“I don’t think they like me,” said Geoffrey. “I’m too big.”
“Oh, no,” said the Japanese; “very big, very good. Japanese man too small, no good at all. Why do all geisha love sumotori (professional wrestlers)? Because sumotori very big; but this English gentleman bigger than sumotori. So this girl love you, and this girl, and this girl, and this very pretty girl, I don’t know?”
He added a question in Japanese. The geisha giggled, and hid her face behind her sleeve.
“She say, she wish to try first. To try the cake, you eat some? Is that right?”
He repeated his joke in Japanese. The girl wriggled with embarrassment, and finally scuttled away across the room, while the others laughed.
All the geisha now hid their faces among much tittering.
Geoffrey was becoming harassed by this badinage; but he hated to appear a prude, and said:
“I have got a wife, you know, Mr. Fujinami; she is keeping an eye on me.”
“No matter, no matter,” the young man answered, waving his hand to and fro; “we all have wife; wife no matter in Japan.”
At last Geoffrey got back to his throne at Asako’s side. He was wondering what would be the next move in the game when, to his relief and surprise, Ito, after a glance at his watch, said suddenly:
“It is now time to go home. Please say good-bye to Mr. and Mrs. Fujinami.”
A sudden dismissal, but none the less welcome.
The inner circle of the Fujinami had gathered round. They and the geisha escorted their guests to the rickshaws and helped them on with their cloaks and boots. There was no pressing to remain; and as Geoffrey passed the clock in the entrance hall he noticed that it was just ten o’clock. Evidently the entertainment was run with strict adherence to the time-table.
Some of the guests were too deep in sake and flirtation to be aware of the break-up; and the last vision granted to Geoffrey of the M.P.—the fat man with the wen—was of a kind of Turkey Trot going on in a corner of the room, and the thick arms of the legislator disappearing up the lady’s kimono sleeve.
Iro wa nioedo Chirinuru wo— Woga yo tore zo Tsune naran? Ui no okuyama Kyo koete, Asaki yume miji Ei mo sezu.
The colours are bright, but
The petals fall!
In this world of ours who
Shall remain forever?
The high mountains of mutability,
We shall see no fleeting dreams,
Being inebriate no longer.
“O hay[=o] gazaimas!” (Respectfully early!)
Twitterings of maid-servants salute the lady of the house with the conventional morning greeting. Mrs. Fujinami Shidzuye replies in the high, fluty, unnatural voice which is considered refined in her social set.