In the evening of that spring day the far-away hills of Nikko and Ashio, and those on the borders of Echigo, as well as the nearer peaks of Onoko, Komochi, and Akagi, were glorious in the rays of the sinking sun. Even the cawing of the crows, flying from a tree just beneath, seemed to be toned with gold, as two fragments of cloud floated out from behind Akagi. The lady at the screen in the third story was watching their movement.
The downy clouds, not larger than could be embraced with both arms, slowly separated from the summit, and, glittering like two golden butterflies, sailed on side by side toward Ashio through the boundless mid-air. With the setting of the sun and the rising of a cool breeze in the tawny dusk, they now faded into pink, were blown off one above the other, and were seen wandering separate in the slowly darkening sky. But it was only for a short time. The lower grew smaller and smaller, and finally faded away almost unobserved. The remaining fragment now turned into dismal gray and wandered aimlessly.
Presently the hills and skies were shrouded in darkness, and only the face of the lady at the screen in the third story was seen pale in the night.