Flann thought upon the Princess Flame-of-Wine. He walked through the town after the King's Son had ridden after the Enchanter, without noticing anyone until he heard a call and saw Mogue standing beside a little tent that he had set up before the Bull's Field. Flann went to Mogue and found him very disconsolate on account of the loss of the horse he had brought into the town. "This is a bad town to be in," said Mogue, "and unless I persuade yourself to become partners with me I shall have done badly in it. Join with me now and we'll do some fine feats together."
"It would not become a King's Son to join with a robber-captain," said Flann.
"Fine talk, fine talk," said Mogue. He thought that Flann was jesting with him when he spoke of himself as a King's Son.
"I want to sell three treasures I have with me," said Mogue. "I have the most wonderful things that were ever brought into this town."
"Show them to me," said Flann.
Mogue opened one of his packs and took out a box. When he opened this box a fragrance came such as Flann had never felt before. "What is that that smells like a garden of sweet flowers?" said Flann.
"It is the Rose of Sweet Smells," said Mogue, and he took a little rose out of the box. "It never withers and its fragrance is never any less. It is a treasure for a King's daughter. But I will not show it in this town."
"And what is that shining thing in the box?"
"It is the Comb of Magnificence. That is another treasure for a King's daughter. The maiden who would wear it would look the most queenly woman in the Kingdom. But I won't show that either."
"What else have you, Mogue?"
"A girdle. The woman who wears it would have to speak the truth."
The Town of Flann thought he would do much to get the Rose of Sweet Smells or the Comb of Magnificence and bring them as presents to the Princess Flame-of-Wine.
He slept in Mogue's tent, and at the peep of day, he rose up and went to the House of Hospitality where Dermott and Downal were. With them he would go to the King's orchard, and he would see, and perhaps he would speak to, Flame-of- Wine. But Dermott and Downal were not in the Brufir's. Flann wakened their grooms and he and they made search for the two youths. But there was no trace of Dermott and Downal. It seemed they had left before daybreak with their horses. Flann went with the grooms to the gate of the town. There they heard from the watchman that the two youths had gone through the gate and that they had told the watchman to tell the grooms that they had gone to take the world for their pillow.
The grooms were dismayed to hear this, and so indeed was Flann. Without the King's Son and without Downal and Dermott how would he go to the King's Garden? He went back to Mogue's tent to consider what he should do. And first he thought he would not go to the Festival of the Gathering of the Apples, as he knew that Flame-of-Wine had only asked him with his comrades. And then he thought that whatever else happened he would go to the King's orchard and see Flame-of-Wine.
If he had one of the wonderful things that Mogue had shown him--the Rose of Sweet Smells or the Comb of Magnificence! These would show her that he was of some consequence. If he had either of these wonderful things and offered it to her she might be pleased with him!
He sat outside the tent and waited for Mogue to return. When he came Flann said to him, "I will go with you as a servant, and I will serve you well although I am a King's Son, if you will give me something now."
"What do you want from me?" said Mogue.
"Give me the Rose of Sweet Smells," said Flann.
"Sure that's the finest thing I have. I couldn't give you that."
"I will serve you for two years if you will give it to me," said Flann.
"No," said Mogue.
"I will serve you for three years if you will give it to me," said Flann.
"I will give it to you if you will serve me for three years." Thereupon Mogue opened his pack and took the box out. He opened it and put the Rose of Sweet Smells into Flann's hand.
At once Flann started off for the King's orchard. The Steward who had seen him the day before signed to the servants to let him pass through the gate. He went into the King's orchard.
Maidens were singing the "Song for the Time of the Blossoming of the Apple- trees" and all that day and night Flann held their song in his mind--
The touch of hands that drew it down
Kindled to blossom all the bough
O breathe the wonder of the branch,
And let it through the darkness go!
Youths were gathering apples, and the Princess Flame-of-Wine walked by herself on the orchard paths.
At last she came to where Flann stood and lifting her eyes she looked at him. "I had companions," said Flann, "but they have gone away."
"They are unmannerly," said Flame-of-Wine with anger, and she turned away.
Flann took the rose from under his cloak. Its fragrance came to Flame-of-Wine and she turned to him again.
"This is the Rose of Sweet Smells," said Flann. "Will you take it from me, Princess?"
She came back to him and took the rose in her hand, and there was wonder in her face.
"It will never wither, and its fragrance will never fail," said Flann. "It is the Rose of Sweet Smells. A King's daughter should have it."
Flame-of-Wine held the rose in her hand, and smiled on Flann. "What is your name, King's Son?" said she, with bright and friendly eyes.
"Flann," he said.
"Walk with me, Flann," said she. They walked along the orchard paths, and the youths and maidens turned towards the fragrance that the Rose of Sweet Smells gave. Flame-of-Wine laughed, and said, "They all wonder at the treasure you have brought me, Flann. If you could hear what I shall tell them about you! I shall tell them that you are the son of a King of Arabia--no less. They will believe me because you have brought me such a treasure! I suppose there is nothing more wonderful than this rose!"
Then Flann told her about the other wonderful thing he had seen--the Comb of Magnificence. "A King's daughter should have such a treasure," said Flame-of- Wine. "Oh, how jealous I should be if someone brought the Comb of Magnificence to either of my two sisters--to Bloom-of-Youth or Breast-of-Light. I should think then that this rose was not such a treasure after all."
When he was leaving the orchard she plucked a flower and gave it to him. "Come and walk in the orchard with me to-morrow," she said.
"Surely I will come," said Flann. "Bring the Comb of Magnificence to me too," said she. "I could not be proud of this rose, and I could not love you so well for bringing it to me if I thought that any other maiden had the Comb of Magnificence. Bring it to me, Flann."
"I will bring it to you," said Flann.