It is now after midnight and Bloom helps Stephen. They go to the cabman's shelter near Butt Bridge. Unable to attract a cab, they have to walk. Bloom is sober and warns Stephen of the dangers of night-town. He also criticizes Mulligan.
A character named Corley appears and borrows money from Stephen. When Bloom asks Stephen why he left his father's house, he replies he wanted to 'seek misfortune'. Bloom remembers Haines and Mulligan giving Stephen the slip at the station and once more warns against trusting Mulligan.
At the cabman's shelter, a sailor engages them in conversation and it becomes increasingly evident that this sailor invents his 'true' stories. This is obvious when he claims to have seen Simon Dedalus at the circus, shooting eggs off bottles.
Bloom tells Stephen of the altercation he had in Barney Kierney's and they go on to discuss work. Bloom then reads Dignam's obituary and notices that his name has been entered as 'L. Boom'. Furthermore, McCoy and Stephen Dedalus are listed as present although they did not attend the funeral. The conversation in the room turns to Parnell and his mistress Kitty O'Shea. After an interlude, Bloom shows Stephen a photograph of Molly.
Bloom goes on to ask Stephen when he last ate and is 'literally astounded' when he replies the day before yesterday. He thinks of inviting Stephen to come home with him, but remembers Molly's anger when he once brought back a dog.
He recalls his argument with the citizen again and laughs at the extent of the man's stupidity. 'Utopian plans' then flash through Bloom's mind (in relation to working with Stephen). Bloom leads Stephen and puts his arm through his as they walk on. They talk about music and Bloom tells him how pleased Molly would be to meet him as she is 'passionately attached to music of any kind'. He wonders again if he has Simon's gift for music, and tells him he should have an agent. Stephen does not respond, but a horse can be heard evacuating its bowels.
This final chapter signifies the homecoming of Ulysses/Odysseus. This episode may also be correlated with the father revealing himself to his son, Telemachus, in The Odyssey as figuratively Bloom corresponds to being Stephen's surrogate father in the solicitous care he shows for Stephen's appetite and home life. A further parallel with the Homeric text may be drawn with the swine-herd shelter offered by Eumaeus and the cab man's shelter they use in this episode.
These similarities, again, must not be observed too rigidly in relation to Ulysses, but it is of course fair to say that the structure is loosely similar in that Bloom and Stephen are ironic conceptions of Homer's father and son.
Ulysses: Novel Summary: Chapter Three - Episode 16