As for Morag she went by track and path, by boher and bohereen, through fords in rivers and over stepping-stones across them, until at last she came to the country of Senlabor and to the Castle of the King.
No one of high degree was in the Castle, for all had gone to watch the young horses being broken in the meadow by the river; the King and Queen had gone, and the King's foster-daughters; and of the maids in the Castle, Baun and Deelish had gone too. The King's Councillor also had gone from the Castle. Morag went and stayed in the kitchen, and the maids who were there did not know her, either because they were new and had not heard her spoken of at all, or because she had changed to such beauty through eating the berry of the Fairy Rowan Tree that no one could know her now for Morag who had cleaned dishes in that kitchen before.
It was Breas the King's Steward who came to her and asked her who she was. She told him. Then Breas looked sharply at her and saw she was indeed Morag who had been in the King's kitchen. Then he said loudly, "Before you left you broke the dish that the King looked on as his especial treasure, and for this, you will be left in the Stone House. I who have power in this matter order that it be so." Then he said in her ear, "But kisses and sweet words would make me willing to save you."
Morag, in a voice raised, called him by that evil name that he was known by to the servants and their gossips. But the servants, hearing that name said in the hearing of Breas, pretended to be scandalized. They went to Morag and struck her with the besoms they had for sweeping the floor.
Just then her foster-sisters, Baun and Deelish, came into the kitchen. Seeing her there they knew her. They spoke to her quietly, but with anger, saying they had not wanted her to go on the journey she had taken, but, as she had gone it was a pity she had come back, for now she had behaved in an ill-mannered way, and they who were her foster-sisters would be thought to be as ill-mannered; they told her too that before she came back they were well-liked by all, and that Breas had even ordered a shady place to be given them at the horse-breaking sports, and they had been able to see the two youths who had broken the horses, Dermott and Downal.
"It was for a benefit to you that I came back," said Morag. "I shall ask one of you to do a thing for me. You, Baun, sing for the foster-daughters of the King. Before they sleep to-night ask them to tell the Queen that Morag has returned, and has a thing to give her."
"I shall try to remember that, Morag," said Baun. Morag was taken to the Stone House by strong-armed bondswomen, and Baun and Deelish sat in corners and cried and did not go near her.
That night the King's foster-daughters kept awake for long, and after Baun had sung to them they asked her to tell them what had happened in the Castle. Then Baun remembered the tumult in the kitchen that had come from the name given to Breas. She told the King's foster-daughters that Morag had come back. "She was reared in the same house with us," said Baun, "but she is not of the same parents." And then she said; "If your Fair Finenesses can remember, tell the Queen that Morag has come back."
The next day when they were walking with the Queen one of the King's foster-daughters said, "Did you know of a maid named Morag? I have heard that she has been away and has come back."
"How did she fare?" said the Queen.
"We have not heard that," said the maiden who spoke.
The Queen went to where Baun and Deelish were and from them she heard that Morag had been put into the Stone House on the charge that she had broken the King's dish when she had been in the Castle before. Now the Queen knew that the dish had been safe after Morag had left. She went to the King's Steward and accused him of having broken it and Breas admitted that it was so. Thereupon he lost his rank and became the meanest and the most despised servant in the Castle.
The Queen went to the Stone House and took Morag out. She asked her how she had fared and thereupon Morag put the Rowan Berry in the Queen's hand. She hastened to her own chamber and ate it, and her youth and beauty came back to her, and the King who had grown solitary, loved the Queen again.
Then Morag came to great honor in the Castle and the Queen asked her to name the greatest favor she could think of. And the favor that Morag named was marriages for her foster-sisters with the two youths they loved, Downal and Dermott from the court of the King of Ireland.
The Queen, when she heard this, brought fine clothes out of her chests and gave them to Baun and Deelish. When they had dressed in these clothes the Queen made them known to the two youths. Downal and Dermott fell in love with Morag's foster-sisters, and the King named a day for the pairs to marry.
Morag waited to see the marriages, and the King and Queen made it a grand affair. There were seven hundred guests at the short table, eight hundred at the long table, nine hundred at the round table, and a thousand in the great hall. I was there, and I heard the whole story. But I got no present save shoes of paper and stockings of butter-milk and these a herdsman stole from me as I crossed the mountains.
But Morag got better presents, for the Queen gave her three gifts--a scissors that cut cloth of itself, a ball of thread that went into the needle of itself, and a needle that sewed of itself.