— With the greatest alacrity, miss Douce agreed.
With grace of alacrity towards the mirror gilt Cantrell and Cochrane's she turned herself. With grace she tapped a measure of gold whisky from her crystal keg. Forth from the skirt of his coat Mr Dedalus brought pouch and pipe. Alacrity she served. He blew through the flue two husky fifenotes.
— By Jove, he mused, I often wanted to see the Mourne mountains. Must be a great tonic in the air down there. But a long threatening comes at last, they say. Yes. Yes.
Yes. He fingered shreds of hair, her maidenhair, her mermaid's, into the bowl. Chips. Shreds. Musing. Mute.
None nought said nothing. Yes.
Gaily miss Douce polished a tumbler, trilling:
— O, Idolores, queen of the eastern seas!
— Was Mr Lidwell in today?
In came Lenehan. Round him peered Lenehan. Mr Bloom reached Essex bridge. Yes, Mr Bloom crossed bridge of Yessex. To Martha I must write. Buy paper. Daly's. Girl there civil. Bloom. Old Bloom. Blue bloom is on the rye.
— He was in at lunchtime, miss Douce said.
Lenehan came forward.
— Was Mr Boylan looking for me?
He asked. She answered:
— Miss Kennedy, was Mr Boylan in while I was upstairs?
She asked. Miss voice of Kennedy answered, a second teacup poised, her gaze upon a page:
— No. He was not.
Miss gaze of Kennedy, heard, not seen, read on. Lenehan round the sandwichbell wound his round body round.
— Peep! Who's in the corner?
No glance of Kennedy rewarding him he yet made overtures. To mind her stops. To read only the black ones: round o and crooked ess.
Jingle jaunty jingle.
Girlgold she read and did not glance. Take no notice. She took no notice while he read by rote a solfa fable for her, plappering flatly:
— Ah fox met ah stork. Said thee fox too thee stork: Will you put your bill down inn my troath and pull upp ah bone?
He droned in vain. Miss Douce turned to her tea aside.
He sighed aside:
— Ah me! O my!
He greeted Mr Dedalus and got a nod.
— Greetings from the famous son of a famous father.
— Who may he be? Mr Dedalus asked.
Lenehan opened most genial arms. Who?
— Who may he be? he asked. Can you ask? Stephen, the youthful bard.
Mr Dedalus, famous father, laid by his dry filled pipe.
— I see, he said. I didn't recognise him for the moment. I hear he is keeping very select company. Have you seen him lately?
— I quaffed the nectarbowl with him this very day, said Lenehan. In Mooney's en ville and in Mooney's sur mer. He had received the rhino for the labour of his muse.
He smiled at bronze's teabathed lips, at listening lips and eyes:
— The elite of Erin hung upon his lips. The ponderous pundit, Hugh
MacHugh, Dublin's most brilliant scribe and editor and that minstrel boy of the wild wet west who is known by the euphonious appellation of the O'Madden Burke.
After an interval Mr Dedalus raised his grog and
— That must have been highly diverting, said he. I see.
He see. He drank. With faraway mourning mountain eye. Set down his glass.
He looked towards the saloon door.
— I see you have moved the piano.
— The tuner was in today, miss Douce replied, tuning it for the smoking concert and I never heard such an exquisite player.
— Is that a fact?
— Didn't he, miss Kennedy? The real classical, you know. And blind too, poor fellow. Not twenty I'm sure he was.
— Is that a fact? Mr Dedalus said.
He drank and strayed away.
— So sad to look at his face, miss Douce condoled.
God's curse on bitch's bastard.
Tink to her pity cried a diner's bell. To the door of the bar and diningroom came bald Pat, came bothered Pat, came Pat, waiter of Ormond. Lager for diner. Lager without alacrity she served.
With patience Lenehan waited for Boylan with impatience, for jinglejaunty blazes boy.
Upholding the lid he (who?) gazed in the coffin (coffin?) at the oblique triple (piano!) wires. He pressed (the same who pressed indulgently her hand), soft pedalling, a triple of keys to see the thicknesses of felt advancing, to hear the muffled hammerfall in action.
Two sheets cream vellum paper one reserve two envelopes when I was in Wisdom Hely's wise Bloom in Daly's Henry Flower bought. Are you not happy in your home? Flower to console me and a pin cuts lo. Means something, language of flow. Was it a daisy? Innocence that is. Respectable girl meet after mass. Thanks awfully muchly. Wise Bloom eyed on the door a poster, a swaying mermaid smoking mid nice waves. Smoke mermaids, coolest whiff of all. Hair streaming: lovelorn. For some man. For Raoul. He eyed and saw afar on Essex bridge a gay hat riding on a jaunting car. It is. Again. Third time. Coincidence.
Jingling on supple rubbers it jaunted from the bridge to Ormond quay. Follow. Risk it. Go quick. At four. Near now. Out.
— Twopence, sir, the shopgirl dared to say.
— Aha . . . I was forgetting . . . Excuse . . .
— And four.
At four she. Winsomely she on Bloohimwhom smiled. Bloo smi qui go. Ternoon. Think you're the only pebble on the beach? Does that to all.
In drowsy silence gold bent on her page.
From the saloon a call came, long in dying. That was a tuningfork the tuner had that he forgot that he now struck. A call again. That he now poised that it now throbbed. You hear? It throbbed, pure, purer, softly and softlier, its buzzing prongs. Longer in dying call.
Pat paid for diner's popcorked bottle: and over tumbler, tray and popcorked bottle ere he went he whispered, bald and bothered, with miss
— The bright stars fade . . .
A voiceless song sang from within, singing:
— . . . the morn is breaking.
A duodene of birdnotes chirruped bright treble answer under sensitive hands. Brightly the keys, all twinkling, linked, all harpsichording, called to a voice to sing the strain of dewy morn, of youth, of love's leavetaking, life's, love's morn.
— The dewdrops pearl . . .
Lenehan's lips over the counter lisped a low whistle of decoy.
— But look this way, he said, rose of Castile.
Jingle jaunted by the curb and stopped.
She rose and closed her reading, rose of Castile: fretted, forlorn, dreamily rose.
— Did she fall or was she pushed? he asked her.