He turned a corner and saw such a fountain partway down the corridor. At the other end of the hall, however, he saw the figure of another great samurai. The two knew each other by reputation, but had never before met.
The two advanced slowly towards each other, and the fountain. Soon it became apparent that they would reach the fountain at the same time. This created a problem--if one of them had arrived before the other, then it would be merely honourable for the second to wait for the other to drink his fill.
The first samurai said to the other, "I beg of you to let this humble warrior drink first, for I have a great thirst."
The second samurai replied, "I would certainly concede the honour to so great a warrior as you must surely be, but my thirst is also great."
Neither would give way. Both pulled out their katanas with one swift movement, and their eyes met.
They froze for a time, their gazes locked.
And then they sheathed their katanas, bowed, and turned away from the fountain, heading back the way they had come in search of other fountains. Never would the two meet again.
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