He wandered up and down the dark slimy streets peering into the gloom of lanes and doorways, listening eagerly for any sound. A few nights after this public chiding he was walking with a letter along the Drumcondra Road when he heard a voice cry: --Halt! He turned and saw three boys of his own class coming towards him in the dusk. Abandonment and abuse are not acts of God, they are failures of love. The homely version of his christian name on the lips of his friend had touched Stephen pleasantly when first heard for he was as formal in speech with others as they were with him.