ghostly visitation. None of them doubted that the promised vengeance would come; and their constant terror caused them to hear and to see much that did not exist. They became afraid of the sound of the wind in the bamboos, — afraid even of the stirring of shadows in the garden. At last, after taking counsel together, they decided to petition their master to have a Ségaki-service performed on behalf of the vengeful spirit.
“Quite unnecessary,” the samurai said, when his chief retainer had uttered the general wish. . . . “I understand that the desire of a dying man for revenge may be a cause for fear. But in this case there is nothing to fear.”
The retainer looked at his master beseechingly, but hesitated to ask the reason of this alarming confidence.
“Oh, the reason is simple enough,” declared the samurai, divining the unspoken doubt. “Only the very last intention of that fellow could have been dangerous; and when I challenged him to give me the sign, I diverted his mind from the desire of revenge. He died with the set purpose of biting the steppingstone ; and that purpose he was able to accomplish, but nothing else. All the rest he must