And mournful and with a heavy heart he bewept the extinction of that beam of heaven.
Old Garryowen started growling again at Bloom that was skeezing round the door.
— Come in, come on, he won't eat you, says the citizen.
So Bloom slopes in with his cod's eye on the dog and he asks Terry was Martin Cunningham there.
— O, Christ M'Keown, says Joe, reading one of the letters. Listen to this, will you?
And he starts reading out one.
7 Hunter Street, Liverpool. To the High Sheriff of Dublin, Dublin.
Honoured sir i beg to offer my services in the abovementioned painful case i hanged Joe Gann in Bootle jail on the 12 of Febuary 1900 and i hanged . . .
— Show us, Joe, says I.
— . . . private Arthur Chace for fowl murder of Jessie Tilsit in Pentonville prison and i was assistant when . . .
— Jesus, says I.
— . . . Billington executed the awful murderer Toad Smith . . .
The citizen made a grab at the letter.
— Hold hard, says Joe, i have a special nack of putting the noose once in he can't get out hoping to be favoured i remain, honoured sir, my terms is five ginnees.
H. RUMBOLD, MASTER BARBER.
— And a barbarous bloody barbarian he is too, says the citizen.
— And the dirty scrawl of the wretch, says Joe. Here, says he, take them to hell out of my sight, Alf. Hello, Bloom, says he, what will you have?
So they started arguing about the point, Bloom saying he wouldn't and he couldn't and excuse him no offence and all to that and then he said well he'd just take a cigar. Gob, he's a prudent member and no mistake.
— Give us one of your prime stinkers, Terry, says Joe.
And Alf was telling us there was one chap sent in a mourning card with a black border round it.
— They're all barbers, says he, from the black country that would hang their own fathers for five quid down and travelling expenses.
And he was telling us there's two fellows waiting below to pull his heels down when he gets the drop and choke him properly and then they chop up the rope after and sell the bits for a few bob a skull.
In the dark land they bide, the vengeful knights of the razor. Their deadly coil they grasp: yea, and therein they lead to Erebus whatsoever wight hath done a deed of blood for I will on nowise suffer it even so saith the Lord.
So they started talking about capital punishment and of course Bloom comes out with the why and the wherefore and all the codology of the business and the old dog smelling him all the time I'm told those jewies does have a sort of a queer odour coming off them for dogs about I don't know what all deterrent effect and so forth and so on.
— There's one thing it hasn't a deterrent effect on, says Alf.
— What's that? says Joe.
— The poor bugger's tool that's being hanged, says Alf.
— That so? says Joe.
— God's truth, says Alf. I heard that from the head warder that was in
Kilmainham when they hanged Joe Brady, the invincible. He told me when they cut him down after the drop it was standing up in their faces like a poker.
— Ruling passion strong in death, says Joe, as someone said.
— That can be explained by science, says Bloom. It's only a natural phenomenon, don't you see, because on account of the . . .
And then he starts with his jawbreakers about phenomenon and science and this phenomenon and the other phenomenon.
The distinguished scientist Herr Professor Luitpold Blumenduft tendered medical evidence to the effect that the instantaneous fracture of the cervical vertebrae and consequent scission of the spinal cord would, according to the best approved tradition of medical science, be calculated to inevitably produce in the human subject a violent ganglionic stimulus of the nerve centres of the genital apparatus, thereby causing the elastic pores of the corpora cavernosa to rapidly dilate in such a way as to instantaneously facilitate the flow of blood to that part of the human anatomy known as the penis or male organ resulting in the phenomenon which has been denominated by the faculty a morbid upwards and outwards philoprogenitive erection in articulo mortis per diminutionem capitis.
So of course the citizen was only waiting for the wink of the word and he starts gassing out of him about the invincibles and the old guard and the men of sixtyseven and who fears to speak of ninetyeight and Joe with him about all the fellows that were hanged, drawn and transported for the cause by drumhead courtmartial and a new Ireland and new this, that and the other. Talking about new Ireland he ought to go and get a new dog so he ought. Mangy ravenous brute sniffing and sneezing all round the place and scratching his scabs. And round he goes to Bob Doran that was standing Alf a half one sucking up for what he could get. So of course Bob Doran starts doing the bloody fool with him:
— Give us the paw! Give the paw, doggy! Good old doggy! Give the paw here! Give us the paw!
Arrah, bloody end to the paw he'd paw and Alf trying to keep him from tumbling off the bloody stool atop of the bloody old dog and he talking all kinds of drivel about training by kindness and thoroughbred dog and intelligent dog: give you the bloody pip. Then he starts scraping a few bits of old biscuit out of the bottom of a Jacobs' tin he told Terry to bring. Gob, he golloped it down like old boots and his tongue hanging out of him a yard long for more. Near ate the tin and all, hungry bloody mongrel.
And the citizen and Bloom having an argument about the point, the brothers Sheares and Wolfe Tone beyond on Arbour Hill and Robert Emmet and die for your country, the Tommy Moore touch about Sara Curran and she's far from the land. And Bloom, of course, with his knockmedown cigar putting on swank with his lardy face. Phenomenon! The fat heap he married is a nice old phenomenon with a back on her like a ballalley. Time they were stopping up in the City Arms pisser Burke told me there was an old one there with a cracked loodheramaun of a nephew and Bloom trying to get the soft side of her doing the mollycoddle playing bezique to come in for a bit of the wampum in her will and not eating meat of a Friday because the old one was always thumping her craw and taking the lout out for a walk. And one time he led him the rounds of Dublin and, by the holy farmer, he never cried crack till he brought him home as drunk as a boiled owl and he said he did it to teach him the evils of alcohol and by herrings, if the three women didn't near roast him, it's a queer story, the old one, Bloom's wife and Mrs O'Dowd that kept the hotel. Jesus, I had to laugh at pisser Burke taking them off chewing the fat. And Bloom with his but don't you see? and but on the other hand. And sure, more be token, the lout I'm told was in Power's after, the blender's, round in Cope street going home footless in a cab five times in the week after drinking his way through all the samples in the bloody establishment. Phenomenon!
— The memory of the dead, says the citizen taking up his pintglass and glaring at Bloom.
— Ay, ay, says Joe.
— You don't grasp my point, says Bloom. What I mean is . . .
— Sinn Fein! says the citizen. Sinn Fein amhain! The friends we love are by our side and the foes we hate before us.