Wisps of white cloud floated obliquely in the evening sky's upper reaches. They looked as though sketched with the tip of a brush.
"Do you know what those are?" Nonomiya asked. Sanshirō looked up at the almost transparent clouds. "They're made of snow crystals. From down here it looks like they're hardly moving, but the winds up there are fast. Faster even than typhoon winds. -- Have you read Ruskin?"
Sanshirō, unfortunately, could not say that he had. Nonomiya simply said, "I see." After a bit he added, "It would be interesting to paint this kind of sky. -- Maybe I'll suggest it to Haraguchi." Sanshirō, of course, did not know of the painter Haraguchi whom Nonomiya had mentioned.
The two of them passed in front of the bronze bust of Erwin Bälz and continued on by the side of the Karatachi temple before emerging onto the main thoroughfare where the electric trains ran. Sanshirō was asked his impression of the bronze bust, and again he struggled for an answer. The thoroughfare was bustling with activity. Trains passed through in an endless procession.
"These trains make quite a racket, don't you think?" Sanshirō in fact found them almost frightful. However, he simply nodded in agreement with Nonomiya's comment. Nonomiya remarked how he disliked the noise, but it didn't seem to be bothering him in the least. "I can't navigate the trains anymore without help from the conductor. They've added so many lines over these past several years. Convenience is never without complication. The same holds true for my research." Nonomiya smiled as he said this.
It was just prior to the start of a new academic term, and there were many students about sporting brand new high school caps. Nonomiya seemed energized by their presence. "Lots of new arrivals. Young people bring so much vitality. By the way, how old are you?" Sanshirō gave his age, just as he had written it in the inn register. "Then you're seven years younger than me. One can accomplish just about anything in seven years. But time slips by quickly. Seven years will be gone before you know it." Sanshirō was unsure how to reconcile Nonomiya's statements.