Thursday, November 27, 2014

Page 320 (12.1511-1549) "What’s that? says Joe... Who? says I."

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— What's that? says Joe.

So the citizen takes up one of his paraphernalia papers and he starts reading out:

— A delegation of the chief cotton magnates of Manchester was presented yesterday to His Majesty the Alaki of Abeakuta by Gold Stick in Waiting, Lord Walkup of Walkup on Eggs, to tender to His Majesty the heartfelt thanks of British traders for the facilities afforded them in his dominions. The delegation partook of luncheon at the conclusion of which the dusky potentate, in the course of a happy speech, freely translated by the British chaplain, the reverend Ananias Praisegod Barebones, tendered his best thanks to Massa Walkup and emphasised the cordial relations existing between Abeakuta and the British Empire, stating that he treasured as one of his dearest possessions an illuminated bible, the volume of the word of God and the secret of England's greatness, graciously presented to him by the white chief woman, the great squaw Victoria, with a personal dedication from the august hand of the Royal Donor. The Alaki then drank a lovingcup of firstshot usquebaugh to the toast Black and White from the skull of his immediate predecessor in the dynasty Kakachakachak, surnamed Forty Warts, after which he visited the chief factory of Cottonopolis and signed his mark in the visitors' book, subsequently executing a charming old Abeakutic wardance, in the course of which he swallowed several knives and forks, amid hilarious applause from the girl hands.

— Widow woman, says Ned, I wouldn't doubt her. Wonder did he put that bible to the same use as I would.

— Same only more so, says Lenehan. And thereafter in that fruitful land the broadleaved mango flourished exceedingly.

— Is that by Griffith? says John Wyse.

— No, says the citizen. It's not signed Shanganagh. It's only initialled: P.

— And a very good initial too, says Joe.

— That's how it's worked, says the citizen. Trade follows the flag.

— Well, says J.J., if they're any worse than those Belgians in the Congo Free State they must be bad. Did you read that report by a man what's this his name is?

— Casement, says the citizen. He's an Irishman.

— Yes, that's the man, says J.J. Raping the women and girls and flogging the natives on the belly to squeeze all the red rubber they can out of them.

— I know where he's gone, says Lenehan, cracking his fingers.

— Who? says I.




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