A Boat upon the Waters

One day early in the New Year, when Niou was at Nakanokimi, a mallet and an artificial seeding pine were delivered there from Ukifune as a New Year’s gift. A little girl came in and handed the princess a letter. "Would the letter be from Kaoru?" "It is a private letter between women," she replied and let him read it. While reading, Niou intuitively understood that the girl, who had become unforgettable since he saw her at Nijo, had written the letter. He left the place recommending that Nakanokimi should reply. He made up his mind to look for Ukifune at Uji.