Ulysses By James Joyce Chapter 12 - The Cyclops

It was a historic and a hefty battle when Myler and Percy were scheduled to don the gloves for the purse of fifty sovereigns. Handicapped as he was by lack of poundage, Dublin's pet lamb made up for it by superlative skill in ringcraft. The final bout of fireworks was a gruelling for both champions. The welterweight sergeantmajor had tapped some lively claret in the previous mixup during which Keogh had been receivergeneral of rights and lefts, the artilleryman putting in some neat work on the pet's nose, and Myler came on looking groggy. The soldier got to business, leading off with a powerful left jab to which the Irish gladiator retaliated by shooting out a stiff one flush to the point of Bennett's jaw. The redcoat ducked but the Dubliner lifted him with a left hook, the body punch being a fine one. The men came to handigrips. Myler quickly became busy and got his man under, the bout ending with the bulkier man on the ropes, Myler punishing him. The Englishman, whose right eye was nearly closed, took his corner where he was liberally drenched with water and when the bell went came on gamey and brimful of pluck, confident of knocking out the fistic Eblanite in jigtime. It was a fight to a finish and the best man for it. The two fought like tigers and excitement ran fever high. The referee twice cautioned Pucking Percy for holding but the pet was tricky and his footwork a treat to watch. After a brisk exchange of courtesies during which a smart upper cut of the military man brought blood freely from his opponent's mouth the lamb suddenly waded in all over his man and landed a terrific left to Battling Bennett's stomach, flooring him flat. It was a knockout clean and clever. Amid tense expectation the Portobello bruiser was being counted out when Bennett's second Ole Pfotts Wettstein threw in the towel and the Santry boy was declared victor to the frenzied cheers of the public who broke through the ringropes and fairly mobbed him with delight.

— He knows which side his bread is buttered, says Alf. I hear he's running a concert tour now up in the north.

— He is, says Joe. Isn't he?

— Who? says Bloom. Ah, yes. That's quite true. Yes, a kind of summer tour, you see. Just a holiday.

— Mrs B. is the bright particular star, isn't she? says Joe.

— My wife? says Bloom. She's singing, yes. I think it will be a success too.

He's an excellent man to organise. Excellent.

Hoho begob says I to myself says I. That explains the milk in the cocoanut and absence of hair on the animal's chest. Blazes doing the tootle on the flute. Concert tour. Dirty Dan the dodger's son off Island bridge that sold the same horses twice over to the government to fight the Boers. Old Whatwhat. I called about the poor and water rate, Mr Boylan. You what? The water rate, Mr Boylan. You whatwhat? That's the bucko that'll organise her, take my tip. 'Twixt me and you Caddareesh.

Pride of Calpe's rocky mount, the ravenhaired daughter of Tweedy. There grew she to peerless beauty where loquat and almond scent the air. The gardens of Alameda knew her step: the garths of olives knew and bowed. The chaste spouse of Leopold is she: Marion of the bountiful bosoms.

And lo, there entered one of the clan of the O'Molloy's, a comely hero of white face yet withal somewhat ruddy, his majesty's counsel learned in the law, and with him the prince and heir of the noble line of Lambert.

— Hello, Ned.

— Hello, Alf.

— Hello, Jack.

— Hello, Joe.

— God save you, says the citizen.

— Save you kindly, says J. J. What'll it be, Ned?

— Half one, says Ned.

So J. J. ordered the drinks.

— Were you round at the court? says Joe.

— Yes, says J. J. He'll square that, Ned, says he.

— Hope so, says Ned.

Now what were those two at? J. J. getting him off the grand jury list and the other give him a leg over the stile. With his name in Stubbs's. Playing cards, hobnobbing with flash toffs with a swank glass in their eye, adrinking fizz and he half smothered in writs and garnishee orders. Pawning his gold watch in Cummins of Francis street where no-one would know him in the private office when I was there with Pisser releasing his boots out of the pop. What's your name, sir? Dunne, says he. Ay, and done says I. Gob, he'll come home by weeping cross one of those days, I'm thinking.

— Did you see that bloody lunatic Breen round there? says Alf. U. p: up.

— Yes, says J. J. Looking for a private detective.

— Ay, says Ned. And he wanted right go wrong to address the court only Corny Kelleher got round him telling him to get the handwriting examined first.

— Ten thousand pounds, says Alf, laughing. God, I'd give anything to hear him before a judge and jury.

— Was it you did it, Alf? says Joe. The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you Jimmy Johnson.

— Me? says Alf. Don't cast your nasturtiums on my character.

— Whatever statement you make, says Joe, will be taken down in evidence against you.

— Of course an action would lie, says J. J. It implies that he is not compos mentis. U. p: up.

— Compos your eye! says Alf, laughing. Do you know that he's balmy? Look at his head. Do you know that some mornings he has to get his hat on with a shoehorn.

— Yes, says J. J., but the truth of a libel is no defence to an indictment for publishing it in the eyes of the law.

— Ha ha, Alf, says Joe.

— Still, says Bloom, on account of the poor woman, I mean his wife.

— Pity about her, says the citizen. Or any other woman marries a half and half.

— How half and half? says Bloom. Do you mean he . . .

— Half and half I mean, says the citizen. A fellow that's neither fish nor flesh.

— Nor good red herring, says Joe.

— That what's I mean, says the citizen. A pishogue, if you know what that is.

Begob I saw there was trouble coming. And Bloom explaining he meant on account of it being cruel for the wife having to go round after the old stuttering fool. Cruelty to animals so it is to let that bloody povertystricken Breen out on grass with his beard out tripping him, bringing down the rain. And she with her nose cockahoop after she married him because a cousin of his old fellow's was pewopener to the pope. Picture of him on the wall with his Smashall Sweeney's moustaches, the signior Brini from Summerhill, the eyetallyano, papal Zouave to the Holy Father, has left the quay and gone to Moss street. And who was he, tell us? A nobody, two pair back and passages, at seven shillings a week, and he covered with all kinds of breastplates bidding defiance to the world.

— And moreover, says J. J., a postcard is publication. It was held to be sufficient evidence of malice in the testcase Sadgrove v. Hole. In my opinion an action might lie.

Six and eightpence, please. Who wants your opinion? Let us drink our pints in peace. Gob, we won't be let even do that much itself.

— Well, good health, Jack, says Ned.

— Good health, Ned, says J. J.

— -There he is again, says Joe.

— Where? says Alf.

And begob there he was passing the door with his books under his oxter and the wife beside him and Corny Kelleher with his wall eye looking in as they went past, talking to him like a father, trying to sell him a secondhand coffin.

— How did that Canada swindle case go off? says Joe.

— Remanded, says J. J.

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