MR Leopold Bloom ate with
relish the inner organs of beasts and
fowls. He liked thick giblet soup, nutty gizzards, a stuffed roast heart,
liverslices fried with crustcrumbs, fried hencods' roes. Most of all he
grilled mutton kidneys which gave to his palate a fine tang of faintly
Kidneys were in his mind as he moved about the kitchen softly,
righting her breakfast things on the humpy tray. Gelid light and air were
the kitchen but out of doors gentle summer morning everywhere. Made him
feel a bit peckish.
The coals were reddening.
Another slice of bread and butter: three, four: right. She didn't like
her plate full. Right. He turned from the tray, lifted the kettle off the
and set it sideways on the fire. It sat there, dull and squat, its spout
out. Cup of tea soon. Good. Mouth dry.
The cat walked stiffly round a leg of the table with tail on high.
O, there you are, Mr Bloom said, turning from the fire.
The cat mewed in answer and stalked again stiffly round a leg of the
table, mewing. Just how she stalks over my writingtable. Prr. Scratch my
Mr Bloom watched curiously, kindly the lithe black form. Clean to
see: the gloss of her sleek hide, the white button under the butt of her
the green flashing eyes. He bent down to her, his hands on his knees.
Milk for the pussens, he said.
Mrkgnao! the cat cried.
They call them stupid. They understand what we say better than we
understand them. She understands all she wants to. Vindictive too. Cruel.
Her nature. Curious mice never squeal. Seem to like it. Wonder what I look
like to her. Height of a tower? No, she can jump me.
Afraid of the chickens she is, he said mockingly. Afraid of the
chookchooks. I never saw such a stupid pussens as the pussens.
Mrkrgnao! the cat said loudly.
She blinked up out of her avid shameclosing eyes, mewing plaintively
and long, showing him her milkwhite teeth. He watched the dark eyeslits
narrowing with greed till her eyes were green stones. Then he went to the
dresser, took the jug Hanlon's milkman had just filled for him, poured
warmbubbled milk on a saucer and set it slowly on the floor.
Gurrhr! she cried, running to lap.
He watched the bristles shining wirily in the weak light as she tipped
three times and licked lightly. Wonder is it true if you clip them they
mouse after. Why? They shine in the dark, perhaps, the tips. Or kind of
feelers in the dark, perhaps.
He listened to her licking lap. Ham and eggs, no. No good eggs with
this drouth. Want pure fresh water. Thursday: not a good day either for
mutton kidney at Buckley's. Fried with butter, a shake of pepper. Better
pork kidney at Dlugacz's. While the kettle is boiling. She lapped slower,
then licking the saucer clean. Why are their tongues so rough? To lap
better, all porous holes. Nothing she can eat? He glanced round him. No.
On quietly creaky boots he went up the staircase to the hall, paused
by the bedroom door. She might like something tasty. Thin bread and
butter she likes in the morning. Still perhaps: once in a way.
He said softly in the bare hall:
I'm going round the corner. Be back in a minute.
And when he had heard his voice say it he added:
You don't want anything for breakfast?
A sleepy soft grunt answered:
No. She didn't want anything. He heard then a warm heavy sigh,
softer, as she turned over and the loose brass quoits of the bedstead jingled.
Must get those settled really. Pity. All the way from Gibraltar. Forgotten
any little Spanish she knew. Wonder what her father gave for it. Old style.
Ah yes! of course. Bought it at the governor's auction. Got a short knock.
Hard as nails at a bargain, old Tweedy. Yes, sir. At Plevna that was. I
from the ranks, sir, and I'm proud of it. Still he had brains enough to
that corner in stamps. Now that was farseeing.
His hand took his hat from the peg over his initialled heavy overcoat
and his lost property office secondhand waterproof. Stamps: stickyback
pictures. Daresay lots of officers are in the swim too. Course they do.
sweated legend in the crown of his hat told him mutely: Plasto's high grade
ha. He peeped quickly inside the leather headband. White slip of paper.
On the doorstep he felt in his hip pocket for the latchkey. Not there.
In the trousers I left off. Must get it. Potato I have. Creaky wardrobe.
use disturbing her. She turned over sleepily that time. He pulled the
halldoor to after him very quietly, more, till the footleaf dropped gently
the threshold, a limp lid. Looked shut. All right till I come back anyhow.
He crossed to the bright side, avoiding the loose cellarflap of number
seventyfive. The sun was nearing the steeple of George's church. Be a warm
day I fancy. Specially in these black clothes feel it more. Black conducts,
reflects, (refracts is it?), the heat. But I couldn't go in that light
suit. Make a
picnic of it. His eyelids sank quietly often as he walked in happy
Boland's breadvan delivering with trays our daily but she prefers
yesterday's loaves turnovers crisp crowns hot. Makes you feel young.
Somewhere in the east: early morning: set off at dawn. Travel round in
front of the sun, steal a day's march on him. Keep it up for ever never
a day older technically. Walk along a strand, strange land, come to a city
gate, sentry there, old ranker too, old Tweedy's big moustaches, leaning
a long kind of a spear. Wander through awned streets. Turbaned faces
going by. Dark caves of carpet shops, big man, Turko the terrible, seated
crosslegged, smoking a coiled pipe. Cries of sellers in the streets. Drink
water scented with fennel, sherbet. Dander along all day. Might meet a
robber or two. Well, meet him. Getting on to sundown. The shadows of the
mosques among the pillars: priest with a scroll rolled up. A shiver of
trees, signal, the evening wind. I pass on. Fading gold sky. A mother
watches me from her doorway. She calls her children home in their dark
language. High wall: beyond strings twanged. Night sky, moon, violet,
colour of Molly's new garters. Strings. Listen. A girl playing one of those
instruments what do you call them: dulcimers. I pass.
Probably not a bit like it really. Kind of stuff you read: in the track
the sun. Sunburst on the titlepage. He smiled, pleasing himself. What
Arthur Griffith said about the headpiece over the Freeman leader:
homerule sun rising up in the northwest from the laneway behind the bank
of Ireland. He prolonged his pleased smile. Ikey touch that: homerule sun
rising up in the northwest.
He approached Larry O'Rourke's. From the cellar grating floated up
the flabby gush of porter. Through the open doorway the bar squirted out
whiffs of ginger, teadust, biscuitmush. Good house, however: just the end
of the city traffic. For instance M'Auley's down there: n. g. as position.
course if they ran a tramline along the North Circular from the
cattlemarket to the quays value would go up like a shot.
Baldhead over the blind. Cute old codger. No use canvassing him for
an ad. Still he knows his own business best. There he is, sure enough,
bold Larry, leaning against the sugarbin in his shirtsleeves watching the
aproned curate swab up with mop and bucket. Simon Dedalus takes him
off to a tee with his eyes screwed up. Do you know what I'm going to tell
you? What's that, Mr O'Rourke? Do you know what? The Russians,
they'd only be an eight o'clock breakfast for the Japanese.
Stop and say a word: about the funeral perhaps. Sad thing about
poor Dignam, Mr O'Rourke.
Turning into Dorset street he said freshly in greeting through the
Good day, Mr O'Rourke.
Good day to you.
Lovely weather, sir.
'Tis all that.
Where do they get the money? Coming up redheaded curates from
the county Leitrim, rinsing empties and old man in the cellar. Then, lo
behold, they blossom out as Adam Findlaters or Dan Tallons. Then think
the competition. General thirst. Good puzzle would be cross Dublin
without passing a pub. Save it they can't. Off the drunks perhaps. Put
three and carry five. What is that, a bob here and there, dribs and drabs.
On the wholesale orders perhaps. Doing a double shuffle with the town
travellers. Square it you with the boss and we'll split the job, see?
How much would that tot to off the porter in the month? Say ten
barrels of stuff. Say he got ten per cent off. O more. Fifteen. He passed
Saint Joseph's National school. Brats' clamour. Windows open. Fresh air
helps memory. Or a lilt. Ahbeesee defeegee kelomen opeecue rustyouvee
doubleyou. Boys are they? Yes. Inishturk. Inishark. Inishboffin. At their
joggerfry. Mine. Slieve Bloom.
He halted before Dlugacz's window, staring at the hanks of sausages,
polonies, black and white. Fifteen multiplied by. The figures whitened
mind, unsolved: displeased, he let them fade. The shiny links, packed with
forcemeat, fed his gaze and he breathed in tranquilly the lukewarm breath
of cooked spicy pigs' blood.
A kidney oozed bloodgouts on the willowpatterned dish: the last. He
stood by the nextdoor girl at the counter. Would she buy it too, calling
items from a slip in her hand? Chapped: washingsoda. And a pound and a
half of Denny's sausages. His eyes rested on her vigorous hips. Woods his
name is. Wonder what he does. Wife is oldish. New blood. No followers
allowed. Strong pair of arms. Whacking a carpet on the clothesline. She
does whack it, by George. The way her crooked skirt swings at each whack.
The ferreteyed porkbutcher folded the sausages he had snipped off
with blotchy fingers, sausagepink. Sound meat there: like a stallfed heifer.
He took a page up from the pile of cut sheets: the model farm at
Kinnereth on the lakeshore of Tiberias. Can become ideal winter
sanatorium. Moses Montefiore. I thought he was. Farmhouse, wall round it,
blurred cattle cropping. He held the page from him: interesting: read it
nearer, the title, the blurred cropping cattle, the page rustling. A young
white heifer. Those mornings in the cattlemarket, the beasts lowing in
pens, branded sheep, flop and fall of dung, the breeders in hobnailed boots
trudging through the litter, slapping a palm on a ripemeated hindquarter,
there's a prime one, unpeeled switches in their hands. He held the page
aslant patiently, bending his senses and his will, his soft subject gaze
The crooked skirt swinging, whack by whack by whack.
The porkbutcher snapped two sheets from the pile, wrapped up her
prime sausages and made a red grimace.
Now, my miss, he said.
She tendered a coin, smiling boldly, holding her thick wrist out.
Thank you, my miss. And one shilling threepence change. For you,
Mr Bloom pointed quickly. To catch up and walk behind her if she
went slowly, behind her moving hams. Pleasant to see first thing in the
morning. Hurry up, damn it. Make hay while the sun shines. She stood
outside the shop in sunlight and sauntered lazily to the right. He sighed
down his nose: they never understand. Sodachapped hands. Crusted
toenails too. Brown scapulars in tatters, defending her both ways. The
of disregard glowed to weak pleasure within his breast. For another: a
constable off duty cuddling her in Eccles lane. They like them sizeable.
Prime sausage. O please, Mr Policeman, I'm lost in the wood.
His hand accepted the moist tender gland and slid it into a sidepocket.
Then it fetched up three coins from his trousers' pocket and laid them
the rubber prickles. They lay, were read quickly and quickly slid, disc
disc, into the till.
Thank you, sir. Another time.
A speck of eager fire from foxeyes thanked him. He withdrew his
gaze after an instant. No: better not: another time.
Good morning, he said, moving away.
Good morning, sir.
No sign. Gone. What matter?
He walked back along Dorset street, reading gravely. Agendath
Netaim: planters' company. To purchase waste sandy tracts from Turkish
government and plant with eucalyptus trees. Excellent for shade, fuel and
construction. Orangegroves and immense melonfields north of Jaffa. You
pay eighty marks and they plant a dunam of land for you with olives,
oranges, almonds or citrons. Olives cheaper: oranges need artificial
irrigation. Every year you get a sending of the crop. Your name entered
life as owner in the book of the union. Can pay ten down and the balance
yearly instalments. Bleibtreustrasse 34, Berlin, W. 15.
Nothing doing. Still an idea behind it.
He looked at the cattle, blurred in silver heat. Silverpowdered
olivetrees. Quiet long days: pruning, ripening. Olives are packed in jars,
eh? I have a few left from Andrews. Molly spitting them out. Knows the
taste of them now. Oranges in tissue paper packed in crates. Citrons too.
Wonder is poor Citron still in Saint Kevin's parade. And Mastiansky with
the old cither. Pleasant evenings we had then. Molly in Citron's
basketchair. Nice to hold, cool waxen fruit, hold in the hand, lift it
nostrils and smell the perfume. Like that, heavy, sweet, wild perfume.
Always the same, year after year. They fetched high prices too, Moisel
me. Arbutus place: Pleasants street: pleasant old times. Must be without
flaw, he said. Coming all that way: Spain, Gibraltar, Mediterranean, the
Levant. Crates lined up on the quayside at Jaffa, chap ticking them off
book, navvies handling them barefoot in soiled dungarees. There's
whatdoyoucallhim out of. How do you? Doesn't see. Chap you know just
to salute bit of a bore. His back is like that Norwegian captain's. Wonder
I'll meet him today. Watering cart. To provoke the rain. On earth as
it is in
A cloud began to cover the sun slowly, wholly. Grey. Far.
No, not like that. A barren land, bare waste. Vulcanic lake, the dead
sea: no fish, weedless, sunk deep in the earth. No wind could lift those
waves, grey metal, poisonous foggy waters. Brimstone they called it raining
down: the cities of the plain: Sodom, Gomorrah, Edom. All dead names. A
dead sea in a dead land, grey and old. Old now. It bore the oldest, the
race. A bent hag crossed from Cassidy's, clutching a naggin bottle by the
neck. The oldest people. Wandered far away over all the earth, captivity
captivity, multiplying, dying, being born everywhere. It lay there now.
it could bear no more. Dead: an old woman's: the grey sunken cunt of the
Grey horror seared his flesh. Folding the page into his pocket he
turned into Eccles street, hurrying homeward. Cold oils slid along his
chilling his blood: age crusting him with a salt cloak. Well, I am here
Yes, I am here now. Morning mouth bad images. Got up wrong side of the
bed. Must begin again those Sandow's exercises. On the hands down.
Blotchy brown brick houses. Number eighty still unlet. Why is that?
Valuation is only twentyeight. Towers, Battersby, North, MacArthur:
parlour windows plastered with bills. Plasters on a sore eye. To smell
gentle smoke of tea, fume of the pan, sizzling butter. Be near her ample
bedwarmed flesh. Yes, yes.
Quick warm sunlight came running from Berkeley road, swiftly, in
slim sandals, along the brightening footpath. Runs, she runs to meet me,
girl with gold hair on the wind.
Two letters and a card lay on the hallfloor. He stooped and gathered
them. Mrs Marion Bloom. His quickened heart slowed at once. Bold hand.
Entering the bedroom he halfclosed his eyes and walked through
warm yellow twilight towards her tousled head.
Who are the letters for?
He looked at them. Mullingar. Milly.
A letter for me from Milly, he said carefully, and a card to you. And
letter for you.
He laid her card and letter on the twill bedspread near the curve of
Do you want the blind up?
Letting the blind up by gentle tugs halfway his backward eye saw her
glance at the letter and tuck it under her pillow.
That do? he asked, turning.
She was reading the card, propped on her elbow.
She got the things, she said.
He waited till she had laid the card aside and curled herself back
slowly with a snug sigh.
Hurry up with that tea, she said. I'm parched.
The kettle is boiling, he said.
But he delayed to clear the chair: her striped petticoat, tossed soiled
linen: and lifted all in an armful on to the foot of the bed.
As he went down the kitchen stairs she called:
Scald the teapot.
On the boil sure enough: a plume of steam from the spout. He
scalded and rinsed out the teapot and put in four full spoons of tea, tilting
the kettle then to let the water flow in. Having set it to draw he took
kettle, crushed the pan flat on the live coals and watched the lump of
slide and melt. While he unwrapped the kidney the cat mewed hungrily
against him. Give her too much meat she won't mouse. Say they won't eat
pork. Kosher. Here. He let the bloodsmeared paper fall to her and dropped
the kidney amid the sizzling butter sauce. Pepper. He sprinkled it through
his fingers ringwise from the chipped eggcup.
Then he slit open his letter, glancing down the page and over.
Thanks: new tam: Mr Coghlan: lough Owel picnic: young student: Blazes
Boylan's seaside girls.
The tea was drawn. He filled his own moustachecup, sham crown
Derby, smiling. Silly Milly's birthday gift. Only five she was then. No,
four. I gave her the amberoid necklace she broke. Putting pieces of folded
brown paper in the letterbox for her. He smiled, pouring.
Poor old professor Goodwin. Dreadful old case. Still he was a
courteous old chap. Oldfashioned way he used to bow Molly off the
platform. And the little mirror in his silk hat. The night Milly brought
into the parlour. O, look what I found in professor Goodwin's hat! All
laughed. Sex breaking out even then. Pert little piece she was.
He prodded a fork into the kidney and slapped it over: then fitted the
teapot on the tray. Its hump bumped as he took it up. Everything on it?
Bread and butter, four, sugar, spoon, her cream. Yes. He carried it upstairs,
his thumb hooked in the teapot handle.
Nudging the door open with his knee he carried the tray in and set it
on the chair by the bedhead.
What a time you were! she said.
She set the brasses jingling as she raised herself briskly, an elbow on
the pillow. He looked calmly down on her bulk and between her large soft
bubs, sloping within her nightdress like a shegoat's udder. The warmth
her couched body rose on the air, mingling with the fragrance of the tea
A strip of torn envelope peeped from under the dimpled pillow. In the
act of going he stayed to straighten the bedspread.
Who was the letter from? he asked.
Bold hand. Marion.
O, Boylan, she said. He's bringing the programme.
What are you singing?
Là ci darem with J. C. Doyle, she said, and Love's Old Sweet
Her full lips, drinking, smiled. Rather stale smell that incense leaves
next day. Like foul flowerwater.
Would you like the window open a little?
She doubled a slice of bread into her mouth, asking:
What time is the funeral?
Eleven, I think, he answered. I didn't see the paper.
Following the pointing of her finger he took up a leg of her soiled
drawers from the bed. No? Then, a twisted grey garter looped round a
stocking: rumpled, shiny sole.
No: that book.
Other stocking. Her petticoat.
It must have fell down, she said.
He felt here and there. Voglio e non vorrei. Wonder if she pronounces
that right: voglio. Not in the bed. Must have slid down. He stooped
lifted the valance. The book, fallen, sprawled against the bulge of the
Show here, she said. I put a mark in it. There's a word I wanted to
She swallowed a draught of tea from her cup held by nothandle and,
having wiped her fingertips smartly on the blanket, began to search the
with the hairpin till she reached the word.
Met him what? he asked.
Here, she said. What does that mean?
He leaned downward and read near her polished thumbnail.
Yes. Who's he when he's at home?
Metempsychosis, he said, frowning. It's Greek: from the Greek. That
means the transmigration of souls.
O, rocks! she said. Tell us in plain words.
He smiled, glancing askance at her mocking eyes. The same young
eyes. The first night after the charades. Dolphin's Barn. He turned over
smudged pages. Ruby: the Pride of the Ring. Hello. Illustration.
Italian with carriagewhip. Must be Ruby pride of the on the floor naked.
Sheet kindly lent. The monster Maffei desisted and flung his victim
with an oath. Cruelty behind it all. Doped animals. Trapeze at Hengler's.
Had to look the other way. Mob gaping. Break your neck and we'll break
our sides. Families of them. Bone them young so they metamspychosis.
That we live after death. Our souls. That a man's soul after he dies,
Dignam's soul ....
Did you finish it? he asked.
Yes, she said. There's nothing smutty in it. Is she in love with the
fellow all the time?
Never read it. Do you want another?
Yes. Get another of Paul de Kock's. Nice name he has.
She poured more tea into her cup, watching it flow sideways.
Must get that Capel street library book renewed or they'll write to
Kearney, my guarantor. Reincarnation: that's the word.
Some people believe, he said, that we go on living in another body after
death, that we lived before. They call it reincarnation. That we all lived
before on the earth thousands of years ago or some other planet. They say
we have forgotten it. Some say they remember their past lives.
The sluggish cream wound curdling spirals through her tea. Bette
remind her of the word: metempsychosis. An example would be better. An
The Bath of the Nymph over the bed. Given away with the Easter
number of Photo Bits: splendid masterpiece in art colours. Tea before
put milk in. Not unlike her with her hair down: slimmer. Three and six
gave for the frame. She said it would look nice over the bed. Naked
nymphs: Greece: and for instance all the people that lived then.
He turned the pages back.
Metempsychosis, he said, is what the ancient Greeks called it. They
to believe you could be changed into an animal or a tree, for instance.
they called nymphs, for example.
Her spoon ceased to stir up the sugar. She gazed straight before her,
inhaling through her arched nostrils.
There's a smell of burn, she said. Did you leave anything on the fire?
The kidney! he cried suddenly.
He fitted the book roughly into his inner pocket and, stubbing his toes
against the broken commode, hurried out towards the smell, stepping
hastily down the stairs with a flurried stork's legs. Pungent smoke shot
in an angry jet from a side of the pan. By prodding a prong of the fork
under the kidney he detached it and turned it turtle on its back. Only
burnt. He tossed it off the pan on to a plate and let the scanty brown
trickle over it.
Cup of tea now. He sat down, cut and buttered a slice of the loaf. He
shore away the burnt flesh and flung it to the cat. Then he put a forkful
his mouth, chewing with discernment the toothsome pliant meat. Done to
turn. A mouthful of tea. Then he cut away dies of bread, sopped one in
gravy and put it in his mouth. What was that about some young student
and a picnic? He creased out the letter at his side, reading it slowly
chewed, sopping another die of bread in the gravy and raising it to
Thanks ever so much for the lovely birthday present. It suits me
splendid. Everyone says I am quite the belle in my new tam. I got mummy's
Iovely box of creams and am writing. They are lovely. I am getting on
swimming in the photo business now. Mr Coghlan took one of me and Mrs.
Will send when developed. We did great biz yesterday. Fair day and all
beef to the heels were in. We are going to lough Owel on Monday with a
few friends to make a scrap picnic. Give my love to mummy and to yourself
a big kiss and thanks. I hear them at the piano downstairs. There is to
concert in the Greville Arms on Saturday. There is a young student comes
here some evenings named Bannon his cousins or something are big swells
and he sings Boylan's (I was on the pop of writing Blazes Boylan's) song
about those seaside girls. Tell him silly Milly sends my best respects.
now close with fondest love
Your fond daughter
P. S. Excuse bad writing am in hurry. Byby.
Fifteen yesterday. Curious, fifteenth of the month too. Her first
birthday away from home. Separation. Remember the summer morning she
was born, running to knock up Mrs Thornton in Denzille street. Jolly old
woman. Lot of babies she must have helped into the world. She knew from
the first poor little Rudy wouldn't live. Well, God is good, sir. She knew
once. He would be eleven now if he had lived.
His vacant face stared pityingly at the postscript. Excuse bad writing.
Hurry. Piano downstairs. Coming out of her shell. Row with her in the XL
Cafe about the bracelet. Wouldn't eat her cakes or speak or look. Saucebox.
He sopped other dies of bread in the gravy and ate piece after piece of
kidney. Twelve and six a week. Not much. Still, she might do worse.
Musichall stage. Young student. He drank a draught of cooler tea to wash
down his meal. Then he read the letter again: twice.
O, well: she knows how to mind herself. But if not? No, nothing has
happened. Of course it might. Wait in any case till it does. A wild piece
goods. Her slim legs running up the staircase. Destiny. Ripening now.
He smiled with troubled affection at the kitchen window. Day I
caught her in the street pinching her cheeks to make them red. Anemic a
little. Was given milk too long. On the Erin's King that day round
Damned old tub pitching about. Not a bit funky. Her pale blue scarf loose
in the wind with her hair.
Seaside girls. Torn envelope. Hands stuck in his trousers' pockets,
off for the day, singing. Friend of the family. Swurls, he says. Pier with
lamps, summer evening, band.
Milly too. Young kisses: the first. Far away now past. Mrs Marion.
Reading, lying back now, counting the strands of her hair, smiling,
A soft qualm, regret, flowed down his backbone, increasing. Will
happen, yes. Prevent. Useless: can't move. Girl's sweet light lips. Will
happen too. He felt the flowing qualm spread over him. Useless to move
now. Lips kissed, kissing, kissed. Full gluey woman's lips.
Better where she is down there: away. Occupy her. Wanted a dog to
pass the time. Might take a trip down there. August bank holiday, only
and six return. Six weeks off, however. Might work a press pass. Or
The cat, having cleaned all her fur, returned to the meatstained paper,
nosed at it and stalked to the door. She looked back at him, mewing. Wants
to go out. Wait before a door sometime it will open. Let her wait. Has
fidgets. Electric. Thunder in the air. Was washing at her ear with her
to the fire too.
He felt heavy, full: then a gentle loosening of his bowels. He stood up,
undoing the waistband of his trousers. The cat mewed to him.
Miaow! he said in answer. Wait till I'm ready.
Heaviness: hot day coming. Too much trouble to fag up the stairs to
A paper. He liked to read at stool. Hope no ape comes knocking just
In the tabledrawer he found an old number of Titbits. He folded
under his armpit, went to the door and opened it. The cat went up in soft
bounds. Ah, wanted to go upstairs, curl up in a ball on the bed.
Listening, he heard her voice:
Come, come, pussy. Come.
He went out through the backdoor into the garden: stood to listen
towards the next garden. No sound. Perhaps hanging clothes out to dry.
The maid was in the garden. Fine morning.
He bent down to regard a lean file of spearmint growing by the wall.
Make a summerhouse here. Scarlet runners. Virginia creepers. Want to
manure the whole place over, scabby soil. A coat of liver of sulphur. All
like that without dung. Household slops. Loam, what is this that is? The
hens in the next garden: their droppings are very good top dressing. Best
all though are the cattle, especially when they are fed on those oilcakes.
Mulch of dung. Best thing to clean ladies' kid gloves. Dirty cleans. Ashes
too. Reclaim the whole place. Grow peas in that corner there. Lettuce.
Always have fresh greens then. Still gardens have their drawbacks. That
or bluebottle here Whitmonday.
He walked on. Where is my hat, by the way? Must have put it back
on the peg. Or hanging up on the floor. Funny I don't remember that.
Hallstand too full. Four umbrellas, her raincloak. Picking up the letters.
Drago's shopbell ringing. Queer I was just thinking that moment. Brown
brillantined hair over his collar. Just had a wash and brushup. Wonder
I time for a bath this morning. Tara street. Chap in the paybox there got
away James Stephens, they say. O'Brien.
Deep voice that fellow Dlugacz has. Agendath what is it? Now, my
He kicked open the crazy door of the jakes. Better be careful not to
get these trousers dirty for the funeral. He went in, bowing his head under
the low lintel. Leaving the door ajar, amid the stench of mouldy limewash
and stale cobwebs he undid his braces. Before sitting down he peered
through a chink up at the nextdoor windows. The king was in his
Asquat on the cuckstool he folded out his paper, turning its pages
over on his bared knees. Something new and easy. No great hurry. Keep it
a bit. Our prize titbit: Mateham's Masterstroke. Written by Mr Philip
Beaufoy, Playgoers' Club, London. Payment at the rate of one guinea a
column has been made to the writer. Three and a half. Three pounds three.
Three pounds, thirteen and six.
Quietly he read, restraining himself, the first column and, yielding but
resisting, began the second. Midway, his last resistance yielding, he allowed
his bowels to ease themselves quietly as he read, reading still patiently
slight constipation of yesterday quite gone. Hope it's not too big bring
piles again. No, just right. So. Ah! Costive. One tabloid of cascara sagrada.
Life might be so. It did not move or touch him but it was something quick
and neat. Print anything now. Silly season. He read on, seated calm above
his own rising smell. Neat certainly. Matcham often thinks of the
masterstroke by which he won the laughing witch who now. Begins and
ends morally. Hand in hand. Smart. He glanced back through what
read and, while feeling his water flow quietly, he envied kindly Mr Beaufoy
who had written it and received payment of three pounds, thirteen and six.
Might manage a sketch. By Mr and Mrs L. M. Bloom. Invent a story
for some proverb. Which? Time I used to try jotting down on my cuff what
she said dressing. Dislike dressing together. Nicked myself shaving. Biting
her nether lip, hooking the placket of her skirt. Timing her. 9.l5. Did
Roberts pay you yet? 9.20. What had Gretta Conroy on? 9.23. What
possessed me to buy this comb? 9.24. I'm swelled after that cabbage. A
speck of dust on the patent leather of her boot: rubbing smartly in turn
each welt against her stockinged calf. Morning after the bazaar dance
May's band played Ponchielli's dance of the hours. Explain that: morning
hours, noon, then evening coming on, then night hours. Washing her teeth.
That was the first night. Her head dancing. Her fansticks clicking. Is
Boylan well off? He has money. Why? I noticed he had a good rich smell
off his breath dancing. No use humming then. Allude to it. Strange kind
music that last night. The mirror was in shadow. She rubbed her handglass
briskly on her woollen vest against her full wagging bub. Peering into
Lines in her eyes. It wouldn't pan out somehow.
Evening hours, girls in grey gauze. Night hours then: black with
daggers and eyemasks. Poetical idea: pink, then golden, then grey, then
black. Still, true to life also. Day: then the night.
He tore away half the prize story sharply and wiped himself with it.
Then he girded up his trousers, braced and buttoned himself. He pulled
back the jerky shaky door of the jakes and came forth from the gloom into
In the bright light, lightened and cooled in limb, he eyed carefully his
black trousers: the ends, the knees, the houghs of the knees. What time
the funeral? Better find out in the paper.
A creak and a dark whirr in the air high up. The bells of George's
church. They tolled the hour: loud dark iron.
Quarter to. There again: the overtone following through the air. A