Flame-of-Wine saw him. She walked slowly down the orchard path so that all might notice the stateliness of her appearance.
"I am glad to see you again, Flann," said she. "Have your comrades yet come back to my father's town?"
Flann told her that one of them had returned.
"Bid him come see me," said Flame-of-Wine. Then she saw the girdle in his hands.
"What is it you have?" said she.
"Something that went with the other treasures--a girdle."
"Will you not let me have it, Flann?" She took the girdle in her hands. "Tell me, youth," she said, "how you got all these treasures?"
"I will have to give seven years' service for them," Flann said.
"Seven years," said she, "but you will remember--will you not--that I loved you for bringing them to me?"
"Will you remember me until I come back from my seven years' service?"
"Oh, yes," said Flame-of-Wine, and she put the girdle around her waist as she spoke.
"Someone said to me," said Flann, "that I should ask the maiden who loved me for seven drops of her heart's blood."
The girdle was now round Flame-of- Wine's waist. She laughed with mockery. "Seven drops of heart's blood," said she. "I would not give this fellow seven eggs out of my robin's nest. I tell him I love him for bringing me the three treasures for a King's daughter. I tell him that, but I should be ashamed of myself if I thought I could have any love for such a fellow."
"Do you tell me the truth now," said Flann.
"The truth, the truth," said she, "of course I tell you the truth. Oh, and there are other truths. I shall be ashamed forever if I tell them. Oh, oh. They are rising to my tongue, and every time I press them back this girdle tightens and tightens until I think it will kill me."
"Farewell, then, Flame-of-Wine."
"Take off the girdle, take off the girdle! What truths are in my mind! I shall speak them and I shall be ashamed. But I shall die in pain if I hold them back. Loosen the girdle, loosen the girdle! Take the rose you gave me and loosen the girdle." She let the rose fall on the ground.
"I will loosen the girdle for you," said Flann.
"But loosen it now. How I have to strive to keep truths back, and oh, what pain I am in! Take the Comb of Magnificence, and loosen the girdle." She threw the comb down on the ground.
He took up the Rose of Sweet Smells and the Comb of Magnificence and he took the girdle off her waist. "Oh, what a terrible thing I put round my waist," said Flame-of-Wine. "Take it away, Flann, take it away. But give me back the Rose of Sweet Smells and the Comb of Magnificence,--give them back to me and I shall love you always."
"You cannot love me. And why should I give seven years in service for your sake? I will leave these treasures back in Mogue's pack."
"Oh, you are a peddler, a peddler. Go from me," said Flame-of-Wine. "And do not be in the Town of the Red Castle to-morrow, or I shall have my father's hunting dogs set upon you." She turned away angrily and went into the Castle.
Flann went back to Mogue's tent and left the Rose of Sweet Smells, the Comb of Magnificence and the Girdle of Truth upon Mogue's pack. He sat in the comer and cried bitterly. Then the King of Ireland's Son came and told him that his sword was bright once more--that the stains that had blemished its blade had been cleared away by the Gobaun Saor who had also shown him the way to the Land of the Mist. He put his arm about Flann and told him that he was starting now to rescue his love Fedelma from the Castle of the King of the Land of Mist.