Page:Ulysses, 1922.djvu/18

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15
 


No, thank you, sir, the old woman said, slipping the ring of the milkcan on her forearm and about to go.

Haines said to her :

Have you your bill? We had better pay her, Mulligan, hadn’t we?

Stephen filled the three cups.

Bill, sir? she said, halting. Well, it’s seven mornings a pint at two pence is seven twos is a shilling and twopence over and these three mornings a quart at fourpence is three quarts is a shilling and one and two is two and two, sir.

Buck Mulligan sighed and having filled his mouth with a crust thickly buttered on both sides, stretched forth his legs and began to search his trouser pockets.

Pay up and look pleasant, Haines said to him smiling.

Stephen filled a third cup, a spoonful of tea colouring faintly the thick rich milk. Buck Mulligan brought up a florin, twisted it round in his fingers and cried :

A miracle!

He passed it along the table towards the old woman, saying :

Ask nothing more of me, sweet. All I can give you I give.

Stephen laid the coin in her uneager hand.

We’ll owe twopence, he said.

Time enough, sir, she said, taking the coin. Time enough. Good morning, sir.

She curtseyed and went out, followed by Buck Mulligan’s tender chant :

Heart of my heart, were it more,

More would be laid at your feet.

He turned to Stephen and said :

Seriously, Dedalus. I’m stony. Hurry out to your school kip and bring us back some money. Today the bards must drink and junket. Ireland expects that every man this day will do his duty.

That reminds me, Haines said, rising, that I have to visit your national library today.

Our swim first, Buck Mulligan said.

He turned to Stephen and asked blandly :

Is this the day for your monthly wash, Kinch?

Then he said to Haines :

The unclean bard makes a point of washing once a month.