… “Mananawn’s Mount,” muttered Fin, pensively.
“Yeas!” exclaimed Daatho, “from Sidhe Finnaha, where Leer himself resides, he descends like a fire-storm. That radiant place on the very crest of the height is crowned with flames that leap rubied-red, through the day-light hours, but as night falls it sparks and spits like star-fire, as a guard against the foolish and unwary.”
“Do not the High Ones have their share of our spoil?” asked Fin, “what need has one of theirs to torment us so?”
“If the stone of the hills know it they utter it not,” said Daatho, “yet men will ever spin their yarns to draw out the unknown.”
“What stories have you heard told on this matter?” asked Fin.
“The old men say that it is all on account of a spear. They tell that Cuill, who was once the head of the Fianna, stole the spear from the Fairy Rath of Alain, son of Mithna.”
“And where is that spear now?” shouted Fin.
“Where is last year’s winter?” smiled Daatho.
“Is it with Goll, who is now head of the Fianna?”
“It is not with Goll, no,” said Daatho, “though Goll, it is true, sacked the Dun of Cuill, he did not get the spear, and nor did any man now known.”
“And what of the Fianna?” asked Fin, “has the strength of every champion’s arm been sapped by these fire-storms?”
“You can try the strength of your own arm,” laughed Daatho, “the king has offered their heart-wish, as reward, to any man who can stay the burning of Tara.” …