J. J. O'Molloy pulled a long face and walked on silently. They caught up on the others and walked abreast.
— When they have eaten the brawn and the bread and wiped their twenty fingers in the paper the bread was wrapped in they go nearer to the railings.
— Something for you, the professor explained to Myles Crawford. Two old Dublin women on the top of Nelson's pillar.
SOME COLUMN! — THAT'S WHAT WADDLER ONE SAID
— That's new, Myles Crawford said. That's copy. Out for the waxies Dargle. Two old trickies, what?
— But they are afraid the pillar will fall, Stephen went on. They see the roofs and argue about where the different churches are: Rathmines' blue dome, Adam and Eve's, saint Laurence O'Toole's. But it makes them giddy to look so they pull up their skirts . . .
THOSE SLIGHTLY RAMBUNCTIOUS FEMALES
— Easy all, Myles Crawford said. No poetic licence. We're in the archdiocese here.
— And settle down on their striped petticoats, peering up at the statue of the onehandled adulterer.
— Onehandled adulterer! the professor cried. I like that. I see the idea. I see what you mean.
DAMES DONATE DUBLIN'S CITS SPEEDPILLS VELOCITOUS AEROLITHS, BELIEF
— It gives them a crick in their necks, Stephen said, and they are too tired to look up or down or to speak. They put the bag of plums between them and eat the plums out of it, one after another, wiping off with their handkerchiefs the plumjuice that dribbles out of their mouths and spitting the plumstones slowly out between the railings.
He gave a sudden loud young laugh as a close. Lenehan and Mr O'Madden Burke, hearing, turned, beckoned and led on across towards Mooney's.
— Finished? Myles Crawford said. So long as they do no worse.
SOPHIST WALLOPS HAUGHTY HELEN SQUARE ON PROBOSCIS. SPARTANS GNASH MOLARS. ITHACANS VOW PEN IS CHAMP.
— You remind me of Antisthenes, the professor said, a disciple of Gorgias, the sophist. It is said of him that none could tell if he were bitterer against others or against himself. He was the son of a noble and a bondwoman. And he wrote a book in which he took away the palm of beauty from Argive Helen and handed it to poor Penelope.
Poor Penelope. Penelope Rich.
They made ready to cross O'Connell street.
HELLO THERE, CENTRAL!
At various points along the eight lines tramcars with motionless trolleys stood in their tracks, bound for or from Rathmines, Rathfarnham, Blackrock, Kingstown and Dalkey, Sandymount Green, Ringsend and Sandymount Tower, Donnybrook, Palmerston Park and Upper Rathmines, all still, becalmed in short circuit. Hackney cars, cabs, delivery waggons, mailvans, private broughams, aerated mineral water floats with rattling crates of bottles, rattled, rolled, horsedrawn, rapidly.
WHAT? — AND LIKEWISE — WHERE?
— But what do you call it? Myles Crawford asked. Where did they get the plums?
VIRGILIAN, SAYS PEDAGOGUE. SOPHOMORE PLUMPS FOR OLD MAN MOSES.
— Call it, wait, the professor said, opening his long lips wide to reflect. Call it, let me see. Call it: deus nobis haec otia fecit.
— No, Stephen said. I call it A Pisgah Sight of Palestine or the Parable of The Plums.
— I see, the professor said.
He laughed richly.
— I see, he said again with new pleasure. Moses and the promised land. We gave him that idea, he added to J. J. O'Molloy.
HORATIO IS CYNOSURE THIS FAIR JUNE DAY
J. J. O'Molloy sent a weary sidelong glance towards the statue and held his peace.
— I see, the professor said.
He halted on sir John Gray's pavement island and peered aloft at Nelson through the meshes of his wry smile.
DIMINISHED DIGITS PROVE TOO TITILLATING FOR FRISKY FRUMPS. ANNE WIMBLES, FLO WANGLES — YET CAN YOU BLAME THEM?
— Onehandled adulterer, he said smiling grimly. That tickles me, I must say.
— Tickled the old ones too, Myles Crawford said, if the God Almighty's truth was known.