A onelegged sailor crutched himself round MacConnell's corner, skirting Rabaiotti's icecream car, and jerked himself up Eccles street. Towards Larry O'Rourke, in shirtsleeves in his doorway, he growled unamiably
He swung himself violently forward past Katey and Boody Dedalus, halted and growled:
─home and beauty.
J.J. O'Molloy's white careworn face was told that Mr Lambert was in the warehouse with a visitor.
A stout lady stopped, took a copper coin from her purse and dropped it into the cap held out to her. The sailor grumbled thanks and glanced sourly at the unheeding windows, sank his head and swung himself forward four strides.
He halted and growled angrily:
Two barefoot urchins, sucking long liquorice laces, halted near him, gaping at his stump with their yellow-slobbered mouths.
He swung himself forward in vigorous jerks, halted, lifted his head towards a window and bayed deeply:
─home and beauty.
The gay sweet chirping whistling within went on a bar or two, ceased. The blind of the window was drawn aside. A card Unfurnished Apartments slipped from the sash and fell.
A plump bare generous arm shone, was seen, held forth from a white petticoatbodice and taut shiftstraps. A woman's hand flung forth a coin over the area railings. It fell on the path.
One of the urchins ran to it, picked it up and dropped it into the minstrel's cap, saying:
The blonde girl in Thornton's bedded the wicker basket with rustling fibre. Blazes Boylan handed her the bottle swathed in pink tissue paper and a small jar.
─Put these in first, will you? he said.
─Yes, sir, the blond girl said, and the fruit on top.
─That'll do, game ball, Blazes Boylan said.
She bestowed fat pears neatly, head by tail, and among them ripe shamefaced peaches.
Blazes Boylan walked here and there in new tan shoes about the fruitsmelling shop, lifting fruits, young juicy crinkled and plump red tomatoes, sniffing smells.
H. E. L. Y.’S. filed before him, tallwhitehatted, past Tangier lane, plodding towards their goal.
He turned suddenly from a chip of strawberries, drew a gold watch from his fob and held it at its chain's length.
─Can you send them by tram? Now?
A darkbacked figure under Merchants' arch scanned books on the hawker's car.
─Certainly, sir. Is it in the city?
─O, yes, Blazes Boylan said. Ten minutes.
The blond girl handed him a docket and pencil.
─Will you write the address, sir?
Blazes Boylan at the counter wrote and pushed the docket to her.
─Send it at once, will you? he said. It's for an invalid.
─Yes, sir. I will, sir.
Blazes Boylan rattled merry money in his trousers' pocket.
─What's the damage? he asked.
The blond girl's slim fingers reckoned the fruits.
Blazes Boylan looked into the cut of her blouse. A young pullet. He took a red carnation from the tall stemglass.
─This for me? he asked gallantly.
The blond girl glanced sideways at him, got up regardless, with his tie a bit crooked, blushing.
─Yes, sir, she said.
Bending archly she reckoned again fat pears and blushing peaches.
Blazes Boylan looked in her blouse with more favour, the stalk of the red flower between his smiling teeth.
─May I say a word to your telephone, missy? he asked roguishly.
Miss Dunne hid the Capel street library copy of The Woman in White far back in her drawer and rolled a sheet of gaudy notepaper into her typewriter.
Too much mystery business in it. Is he in love with that one, Marion? Change it and get another by Mary Cecil Haye.
Miss Dunne clicked on the keyboard:
─16 June 1904.
Five tallwhitehatted sandwichmen between Monypeny's corner and the slab where Wolfe Tone's statue was not, eeled themselves turning H. E. L. Y.'S and plodded back as they had come.
Then she stared at the large poster of Marie Kendall, charming soubrette, and, listlessly lolling, scribbled on the jotter sixteens and capital esses. Mustard hair and dauby cheeks. She's not nicelooking, is she? The way she is holding up her bit of a skirt. Wonder will that fellow be at the band tonight. If I could get that dressmaker to make a concertina skirt like Susy Nagle's. They kick out grand. Shannon and all the boatclub swells never took his eyes off her. Hope to goodness he won't keep me here till seven.
The telephone rang rudely by her ear.
─Hello. Yes, sir. No, sir. Yes, sir. I'll ring them up after five. Only those two, sir, for Belfast and Liverpool. All right, sir. Then I can go after six if you're not back. A quarter after. Yes, sir. Twentyseven and six. I'll tell him. Yes: one, seven, six.
She scribbled three figures on an envelope.
─Mr Boylan l Hello! That gentleman from Sport was in looking for you. Mr Lenehan, yes. He said he'll be in the Ormond at four. No, sir. Yes, sir. I'll ring them up after five.