Hell of a racket they make. He doesn't hear it. Nannan. Iron nerves. Maybe he understands what I.
The foreman turned round to hear patiently and, lifting an elbow, began to scratch slowly in the armpit of his alpaca jacket.
— Like that, Mr Bloom said, crossing his forefingers at the top.
Let him take that in first.
Mr Bloom, glancing sideways up from the cross he had made, saw the foreman's sallow face, think he has a touch of jaundice, and beyond the obedient reels feeding in huge webs of paper. Clank it. Clank it. Miles of it unreeled. What becomes of it after? O, wrap up meat, parcels: various uses, thousand and one things.
Slipping his words deftly into the pauses of the clanking he drew swiftly on the scarred woodwork.
HOUSE OF KEY(E)S
— Like that, see. Two crossed keys here. A circle. Then here the name. Alexander Keyes, tea, wine and spirit merchant. So on.
Better not teach him his own business.
— You know yourself, councillor, just what he wants. Then round the top in leaded: the house of keys. You see? Do you think that's a good idea?
The foreman moved his scratching hand to his lower ribs and scratched there quietly.
— The idea, Mr Bloom said, is the house of keys. You know, councillor, the Manx parliament. Innuendo of home rule. Tourists, you know, from the isle of Man. Catches the eye, you see. Can you do that?
I could ask him perhaps about how to pronounce that voglio. But then if he didn't know only make it awkward for him. Better not.
— We can do that, the foreman said. Have you the design?
— I can get it, Mr Bloom said. It was in a Kilkenny paper. He has a house there too. I'll just run out and ask him. Well, you can do that and just a little par calling attention. You know the usual. Highclass licensed premises. Longfelt want. So on.
The foreman thought for an instant.
— We can do that, he said. Let him give us a three months' renewal.
A typesetter brought him a limp galleypage. He began to check it silently. Mr Bloom stood by, hearing the loud throbs of cranks, watching the silent typesetters at their cases.
Want to be sure of his spelling. Proof fever. Martin Cunningham forgot to give us his spellingbee conundrum this morning. It is amusing to view the unpar one ar alleled embarra two ars is it? double ess ment of a harassed pedlar while gauging au the symmetry with a y of a peeled pear under a cemetery wall. Silly, isn't it? Cemetery put in of course on account of the symmetry.
I should have said when he clapped on his topper. Thank you. I ought to have said something about an old hat or something. No. I could have said. Looks as good as new now. See his phiz then.
Sllt. The nethermost deck of the first machine jogged forward its flyboard with sllt the first batch of quirefolded papers. Sllt. Almost human the way it sllt to call attention. Doing its level best to speak. That door too sllt creaking, asking to be shut. Everything speaks in its own way. Sllt.
NOTED CHURCHMAN AN OCCASIONAL CONTRIBUTOR
The foreman handed back the galleypage suddenly, saying:
— Wait. Where's the archbishop's letter? It's to be repeated in the Telegraph. Where's what's his name?
He looked about him round his loud unanswering machines.
— Monks, sir? a voice asked from the castingbox.
— Ay. Where's Monks?
Mr Bloom took up his cutting. Time to get out.
— Then I'll get the design, Mr Nannetti, he said, and you'll give it a good place I know.
— Yes, sir.
Three months' renewal. Want to get some wind off my chest first. Try it anyhow. Rub in August: good idea: horseshow month. Ballsbridge. Tourists over for the show.
He walked on through the caseroom passing an old man, bowed, spectacled, aproned. Old Monks, the dayfather. Queer lot of stuff he must have put through his hands in his time: obituary notices, pubs' ads, speeches, divorce suits, found drowned. Nearing the end of his tether now. Sober serious man with a bit in the savingsbank I'd say. Wife a good cook and washer. Daughter working the machine in the parlour. Plain Jane, no damn nonsense. AND IT WAS THE FEAST OF THE PASSOVER
He stayed in his walk to watch a typesetter neatly distributing type. Reads it backwards first. Quickly he does it. Must require some practice that. mangiD kcirtaP. Poor papa with his hagadah book, reading backwards with his finger to me. Pessach. Next year in Jerusalem. Dear, O dear! All that long business about that brought us out of the land of Egypt and into the house of bondage Alleluia. Shema Israel Adonai Elohenu. No, that's the other. Then the twelve brothers, Jacob's sons. And then the lamb and the cat and the dog and the stick and the water and the butcher. And then the angel of death kills the butcher and he kills the ox and the dog kills the cat. Sounds a bit silly till you come to look into it well. Justice it means but it's everybody eating everyone else. That's what life is after all. How quickly he does that job. Practice makes perfect. Seems to see with his fingers.
Mr Bloom passed on out of the clanking noises through the gallery on to the landing. Now am I going to tram it out all the way and then catch him out perhaps. Better phone him up first. Number? Yes. Same as Citron's house. Twentyeight. Twentyeight double four.
ONLY ONCE MORE THAT SOAP
He went down the house staircase. Who the deuce scrawled all over those walls with matches? Looks as if they did it for a bet. Heavy greasy smell there always is in those works. Lukewarm glue in Thom's next door when I was there.
He took out his handkerchief to dab his nose. Citronlemon? Ah, the soap I put there. Lose it out of that pocket. Putting back his handkerchief he took out the soap and stowed it away, buttoned, into the hip pocket of his trousers.
What perfume does your wife use? I could go home still: tram: something I forgot. Just to see: before: dressing. No. Here. No.
A sudden screech of laughter came from the Evening Telegraph office. Know who that is. What's up? Pop in a minute to phone. Ned Lambert it is.
He entered softly.
ERIN, GREEN GEM OF THE SILVER SEA
— The ghost walks, professor MacHugh murmured softly, biscuitfully to the dusty windowpane.
Mr Dedalus, staring from the empty fireplace at Ned Lambert's quizzing face, asked of it sourly:
— Agonising Christ, wouldn't it give you a heartburn on your arse?
Ned Lambert, seated on the table, read on:
— Or again, note the meanderings of some purling rill as it babbles on its way, tho' quarrelling with the stony obstacles, to the tumbling waters of Neptune's blue domain, 'mid mossy banks, fanned by gentlest zephyrs, played on by the glorious sunlight or 'neath the shadows cast o'er its pensive bosom by the overarching leafage of the giants of the forest. What about that, Simon? he asked over the fringe of his newspaper. How's that for high?
— Changing his drink, Mr Dedalus said.
Ned Lambert, laughing, struck the newspaper on his knees, repeating:
— The pensive bosom and the overarsing leafage. O boys! O boys!
— And Xenophon looked upon Marathon, Mr Dedalus said, looking again on the fireplace and to the window, and Marathon looked on the sea.
— That will do, professor MacHugh cried from the window. I don't want to hear any more of the stuff.