Page:More Celtic Fairy Tales.djvu/93

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69
The Vision of MacConglinney

"What makes thee mad, son of learning?" asked Cathal.

"I grieve to see you eating alone," said the scholar.

Then the king was ashamed and flung him the apples, and it is said that for three half-years he had not performed such an act of humanity.

"Grant me a further boon," said MacConglinney.

"It is granted, on my troth," said the king.

"Fast with me the whole night," said the scholar.

And grievous though it was to the king, he did so, for he had passed his princely troth, and no King of Munster might transgress that.

In the morning MacConglinney called for juicy old bacon, and tender corned beef, honey in the comb, and English salt on a beautiful polished dish of white silver. A fire he lighted of oak wood without smoke, without fumes, without sparks.

And sticking spits into the portion of meat, he set to work to roast them. Then he shouted, "Ropes and cords here."

Ropes and cords were given to him, and the strongest of the warriors.

And they seized the king and bound him securely, and made him fast with knots and hooks and staples. When the king was thus fastened, MacConglinney sat himself down before him, and taking his knife out of his girdle, he carved the portion of meat that was on the spits, and every morsel he dipped in the honey, and, passing it in front of the king's mouth, put it in his own.

When the king saw that he was getting nothing, and he had been fasting for twenty-four hours, he roared and