Sunday, 3 December 2017

Monday, 27 November 2017, Pages 430 - 433

We stopped at "... howdydos." (433.2)

Issy and the 28 girls are splashing water with their 58 pedalettes when Shaun, now as Juan (Don Juan?) appears. These girls, all teenagers, are repelled by how the drunk constable Sigurdsen is snoring. He looks like a log stuck to the sod*.  When moved, this Dutch guy murmurs - in the translation McHugh supplies -  'this is the best, my beautiful flask' (Dotter dead bedstead mean diggy smuggy flaske.)

* Again according to McHugh, the mention of the log points to the Aesop's fable: King Log, King Frog. There are many versions of this fable, as given here. In its simplest version, a group of frogs get bored of the easy life they are leading and appeal to Zeus to send them a king. Zeus sends a log which splashes down in the river near which the frogs have been living. At first, the frogs get scared by the splashing noice made by the log, and keep their distance. Soon they discover that the log hardly moves, and approach it, at first carefully, and soon begin boldly to jump up and down the log. Then they again appeal to Zeus to send them this time a real king. Zeus sends them a stork which ends up eating the frogs.

Sod: Ground on which grass grows.


Log or no log, our attention then turns to Juan and the leap year girls. Jaun puts on a reinforced crown** and the girls swarm around him like bees around a beehive. They buzz around him, make girlsfuss over him pellmale (in a confused way), ruffle his golliwog curls, ... For them he was the killingest ladykiller all by kindness... poor, good, true, Jaun!

The poor, good, true, Juan then starts addressing the group. First he talks to his sister and then he addresses the rest of the girls, telling them to adhere to as many as probable of the ten commandments.

What Juan's ten commandments are, we shall see in the next reading session!

** If 'reinforced crown' is interpreted as the crown of thorns, Juan becomes Christ.

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