Farrington? What is the meaning of this? Why have I always to complain of you? May I ask why you haven’t made a copy of that contract between Bodley and Kirwan? I told you it must be ready by four o’clock… Kindly attend to what I say, and not to what Mr. Shelley said, sir. You have always some excuse or another for shirking work. Let me tell you that if the contract is not copied before this evening I’ll lay the matter before Mr. Crosbie . . . Do you hear me now?
The chief clerk glanced at the hat-rack, but, seeing the row complete, offered no remark. As soon as he was on the landing the man pulled a shepherd’s plaid cap out of his pocket, put it on his head and ran quickly down the rickety stairs. From the street door he walked on furtively on the inner side of the pat and all at once dived into a doorway. He was now safe in the dark snug of O’Neill’s shop, and…he called out: “Here, Pat, give us a g.p., like a good fellow.”
The man listened to the clicking of the machine for a few minutes and then set to work to finish his copy. But his head was not clear and his mind wandered away to the glare and rattle of the public-house. It was a night for hot punches. He struggled on with his copy, but when the clock struck five he had still fourteen pages to write. Blast it! He couldn’t finish it in time. He longed to execrate aloud, to bring his fist down on something violently.
He went through the narrow alley of Temple Bar quickly, muttering to himself that they could all go to hell because he was going to have a good night of it…. He came out of the pawn-office joyfully, making a little cylinder of the coins between his thumb and fingers . . . The man passed through the crowd, looking on the spectacle generally with proud satisfaction and staring masterfully at the office-girls.
A very sullen-faced man stood at the corner of O’Connell Bridge waiting for the little Sandymount tram to take him home. He was full of smouldering anger and revengefulness. He felt humiliated and discontented, he did not even feel drunk, and he had only twopence in his pocket. He cursed everything. He had done for himself in the office, pawned his watch, spent all his money, and he had not even got drunk. He began to feel thirsty again and he longed to be back again in the hot reeking public-house.