THE BOOK OF ROMANCE - online children's book

King Arthur, His Court and Knights in the Age of Chivalry, by Andrew Lang

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224              THE PURSUIT OF DIAUMID
Diarmid would not open them, least his friends should come under the wrath of Fionn. But as he drew near the seventh, and put his question, the answer came loud: ' Here are Fionn, the son of Cumhaill, and four hundred of his servants, and we bear you no love, and if you come out we will tear your bones in sunder.'
' I pledge my word,' said Diarmid, ' that yours is the first door by which I will pass,' and he rose into the air on the shafts of his javelins, with a bound as light as a bird's, and went far beyond Fionn and his people, and they knew nothing of it. Then he looked back and shouted that he had got the better of them, and followed after the track of Angus and Grania.
He found them warm in a hut with a fire in it, watch­ing a wild boar roasting on a spit, and Grania's soul almost left her body for joy at seeing Diarmid. They told their stories before the fire, and when morning broke Angus rose and said to Diarmid, ' I must now depart, 0 son of O'Dowd, and this counsel I leave you. Go not into a tree having but one trunk, when you fly before Fionn. And go not to a cave of the earth having only one door, or to an island which can only be reached by one channel. And in whatever place you cook your meal, there eat it not; and in whatever place you eat, there lie not; and in whatever place you lie down to sleep, there rise not on the morrow.' So saying, he bade them farewell, and went his way.
The next day Diarmid and Grania journeyed up the Shannon, and they killed a salmon, and crossed the river to eat it, as Angus had told them. Soon they met a youth called Muadan, who wished to take service with them; and he was strong, and carried them over the riv­ers across their path. When evening came they found a cave, where Muadan spread out soft rushes and birch twigs for Diarmid and Grania to lie on, and as soon as they were asleep he stole into the next wood, and broke a long straight rod from a tree, and put a hair line and a
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