Izzy Bird, further into the woods
Izzy Bird, the junk

Izzy Bird, angry at the ocean


Isabella is on her way to Mori. The horses remain disagreeable.

Like me during my last half-marathon,* Isabella is angry at the ocean. As beautiful as it is, she and the disagreeable horses have had enough of it. “[We] were either walking in a lather of sea foam or were crowded between the cliff and the sea, every larger wave breaking over my foot and irreverently splashing my face; the surges were so loud-lounged and incessant, throwing themselves on the beach with a tremendous boom, and drawing the shingle back with them an equally tremendous rattle, so impolite and noisy, bent only on showing their strength, reckless, rude, self-willed, and inconsiderate! The purposeless display of force, and this incessant waste of power, and the noise self-assertion in both, approach vulgarity!”

Been there.

When she arrives in Mori, which she’d left just three weeks before, she was “very thankful to have accomplished my object without disappointment, disaster, or any considerable discomfort.”

If Ito didn’t absolutely need to be “returned to his master” soon, she’d head back out into the wilds, she says. I doubt Ito would show the same enthusiasm.

Still, a couple of mornings later, when Ito wakes her, he asks: Are you sorry it’s the last day? I am.

She is and is “very sorry to part with the boy who had made himself more useful and invaluable than ever before.”

After they mount up, Isabella sends Ito ahead to Hakodate so that he can collect her letters at the Consulate because she hopes to simply ride to the yadoya and avoid anyone until she can get a bath and a good night’s sleep. Instead, despite dodging into an alley when she spies him, she is found by the Consul himself, who is dressed for a formal dinner.

“… they saw me, and did not wonder that I wished to escape notice, for my old bento’s hat, my torn green paper waterproof, and my riding-skirt and boots, were not only splashed but CAKED with mud, and I had the general look of a person ‘fresh from the wilds.’”

We’re not quite done with Japan yet, FYI. But soon will be.


* https://anothermotherrunner.com/hilton-head-retreat/


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