"Naruhodo," she was noncommittal. "Yes, I see her often here. I have spoken to her."
"But what do you make of it?" Carew's stoicism irritated him. "What do you know about it? Is it The Revolution?"
Still, it was after all a pleasant life and, generally, an easy one. He concluded that Japanese reserve was racial, rather than consciously, deliberatively individual. And still there were times when they would be surprisingly frank, almost incredibly outspoken. Even about such a subject as the Imperial House they would sometimes, even officials, like young Kikuchi, speak in terms entirely democratic, as would an American, expressing carelessly ideas which he knew were well within the "dangerous thought" category of the police. It amazed Kent, left him a little at a loss as to how to reply, careful as he felt that he must be in such matters. At first he thought that the opinions were merely thrown out as bait, to draw him out, sound his views, but he soon concluded that this was not the case, that the spread of liberalism had extended far beyond the masses and was finding converts among the young aristocracy, even among some of its older men. Some of it was pose, he felt, the constant desire to show the foreigner that Japanese were as advanced in modern thought as was he, but at the same time he became convinced that substantially, generally, these men spoke truthfully, just what they thought.
Dick appeared. Kent told him. He laughed. "By Jove, but that's funny. You do need a guardian. The moment I leave you, you start adventuring on your own. That's a very respectable girl, a stenographer in Tokyo, nice parents, you know. She's no motion-picture lady. You can't do like that. If you are so anxious to meet the motion-picture folk, why didn't you tell me. The fact is that there are a couple right here. I had sort of a halfway date with them. Come on. We'll take them to dinner down in one of the tea houses below in the park. You eat Japanese chow, don't you?"
"The work!" Karsten kept scraping at the pipe bowl, methodically held it to the light, inspected it. "It took the heart out of me, this revelation, the sudden shock of it. It had been too perfect, this working away, always in festival spirits, in the atmosphere of affection, devotion, love, damn it, to use the banal old word. I thought I had the rest of my life all well ordered, that peace had come at last. I am too old to start again, and then, anyway, as I told you, there were other reasons. So the workâ€”I have never looked at it since. But," he seemed struck by a sudden thought. "Jun-san," he was still intent with his pipe and did not look up. "Jun-san. Bring out the kodomo."