Hot mockturtle vapour and steam of newbaked jampuffs rolypoly poured out from Harrison’s. The heavy noonreek tickled the top of Mr Bloom’s gullet. Want to make good pastry, butter, best flour, Demerara sugar, or they’d taste it with the hot tea. Or is it from her? A barefoot arab stood over the grating, breathing in the fumes. Deaden the gnaw of hunger that way. Pleasure or pain is it? Penny dinner. Knife and fork chained to the table.
Opening her handbag, chipped leather. Hatpin: ought to have a guard on those things. Stick it in a chap’s eye in the tram. Rummaging. Open. Money. Please take one. Devils if they lose sixpence. Raise Cain. Husband barging. Where’s the ten shillings I gave you on Monday? Are you feeding your little brother’s family? Soiled handkerchief: medicinebottle. Pastille that was fell. What is she?…
—There must be a new moon out, she said. He’s always bad then. Do you know what he did last night?
Her hand ceased to rummage. Her eyes fixed themselves on him, wide in alarm, yet smiling.
—What? Mr Bloom asked.
Let her speak. Look straight in her eyes. I believe you. Trust me.
—Woke me up in the night, she said. Dream he had, a nightmare.
—Said the ace of spades was walking up the stairs.
—The ace of spades! Mr Bloom said.
She took a folded postcard from her handbag.
—Read that, she said. He got it this morning.
—What is it? Mr Bloom asked, taking the card. U.P.?
—U.P.: up, she said. Someone taking a rise out of him. It’s a great shame for them whoever he is.
—Indeed it is, Mr Bloom said.
She took back the card, sighing.
—And now he’s going round to Mr Menton’s office. He’s going to take an action for ten thousand pounds, he says.
She folded the card into her untidy bag and snapped the catch.