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Flidais was the wife of Ailill Finn (the Fair-haired) in the district
of Kerry.[FN#93] She loved Fergus the son of Rog on account of the
glorious tales about him; and always there went messengers from her to
him at the end of each week.
[FN#93] Kerry is the district now called Castlereagh, in the west of
the present county of Roscommon.
So, when he came to Connaught, he brought this matter before[FN#94]
Ailill: "What[FN#95] shall I do next in this matter?" said Fergus: "it
is hard for me to lay bare your land, without there being loss to thee
of honour and renown therewith." "Yes, what shall we do next in the
matter?" said Ailill; "we will consider this in counsel with Maev."
"Let one of us go to Ailill Finn," (said Maev), "that he may help us,
and as this involves a meeting of some one with him, there is no reason
why it should not be thyself who goest to him: the gift will be all the
better for that!"
[FN#94] i.e. Ailill of Connaught.
[FN#95] This sentence to the end is taken from the Egerton version,
which seems the clearer; the Book of Leinster gives: "What shall I do
next, that there be no loss of honour or renown to thee in the matter?"
Then Fergus set out thereon, in number thirty men; the two Ferguses
(i.e. Fergus mac Rog, and Fergus mac Oen-lama) and Dubhtach; till they
were at the Ford of Fenna in the north of the land of Kerry. They go
to the burg, and welcome is brought to them.[FN#96] "What brings you
here?" said Ailill Finn. "We had the intention of staying with you on
a visit, for we have a quarrel with Ailill the son of Magach."
[FN#96] The Book of the Dun Cow (Leabhar na h-Uidhri) version begins
at this point.
"If it were one of thy people who had the quarrel, he should stay with
me until he had made his peace. But thou shalt not stay," said Ailill
Finn, "it has been told me that my wife loves thee!" "We must have a
gift of cows then," said Fergus, "for a great need lies on us, even the
sustenance of the troop who have gone with me into exile." "Thou shalt
carry off no such present from me," he said, "because thou art not
remaining with me on a visit. Men will say that it is to keep my wife
that I gave thee what thou hast required. I[FN#97] will give to your
company one ox and some bacon to help them, if such is your pleasure."
"I will eat not thy bread although offered (lit. however)," said
Fergus, "because I can get no present of honour from thee!"
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