Page:Ulysses, 1922.djvu/119

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116
 

       Hell of a racket they make. Maybe he understands what I.
       The foreman turned round to hear patiently and, lifting an elbow, began
to scratch slowly in the armpit of his alpaca jacket.
        Like that, Mr Bloom said, crossing his forefingers at the top.
       Let him take that in first.
       Mr Bloom, glancing sideways up from the cross he had made, saw the
foreman’s sallow face, think he has a touch of jaundice, and beyond the obedient
reels feeding in huge webs of paper. Clank it. Clank it. Miles of it unreeled.
What becomes of it after? O, wrap up meat, parcels : various uses, thousand
and one things.
       Slipping his words deftly into the pauses of the clanking he drew swiftly
on the scarred woodwork.


                                HOUSE OF KEY(E)S

        Like that, see. Two crossed keys here. A circle. Then here the name
Alexander Keyes, tea, wine and spirit merchant. So on.
       Better not teach him his own business.
        You know yourself, councillor, just what he wants. Then round the
top in leaded : the house of keys. You see? Do you think that’s a good idea?
       The foreman moved his scratching hand to his lower ribs and scratched
there quietly.
        The idea, Mr Bloom said, is the house of keys. You know, councillor,
the Manx parliament. Innuendo of home rule. Tourists, you know, from the
isle of Man. Catches the eye, you see. Can you do that?
       I could ask him perhaps about how to pronounce that voglio. But
then if he didn’t know only make it awkward for him. Better not.
        We can do that, the foreman said. Have you the design?
        I can get it, Mr Bloom said. It was in a Kilkenny paper. He has a house
there too. I’ll just run out and ask him. Well, you can do that and just a little
par calling attention. You know the usual. High class licensed premises.
Longfelt want. So on.
       The foreman thought for an instant.
        We can do that, he said. Let him give us a three months’ renewal.
       A typesetter brought him a limp galleypage. He began to check it silently.
Mr Bloom stood by, hearing the loud throbs of cranks, watching the silent
typesetters at their cases.