Shino had gone to bed, but could not sleep in his impatience for the dawn. His head was filled with thoughts about the future. He realized that he was alone, that there was no one to stop him from leaving, but he could not help feeling unhappy that he was now to go far from the graves of his parents and the place that he was born. Hamaji, who regretted his departure no less than he, slipped out of bed and, taking care lest her parents now snoring in the back room should waken, those parents toward whom she felt a resentment she could not voice, she soundlessly stepped over the threshold of the barrier of her maiden reserve, which had hitherto kept her from going to Shino. Her kness trembled, and she could scarcely walk. How dreary, sad, bitter, and hateful the inconstant world now seemed.
When Hamaji came close to Shino's pillow, he saw that someone had entered his room. He drew his sword to him and sprang to his feet. "Who is it?" he cried, but no sound answered him. He wondered uneasily whether some enemy had come to observe whether he was asleep, with the intent of stabbing him to death. He grew moore and more tense. He flashed the light of the lamp and peered into the darkness. Then he saw it was Hamaji. Without warning she had appeared, and now lay motionless on the other side of the mosquito netting, seemingly shaken by grief but unwilling to reveal it by her tears.
Shino was a brave soldier, and would not flinch before the fiercest enemy, but now he was disturbed. Controlling his emotions, he left the mosquito netting and, unfastening the cord by which the netting hung, drew his pallet to where she lay. "Hamaji, what has brought you here in the middle of the night, when you should be sleeping? Have you never heard the proverb, 'Don't arouse suspicion by tying your shoes in the middle of a melon field or by lifting your arms to straighten your hat under a plum tree'?" When he had thus admonished her, Hamaji brushing away her tears, lifted her head in indignation. "How cruel of you to ask me that in that impersonal way why I have come! If we were joined but casually, and husband and wife only in name, you might well speak in that way, but were we not wedded with my parents' consent? whatever might be the proper behavior under normal circumstances, it is heartless of you tonight, our last night for farewells, to order me out with a careless word. You are pretending not to know what I feel because you are afraid thatit might bring discredit to you. How hardhearted of you!"
Shino sighed in spite of himself. "I am not made of wood or stone, and whether I wish it or not, I know what tender emotions are. But it can serve no purpose for me to voice my feelings-it will only arouse antipathy of your parents. I know that you will be true to me, and you must know what lies within my heart. Koga is a bare forty miles from here-it takes no more than three or four days to make the journey there and back. Please wait till I return."
He tried to persuade her, but Hamaji, wiping her eyes, exclaimed, "What you say is false. Once you leave here, what will ever make you return? The bird in the cage longs for the sky becuase it misses its friends; when a man leaves his home it must be because he is thinking of his advancement. You cannot depend on the likes and dislikes of my parents. They are sending you off now because you are i the way, and they have no desire for your return. Once you leave here, when will you come back? Tonight is the last night we have of parting...(A long passage is omitted here in which Hamaji describes her real family).
"Ever since the seventh moon of last year the little stream of our love has been dammed and its passage cut, but one thing remains unchanged, like the downward flow of water, the sincerity of my heart. Not a day has passed but that I have prayed morning and night for your saftey, succedd, and prosperity, but you remain extremely hard of heart. Is it because of duty to your aunt that you are deserting your wife? If you had in you one-hundreth of the depth of felling that I have, you would say to me, 'For one reason or another the day of my return may be doubtful. Let us steal off secretly, together.' We are man and wife-who would slander you as being my paramour? But however cruel I think you are, I cannot, with my women's heart, bear seperation from you. Rather than that I be deserted and left to die of longing for you, kill me with your sword. I shall wait for you in the world to come, a hundred years if need be." To these she added many words of persuasion, relating one after another the painful griefs she bore, and though she kept herself from weeping aloud, a thousand tears coursed down to soak her sleeves.
Shino could very well say that it would bring embarrassment if her voice were heard outside the room, and since there was no way now to undo the ties them, he could only sigh sadly. He said, with his hands folded on his knees, "every one of your reproaches is justified, but what can I do, Hamaji? My departure is by command of my uncle and aunt. I know that they are really sending me to a distant place so as to get a new husband for you. The problem is that I am. and yet I am not,, your husband (They have been engaged by parent's consent, but a weeding ceremony has not actally taken place). Your parents probably suspect our true feelings. However, if now I let myself be guided by my emotions and take you off with me, what man will ot say that it was a deed of lust? It will be painful for you to remain behind, but it will be for my sake. And if I go, though it is difficult for me to do so, will that not also be for your sake? Even if we are parted for a brief while, as long as our hearts remain constant a time will surely come when we can be fully married. Please go back to bed before your parents awaken. Please go quickly."