Ulysses By James Joyce Chapter 10 - The Wandering Rocks

— The reverend Hugh C. Love, Rathcoffey. Present address: Saint Michael's, Sallins. Nice young chap he is. He's writing a book about the Fitzgeralds he told me. He's well up in history, faith.

The young woman with slow care detached from her light skirt a clinging twig.

— I thought you were at a new gunpowder plot, J. J. O'Molloy said.

Ned Lambert cracked his fingers in the air.

— God! he cried. I forgot to tell him that one about the earl of Kildare after he set fire to Cashel cathedral. You know that one? I'm bloody sorry I did it, says he, but I declare to God I thought the archbishop was inside. He mightn't like it, though. What? God, I'll tell him anyhow. That was the great earl, the Fitzgerald Mor. Hot members they were all of them, the Geraldines.

The horses he passed started nervously under their slack harness. He slapped a piebald haunch quivering near him and cried:

— Woa, sonny!

He turned to J. J. O'Molloy and asked:

— Well, Jack. What is it? What's the trouble? Wait awhile. Hold hard.

With gaping mouth and head far back he stood still and, after an instant, sneezed loudly.

— Chow! he said. Blast you!

— The dust from those sacks, J. J. O'Molloy said politely.

— No, Ned Lambert gasped, I caught a . . . cold night before . . . blast your soul . . . night before last . . . and there was a hell of a lot of draught . . .

He held his handkerchief ready for the coming . . .

— I was . . . Glasnevin this morning . . . poor little . . . what do you call him . . . Chow! . . . Mother of Moses!

* * * * *

Tom Rochford took the top disk from the pile he clasped against his claret waistcoat.

— See? he said. Say it's turn six. In here, see. Turn Now On.

He slid it into the left slot for them. It shot down the groove, wobbled a while, ceased, ogling them: six.

Lawyers of the past, haughty, pleading, beheld pass from the consolidated taxing office to Nisi Prius court Richie Goulding carrying the costbag of Goulding, Collis and Ward and heard rustling from the admiralty division of king's bench to the court of appeal an elderly female with false teeth smiling incredulously and a black silk skirt of great amplitude.

— See? he said. See now the last one I put in is over here: Turns Over. The impact. Leverage, see?

He showed them the rising column of disks on the right.

— Smart idea, Nosey Flynn said, snuffling. So a fellow coming in late can see what turn is on and what turns are over.

— See? Tom Rochford said.

He slid in a disk for himself: and watched it shoot, wobble, ogle, stop: four. Turn Now On.

— I'll see him now in the Ormond, Lenehan said, and sound him. One good turn deserves another.

— Do, Tom Rochford said. Tell him I'm Boylan with impatience.

— Goodnight, M'Coy said abruptly. When you two begin

Nosey Flynn stooped towards the lever, snuffling at it.

— But how does it work here, Tommy? he asked.

— Tooraloo, Lenehan said. See you later.

He followed M'Coy out across the tiny square of Crampton court.

— He's a hero, he said simply.

— I know, M'Coy said. The drain, you mean.

— Drain? Lenehan said. It was down a manhole.

They passed Dan Lowry's musichall where Marie Kendall, charming soubrette, smiled on them from a poster a dauby smile.

Going down the path of Sycamore street beside the Empire musichall Lenehan showed M'Coy how the whole thing was. One of those manholes like a bloody gaspipe and there was the poor devil stuck down in it, half choked with sewer gas. Down went Tom Rochford anyhow, booky's vest and all, with the rope round him. And be damned but he got the rope round the poor devil and the two were hauled up.

— The act of a hero, he said.

At the Dolphin they halted to allow the ambulance car to gallop past them for Jervis street.

— This way, he said, walking to the right. I want to pop into Lynam's to see Sceptre's starting price. What's the time by your gold watch and chain?

M'Coy peered into Marcus Tertius Moses' sombre office, then at O'Neill's clock.

— After three, he said. Who's riding her?

— O. Madden, Lenehan said. And a game filly she is.

While he waited in Temple bar M'Coy dodged a banana peel with gentle pushes of his toe from the path to the gutter. Fellow might damn easy get a nasty fall there coming along tight in the dark.

The gates of the drive opened wide to give egress to the viceregal cavalcade.

— Even money, Lenehan said returning. I knocked against Bantam Lyons in there going to back a bloody horse someone gave him that hasn't an earthly. Through here.

They went up the steps and under Merchants' arch. A darkbacked figure scanned books on the hawker's cart.

— There he is, Lenehan said.

— Wonder what he's buying, M'Coy said, glancing behind.

Leopoldo or the Bloom is on the Rye, Lenehan said.

— He's dead nuts on sales, M'Coy said. I was with him one day and he bought a book from an old one in Liffey street for two bob. There were fine plates in it worth double the money, the stars and the moon and comets with long tails. Astronomy it was about.

Lenehan laughed.

— I'll tell you a damn good one about comets' tails, he said. Come over in the sun.

They crossed to the metal bridge and went along Wellington quay by the riverwall.

Master Patrick Aloysius Dignam came out of Mangan's, late Fehrenbach's, carrying a pound and a half of porksteaks.

— There was a long spread out at Glencree reformatory, Lenehan said eagerly. The annual dinner, you know. Boiled shirt affair. The lord mayor was there, Val Dillon it was, and sir Charles Cameron and Dan Dawson spoke and there was music. Bartell d'Arcy sang and Benjamin Dollard . . .

— I know, M'Coy broke in. My missus sang there once.

— Did she? Lenehan said.

A card Unfurnished Apartments reappeared on the windowsash of number 7 Eccles street.

He checked his tale a moment but broke out in a wheezy laugh.

— But wait till I tell you, he said. Delahunt of Camden street had the catering and yours truly was chief bottlewasher. Bloom and the wife were there. Lashings of stuff we put up: port wine and sherry and curacao to which we did ample justice. Fast and furious it was. After liquids came solids. Cold joints galore and mince pies . . .

— I know, M'Coy said. The year the missus was there . . .

Lenehan linked his arm warmly.

— But wait till I tell you, he said. We had a midnight lunch too after all the jollification and when we sallied forth it was blue o'clock the morning after the night before. Coming home it was a gorgeous winter's night on the Featherbed Mountain. Bloom and Chris Callinan were on one side of the car and I was with the wife on the other. We started singing glees and duets: Lo, the early beam of morning. She was well primed with a good load of Delahunt's port under her bellyband. Every jolt the bloody car gave I had her bumping up against me. Hell's delights! She has a fine pair, God bless her. Like that.

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