She was only a dancer in a provincial pleasure house, but those who owned her were wise enough to see her quality and husband her virtue.
It was high summer when curiosity brought the shogun himself to visit. He expected to be bored.
Instead, he was sufficiently diverted to buy the dancer and take her back to the city.
He freed the girl and settled money on her.
“Sometimes,” he said to his favourite son, “ there is merit to be gained in freeing an exotic butterfly.”
His son bowed.
“Besides which,” he added, “sixty is a poor match for fifteen.”