Sanshirō's only impression of the women at this point was the brilliant colors they wore. However, he lacked the sophistication to elaborate further on the colors, and he lacked the words to capture his sentiment. He could only surmise that the one in white was a nurse.
He watched them with fascination. The one in white began to move. Not with purpose, but as though her feet were guiding her. He realized that the one with the fan was also in motion. As if on cue, the two of them descended toward the water together at a leisurely pace. Sanshirō continued to watch them.
At the bottom of the slope was a stone bridge. If they didn't cross the bridge, then the path would lead them back toward the college of science. If they did cross, they'd approach him along the water's edge. They crossed the bridge.
The woman with the fan no longer held it aloft. She had a small white flower in her left hand and was smelling it as she approached. Her attention was on the flower under her nose, so she walked with her eyes cast downward. She came to a stop several meters from Sanshirō.
"What kind of tree is this?" she asked as she lifted her gaze. Above her head, a large chinquapin oak hung over the water, its luxuriant round canopy obscuring the sun's rays.
"It's a chinquapin oak," the nurse answered. She spoke as though instructing a child.
"There are no acorns," the other remarked, and she lowered her gaze. As she did so she glanced at Sanshirō. Sanshirō sensed that she'd glanced his way. Impressions of color disappeared from his head, replaced by a feeling he couldn't describe. This new feeling closely resembled his reaction when the woman from the train had remarked that he was no ladies' man. A wave of anxiety swept over him.