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THE SLAUGHTER OF THE KING’S BODYGUARD
“Let us ask for a sword-truce from Cuchulain,” said Ailill and Medb. Lugaid goes to him and Cuchulain accords the truce. “Put a man for me on the ford to-morrow,” said Cuchulain. There happened to be with Medb six royal hirelings, to wit: six princes of the Clans of Deda, the three Dubs (’the Blacks’) of Imlech, and the three Dergs (’the Reds’) of Sruthair, by name. “Why should it not be for us,” quoth they, “to go and attack Cuchulain?” So the next day they went and Cuchulain put an end to the six of them.
[1-1] LU. fo. 72b, in the margin.
[2-2] See page 141, note 2.
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THE COMBAT OF CUR WITH CUCHULAIN
[W.2076.] The men of Erin discussed among themselves who of them would be fit to attack and contend with Cuchulain, [LL.fo.74a.] and drive him off from them on the ford at the morning-hour early on the morrow. And what they all said was that Cur (’the Hero’) son of Da Loth should be the one to attack him. For thus it stood with Cur: No joy was it to be his bedfellow or to live with him. He from whom he drew blood is dead ere the ninth day. And the men of Erin said: “Even should it be Cur that falls, a trouble and care would be removed from the hosts; for it is not easy to be with him in regard to sitting, eating or sleeping. Should it be Cuchulain, it would be so much the better.” Cur was summoned to Medb’s tent. “For what do they want me?” Cur asked. “To engage with Cuchulain,” replied Medb, "to do battle, and ward him off from us on the ford at the morning hour early on the morrow." Cur deemed it not fitting to go and contend with a beardless boy. “Little ye rate our worth. Nay, but it is wonderful how ye regard it. Too tender is the youth with whom ye compare me. Had I known I was sent against him I would not have come myself. I would have lads enough of [W.2086.] his age from amongst my people to go meet him on a ford.”
[2-2] Eg. 93.
[3-3] Eg. 93.
[4-4] LU. and YBL. 1488.
[5-5] Eg. 93.
[7-7] LU. and YBL. 1491.
[8-8] Eg. 93.
[9-9] LU. and YBL. 1491-1492.
[10-10] LU. and YBL. 1492-1493.
[11-11] Stowe and LU. and YBL. 1493.
“Indeed, it is easy to talk so,” quoth Cormac Conlongas son of Conchobar. “It would be well worth while for thyself if by thee fell Cuchulain.” "Howbeit,” said Cur, “since on myself it falls, make ye ready a journey for me at morn’s early hour on the morrow, for a pleasure I will make of the way to this fight, a-going to meet Cuchulain. It is not this will detain you, namely the killing of yonder wildling, Cuchulain!”