On the curbstone before Jimmy Geary, the sexton’s, an old tramp sat, grumbling, emptying the dirt and stones out of his huge dustbrown yawning boot. After life’s journey.
Gloomy gardens then went by: one by one: gloomy houses.
Mr Power pointed.
—That is where Childs was murdered, he said. The last house.
—So it is, Mr Dedalus said. A gruesome case. Seymour Bushe got him off. Murdered his brother. Or so they said.
—The crown had no evidence, Mr Power said.
—Only circumstantial, Martin Cunningham added. That’s the maxim of the law. Better for ninetynine guilty to escape than for one innocent person to be wrongfully condemned.
They looked. Murderer’s ground. It passed darkly. Shuttered, tenantless, unweeded garden. Whole place gone to hell. Wrongfully condemned. Murder. The murderer’s image in the eye of the murdered. They love reading about it. Man’s head found in a garden. Her clothing consisted of. How she met her death. Recent outrage. The weapon used. Murderer is still at large. Clues. A shoelace. The body to be exhumed. Murder will out.
Cramped in this carriage. She mightn’t like me to come that way without letting her know. Must be careful about women. Catch them once with their pants down. Never forgive you after. Fifteen.
The high railings of Prospect rippled past their gaze. Dark poplars, rare white forms. Forms more frequent, white shapes thronged amid the trees, white forms and fragments streaming by mutely, sustaining vain gestures on the air.
The felly harshed against the curbstone: stopped. Martin Cunningham put out his arm and, wrenching back the handle, shoved the door open with his knee. He stepped out. Mr Power and Mr Dedalus followed.
The Childs murder referenced in this passage was an event from Joyce’s own early life that stuck with him and inspired a fascination with the law in his writing. The case if of the murder of Thomas Childs by his brother Samuel. Joyce refers to Samuel being acquitted because of circumstantial evidence, but I found an article that explains that the investigation was botched by the Dublin Police. (source) The way the Joyce explains details of the murder in such detail gives it a grim realism and once again places the book in a very specific time and place. It also follows the dark and hellish tone of this chapter. I found a street view image of the house where the murder took place, but I changed the style from a row home to a Victorian. I felt that it fit the feel of an abandoned and dilapidated murder house.