“I know those men. That one is Da Derga. ’Tis by him that the Hostel was built, and since it was built its doors have never been shut save on the side to which the wind comes—the valve is closed against it—and since he began housekeeping his caldron was never taken from the fire, but it has been boiling food for the men of Erin. The pair before him, those two youths, are his fosterlings, two sons of the king of Leinster, namely Muredach and Corpre. Three decads will fall by that trio in front of their house and they will boast of victory over a king or a chief of the reavers. After this they will chance to escape from it.”
“Long live he who should protect them!” says Lomna.
“Better were triumph of saving them than triumph of slaying them! They should be spared were it only on account of that man. ’Twere meet to give that man quarter,” says Lomna Druth.
“Ye cannot,” says Ingcel. “Clouds,” etc. “And after that whom sawest thou there?”
THE ROOM OF THE THREE CHAMPIONS FROM THE ELFMOUNDS
“There I beheld a room with a trio in it. Three red mantles they wore, and three red shirts, and three red heads of hair were on them. Red were they all together with their teeth. Three red shields above them. Three red spears in their hands. Three red horses in their bridles in front of the Hostel. Liken thou that, O Fer rogain!”
“Easily done. Three champions who wrought falsehood in the elfmounds. This is the punishment inflicted upon them by the king of the elfmounds, to be destroyed thrice by the King of Tara. Conaire son of Eterscel is the last king by whom they are destroyed. Those men will escape from you. To fulfil their own destruction, they have come. But they will not be slain, nor will they slay anyone. And after that whom sawest thou?”
THE ROOM OF THE DOORWARDS
“There I beheld a trio in the midst of the house at the door. Three holed maces in their hands. Swift as a hare was each of them round the other towards the door. Aprons were on them, and they had gray and speckled mantles. Liken thou that, O Fer rogain!”
“Easily done: Three doorwardens of Tara’s King are those, namely Echur (’Key’) and Tochur and Tecmang, three sons of Ersa (’Doorpost’) and Comla (’Valve’). Thrice their number will fall by them, and they will share a man’s triumph among them. They will chance to escape though wounded.”
“Woe to him that shall wreak!” etc., says Lomna Druth.
“Ye cannot,” says Ingcel, etc. “And after that whom sawest thou?”
THE ROOM OF FER CAILLE
“There I beheld at the fire in front a man with black cropt hair, having only one eye and one foot and one hand, having on the fire a pig bald, black, singed, squealing continually, and in his company a great big-mouthed woman. Liken thou that, O Fer rogain!”