"After a long while his monologue paused. He stood up slowly, saying that he had to leave us for a minute or so... after a silence of a few minutes I heard Mahony exclaim: I say! Look what he is doing! As I neither answered nor raised my eyes Mahony exclaimed again...I say... He's a queer old Josser!" (239-248)
Personally, I believe this is one of the many possible excerpts which seem to indicate the old man's act of masturbation, which he causes as a result of his eerie monologue in the presence of the two young boys. Mahoney, the more adventurous of the two, appears to be the kind of boy who at that certain age is fascinated by all things improper, gross, and/or disgusting, and he is the one who watches the old man and reports to the narrator. The Narrator, however, adopts a submissive posture, with his eyes downcast, head silently bowed. Perhaps this is the result of the percieved homosexual connection between the narrator and the young man. While Mahoney only reports on the old man's actions, the narrator appears to have a greater understanding of the reasons behind such strange behavior.