248 THE PURSUIT OF DIARMID
drunk she pointed to the weapons and arms of Diarmid, and said they were theirs, and by them they should learn all arts of brave men, till they should reach their full strength, and after that they should avenge themselves on Fionn.
The sayings of Grania were whispered in the ears of Fionn, and a great fear fell upon him. He called his Fenians together, and told them how the sons of Diarmid had gone to their mother, and returned to their own homes again. ' It is to rebel against me that they have done this,' and he asked counsel in the matter. ' The guilt is yours and no other man's,' spoke Ossian,' and we will not stand by you, for you slew Diarmid in time of peace.'
Without Ossian, Oscar, and their men Fionn knew that he could not conquer Grania, and resolved to try what cunning would do. So he slipped away secretly, and went to her house, and greeted her with soft words, in reply to her bitter ones. But so cunning was he that at last her wrath broke down, and she agreed to go with him back to his Fenians.
It was a long while before the Fenians knew who that could be walking by the side of Fionn, but when they did they laughed and mocked till Grania bowed her head for shame. ' This time, 0 Fionn, you will guard her well,' said Ossian.
For seven years the sons of Diarmid exercised themselves in all the skill of a warrior, and then they came back to Grania's house. There they learned how long ago Grania had fled with Fionn, and in wrath they set out to seek Fionn, and proclaimed battle against him. Fionn sent Dearing to ask how many men it would take to fight them, and they answered that each one of them would fight a hundred. So Fionn brought four hundred men, and the young men rushed under them and through them and over them, till there was not a man left. 'What shall we do concerning these youths, 0 Grania,' said Fionn, 'for I have not men enough to go through many such fights ? '