234 THE PURSUIT OF DIARMID
she longs for the taste of your berries, and it is to get a handful of them that I am now come.'
' If she should die,' said the giant, ' she should have none.'
' I may not do you treachery,' replied Diarmid, 'therefore I tell you I will have them by fair means or foul.'
The giant having heard that, stood up and dealt Diarmid three mighty strokes with his club, so that he staggered. Then, flinging down his weapons, he sprang upon the giant and grasped the club between his hands, hurling the giant to the ground by the weight of his body. Without giving him time to rise, Diarmid struck three blows with the club at the giant's head and he died without a word.
Aod and Angus had watched the combat, and now came forth. ' Bury the giant under the brushwood of the forest,' said Diarmid, ' so that Grania may not see him, and then go and bring her to me, for I am very weary.'
And the young men did so. ' There, Grania, are the berries you asked for,' said Diarmid when she came, but she swore that she would not taste a berry except he plucked it for her. So he plucked the berries for her and for the children of Moirna, and they ate their fill of them. ' Now go,' said he, ' take as many berries as you can to Fionn, and tell him that it was you who slew the giant.' And they gave thanks to Diarmid and left him, and he and Grania went to sleep on the top of the tree where the sweetest berries grew.
The children of Moirna reached Fionn, and bowed before him. 'We have slain the giant,' said they, 'and have brought you the berries, and now we shall have peace for the death of our father.' Fionn took the berries into his hand, and stooped down and smelt them. ' I swear,' he cried,' that it was Diarmid O'Dowd who gathered these berries, and full sure I am that it was he who slew the