sending away the children of Morna Finn sets out himself to go to the quicken
that he caused the seven battalions of the standing fian to assemble in one
place, and he went his way to Dubros of Ui Fiachbrach; and followed Diarmuid's
track to the food to the quicken tree, and found the berries without any watch
upon them, so that they all ate their fill of them. The great heat of the noon
day then overtook them, and Finn said that he would stay at the foot of the
quicken tree till that heat should be past:" for I know that Diarmuid is in
the top of the tree."
is a great sign of envy in thee, O Finn, to suppose that Diarmuid would abide in
the top of the quicken tree, and he knowing that thou art intent on slaying him,"
this Finn asked for a chessboard to play, and he said to Oisin, "I would
play a game with thee upon this chessboard." They sat down at either side
of the board; namely Oisin and Oscar and the son of Lugaid and Diorruing the son
of Dobar O'Baoiscene on one side, and Finn upon the other side.
they were playing that game of chess with skill and exceeding cunning, and Finn
so played the game against Oisin that he had but one move alone to make, and
Finn said:"One move there is to win thee the game, O Oisin, but I am not
there to teach thee that move."
is worse for thee that thou art thyself," said Grainne, "in the bed of
the Searban Lochlannach, in the top of the quicken tree, with the seven
battalions of the standing fian round about thee intent upon thy destruction,
than that Oisin should lack that move." Then Diarmuid plucked one of the
berries, and aimed at the man that should be moved; and Oisin moved that man and
thus turned the game against Finn. They began to play again and Oisin was again
worsted. When Diarmuid beheld that, he cast a second berry upon the man that
should be moved; and Oisin moved that man and turned the game against Finn as
before. Finn was about to win the game against Oisin the third time, Diarmuid
struck a third berry upon the man that would give Oisin the game, and the fian
raised a mighty shout at that game. Finn spoke, and what he said was: "I
marvel not at thy winning that game, O Oisin, seeing that Oscar is doing is best
for thee, and that thou hast with thee the zeal of Diorruing, the skilled
knowledge of the son of Luagid, and the prompting of Diarmuid."
shows great envy in thee, O Finn," said Oscar, "to think that Diarmuid
O' Duibne would stay in the top of this tree with thee in wait for him."
which of us is the truth, O O'Duibne, " said Finn, "with me or with
didst never err in thy good judgment, O Finn," said Diarmuid, " and I
indeed and Grainne are here in the bed of the Searban Lochlannach." Then
Diarmuid caught ?Grainne, and gave her three kisses in the presence of Finn and
grieves me more that the seven battalions of the standing fian and all the men
of Erin should have witnessed thee the night thou didst take Grainne from Tara,
seeing that thou wast my guard that night, than that these that are here should
witness thee; and thou shalt give thy head for those kisses," said Finn.
Finn arose with the four hundred hirelings that he had on wages and on stipend,
with intent to kill Diarmuid; and Finn put their hands into each other's hands
round about that quicken tree, and warned them on pain of losing their heads,
and as they would preserver their life, not to let Diarmuid pass out by them.
Moreover, he promised them that to whatever man of the fian of Erin should go up
and bring him the head of Diarmuid, he would give his arms and armor, with his
father's and his grandfather's rank among the fian freely. Garb of sliab Cua
answered, and what he said was, that it was Diarmuid's father Doonn O' Donnucda,
who had slain his father; and to requite hat he would go to avenge him upon
Diarmuid, and he went his way up. Now it was shown to Angus of the Brug,
Diarmuid's foster father, what a straight Dairmuid was in , and he came to
succor him without knowledge of the fian; and when Garb of Silib Cua had got up
into the top of the quicken tree, Diarmuid gave him a strike of his foot and
flung him down into the midst of the fian, so that Finn's hirelings took off his
head, for Angus had put the form of Diarmuid upon him. After he was slain his
own shape came upon him again, and Finn and the fian of Erin knew him and they
said that it was Garb that was fallen.
said Garb of Sliab Crot that he would go to avenge his father also upon Diarmuid,
and he went up, and Angus gave him a kick, so that he flung him down in the
midst of the fian with the form of Diarmuid upon him, and Finn's people took off
his head; and Finn said that that was not Diarmuid but Garb, for Garb assumed
his own form again.
of Sliab Guaire said that he too would go, and that it was Donn O' Donncuda that
had slain his father, and that therefore he would go to avenge him upon O'Duibne,
and he climbed into the top of the quicken tree. Diarmuid gave him also a kick,
so that he flung him down, and Angus put the form of Diarmuid upon him, so that
the fian slew him.
the nine Garbs of the fian were thus slain under a false appearance by the
people of Finn. As for Finn, after the fall of the nine Garbs of the fian, he
was full of anguish and of faintheartedness and of grief.
of the Brug then said that he would take Grainne with him. "Take her,"
said Diarmuid, "and if I be alive at evening I shall follow you; and if
Finn kills me, whatever children Grainne may have rear or bring them up well,
and send Grainne to her own father to Tara." Angus took leave and farewell
of Diarmuid, and flung his magic mantle about Grainne and about himself, and
they departed, without knowledge of the fian, and no tidings are told of them
until they reached the Brug upon the Boyne.
Diarmuid spoke, and what he said was:"I will go down to thee, O Finn, and
to the fian; and I will deal slaughter and discomfiture upon thee and upon thy
people, seeing that I am certain thy wish is to allow me no deliverance, but to
work my death in some place; and moreover, it is not mine to escape form this
danger which is before me, since I have no friend nor companion in the far
regions of the great world under whose safeguard or protection I may go, because
full often have I wrought the warriors of the world death and desolation for
love of thee. For there never came upon thee battle nor combat, strait nor
extremity in my time, but I would adventure myself into it for thy sake and for
the sake of the fian, and moreover I used to do battle before thee and after
thee. And I swear, O Finn, that I will well avenge myself, and that thou shalt
not get me for nothing."
Diarmuid speaks truth," said Oscar, " and give him mercy and
will not", said Finn, "to all eternity; and he shall not get peace nor
rest for ever till he give me satisfaction for every slight that he has put upon
is a foul shame and sign of jealousy in thee to say that," said Oscar;
"and I pledge the word of a true warrior," said he, "that unless
the firmament fall down upon me, or the earth open beneath my feet, I will not
suffer thee nor the fian of Erin to give him cut nor wound; and I take his body
and his life under the protection of my bravery and my valor, vowing that I will
save him in spite of the men of Erin. And, O Diarmuid, come down out of the
tree, since Finn will not grant thee mercy; and I take thee, pledging my body
and my life that no evil shall be done thee today."
Diarmuid rose and stood upon a high bough of the tree, and rose up with an airy
bound, light,birdlike, by the shafts of his spears, so that he got the breadth
of his two soles of the grass green earth, and he passed out far beyond Finn and
the fian of Erin.
that Oscar and Diarmuid proceeded onwards, neither one or other of them being
cut nor wounded, and no tidings are told of them until they reached the Brug
upon the Boyne, and Grainne and Angus met them with joy and good courage. Then
Diarmuid told them his tidings from the first to last, and it lacked but little
of Grainne's falling into the numb stupor of instant death through the fear and
the horror of that story.