Their conversation concludes, and it's decided that the master will undergo hypnosis. This is something new for me, and with concealed delight I look on from the corner of the parlor, eager to see what will happen. The doctor goes to work on the master's eyes. What he does is to stroke the eyelids in a downward motion. The master's eyes are already closed, yet he continues his strokes, as if seeking to condition a certain response. After some moments, he addresses the master. "As I continue to stroke your lids, can you feel your eyes growing heavy?" he asks. "Yes, they are getting heavy," the master replies. The doctor continues, downward stroke after downward stroke. "Heavier and heavier. Feeling the weight?" The master, lost perhaps in the process, gives no response. For three or four more minutes, the same strokes are repeated. Finally, the doctor speaks. "Your lids are too heavy to open," he announces. The poor master, it seems, has lost the use of his eyes. "They won't open?" "They won't open." The master goes silent, eyes still closed. I wonder, with more than a little concern, if my master is now a blind man. The doctor, after another pause, says, "Try opening your eyes. You'll find that you can't." "Is that so?" No sooner has the master said this, than he opens both eyes, same as always. "It didn't work," he announces with a grin. "It sure didn't," the doctor concurs, likewise sporting a grin. The master's hypnosis falls utterly flat, and Dr. Amaki takes his leave.
Next to call -- this succession of callers at the master's place is unprecedented. At the home of a recluse like the master, it's almost unreal. Yet the calls continue. And next to call is an odd one. It's not just due to oddity, though, that he merits mention. As I've already stated, my present objective is to describe the repercussions of the master's major altercation. This odd caller, when it comes to these repercussions, fugures decisively. I can't say what his name is, but he's a fellow of forty or so. His face is narrow and long, with a goat-like beard adorning its lower fringe. As I refer to Meitei as the aesthete, I'll refer to this man as the philosopher. Not because he stirs the scene with ballyhoo like Meitei, but simply because, as I watch him engage with the master, he seems to present a philosophical air. They've known each other, it seems, since their student days. Dispensing with all formalities, they drop into comfortable conversation.