The Widow's Son
[Fisherman's Son does deal with Man with Gun]
THERE was a poor fisher's widow in Eirinn, and she had one son; and one day he left his mother with a lump of a horse, and a man met him with a gun, a dog, and a falcon (gunna cu agus seobhag); and he said,
Wilt thou sell me the horse, son of the fisher in Eirinn?
and he said, What wilt thou give me? Wilt thou give me thy gun and thy dog, and thy falcon?
And he said, I will give them; and the bargain was struck; and Iain, the fisher's son, went home. When his mother saw him she was enraged, and she beat him; and in the night he took the gun and went away to be a hunter. 1
[Hunter, Deer-Woman and the Twenty Four Thieves]
He went and he went till he reached the house of a farmer, who was sitting there with his old wife. The farmer said, It was fortune sent thee here with thy gun; there is a deer that comes every night to eat my corn, and she will not leave a straw. And they engaged Iain the fisherman's son to stay with them, and shoot the deer; and so he stayed; and on the morrow's day he went out, and when he saw the deer he put the gun to his eye to shoot her, and the lock was up; but when he would have fired, he saw the finest woman he ever saw before him, and he held his hand, and let down the gun, and let down the lock, and there was the deer eating the corn again.
Three times he did this, and then he ran after the deer to try to catch her.
The deer ran away, and he followed till they came to a house thatched with heather; and then the deer leaped on the house, and she said, Go in now, thou fisher's son, and eat thy fill. He went in and there was a table spread with every kind of meat and drink, and no one within; for this was a robber's house, and they were away lifting spoil.
So the fisher's son went in, and as the deer had told him, he sat him down, and ate and drank; and when he had enough he went under a TOGSAID (hogshead).
He had not been long there when the twenty-four robbers came home, and they knew that some one had been at their food, and they began to grumble and dispute. Then the leader said, Why will you dispute and quarrel? the man that has done this is here under the mouth of this hogshead, take him now, and let four of you go out and kill him.
So they took out Iain, the fisher's son, and four of them killed him; and then they had their food and slept, and in the morning they went out as usual.