…and Red.

*

… When the Fenians had risen and come out the following morning, Fin approached Brown, Black and Grey and said, “Do you have anything to relate from the watch last night.”

So, the three newcomers told their respective stories and at the end of their tale Brown and Black handed Fin the knife and cup which they had retrieved.

“You have done great work,” said Fin, “we are sure to have the best eating and drinking from now on,” then turning to Grey he said, “the fate of the old hag, though, nags at me, that third young giant may well return and visit trouble on us all.”

For twelve months after Fin Mac Coll and the Fenians of Erin hunted for sport alone and at the end of that time, Brown, Black and Grey went their way.

On a day, soon after, a large Red Man approached the hunt and requested of Fin twelve months service.

“And what wages do you ask?” said Fin to the Red Man.

“No wages but this,” said the Red Man, “if I die before that time is out I shall be buried on the Isle of Light.”

“You’ll get that,” said Fin and from that time on the Red Man served Fin to his satisfaction.

Toward the end of his twelfth month, however, the Red Man fell into decline and died.

Now the Fenians flat refused to have anything to do with the bargain struck with an uncanny Red Man so it was left to Fin alone to keep his word and bury the corpse on the Isle of Light.

Fin fetched a white horse, tied the coffin with the Red-Man in it to its back and sent it on ahead.

Fin and twelve of his men followed at a distance.

When they came to the burial chamber on the Isle there was no sign of the horse and coffin so Fin and his men entered the chamber and found thirteen seats inside.

They sat down to rest but when they at last tried to rise they could not.

Just then the Red Man appeared before them.

He was hale and hearty and in his full strength.

“And now I shall take revenge for my mother and my brothers,” said the Red Man.

“Chew you thumb, Fin,” cried Conan-the-Bald, “and see if there is any way out of this?”

So Fin chewed his thumb and when he knew he blew a great whistle between his two hands.

Dermot and Doughal immediately set out from Tara.

The Red Man had already killed three of Fin’s men before they arrived and put paid to him.

Fin returned to Tara with Dermot, Doughal and the nine survivors.

*

8 thoughts on “…and Red.

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