First Issue: USAGI YOJIMBO Volume 1, Issue 5
Comics Which Contain This Story
This story can be found in the following comics:
The following characters are mentioned in the story:
As Usagi wanders through the countryside, he happens upon a group of thugs beating a helpless peasant. Killing many and scattering the rest, he rescues the old man who is called Jiro. He is a silk worker as are all those from his village to which he takes Usagi, telling him that a large group of bandits are terrorising the area.
Usagi is taken to meet Jiro's employer, Kaiko-san, who turns out to be a rude and arrogant merchant, berating Jiro for putting himself in danger and jeopardising the productivity of the silk works. Usagi offers his help in dealing with the bandit presence, however he too is treated rudely. It would appear another samurai - Matsutaro - has already been hired for the job.
Usagi accepts Jiro's hospitality for the night, and winds up entertaining Jiro's children. Genta, one of the children idolises Usagi and asks for a display of his skill, which Usagi gladly obliges with.
The following day, Usagi sits down for a drink with Matsutaro. Matsutaro is all talk until Usagi points out that the silk fair begins tomorrow, surely heralding the arrival of the bandits in town. At that moment, one of the villagers raises the alarm. The bandits approach. Matsutaro becomes suddenly scarce, moving at speed from the town.
Usagi meets the bandits on the forest path toward the city. Standing alone, the bandits see no other danger, rushing him on the cramped path. Hindering each other, Usagi is able to kill many of the bandits. Trying to outflank him, they move off the path to find many sewing needles sticking point up in the earth. It is not until then they realise why Usagi is wearing wooden Geta.
Usagi flees toward the village, attempting to gain better position, and the bandits follow suit - into Usagi's trap. Hundreds of silk streamers fly out from the trees, entangling the bandits, who are unable to break or cut through the cloth. With the bandit menace now ended, Kaiko has no choice but to pay Usagi's price.
Jiro walks with Usagi as he leaves the village, thanking him for saving their homes. He also tells Usagi that with the money they were paid, the villagers were able to finance their own silk works, cutting out the greedy merchant entirely.