My disparagement of women did not extend to the young lady. In her presence, my theorizing fell flat and ceased to serve me. The affection I felt toward her bordered on faith. It may seem strange to you that I should apply this word, borrowed from the realm of religion, to a young lady, but even today I still feel this way. I'm firmly convinced that true love and religious devotion are kindred spirits. Every time I set eyes on this young lady's face, I felt myself cleansed. Every time I thought of her, a rush of noble feeling washed through me. If this wondrous thing we call love has two sides, with spiritual connections on the high side and carnal desires on the low side, then my affections were surely anchored to its uppermost point. I was, of course, a human being embodied in the flesh. However, in the eyes that regarded this young lady, and in the soul that yearned for her, thoughts of the flesh were none to be found.
Even as I harbored animosity toward the mother, my affections for the daughter grew deeper. Compared to my early days as a lodger, the relationship between the three of us was becoming complex. This complexity was of course internal and didn't show on the surface. At some point, however, I began to wonder if I hadn't misjudged the mother. I began to see that maybe there was no falsehood in her conflicting views of me. Furthermore, I began to think that these conflicting views did not rule her spirit in turn, but rather that both coexisted at all times within her breast. It seemed contradictory that Okusan would strive to bring me close to her daughter while putting up defenses against me. Then again, even when her defenses were up, I could see that she still sought to draw us closer. I believe she was simply averse to the idea of the two of us becoming overly intimate. As I had no intention of accosting the daughter in any carnal fashion, I thought her concerns unwarranted. At the same time, though, I was able put my ill will toward her to rest.