Mr Dedalus, with some of your literary friends. I have a letter here for the press. Sit down a moment. I have just to copy the end.
He went to the desk near the window, pulled out his chiar twice and read some words from the sheet on the drum of his typewriter.
—Sit down. Excuse me, he said over his shoulder, the dictates of common sense. Just a moment.
He peered from under his shaggy brows at the manuscript by his elbow and, muttering, began to prod the stiff buttons of the keyboard slowly, some times blowing as he screwed up the drum to erase the error.
Stephen seated himself noiselessly before the princely presence. Framed around the walls images of vanished horses stood in homage, their meek heads poised in air: lord Hastings' Repulse, the duke of Westminster's Shotover, the duke of Beaufort's Ceylon, prix de Paris, 1886. Elfin riders sat them, watchful of a sign. He saw their speeds, backing king's colours, and shouted with the shouts of the vanished crowds.
—Full stop, Mr Deasy bade his keys. But prompt ventilation of this important question…
Where Cranly led me to get rich quick, hunting his winners among the mudsplashed brakes, amid the bawls of bookies on their pitches and reek of the canteen, over the motley slush. Even money Fair Rebel: ten to one the field. Dicers and thimbleriggers we hurried by after the hoofs, the vying caps and jackets and past the meatfaced woman, a butcher's dame, nuzzling thirstily her clove of orange.
Shots rang shrill from the boys' playfield and a whirring whistle.
Again: a goal. I am among them, among their battling bodies in a medley, the joust of life. You mean that knockkneed mother's daring who seems to be slightly crawsick? Jousts. Time shocked rebounds, shock by shock. Jousts, slush and uproar of battles, the frozen deathspew of the slain, a shout of spear spikes baited with men's bloodied guts.
—Now then, Mr Deasy said, rising.
He came to the table, pining together his sheets. Stephen stood up.
—I have put the matter into a nutshell, Mr Deasy said. It's about the foot and mouth disease. Just look through it. There can be no two opinions on the matter.
May I trespass on your valuable space. That doctrine of laissez faire which so often in our history. Our cattle trade. The way of all our old industries. Liverpool ring which jockeyed the Galway harbour scheme. European conflagration. Grain supplies through the narrow waters of the channel. The pluperfect imperturbability of the department of agriculture. Pardoned a classical allusion. Cassandra. By a woman who was no better than she should be. To come to the point at issue.
—I don't mince words, do I? Mr Deasy asked as Stephen read on.
Foot and mouth disease. Known as Koch's preparation. Serum and virus. Percentage of salted horses. Rinderpest. Emperor's horses at Mürzsteg, lower Austria. Veterinary surgeons. Mr Henry Blackwood Price. Courteous offer a fair trial. Dictates of common sense. Allimportant question. In every sense of the word take the bull by the horns. Thanking you for the hospitality of your columns.
—I want that to be printed and read Mr Deasy said. You will see at the next outbreak they will put an embargo on Irish cattle. And it can be cured. It is cured. My cousin, Blackwood Price, writs to me it is regularly treated and cured in Austria by cattledoctors there. They offer to come over here. I'm trying to work up influence with the department. Now I'm going to try publicity. I am surrounded by difficulties, by…intrigues, by…backstairs influence, by…
He rose his forefinger and beat the air oldly before his voice spoke.
—Mark my words, Mr Dedalus, he said. England is in the hands of the jews. In all the highest places: her finance, her press. And they are the signs of a nation's decay. Wherever they gather they eat up the nation's vital strength. I have seen it coming these years. As sure as we are standing here the jew merchants are already at their work of destruction. Old England is dying.
He stepped swiftly off, his eyes coming to blue life as they passed a broad sunbeam. He faced about and back again.
—Dying, he said, if not dead by now.
The harlot's cry from street to street
Shall weave old England's winding sheet.
His eyes open wide in vision stared sternly across the sunbeam in which he halted.