It would be so natural for those two to want to visit Japan and to know their second home. Yet both Sir Ralph Cairns and Count Saito, the only two men that day who knew anything about the real conditions, had insisted that such a visit would be fatal. And who were these Fujinamis whom Count Saito knew, but did not know? Why had she, who was so socially careful, taken so much for granted just because Asako was a Japanese?
Asa no kami Ware wa kezuraji Utsukushiki Kimi ga ta-makura Fureteshi mono wo.
(My) morning sleep hair
I will not comb;
For it has been in contact with
The pillowing hand of
My beautiful Lord!
The Barringtons left England for a prolonged honeymoon, for Geoffrey was now free to realise his favourite project of travelling abroad. So they became numbered among that shoal of English people out of England, who move restless leisure between Paris and the Nile.
Geoffrey had resigned his commission in the army. His friends thought that this was a mistake. For the loss of a man’s career, even when it is uncongenial to him, is a serious amputation, and entails a lesion of spiritual blood. He had refused his father’s suggestion of settling down in a house on the Brandan estate, for Lord Brandan was an unpleasing old gentleman, a frequenter of country bars and country barmaids. His son wished to keep his young bride as far away as possible from a spectacle of which he was heartily ashamed.
First of all they went to Paris, which Asako adored; for was it not her home? But this time she made the acquaintance of a Paris unknown to her, save by rumour, in the convent days or within the discreet precincts of Monsieur Murata’s villa. She was enchanted by the theatres, the shops, the restaurants, the music, and the life which danced around her. She wanted to rent an appartement, and to live there for the rest of her existence.
“But the season is almost over,” said her husband; “everybody will be leaving.”
Unaccustomed as yet to his freedom, he still felt constrained to do the same as Everybody.
Before leaving Paris, they paid a visit to the Auteuil villa, which had been Asako’s home for so many years.
Murata was the manager of a big Japanese firm in Paris. He had spent almost all his life abroad and the last twenty years of it in the French capital, so that even in appearance, except for his short stature and his tilted eyes, he had come to look like a Frenchman with his beard a l’imperiale, and his quick bird-like gestures. His wife was a Japanese, but she too had lost almost all traces of her native mannerisms.