He remained still and studied the pond's surface. A myriad of large trees were reflected in its depths, and deeper still was an image of the blue sky. He didn't think about electric trains, or Tōkyō, or even Japan. His thoughts were distant and far removed. After a while, a tinge of loneliness spread across his mind like a thin wisp of cloud. Then, a feeling of desolation came upon him, as he imagined himself sitting alone in Nonomiya's cellar. During his high school days in Kumamoto he'd often hiked into the Tatsuta hills, which were quieter by far. He'd napped on the athletic grounds among evening primrose and forgotten the world below. However, the complete isolation he felt in this present moment was new to him.
Maybe it was the contrast with Tōkyō and its frenetic pace. Or maybe -- Sanshirō's cheeks flushed. He remembered his encounter with the woman on the train. -- He felt that he needed to touch the real world. At the same time, he felt that the real world was too dangerous for him to approach. He decided he should return to his dorm and write his mother.
As he raised his eyes, he saw two women standing atop the rise to his left. They stood near the edge of the water, and across from where they stood was a tall and thickly-wooded slope. A gothic-style building clad in bright red brick backed the woods on the hilltop. The setting sun was casting its rays obliquely from beyond the woods and building on that far side. The women faced the direction of this evening sun. From Sanshirō's vantage in the low shadows, the rise was brilliantly lit. One of the women held a round fan to her forehead to shield her eyes. He couldn't see her face, but the colors of her kimono and sash were brilliant. He noticed her white sandal socks, and while he couldn't make out the color of the straps, he could see that she wore straw sandals. The second woman was dressed in white. She didn't carry a fan or anything else. She furrowed her brow slightly and gazed into the old trees that extended their branches over the water from high above on the opposite bank. The woman with the fan was several paces in front. The woman in white was back a step from the embankment. Their forms made an angle with Sanshirō's line of vision.