Madame Chrysanthème, by Pierre Loti

Chapter 19

My Japanese Relatives

Japanese relatives, very numerous and conspicuous, are a great source of amusement to those of my brother officers who visit me in my villa on the hill — most especially to ‘komodachi taksan takai’ (“the tall friend”).

I have a charming mother-in-law — quite a woman of the world — tiny sisters-in-law, little cousins, and aunts who are still quite young.

I have even a poor second cousin, who is a djin. There was some hesitation in owning this latter to me; but, behold! during the ceremony of introduction, we exchanged a smile of recognition. It was Number 415!

Over this poor Number 415 my friends on board crack no end of jokes — one in particular, who, less than any one has the right to make them, little Charles N——, for his mother-in-law was once a concierge, or something of the kind, at the gateway of a pagoda.

I, however, who have a great respect for strength and agility, much appreciate this new relative of mine. His legs are undoubtedly the best in all Nagasaki, and whenever I am in haste, I always beg Madame Prune to send down to the djin-stand and engage my cousin.

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Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 22:36