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Black, Brown, and Gray

When she had eaten her fill, she lay down on her back in the middle of the floor and went to sleep. I rose up then to look at her, and every time she drew a breath I was in dread she would bring down the roof of the house on the top of my head, and every time she let a breath out of her, I thought she'd sweep the roof from the building, so strong was the breath of the old hag.

"Then I drew my sword and cut her with a blow, but if I did three young giants sprang up before me. I killed the first, Bran killed the second, but the third escaped. I walked away then, and when I was at the fountain outside, daylight had come and my log was burned."

"Between you and me," said Fin, "it would have been as well if you had let the old hag alone. I am greatly in dread the third young giant will bring trouble on us all."

For twenty-one years Fin MacCumhail and the Fenians of Erin hunted for sport alone. They had the best of eating from the small knife of division, and the best of drinking from the cup that was never dry. At the end of twenty-one years Dubh, Dun, and Glasán went away, and one day, as Fin and the Fenians of Erin were hunting on the hills and mountains, they saw a Fear Ruadh (a red haired man) coming toward them.

"There is a bright looking man coming this way," said Fin, "and don't you speak to him."

"Oh, what do we care for him?" asked Conan Maol.

"Don't be rude to a stranger," said Fin.

The Fear Ruadh came forward and spoke to no man till he stood before Fin.

"What have you come for?" asked Fin.

"To find a master for twenty-one years."

"What wages do you ask?" inquired Fin.

"No wages but this,—that if I die before the twenty-one years have passed, I shall be buried on Inis Caol (Light Island)."

"I'll give you those wages," said Fin, and he hired the Fear Ruadh for twenty-one years.

He served Fin for twenty years to his satisfaction; but toward the end of the twenty-first year he fell into a decline, became an old man, and died.

When the Fear Ruadh was dead, the Fenians of Erin said that not a step would they go to bury him; but Fin declared that he wouldn't break his word for any man, and must take the corpse to Inis Caol.

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