"I did think it all rather odd." The master's face is a mixture of glee and concern. "Well I'll be. And you sounded so sincere. When it comes to spinning tales, you're top notch." The wife is duly impressed. "That woman easily tops me." "You seemed to hold your own just fine." "But here's the thing, madam. The tales I spin are simply tales. In her case, ulterior motives, shady at best, abound. She's wicked at heart. You mustn't confuse conniving schemes with heaven-sent humor. Rueing the dearth of discerning men, the gods of comedy will heave a heavy sigh." "I wonder," the master comments with averted gaze. "There's really no difference," the wife replies with a grin.
Up until now, I'd never set foot in that lane cross the way. And I knew nothing, of course, of the corner residence or the Kaneda folk who dwelled therein. I'd never even heard of them. In the master's house, there was no talk of industrialists. Being the master's cat, living in his house and eating his food, I wasn't just remote from this segment of society, but wholly indifferent to it. Now, however, after Hanako's intrusion, and having listened in on the exchange, my thoughts wandered to this daughter. I imagined her charms, and her wealth and status intrigued me. Cat though I am, it was time to get up from the veranda. First and foremost, I was spurred forward by a great sympathy for Kangetsu. The other party had bought off a scholar's wife, the cartman's wife, and even that two-string Tenshō-in. They'd sounded him out down to his teeth. There sat Kangetsu, all the while, tugging at his haori ties with a guileless grin. Even for a newly-minted bachelor of science, he was far too naïve. That being said, no common man could contend with this woman, endowed as she was with that overbearing nose. The master, in the case at hand, was lacking both in motivation and means.