He gulped down the spittle in his throat as if he were gulping down the phrase and, fumbling at the peak of his tweed cap, turned to Stephen, saying: --Excuse me, sir, what do you mean by that expression you uttered just now? Feeling himself jostled by the students near him, he said to them: --I am curious to know now what he meant by that expression. The rector would be there in a cope of black and gold and there would be tall yellow candles on the altar and round the catafalque. Since the light brush, that second night on the upper landing, of the presence of a woman at the foot of the stair, I had seen nothing, whether in or out of the house, that one had better not have seen. " My hand was on my friend's arm, but she failed for the moment, confronted with such an account of the matter, to respond to my pressure.