Private Compton: (Laughs) What ho!
Private Carr: (To the navvy)
Portobello barracks canteen. You ask for
Carr. Just Carr.
THE NAVVY: (SHOUTS)
We are the boys. Of Wexford.
Private Compton: Say! What price the sergeantmajor?
Private Carr: Bennett? He’s my pal. I love old Bennett.
THE NAVVY: (SHOUTS)
The galling chain.
And free our native land.
(He Staggers forward, dragging them with him.
Bloom stops, at fault. The
dog approaches, his tongue OUTLOLLING, panting)
Bloom: Wildgoose chase this. Disorderly houses. Lord knows where they are gone. Drunks cover distance double quick. Nice mixup. Scene at Westland row. Then jump in first class with third ticket. Then too far. Train with engine behind. Might have taken me to Malahide or a siding for the night or collision. Second drink does it. Once is a dose. What am I following him for? Still, he’s the best of that lot. If I hadn’t heard about Mrs Beaufoy Purefoy I wouldn’t have gone and wouldn’t have met. Kismet. He’ll lose that cash. Relieving office here. Good biz for cheapjacks, organs. What do ye lack? Soon got, soon gone. Might have lost my life too with that mangongwheeltracktrolleyglarejuggernaut only for presence of mind. Can’t always save you, though. If I had passed Truelock’s window that day two minutes later would have been shot. Absence of body. Still if bullet only went through my coat get damages for shock, five hundred pounds. What was he? Kildare street club toff. God help his gamekeeper.
(He gazes ahead, reading on
the wall A scrawled chalk legend
and A phallic design.) Odd! Molly drawing on the frosted carriagepane at
Kingstown. What’s that like? (Gaudy DOLLWOMEN loll in the lighted
doorways, in window EMBRASURES, smoking Birdseye cigarettes. The odour of
the SICKSWEET weed floats towards him in slow round OVALLING wreaths.)
The wreaths: Sweet are the sweets. Sweets of sin.
Bloom: My spine’s a bit limp. Go or turn? And this food? Eat it and get all pigsticky. Absurd I am. Waste of money. One and eightpence too much. (The retriever drives A cold snivelling muzzle against his hand, wagging his tail.) Strange how they take to me. Even that brute today. Better speak to him first. Like women they like RENCONTRES. Stinks like a