Novella is a different version of the same event, expressed by different people.
The woodcutter told during the interrogation that he had found the corpse of a man in a grove under a mountain, where bamboo grows interspersed with young cryptomeria. The man was lying on his back, he had a light blue suikan, in his chest a wound was gaping. There was no weapon near, only a rope and a comb.
The wandering monk said during the interrogation that he had met the man killed on the road from Yamasin to Sekiyama on the eve. With him was a woman sitting on a red horse. The man had a sword behind his belt and a bow with arrows behind him. The woman was wearing a broad-brimmed hat, and her face was not visible.
The guard said during the interrogation that he had caught the famous robber Tadzemar. Tadzemar had a sword in his belt, and a bow and arrows. The red-haired horse threw it off and plucked the grass nearby.
The old woman said during interrogation that she would recognize Kanadzawa Takehiro in the murder of his twenty-six-year-old son-in-law. On the eve of the daughter of an old woman, nineteen-year-old Masago and her husband went to Bakaev. With the fate of her son-in-law, the old woman reconciled, but anxiety for her daughter does not give her rest: the young woman disappeared, and she can not be found.
Tadzemaru confessed during interrogation that it was he who killed the man. He met him and his wife on the eve of noon. The breeze threw back the silk veil that covered the woman’s face, and for a moment her face flashed before Tadzemar. It seemed so beautiful to him that he decided at all costs to take possession of a woman, even if for the sake of it he had to kill a man. When they want to take possession of a woman, a man is always killed. Tadzemaru kills with a sword, because he is a robber, while others kill with power, money, flattery. The blood is not spilled, and the man remains unharmed, but nevertheless, he is killed, and who knows whose wine is heavier – the one who kills the weapon, or the one who kills without weapons?
But the murder of a man was not the goal of Tadzemar. He decided to try to master a woman without murder. For this he lured them into the thicket. It turned out to be easy: Tadzemaru joined them as a fellow traveler and began to brag that he unearthed the mound on the mountain, found there many mirrors and swords and buried it all in the grove under the mountain. Tadzemaru said that he was ready to sell cheaply any item if there was one. The man was flattered by the treasure, and soon the travelers followed Tadzemar along the path to the mountain, Tadzemaru said that things were buried in the most frequent way, and the man went with him, and the woman remained to wait while sitting on the horse. Having brought a man into the thicket, Tadzemaru attacked him and tied him to the tree trunk, and so that he could not scream, he killed his mouth with fallen bamboo leaves. Then Tadzemaru returned to the woman and said that her companion had suddenly fallen sick and she had to go see, What about him. The woman obediently followed Tadzemar, but as soon as she saw the husband tied to the tree, she snatched the dagger from behind her bosom and rushed to the robber. The woman was very brave,... and Tadzemar could hardly manage to dislodge the dagger from her hands. Disarming the woman, Tadzemaru was able to seize it, not depriving the man of life.
After that, he wanted to hide, but the woman clung to his sleeve and shouted that being dishonored in front of two men is worse than death, so one of them must die. She promised that she would go with the one who survived. Burning eyes of the woman captivated Tadzemar, and he wanted to take her as his wife. He decided to kill a man. He untied it and invited him to fight with swords. The man with a distorted face rushed to Tadzemar. At the twenty-third stroke, Tadzemaru’s sword was pierced by the man’s chest. As soon as he fell, Tadzemaru turned to the woman, but she was nowhere to be found. When Tadzemaru got to the path, he saw a woman’s horse, peacefully tweaking the grass. Tadzemaru does not ask for indulgence, for he understands that he is worthy of the most brutal execution, besides, he always knew that someday his head would hang around the top of the column.
The woman told a confession in the temple of Kiyomizu that, having mastered her, the robber turned to her bound husband and laughed mockingly. She wanted to approach her husband, but the robber kicked her to the ground. At that moment she saw that her husband looked at her with cold contempt. From horror before this look, the woman lost her senses. When she came to, the robber was gone. Her husband still looked at her with contempt and secret hatred. Unable to bear such a shame, she decided to kill her husband, and then commit suicide. The sword and the bow with the arrows were taken by the robber, but the dagger was lying at her feet. She picked it up and thrust it into her husband’s chest, then fainted again. When she woke up, her husband was no longer breathing. She tried to commit suicide, but could not, and does not know what to do now.
The spirit of the prophetess killed by the mouths said that having seized his wife, the robber sat down next to her and began to console her. The robber said that he decided to commit outrage because she fell in love with him. After what happened, she can no longer live with her husband, as before, so is not it better for her to marry a robber? The woman raised her face thoughtfully and told the robber that he could lead her wherever he wanted. Then she began to ask the robber to kill her husband: she can not stay with the bandit while her husband is alive. Without answering either “yes” or “no”, the robber threw it at a pile of fallen leaves. He asked the woman’s husband what to do with her: kill or pardon? While the husband hesitated, the woman rushed to run. The robber rushed after her, but she managed to escape. Then the robber took a sword, a bow and arrows, untied a rope, which the man was attached to a tree, and left. The man picked up the dagger, dropped by his wife, and thrust it into his chest. Dying, he heard someone quietly crept up to him. He wanted to see who it was, but the whole world was covered with twilight. The man felt as someone’s invisible hand took the dagger from his chest. At the same instant, his mouth filled with gushing blood, and he immersed himself forever in the darkness of nothingness.