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THE CHILDREN OF LÎR
others was only hatred, cunningly disguised. Thus she tried to make excuses for herself and the little brothers to whom she was a child-mother, so that they need not go. But Eva listened with deaf ears, and the children said farewell to Lîr, who must have wondered at the tears that stood in Finola's eyes and the shadow that darkened their blue, and drove off in the chariot with their stepmother.
When they had driven a long way, Eva turned to her attendants: "Much wealth have I," she said, "and all that I have shall be yours if you will slay for me those four hateful things that have stolen from me the love of my man."
The servants heard her in horror, and in horror and shame for her they answered: "Fearful is the deed thou wouldst have us do; more fearful still is it that thou shouldst have so wicked a thought. Evil will surely come upon thee for having wished to take the lives of Lîr's innocent little children."Angrily, then, she seized a sword and herself would fain have done what her servants had scorned to do. But she lacked strength to carry out her own evil wish, and so they journeyed onwards. They came to Lake Darvra at last—now Lough Derravaragh, in West Meath—and there they all alighted from the chariot, and the children, feeling as though they had been made to play at an ugly game, but that now it was over and all was safety and happiness again, were sent into the loch to bathe. Joyously and with merry laughter the little boys splashed into the clear water by the