(in a hollow voice) It is true. It was my funeral. Doctor Finucane pronounced life extinct when I succumbed to the disease from natural causes."
(in triumph) You hear?
Bloom, I am Paddy Dignam's spirit. List, list, O list!"
The voice is the voice of Esau.
(blesses himself) How is that possible?"
It is not in the penny catechism.
By metempsychosis. Spooks.
(earnestly) Once I was in the employ of Mr J. H. Menton, solicitor, commissioner for oaths and affidavits, of 27 Bachelor's Walk. Now I am defunct, the wall of the heart hypertrophied. Hard lines. The poor wife was awfully cut up. How is she bearing it? Keep her off that bottle of sherry. (he looks round him) A lamp. I must satisfy an animal need. That buttermilk didn't agree with me.
(The portly figure of John O'Connell, caretaker, stands forth, holding a bunch of keys tied with crape. Beside him stands Father Coffey, chaplain, toadbellied, wrynecked, in a surplice and bandanna nightcap, holding sleepily a staff of twisted poppies.)"
(Foghorns stormily through his megaphone.) Dignam, Patrick T, deceased.
(With pricked up ears, winces.) Overtones. (He wriggles forward and places an ear to the ground.) My masters' voice!"
Burial docket letter number U.P. eightyfive thousand. Field seventeen. House of Keys. Plot, one hundred and one"
Pray for the repose of his soul.
(He worms down through a coalhole, his brown habit trailing its tether over rattling pebbles. After him toddles an obese grandfather rat on fungus turtle paws under a grey carapace. Dignam's voice, muffled, is heard baying under ground: Dignam's dead and gone below."
(A hand to his breastbone, bows.) Reuben J. A florin I find him. (He fixes the manhole with a resolute stare.) My turn now on."
[Image courtesy of Eamonn Finn]
The song 'Follow Me up to Carlow' is a traditional tune (ca. 1500) with lyrics by Patrick Joseph McCall (1861 - 1919). It tells the story of the Battle of Glenmalure, an Irish victory over the English in late 16c.
(Warbling.) Leo! (Twittering.) Icky licky micky sticky for Leo! (Cooing.) Coo coocoo! Yummyyum, Womwom! (Warbling.) Big comebig! Pirouette! Leopopold! (Twittering.) Leeolee! (Warbling.) O Leo!
(They rustle, flutter upon his garments, alight, bright giddy flecks, silvery sequins.)
A man's touch. Sad music. Church music. Perhaps here."
Are you looking for someone? He's inside with his friend.
Is this Mrs Mack's?
No, eightyone. Mrs Cohen's. You might go farther and fare worse. Mother Slipperslapper. (Familiarly.)"