…From the south came Long-Horn O’Leary and his host.
“Hail, the flame-hot hammerer: wielder of the red mallet,” said Father Fish as he lolloped alongside O’Leary’s company on foot, “When the men of Albion return from foreign lands you protect their rear so that an assailant may not spring past you, nor over you, what then should prevent the Champion’s Portion of Red-Hill-Hall being yours ?”
Said Long-Horn O’Leary, “why, if it isn’t that dullard Fish Face, come to pester me with his eccentric wit,” he laughed aloud and his company set up a roar and raised their swords.
“Truly, the Champion’s Portion of the house I built is not that of a dullard’s house,” smiled Father Fish, “belonging to it are five-score cakes of wheat cooked in honey, and a cow-lord full seven years old; since it was a calf neither heather nor twig-tops have entered its lips, nothing but sweet milk and herbs, meadow-hay and corn, indeed, the Champion’s Portion of Red-Hill-Hall is well worth contesting, for if it be yours then the Championship of Albion also will be yours forever.”
Long-Horn O’Leary eyed the fish man warily.
Said Father Fish, “Since you are the finest hero among the men of Albion, it is just that it be yours, and so do I wish it.”
“By the god of my clan,” shouted Long-Horn O’Leary, “his head shall he lose whosoever comes to contest it with me !”
Father Fish laughed at that, for it pleased him right well…
…As the men of Albion entered the mead house in Red-Hill-Hall that Father Fish built, each hero occupied a couch and sat his young braves round him.
While the feast was being prepared the musicians and players of King Grim-Gaze performed their arts.
Father Fish spread the table with its savouries and then withdrew to his sun bower, unobserved…