Page:Ulysses, 1922.djvu/150

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147
 

       If he...
       O!
       Eh?
       No... No.
       No, no. I don’t believe it. He wouldn’t surely?
       No, no.
       Mr Bloom moved forward raising his troubled eyes. Think no more about
that. After one. Time ball on the ballast office is down. Dunsink time.
Fascinating little book that is of Sir Robert Ball’s. Parallax. I never exactly
understood. There’s a priest. Could ask him. Par it’s Greek : parallel, parallax.
Met him pikehoses she called it till I told her about the transmigration. O rocks!
       Mr Bloom smiled O rocks at two windows of the ballast office. She’s right
after all. Only big words for ordinary things on account of the sound. She’s
not exactly witty. Can be rude too. Blurt out what I was thinking. Still I don’t
know. She used to say Ben Dollard had a base barreltone voice. He has legs like
barrels and you’d think he was singing into a barrel. Now, isn’t that wit?
They used to call him big Ben. Not half as witty as calling him base barreltone.
Appetite like an albatross. Get outside of a baron of beef. Powerful man he was
at storing away number one Bass. Barrel of Bass. See? It all works out.
       A procession of whitesmocked men marched slowly towards him along the
gutter, scarlet sashes across their boards. Bargains. Like that priest they are this
morning : we have sinned : we have suffered. He read the scarlet letters on
their five tall white hats : H. E. L. Y. S. Wisdom Hely’s. Y lagging behind
drew a chunk of bread from under his foreboard, crammed it into his mouth
and munched as he walked. Our staple food. Three bob a day, walking along
the gutters, street after street. Just keep skin and bone together, bread and
skilly. They are not Boyl : no : M’Glade’s men. Doesn’t bring in any business
either. I suggested to him about a transparent show cart with two smart girls
sitting inside writing letters, copybooks, envelopes, blotting paper. I bet that
would have caught on. Smart girls writing something catch the eye at once.
Everyone dying to know what she’s writing. Get twenty of them round you if
you stare at nothing. Have a finger in the pie. Women too. Curiosity.
Pillar of salt, Wouldn’t have it of course because he didn’t think of it himself
first. Or the inkbottle I suggested with a false stain of black celluloid. His ideas
for ads like Plumtree’s potted under the obituaries, cold meat department. You
can’t lick ’em. What? Our envelopes. Hello! Jones, where are you going?
Can’t stop, Robinson, I am hastening to purchase the only reliable inkeraser