street. I stood for a while and watched the goldfish seller. All the while I watched him, however, he didn't stir.