Then again, to refrain having once committed is somehow dissatisfying, like watching an anticipated rainfall, dark clouds and all, pass on to a neighboring land. It would be one thing if my intent were iniquity, but justice and benevolence are at stake here. Any duty-loving man would gladly champion their defense, even at risk of dying in vain. It's only proper, then, for a cat to invest some exertion or muddy his feet, even to no avail. As a cat, I lack the faculty to debate learned men like Kangetsu, Meitei, and the master. I can't engage in exchange of ideas. What I can do, and far better than any scholar, is exercise stealth. To do what others cannot is, in and of itself, most satisfying. And better that I alone be privy to the Kaneda secrets than no one at all. I can't relate what I know, but I can make it known that I know, and that too is something. More and more, the pendulum swings in favor of action. It's decided - I'll go.
I make my way to the lane cross the way, and sure enough, on the corner lot stands a Western-style house, looming over its neighbors. It occurrs to me, as I pass through the gate and survey the structure, that its owners, likewise, must lord it over their neighbors. The two-story height serves no useful function, other than to impose its presence on its surroundings. Was this not Meitei's so-called "mundanity?" The entryway back to my right, I creep through the shrubs and circle round to the kitchen door. The kitchen is duly large, ten times that of the master's place. The other day, the Japan News ran a story on Count Ōkuma and described his kitchen in detail. This kitchen, tidy and sparkling, is no less impressive. I steal my way into this "kitchen exemplar." In a small ante room with plastered floor stands the aforementioned cartman's wife, in spirited conversation with a kitchen helper and rickshaw man. My senses on high alert, I advance as far as the water tank and hide myself in back.