The Woodcutter's Testimony

Yes, sir. It was I who found the body. I was out cutting my daily quota of cedars this morning when I found it in a hollow in the mountains. It was in an out- of-the-way grove of bamboo and cedars about 150 meters off the Yamashina stage road.

He was lying flat on its back, wearing a bluish silk kimono and a wrinkled Kyoto-style cap. A single sword-stroke had pierced the breast. The fallen bamboo-blades around it were stained with bloody blossoms.

No, the blood was no longer running. The wound had dried up, and a gad-fly was stuck fast there, hardly noticing my footsteps.

Did I see a sword or any other objects? No, nothing, sir. I found only a rope at the root of a cedar nearby. And...well, I also found a comb. That was all. He must have made a battle of it before he was murdered, because the grass and fallen bamboo-blades had been trampled down all around.

Was there a horse nearby? No, sir. It's hard enough for a man to enter, let alone a horse.