"You'd best get up. It's seven already." The wife calls out from the other side of the fusuma. The master, whether awake or still sleeping, has his back to her and produces no reply. To produce no reply is the master's trademark. If absolutely compelled, the most he might manage is a short "um." Even eliciting this short "um" is no easy feat. There's a certain refinement in a man who guards his words, but among the lady folk such men are seldom endeared. Given that even the master's wife struggles to tolerate him, it's no great leap to suppose that the rest of womankind should wholly disdain him. It's written in song that, "shunned by his own folk, what muse should ever adore him," and so it is with the master, whose wife just barely abides him and whom other women find patently unappealing. There's no particular need here to deliberately dwell on the master's lack of appeal to the opposite sex. I only mention it for the sake of the master himself, lest he delude himself and attribute the wife's cold shoulder to the different stars under which they were born.