to them, chiding them, and to his dangling watchchain. His hands plunged and rummaged in his trunk while he called for a clean handkerchief. Agenbite of inwit. God, we'll have to dress the character. I want puce gloves and green boots. Contradiction. Do I contradict myself. Mercurial Malachi. A limp black missile flew out of his talking hands.
—And here's your Latin quarter hat, he said.
Stephen picked it up and put it on. Haines called to them from the doorway:
—Are you coming, you fellows?
—I'm ready, Buck Mulligan answered, going towards the door. Come out, Kinch. You have eaten all we left, I suppose. Resigned he passed out with the grave words and gait, saying, wellnigh with sorrow:
—And going forth he met Butterly.
Stephen, taking his ashplant from its leaningplace, followed them out and, as they went down the ladder, pulled to the slow iron door and locked it. He put the huge key in his inner pocket.
At the foot of the ladder Buck Mulligan asked:
—Did you bring the key?
—I have it, Stephen said, preceding them.
He walked on. Behind him he heard Buck Mulligan club with his heavy bathtowel the leader shoots of ferns or grasses.
—Down, sir. How dare you, sir?
—Do you pay rent for this tower?
—Twelve quid, Buck Mulligan said.
—To the secretary of state for war, Stephen added over his shoulder.
They halted while Haines surveyed the tower and said at last:
—Rather bleak in wintertime, I should say. Martello you call it?
—Billy Pitt had them built, Buck Mulligan said, when the French were on the sea. But ours is the omphalos.
—What is your idea of Hamlet? Haines asked Stephen.
—No, nom Buck Mulligan shouted in pain. I'm not equal to the Thomas Aquinas and the fiftyfive reasons he has made to prop it up. Wait till I have a few pints in me first.
He turned to Stephen, saying as pulled down neatly the peaks of his primrose waistcoat:
—You couldn't manage it under three pints, Kinch, could you?
—It has waited so long, Stephen said listlessly, it can wait longer.
—You pique my curiosity, Haines said amiably. Is it some paradox?
—Pooh! Buck Mulligan said. We have grown out of the Wilde and paradoxes. It's quite simple.He proves by algebra that Hamlet's grandson is Shakespeare's grandfather and that he himself is the ghost of his own father.
—What? Haines said, beginning to point at Stephen. He himself?
Buck Mulligan slung his towel stolewise around his neck and, bending in loose laughter, said in Stephen's ear:
—O, shade of Kinch the elder! Japhet in search of a father!
—We're always tired in the morning, Stephen said to Haines. And it is rather long to tell.
Buck Mulligan, walking forward again, raised his hands.
—The sacred pint alone can unbind the tongue of Dedalus, he said.
—I mean to say, Haines explained to Stephen as they followed, this tower and these cliffs remind me somehow of Elisnore. That beetles o'er his base into the sea, isn't it?
Buck Mulligan turned suddenly for an instant towards Stephen but did not speak. In the bright silent instant Stephen saw his own image in cheap dusty morning between their gay attires.
—It's a wonderful tale, Haines said, bringing them to halt again.
Eyes, pale as the sea the wind had freshened, paler firm and prudent. The seas' ruler, he gazed southward over the bay, empty save for the smokeplume of the mailboat, vague on the bright skyline, and a sail tacking by the Muglins.
—I read a theological interpretation of it somewhere, he said bemused. The Father and the Son idea. The sun striving to be atoned with the Father.
Buck Mulligan at once put on a blithe broadly smiling face. He looked at them, his wellshaped mouth open so happily, his eyes, from which he had suddenly withdrawn all shrewd sense, blinking with mad gaiety. He move a doll's head to and fro,