226 THE PURSUIT OF DIARMID
crushed him. And in like manner he did to many more, and the rest fled back to their ships.
The next morning they came to Diarmid where he stood on the hill, and he asked if they would like him to show them any more tricks, but they said they would rather hear some news of Diarmid first. ' I have seen a man who met him to-day,' answered Diarmid, and thereupon he laid his weapons on the ground and bounded upwards upon his javelin, coming down lightly beyond the host.
' If you call that a feat, then you have never seen a feat,' said a young warrior of the green Fenians—for so were they called from the colour of their armour. And he rose in like manner on his javelin and came down heavily on it, and it pierced his heart. Diarmid drew out the javelin, and another man took it and tried to do the same thing, and he also was slain, and so to the number of fifty. And they went to their ships while Diarmid returned to Muadan and Grania.
As soon as Diarmid awoke he went to the forest and cut two forked poles, which he took to the hill and placed upright, and he balanced the sword of Angus across the top. Then he rose lightly over and came down safely over it. ' Is there any man among you who can do that ? ' asked he of'the men who had come up from their ships.
' That is a foolish question,'. answered one, ' for no man ever did a feat in Erin which one of us could not do,' and he arose and leapt over the sword, but his foot caught in it, and he was cut in half. After that others tried, but none jumped that sword and lived. ' Have you any tidings of the son of O'Dowd ? ' asked the rest at last.
' I have seen him that saw him to-day,' answered Diarmid. ' I will seek tidings of him to-night.' And he returned to Grania.
When the sun rose Diarmid put on his coat of mail which no sword could pierce, and girded on the sword of