When we hear that Mulligan "crossed himself piously with his thumbnail at brow and lips and breastbone," we may suspect that he is indulging in one more mocking imitation of Christian holy men. But in this instance his Trinitarian gesture also is intended to communicate a piece of social information to Stephen and Haines: the man exiting the swimming hole is a priest.

JH 2011

Source: truthhimself.blogspot.com.