THE PURSUIT OF DIARMID 221
'It is the counsel of us all,' said they.
Then Diarmid bade them farewell, and went to the top of the Fort, and put the shafts of his two javelins under him, and rose like a bird into the air, and found himself on the plain where Grania met him. 'I trow, 0 Grania,' said he, ' this is an evil course upon which you are come, for I know not to which corner of Erin I can take you. Return to the town, and Fionn will never harm you.'
' I will never go back,' answered Grania, ' and nothing save death shall part us.'
' Then go forward,' said Diarmid.
The town was a mile behind them when Grania stopped. 'I am weary, son of O'Dowd.'
' It is a good time to weary, Grania, for your father's house is still nigh at hand, and I give you my word as a warrior that I will never carry you or any woman.'
' You need not do that,' answered Grania, ' for my father's horses are in a fenced meadow by themselves, and have chariots behind them. Go and bring two horses and a chariot, and I will wait for you here.'
And Diarmid did what Grania bade him, and he brought two of the horses, and they journeyed together as far as Athlone.
' It is the easier for Fionn to follow our track,' said Diarmid at last, ' now we have the horses.'
' Then leave them,' cried Grania, ' one on each side of the stream, and we will travel on foot.' So they went on till they reached Galway, and there Diarmid cut down a grove, and made a palisade with seven doors of wattles, and gathered together the tops of the birch trees and soft rushes for a bed for Grania.
When Fionn and all that were in Tara awoke and found that Diarmid and Grania were not among them, a burning rage seized upon Fionn. At once he sent out trackers before him, and he followed them himself with