Page:Kwaidan; Stories and Studies of Strange Things - Hearn - 1904.djvu/35

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followed, Hōïchi heard the voice of the woman whom he supposed to be the Rōjo.

She said:—

"Although we had been assured that you were a very skillful player upon the biwa, and without an equal in recitative, we did not know that any one could be so skillful as you have proved yourself to-night. Our lord has been pleased to say that he intends to bestow upon you a fitting reward. But he desires that you shall perform before him once every night for the next six nights—after which time he will probably make his august return-journey. To-morrow night, therefore, you are to come here at the same hour. The retainer who tonight conducted you will be sent for you. . . There is another matter about which I have been ordered to inform you. It is required that you shall speak to no one of your visits here, during the time of our lord’s august sojourn at Akamagaséki. As he is traveling incognito,[1] he commands that no mention of these things be made. . . . You are now free to go back to your temple.”

After Hōïchi had duly expressed his

  1. “Traveling incognito” is at least the meaning of the original phrase,—"making a disguised august-journey” (shinobi no go-ryokō).