Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
HE DRAINED his third cup of watery tea to the dregs and set to chewing the crusts of fried bread that were scattered near him, staring into the dark pool of the jar. The yellow dripping had been scooped out like a boghole and the pool under it brought back to his memory the dark turfcoloured water of the bath in Clongowes. The box of pawntickets at his elbow had just been rifled and he took up idly one after another in his greasy fingers the blue and white dockets, scrawled and sanded and creased and bearing the name of the pledger as Daly or MacEvoy.
ē 1 Pair Buskins.
ē 1 D. Coat.
ē 3 Articles and White.
ē 1 Manís Pants.
Then he put them aside and gazed thoughtfully at the lid of the box, speckled with lousemarks, and asked vaguely:
-How much is the clock fast now?
His mother straightened the battered alarmclock that was lying on its side in the middle of the kitchen mantelpiece until its dial showed a quarter to twelve and then laid it once more on its side.
-An hour and twentyfive minutes, she said. The right time now is twenty past ten. The dear knows you might try to be in time for your lectures.
-Fill out the place for me to wash, said Stephen.
-Katey, fill out the place for Stephen to wash.
-Boody, fill out the place for Stephen to wash.
-I canít, Iím going for blue. Fill it out, you, Maggie.
When the enamelled basin had been fitted into the well of the sink and the old washingglove flung on the side of it he allowed his mother to scrub his neck and root into the folds of his ears and into the interstices at the wings of his nose.
-Well, itís a poor case, she said, when a university student is so dirty that his mother has to wash him.
-But it gives you pleasure, said Stephen calmly.
An earsplitting whistle was heard from upstairs and his mother thrust a damp overall into his hands, saying:
-Dry yourself and hurry out for the love of goodness.
A second shrill whistle, prolonged angrily, brought one of the girls to the foot of the staircase.
-Is your lazy bitch of a brother gone out yet?