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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246          THE PURSUIT OF DIARMID
of my faithful comrades. And you shall lack me sorely yet, 0 Fionn.'
' I am near of kin to you, 0 Fionn,' said Oscar, ' but you shall not do Diarmid this wrong. Further, I swear that were any other prince in the world to have done this to Diarmid, we would have seen whose hand was strongest and who should bring him a drink.'
'I know no well upon this mountain,' answered Fionn.
' That is not true,' replied Diarmid, ' for nine paces from this is the best well of pure water in the world.'
So Fionn went to the well and filled his palms with water; but he had only come half way to where Diarmid lay when he let the water run down between his fingers. ' The water would not stay in my hands,' he said, as he reached the rest.
' You spilt it of your will,' answered Diarmid.
For the second time Fionn set out to fetch the water, but returning he thought of Grania, and let it run upon the ground. Diarmid saw and sighed piteously. ' I swear by my sword,' cried Oscar, ' that if this time you bring not that water either you or I, 0 Fionn, shall leave our body here.'
And Fionn trembled when he heard those wrords, and brought back the water, but as he came to his side the life wrent out of Diarmid. And the company of the Fenians raised three exceeding great cries; while Oscar looked fiercely at Fionn, and told him it had been better for the Fenians had Fionn himself died, and not Diarmid. Then Fionn left the top of the mountain, leading Diarmid's hound, and his Fenians came after. But Ossian and Oscar and two others returned and laid their four mantles over Diarmid, and when they had done that they went their ways after Fionn.
Now Grania was standing on the ramparts of her house when she saw Fionn and the Fenians approaching. She said to herself that if Diarmid were alive it was not
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