Page:Celtic Fairy Tales.djvu/105
The Story of Deirdre
verity, although he put out even my eye, it were my desire still to remain looking at her with the other eye, were it not for the hurry you told me to be in," said Gelban.
"That is true," said Connachar; "let three hundred brave heroes go down to the abode of the strangers, and let them bring hither to me Deirdre, and kill the rest."
Connachar ordered three hundred active heroes to go down to the abode of the strangers and to take Deirdre up with them and kill the rest. "The pursuit is coming," said Deirdre.
"Yes, but I will myself go out and stop the pursuit," said Naois.
"It is not you, but we that will go," said Daring Drop and Hardy Holly, and Fiallan the Fair; "it is to us that our father entrusted your defence from harm and danger when he himself left for home." And the gallant youths, full noble, full manly, full handsome, with beauteous brown locks, went forth girt with battle arms fit for fierce fight and clothed with combat dress for fierce contest fit, which was burnished, bright, brilliant, bladed, blazing, on which were many pictures of beasts and birds and creeping things, lions and lithe-limbed tigers, brown eagle and harrying hawk and adder fierce; and the young heroes laid low three-thirds of the company.
Connachar came out in haste and cried with wrath: "Who is there on the floor of fight, slaughtering my men?"
"We, the three sons of Ferchar Mac Ro."
"Well," said the king, "I will give a free bridge to your grandfather, a free bridge to your father, and a free bridge each to you three brothers, if you come over to my side to-night."