In the next moment, footsteps approached down the corridor, and I heard the shōji open. Someone had come, and I strained my ears to listen. "The master and mistress request my lady's presence," a voice, seemingly that of a maid, announced. "What of it!" the daughter fired back in defiance. "They've a matter to discuss and asked me to summon my lady." "To hell with you! Go away!" The daughter unleashed a second shot. "... they say it concerns one Mizushima Kangetsu." The maid took a new tact, hoping to placate the daughter. "Kangetsu, Suigetsu ... who cares? -- Despicable man. Face like a clueless gourd." Poor Kangetsu, in absentia, is the target of her third shot. "Since when have you done up your hair?" The maid drew a cautious breath. "I did it today," she kept her answer short. "Pretentious thing. Don't forget your place." The fourth shot came from a new angle. "And isn't that a new half-collar?" "It is. It's the one my lady gave me, a while back. I'd thought it too fine and put it away with my things, but my old one was soiled, so I brought out the new one." "When did I ever give that to you?" "This past New Year's. My lady purchased it at Shirokiya -- brown fabric, with a touch of green and a sumō banzuke dyed in. If my lady will recall, she decided it was too drab and said I should have it. It's that one." "Well I'll be. It certainly looks good on you. Too good." "I thank you, my lady." "I intended no compliment. It looks too good." "Pardon?" "Why didn't you say something?" "Pardon?" "If it looks that good on you, don't you suppose it might look good on me?" "I'm sure it would, my lady." "You're sure it would look good on me, yet you say nothing and keep it for yourself. Villainous thing!" The daughter's wrath continued to rain on the maid. As I listened closely, wondering how this would end, the voice of Mr. Kaneda resounded through the hall. "Tomiko! Tomiko!" "Coming," the daughter answered reluctantly and exited the telephone room. The small dog, only slightly larger than myself, with eyes and mouth bunched together in the middle of its face, followed behind. Again on stealthy feet, I stole past the kitchen and out onto the road. My expedition a grand success, I hurried back to the master's house.