The Little Brawl at Allen
I think, said Cairell Whiteskin, that although judgement was given against Fionn, it was Fionn had the rights of it.
He had eleven hundred killed, said Conán amiably, and you may call that the rights of it if you like.
All the same-- Cairell began argumentatively.
And it was you that commenced it, Conán continued.
Ho! Ho! Cairell cried. Why, you are as much to blame as I am.
No, said Conán, for you hit me first.
And if we had not been separated-- the other growled.
Separated! said Conán, with a grin that made his beard poke all around his face.
Yes, separated. If they had not come between us I still think--
Don't think out loud, dear heart, for you and I are at peace by law.
That is true, said Cairell, and a man must stick by a judgement. Come with me, my dear, and let us see how the youngsters are shaping in the school. One of them has rather a way with him as a swordsman.
No youngster is any good with a sword, Conan replied.
You are right there, said Cairell. It takes a good ripe man for that weapon.
Boys are good enough with slings, Conán continued, but except for eating their fill and running away from a fight, you can't count on boys.
The two bulky men turned towards the school of the Fianna.
It happened that Fionn mac Cumhaill had summoned the gentlemen of the Fianna and their wives to a banquet. Everybody came, for a banquet given by Fionn was not a thing to be missed. There was Goll mor mac Morna and his people; Fionn's son Oisín and his grandson Oscar. There was Dermod of the Gay Face, Caílte mac Rónáin--but indeed there were too many to be told of, for all the pillars of war and battle-torches of the Gael were there.
The banquet began.
Fionn sat in the Chief Captain's seat in the middle of the fort; and facing him, in the place of honour, he placed the mirthful Goll mac Morna; and from these, ranging on either side, the nobles of the Fianna took each the place that fitted his degree and patrimony.