夏日的黄昏开始把世界笼罩在神秘的拥抱中。在遥远的西边，太阳沉落了。这一天转瞬即逝，将最后一抹余晖含情脉脉地投射在海洋和岸滩上，投射在一如往日那样厮守着湾水做然屹立的亲爱的老霍斯岬角以及沙丘海岸那杂草蔓生的岸石上；最后的但并非微不足道的，也投射在肃穆的教堂上。从这里，时而划破寂静，倾泻出向圣母玛利亚祷告的声音。她——"海洋之星"[ 1 ]，发出清纯的光辉，永远像灯塔般照耀着人们那被暴风颠簸的心灵。
三个少女结伴坐在岩石上，饱览着傍晚的风景，享受着那清新而还不太凉的微风。她们曾多次[ 2 ] 到自己所喜爱的这个地方来，在闪亮的波浪旁亲切畅快地谈论女人的家常。西茜·卡弗里和伊迪·博德曼将娃娃放在婴儿车里，还带着两个鬈发的小男孩汤米和杰基·卡弗里。他们身穿水手服，头戴水手帽，衣帽上均印染着"H. M. S. [ 3 ] 美岛号"字样。汤米和杰基·卡弗里是双胞胎，不满四岁，有时吵闹得厉害，被宠坏了。尽管那样，两张活泼快乐的小脸蛋儿和惹人喜爱的动作使他们依然是人人疼爱的小宝宝。他们手执铲子和桶，弄得浑身是沙子，像一般孩童那样筑城堡，或者玩他们的大彩球，快快乐乐地打发着光阴。伊迪·博德曼一前一后地摇着婴儿车里的胖嘟嘟的娃娃。那位小绅士高兴得咯咯直笑。他才十一个月零九天。尽管刚趔趔趄趄地学步，却已开始咿呀学语了。西茜·卡弗里朝他弯下身去，逗弄他那胖嘟嘟的小脸蛋儿和腮帮上那个可爱的小酒窝儿。
西茜·卡弗里紧紧地搂抱住小不点儿，因为她非常喜欢孩子，对小病人极有耐性。除非是由西茜·卡弗里捏着汤米·卡弗里的鼻子并且答应给他一截面包尖儿，或涂满金色糖浆的黑面包，他是绝不肯服蓖麻油的。这个姑娘的说服力够多么大啊！当然，娃娃博德曼也确实很乖，他围着崭新的涎布，是个再可爱不过的小家伙。西茜·卡弗里完全不是像弗洛拉·麦克弗利姆西[ 4 ]那种被宠坏了的美人儿。她是位世上罕见的心地纯正的少女：一双吉卜赛人式的眼睛总是笑吟吟的，熟樱桃般的红唇[ 5 ] ，随口说着逗人的话，真是再可爱不过了。伊迪·博德曼听了小弟弟的妙语，不禁也笑起来。
"不希[ 是 ] ，"汤米险些儿掉了眼泪。
格蒂·麦克道维尔坐在离伙伴不远处。她凝望远方，沉湎在默想中。她在富于魅力的爱尔兰姑娘中间，确实是位不经见的美少女典范。凡是认识她的人都一口称道她的美貌。人们常说，她长得与其说是像父方麦克道维尔家的，倒不如说是更像母方吉尔特拉普家的人。她身材苗条优美，甚至有些纤弱，然而她近日服用的铁片，比寡妇韦尔奇的妇女丸药对她更加滋补。过去常有的白带什么的少了，疲劳感也减轻了不少。她那蜡一般白哲的脸，纯净如象牙，真是天仙一般。她那玫瑰花蕾般的嘴唇，确实是爱神之弓，有着匀称的希腊美。她那双有着细微血管的手像是雪花膏做成的，纤纤手指如烛心，只有柠檬汁和高级软膏才能使它们这般白嫩。然而关于她睡觉时戴羔羊皮手套和用牛奶泡脚之说，则纯属捏造。有一次伯莎·萨波尔被格蒂气昏了头，大有剑拔弩张之势（彼此要好的少女们自然也像其他凡人一样，不时地会闹些小别扭），她便故意对伊迪·博德曼撒了这么个谎。伯莎还告诉伊迪，千万不要对人说这话是从她那儿听来的，不然的话，她就再也不跟伊迪说话了。她当然没有说出去。但是荣誉归于该享受它的人。格蒂天生优雅，有着楚楚动人、女王般的非凡气宇[ 6 ]。她那双秀丽的手和高高拱起的脚背确凿无疑地证明了这一点。倘若福星高照，让她投生上流社会家庭，并受到良好的教育，格蒂·麦克道维尔就会成为与本国任何贵妇相比也毫不逊色的淑女。她额上就会戴起宝石，穿着讲究，跟前必然围满了竞相向她献殷勤的贵公子们。莫非是可能尝到过恋爱的滋味吧，她那柔和俊秀的脸上有时露出自我克制的紧张神情。于是她那双美丽的眼睛就掠过一抹不可思议的渴望的影子。这样的魅力是几乎没有人不倾倒的。女人的眼睛为什么如此富于魅力？格蒂那双爱尔兰蓝眼睛是再蓝不过的，并且有带光泽的睫毛和富于表情的深色眉毛相衬托。她的眉毛原本并不像这样丝绒一般地迷人。还是主编《公主中篇小说》[ 7 ]美容栏的维拉·维利蒂太太最早劝她试着描描眉毛。这样就为她的眼睛平添了一种诱人神情，而这是十分合乎社交界名流趣向的。她从未因之而后悔过。还有用科学方法治愈脸红的毛病啦，怎样用身高促进法来使你身材硕长啦，再就是你有张漂亮脸蛋儿，可是鼻子呢？对迪格纳穆太太挺合式，因为她长的是个蒜头鼻子。然而格蒂最值得夸耀的还是她那一头丰茂的秀发：是深褐色的，而且天生地鬈曲。为了图个新月上升的吉利，当天早晨她曾把头发剪了剪，浓密的鬈发蓬蓬松松地环绕在她那俊秀的头上。她还修剪了指甲。星期四剪，招财进宝。此刻经伊迪这么一说，泄露隐情的红色就像最娇嫩的玫瑰花一般柔和地爬上了她的双颊。甜蜜而少女气的羞涩使她看上去如此姣好。确实踏遍天主的绮丽国土爱尔兰，也找不到能同她媲美的。
她带着些许忧郁，双目低垂，沉默了一会儿。她刚要抢白两句，可是话到嘴边又咽了回去。若按她的脾气，是想回嘴的，可是自尊心告诫她，还是保持缄默为好。她只噘了一下芳唇，接着就抬头望一下，快活地笑了，声音充满了五月早晨的青春气息。她比任何人都清楚，斜眼伊迪为什么这么说。她认为他的感情冷漠了，其实那只不过是恋人之间闹闹别扭而已。由于那个拥有一辆自行车的男孩子总是[ 8 ] 在她窗前骑来骑去，伊迪觉得可不是滋味啦。不过眼下正当取得奖学金资格的期中考试，他父亲把他关在家里，要他拼命用功。念完高中后，他将进入三一学院去学医，就像他那位在三一学院参加自行车赛的哥哥w·E·怀利那样。她心里时而像剜了个洞一般隐隐作痛，一直刺到内心深处，他对此似乎无动于衷。然而他还年轻，到一定的时候说不定就学会爱起她来。他家里是新教徒，而格蒂呢，当然晓得哪一位最重要。其次是圣母玛利亚，然后是圣约瑟。然而他确实是个英俊少年，鼻子长得很美，浑身处处都不折不扣地是位上等人。没戴帽子的时候，从背后望去，她就能认得出来。因为他就是有点儿与众不同。他在街灯那儿撒开车把转弯的那副样子也罢，还有他吸的那种上等纸烟好闻的香味也罢，都非同凡响。而且他和她个头也那么般配。由于他没有骑着车在格蒂家的小院子前面荡来荡去，伊迪·博德曼自以为聪明透顶，说到了点子上。
格蒂穿戴朴素，却又具有一个时髦少女出于本能对社交界流行习尚的敏感。因为她感到，他有可能出门来了。整洁的电光蓝色宽胸罩衫是她亲手染的（因为据《夫人画报》[9 ]，这是即将时新的颜色），V字形的领口潇潇洒洒地开到胸部和手帕兜那儿（手帕会使兜儿变形，所以她一向总在里面放一片脱脂棉，上面洒了她心爱的香水），再加上一条剪裁适度的海军蓝短裙，把她那优美苗条的身材衬托得更加仪态万方。她戴的那顶俏丽可人的小帽是用褐黑色麦秆粗粗编成的，与镶在帽檐底下的蛋青色绳绒形成鲜明对照。边上系着同一色调的丝质蝴蝶结。上星期二整个儿下午，她到处物色配色的绳绒，终于在克勒利[ 10 ]的夏季大甩卖上寻觅到中意的了。她要的正是它，尽管多少摆旧了点儿，然而谁也觉察不出来。一共七中指长[ 11 ]，花了两先令一便士。她亲手把它镶上。试戴时，她朝着映在镜中的情影嫣然一笑，自是心满意足！当她为了怕帽子走形而把它放在水罐上的时候，她才意识到这样做会使某些熟人黯然失色。她的鞋是当前最时髦的。伊迪·博德曼引为得意的是她的鞋号码很小[ 12 ]，然而她从未长过格蒂·麦克道维尔那样一双仅仅五号的脚，永远也不会的。[13 ]鞋尖是漆皮的，高高拱起的脚背上有着精致的饰扣。她那露在裙子底下的漂亮的脚脖子生得极其匀称，线条优美的小腿也合乎体统地略微露出一截，上面套着几乎透明的长袜。脚后跟的部位是特别编织的，上面还系着宽袜带。最使格蒂操心的要算是内衣了。凡是晓得甜蜜的十七岁（格蒂已经同十七岁永远告别了）那种怔忡不安的热望和恐惧的人，难道忍心去责备她吗，她有四套绣得非常精致的出门穿的衣服，三件家常穿的，另外还有几件睡衣。每套出门穿的衣服都分别缀着各色缎带：有玫瑰色、淡蓝色、紫红色和豆青色的。每穿一次，她总是亲自晾晒。从洗衣坊里送回来后，又亲手上蓝、并给烫平。她还有一块垫熨斗用的砖片，因为她怕洗衣妇会把衣服烫糊。简直信不过她们！她穿蓝色是图个吉祥，希望交好运。这是她自己的颜色，新娘子身上要是带一点蓝色总会吉利的。上星期那一天她穿的是豆青色的，就带来了忧伤，因为他父亲把他关在家里让他用功，好参加取得奖学金资格的期中考试。她原寻思，他兴许会出门的，因为今儿早晨换衣服的时候，她差点儿把旧裤衩儿反着穿。除非是赶在星期五，反过来穿是会走运的，有利于情人幽会。要么，如果裤衩儿松开来了，那就说明他在想念你哩。
可是——可是！瞧她脸上那副紧张的神色！总是显得那么忧心忡忡。灵魂通过她那双眼睛透露出来，她渴望能够独自呆在住惯了的房间里，好好哭上一场，用泪水减轻她心头的郁闷。可又不能哭得太厉害。她对着镜子掌握分寸，要哭得恰到好处。镜子说：格蒂，你长得真美。黄昏时分那苍白的余晖投射到一张悲伤、愁闷之至的脸庞上。格蒂·麦克道维尔这种缱绻的情思是徒然的。她从一开始就知道，关于举行一场婚礼的幻想啦，为雷吉·怀利·T·C·D·太太（因为嫁给他哥哥的那一位才能做怀利太太）敲响的喜钟啦，以及据社交栏的报道，格楚德·怀利太太穿了一身用昂贵的青狐皮镶边的豪华灰服，都是不可能的。他太年轻了，还不懂事。他不会相信恋爱，而那是女人生来的权利。很久以前，在斯托尔家举行的晚宴上（他还穿着短裤呢），只有他们两个人在一起时，他悄悄地用一只胳膊搂了她的腰；她呢，连嘴唇都吓白了。他古里古怪地嗄着嗓儿叫着她"小不点儿"，冷不防还接了半个吻（平生第一遭儿！），然而他碰着的仅仅是她的鼻尖儿。随后，他赶忙走出房间，念叨着吃茶点的话。好个鲁莽的小伙子！雷吉·怀利从来不曾以性格鲜明见长，而向格蒂·麦克道维尔求婚并赢得她的爱情者，必须是个杰出人物[ 14 ]。然而她只能等待，总是等待人家来求婚。这又是个闰年，很快就会过去的。她的意中人并不是将珍贵、神奇的爱情献在她脚前的风流倜傥的王子，他毋宁是个刚毅的男子汉；神情安详的脸上蕴含着坚强的意志，却还没有找到理想的女子。他的头发也许或多或少已经斑白了，他会理解她，伸出胳膊来保护她，凭着他那深沉多情的天性紧紧搂住她，并用长长的亲吻安慰她。那就像是天堂一般。在这馨香的夏日傍晚，她企盼着的就是这么一位。她衷心渴望委身于他，做他信誓旦旦的妻子：贫富共当，不论患病或健康，直到死亡使我们分手，自今日以至将来。[ 15 ]
于是，当伊迪·博德曼带着小汤米呆在婴儿车后面的时候，她正在思忖，能够称自己为他的幼妻的那一天是否会到来。那样，大家就会议论她，直到脸上发青。伯莎·萨波尔也不例外；还有小炮竹伊迪，因为十一月她就满二十岁了。她也会照顾他，使他衣食上舒适。格蒂凭着她那份妇道人家的智慧，晓得但凡是个男人，都喜欢那种家庭气氛。她那烤成金褐色的薄饼和放有大量美味奶油的安妮女王布丁[ 16 ]曾赢得过众人的好评。因为她有一双灵巧的手，不论点火，还是撒上一层加了发酵粉的精白面，不断地朝一个方向搅和，然后搀上牛奶白糖，调成奶油，或是将蛋清搅匀，她样样擅长。不过，她可不喜欢当着人面吃什么，怪害臊的。她常常纳闷为什么不能吃一些像紫罗兰或玫瑰花那样富于诗情的东西！他们还会有一间布置优雅的客厅，装饰着绘画、雕刻以及外祖父吉尔特拉普那只可爱的狗加里欧文的照片。它是那样通人性，几乎能说话了。椅子套着光滑的印花棉布罩子，还有来自克莱利的夏季旧杂货义卖展上的银质烤面包架，就像阔人家拥有的那样。他身材高大，肩膀宽阔（她一向欣赏高个子，丈夫就得要这样的），在仔细修剪过的弯弯的口髭下面，闪烁着一口雪白牙齿。他们将到大陆上去度蜜月（多么美妙的三个星期！）然后就安顿在精致、整洁、舒适而又亲切的安乐窝里。每天早晨他们两人共进早餐，吃得虽然简单，却都是精心烹制的。他去治公之前，总先热烈地紧紧拥抱一下亲爱的小妻子，并且垂下头去深深凝视一会儿她的眼睛。
伊迪·博德曼问汤米·卡弗里"好了吗"，他说"好啦"。于是，她就替他扣上小小短裤的钮扣，叫他跑去跟杰基玩耍：要乖乖的，可别打架。但是汤米说他要那只球， 而伊迪告诉他说：不行，娃娃在玩球呢；要是他把球拿了去，又该吵架了。然而汤米说，这是他的球， 他要自己的球。瞧，他竟然在地上跺起脚来了。好大的脾气！哦，他已经成人了， 小汤米·卡弗里成人啦，因为已经摘掉围嘴儿了嘛。伊迪对他说，不行，不行，马上走开吧， 她还告诉西酋·卡弗里，对他可不能让步。 "你不是我姐姐，"淘气包汤米说，"这是我的球。"
"为了图清静，怎么着都行[ 18 ]，"西丝[ 19 ]笑道。
于是，她就轻搔了一下小娃子的脸蛋儿，好让他分神，哄着他玩什么市长大人出门啦，这里是他的两匹马啦，这里是他的花哨马车。瞧，他进来了，咕喽喽，咕喽喽，咕喽喽，咕。[ 20 ]然而伊迪对他非常气恼，都怪大家总是溺爱他，把他惯得这么任性。
鲁莽的西酋，长着一头古怪的黑面木偶般的鬈发，有时会惹你发笑。例如，当她问你要不要再喝点中国茶和碧玉浆果酒以及把水罐拽过去时，她那指甲上用红墨水画的男人的脸，会叫你笑破肚皮；她想去方便一下的话，就说什么要跑去拜访怀特小姐。这就是西酋一惯的作法。哦，你永远也不会忘记那个傍晚：她穿戴上父亲的衣帽，用软木炭画上口髭，边抽雪茄烟边沿着特里顿维尔[ 21 ]走去。逗起乐来，谁都赛不过她。然而她真是诚恳到家了，是上天创造的最勇敢、最真诚的一位，绝不是通常那种表里不一的家伙。甜言蜜语是不可能由衷诚恳的。
接着，合唱声和风琴奏出的嘹亮圣歌声从空中传来。这是耶稣会传教士约翰·休斯所主持的成人戒酒活动，他们在那里静修，诵《玫瑰经》，倾听布道并接受圣体降福。大家聚集在那里，彼此间没有社会阶层的畛域（那是最为感人的情景）。饱经令人厌倦的现世风暴后，在浪涛旁边这座简陋的教堂里，跪在无染原罪圣母的脚下，口诵洛雷托圣母[ 22 ]的启应祷文。用自古以来说惯了的圣母玛利亚、童贞中之圣童贞等等称呼，恳请她代他们祈求。可怜的格蒂听了，心中何等悲戚！倘若她父亲发誓戒酒或服用《皮尔逊周刊》[ 23 ]上所载的那些根除酒瘾的粉剂，摆脱了酒的魔爪，而今她蛮能乘着马车到处兜风，绝不逊于任何人。由于她讨厌室内有两个亮光，就连灯也不点。忧思重重，守着炉火的余烬出神，一遍又一遍地对自己这么说着。有时她又一连几个钟头恍恍惚惚地凝视着窗外那打在生锈的铁桶上的雨水，沉思默想。然而那个曾经破坏过多少家庭的罪孽深重的杯中物，给她的童年也投下了阴影。岂止是这样，她甚至在家里目击到酗酒引起的暴行，看到她的亲爹撒酒疯，完全失了常态。格蒂比什么都知道得清楚的是：凡是并非为了帮助女人而对女人动手的男子，理应都被打上最卑鄙者的烙印[ 24 ]。
向最有权能的童贞，最大慈大悲的童贞祈求的诵歌声继续传来。格蒂陷入沉思，对于女伴们和正在稚气地嬉戏着的双胞胎以及从沙丘草地那边走来的先生，她几乎都视而不见，听而不闻。西茜·卡弗里说那位沿着岸滩做短途散步的先生像煞格蒂她爹。不过西茜从来没见过喝得醉醺醺的他。不管怎样，她才不想要这么个爹呢。也许因为他太苍老，要么就是由于他那张脸的缘故（活脱儿像是费尔博士[ 25 ]），或是他那长满酒刺的红鼻子和鼻下那银丝斑斑的沙色口髭。可怜的爹！他缺点纵多，她依然爱他[ 26 ]。当他唱《告诉我玛丽，怎样向你求爱》[ 27 ]和"我的意中人及其茅舍在罗切尔附近[28 ] ，一家人作为晚饭吃炖乌蛤和拌上拉曾拜的生菜调味料的莴苣，以及他和迪格纳穆（那位先生因患脑溢血突然逝世，已被埋葬了，天主对他发慈悲吧）合唱《月亮升起来了》[29 ]的时候。那是她妈妈的生日，查理在家休假，还有汤姆[ 30 ]、迪格纳穆夫妇、帕齐和弗雷迪·迪格纳穆[31 ]，要是大家合影留念就好了。谁也不曾料到他这么快就会死去。如今他已长眠了。她妈妈对他爹说，让他终身把这引以为戒吧。由于患痛风症，他连葬礼都没能去参加。她只好进城到他的办公室去替他取来凯茨比公司关于软木亚麻油毡的函件和样品：富于艺术性，标准图案，适于装饰豪华邸宅，耐久力极强，能使府上永远明亮而愉快。
在家里，格蒂是个真正的好女儿，恰似第二个母亲，还是个护守天使[32 ]。她那颗小小的心，贵重如黄金。当她妈妈头痛欲裂的时候，替她在前额上擦锥形薄荷锭的不是别人，正是格蒂。不过，她讨厌妈妈吸鼻烟的嗜好，母女之间也仅仅就吸鼻烟一事拌过嘴。大家都认为对人体贴入微的她是个乖妞儿。每天晚上扭紧煤气总开关的是她。她从来也没忘记过每两周在那个地方[ 33 ]撒氯酸盐。把过圣诞节时食品杂货商滕尼[34 ]先生送的日历贴在那面墙上的，也是她。那是一幅以哈尔西昂时期[ 35 ]为题材的画：一个青年绅士身着当时流行的衣服，头戴三角帽，隔着格子窗以往昔的骑士气概向他所爱慕的姑娘献上一束鲜花。可以看出，个中必有一段故事。色调十分优美。她穿的是柔和而剪裁得体的白衫，举止端庄稳重。男子则是一身巧克力色服装，显出地地道道的贵族派头。每逢她去方便一下时，就心荡神移地望着他们，挽起袖子，抚摩着自己那双像她那样白皙柔嫩的膀子[ 36 ]，并驰想着那个时代的往事。因为她在外祖父吉尔特拉普所收藏的《沃克发音辞典》[ 37 ]中查到了哈尔西昂一词的含意。
"失败了，就再试它一回，"[ 38 ]伊迪·博德曼说。
从教堂那敞着的窗口里飘溢出阵阵馨香，同时还传来无染原罪始胎之母那些芬香的名字；妙神之器，为我等祈；可崇之器，为我等祈；圣情大器，为我等祈；玄义玫瑰。那些饱经忧患的心灵，为每天的面包操劳的，众多误入歧途，到处流浪的。他们的眼睛被悔恨之泪打湿，却又放出希望的光辉，因为可敬的休神父曾经把伟大的圣伯尔纳在他那篇歌颂玛利亚的著名祷文[ 39 ]中所说的话告诉过他们：任何时代也不曾记载过，那些恳求最虔诚的童贞玛利亚为之祈祷、有力地保护他们的人，曾被她所遗弃。
格蒂衷心巴望他们能把咭哇乱叫的娃娃打这儿领回家去，免得再刺激她的神经。现在已不适宜呆在外面了，对那孪生的调皮鬼来说也是一样。她放眼凝望着海洋远处。那景色宛如画匠用彩色粉笔在马路上做的画。多么可惜，那一幅幅的画就全留在那儿等人给抹掉。暮色渐深，云雾弥漫，霍斯岬角的贝利灯台的光，乐声萦回耳际。还吹来教堂里所焚的馨香气味。她一边眺望着，一边心里怦怦直跳。可不是嘛，他瞧的正是她呢，而且他的目光是意味深长的。他的眼神犹如烈火，烧进她的内心，仿佛要把她搜索个透，要对她的灵魂了如指掌。那是一双神采奕奕的眼睛，表情丰富，可是信得过吗？人们就是这样古怪。从他那双黑眼睛和苍白而富于理智的脸来看，他是个外国人，长得跟她所收藏的那帧红极一时的小生马丁·哈维[ 40 ]的照片一模一样。只不过多了两撇小胡子。然而她更喜欢有胡子，因为她不像温妮·里平哈姆那样一心一意想当演员，看了一出戏[ 41 ] 后就说咱们老是穿同样的衣服吧。但是她看不出坐在那边的他，长的是鹰钩鼻呢，还是不明显的狮子鼻[ 42 ]。她看得出，他身穿纯黑的丧服，戚容满面，为了了解个中原因，她不惜任何代价。他纹丝不动，专心致志地仰望着。当她踢球的时候，他瞅见了她怎样趾尖朝下，把脚摆动得很细心，也许他还看到了她鞋上那锃亮的钢质饰扣哩。她很高兴由于某种预感而穿上了这双透明的袜子。原来想的是兴许雷吉·怀利会出门，然而那已经过去了。她一向梦寐以求的，就在眼前。重要的是他，她喜形于色，因为她要他；因为她直觉地感到，他跟任何人都不一样。这个稚气未脱的女人的整个儿一颗心，扑向他——她幻梦中的丈夫，因为她一眼就看出他就是她的意中人。倘若他受过苦，没有犯多大罪，却受了很大冤屈[ 43 ]；不，哪怕他本人就是个罪人，一个坏人，她也满不在乎。即使他是个新教徒或遁道公会教徒，倘若他真心爱她， 她还是不难把他改变过来的。[ 44 ] 有些创伤只能用爱情的香膏来医治。她是个温柔的女性，不像他所认识的那种没有女人气的轻浮丫头，那些骑上自行车到处炫耀自己所并不具备的品质的人们。她渴望他能把什么都告诉自己，她什么都能宽恕；倘若她能使他爱上自己， 她就能使他忘掉过去的回忆[ 45 ]。那样一来，他或许就会像个真正的男子汉那样温存地拥抱她，把她那绵软的身子紧紧地搂住，爱她——唯一属于他的姑娘。他只爱她一个人。
罪人之避难所，苦恼者之安慰。为我等祈。[46 ]这话说得对：凡是怀着信仰持续不断地向她祷告者，永远不会迷失方向或遭到遗弃。说圣母是受苦受难者的避难港也是贴切的，因为她自己的心脏就被七苦[ 47 ] 刺穿了。格蒂能够想象得出教堂里的一切情景：被灯光照亮的彩色玻璃，蜡烛，鲜花，圣母玛利亚教友会的蓝色旗帜。 康罗伊神父在祭坛上协助教堂蒙席奥汉龙，他双目低垂，把一些圣器搬出搬进。 他看上去几乎是一位圣徒。他那间忏悔阁子是那么宁静、清洁、幽暗，他那双手白得像蜡一般。 倘若有朝一日她当上了多明我会的修女，身着白袍，说不定他会到女修道院来主持圣多明我的九日敬礼[ 48 ]哩。她在忏悔的当儿告诉他那档子事后，生怕他看得见，连头发根儿都羞红了。他却说， 不要苦恼，因为那不过是自然的声音，而我们生在现世，都要服从自然的规律。 那不是什么过错， 因为它来自天主所制定的妇女天性。他还说，我们的圣母玛利亚本人就曾对大天使加百列说过："愿你的话应验在我身上。"[ 49 ]他是那样的和蔼、圣洁，她多次想做一只带褶饰的绣花茶壶保温罩送给他。要么就是一只座钟。只是那一天她为了四十小时朝拜[50 ]用的鲜花而去那里时，曾注意到他们的壁炉台上摆着一只白、金两色的座钟， 一只金丝雀从一个小屋里踱出报时。想知道送什么礼物合适可真难哪。干脆送一本都柏林或什么地方的彩色风景画册吧。
他们才不回来呢！多么任性的娃娃们呀！西茜说，她再也不带他们出门啦。她跳起来，喊叫他们，从他身边擦过去，跑下了坡，头发披散在背后。头发的颜色倒还过得去，只是不够浓密，尽管她不断地擦着什么药，由于不对路子，总也不见长。所以她对那药的怨气可大啦。她像雄鹅一般迈着大步跑，裙子箍得那么紧，令人惊异的是居然没裂开。西茜·卡弗里颇像个假小子，只要认为有个一显身手的机会，就不放弃。她有双飞毛腿，跑起来她那皮包骨的腿肚子抬得高高的，能够让他看到她的衬裙下摆。为了使身材显得高一些，她特意穿上了弓形的法国式高跟鞋。要是不巧绊倒在什么东西上头，摔了个屁股墩儿，那才活该呢。看哪！[ 51 ]满可以让像那样一位绅士赏心悦目的了。
他们向诸天神之王后，诸圣祖之王后，诸先知之王后，诸圣人之王后，至圣玫瑰之王后祷告。然后，康罗伊神父把香炉递给教堂蒙席奥汉龙。他添上香料，把圣心薰香。西茜·卡夫里逮住了双胞胎，她恨不得掴他们几个大耳刮子，但是想到他也许在瞧着，所以她没这么做。然而西茜一辈子也没有过更大的误会，因为格蒂即使不看也能知道，他始终目不转睛地看着的是她。然后，教堂蒙席奥汉龙将香炉递还给康罗伊神父，跪下来瞻仰圣心。唱诗班开始吟唱堂堂圣体。她随着堂堂圣体奥——妙至极[ 52 ]的悠扬乐声，用一只脚一前一后地踩着拍子。她在乔治街的斯帕罗商店花三先令十一便士买下了这双长袜。那是星期二，不——是复活节前的星期一。他定睛望着的正是这双连一根线也没绽的透明袜子，而不是西茜那双毫无可取、一点样儿也没有的袜子（真是丢人现眼！）他有眼光，辨别得出其间的差别。
西茜领着一对双胞胎带着他们的球，沿着沙滩走来了。由于跑了一阵，帽子歪到一边去了，勉强扣在脑袋上。两个星期前才买的便宜衬衫像抹布似的耷拉在背后，还邋里邋遢地拖出一截衬裙下摆，那副样子简直像是拖着两个娃娃的荡妇[53 ] 。为了整理一下头发，格蒂摘了一会儿帽子。还没见过一个少女肩上披散着这么漂亮、优美的一头深栗色鬈发呢。 看上去如此娇艳可爱，说实在的，妖娆得几乎令人发狂。 你得走上多少英里漫长的道路才能遇上这么一头美发。她几乎可以看到他对此蓦地做出的反应： 两眼闪过一丝赞赏的目光，她的每一根神经都为之震颤。她戴上帽子，好从帽檐底下窥伺。 当她瞥见他眼睛里的神情时，不禁紧张起来，就赶快甩开那只有着饰扣的鞋。 他就像是蛇盯住猎物般地盯着她。女人的本能告诉她，她唤醒了他心中的魔鬼。这么一想， 一片火红色就从喉咙刷地掠到眉字间，最后，她那鲜活的面庞变成一朵容光焕发的玫瑰。
因为她巴不得她们早些把这对净流鼻涕的双胞胎和那个娃娃领回家去，省得他们老在这里淘气，所以才委婉地暗示天色已晚的话。当西茜走上来时，伊迪问她几点了。爱耍贫嘴的西茜小姐说，接吻时间已过了半小时，到了再接吻一次的时刻啦[54 ] 。然而伊迪还是想知道时间，因为家里要他们早点儿回去。
西茜对他说，劳驾，能不能麻烦他告诉她一下准确的时间？格蒂看见他掏出表，听了听，仰起脸来，清了清喉咙，说他非常抱歉，他的表停了。然而，他估计八点过了，因为太阳已经落下。从他的声音听得出是有教养的，语调虽平稳，圆润的嗓音却带点颤巍。西茜道了谢，走回来伸伸舌头说，那位伯伯说他的水道[ 56 ] 堵塞啦。
伊迪开始准备回去，而且也到了该回去的时刻。格蒂留意到，她所给的小小暗示已产生了预期的效果，因为沿着岸滩走上一大段路才能够抵达把婴儿车推上大道的地方。西茜摘掉双胞胎的便帽，替他们拢了拢头发，当然，这是为了使她自己富于魅力。身穿领口打着褶子的祭袍的教堂蒙席奥汉龙站了起来，康罗伊神父递给他一张卡片来读。于是，他诵读起你赐与他们神粮[57 ] 。伊迪和西茜一直在谈论时间，还向格蒂打听。格蒂倒也善于以其人之道还治其身，口气辛辣而彬彬有礼地做了答复。这时伊迪又问格蒂，她莫非是由于遭到男朋友的遗弃而心碎。一阵剧烈的痉挛穿过格蒂的全身。刹那间，她的眼睛里闪出冰冷的火焰，显示出无限轻蔑。她受到了创伤——对，深重的创伤。伊迪活像是一只可恶的小猫，偏偏用一种独特的安详口吻说这类明知道会伤害对方的活。格蒂旋即张开嘴要说什么，但是她竭力抑制住涌到嗓子眼里的哽咽——她喉咙的造型细溜、完美而俊秀，像是艺术家所梦寐以求的。她对那个青年爱得比他所知道的还要强烈。他跟所有其他男性一样，是个轻浮的负心人，见异思迁，永远也不会理解他在她心目中是何等重要。她那双蓝眼睛倏地热泪盈眶。她们两个人的眼睛冷酷无情地盯着她望。但是她却英勇地以同情的目光瞟了她新征服的那个男子一眼，让她们瞧瞧。
她的话清澈如水晶，比斑尾林鸽咕咕的叫声还要悦耳；然而却像冰块似的划破了寂静。她那年轻的声音宣告说：她可不是能够随随便便地被人摆布的。至于凭着几个钱就那么神气活现的雷吉先生，她蛮可以当作垃圾一样地把他抛掉，再也不会想到他，并把他寄来的那张无聊的明信片撕个粉碎。倘若今后他胆敢放肆，她就会从容冷静地对他投以轻蔑的一瞥，使他当场蜷缩作一团。寒酸小姐小伊迪的神情颇为沮丧。格蒂看到她脸色非常阴沉，便知道这个鲁莽自负的丫头简直气得厉害，尽管她还在掩饰。因为格蒂那句锋利的话刺穿了她那小气的嫉妒心。她们两人都知道，格蒂子然一身，与众不同，属于另一个星球。她不是她们当中的一个，永远也不会是。另外一位先生也晓得这一点，并且亲眼看到了。让她们扪心自问去吧。[ 58 ]
这一小小事故[ 59 ] 给她添了麻烦，然而转眼她就把这档子小事料理好了。
暮色苍茫，这片景色是多么地动人啊。爱琳那最后一抹姿容，晚钟[60 ]那扣人心弦的合奏；同时从爬满常春藤的钟楼里飞出一只蝙蝠，穿过黄昏，东飞西飞，发出微弱的哀鸣。她能看见远处灯塔的光，美丽如画。她巴不得自己带着一匣颜料，因为写生比画人物素描要容易。灯夫很快就会沿路点起街灯了。他将走过长老会教堂场地，沿着特里顿维尔大树的树荫下踱来。人们成双成对地在这里漫步。他还点燃她那扇窗户附近的一盏灯，雷吉·怀利常在这里骑车表演空轮[ 61 ]，就像卡明女士那本《点灯夫》中所描述的那样。她也是《梅布尔·沃恩》和其他一些故事的作者。格蒂有着无人知晓的梦想。她喜爱读诗。伯莎·萨波尔送给她一本珊瑚色封面的漂亮忏悔簿，以便她把随感记下来。她就将它放到梳妆台抽屉里了。这张桌子虽不豪华，却整洁干净得纤尘不染。这是姑娘的宝库， 收藏着玳瑁梳子、"玛利亚的孩子"[ 63 ] 徽章、白玫瑰香水、描眉膏、雪花石膏香盒、替换着钉在洗衣房刚送回来的衣服上用的丝带等。忏悔薄上记载着她用紫罗兰色墨水（是从戴姆街希利[ 64 ]的店里买来的）写下的一些隽永的思想。因为她感到， 只要她能够像如此深深地感染了她的这首诗那样表达自己，她就也能够写诗。那还是一天傍晚，她从包蔬菜的报纸上找到并抄下来的。以《我理想的人儿，你是凡人吗？》 为题的此诗作者是玛赫拉非尔特的路易斯·J。沃尔什。后面还有什么"薄暮中，你会到来吗？"之句[ 65 ]。诗是那样可爱，其中所描绘的无常之美是那样令人悲伤，以致她的眼睛曾多次被沉默的泪水模糊了。因为她感到时光年复一年地逝去，倘非有那唯一的缺陷，她原是不用怕跟任何人竞争的。那次事故是她下多基山时发生的，她总是试图掩盖它。但是她感到，应该了结啦。倘若她看到了他眼中那种着了魔般的诱惑，那就什么力量也阻止不住她了。爱情嘲笑锁匠[66 ]。她会付出巨大的牺牲，尽一切力量和他心心相印。她将会比整个世界对他更为亲密，并使他的生活由于幸福而熠熠生辉。有个最重要的问题：她渴望知道他究竟是个有妇之夫，抑或是个丧偶的鳏夫呢，要么就像那位来自歌之国有着外国名字的贵族，他只好把妻子关进疯人医院——为了仁慈，不得不采取残忍手段。真是悲剧！然而即便如此——那又怎么样？难道会有多大分别吗？她禀性高尚，对任何稍微有点粗俗的东西，都会本能地回避开。她讨厌那种在多德尔河畔的客栈附近跟大兵以及粗俗的男人鬼混的浪荡女人。她们毫不爱惜少女的贞操，丢尽女人的脸，给抓到警察局去。不，不，那种事我可不干。他们仅仅是好朋友而已，就像是大哥哥和小妹妹，完全没有那方面的事，尽管并不符合一般社交界的惯例[ 69 ]。也许他在哀悼已淡忘了的往昔岁月的情人呢。 她认为她是理解的。她要试图理解他，因为男人们是那样地不同。老情人等待着，伸出白皙的小手等待着，还有那双动人的蓝眼睛。我的意中人！她会跟随她梦中之恋，服从她心灵的指挥。它告诉她，他是她一切的一切。整个世界上，他是她唯一的男人，因为爱情才是最有权威的向导。其他都无所谓。不管怎样，她就是要无拘无束，自由奔放。
教堂蒙席奥汉龙将圣体放回圣龛，屈膝跪拜。接着，唱诗班唱起：列国啊，你们要颂赞上主[ 71 ]！然后，他锁上圣龛，因为降福仪式已结束。康罗伊神父递给他帽子让他戴上。刁猫伊迪间格蒂走不走，可是杰基·卡弗里嚷道：
"来呀，格蒂，"西茜大声叫道，"是义卖会[ 72 ] 的焰火哩。"
然而格蒂态度坚决，无意听任她们摆布。倘若她们能够像荡妇[ 73]那样野跑，她蛮可以这么原地坐着；所以她说，她从自己坐的地方也瞧得见。那双紧盯着她的眼睛，使她的心怦怦直跳。她瞥了他一眼，视线同他相遇。那道光穿透了她全身。那张脸上有着炽热的激情，像坟墓般寂静的激情。她遂成为他的了。终于只剩下他们两个了，再也没有人刺探并叽叽喳喳。而且她晓得他是至死不渝的，坚定不移，牢固可靠，通身刚正不阿。他的双手和五官都在活动，于是，她浑身颤栗起来。她尽量仰着身子，用目光寻觅那焰火，双手抱膝，免得栽倒。除了他和她而外，没有一个人在看着，所以她把她那双俊秀而形态优美、娇嫩柔韧而细溜丰腴的小腿整个儿裸露出来。她似乎听到他那颗心的悸跳，粗声粗气的喘息，因为她也晓得像他那样血气方刚的男人，会有着怎样的情欲。还因为一次伯莎·萨波尔告诉过她一桩绝对的秘密，并要她发誓永远不说出去。她家的一位在人口密集地区调查局[ 74 ]工作的房客，从报纸上剪下那些表演短裙舞和翘腿舞的舞女的照片。她说，他不时地在床上做些不大文雅的勾当，这，你也想象得到吧。不过，眼下这档子事可跟那个大不相同，情况完全两样。她几乎觉得他使她的脸贴近他自己的脸，并用他那俊俏的嘴唇飞快地给了她一个热烈的初吻。再说，只要你在婚前不做那另一档子事，罪行就能得到赦免。应该设个女忏悔师，即便你不说出口，她们也能领会得一清二楚。西茜·卡弗里两眼有时也露出梦幻般的恍惚神情，唷，她准也是那样的。还有温妮·里平哈姆，对一些男演员的照片简直入了迷，而且是由于那个快来了，才会有这种感觉。
这时，杰基·卡弗里大声嚷道："瞧，又来了一个。"格蒂把上半身往后仰，露出的蓝袜带刚好同透明的长袜子般配。他们都瞅见了，并且都嚷着："瞧，瞧，就在那儿。"她一个劲儿地往后仰着看那焰火。这时，有个软软的古怪玩艺儿腾空飞来飞去，黑黑的。她瞧见一只长长的罗马蜡烛[ 75 ]高高地蹿到树木上空，高高地，高高地。大家紧张地沉默着。待它越升越高时，大家兴奋得大气儿不出。为了追踪着瞧，她只好越发往后仰。焰火越升越高。几乎望不到了。由于拼命往后仰，她脸上洋溢出一片神圣而迷人的红晕。他还能看到她旁的什么：抚摩皮肤的印度薄棉布裤衩，因为是白色的，比四先令十一便士的那条绿色佩蒂怀斯牌的看得更清楚。那袒露给他，并意识到了他的视线；焰火升得那么高，刹那间望不到了。她往后仰得太厉害，以致四肢发颤，膝盖以上高高的，整个儿映入他的眼帘。就连打秋千或膛水时，她也不曾让人这么看过。她固然不知羞耻，而他像那样放肆地盯着看，倒也不觉得害臊。他情不自禁地凝望着一半是送上来的这令人惊异的袒露，看啊，看个不停：就像着短裙的舞女们当着绅士们的面那么没羞没臊。她恨不得抽抽嗒嗒地对他喊叫，朝他伸出那双雪白、细溜的双臂，让他过来，并将他的嘴唇触到她那白皙的前额上。这是一个年轻姑娘的爱之呼声，从她的胸脯里绞出来的、被抑制住的小声叫唤，古往今来这叫喊一直响彻着。这当儿一支"火箭"蹿了上去，蹦的一声射向黑暗的夜空。哦，紧接着，"罗马蜡烛"爆开来，恰似哦的一声叹息。每一个人都兴高采烈地哦哦直叫。这当儿，喷出一股金发丝，像雨一般倾泻下来。啊！全都是绿色的、露水般的星群，滔滔不绝地散发着金光，哦，多么可爱，哦，多么柔和，甜蜜，柔和！
西茜 · 弗里学着足球场上的少年们那么吹口哨，以便显示她多么了不起。接着，她喊道：
布卢姆先生守望着她一瘸一拐地离去。可怜的姑娘！所以旁人才撇下她，一溜烟儿跑掉了。一直觉得她的动作有点儿别扭来着。被遗弃的美人儿。女人要是落了残疾，得倒楣十倍。可这会使她们变得文雅。幸而她袒露的时候我还不曾知道这一点。不论怎样，她毕竟是个风流的小妞儿。我倒不在乎。犹如对修女、黑女人或戴眼镜的姑娘所抱的那种好奇心。那个斜眼儿姑娘倒也挺爱挑剔的。我估计她的经期快到了，所以才那么烦躁。今天我的头疼得厉害。[ 76 ]我把信放在哪儿啦，嗯，不要紧。各种古怪的欲望。舔舔一便士的硬币什么的。那个修女说，特兰奎拉女修道院[ 77 ]有个姑娘爱闻石油气味。估计处女们到头来会发疯的。修女吗？如今都柏林有多少修女呢？玛莎，她。能够有所觉察。都是月亮的关系。既然这样，为什么所有的女人不在同一个月亮升上来的时候一齐来月经呢？我推测这要看她们是什么时候生的。兴许开头一致，后来就错开了，有时摩莉和米莉赶在同一个时候。反正我沾了光，亏得今天上午在澡堂里我没为她那封"我可要惩罚你啦"的傻信干上一通。今儿早晨电车司机那档子事，这下子也得到了补偿。[ 78 ]那个骗子麦科伊拦住了我，说了一通废话。什么他老婆要到乡间去巡回演出啦，手提箱啦，[ 79 ]，那嗓门就像是鹤嘴锄。为点小恩小惠就很感激。而且要价不高，有求必应。因为她们自己也想搞。这是她们生来的欲望。每天傍晚，她们成群结伙地从办公室里往外涌。你不如做出一副冷漠的样子。你不要，她们就会送上门来。那么就捉活蹦乱跳的吧。噢，可惜她们看不到自己。关于涨得鼓鼓的紧身裤的那场梦。是在哪儿看的来着？啊，对啦。卡佩尔街上的活动幻灯器[ 80 ] ：仅许成年男子观看。《从钥匙孔里偷看的汤姆》[ 81 ]。《姑娘们拿威利的帽子做了什么？那些姑娘的镜头究竟是抓拍的呢，还是故意做戏呢？棉布汗衫[ 82 ]给以刺激。抚摩她那曲线[ 83]。那样一来，也会使她们兴奋的。我是十分干净的，来把我弄脏了吧。在做出牺牲之前，她们还爱相互打扮。米莉可喜欢摩莉的新衬衫了。起初，统统穿上去，无非是为了再脱个精光。摩莉。所以我才给她买了一副紫罗兰色的袜带。我们也一样。他系的领带，他那漂亮的短袜和裤脚翻边儿的长裤。我们初次见面的那个晚上，[ 84 ]，他穿了双高帮松紧靴。他那件华丽衬衫闪闪发光，外面罩了件什么呢？黑玉色的。女人每摘掉一根饰针，就失去一份魅力。靠饰针拢在一起。哦，玛丽亚丢了衬裤的饰针。[ 85 ]为某人打扮得尽善尽美。赶时髦是女性魅力的一部分。你一旦探出女人的秘密，她的态度就起变化。东方的可不同。玛丽亚，玛莎。[ 86 ]从前是如此，现在还是如此。不会拒绝任何正正经经提出来的要求。她也并不着急。去会男人时，女人总是急匆匆的，她们从来不爽约。也许是出于一种投机心理。她们相信机缘，因为她们本身就像是机缘。另外那两个动辄就对她说上一句莫名其妙的挖苦话。学校里的女伴儿们相互搂着脖子或彼此把十指勾在一起。在女修道院的庭园里又是接吻，又是嘁嘁喳喳说些莫须有的秘密。修女们那一张张白得像石灰水般的脸，素净的头巾以及举上举下的念珠。对她们自己得不到的东西说着尖刻的话语。铁蒺藜[ 87 ]。喏，一定要给我写信啊。我也会给你写的。一定的，好吗？摩莉和乔西·鲍威尔[ 88 ]。以后白马王子来了，就轻易见不着面了。看哪！[89 ] 哦，天哪，瞧，那是谁呀！你好吗？你都干什么来着？（亲吻）真高兴，（再吻一下）能够见到你。相互挑剔对方的衣装。你这身打扮真漂亮。 姊妹般的感情。相互龇着牙齿。你还剩几个孩子呀？彼此连一撮盐也不肯借给对方。
身上那玩艺儿一来，女人就成了魔鬼。神色阴沉可怕。摩莉常常告诉我，只觉得什么都有一英吨重。"替我搔搔脚底板儿。哦，就这样！哦，舒服极啦！ "连我都会有那么一种感觉。偶尔休息一下是有好处的。身上来了的时候搞，也不晓得好不好。从某一方面来说是安全的。会把牛奶变酸，使提琴啪的一声断了弦。有点像我在什么书上读到过的关于花园里的树都会枯了的事。他们还说，要是哪个女人佩带的花儿枯了，她就是个卖弄风情者。她们都是。我敢说她对我有所觉察。当你有那种感觉的时候，常常会遇见跟你有同样感觉的人。她对我有好感吗？她们总先注意服装打扮。一眼就能知道谁在献着殷勤。硬领和袖口。喏。公鸡和狮子也这么样吗？还有雄鹿。同时，她们兴许喜欢松开来的领带或是什么的。长裤？那时候我该不至于……吧？不，要轻轻地搞。莽莽撞撞会招对方讨厌。摸着黑儿接吻，永远莫说出口。[ 90 ]她看中了我的什么地方。不知道是哪一点。她宁可要保持真正面目的我，也不要个所谓诗人，那种头发上涂满胶泥般的熊油， 右边的眼镜片上耷拉着一络爱发[ 91 ]。协助一位先生从事文字工作。[ 92 ]。到了我这年纪，就该注意一下仪表了。我没让她瞧见我的侧脸。可也难说。漂亮姑娘会嫁给丑男人。美女与野兽。[ 93 ]而且我不能那样做，倘若摩莉……她摘下帽子来显示头发。宽檐的。买来遮掩她的脸。 要是遇见了可能认识她的人，就低下头去，或是捧起一束鲜花来闻。动情的时候，头发的气味很强烈。当我们住在霍利斯街日子过得很紧的时候，我曾把摩莉脱落的头发卖了十先令。那有什么关系呢？只要他给她钱，为什么不可以呢？这全都是偏见。她值十先令，十五先令，也许还不止——值一镑哩。什么？我是这么想的。一个钱也不要。笔力遒劲：玛莉恩太太[ 94 ]。我忘没忘记在那封信上写地址呢，就像我寄给弗林的那张明信片那样？再就是那一天我连领带都没系就到德里米公司[ 95] 去了。和摩莉拌了嘴，弄得我心烦意乱。不，我想起来了。是在里奇·古尔丁家。他的景况也一样，心思很重。奇怪，我的表四点半钟就停了，准是灰尘闹的。他们曾经用鲨鱼肝油来擦油垢。我自己都干得了。节约嘛。时间是不是刚好他和她？
布卢姆先生小心翼翼地动手整理他那湿了的衬衫。哦，天哪，那个瘸腿小鬼。开始感到凉冰冰黏糊糊的。事后的滋味并不好受。反正你也得想办法把它抹掉。她们才不在乎呢；也许还觉得受到恭维了呢。回到家， 吃上一顿美味的面包牛奶， 跟娃娃们一道作晚间祷告。喏，她们不就是这样的吗？要是看穿了女人的本色，就大失风趣了。无论如何也得有舞台装置、胭脂、衣装、身份、音乐。还有名字。女演员们的恋爱[ 96 ]。内尔·格温、布雷斯格德尔夫人[ 97 ]、莫德·布兰斯科姆[ 98 ] 。启幕。灿烂的银色月光。胸中充满忧郁的少女出现。小情人儿，来吻我吧。我依然感觉得出。它给与男人的力量。这就是其中的奥妙。从迪格纳穆家一出来，我就在墙后痛痛快快地干了一场。都是由于喝了苹果酒的关系。不然的话，我是不会的。事后你就想唱唱歌。事业是神圣的。嗒啦。嗒啦[ 99 ]。假若我跟她说话呢。说些什么？不过，你要是不晓得怎样结束这谈话，可就糟啦。向她们提一个问题，她们也会问你一句，倘若谈不下去了，这么问也是个办法。可以争取时间。可是那么一来，你就走入困境啦。当然，如果你打招呼说：晚上好；对方也有意，就会回答说：晚上好，那就太妙啦。哦，可那个黑夜在阿皮安路上，我差点儿跟克林奇太太那么打招呼，噢，以为她是那个。哎呀！那天晚上在米思街遇到的那个姑娘。我叫她把所有的脏活都说遍了。当然，说得驴唇不对马嘴。说什么我的方舟[ 100 ] 。想找个像样的有多么难哪。喂喂！要是她们来拉客而你却不理睬，她们一定会难堪吧。后来也就铁了心。当我多付给她两先令时，她吻了我的手。鹦鹉。一按电钮，鸟儿就会叽叽叫唤。她要是没称我作"先生"就好了。哦，黑暗中，她那张嘴啊！哦，你这个有家室的人跟这个黄花姑娘！女人就喜欢这么样。把另外一个女人的男人夺过来。或者，哪怕就这么说说。我可不然。我愿意离旁人的老婆远远的。凭什么吃旁人的残羹剩饭！今天在巴顿饭馆里，那家伙把齿龈嚼过的软骨吐了出去。[ 101 ] "法国信"[ 102 ] 还在我的皮夹子里哪。一半祸端就是它[ 103 ]引起来的。但是有时可能会发生哩，我想不至于吧。进来吧[ 104 ] ，什么都准备好啦。我做了个梦。梦见什么？最坏的开始发生了。女人一不顺心就转换话题。问你喜不喜欢蘑菇，因为她曾经认识一位喜欢蘑菇的先生。如果什么人说了半截话，念头一转住了口，她就问你那人究竟想说什么来着、不过我要是一不做二不休的话，就会说"我想搞"什么的。因为我真是想搞嘛。她也想。先冒犯她，再向她讨好。先假装非常要一样东西，随后又为她的缘故把它放弃了。拼命夸她。她很可能一直都在想着旁的什么男人。那又有什么关系呢？她从懂事以来想的就是男人，这个男人和那个男人。头一回的接吻就使她开了窍。那是幸福的一刹那。在她们内部有个什么突然萌动起来。痴情，眼神里含着痴情，偷偷摸摸的。最早的情愫是最美好的。直到死去的那一天都会铭记心头。摩莉，马尔维中尉在花园旁边的摩尔墙脚下吻了她。[ 105 ] 她告诉我，当时她才十五岁。然而奶头已经丰满了。那一次她睡着了。发生在格伦克里的宴会结束之后，我们驱车回家去，翻过羽毛山。她在睡梦中咬着牙。市长大人也用两眼盯着她。维尔·狄龙[106 ] 。患有中风。
她正在下边等着看焰火呢。我的焰火啊。蹿上去时像火箭，下来时像棍子 。那两个孩子想必是双胞胎，等着瞧热闹。巴不得长大成人， 穿上妈妈的衣服。时间充裕得很，逐渐懂得了一切人情世故。还有那个皮肤黑黑的丫头，头发乱蓬蓬的，嘴巴像黑人。我晓得她会吹口哨，天生的一张吹口哨的嘴。就像摩莉。说起来，詹米特旅馆[108 ]里的高级妓女把围巾只围到鼻子那儿。对不起，能不能告诉我一下几点啦？咱们到一条黑咕隆咚的小巷去，我就告诉你准确的时间。每天早晨说四十遍"梅干和棱镜" ，就能治好肥嘴唇。 她还在亲热地抚摩小男孩们哪。旁观的人一眼就看穿。当然喽，她们了解鸟儿、动物和娃娃。这是她们的本行。
她沿着岸滩往下走时，并没有回头看。才不那么让人称心呢。那些姑娘，那些姑娘，海滨那些俏丽的姑娘。[ 110 ] 她长着一双好看的眼睛，清澈如洗，这双眼睛格外引人注目的毋宁说是眼白，而不是瞳孔。她知道我是什么样的？当然喽，就像一只猫坐在狗所蹿不到的地方。女人们可从来没见过像威尔金斯那样的：他一面在中学[111 ]画维纳斯像，一面把自己的物儿一古脑儿袒露出来。难道这叫作天真吗？可怜的白痴！他的老婆真够呛的。从来没看到过女人坐在标明"油漆未干"字样的长凳上。她们浑身都是眼睛。床底下什么都没有，她们也要探头去瞧一瞧。渴望着在生活中遇上骇人的事。 她们敏感得像针似的。 当我对摩莉说，卡夫街拐角那儿的男子长得英俊，她想必喜欢这样的，她却马上发现他有一只胳膊是假的。果不其然是那样。她们究竟是打哪儿得到的线索呢？女打字员一步两蹬地跨上罗杰·格林[ 112 ] 的楼梯，以显示她对男人的理解。由父亲传下来，我的意思是说，由母亲传给女儿。血统里带来的。比方说，米莉把手绢贴在镜面上晾干，就省得用熨斗烫了。把广告贴在镜面上最能吸引女人的眼目了。有一次我派米莉到普雷斯科特[ 113 ] 去取摩莉那条佩斯利披肩（对了，我还得安排一下那则广告），她竟把找给她的零钱塞在袜筒里捎回来了！好聪明的小顽皮妞儿。我可从来也没教过她。她挟着大包小包的，动作总是那么麻利。像这样的小地方，却能吸引男人。当手涨红了的时候，就举起来，挥动着，让血淌回去。这你倒是跟谁学的呢？没跟任何人学。是护士教的。噢，她们知道得可多啦！我们从西伦巴德街搬走之前不久，三岁的她居然就坐在摩莉的梳妆台前面。我有一张好看的连[ 脸］。穆林加尔。谁知道呢？人之常情。年轻的学生。不管怎样，两条腿直直溜溜，不像另外那个。不过，那妞儿还是蛮够意思的。唉呀，我湿了。你这个鬼丫头。小腿肚子鼓鼓的。透明的袜子，绷得都快裂了。跟今天那个穿得邋里邋遢的女人可不一样。A·E·皱巴巴的长筒袜子[114 ]。或是格拉夫顿街上的那个。白的。[ 115 ]喔 ！胖到脚后跟。
智利松型的"火箭"爆开了，噼噼啪啪地四下里迸溅。吱啦、吱啦、吱啦、吱啦。西茜、汤米和杰基赶紧跑出去看，伊迪推着娃娃车跟在后面，接着就是从岩石拐角绕过去的格蒂。她会……吗？瞧！瞧！看哪！回头啦。她闻见了一股葱头气味。[ 116 ] 亲爱的，我看见了，你的。我统统看见了。
不管怎样，我总算得了济。基尔南啦，迪格纳穆啦，弄得我灰溜溜的。[ 117 ] 你来替换，多谢啦。[ 118 ] 这是《哈姆莱特》里的。啊呀！各种感情搅在一起。兴奋啊。当她朝后仰的时候，我感到舌头尖儿一阵疼痛。简直弄得你晕头转向。[ 119 ] 他说得对。我原是有可能闹出更大的笑话的，而不是仅只说些无聊的话。那么我就什么都告诉你吧。然而，那只能是我们两人能理解的话。该不是……？不，她们叫她作格蒂来着。不过，也可能是个假名字哩，就像我的名字似的。海豚仓这个地址也不清楚。
她跟母亲住在爱尔兰区。[ 120 ]
估计我是由于地点的关系才想到那个的。这些姑娘都一模一样。 把钢笔尖儿往袜筒上擦。然而那只球好像会意地朝着她滚了去。每颗子弹都得有个归宿。当然喽，在学校的时候我从来没有笔直地扔过什么，总是弯弯曲曲。像公羊犄角。然而可悲的是，青春只有短暂的几年。然后她们就围着锅台转。不久，威利穿起爸爸的裤子就合身了。[ 121 ] 或是嘘嘘地给娃娃把尿时，还得用上漂白土。[ 122 ] 家务可不轻。这倒也保全了她们，免得她们走入歧途。这是天性。给娃娃洗澡，为尸体净身。迪格纳穆。 总是被孩子们缠着。头盖骨像椰子，像猴子，起初甚至没有长结实，襁褓里那馊奶和变了质、肮里肮脏的凝乳。 不该给那个孩子空橡皮奶头去咂。得灌满空气才行。博福伊太太，普里福伊。[ 123 ] 得到医院去探望一下。不知道卡伦护士是不是还在那里。当摩莉在咖啡宫[ 124 ] 的时候，她来照看过几个晚上。我注意到，她为年轻的奥黑尔大夫刷上衣。布林太太和迪格纳穆太太也曾这么做过。到了结婚年龄。在市徽饭店，达根太太告诉我，最糟糕的是在晚上。丈夫醉醺醺地滚进来，浑身散发着酒吧气味，像只臭猫似的。你在黑暗中闻一闻试试，一股予馊酒味儿。到了早晨却来问：昨天夜里我醉了吗？然而，责备丈夫并不是上策。小雏儿们是回窝来歇一歇的。他们彼此鳔在一块儿。也许女人也有责任。在这一点上，她们都得甘拜摩莉的下风。这是由于她那南国的血液吧。摩尔人的。还有她那体态，身材。伸手抚摩她那丰满的……[125 ] 譬如说，把她跟旁的女人比比看。关在家里的老婆，家丑不可外扬。请允许我介绍我的。然后他们让人见一位不起眼的妇女，也不晓得该怎样称呼她。总是能在一个人的妻子身上看到他的弱点，然而他们是命中注定爱上的。他们之间有独自的隐秘。这些男人要是得不到女人的照顾，就准会堕落下去。再就是把总共值一先令的铜币[ 126 ] 摞在一起那么高的小不点儿丫头，带上她那小矮子丈夫。天主造了他们，并使他们结缡。有时候娃娃们长得不赖。零乘零得一。要么就是七旬老富翁娶上一位羞答答的新娘。五月结的婚，十二月就懊悔了。湿漉漉的，真不舒服。黏糊糊的。咦，原来是包皮还沾着哪。不如把它拽开。
她那个部位究竟有什么感觉呢？在第三者面前才装出一副害臊的样子。长袜上要是有个洞，就更尴尬了。那次在马匹展示会[ 127 ] 上摩莉看到脚登马靴、上了踢马刺的农场主就不禁将下颚往前一伸，扬起了头。我们住在西伦巴德街的时候，画家们曾经来过。那家伙的嗓门真好，就像是刚走上歌坛时的吉乌利尼[ 128 ] 。我闻了闻，宛若鲜花儿似的。可不是嘛。紫罗兰。那大概是颜料中的松节油气味吧。不论什么东西，女人们都自有用途。正搞着的时候，用拖鞋在地板上蹭来蹭去，免得让别人听见。但是我认为，很多女人达不到高潮。一连能搞几个钟头。仿佛浸透我整个身子，直到脊背。
说不定她们也闻得出我们所发出的男人气味。然而，那是什么样的气味呢？那一天，高个儿约翰在桌子上摆了双雪茄烟气味的手套。口臭？就看你吃什么喝什么啦。不，我指的是男人的气味。想必是与那个有关，因为被认为是童贞的神父们，气味就大不一样。女人们就像苍蝇跟踪糖蜜似的嗡嗡嗡地包围着。不顾祭坛周围的栏杆，千方百计想凑过去。树上的禁神父[ 130 ] 。哦，神父，求求您啦，让我头一个来尝吧。那气味四处弥漫、渗透全身。生命的源泉。那气味奇妙之至。芹菜汁吧。让我闻闻。
啊，对啦，还有化妆水呢。我就觉得自己在记挂什么事来着。一直没回去，肥皂也没付钱。我不愿意像今天早晨那个老太婆那样提着瓶子走路。按说海因斯该还我那三先令了。可以向他提一下马尔商店的事，也许他就会记起来的。然而，倘若他把那一段写好了。两先令九便士[ 131 ] 。不然的话，他对我的印象就坏了。明天再去吧。我欠你多少？三先令九便士吗？不，两先令九便士，先生。啊。兴许下回他就不肯再赊账了。可也有由于那样就失掉主顾的。酒吧就是这样。有些家伙由于账房石板上的账赊多了，就溜到后巷另外一家去了。
刚才走过去的老爷又来了，是一阵风把他从海湾刮来的。走去多远，照样又走回来。午餐时总是在家。浑身狼狈不堪。美美地饱餐上一顿。眼下正在欣赏自然风光。饭后念祝文。晚饭之后再去散步一英里。他准在某家银行略有存款。有份闲职。就像今天报童尾随着我那样。现在跟在他后面走会使他难堪， 不过， 你还是学到了点乖。 用旁人的眼光反过来看自己。只要不遭到女人的嘲笑，又有什么关系？只有那样才能弄清楚。你自问一下他如今是何许人？《珍闻》悬赏小说《海滩上的神秘人物》，利奥波德·布卢姆著。稿酬：每栏一基尼。还有今天在墓边的那个身穿棕色胶布雨衣的家伙。不过，他脚上 长了鸡眼。对健康倒是有好处，因为什么都吸收了。据说吹口哨能唤雨。总有地方在下雨。奥蒙德饭店的盐就发潮。身体能感觉出周围的气氛。老贝蒂就闹着关节痛。希普顿妈妈预言说，将会有一种一眨眼的工夫就绕世界一周的船。不，关节痛是下雨的预兆。皇家读本。[ 134 ]远山好像靠近了。[ 135 ]
霍斯。贝利灯台的光。二、四、六、八、九。瞧啊。非这么旋转不可，不然的话，会以为它是一幢房子。营救船。格蕾斯·达令。[ 136 ] 人们害怕黑暗。也怕萤火虫。骑自行车的人：点灯时间。[ 137 ] 宝石、金刚钻更亮一些。女人。光使人心里踏实。不会伤害你。如今当然比早年好多了。乡间的道路。无端地就刺穿你的小肚子。可是还得同两种人打交道：绷着脸的或笑眯眯的。对不起。没关系。日落之后，最适宜在阴凉地儿给花喷水。稍微还有点儿阳光。射线就数红色的长。是罗伊格比夫·万斯[138 ] 教给我们的：红、橙、黄、绿、蓝、靛青、紫罗兰。我望到了一颗星。是金星吗？还弄不清。两颗。倘若有了三颗，就是晚上了。夜云老是浮在那儿吗？看上去宛如一艘幽灵船。不。等一等。它们是树吧？视力的错觉。海市蜃楼。这是落日之国。 自治的太阳在东南方向下沉。我的祖国啊，晚安。[ 141 ]
降露了。亲爱的。坐在那块石头上会伤身体的。患白带下。除非娃娃又大又壮，能靠自己的力量生下来，否则就连娃娃也养不成。我本人说不定还会患痔疮哩。就像夏天患感冒似的，且好不了呢。伤口辣辣作痛。被草叶或纸张割破的最糟糕。摩擦伤口。我恨不得充当她坐着的那块岩石。哦，甜蜜的小妞儿，你简直不知道你看上去有多么俊美！我喜欢上这个年龄的姑娘了。绿苹果。既然送到嘴边，就饱餐一顿。只有在这个年龄才会翘起二郎腿坐着呢。还有今天在图书馆看到的那些女毕业生。她们坐的那一把把椅子，多么幸福啊。然而那是黄昏的影响。她们也都感觉到。知道什么时候该像花儿那么怒放。宛如向日葵啦，北美菊芋啦。在舞厅，在枝形吊灯下，在林荫路的街灯下。马特·狄龙家的花园里开着紫茉莉花。在那儿，我吻了她的肩膀。我要是有一幅她当时的全身油画肖像该有多好！我求婚，也是在六月。年复一年。岁月周而复始。巉岩和山峰啊，我又回到你们这儿来了。[142 ] 人生，恋爱，环绕着你自己的小小世界航行。而今呢？当然，你为她瘸腿一事感到悲哀，但是提防着点儿，不要过于动恻隐之心。会被人钻空子的。
眼下，霍斯笼罩在一片寂静中。远山好像。[143 ]那就是我们……的地方。杜鹃花。也许我是个傻子。他[ 144 ] 得到的是李子，我得到的是核儿，这就是我扮演的角色。那座古老的小山把一切都看在眼里，演员的名字换了，仅此而已。一对情侣。真好吃。真好吃。
现在我觉得累了。站起来吗？小妖精，把我身上的精力都吸净了。她吻了我。我的青春一去不复返了。它只来一次。她的青春也一样。明天乘火车到那儿去吧。不，回去就全不一样了。像孩子似的重新回到一座房子。我要的是新的。太阳底下一件新事都没有。[ 145 ] 海豚仓邮局转。难道你在自己家里不幸福吗？亲爱的淘气鬼。在海豚仓的卢克·多伊尔家里玩哑剧字谜游戏。马特·狄龙和他那一大群闺女：蒂尼、阿蒂、弗洛伊、梅米、卢伊、赫蒂。摩莉也在场。那是八七年。我们结婚的头一年。还有老鼓手长，喜欢一点点地呷着酒的那个。真妙，她是个独生女，我也是个独生子。下一代也是这样。以为可以逃脱，结果自己还是撞上了。以为绕了最远的路，原来是回自己家的最近的路。就在这当儿，他和她。马戏团的马兜着圈子走。我们玩"瑞普·凡·温克尔"来着。瑞普：亨尼·多伊尔的大衣裂缝。凡：运货车。温克尔：海扇壳和海螺。[146 ]接着，我扮演重返家园的瑞普·凡·温克尔。她倚着餐具柜，观看着。摩尔人般的眼睛。在睡谷[ 147 ]里睡了二十年。一切都变了。被遗忘了。原来的年轻人变老了。他的猎枪由于沾上露水生了锈。
身魂[ 148] 。是什么在飞来飞去？燕子吗？大概是蝙蝠吧。只当我是一棵树哩，简直是个瞎子。难道鸟儿没有嗅觉吗？轮回转世。人们曾经相信，悲伤可以使人变成一棵树。泣柳。[ 149 ] 身魂。又飞来了。可笑的小叫化子。我倒想知道它住在哪儿。那边高处的钟楼上。很可能。在一片圣洁的馨香中，用脚后跟倒吊着。我想它们必是被钟声惊吓得飞出来的。弥撤好像已完毕。可以听到会众的声音。为我等祈。为我等祈。为我等祈。 一遍遍地重复，是个好主意。广告也是这样。请在本店购买。请在本店购买。对，那是神父住宅的灯光。他们吃着简朴的饭菜。记得我在汤姆那爿店的时候，曾做过错误的估计。是二十八。他们有两所房子。加布里埃尔·康罗伊[ 150 ]的兄弟是位教区神父。身魂。又来啦。它们为什么一到晚间就像小耗子似的跑出来呢？是杂种。鸟儿就像是跳跳蹿蹿的耗子。是什么吓住了它们呢？灯光还是喧嚣声，还不如静静地坐着呢。这全都是出于本能，犹如干旱时的鸟儿，往水罐里丢石头子儿，好让水从罐嘴儿淌出来。[ 151 ] 它仿佛是个穿大衣的矮子，有着一双小手。纤细的骨架。几乎能看到它们发出微光，一种发蓝的白色。颜色要看你在什么光线下看了。比方说，要是照老鹰那样朝太阳逼视，再瞧瞧鞋，发黄的小斑点便映入眼帘。太阳总想在一切东西上盖上自己的标记。例如，今天早晨呆在楼梯上的那只猫。毛色如褐色草皮。你说是从来没见过三色毛的猫。才不是那么回事呢。 市徽饭店那只前额上有着M字型花纹的猫，毛皮就是玳瑁色的，夹着白斑纹。人身上有五十种不同的颜色。刚才霍斯还是紫晶色的。那是玻璃照的。因此，脑袋爪儿挺灵的某人就利用凸透镜来点火。石楠丛生的荒野也会起火。决不会是旅人的火柴引起的。是什么呢？兴许是枯干的茎与茎被风刮得互相摩擦燃起来的。要么就是荆豆丛中的玻璃瓶碎片在阳光下起到凸透镜的作用。阿基米德[ 152 ] ！"我发现啦！"我的记性还不是那么坏。
身魂。谁知道它们为什么老是那样飞。昆虫吗？上星期钻到屋里的那只蜜蜂，跟映在天花板上的自己的影子嘻戏来着。说不定就是蜇过我的那一只呢，又回来看一看。鸟儿也是一样。它们究竟在说些什么，永远也无从知晓。就像我们聊天儿似的。她一句，他一句。它们挺有勇气，从海面上飞过来飞过去。死在风暴中或触着电线的，想必很多。水手们也过着可怕的生活。巨兽般的越洋轮船在一团漆黑中踉跄前进，像海洋似的吼叫着。前进无阻！ 滚开，混帐！另外一些人坐的是小船，一旦狂风大作 ，就会像守灵夜的鼻烟那样被扔来扔去。[155 ]他们还是结了婚的。有时候一连几年漂泊在地球尽头。其实也并非尽头，因为地球是圆的。他们说， 在每个港口都有个老婆。让做老婆的在家里规规矩矩地一直等到约翰尼阔步返回家园[ 156 ] ，倒也不容易。一旦回来了，浑身散发着个个港口的里巷气味。
他们怎么会爱那海洋呢？然而他们就是爱哩。起锚了。[ 157 ] 为了图个吉利，他披上肩衣或佩带徽章[ 158 ] ，乘船而去。就是这样。还有那个护符——不，他们叫它作什么来着。可怜的爹的父亲曾把它挂在门上让大家摸。[ 159 ]它把我们领出埃及的土地，进入为奴之家[ 160 ]任何迷信都是有些名堂的，因为你一旦外出，就无从知道会有什么危险。拼死拼活地抓住一块板子，或跨在一根桁条上，身上缠着救生带，[ 161 ]嘴里灌进海水。这是他最后的挣扎了，直到被鲨鱼捉住。鱼儿在海里也会发晕吗？
接着就是美丽的平静，海面光滑明净，万里无云。船员和货物，一片残骸碎片。水手的坟墓。[ 162 ]月亮安详地俯瞰着。这怪不得我。自命不凡的小家伙。
为默塞尔医院募款而举办的麦拉斯义卖会上，最后一枝孤寂的蜡烛飘上天空，绽开来，一面落下去，一面撒出一簇紫罗兰色的星星，其中只有一颗是白的。它们飘浮着，往下落，逐渐消失了。牧羊人的时辰，把羊群关进栏内的时辰，幽会的时辰。晚上九点那趟的邮递员，从一家到另一家，敲两下门，永远受到欢迎。他腰带上的那盏萤光灯一闪一闪的，在月桂树篱间穿行。在五棵小树之间，一根火绳杆伸了出去，点燃了莱希家阳台上的灯。沿着那一连串灯光明亮的窗户，沿着那排一模一样的庭园，一路用尖嗓门嚷着："《电讯晚报》，最后一版！金杯赛马的结果！"有个男孩儿从迪格纳穆的房子里跑出来， 呼喊了一声。蝙蝠唧唧叫着，飞这儿飞那儿。远远地在沙滩上，碎浪爬了过来，灰灰的。漫长的时日，真好吃，真好吃。杜鹃花丛，使霍斯山丘感到疲惫了（它老了）。 夜风习习，拨 弄着羊齿茸毛，给他以快感。他卧在那里，却睁开一只未入睡的眼睛，深深地、缓慢地呼吸着，虽困盹却是醒着的。远远地在基什的防波堤那儿，抛锚的灯台船上，灯光闪烁着，向布卢姆先生眨巴着眼儿。
那艘船上的人们过的日子真够受的，成天总是呆在一个地方，动弹不得。爱尔兰灯塔管理处。为了他们所犯的罪愆而受到的惩罚。沿岸警备队也是如此。火箭和救生裤，浮圈和救生艇。发生在我们乘爱琳王号[ 166 ] 去游览的那一天。曾丢给他们一袋旧报纸。简直成了动物园里的熊。那可是一次肮脏的旅行。醉汉跑到甲板上来倾倒他们胃里的东西。吐到船外，好喂曹白鱼。晕船。妇女们满脸惧怕天主的神色。米莉可毫无害怕的苗头。她笑着，淡蓝色头巾系得松松的。她那个年龄还不懂什么叫作死呢。而且胃里也干净。她们就是害怕迷路。在克鲁姆林[167 ] ，当我和玛莉恩藏到树后时（我原是不愿意这么藏的），她就嚷：妈妈！妈妈！树林里的娃娃们。[168 ] 戴上假面具，吓唬她们一下。把她们抛到半空，然后再去接住。说什么我要杀你。难道仅仅是半开玩笑吗？孩子们打仗玩，也是一本正经。怎么能够相互拿枪口瞄准对方呢。有时会走火的呀。可怜的孩子们！只有丹毒和荨麻疹这两种病最麻烦。为了这，我给她买了甘汞泻剂。病好了一点，她就和摩莉睡在一起了。她那口牙长得和妈妈的一样。女人多么疼爱孩于！当作自己的化身吗？但是一天早晨，她拿着雨伞去追那孩子来着。大概不至于伤害她。我号了号她的脉。怦怦跳着。那手多小啊。如今大了。最亲爱的爹爹。当你抚摩那只手的时候，它像是有那么多话要说。她喜欢数我背心上的钮扣。我记得她头一回系的胸衣，可把我逗乐了。奶头起初挺小。我想，左边的那只更敏感一些。我的也是如此。因为离心脏更近一些吧？流行大奶的时候，就填上点儿什么。晚上疼得厉害了，就叫嚷，把我喊醒。头一回来月经那次，可把她吓坏了。可怜的孩子！对妈妈来说，那也是个奇怪的时刻。把她带回到少女时代了。直布罗陀。从布埃纳维斯塔俯瞰。奥哈拉之塔。[ 169 ] 海鸟尖声叫着。把家族统统吞食掉的老叟猴[ 170 ] 。日暮时分，通知士兵返回要塞的号炮。那是像这样的一个傍晚，但是晴朗无云。她一边眺望海洋，一边对我说：我一直以为我会嫁给一个拥有私人游艇的贵族或绅士。晚上好，小姐。男人爱美丽的年轻姑娘。[ 171 ] 为什么嫁了我呢？因为你和别人那么不同。
最好不要像帽贝似的整个晚上粘在这儿。这样的气候，令人感到沉闷。从天光看，想必快到九点了。来不及去看《丽亚》了。《基拉尼的百合》。[ 172 ] 不，也许还没演完呢。到医院去探望一下吧。但愿她已经完事了。[ 173 ]这可是漫长的一天：玛莎、洗澡、葬礼、钥匙议院、女神像所在的博物馆，迪达勒斯之歌。还有在巴尼·基尔南酒馆里那个骂骂咧咧的家伙。我也顶撞了他。那帮吹牛皮的醉鬼，我说的那句关于他的天主的话，使他不敢回嘴了。难道不该反击他吗？不。他们应该回家去嘲笑自己。总想聚在一起狂饮一通。就像两岁的娃娃似的，害怕孤独。倘若他揍了我一顿。从他的立场来看，倒也不赖。兴许他也无意伤害我。为以色列三呼万岁。为他到处带着走的小姨子三呼万岁，她嘴里长着三颗大齿哩。同一类的美人儿吧。特别适宜一道喝杯茶。勃尼奥野人的妻妹刚进城。[174 ]想想看，一清早旁边有了这么一个人。莫里斯边吻母牛边说，人嘛，总是各有所好。[175 ] 然而迪格纳穆那档子事把什么都弄得一团糟。办丧事的家，[ 176 ] 大家总是愁眉不展的，因为你永远不知道下文。总之，那位寡妇缺钱。得去找找"苏格兰遗孀"，[177 ]照我答应过的。古怪的名字。认为丈夫先一命呜呼乃是理所当然的事。就在星期一， 那个寡妇在克拉默那家店外面瞧我来着。把可怜的丈夫埋葬了，然而靠保险金过得也蛮不错。她那寡妇的铜板 。那又怎么样？你还指望她做什么？她得花言巧语，好歹活下去。我讨厌瞧见鳏夫。看上去那么孤独无助。奥康纳这个人好可怜哪，老婆和五个孩子在这儿都吃贻贝中毒死了。污水。 真没办法。得由一位戴卷边平顶毡帽的、主妇般的善心女人来对他尽尽母道。大浅盘脸的大妈，系上一条大围裙，照料着他。灰法兰绒布卢默女裤[ 179 ]三先令一条，便宜得惊人。人家说，被爱上的丑女人将永远被爱上。丑陋：没有女人认为自己长得丑。恋爱吧，扯谎吧，保持得漂漂亮亮，因为明天我们总将死去。不时地碰见他走来走去，试图找到那个捉弄他的人。万事休矣：完蛋。这是命中注定的。轮到他头上了，而不是我。店铺也常常被人贴上一张警告。就像是被灾祸紧紧缠住了似的。昨天夜里做梦了吗？[180 ] 且慢。有些弄混了。她趿拉着红拖鞋：土耳其式的。穿着紧身裤。倘若她真穿上了呢？我会不会更喜欢她穿宽松的睡衣裤呢？这就很难说啦。南尼蒂也走啦。乘的是邮船，这会子快到霍利黑德 啦。得把凯斯那则广告敲定了。做做海因斯和克劳福德的工作。替摩莉买条衬裙。她倒是有一副好身材。那是什么呀？说不定是钞票哩。
布卢姆先生弯下身去，从沙滩上掀起一片纸。把它凑到眼前，迎着暮色看。是信吗？不。没法辨认。不如走吧。那要好一些。我累得不想动了。这是一本旧练习簿的一页。有这么多的窟窿和小石头子儿。谁数得过来呢？永远也不知道你能找到什么。轮船遇难时，把财宝的下落写在一张纸上，塞进瓶子里。邮包。孩子们总爱往海里扔东西。是信仰"将你的粮食撤在水面"[ 182 ]这话吗？这是什么？一截木棍。
"是阿"。[ 184 ]
布卢姆先生用靴子慢慢地把字涂掉了。沙子这玩艺儿毫无用处。什么也不生长。一切都会消失。用不着担心大船会驶到这儿来。除非是吉尼斯公司的驳船。八十天环游基什。[ 185 ]一半是出于天意。
这会子我倒是想打个盹儿。大概将近九点钟了。驶往利物浦的船[ 186 ] 早就开走了。连烟都不见了。她也可以搞嘛。已经搞完了。然后前往贝尔法斯特。我不想去。匆匆赶去，再匆匆赶回恩尼斯。随它去吧。闭会儿眼睛。不过，不会入睡的。半睡半醒。往事不会重演了。又是蝙蝠。没有害处。不过几只。
哦 心肝儿 你那小小的白皙少女 尽里边我统统瞧见了 肮脏的吊裤带 使我作了爱 黏糊糊 我们这两个淘气鬼 格蕾斯·达令[ 187 ] 她他越过床的一半 遇见了他尖头胶皮管[ 188 ] 为了拉乌尔的褶边[ 189 ] 香水 你太太 黑头发 一起一伏的丰腴魅力 小姐 年轻的眼睛 马尔维 胖小子们 我 面包·凡·温克尔[ 190 ] 红拖鞋 她生锈 的睡觉 流浪 多年的岁月 回来 下端 阿根达斯[ 191 ] 神魂颠倒 可爱的给我看她那 第二年 抽屉里 返回 下一个 她的下一个 她的下一个
THE SUMMER EVENING HAD BEGUN TO FOLD THE WORLD IN ITS mysterious embrace. Far away in the west the sun was setting and the last glow of all too fleeting day lingered lovingly on sea and strand, on the proud promontory of dear old Howth guarding as ever the waters of the bay, on the weedgrown rocks along Sandymount shore and, last but not least, on the quiet church whence there streamed forth at times upon the stillness the voice of prayer to her who is in her pure radiance a beacon ever to the storm-tossed heart of man, Mary, star of the sea.
The three girl friends were seated on the rocks, enjoying the evening scene and the air which was fresh but not too chilly. Many a time and oft were they wont to come there to that favourite nook to have a cosy chat beside the sparkling waves and discuss matters feminine, Cissy Caffrey and Edy Boardman with the baby in the pushcar and Tommy and Jacky Caffrey, two little curlyheaded boys, dressed in sailor suits with caps to match and the name H.M.S. Belleisle printed on both. For Tommy and Jacky Caffrey were twins, scarce four years old and very noisy and spoiled twins sometimes but for all that darling little fellows with bright merry faces and endearing ways about them. They were dabbling in the sand with their spades and buckets, building castles as children do, or playing with their big coloured ball, happy as the day was long. And Edy Boardman was rocking the chubby baby to and fro in the pushcar while that young gentleman fairly chuckled with delight. He was but eleven months and nine days old and, though still a tiny toddler, was just beginning to lisp his first babyish words. Cissy Caffrey bent over him to tease his fat little plucks and the dainty dimple in his chin.
-- Now, baby, Cissy Caffrey said. Say out big, big. I want a drink of water.
And baby prattled after her:
-- A jink a jink a jawbo. Cissy Caffrey cuddled the wee chap for she was awfully fond of children, so patient with little sufferers and Tommy Caffrey could never be got to take his castor oil unless it was Cissy Caffrey that held his nose and promised him the scatty heel of the loaf of brown bread with golden syrup on. What a persuasive power that girl had! But to be sure baby was as good as gold, a perfect little dote in his new fancy bib. None of your spoilt beauties, Flora MacFlimsy sort, was Cissy Caffrey. A truerhearted lass never drew the breath of life, always with a laugh in her gipsylike eyes and a frolicsome word on her cherryripe red lips, a girl lovable in the extreme. And Edy Boardman laughed too at the quaint language of little brother.
But just then there was a slight altercation between Master Tommy and Master Jacky. Boys will be boys and our two twins were no exception to this golden rule. The apple of discord was a certain castle of sand which Master Jacky had built and Master Tommy would have it right go wrong that it was to be architecturally improved by a frontdoor like the Martello tower had. But if Master Tommy was headstrong Master Jacky was selfwilled too and, true to the maxim that every little Irishman's house is his castle, he fell upon his hated rival and to such purpose that the would be assailant came to grief and (alas to relate!) the coveted castle too. Needless to say the cries of discomfited Master Tommy drew the attention of the girl friends.
-- Come here, Tommy, his sister called imperatively, at once! And you, Jacky, for shame to throw poor Tommy in the dirty sand. Wait till I catch you for that.
His eyes misty with unshed tears Master Tommy came at her call for their big sister's word was law with the twins. And in a sad plight he was after his misadventure. His little man-o'-war top and unmentionables were full of sand but Cissy was a past mistress in the art of smoothing over life's tiny troubles and very quickly not one speck of sand was to be seen on his smart little suit. Still the blue eyes were glistening with hot tears that would well up so she kissed away the hurtness and shook her hand at Master Jacky the culprit and said if she was near him she wouldn't be far from him, her eyes dancing in admonition.
-- Nasty bold Jacky! she cried.
She put an arm round the little mariner and coaxed winningly:
-- What's your name? Butter and cream?
-- Tell us who is your sweetheart, spoke Edy Boardman. Is Cissy your sweetheart?
-- Nao, tearful Tommy said.
-- Is Edy Boardman your sweetheart? Cissy queried.
-- Nao, Tommy said.
-- I know, Edy Boardman said none too amiably with an arch glance from her shortsighted eyes. I know who is Tommy's sweetheart, Gerty is Tommy's sweetheart.
-- Nao, Tommy said on the verge of tears.
Cissy's quick motherwit guessed what was amiss and she whispered to Edy Boardman to take him there behind the pushcar where the gentlemen couldn't see and to mind he didn't wet his new tan shoes.
But who was Gerty?
Gerty MacDowell who was seated near her companions, lost in thought, gazing far away into the distance, was in very truth as fair a specimen of winsome Irish girlhood as one could wish to see. She was pronounced beautiful by all who knew her though, as folks often said, she was more a Giltrap than a MacDowell. Her figure was slight and graceful, inclining even to fragility but those iron jelloids she had been taking of late had done her a world of good much better than the Widow Welch's female pills and she was much better of those discharges she used to get and that tired feeling. The waxen pallor of her face was almost spiritual in its ivorylike purity though her rosebud mouth was a genuine Cupid's bow, Greekly perfect. Her hands were of finely veined alabaster with tapering fingers and as white as lemon juice and queen of ointments could make them though it was not true that she used to wear kid gloves in bed or take a milk footbath either. Bertha Supple told that once to Edy Boardman, a deliberate lie, when she was black out at daggers drawn with Gerty (the girl chums had of course their little tiffs from time to time like the rest of mortals) and she told her not let on whatever she did that it was her that told her or she'd never speak to her again. No. Honour where honour is due. There was an innate refinement, a languid queenly hauteur about Gerty which was unmistakably evidenced in her delicate hands and higharched instep. Had kind fate but willed her to be born a gentlewoman of high degree in her own right and had she only received the benefit of a good education Gerty MacDowell might easily have held her own beside any lady in the land and have seen herself exquisitely gowned with jewels on her brow and patrician suitors at her feet vying with one another to pay their devoirs to her. Mayhap it was this, the love that might have been, that lent to her softlyfeatured face at whiles a look, tense with suppressed meaning, that imparted a strange yearning tendency to the beautiful eyes a charm few could resist. Why have women such eyes of witchery? Gerty's were of the bluest Irish blue, set off by lustrous lashes and dark expressive brows. Time gas when those brows were not so silkilyseductive. It was Madame Vera Verity, directress of the Woman Beautiful page of the Princess novelette, who had first advised her to try eyebrowleine which gave that haunting expression to the eyes, so becoming in leaders of fashion, and she had never regretted it. Then there was blushing scientifically cured and how to be tall increase your height and you have a beautiful face but your nose? That would suit Mrs Dignam because she had a button one. But Gerty's crowning glory was her wealth of wonderful hair. It was dark brown with a natural wave in it. She had cut it that very morning on account of the new moon and it nestled about her pretty head in a profusion of luxuriant clusters and pared her nails too, Thursday for wealth. And just now at Edy's words as a telltale flush, delicate as the faintest rosebloom, crept into her cheeks she looked so lovely in her sweet girlish shyness that of a surety God's fair land of Ireland did not hold her equal.
For an instant she was silent with rather sad downcast eyes. She was about to retort but something checked the words on her tongue. Inclination prompted her to speak out: dignity told her to be silent. The pretty lips pouted a while but then she glanced up and broke out into a joyous little laugh which had in it all the freshness of a young May morning. She knew right well, no-one better, what made squinty Edy say that because of him cooling in his attentions when it was simply a lovers' quarrel. As per usual somebody's nose was out of joint about the boy that had the bicycle always riding up and down in front of her window. Only now his father kept him in the evenings studying hard to get an exhibition in the intermediate that was on and he was going to Trinity college to study for a doctor when he left the high school like his brother W. E. Wylie who was racing in the bicycle races in Trinity college university. Little recked he perhaps for what she felt, that dull aching void in her heart sometimes, piercing to the core. Yet he was young and perchance he might learn to love her in time. They were protestants in his family and of course Gerty knew Who came first and after Him the blessed Virgin and then Saint Joseph. But he was undeniably handsome with an exquisite nose and he was what he looked, every inch a gentleman, the shape of his head too at the back without his cap on that she would know anywhere something off the common and the way he turned the bicycle at the lamp with his hands off the bars and also the nice perfume of those good cigarettes and besides they were both of a size and that was why Edy Boardman thought she was so frightfully clever because he didn't go and ride up and down in front of her bit of a garden.
Gerty was dressed simply but with the instinctive taste of a votary of Dame Fashion for she felt that there was just a might that he might be out. A neat blouse of electric blue, selftinted by dolly dyes (because it was expected in the Lady's Pictorial that electric blue would be worn), with a smart vee opening down to the division and kerchief pocket (in which she always kept a piece of cottonwool scented with her favourite perfume because the handkerchief spoiled the sit) and a navy threequarter skirt cut to the stride showed off her slim graceful figure to perfection. She wore a coquettish little love of a hat of wideleaved nigger straw contrast trimmed with an underbrim of eggblue chenille and at the side a butterfly bow to tone. All Tuesday week afternoon she was hunting to match that chenille but at last she found what she wanted at Clery's summer sales, the very it, slightly shopsoiled but you would never notice, seven fingers two and a penny. She did it up all by herself and what joy was hers when she tried it on then, smiling at the lovely reflection which the mirror gave back to her! And when she put it on the waterjug to keep the shape she knew that that would take the shine out of some people she knew. Her shoes were the newest thing in footwear (Edy Boardman prided herself that she was very petite but she never had a foot like Gerty MacDowell, a five, and never would ash, oak or elm) with patent toecaps and just one smart buckle at her higharched instep. Her wellturned ankle displayed its perfect proportions beneath her skirt and just the proper amount and no more of her shapely limbs encased in finespun hose with high spliced heels and wide garter tops. As for undies they were Gerty's chief care and who that knows the fluttering hopes and fears of sweet seventeen (though Gerty would never see seventeen again) can find it in his heart to blame her? She had four dinky sets, with awfully pretty stitchery, three garments and nighties extra, and each set slotted with different coloured ribbons, rosepink, pale blue, mauve and peagreen and she aired them herself and blued them when they came home from the wash and ironed them and she had a brickbat to keep the iron on because she wouldn't trust those washerwomen as far as she'd see them scorching the things. She was wearing the blue for luck, hoping against hope, her own colour and the lucky colour too for a bride to have a bit of blue somewhere on her because the green she wore that day week brought grief because his father brought him in to study for the intermediate exhibition and because she thought perhaps he might be out because when she was dressing that morning she nearly slipped up the old pair on her inside out and that was for luck and lovers' meetings if you put those things on inside out so long as it wasn't of a Friday.
And yet and yet! That strained look on her face! A gnawing sorrow is there all the time. Her very soul is in her eyes and she would give worlds to be in the privacy of her own familiar chamber where, giving way to tears, she could have a good cry and relieve her pentup feelings. Though not too much because she knew how to cry nicely before the mirror. You are lovely, Gerty, it said. The paly light of evening falls upon a face infinitely sad and wistful. Gerty MacDowell yearns in vain. Yes, she had known from the first that her daydream of a marriage has been arranged and the weddingbells ringing for Mrs Reggy Wylie T. C. D. (because the one who married the elder brother would be Mrs Wylie) and in the fashionable intelligence Mrs Gertrude Wylie was wearing a sumptuous confection of grey trimmed with expensive blue fox was not to be. He was too young to understand. He would not believe in love, a woman's birthright. The night of the party long ago in Stoers' (he was still in short trousers) when they were alone and he stole an arm round her waist she went white to the very lips. He called her little one in a strangely husky voice and snatched a half kiss (the first!) but it was only the end of her nose and then he hastened from the room with a remark about refreshments. Impetuous fellow! Strength of character had never been Reggy Wylie's strong point and he who would woo and win Gerty MacDowell must be a man among men. But waiting, always waiting to be asked and it was leap year too and would soon be over. No prince charming is her beau ideal to lay a rare and wondrous love at her feet but rather a manly man with a strong quiet face who had not found his ideal, perhaps his hair slightly flecked with grey, and who would understand, take her in his sheltering arms, strain her to him in all the strength of his deep passionate nature and comfort her with a long long kiss. It would be like heaven. For such a one she yearns this balmy summer eve. With all the heart of her she longs to be his only, his affianced bride for riches for poor, in sickness in health, till death us two part, from this to this day forward.
And while Edy Boardman was with little Tommy behind the pushcar she was just thinking would the day ever come when she could call herself his little wife to be. Then they could talk about her till they went blue in the face, Bertha Supple too, and Edy, the spitfire, because she would be twenty-two in November. She would care for him with creature comforts too for Gerty was womanly wise and knew that a mere man liked that feeling of hominess. Her griddlecakes done to a golden-brown hue and queen Ann's pudding of delightful creaminess had won golden opinions from all because she had a lucky hand also for lighting a fire, dredge in the fine selfraising flour and always stir in the same direction then cream the milk and sugar and whisk well the white of eggs though she didn't like the eating part when there were any people that made her shy and often she wondered why you couldn't eat something poetical like violets or roses and they would have a beautifully appointed drawingroom with pictures and engravings and the photograph of grandpapa Giltrap's lovely dog Garryowen that almost talked, it was so human, and chintz covers for the chairs and that silver toastrack in Clery's summer jumble sales like they have in rich houses. He would be tall with broad shoulders (she had always admired tall men for a husband) with glistening white teeth under his carefully trimmed sweeping moustache and they would go on the continent for their honeymoon (three wonderful weeks!) and then, when they settled down in a nice snug and cosy little homely house, every morning they would both have brekky, simple but perfectly served, for their own two selves and before he went out to business he would give his dear little wifey a good hearty hug and gaze for a moment deep down into her eyes.
Edy Boardman asked Tommy Caffrey was he done and he said yes, so then she buttoned up his little knickerbockers for him and told him to run off and play with Jacky and to be good now and not to fight. But Tommy said he wanted the ball and Edy told him no that baby was playing with the ball and if he took it there'd be wigs on the green but Tommy said it was his ball and he wanted his ball and he pranced on the ground, if you please. The temper of him! O, he was a man already was little Tommy Caffrey since he was out of pinnies. Edy told him no, no and to he off now with him and she told Cissy Caffrey not to give in to him.
-- You're not my sister, naughty Tommy said. It's my ball. But Cissy Caffrey told baby Boardman to look up, look up high at her finger and she snatched the ball quickly and threw it along the sand and Tommy after it in full career, having won the day.
-- Anything for a quiet life, laughed Ciss.
And she tickled tiny tot's two cheeks to make him forget and played here's the lord mayor, here's his two horses, here's his gingerbread carriage and here he walks in, chinchopper, chinchopper, chinchopper chin. But Edy got as cross as two sticks about him getting his own way like that from everyone always petting him.
-- I'd like to give him something, she said, so I would, where I won't say.
-- On the beetoteetom, laughed Cissy merrily.
Gerty MacDowell bent down her head and crimsoned at the idea of Cissy saying an unladylike thing like that out loud she'd be ashamed of her life to say, flushing a deep rosy red, and Edy Boardman said she was sure the gentleman opposite heard what she said. But not a pin cared Ciss.
-- Let him! she said with a pert toss of her head and a piquant tilt of her nose. Give it to him too on the same place as quick as I'd look at him.
Madcap Ciss with her golliwog curls. You had to laugh at her sometimes. For instance when she asked you would you have some more Chinese tea and jaspberry ram and when she drew the jugs too and the men's faces on her nails with red ink make you split your sides or when she wanted to go where you know she said she wanted to run and pay a visit to the Miss White. That was just like Cissycums. O, and will you ever forget the evening she dressed up in her father's suit and hat and the burned cork moustache and walked down Tritonville road, smoking a cigarette? There was none to come up to her for fun. But she was sincerity itself, one of the bravest and truest hearts heaven ever made, not one of your twofaced things, too sweet to be wholesome.
And then there came out upon the air the sound of voices and the pealing anthem of the organ. It was the men's temperance retreat conducted by the missioner, the reverend John Hughes S. J., rosary, sermon and benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament. They were there gathered together without distinction of social class (and a most edifying spectacle it was to see) in that simple fane beside the waves, after the storms of this weary world, kneeling before the feet of the immaculate, reciting the litany of Our Lady of Loreto, beseeching her to intercede for them, the old familiar words, holy Mary, holy virgin of virgins. How sad to poor Gerty's ears! Had her father only avoided the clutches of the demon drink, by taking the pledge or those powders the drink habit cured in Pearson's Weekly, she might now be rolling in her carriage, second to none. Over and over had she told herself that as she mused by the dying embers in a brown study without the lamp because she hated two lights or oftentimes gazing out of the window dreamily by the hour at the rain falling on the rusty bucket, thinking. But that vile decoction which has ruined so many hearths and homes had cast its shadow over her childhood days. Nay, she had even witnessed in the home circle deeds of violence caused by intemperance and had seen her own father, a prey to the fumes of intoxication, forget himself completely for if there was one thing of all things that Gerty knew it was the man who lifts his hand to a woman save in the way of kindness deserves to be branded as the lowest of the low.
And still the voices sang in supplication to the Virgin most powerful, Virgin most merciful. And Gerty, wrapt in thought, scarce saw or heard her companions or the twins at their boyish gambols or the gentleman off Sandymount green that Cissy Caffrey called the man that was so like himself passing along the strand taking a short walk. You never saw him anyway screwed but still and for all that she would not like him for a father because he was too old or something or on account of his face (it was a palpable case of doctor Fell) or his carbuncly nose with the pimples on it and his sandy moustache a bit white under his nose. Poor father! With all his faults she loved him still when he sang Tell me, Mary, how to woo thee or My love and cottage near Rochelle and they had stewed cockles and lettuce with Lazenby's salad dressing for supper and when he sang The moon hath raised with Mr Dignam that died suddenly and was buried, God have mercy on him, from a stroke. Her mother's birthday that was and Charley was home on his holidays and Tom and Mr Dignam and Mrs and Patsy and Freddy Dignam and they were to have had a group taken. No-one would have thought the end was so near. Now he was laid to rest. And her mother said to him to let that be a warning to him for the rest of his days and he couldn't even go to the funeral on account of the gout and she had to go into town to bring him the letters and samples from his office about Catesby's cork lino, artistic standard designs, fit for a palace, gives tiptop wear and always bright and cheery in the home.
A sterling good daughter was Gerty just like a second mother in the house, a ministering angel too with a little heart worth its weight in gold. And when her mother had those raging splitting headaches who was it rubbed on the menthol cone on her forehead but Gerty though she didn't like her mother taking pinches of snuff and that was the only single thing they ever had words about, taking snuff. Everyone thought the world of her for her gentle ways. It was Gerty who turned off the gas at the main every night and it was Gerty who tacked up on the wall of that place where she never forgot every fortnight the chlorate of lime Mr Tunney the grocer's christmas almanac the picture of halcyon days where a young gentleman in the costume they used to wear then with a threecornered hat was offering a bunch of flowers to his ladylove with oldtime chivalry through her lattice window. You could see there was a story behind it. The colours were done something lovely. She was in a soft clinging white in a studied attitude and the gentleman was in chocolate and he looked a thorough aristocrat. She often looked at them dreamily when there for a certain purpose and felt her own arms that were white and soft just like hers with the sleeves back and thought about those times because she had found out in Walker's pronouncing dictionary that belonged to grandpapa Giltrap about the halcyon days what they meant.
The twins were now playing in the most approved brotherly fashion, till at last Master Jacky who was really as bold as brass there was no getting behind that deliberately kicked the ball as hard as ever he could down towards the seaweedy rocks. Needless to say poor Tommy was not slow to voice his dismay but luckily the gentleman in black who was sitting there by himself came gallantly to the rescue and intercepted the ball. Our two champions claimed their plaything with lusty cries and to avoid trouble Cissy Caffrey called to the gentleman to throw it to her please. The gentleman aimed the ball once or twice and then threw it up the strand towards Cissy Caffrey but it rolled down the slope and stopped right under Gerty's skirt near the little pool by the rock. The twins clamoured again for it and Cissy told her to kick it away and let them fight for it so Gerty drew back her foot but she wished their stupid ball hadn't come rolling down to her and she gave a kick but she missed and Edy and Cissy laughed.
-- If you fail try again, Edy Boardman said.
Gerty smiled assent and bit her lip. A delicate pink crept into her pretty cheek but she was determined to let them see so she just lifted her skirt a little but just enough and took good aim and gave the ball a jolly good kick and it went ever so far and the two twins after it down towards the shingle. Pure jealousy of course it was nothing else to draw attention on account of the gentleman opposite looking. She felt the warm flush, a danger signal always with Gerty MacDowell, surging and flaming into her cheeks. Till then they had only exchanged glances of the most casual but now under the brim of her new hat she ventured a look at him and the face that met her gaze there in the twilight, wan and strangely drawn, seemed to her the saddest she had ever seen.
Through the open window of the church the fragrant incense was wafted and with it the fragrant names of her who was conceived without stain of original sin, spiritual vessel, pray for us, honourable vessel, pray for us, vessel of singular devotion, pray for us, mystical rose. And careworn hearts were there and toilers for their daily bread and many who had erred and wandered, their eyes wet with contrition but for all that bright with hope for the reverend father Hughes had told them what the great saint Bernard said in his famous prayer of Mary, the most pious Virgin's intercessory power that it was not recorded in any age that those who implored her powerful protection were ever abandoned by her.
The twins were now playing again right merrily for the troubles of childhood are but as fleeting summer showers. Cissy played with baby Boardman till he crowed with glee, clapping baby hands in air. Peep she cried behind the hood of the pushcar and Edy asked where was Cissy gone and then Cissy popped up her head and cried ah! and, my word, didn't the little chap enjoy that! And then she told him to say papa.
-- Say papa, baby. Say pa pa pa pa pa pa pa.
And baby did his level best to say it for he was very intelligent for eleven months everyone said and big for his age and the picture of health, a perfect little bunch of love, and he would certainly turn out to be something great, they said.
Cissy wiped his little mouth with the dribbling bib and wanted him to sit up properly, and say pa pa pa but when she undid the strap she cried out, holy saint Denis, that he was possing wet and to double the half blanket the other way under him. Of course his infant majesty was most obstreperous at such toilet formalities and he let everyone know it:
-- Habaa baaaahabaaa baaaa.
And two great big lovely big tears coursing down his cheeks. It was all no use soothering him with no, nono, baby, no and telling him about the geegee and where was the puffpuff but Ciss, always readywitted, gave him in his mouth the teat of the suckingbottle and the young heathen was quickly appeased.
Gerty wished to goodness they would take their squalling baby home out of that and not get on her nerves no hour to be out and the little brats of twins. She gazed out towards the distant sea. It was like the paintings that man used to do on the pavement with all the coloured chalks and such a pity too leaving them there to be all blotted out, the evening and the clouds coming out and the Bailey light on Howth and to hear the music like that and the perfume of those incense they burned in the church like a kind of waft. And while she gazed her heart went pitapat. Yes, it was her he was looking at and there was meaning in his look. His eyes burned into her as though they would search her through and through, read her very soul. Wonderful eyes they were, superbly expressive, but could you trust them? People were so queer. She could see at once by his dark eyes and his pale intellectual face that he was a foreigner, the image of the photo she had of Martin Harvey, the matinée idol, only for the moustache which she preferred because she wasn't stagestruck like Winny Rippingham that wanted they two to always dress the same on account of a play but she could not see whether he had an aquiline nose or a slightly retmussé from where he was sitting. He was in deep mourning, she could see that, and the story of a haunting sorrow was written on his face. She would have given worlds to know what it was. He was looking up so intently, so still and he saw her kick the ball and perhaps he could see the bright steel buckles of her shoes if she swung them like that thoughtfully with the toes down. She was glad that something told her to put on the transparent stockings thinking Reggy Wylie might be out but that was far away. Here was that of which she had so often dreamed. It was he who mattered and there was joy on her face because she wanted him because she felt instinctively that he was like no-one else. The very heart of the girlwoman went out to him, her dreamhusband, because she knew on the instant it was him. If he had suffered, more sinned against than sinning, or even, even, if he had been himself a sinner, a wicked man, she cared not. Even if he was a protestant or methodist she could convert him easily if he truly loved her. There were wounds that wanted healing with heartbalm. She was a womanly woman not like other flighty girls, unfeminine, he had known, those cyclists showing off what they hadn't got and she just yearned to know all, to forgive all if she could make him fall in love with her, make him forget the memory of the past. Then mayhap he would embrace her gently, like a real man, crushing her soft body to him, and love her, his ownest girlie, for herself alone.
Refuge of sinners. Comfortress of the afflicted. Ora pro nobis. Well has it been said that whosoever prays to her with faith and constancy can never be lost or cast away: and fitly is she too a haven of refuge for the afflicted because of the seven dolours which transpierced her own heart. Gerty could picture the whole scene in the church, the stained glass windows lighted up, the candles, the flowers and the blue banners of the blessed Virgin's sodality and Father Conroy was helping Canon O'Hanlon at the altar, carrying things in and out with his eyes cast down. He looked almost a saint and his confession-box was so quiet and clean and dark and his hands were just like white wax and if ever she became a Dominican nun in their white habit perhaps he might come to the convent for the novena of Saint Dominic. He told her that time when she told him about that in confession crimsoning up to the roots of her hair for fear he could see, not to be troubled because that was only the voice of nature and we were all subject to nature s laws, he said, in this life and that that was no sin because that came from the nature of woman instituted by God, he said, and that Our Blessed Lady herself said to the archangel Gabriel be it done unto me according to Thy Word. He was so kind and holy and often and often she thought and thought could she work a ruched teacosy with embroidered floral design for him as a present or a clock but they had a clock she noticed on the mantelpiece white and gold with a canary bird that came out of a little house to tell the time the day she went there about the flowers for the forty hours' adoration because it was hard to know what sort of a present to give or perhaps an album of illuminated views of Dublin or some place.
The exasperating little brats of twins began to quarrel again and Jacky threw the ball out towards the sea and they both ran after it. Little monkeys common as ditchwater. Someone ought to take them and give them a good hiding for themselves to keep them in their places, the both of them. And Cissy and Edy shouted after them to come back because they were afraid the tide might come in on them and be drowned.
-- Jacky! Tommy!
Not they! What a great notion they had! So Cissy said it was the very last time she'd ever bring them out. She jumped up and called them and she ran down the slope past him, tossing her hair behind her which had a good enough colour if there had been more of it but with all the thingamerry she was always rubbing into it she couldn't get it to grow long because it wasn't natural so she could just go and throw her hat at it. She ran with long gandery strides it was a wonder she didn't rip up her skirt at the side that was too tight on her because there was a lot of the tomboy about Cissy Caffrey and she was a forward piece whenever she thought she had a good opportunity to show off and just because she was a good runner she ran like that so that he could see all the end of her petticoat running and her skinny shanks up as far as possible. It would have served her just right if she had tripped up over something accidentally on purpose with her high crooked French heels on her to make her look tall and got a fine tumble. Tableau! That would have been a very charming exposé for a gentleman like that to witness.
Queen of angels, queen of patriarchs, queen of prophets, of all saints, they prayed, queen of the most holy rosary and then Father Conroy handed the thurible to Canon O'Hanlon and he put in the incense and censed the Blessed Sacrament and Cissy Caffrey caught the two twins and she was itching to give them a ringing good clip on the ear but she didn't because she thought he might be watching but she never made a bigger mistake in all her life because Gerty could see without looking that he never took his eyes off of her and then Canon O'Hanlon handed the thurible back to Father Conroy and knelt down looking up at the Blessed Sacrament and the choir began to sing Tantum ego and she just swung her foot in and out in time as the music rose and fell to the Tantumer gosa cramen tum. Three and eleven she paid for those stockings in Sparrow's of George's street on the Tuesday, no the Monday before Easter and there wasn't a brack on them and that was what he was looking at, transparent, and not at her insignificant ones that had neither shape nor form (the cheek of her!) because he had eyes in his head to see the difference for himself.
Cissy came up along the strand with the two twins and their ball with her hat anyhow on her to one side after her run and she did look a streel tugging the two kids along with the flimsy blouse she bought only a fortnight before like a rag on her back and bit of her petticoat hanging like a caricature. Gerty just took off her hat for a moment to settle her hair and a prettier, a daintier head of nutbrown tresses was never seen on a girl's shoulders, a radiant little vision, in sooth, almost maddening in its sweetness. You would have to travel many a long mile before you found a head of hair the like of that. She could almost see the swift answering flush of admiration in his eyes that set her tingling in every nerve. She put on her hat so that she could see from underneath the brim and swung her buckled shoe faster for her breath caught as she caught the expression in his eyes. He was eyeing her as a snake eyes its prey. Her woman's instinct told her that she had raised the devil in him and at the thought a burning scarlet swept from throat to brow till the lovely colour of her face became a glorious rose.
Edy Boardman was noticing it too because she was squinting at Gerty, half smiling, with her specs, like an old maid, pretending to nurse the baby. Irritable little gnat she was and always would be and that was why no-one could get on with her, poking her nose into what was no concern of hers. And she said to Gerty:
-- A penny for your thoughts.
-- What? replied Gerty with a smile reinforced by the whitest of teeth. I was only wondering was it late.
Because she wished to goodness they'd take the snottynosed twins and their baby home to the mischief out of that so that was why she just gave a gentle hint about its being late. And when Cissy came up Edy asked her the time and Miss Cissy, as glib as you like, said it was half past kissing time, time to kiss again. But Edy wanted to know because they were told to be in early.
-- Wait, said Cissy, I'll ask my uncle Peter over there what's the time by his conundrum.
So over she went and when he saw her coming she could see him take his hand out of his pocket, getting nervous, and beginning to play with his watchchain, looking at the church. Passionate nature though he was Gerty could see that he had enormous control over himself. One moment he had been there, fascinated by a loveliness that made him gaze, and the next moment it was the quiet gravefaced gentleman, selfcontrol expressed in every line of his distinguishedlooking figure.
Cissy said to excuse her would he mind telling her what was the right time and Gerty could see him taking out his watch, listening to it and looking up and clearing his throat and he said he was very sorry his watch was stopped but he thought it must be after eight because the sun was set. His voice had a cultured ring in it and though he spoke in measured accents there was a suspicion of a quiver in the mellow tones. Cissy said thanks and came back with her tongue out and said uncle said his waterworks were out of order.
Then they sang the second verse of the Tantum ergo and Canon O'Hanlon got up again and censed the Blessed Sacrament and knelt down and he told Father Conroy that one of the candles was just going to set fire to the flowers and Father Conroy got up and settled it all right and she could see the gentleman winding his watch and listening to the works and she swung her leg more in and out in time. It was getting darker but he could see and he was looking all the time that he was winding the watch or whatever he was doing to it and then he put it back and put his hands back into his pockets. She felt a Kind of a sensation rushing all over her and she knew by the feel of her scalp and that irritation against her stays that that thing must be coming on because the last time too was when she clipped her hair on account of the moon. His dark eyes fixed themselves on her again drinking in her every contour, literally worshipping at her shrine. If ever there was undisguised admiration in a man's passionate gaze it was there plain to be seen on that man's face. It is for you, Gertrude MacDowell, and you know it.
Edy began to get ready to go and it was high time for her and Gerty noticed that that little hint she gave had the desired effect because it was a long way along the strand to where there was the place to push up the pushcar and Cissy took off the twins' caps and tidied their hair to make herself attractive of course and Canon O'Hanlon stood up with his cope poking up at his neck and Father Conroy handed him the card to read off and he read out Panem de clo prstitisti eis and Edy and Cissy were talking about the time all the time and asking her but Gerty could pay them back in their own coin and she just answered with scathing politeness when Edy asked her was she heartbroken about her best boy throwing her over. Gerty winced sharply. A brief cold blaze shone from her eyes that spoke volumes of scorn immeasurable. It hurt. O yes, it cut deep because Edy had her own quiet way of saying things like that she knew would wound like the confounded little cat she was. Gerty's lips parted swiftly to frame the word but she fought back the sob that rose to her throat, so slim, so flawless, so beautifully moulded it seemed one an artist might have dreamed of. She had loved him better than he knew. Lighthearted deceiver and fickle like all his sex he would never understand what he had meant to her and for an instant there was in the blue eyes a quick stinging of tears. Their eyes were probing her mercilessly but with a brave effort she sparkled back in sympathy as she glanced at her new conquest for them to see.
-- O, responded Gerty, quick as lightning, laughing, and the proud head flashed up, I can throw my cap at who I like because it's leap year.
Her words rang out crystalclear, more musical than the cooing of the ringdove, but they cut the silence icily. There was that in her young voice that told that she was not a one to be lightly trifled with. As for Mr Reggy with his swank and his bit of money she could just chuck him aside as if he was so much filth and never again would she cast as much as a second thought on him and tear his silly postcard into a dozen pieces. And it ever after he dared to presume she could give him one look of measured scorn that would make him shrivel up on the spot. Miss puny little Edy's countenance fell to no slight extent and Gerty could see by her looking as black as thunder that she was simply in a towering rage though she hid it, the little kinnatt, because that shaft had struck home for her petty jealousy and they both knew that she was something aloof, apart in another sphere, that she was not of them and there was somebody else too that knew it and saw it so they could put that in their pipe and smoke it.
Edy straightened up baby Boardman to get ready to go and Cissy tucked in the ball and the spades and buckets and it was high time too because the sandman was on his way for Master Boardman junior and Cissy told him too that Billy Winks was coming and that baby was to go deedaw and baby looked just too ducky, laughing up out of his gleeful eyes, and Cissy poked him like that out of fun in his wee fat tummy and baby, without as much as by your leave, sent up his compliments on to his brandnew dribbling bib.
O my! Puddeny pie! protested Ciss. He has his bib destroyed.
The slight contretemps claimed her attention but in two twos she set that little matter to rights.
Gerty stifled a smothered exclamation and gave a nervous cough and Edy asked what and she was just going to tell her to catch it while it was flying but she was ever ladylike in her deportment so she simply passed it off with consummate tact by saying that that was the benediction because just then the bell rang out from the steeple over the quiet seashore because Canon O'Hanlon was up on the altar with the veil that Father Conroy put round him round his shoulders giving the benediction with the blessed Sacrament in his hands.
How moving the scene there in the gathering twilight, the last glimpse of Erin, the touching chime of those evening bells and at the same time a bat flew forth from the ivied belfry through the dusk, hither, thither, with a tiny lost cry. And she could see far away the lights of the lighthouses so picturesque she would have loved to do with a box of paints because it was easier than to make a man and soon the lamplighter would be going his rounds past the presbyterian church grounds and along by shady Tritonville avenue where the couples walked and lighting the lamp near her window where Reggy Wylie used to turn his freewheel like she read in that book The Lamplighter by Miss Cummins, author of Mabel Vaughan and other tales. For Gerty had her dreams that no-one knew of. She loved to read poetry and when she got a keepsake from Bertha Supple of that lovely confession album with the coralpink cover to write her thoughts in she laid it in the drawer of her toilettable which, though it did not err on the side of luxury, was scrupulously neat and clean. It was there she kept her girlish treasures trove, the tortoiseshell combs, her child of Mary badge, the whiterose scent, the eyebrowleine, her alabaster pouncetbox and the ribbons to change when her things came home from the wash and there were some beautiful thoughts written in it in violet ink that she bought in Hely's of Dame Street for she felt that she too could write poetry if she could only express herself like that poem that appealed to her so deeply that she had copied out of the newspaper she found one evening round the potherbs. Art thou real, my ideal? it was called by Louis J. Walsh, Magherafelt, and after there was something about twilight, wilt thou ever? and ofttimes the beauty of poetry, so sad in its transient loveliness, had misted her eyes with silent tears that the years were slipping by for her, one by one, and but for that one shortcoming she knew she need fear no competition and that was an accident coming down Dalkey hill and she always tried to conceal it. But it must end she felt. If she saw that magic lure in his eyes there would be no holding back for her. Love laughs at locksmiths. She would make the great sacrifice. Her every effort would be to share his thoughts. Dearer than the whole world would she be to him and gild his days with happiness. There was the allimportant question and she was dying to know was he a married man or a widower who had lost his wife or some tragedy like the nobleman with the foreign name from the land of song had to have her put into a madhouse, cruel only to be kind. But even if - what then? Would it make a very great difference? From everything in the least indelicate her finebred nature instinctively recoiled. She loathed that sort of person, the fallen women off the accommodation walk beside the Dodder that went with the soldiers and coarse men, with no respect for a girl's honour, degrading the sex and being taken up to the police station. No, no: not that. They would be just good friends like a big brother and sister without all that other in spite of the conventions of Society with a big ess. Perhaps it was an old flame he was in mourning for from the days beyond recall. She thought she understood. She would try to understand him because men were so different. The old love was waiting, waiting with little white hands stretched out, with blue appealing eyes. Heart of mine! She would follow her dream of love, the dictates of her heart that told her he was her all in all, the only man in all the world for her for love was the master guide. Nothing else mattered. Come what might she would be wild, untrammelled, free.
Canon O'Hanlon put the Blessed Sacrament back into the tabernacle and the choir sang Laudate Dominum omnes gentes and then he locked the tabernacle door because the benediction was over and Father Conroy handed him his hat to put on and crosscat Edy asked wasn't she coming but Jacky Caffrey called out:
-- O, look, Cissy!
And they all looked was it sheet lightning but Tommy saw it too over the trees beside the church, blue and then green and purple.
-- It's fireworks, Cissy Caffrey said.
And they all ran down the strand to see over the houses and the church, helterskelter, Edy with the pushcar with baby Boardman in it and Cissy holding Tommy and Jacky by the hand so they wouldn't fall running.
-- Come on, Gerty, Cissy called. It's the bazaar fireworks.
But Gerty was adamant. She had no intention of being at their beck and call. If they could run like rossies she could sit so she said she could see from where she was. The eyes that were fastened upon her set her pulses tingling. She looked at him a moment, meeting his glance, and a light broke in upon her. Whitehot passion was in that face, passion silent as the grave, and it had made her his. At last they were left alone without the others to pry and pass remarks and she knew he could be trusted to the death, steadfast, a sterling man, a man of inflexible honour to his fingertips. His hands and face were working and a tremor went over her. She leaned back far to look up where the fireworks were and she caught her knee in her hands so as not to fall back looking up and there was no one to see only him and her when she revealed all her graceful beautifully shaped legs like that, supply soft and delicately rounded, and she seemed to hear the panting of his heart, his hoarse breathing, because she knew about the passion of men like that, hot-blooded, because Bertha Supple told her once in dead secret and made her swear she'd never about the gentleman lodger that was staying with them out of the Congested Districts Board that had pictures cut out of papers of those skirtdancers and highkickers and she said he used to do something not very nice that you could imagine sometimes in the bed. But this was altogether different from a thing like that because there was all the difference because she could almost feel him draw her face to his and the first quick hot touch of his handsome lips. Besides there was absolution so long as you didn't do the other thing before being married and there ought to be women priests that would understand without your telling out and Cissy Caffrey too sometimes had that dreamy kind of dreamy look in her eyes so that she too, my dear, and Winny Rippingham so mad about actors' photographs and besides it was on account of that other thing coming on the way it did.
And Jacky Caffrey shouted to look, there was another and she leaned back and the garters were blue to match on account of the transparent and they all saw it and shouted to look, look there it was and she leaned back ever so far to see the fireworks and something queer was flying about through the air, a soft thing to and fro, dark. And she saw a long Roman candle going up over the trees up, up, and, in the tense hush, they were all breathless with excitement as it went higher and higher and she had to lean back more and more to look up after it, high, high, almost out of sight, and her face was suffused with a divine, an entrancing blush from straining back and he could see her other things too, nainsook knickers, the fabric that caresses the skin, better than those other pettiwidth, the green, four and eleven, on account of being white and she let him and she saw that he saw and then it went so high it went out of sight a moment and she was trembling in every limb from being bent so far back he had a full view high up above her knee no-one ever not even on the swing or wading and she wasn't ashamed and he wasn't either to look in that immodest way like that because he couldn't resist the sight of the wondrous revealment half offered like those skirt-dancers behaving so immodest before gentlemen looking and he kept on looking, looking. She would fain have cried to him chokingly, held out her snowy slender arms to him to come, to feel his lips laid on her white brow the cry of a young girl's love, a little strangled cry, wrung from her, that cry that has rung through the ages. And then a rocket sprang and bang shot blind and O! then the Roman candle burst and it was like a sigh of O! and everyone cried O!O! in raptures and it gushed out of it a stream of rain gold hair threads and they shed and ah! they were all greeny dewy stars falling with golden, O so lively! O so soft, sweet, soft!
Then all melted away dewily in the grey air: all was silent. Ah! She glanced at him as she bent forward quickly, a pathetic little glance of piteous protest, of shy reproach under which he coloured like a girl. He was leaning back against the rock behind. Leopold Bloom (for it is he) stands silent, with bowed head before those young guileless eyes. What a brute he had been! At it again? A fair unsullied soul had called to him and, wretch that he was, how had he answered? An utter cad he had been. He of all men! But there was an infinite store of mercy in those eyes, for him too a word of pardon even though he had erred and sinned and wandered. Should a girl tell? No, a thousand times no. That was their secret, only theirs, alone in the hiding twilight and there was none to know or tell save the little bat that flew so softly through the evening to and fro and little bats don't tell.
Cissy Caffrey whistled, imitating the boys in the football field to show what a great person she was: and then she cried:
-- Gerty! Gerty! We're going. Come on. We can see from farther up.
Gerty had an idea, one of love's little ruses. She slipped a hand into her kerchief pocket and took out the wadding and waved in reply of course without letting him and then slipped it back. Wonder if he's too far to. She rose. Was it goodbye? No. She had to go but they would meet again, there, and she would dream of that till then, tomorrow, of her dream of yester eve. She drew herself up to her full height. Their souls bet in a last lingering glance and the eyes that reached her heart, full of a strange shining, hung enraptured on her sweet flowerlike face. She half smiled at him wanly, a sweet forgiving smile, a smile that verged on tears, and then they parted.
Slowly without looking back she went down the uneven strand to Cissy, to Edy, to Jacky and Tommy Caffrey, to little baby Boardman. It was darker now and there were stones and bits of wood on the strand and slippy seaweed. She balked with a certain quiet dignity characteristic of her but with care and very slowly because Gerty MacDowell was...
Tight boots? No. She's lame! O!
Mr Bloom watched her as she limped away. Poor girl! That's why she's left on the shelf and the others did a sprint. Thought something was wrong by the cut of her jib. Jilted beauty. A defect is ten times worse in a woman. But makes them polite. Glad I didn't know it when she was on show. Hot little devil all The same. Wouldn't mind. Curiosity like a nun or a negress or a girl with glasses. That squinty one is delicate. Near her monthlies, I expect, makes them feel ticklish. I have such a bad headache today. Where did I put the letter? Yes, all right. All kinds of crazy longings. Licking pennies. Girl in Tranquilla convent that nun told me liked to smell rock oil. Virgins go mad in the end I suppose. Sister? How many women in Dublin have it today? Martha, she. Something in the air. That's the moon. But then why don't all women menstruate at the same time with same moon, I mean? Depends on the time they were born, I suppose. Or all start scratch then get out of step. Sometimes Molly and Milly together. Anyhow I got the best of that. Damned glad I didn't do it in the bath this morning over her silly I will punish you letter. Made up for that tramdriver this morning. That gouger M'Coy stopping me to say nothing. And his wife engagement in the country valise, voice like a pickaxe. Thankful for small mercies. Cheap too. Yours for the asking. Because they want it themselves. Their natural craving. Shoals of them every evening poured out of offices. Reserve better. Don't want it they throw it at you. Catch em alive, O. Pity they can't see themselves. A dream of wellfilled hose. Where was that? Ah, yes. Muioscope pictures in Capel street: for men only. Peeping Tom. Willy's hat and what the girls did with it. Do they snapshot those girls or is it all a fake? Lingerie does it. Felt for the curves inside her deshabillé. Excites them also when they're. I'm all clean come and dirty me. And they like dressing one another for the sacrifice. Milly delighted with Molly's new blouse. At first. Put them all on to take them all off. Molly. Why I bought her the violet garters. Us too: the tie he wore, his lovely socks and turnedup trousers. He wore a pair of gaiters the night that first we met. His lovely shirt was shining beneath his what? of jet. Say a woman loses a charm with every pin she takes out. Pinned together. O Mairy lost the pin of her. Dressed up to the nines for somebody. Fashion part of their charm. Just changes when you're on the track of the secret. Except the east: Mary, Martha: now as then. No reasonable offer refused. She wasn't in a hurry either. Always off to a fellow when they are. They never forget an appointment. Out on spec probably. They believe in chance because like themselves. And the others inclined to give her an odd dig. Girl friends at school, arms round each other's neck or with ten fingers locked, kissing and whispering secrets about nothing in the convent garden. Nuns with whitewashed faces, cool coif and their rosaries going up and down, vindictive too for what they can't get. Barbed wire. Be sure now and write to me. And I'll write to you. Now won't you? Molly and Josie Powell. Till Mr Right comes along then meet once in a blue moon. Tableau! O, look who it is for the love of God! How are you at all? What have you been doing with yourself? Kiss and delighted to, kiss, to see you. Picking holes in each other's appearance. You're looking splendid. Sister souls showing their teeth at one another. How many have you left? Wouldn't lend each other a pinch of salt.
Devils they are when that's coming on them. Dark devilish appearance. Molly often told me feel things a ton weight. Scratch the sole of my foot. O that way! O, that's exquisite! Feel it myself too. Good to rest once in a way. Wonder if it's bad to go with them then. Safe in one way. Turns milk, makes fiddlestrings snap. Something about withering plants I read in a garden. Besides they say if the flower withers she wears she's a flirt. All are. Daresay she felt I. When you feel like that you often meet what you feel. Liked me or what? Dress they look at. Always know a fellow courting: collars and cuffs. Well cocks and lions do the same and stags. Same time might prefer a tie undone or something. Trousers? Suppose I when I was? No. Gently does it. Dislike rough and tumble. Kiss in the dark and never tell. Saw something in me. Wonder what. Sooner have me as I am than some poet chap with bearsgrease, plastery hair lovelock over his dexter optic. To aid gentleman in literary. Ought to attend to my appearance my age. Didn't let her see me in profile. Still, you never know. Pretty girls and ugly men marrying. Beauty and the beast. Besides I can't be so if Molly. Took off her hat to show her hair. Wide brim bought to hide her face, meeting someone might know her, bend down or carry a bunch of flowers to smell. Hair strong in rut. Ten bob I got for Molly's combings when we were on the rocks in Holles street. Why not? Suppose he gave her money. Why not? All a prejudice. She's worth ten, fifteen, more a pound. All that for nothing. Bold hand. Mrs Marion. Did I forget to write address on that letter like the postcard I sent to Flynn? And the day I went to Drimmie's without a necktie. Wrangle with Molly it was put me off. No, I remember. Richie Goulding. He's another. Weighs on his mind. Funny my watch stopped at half past four. Dust. Shark liver oil they use to clean could do it myself. Save. Was that just when he, she?
O, he did. Into her. She did. Done.
Mr Bloom with careful hand recomposed his wet shirt. O Lord, that little limping devil. Begins to feel cold and clammy Aftereffect not pleasant. Still you have to get rid of it someway. They don't care. Complimented perhaps. Go home to nicey bread and milky and say night prayers with the kiddies. Well, aren't they. See her as she is spoil all. Must have the stage setting, the rouge, costume, position, music. The name too. Amours of actresses. Nell Gwynn, Mrs Bracegirdle, Maud Branscombe. Curtain up. Moonlight silver effulgence. Maiden discovered with pensive bosom. Little sweetheart come and kiss me Still I feel. The strength it gives a man. That's the secret of it. Good job I let off there behind coming out of Dignam's. Cider that was. Otherwise I couldn't have. Makes you want to sing after. Lacaus esant taratara. Suppose I spoke to her. What about? Bad plan however if you don't know how to end the conversation. Ask them a question they ask you another. Good idea if you're in a cart. Wonderful of course if you say: good evening, and you see she's on for it: good evening. O but the dark evening in the Appian way I nearly spoke to Mrs Clinch O thinking she was. Whew! Girl in Meath street that night. All the dirty things I made her say all wrong of course. My arks she called it. It's so hard to find one who. Aho! If you don't answer when they solicit must be horrible for them till they harden. And kissed my hand when I gave her the extra two shillings. Parrots. Press the button and the bird will squeak. Wish she hadn't called me sir. Oh, her mouth in the dark! And you a married man with a single girl! That's what they enjoy. Taking a man from another woman. Or even hear of it. Different with me. Glad to get away from other chap's wife. Eating off his cold plate. Chap in the Burton today spitting back gumchewed gristle. French letter still in my pocketbook. Cause of half the trouble. But might happen sometime, I don't think. Come in. All is prepared. I dreamt. What? Worst is beginning. How they change the venue when it's not what they like. Ask you do you like mushrooms because she once knew a gentleman who. Or ask you what someone was going to say when he changed his mind and stopped. Yet if I went the whole hog, say: I want to, something like that. Because I did. She too. Offend her. Then make it up. Pretend to want something awfully, then cry off for her sake. Flatters them. She must have been thinking of someone else all the time. What harm? Must since she came to the use of reason, he, he and he. First Kiss does the trick. The propitious moment. Something inside them goes pop. Mushy like, tell by their eye, on the sly. First thoughts are best. Remember that till their dying day. Molly, lieutenant Mulvey that kissed her under the Moorish wall beside the gardens. Fifteen she told me. But her breasts were developed. Fell asleep then. After Gencree dinner that was when we drove home the featherbed mountain. Gnashing her teeth in sleep. Lord mayor had his eye off her too. Val Dillon. Apoplectic.
There she is with them down there for the fireworks. My fireworks. Up like a rocket, down like a stick. And the children, twins they must be, waiting for something to happen. Want to be grownups. Dressing in mother's clothes. Time enough, understand all the ways of the world. And the dark one with the mop head and the nigger mouth. I knew she could whistle. Mouth made for that. Like Molly. Why that high class whore In Jammet's wore her veil only to her nose. Would you mind, please, telling me the right time? I'll tell you the right time up a dark lane. Say prunes and prisms forty times every morning, cure for fat lips. Caressing the little boy too. Onlookers see most of the game. Of course they understand birds, animals, babies. In their line.
Didn't look back when she was going down the strand. Wouldn't give that satisfaction. Those girls, those girls, those lovely seaside girls. Fine eyes she had, clear. It's the white of the eye brings that out not so much the pupil. Did she know what I? Course. Like a cat sitting beyond a dog's jump. Women never meet one like that Wilkins in the high school drawing a picture of Venus with all his belongings on show. Call that innocence? Poor idiot! His wife has her work cut out for her. Never see them sit on a bench marked Wet Paint. Eyes all over them. Look under the bed for what's not there. Longing to get the fright of their lives. Sharp as needles they are. When I said to Molly the man at the corner of Cuffe street was goodlooking, thought she might like, twigged at once he had a false arm. Had too. Where do they get that? Typist going up Roger Greene's stairs two at a time to show her understandings. Handed down from father to mother to daughter, I mean. Bred in the bone. Milly for example drying her handkerchief on the mirror to save the ironing. Best place for an ad to catch a woman's eye on a mirror. And when I sent her for Molly's Paisley shawl to Presscott's, by the way that ad I must, carrying home the change in her stocking. Clever little minx! I never told her. Neat way she carried parcels too. Attract men, small thing like that. Holding up her hand, shaking it, to let the blood flow back when it was red. Who did you learn that from? Nobody. Something the nurse taught me. O, don't they know? Three years old she was in front of Molly's dressingtable just before we left Lombard street west. Me have a nice face. Mullingar. Who knows? Ways of the world. Young student. Straight on her pins anyway not like the other. Still she was game. Lord, I am wet. Devil you are. S