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It is the time of noon. Stephen and Bloom come together in the newspaper office. Stephen has come to present Mr. Deasy’s letter to the editor, which is accepted for publication. Bloom has come to complete a contract for a newspaper advertisement. He is unsuccessful. The noise of tramcars around the Nelson Monument and the bustle at the Post Office invade the newspaper office. Red Murray finds an advertisement Bloom hopes to place in The Telegraph and cuts out a copy for him. He points out the passing figure of William Braydon, the owner of the twin newspaper, The Weekly Freeman and The Freeman’s Journal. Bloom and Murray agree that he looks like Christ or like Mario, the famous operatic tenor.
Bloom goes into the office of Nannetti, the Italian-Irishman. He is councilman for the district of College Green and business manager of the paper. Hynes is in the office. Probably he is filling his report on Dignam’s funeral. Then he shows Nannetti the copy of the advertisement. It is for the firm of Alexander Keyes, and Bloom wants it printed to show a cut of two keys above the name. He also wants some favorable comment on the firm. Nannetti listens quietly. He says that a deal can be made if the advertisement can be guaranteed to appear for three months. Bloom walks through the print-shop, considering the offer. He notices the old Monks, the day news editor, an honest, sober and decent man. As he walks he watches the typesetters at work. He decides to telephone for authority before closing the deal. He will telephone from Ned Lambert’s office. With Lambert are Professor MacHugh, the Latinist and Simon Dedalus, amusing themselves by reading the pompous speech by Dan Dawson, which had appeared in the morning papers. MacHugh does not propose to explain the situation to Bloom, but Dedalus courteously brings him into the conversation. J.J. O’Molloy comes into the crowded office, banging the doorknob into Bloom’s back. The Irishmen continue laughing at the fatuity and sentimental patriotism of Dawson’s piece, while Bloom feels increasingly isolated. Myles Crawford, the editor, appears and Bloom seizes the opportunity to slip into the inner office and telephone. Leneham brings in the sports news. A fight among a group of newspaper-boys interrupts the conversation. Bloom cannot reach Keyes by phone. So he excuses himself and goes out to seek him. Those left in the office watch his progress through the window and see the cheeky newsboys mocking his walk.
Stephen Dedalus and O’Madden Burke arrive. Stephen shows Mr. Deasy’s letter, which causes some fun. Crawford suggests that Stephen should write something vivacious for the paper. He reminds the group of the great journalistic coup of Ignatius Gallacher who telegraphed the story of the Phoenix Park assassinations to America by means of an ingenious code. This famous tale of the past raises a general nostalgia. The professor describes a great speech by John F. Taylor. When he concludes, there is a general determination to quit the office for a tavern. Stephen is told that the letter will be published. He remarks: "Dublin, I have much to learn." He recounts to Professor MacHugh the sordid and sad stories of the old, poor Anne Kearns and Florence MacCabe. But the professor does not seem very interested. Bloom rushes in with an apparently reasonable compromise on his deal. Keyes will accept a two-month contract in return for some boosting by paper. But Crawford dismisses him with a crude comment. Bloom is left behind startled, as the rest leave. They go through the streets. They recapitulate the earlier conversation, vulgarizing Stephen’s story. The trams rattle on. They look up at the statue of Nelson, the "one-handed adulterer."