And he started laughing.
— Who are you laughing at? says Bob Doran. Is that Bergan?
— Hurry up, Terry boy, says Alf.
Terence O'Ryan heard him and straightway brought him a crystal cup full of the foamy ebon ale which the noble twin brothers Bungiveagh and Bungardilaun brew ever in their divine alevats, cunning as the sons of deathless Leda. For they garner the succulent berries of the hop and mass and sift and bruise and brew them and they mix therewith sour juices and bring the must to the sacred fire and cease not night or day from their toil, those cunning brothers, lords of the vat.
Then did you, chivalrous Terence, hand forth, as to the manner born, that nectarous beverage and you offered the crystal cup to him that thirsted, the soul of chivalry, in beauty akin to the immortals.
But he, the young chief of the O'Bergan's, could ill brook to be outdone in generous deeds but gave therefor with gracious gesture a testoon of costliest bronze. Thereon embossed in excellent smithwork was seen the image of a queen of regal port, scion of the house of Brunswick, Victoria her name, Her Most Excellent Majesty, by grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British dominions beyond the sea, queen, defender of the faith, Empress of India, even she, who bore rule, a victress over many peoples, the wellbeloved, for they knew and loved her from the rising of the sun to the going down thereof, the pale, the dark, the ruddy and the ethiop.
— What's that bloody freemason doing, says the citizen, prowling up and down outside?
— What's that? says Joe.
— Here you are, says Alf, chucking out the rhino. Talking about hanging, I'll show you something you never saw. Hangmen's letters. Look at here.
So he took a bundle of wisps of letters and envelopes out of his pocket.
— Are you codding? says I.
— Honest injun, says Alf. Read them.
So Joe took up the letters.
— Who are you laughing at? says Bob Doran.
So I saw there was going to be a bit of a dust Bob's a queer chap when the porter's up in him so says I just to make talk:
— How's Willy Murray those times, Alf?
— I don't know, says Alf I saw him just now in Capel street with Paddy Dignam. Only I was running after that . . .
— You what? says Joe, throwing down the letters. With who?
— With Dignam, says Alf.
— Is it Paddy? says Joe.
— Yes, says Alf. Why?
— Don't you know he's dead? says Joe.
— Paddy Dignam dead! says Alf.
— Ay, says Joe.
— Sure I'm after seeing him not five minutes ago, says Alf, as plain as a pikestaff.
— Who's dead? says Bob Doran.
— You saw his ghost then, says Joe, God between us and harm.
— What? says Alf. Good Christ, only five . . . What? . . . And Willy Murray with him, the two of them there near whatdoyoucallhim's . . . What? Dignam dead?
— What about Dignam? says Bob Doran. Who's talking about . . . ?
— Dead! says Alf. He's no more dead than you are.
— Maybe so, says Joe. They took the liberty of burying him this morning anyhow.
— Paddy? says Alf.
— Ay, says Joe. He paid the debt of nature, God be merciful to him.
— Good Christ! says Alf.
Begob he was what you might call flabbergasted.
In the darkness spirit hands were felt to flutter and when prayer by tantras had been directed to the proper quarter a faint but increasing luminosity of ruby light became gradually visible, the apparition of the etheric double being particularly lifelike owing to the discharge of jivic rays from the crown of the head and face. Communication was effected through the pituitary body and also by means of the orangefiery and scarlet rays emanating from the sacral region and solar plexus. Questioned by his earthname as to his whereabouts in the heavenworld he stated that he was now on the path of pr l ya or return but was still submitted to trial at the hands of certain bloodthirsty entities on the lower astral levels. In reply to a question as to his first sensations in the great divide beyond he stated that previously he had seen as in a glass darkly but that those who had passed over had summit possibilities of atmic development opened up to them. Interrogated as to whether life there resembled our experience in the flesh he stated that he had heard from more favoured beings now in the spirit that their abodes were equipped with every modern home comfort such as talafana, alavatar, hatakalda, wataklasat and that the highest adepts were steeped in waves of volupcy of the very purest nature. Having requested a quart of buttermilk this was brought and evidently afforded relief. Asked if he had any message for the living he exhorted all who were still at the wrong side of Maya to acknowledge the true path for it was reported in devanic circles that Mars and Jupiter were out for mischief on the eastern angle where the ram has power. It was then queried whether there were any special desires on the part of the defunct and the reply was: We greet you, friends of earth, who are still in the body. Mind C. K. doesn't pile it on. It was ascertained that the reference was to Mr Cornelius Kelleher, manager of Messrs H. J. O'Neill's popular funeral establishment, a personal friend of the defunct, who had been responsible for the carrying out of the interment arrangements. Before departing he requested that it should be told to his dear son Patsy that the other boot which he had been looking for was at present under the commode in the return room and that the pair should be sent to Cullen's to be soled only as the heels were still good. He stated that this had greatly perturbed his peace of mind in the other region and earnestly requested that his desire should be made known.
Assurances were given that the matter would be attended to and it was intimated that this had given satisfaction.
He is gone from mortal haunts: O'Dignam, sun of our morning. Fleet was his foot on the bracken: Patrick of the beamy brow. Wail, Banba, with your wind: and wail, O ocean, with your whirlwind.
— There he is again, says the citizen, staring out.
— Who? says I.
— Bloom, says he. He's on point duty up and down there for the last ten minutes.
And, begob, I saw his physog do a peep in and then slidder off again.
Little Alf was knocked bawways. Faith, he was.
— Good Christ! says he. I could have sworn it was him.
And says Bob Doran, with the hat on the back of his poll, lowest blackguard in Dublin when he's under the influence:
— Who said Christ is good?
— I beg your parsnips, says Alf.
— Is that a good Christ, says Bob Doran, to take away poor little Willy Dignam?
— Ah, well, says Alf, trying to pass it off. He's over all his troubles.
But Bob Doran shouts out of him.
— He's a bloody ruffian, I say, to take away poor little Willy Dignam.
Terry came down and tipped him the wink to keep quiet, that they didn't want that kind of talk in a respectable licensed premises. And Bob Doran starts doing the weeps about Paddy Dignam, true as you're there.
— The finest man, says he, snivelling, the finest purest character.
The tear is bloody near your eye. Talking through his bloody hat. Fitter for him go home to the little sleepwalking bitch he married, Mooney, the bumbailiff's daughter, mother kept a kip in Hardwicke street, that used to be stravaging about the landings Bantam Lyons told me that was stopping there at two in the morning without a stitch on her, exposing her person, open to all comers, fair field and no favour.
— The noblest, the truest, says he. And he's gone, poor little Willy, poor little Paddy Dignam.