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Myths and Legends of the Celtic Race

Page: 84

But at Emain Macha a scout of King Conor came running in to give him news. “Behold, a solitary chariot is approaching swiftly over the plain; wild white birds flutter round it and wild stags are tethered to it; it is decked all round with the bleeding heads of enemies.” And Conor looked to see who was approaching, and he saw that Cuchulain was in his battle-fury, and would deal death around him whomsoever he met; so he hastily gave order that a troop of the women of Emania should go forth to meet him, and, having stripped off their clothing, should stand naked in the way. This they did, and when the lad saw them, smitten with shame, he bowed his head upon the chariot-rim. Then Conor's men instantly seized him [pg 195] and plunged him into a vat of cold water which had been made ready, but the water boiled around him and the staves and hoops of the vat were burst asunder. This they did again and yet again, and at last his fury left him, and his natural form and aspect were restored. Then they clad him in fresh raiment and bade him in to the feast in the king's banqueting-hall.

The Winning of Emer


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