The Cattle Raid of Cualnge
The Death of Redg the Satirist
It is then that Redg, Ailill's satirist, went to him on an errand to seek the javelin, that is, Cuchulainn's spear.
'Give me your spear,' said the satirist.
'Not so,' said Cuchulainn; but I will give you treasure.'
'I will not take it,' said the satirist.
Then Cuchulainn wounded the satirist, because he would not accept from him what he offered him, and the satirist said he would take away his honour unless he got the javelin. Then Cuchulainn threw the javelin at him, and it went right through his head.
'This gift is overpowering (?),' said the satirist. Hence is Ath Tolam Set.
There was now a ford east of it, where the copper of the javelin rested; Humarrith, then, is the name of that ford. It is there that Cuchulainn killed all those that we have mentioned in Cuib; i.e. Nathcoirpthe at his trees; Cruthen on his ford; the sons of the Herd at their cairn; Marc on his hill; Meille on his hill; Bodb in his tower; Bogaine in his marsh (?).
Cuchulainn turned back to Mag Murthemne; he liked better to defend his own home. After he went, he killed the men of Crocen (or Cronech), i.e. Focherd; twenty men of Focherd. He overtook them taking camp: ten cup-bearers and ten fighting-men.
Medb turned back from the north when she had remained
a fortnight ravaging the province, and when she had fought a battle against Findmor, wife of Celtchar Mac Uthidir. And after taking Dun Sobairche upon her, she brought fifty women into the province of Dalriada. Wherever Medb placed a horse-switch in Cuib its name is Bile Medba; [*1] every ford and every hill by which she slept, its name is Ath Medba and Dindgna Medba.
They all meet then at Focherd, both Ailill and Medb and the troop that drove the Bull. But their herd took their Bull from them, and they drove him across into a narrow gap with their spear-shafts on their shields (?). [*2] So that the feet of the cattle drove him [*3] through the ground. Forgemen was the herd's name. He is there afterwards, so that that is the name of the hill, Forgemen. There 'was no annoyance to them that night, provided a man were got to ward off Cuchulainn on the ford.
'Let a sword-truce be asked by us from Cuchulainn,' said Ailill.
'Let Lugaid go for it,' said every one.
Lugaid goes then to speak to him.
'How am I now with the host?' said Cuchulainn.
'Great indeed is the mockery that you asked of them,' said Lugaid, 'that is, your women and your maidens and half your cattle. And they think it heavier than anything to be killed and to provide you with food.'
A man fell there by Cuchulainn every day to the end of a week. Fair-play is broken with Cuchulainn: twenty are sent to attack him at one time; and he killed them all.
'Go to him, O Fergus,' said Ailill, 'that he may allow us a change of place.'
They go then to Cronech. This is what fell by him in single combat at this place: two Roths, two Luans, two female horse-messengers, ten fools, ten cup-bearers, ten Ferguses, six Fedelms, six Fiachras. These then were all killed by him in single combat. When they pitched their tents in Cronech, they considered what they should do against Cuchulainn.
'I know,' said Medb, 'what is good in this case: let a message be sent from us to ask him that we may have a sword-truce from him towards the host, and he shall have half the cattle that are here.'
This message is taken to him.
'I will do this,' said Cuchulainn,' provided the compact is not broken by you.'
^61:1 i.e. Tree of Medb.
^61:2 A very doubtful rendering.
^61:3 i.e. Forgemen.