He looked away from me. He knows. Rattle his bones.
That afternoon of the inquest. The redlabelled bottle on the table. The room in the hotel with hunting pictures. Stuffy it was. Sunlight through the slats of the Venetian blind. The coroner's sunlit ears, big and hairy. Boots giving evidence. Thought he was asleep first. Then saw like yellow streaks on his face. Had slipped down to the foot of the bed. Verdict: overdose. Death by misadventure. The letter. For my son Leopold.
No more pain. Wake no more. Nobody owns.
The carriage rattled swiftly along Blessington street. Over the stones.
— We are going the pace, I think, Martin Cunningham said.
— God grant he doesn't upset us on the road, Mr Power said.
— I hope not, Martin Cunningham said. That will be a great race tomorrow in Germany. The Gordon Bennett.
— Yes, by Jove, Mr Dedalus said. That will be worth seeing, faith.
As they turned into Berkeley street a streetorgan near the Basin sent over and after them a rollicking rattling song of the halls. Has anybody here seen Kelly? Kay ee double ell wy. Dead March from Saul. He's as bad as old Antonio. He left me on my ownio. Pirouette! The Mater Misericordiae. Eccles street. My house down there. Big place. Ward for incurables there. Very encouraging. Our Lady's Hospice for the dying. Deadhouse handy underneath. Where old Mrs Riordan died. They look terrible the women. Her feeding cup and rubbing her mouth with the spoon. Then the screen round her bed for her to die. Nice young student that was dressed that bite the bee gave me. He's gone over to the lying-in hospital they told me. From one extreme to the other. The carriage galloped round a corner: stopped.
— What's wrong now?
A divided drove of branded cattle passed the windows, lowing, slouching by on padded hoofs, whisking their tails slowly on their clotted bony croups. Outside them and through them ran raddled sheep bleating their fear.
— Emigrants, Mr Power said.
— Huuuh! the drover's voice cried, his switch sounding on their flanks.
Huuuh! out of that!
Thursday, of course. Tomorrow is killing day. Springers. Cuffe sold them about twentyseven quid each. For Liverpool probably. Roastbeef for old England. They buy up all the juicy ones. And then the fifth quarter lost: all that raw stuff, hide, hair, horns. Comes to a big thing in a year. Dead meat trade. Byproducts of the slaughterhouses for tanneries, soap, margarine. Wonder if that dodge works now getting dicky meat off the train at Clonsilla.
The carriage moved on through the drove.
— I can't make out why the corporation doesn't run a tramline from the parkgate to the quays, Mr Bloom said. All those animals could be taken in trucks down to the boats.
— Instead of blocking up the thoroughfare, Martin Cunningham said. Quite right. They ought to.
— Yes, Mr Bloom said, and another thing I often thought, is to have municipal funeral trams like they have in Milan, you know. Run the line out to the cemetery gates and have special trams, hearse and carriage and all. Don't you see what I mean?
— O, that be damned for a story, Mr Dedalus said. Pullman car and saloon diningroom.
— A poor lookout for Corny, Mr Power added.
— Why? Mr Bloom asked, turning to Mr Dedalus. Wouldn't it be more decent than galloping two abreast?
— Well, there's something in that, Mr Dedalus granted.
— And, Martin Cunningham said, we wouldn't have scenes like that when the hearse capsized round Dunphy's and upset the coffin on to the road.
— That was terrible, Mr Power's shocked face said, and the corpse fell about the road. Terrible!
— First round Dunphy's, Mr Dedalus said, nodding. Gordon Bennett cup.
— Praises be to God! Martin Cunningham said piously.
Bom! Upset. A coffin bumped out on to the road. Burst open. Paddy Dignam shot out and rolling over stiff in the dust in a brown habit too large for him. Red face: grey now. Mouth fallen open. Asking what's up now. Quite right to close it. Looks horrid open. Then the insides decompose quickly. Much better to close up all the orifices. Yes, also. With wax. The sphincter loose. Seal up all.
— Dunphy's, Mr Power announced as the carriage turned right.
Dunphy's corner. Mourning coaches drawn up, drowning their grief. A pause by the wayside. Tiptop position for a pub. Expect we'll pull up here on the way back to drink his health. Pass round the consolation. Elixir of life.
But suppose now it did happen. Would he bleed if a nail say cut him in the knocking about? He would and he wouldn't, I suppose. Depends on where. The circulation stops. Still some might ooze out of an artery. It would be better to bury them in red: a dark red.
In silence they drove along Phibsborough road. An empty hearse trotted by, coming from the cemetery: looks relieved.
Crossguns bridge: the royal canal.
Water rushed roaring through the sluices. A man stood on his dropping barge, between clamps of turf. On the towpath by the lock a slacktethered horse. Aboard of the Bugabu.
Their eyes watched him. On the slow weedy waterway he had floated on his raft coastward over Ireland drawn by a haulage rope past beds of reeds, over slime, mudchoked bottles, carrion dogs. Athlone, Mullingar, Moyvalley, I could make a walking tour to see Milly by the canal. Or cycle down. Hire some old crock, safety. Wren had one the other day at the auction but a lady's. Developing waterways. James M'Cann's hobby to row me o'er the ferry. Cheaper transit. By easy stages. Houseboats. Camping out. Also hearses. To heaven by water. Perhaps I will without writing. Come as a surprise, Leixlip, Clonsilla. Dropping down lock by lock to Dublin. With turf from the midland bogs. Salute. He lifted his brown straw hat, saluting Paddy Dignam.
They drove on past Brian Boroimhe house. Near it now.
— I wonder how is our friend Fogarty getting on, Mr Power said.
— Better ask Tom Kernan, Mr Dedalus said.
— How is that? Martin Cunningham said. Left him weeping, I suppose?
— Though lost to sight, Mr Dedalus said, to memory dear.
The carriage steered left for Finglas road.
The stonecutter's yard on the right. Last lap. Crowded on the spit of land silent shapes appeared, white, sorrowful, holding out calm hands, knelt in grief, pointing. Fragments of shapes, hewn. In white silence: appealing. The best obtainable. Thos. H. Dennany, monumental builder and sculptor.
On the curbstone before Jimmy Geary, the sexton's, an old tramp sat, grumbling, emptying the dirt and stones out of his huge dustbrown yawning boot. After life's journey.
Gloomy gardens then went by: one by one: gloomy houses.
Mr Power pointed.
— That is where Childs was murdered, he said. The last house.
— So it is, Mr Dedalus said. A gruesome case. Seymour Bushe got him off. Murdered his brother. Or so they said.
— The crown had no evidence, Mr Power said.
— Only circumstantial, Martin Cunningham added. That's the maxim of the law. Better for ninetynine guilty to escape than for one innocent person to be wrongfully condemned.
They looked. Murderer's ground. It passed darkly. Shuttered, tenantless, unweeded garden. Whole place gone to hell. Wrongfully condemned. Murder. The murderer's image in the eye of the murdered. They love reading about it. Man's head found in a garden. Her clothing consisted of. How she met her death. Recent outrage. The weapon used. Murderer is still at large. Clues. A shoelace. The body to be exhumed. Murder will out.
Cramped in this carriage. She mightn't like me to come that way without letting her know. Must be careful about women. Catch them once with their pants down. Never forgive you after. Fifteen.