Saint of Mt. Koya
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Lying in the darkness of the inn in Tsuruga listening to the priest's story, we heard footsteps in the corridor downstairs. Someone was taking long but stealthy steps, yet in the stillness of the lonely night, they sounded all the louder. Apparently someone had gotten up to go to the toilet, and a moment later I heard one of the heavy rain shutters rattle open and the sound of someone washing his hands. I recognized the voice of the landlord as he murmured, "Oh, the snow is really piling up tonight."

"Well," said the priest, "Apparently the Wakasa merchant we were expecting is spending the night elsewhere. I hope he has sweet dreams."

"Go on," I said, "Tell me what happened after that." By this time I was interested in his story and did not want to be distracted by other things. I urged him to continue on with his tale.

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