Cahal, Son of King Conor, in Erin, and Bloom of Youth, Daughter of the King of Hathony
THERE was a king in Hathony long ago who had an old castle by the sea. This king went out walking one day along the clean, smooth strand, and, while walking, the thought rose in him to take a sail near the shore. He stepped into his boat with attendants and men, and was sailing about in enjoyment and pleasure, when a wind came with a mist of enchantment, and drove the boat away through the sea with the king and his men.
They were going before the wind, without a sight of sky or sea; no man in the boat could see the man who sat next to him. They were that way moving in the mist without knowledge of where they were, or where they were going, and the boat never stopped till it sailed into a narrow harbor in a lonely place without house or habitation.
The king left the boat well fastened at the shore, and went his way, walking till he came to a castle, and what castle should it be but the castle of King Conor, in Erin.
King Conor received the King of Hathony with great hospitality and welcome.
When the two had spent some days in company, they became great friends, and made a match between their two children. The King of Hathony had a daughter called Bloom of Youth, who was nine years of age, and King Conor had a son ten years old, named Cahal.
When the King of Hathony wished to go back to his own land, King Conor of Erin gave a ship to him, and the king sailed away with good wishes and with supplies for a day and a year.
Bloom of Youth grew up in such beauty that
she had not her equal in Hathony or in other
lands, and Cahal, King Conor's son, became
such a hero that no man knew
On a day Cahal said to his father, Make up some treasure for me and stores for my ship. I must leave home now and be travelling through the world till I know is there a better man than myself in it.
It is, indeed, time for you to be going, said King Conor, for in three years you are to marry Bloom of Youth, the daughter of the King of Hathony, and you should be making out the place now where her father lives.
Next morning Cahal took what treasures his father gave him, and provisions, went to his ship and raised sails. Away he went on his voyage, sailing over the sea in one way and another, in this direction and that. He sailed one year and three-quarters of a second year, but found no man to give tale or tidings of the King of Hathony.
Once on a gloomy day he was sailing along through the waves, when a strong north wind rose, and blew with such force that he let his ship go with it.
Three days and nights the ship went before the north wind, and on the fourth day, in the morning, it was thrown in on a rocky coast.
Cahal saved his life and his sword, and went away walking through the country. On the evening of the fifth day he came to an old castle near the seashore, and said to himself, I will not go in here to ask for lodgings like any poor traveller. With that he walked up and put a blow on the pole of combat that made the whole castle tremble.