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Neil O'Carree


THERE was no nicety about him. He said to his wife that he would go to the forge to get a doctoring instrument. He went to the forge the next day. "Where are you going to today?" said the smith. "I am going till you make me an instrument for doctoring." "What is the instrument I shall make you?" "Make a crumskeen and a galskeen" (crooked knife and white knife?). The smith made that for him. He came home.
When the day came--the day on the morrow--Neil O'Carree rose up. He made ready to be going as a doctor. He went. He was walking away. A red lad met him on the side of the high road. He saluted Neil O'Carree; Neil saluted him. "Where are you going? says the red man. "I am going till I be my (i.e., a) doctor. "It's a good trade," says the red man, "'twere best for you to hire me." "What's the wages you'll be looking for?" says Neil. "Half of what we shall earn till we shall be back again on this ground." "I'll give you that," says Neil. The couple walked on.
"There's a king's daughter," says the red man, "with the (i.e., near to) death; we will go as far as her, till we see will we heal her." They went as far as the gate. The porter came to them. He asked them where were they going. They said that it was coming to look at the
king's daughter they were, to see would they do her good. The king desired to let them in. They went in.
They went to the place where the girl was lying. The red man went and took hold of her pulse. He said that if his master should get the price of his labour he would heal her. The king said that he would give his master whatever he should award himself. He said, "if he had the room to himself and his master, that it would be better." The king said he should have it.
He desired to bring down to him a skillet (little pot) of water. He put the skillet on the fire. He asked Neil O'Carree "Where is the doctoring instrument?" "Here they are," says Neil, "a crumskeen and a galskeen."
He put the crumskeen on the neck of the girl. He took the head off her. He drew a green herb out of his pocket. He rubbed it to the neck. There did not come one drop of blood. He threw the head into the skillet He knocked a boil out of it. He seized hold on the two ears. He took it out of the skillet. He struck it down on the neck. The head stuck as well as ever it was. "How do you feel yourself now?" "I am as well as ever I was," said the king's daughter.
The big man shouted. The king came down. There was great joy on him. He would not let them go away for three days. When they were going he brought down a bag of money. He poured it out on the table. He asked of Neil O'Carree had he enough there. Neil said he had, and more than enough, that they would take but the half. The king desired them not to spare the money.
"There's the daughter of another king waiting for us to go and look at her." They bade farewell to the king and they went there.
They went looking at her. They went to the place where she was lying, looking at her in her bed, and it was
the same way this one was healed. The king was grateful, and he said he did not mind how much money Neil should take of him. He gave him three hundred pounds of money. They went then, drawing on home. "There's a king's son in such and such a place," said the red man, "but we won't go to him, we will go home with what we have."
They were drawing on home. The king (had) bestowed half a score of heifers on them, to bring home with them. They were walking away. When they were in the place where Neil O'Carree hired the red man, "I think," says the red man, "that this is the place I met you the first time." "I think it is," says Neil O'Carree. " Musha, how shall we divide the money?" "Two halves," says the red man, "that's the bargain was in it." " I think it a great deal to give you a half," says Neil O'Carree, "a third is big enough for you; I have a crumskeen and a galskeen (says Neil) and you have nothing." "I won't take anything," said the red man, "unless I get the half." They fell out about the money. The red man went and he left him.
Neil O'Carree was drawing home, riding on his beast. He was driving his share of cattle. The day came hot. The cattle went capering backwards and forwards. Neil O'Carree was controlling them. When he would have one or two caught the rest would be off when he used to come back. He tied his garrawn (gelding) to a bit of a tree. He was a-catching the cattle. At the last they were all off and away. He did not know where they went. He returned back to the place where he left his garrawn and his money. Neither the garrawn nor the money were to be got. He did not know then what he should do. He thought he would go to the house of the king whose son was ill.
He went along, drawing towards the house of the king. He went looking on the lad in the place where he was lying. He took a hold of his pulse. He said he thought he would heal him. "If you heal him," said the king, "I will give you three hundred pounds." "If I were to get the room to myself, for a little," says he. The king said that he should get that. He called down for a skillet of water. He put the skillet on the fire. He drew his crumskeen. He went to take the head off him as he saw the red man a-doing. He was a-sawing at the head, and it did not come with him to cut it off the neck. The blood was coming. He took the head off him at last. He threw it into the skillet. He knocked a boil out of it. When he considered the head to be boiled enough he made an attempt on the skillet. He got a hold of the two ears. The head fell in gliggar (a gurgling mass?), and the two ears came with him. The blood was coming greatly. It was going down, and out of the door of the room. When the king saw it going down he knew that his son was dead. He desired to open the door. Neil O'Carree would not open the door. They broke the door. The man was dead. The floor was full of blood. They seized Neil O'Carree. He was to hang the next day. They gathered a guard till they should carry him to the place where he was to hang. They went the next day with him. They were walking away, drawing towards the tree where he should be hanged. They stopped his screaming. They see a man stripped making a running race. When they saw him there was a fog of water round him with all he was running. When he came as far as them (he cried), "what are ye doing to my master?" "If this man is your master, deny him, or you'll get the same treatment." "It's I that it's right should suffer; it's I who made the
delay. He sent me for medicine, and I did not come in time, loose my master, perhaps he would heal the king's son yet."
They loosed him. They came to the king's house. The red man went to the place where the dead man was. He began gathering the bones that were in the skillet. He gathered them all but only the two ears.
"What did you do with the ears?"
"I don't know," said Neil O'Carree, "I was so much frightened."
The red man got the ears. He put them all together. He drew a green herb out of his pocket. He rubbed it round on the head. The skin grew on it, and the hair, as well as ever it was. He put the head in the skillet then. He knocked a boil out of it. He put the head back on the neck as well as ever it was. The king's son rose up in the bed.
"How are you now?" says the red man.
"I am well," says the king's son, "but that I'm weak."
The red man shouted again for the king. There was great joy on the king when he saw his son alive. They spent that night pleasantly.
The next day when they were going away, the king counted out three hundred pounds. He gave it to Neil O'Carree. He said to Neil that if he had not enough he would give him more. Neil O'Carree said he had enough, and that he would not take a penny more. He bade farewell and left his blessing, and struck out, drawing towards home.
When they saw that they were come to the place where they fell out with one another, "I think," says the red man, "that this is the place where we differed before." "It is, exactly," said Neil O'Carree. They sat down and they divided the money. He gave a half to the red man,
and he kept another half himself. The red man bade him farewell, and he went. He was walking away for a while. He returned back. "I am here back again," said the red man, "I took another thought, to leave all your share of money with yourself. You yourself were open-handed. Do you mind the day you were going by past the churchyard. There were four inside in the churchyard, and a body with them in a coffin. There were a pair of them seeking to bury the body. There were debts on the body (i.e., it owed debts). The two men who had the debts on it (i.e., to whom it owed the debts), they were not satisfied for the body to be buried. They were arguing. You were listening to them. You went in. You asked how much they had on the body (i.e., how were they owed by the body). The two men said that they had a pound on the body, and that they were not willing the body to be buried, until the people who were carrying it would promise to pay a portion of the debts. You said, 'I have ten shillings, and I'll give it to ye, and let the body be buried.' You gave the ten shillings, and the corpse was buried. It's I who was in the coffin that day. When I saw you going a-doctoring, I knew that you would not do the business. When I saw you in a hobble, I came to you to save you. I bestow the money on you all entirely. You shall not see me until the last day, go home now. Don't do a single day's doctoring as long as you'll be alive. It's short you'll walk until you get your share of cattle and your garrawn."
Neil went, drawing towards home. Not far did he walk till his share of cattle and his nag met him. He went home and the whole with him. There is not a single day since that himself and his wife are not thriving on it.
I got the ford, they the stepping stones. They were drowned, and I came safe.

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