Lavarcham (nodding her head). If you’re old and wise, it’s I’m the same, Conchubor, and I’m telling you you’ll not have her though you’re ready to destroy mankind and skin the gods to win her. There’s things a king can’t have, Conchubor, and if you go rampaging this night you’ll be apt to win nothing but death for many, and a sloppy face of trouble on your own self before the day will come.

Conchubor. It’s too much talk you have. (Goes right.) Where is Owen? Did you see him no place and you coming the road?

Lavarcham. I seen him surely. He went spying on Naisi, and now the worms is spying on his own inside.

Conchubor (exultingly). Naisi killed him?

Lavarcham. He did not, then. It was Owen destroyed himself running mad because of Deirdre. Fools and kings and scholars are all one in a story with her like, and Owen thought he’d be a great man, being the first corpse in the game you’ll play this night in Emain.

Conchubor. It’s yourself should be the first corpse, but my other messengers are coming, men from the clans that hated Usna.

Lavarcham (drawing back hopelessly). Then the gods have pity on us all!

Men with weapons come in.

Conchubor (to Soldiers). Are Ainnle and Ardan separate from Naisi?

Men. They are, Conchubor. We’ve got them off, saying they were needed to make ready Deirdre’s house.

Conchubor. And Naisi and Deirdre are coming?

Soldier. Naisi’s coming, surely, and a woman with him is putting out the glory of the moon is rising and the sun is going down.

Conchubor (looking at Lavarcham). That’s your story that she’s seamed and ugly?

Soldier. I have more news. (Pointing to Lavarcham.) When that woman heard you were bringing Naisi this place, she sent a horse-boy to call Fergus from the north.

Conchubor (to Lavarcham). It’s for that you’ve been playing your tricks, but what you’ve won is a nearer death for Naisi. (To Soldiers.) Go up and call my fighters, and take that woman up to Emain.

Lavarcham. I’d liefer stay this place. I’ve done my best, but if a bad end is coming, surely it would be a good thing maybe I was here to tend her.

Conchubor (fiercely). Take her to Emain; it’s too many tricks she’s tried this day already. (A Soldier goes to her.)

Lavarcham. Don’t touch me. (She puts her cloak round her and catches Conchubor’s arm.) I thought to stay your hand with my stories till Fergus would come to be beside them, the way I’d save yourself, Conchubor, and Naisi and Emain Macha; but I’ll walk up now into your halls, and I’ll say (with a gesture) it’s here nettles will be growing, and beyond thistles and docks. I’ll go into your high chambers, where you’ve been figuring yourself stretching out your neck for the kisses of a queen of women; and I’ll say it’s here there’ll be deer stirring and goats scratching, and sheep waking and coughing when there is a great wind from the north. (Shaking herself loose. Conchubor makes a sign to Soldiers.) I’m going, surely. In a short space I’ll be sitting up with many listening to the flames crackling, and the beams breaking, and I looking on the great blaze will be the end of Emain. (She goes out.)

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter/page Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.