"That's one of our students."
"Why is one of your students stealing into my yard?"
"The ball just happened to land there."
"Is there some reason, then, that he can't announce himself?"
"From now on, I'll see that he does."
Thus the confrontation, which I'd anticipated as an epic showdown for the ages, ends as nothing more than a quick and subdued exchange. The master is all bark and no bite. When push comes to shove, he backs away. Much like the way I dreamt myself a tiger, only to wake as a common cat. At any rate, this exchange is the minor altercation to which I referred. Having thus related the minor, protocol demands I proceed now to the major.
The master slides open the living room shōji and turns over onto his belly, lost in thought. Most likely, he's contemplating his next line of defense. Over at Rakuunkan, classes are in session, it seems, as the athletic grounds are vacant. From one room in the school building, however, a lecture on ethics carries most clearly. Focusing in on the voice, it's unmistakably that of yesterday's general, the one who rose from the ranks to exchange words with the master.
"... conducting oneself as a good citizen is of utmost importance. Wherever you go, be it France, Germany, or England, pride of citizenship is front and center. Even among the lowliest castes, civic duties are duly revered. Some of you may imagine, when you hear the word 'citizenship,' that's this is some foreign concept. To suppose so is to err most grieviously. As the elders will remind you, there were two constants that guided Confucius on his path through this world: sincerity and consideration. Confucius was grounded in compassion, and compassion, and nothing other than compassion, is foundational in the making of a good citizen. As a human being, I wish on occasion to break into boisterous song. However, when I'm at my studies, and a fellow in the next room let's loose with song, my concentration is shot. That's just my nature. Such being my nature, when the urge hits to boost my spirit with an inspired line of Tang poetry, voiced at volume, I stop first and think. Suppose the fellow next door, like myself, is easily disturbed. The last thing I wish to do is inconvenience him, so I hold back. I would hope that all of you too, as conscientious citizens, will refrain from behaviors that, even in any small measure, disturb the public peace ..."