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562 pages, Paperback
First published September 1, 2001
Grey morning dulled the bay. Banks of clouds, Howth just one more bank, rolled to sea, where other Howths grumbled to greet them. Swollen spumeless tide. Heads that bobbed like floating gulls and gulls that floating bobbed like heads. Two heads. At swim, two boys.
The Lancers had charged here too, it was told. There was a dead horse down the way. All about the steps, flowers were strewn and trampled, where the flower-sellers’ stalls had been toppled. Barricades blocked the side streets, erected of particular things: bicycles jumbled and piled in one, hunks of marble for another, bales of newsprint—the work of disparate guilds whimsically chosen. Trams had been overturned. There were no trams running. No juice, the tram-man told him. Even trains: the Sinn Feiners had dug up the lines. And no polis. No polis anywhere. Withdrawn to barracks. Every last pigeon-hearted lily-livered chicken-gutted sneak of them. It was pandemonium. It was Donnybrook Fair. It was all ballyhooly let loose. (U.K. Edition, pages 563 – 564)
There goes Mr. Mack, cock of the town. One foot up, the other foot down. The hell of a gent. With a tip of his hat here and a top of the morn there, tip-top, everything’s dandy. He’d bare his head to a lamppost.
A Christian customer too. Designate the charity, any bazaar you choose, up sticks the bill in his shop. ‘One Shilling per Guinea Spent Here Will Aid the Belgian Refugees.’ ‘Comforts for the Troops in France.’ ‘Presentation Missions up the Limpopo.’ Choose me the cause, he’s a motto to milk it. See him of a Sunday. Ladies’ Mass by the sixpenny-door, stays on for the Stations for his tanner’s worth. Oh, on the up, that’s Mr. Mack, a Christian genteelery grocerly man. (U.K. Edition, page 3)