When you wet the bed, first it is warm then it gets cold. His mother put on the oilsheet. That had the queer smell. His mother had a nicer smell than his father.
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He danced:. Tralala lala, Tralala tralaladdy, Tralala lala, Tralala lala. Uncle Charles and Dante clapped. They were older than his father and mother but uncle Charles was older than Dante. Dante had two brushes in her press. The brush with the maroon velvet back was for Michael Davitt and the brush with the green velvet back was for Parnell.
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Dante gave him a cachou every time he brought her a piece of tissue paper. The Vances lived in number seven. They had a different father and mother. When they were grown up he was going to marry Eileen. He hid under the table. His mother said:. Pull out his eyes, Apologise, Apologise, Pull out his eyes. Apologise, Pull out his eyes, Pull out his eyes, Apologise. The wide playgrounds were swarming with boys. All were shouting and the prefects urged them on with strong cries. The evening air was pale and chilly and after every charge and thud of the footballers the greasy leather orb flew like a heavy bird through the grey light.
He kept on the fringe of his line, out of sight of his prefect, out of the reach of the rude feet, feigning to run now and then. He felt his body small and weak amid the throng of the players and his eyes were weak and watery. Rody Kickham was not like that: he would be captain of the third line all the fellows said. Rody Kickham was a decent fellow but Nasty Roche was a stink.
Rody Kickham had greaves in his number and a hamper in the refectory.
Nasty Roche had big hands. He called the Friday pudding dog-in-the-blanket. And one day he had asked:. He crept about from point to point on the fringe of his line, making little runs now and then. But his hands were bluish with cold. He kept his hands in the side pockets of his belted grey suit. That was a belt round his pocket.
And belt was also to give a fellow a belt. One day a fellow said to Cantwell:. Give Cecil Thunder a belt. That was not a nice expression. His mother had told him not to speak with the rough boys in the college. Nice mother! The first day in the hall of the castle when she had said goodbye she had put up her veil double to her nose to kiss him: and her nose and eyes were red.
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But he had pretended not to see that she was going to cry. She was a nice mother but she was not so nice when she cried.
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And his father had given him two five-shilling pieces for pocket money. And his father had told him if he wanted anything to write home to him and, whatever he did, never to peach on a fellow. Then at the door of the castle the rector had shaken hands with his father and mother, his soutane fluttering in the breeze, and the car had driven off with his father and mother on it.
They had cried to him from the car, waving their hands:. He was caught in the whirl of a scrimmage and, fearful of the flashing eyes and muddy boots, bent down to look through the legs. The fellows were struggling and groaning and their legs were rubbing and kicking and stamping.
He ran after them a little way and then stopped. It was useless to run on.
Soon they would be going home for the holidays. After supper in the study hall he would change the number pasted up inside his desk from seventyseven to seventysix. It would be better to be in the study hall than out there in the cold. The sky was pale and cold but there were lights in the castle. He wondered from which window Hamilton Rowan had thrown his hat on the haha and had there been flowerbeds at that time under the windows. It was nice and warm to see the lights in the castle. It was like something in a book. Perhaps Leicester Abbey was like that.
They were like poetry but they were only sentences to learn the spelling from. Wolsey died in Leicester Abbey Where the abbots buried him. Canker is a disease of plants, Cancer one of animals. It would be nice to lie on the hearthrug before the fire, leaning his head upon his hands, and think on those sentences. He shivered as if he had cold slimy water next his skin.
How cold and slimy the water had been! A fellow had once seen a big rat jump into the scum. Mother was sitting at the fire with Dante waiting for Brigid to bring in the tea. She had her feet on the fender and her jewelly slippers were so hot and they had such a lovely warm smell! Dante knew a lot of things.
She had taught him where the Mozambique Channel was and what was the longest river in America and what was the name of the highest mountain in the moon. Father Arnall knew more than Dante because he was a priest but both his father and uncle Charles said that Dante was a clever woman and a wellread woman. And when Dante made that noise after dinner and then put up her hand to her mouth: that was heartburn.
The players closed around, flushed and muddy, and he went among them, glad to go in. Rody Kickham held the ball by its greasy lace. A fellow asked him to give it one last: but he walked on without even answering the fellow. Simon Moonan told him not to because the prefect was looking.
The fellow turned to Simon Moonan and said:. Suck was a queer word. But the sound was ugly. Once he had washed his hands in the lavatory of the Wicklow Hotel and his father pulled the stopper up by the chain after and the dirty water went down through the hole in the basin.
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