Page:The book of wonder voyages (1919).djvu/145
The Voyage of Maelduin
was calm, but great winds arose and drove me into mid-ocean, far beyond sight of land, and there my boat stood still, moving not.
"As I looked about me, I beheld a man sitting upon a wave, who inquired of me whither I was bound. And he told me I should be sorrowful and full of terror if I knew the band that surrounded me; for a crowd of demons encircled me on every side because of my covetousness and my pride, my haughtiness, thefts, and other evil deeds. Then he told me that my boat should remain motionless until I did his will; and his will was that I should fling all my treasures into the sea.
"So I flung all into the waters save a small wooden cup. Then he gave me whey-water and seven cakes, and bade me go whither wind and wave carried me. I minded his words, and following the will of my boat, was finally landed upon this crag. Seven years was I here, living on the seven cakes and whey-water given me by the man who sent me from him. Nor had I any other food. When that came to an end I fasted for three days, at the end of which, at the hour of noon, an otter brought me a salmon out of the sea. But as I could not eat it raw I threw it back into the water, and fasted for another three days. On the third day the otter brought me the salmon again and another otter brought a piece of flaming firewood, and set it down and blew with its breath, so that the fire blazed up. Thereon I cooked the fish, and lived on such food for another seven years. And at the end of that time the