Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Page 392 (14.1003-1041) "the difficulty by mutual... chewing the cud of"

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the difficulty by mutual consent was referred to Mr Canvasser Bloom for instant submittal to Mr Coadjutor Deacon Dedalus.

Hitherto silent, whether the better to show by preternatural gravity that curious dignity of the garb with which he was invested or in obedience to an inward voice, he delivered briefly and, as some thought, perfunctorily the ecclesiastical ordinance forbidding man to put asunder what God has joined.

But Malachias' tale began to freeze them with horror. He conjured up the scene before them. The secret panel beside the chimney slid back and in the recess appeared... Haines! Which of us did not feel his flesh creep?

He had a portfolio full of Celtic literature in one hand, in the other a phial marked Poison. Surprise, horror, loathing were depicted on all faces while he eyed them with a ghastly grin.

I anticipated some such reception, he began with an eldritch laugh, for which, it seems, history is to blame.

Yes, it is true. I am the murderer of Samuel Childs. And how I am punished! The inferno has no terrors for me. This is the appearance is on me.

Tare and ages, what way would I be resting at all, he muttered thickly, and I tramping Dublin this while back with my share of songs and himself after me the like of a soulth or a bullawurrus? My hell, and Ireland's, is in this life.

It is what I tried to obliterate my crime. Distractions, rookshooting, the Erse language (he recited some), laudanum (he raised the phial to his lips), camping out.

In vain! His spectre stalks me. Dope is my only hope...

Ah! Destruction! The black panther! With a cry he suddenly vanished and the panel slid back.

An instant later his head appeared in the door opposite and said: Meet me at Westland row station at ten past eleven. He was gone.

Tears gushed from the eyes of the dissipated host.

The seer raised his hand to heaven, murmuring: The vendetta of Mananaan! The sage repeated: Lex talionis. The sentimentalist is he who would enjoy without incurring the immense debtorship for a thing done.

Malachias, overcome by emotion, ceased. The mystery was unveiled. Haines was the third brother. His real name was Childs.

The black panther was himself the ghost of his own father. He drank drugs to obliterate. For this relief much thanks.

The lonely house by the graveyard is uninhabited. No soul will live there. The spider pitches her web in the solitude.

The nocturnal rat peers from his hole. A curse is on it. It is haunted. Murderer's ground.

What is the age of the soul of man? As she hath the virtue of the chameleon to change her hue at every new approach, to be gay with the merry and mournful with the downcast, so too is her age changeable as her mood. No longer is Leopold, as he sits there, ruminating, chewing the cud of




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