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Séadna - Cobbler with 3 Shillings III.

Séadna with the sack of gold ... Chapter 3.

 
In this third chapter Séadna, the cobbler, succumbs to the forces of evil in the person of an Fear Dubh by accepting money, with the promise that he will go with him after a number of years. Séadna does not realize the predicament that he is getting himself into and when he asks, the answer he gets is no help. The eerie background music is fitting for this encounter with an Fear Dubh and a warning as to what is to come.

 
roith Séadna le neart eagla. Bhí fear fada, caol, dubh agus adharca ar a cheann mar a bheadh ar puchán gabhar agus eireaball mar a bheadh ar mhada rua aige. Bhí meigeall fada liathghorm garbh air agus crúb ar chois leis mar chrúb thairbh agus é ina a sheasamh os a chomhair amach. Bhí a dhá shúil ar Séadna agus tine creasa ag teacht asta go nimhneach. "Ní fhacha mé riamh thú, a dhuine uasail !... Cabhair Dé cugam, níor dhéin mé faich i do choinne nó i gcoinne aoinne atá gaolta leat..." Bhuel, nuair a bhain Séadna usáid as ainm naofa Dé, thainig racht feirge ar an bhfear dubh agus bhí Séadna bocht ag smaoineamh go bhfaigheadh sé bás ar an toirt !)

18. Séadna began to shake with terror. A dreadful dark man with the feet of a bull and the tail of a fox hanging down behind him and the horns like those of a puck goat was standing out in front of him. He had a long, straggly bit of a grey beard on him and his two eyes were on Seadna, glaring at him and the sparks flew out of his eyes the whole time. "I've never seen you before in me life sir!" he stammered. "God help me, I didn't do anything against you or anyone belonging to you..." Well, when Séadna used the name of God, the dark man flew into a rage and Séadna thought that he would be murdered on the spot !

 
19. (A Shéadna, ar seisean, ní gá duit aon eagla bheith ort romhamsa. "Nílim ar tí do dhíobhála. Ba mhian liom tairbhe éigin a dhéanamh duit, dá nglacthá mo chomairle. Do chloiseas thú anois beag, a rá go rabhais gan bia, gan deoch, gan airgead. Thabhairfainnse airgead do dhóthain duit ar aon choinníoll bheag amhain... go dtiocfair liom i gcean trí mblian ndéag." agus le sin, tharraing an fear dubh sparán mór as a phóca agus lig sé amach ar a bhais carn d'or bhreá bhuí. Féach, ar seisean agus shín sé a lámh suas fé shúil libh Shéadna bocht.)

19. "You don't need to be afraid of me Séadna," said the dark man. "I don't intend you any harm and I would like to give you some benefit if you will accept my advice. I heard you say just now that you are without food, drink or money. I will give you as much money as you want on one small condition... that you will come with me in thirteen years time" and with that the dark man drew out a big purse and out of that purse he let a heap of fine, yellow gold out onto the palm of his hand and held it under the eyes of poor Séadna.

 
20."An bhfeiceann tú an sparán seo ? Is cuma cé mhéid airgead a bhainfidh tú as ní bheidh sé follamh go deó! Nach iontach an beatha a bheadh agat má gheobhaidh tú é ! Agus má réitím leat, ca raghaimíd an uair sin ? d'fhiafraigh Séadna agus ní raibh fhéidir leis a shúile a bhaint den sparán ar feadh an ama.)

20. "Do you see this bag ? No matter how much money you take out of it, it will never be empty! Isn't it a wonderful life you could have if you had it !" "And if I agree with you, where would we be going then?" asked Séadna and he couldn't take his eyes off the purse, the whole time.

 
21. Ará, nach cuma duitse... Bí ag smaoineamh ar an spré a bheadh agat ar feadh na blianta fada leis an méid airgid sin! a dúirt an fear dubh, Féach, ar seisean, agus shin sé a lámh agus chuir sé an carn de phíosaibh gleóite gléineacha suas fé shúilibh Shéadna bhoicht. Do shin Séadna a dhá láimh, agus do leathadar a dhá ladhar chun an óir. Go réidh, arsa an Fear Dubh, ag tarraingt an óir chuige isteach. Níl an margadh déanta fós... Biodh sé ina mhargadh, arsa Séadna. Gan teip ? arsa an Fear Dubh. Gan teip, arsa Séadna. Da bhrí na mionn ? arsa an Fear Dubh. Da bhrí na mionn, arsa Séadna.

21. "Ah, what do you care... Just think of the great times you could be having with all the gold in that bag during all that time...!" said the dark man. "Look," he said, and he reached out his hand and showed the heap of lovely, glinting coins up under poor Séadna's eyes. Séadna stretched out his two hands and spread his fingers towards the gold. "Not so fast," said the dark man, pulling the gold back to himself. "The bargain isn't made yet !..." "It's a bargain," said Séadna. "Without fail ?" said the dark man. "Without fail!" said Séadna. Do you swear it ? said the dark man. I swear it ! said Séadna.

 
22. D'fhuair Séadna é féin ar a aonar ar an mbóthar agus go díreach amach roimhe bhí an mála airgid ina luí ar an dtalamh... Thóg se suas agus bhrúigh sé síos ina phóca é. Bhí deifir air dul go dtí an baile mór agus nuair a thainig, fuair sé go raibh lá aonaigh ar siúl agus bhí daoine ó gach áit agus páirt fén dtuath ann. Bhíodar ag díol agus ag ceannach beithíoch and capaill agus gach aon saghas ainmhí ar aghaidh an domhain. Seadh, ar seisean leis féin, Ní mór dom capall a cheannach gan bheith 'om mharú féin ag dul go dtí an tAifreann im chois gach Domhnach agus lá saoire. Nach mbeidh sé go h-íontach bheith ag marcaíocht mar rí treasna na tire gan bheith ar siúl mo chois ar na bóithre bána fada na hÉireann ar fud mo shaol, fán agus tuirseach.... agus ní mór dom bó a cheannach go mbeidh mo dhóthain bhainne agus ime agam... Ó nach mbeidh saol deas agam ó seo amach !

22. Séadna found himself alone on the road and at his feet lay the leather bag. He picked it up and Shoved it well down in his pocket. He was in haste to get to the town and when he got there he found that there was a fair day going on and there were people from every quarter of the country there. They were selling and buying cattle and horses and every sort of creature on the face of the earth... Oh yes ! he said to himself, I must buy a horse so that I'm not killing myself going on foot to mass every Sunday and feastday. Won't it be wonderful to be riding across the country like a king instead of walking on my feet the long, white roads of Ireland all my life, weary and worn out... and I must buy a cow so that I can have my 'enough' of milk and butter... Oh, won't I have a great life from this on!

 
23. Isteach leis ar sodar. Ní raibh faic ina cheann ach go gceannodh sé capall agus bó bainne. Nuair a shrois Séadna páirc an aonaigh agus chonnaic sé na capaill go léir, tháinig mearball air. Bhí capaill mhóra ann agus capaill bheaga, seanachapaill agus capaill óga, capaill dhubha agus capaill bhána iad ag siosaraigh agus ag léimrigh. Bhí sé ag teip air glán a aigne do shocrú ar an gceann a thaithneodh leis. Fé dheireadh, lig sé a shúil ar chapall dheas chiordhubh stail a bhí ann - agus marcach ar a mhuin.

23. In with him at a trot. There was nothing in his head but that he would buy a horse and a milk cow When he reached the field where the fair was being held, and he saw all the horses, his mind was in a whirl. There were big horses and small horses, old horses and young horses, black horses and white horses all whinnying and jumping about. His mind quite failed when he tried to make up his mind which he liked best. At last he laid eyes on a a fine horse, jet black it was a stallion and there was a rider on its back.

 
24. Thosnaigh rás timcheall an baile mór agus rith an capall dubh mar a ghluaiseodh sí gaoithe. D'imigh an fód ó chosaibh an chapaill agus bhí an aonach go léir ag fáire air. Do bhuaigh an capall dubh an rás agus ní raibh capall eile i ngiorracht scread asail de . Chualla Séadna duine a fhiafraige den mharcach, An mór ar a ndíolfa é? Ar mhíle púnt, arsa an marcach. Bhí Séadna ar an bpointe glaochadh amach Tabhair domsa é ! ach ar an nóimeat sin, thug sé fé ndeara go raibh fear na méarachán ar an dtaobh thiar de... Bhí daoine mar sin go fluirseach i ngach aon aonach dar ndóigh, ach cheap Séadna gur chonnaic sé an duine seo roimhe uair eicint... Bhí cuma an tsean fhir do thug sé an scilling do ar maidin ar an nduine seo... ach ní raibh Séadna cinnte...ach...ag an am céanna... A a ghréasaí bhig bhuí na mealbhóige... an ag teacht annseo chun capall a cheannach agus gan phingin id' phóca ataoi ? 24. A race began round the town and the black horse ran like a fairy wind.*1 The sods flew from the horse's feet and the whole fair was gazing at him. The black horse won the race and there wasn't another horse within the roar of an ass of him. Seadna heard someone ask the rider, How much will you sell him for ? For a thousand pounds ! replied the rider. Séadna was on the point of calling out, Give him to me ! but at that moment, he noticed a thimble-rigger behind him. (NB: A thimble-rigger was a kind of con-artist who went around on fair days with a board and a row of thimbles and asked for bets as to which thimble the peas was hidden under) People like that were always plentiful at every fair of course, but Séadna thought that had seen this man before...He had a strong likeness to the old man he had given the shilling to that morning... but he wasn't certain, but... at the same time... Aha ! Little, yellow cobbler of the oatmeal bag... are you coming here to buy a horse, and you without a penny in your pocket ?

 
25. Nuair a airigh Séadna an méid sin shleamhnaigh sé lamh leis síos ina phóca. Ambasa bhí sé follamh! Chuardaigh sé póca eile...follamh comh maith. Chuir sé lámh isteach ina bhrollach ag lorg an sparáin. Ní raibh a thuairisc ann. Thug sé stracfhéachaint ar fhear na méarachán. Bhí sé sin i bhfeigil a ghnótha féin, gan aon tsuim aige i Séadna ach comh beag agus ná feicfeadh sé riamh é. Sea! arsa Séadna leis féin... agus a cheann fé aige...Níl agam le déanamh ach dul síos agus féachaint an bhféadainn roinnt leathair a fháil ar chairde om' shean chara i tsiopa na leathair... Thug sé cairde cheana dhom agus dhíolas é go cruinn agus go macánta.... Bhí sean Uí Marlaigh ina sheasamh idir dhá lí an dorais. Airiú a Shéadna, an tú san ? arsa Uí. Is mé cheana, arsa Séadna.An bhfuillir go láidir a Dhiarmaid ? Tá an tsláinte againn, moladh le Dia dhá chionn. Ach cad is féidir liom a dhéanamh dhuit a chara ? Chaill mé mo chuid airgid go léir anois beag...Táimse ag brath air go bhfaighinn roinnt leathair uaitse ar cairde mar a fuaras cheana... Mhuise gheobhair agus fáilte. An mór atá uait ? arsa Uí Marlaigh. Dá mbeadh oiread agam agus a dhéanfadh cúpla brógaí, agus nuair a bhéidis sin díolta agus an t-airgead agam, dhíolfainn tusa thar nais.

25. When Séadna heard this he slid his hand down into his pocket... Good heavens !... It was empty! He searched another pocket...empty also. He put his hand into his inside breast pocket seeking the purse... There wasn't a sign of it... He gave a quick side glance at the thimble-rigger. That fella was engrossed in his own business, showing as little interest in Séadna as if he had never seen him before. Well, said Séadna to himself and he hung his head in misery, I can do nothing now but go down and see if I can get some leather as a favour from my old friend of the leather shop. He has done it before and I pay back honestly and in full... Old Marley was standing between the two doorposts. Aha! Séadna, is it yourself ? Oh, it is indeed, Séadna replied. Are you well Marley ? Oh, I have my health still, thanks be to God. But what can I do for you my friend ? I lost all my money just now... I'm depending on getting some leather from you as a favour just like the last time... Wisha, you'll get it and welcome. How much do you want ? said Marley. If I could have as much as would make a few boots, I will pay you back when they are sold and I have the money...

 
26. Fuair sé an leathar agus an chéir agus an snáth agus thug sé a aghaidh ar an mbaile. Nuair a tháinig sé abhaile chaith sé é féin sa chathaoir, mar bhí tuirse air agus ba ghearr gur thit a chodladh air. Thug an fear bocht an oiche ar an áit sin agus nuair dh'oscail sé a shúile bhí an lá díreach ag éirí. Bhí an fuacht tar éis dul nach mór trína chroí. Bhí sé tamall beag ina dhúiseacht sarar chuimhnigh sé ar an sparán agus ar an bhFear nDubh agus ar iomláine eachtra an lae roimhe sin. Ní túisce a chorraigh sé é féin na a mhothaigh sé an t-ualach i bpca na veiste. Chuir sé a lámh isteach. Cad a bheadh ann ach an sparán!

(Beídh níos mó agaíbh an chead uaír eíle !)

26. He got the leather and the wax and the thread and turned his face for home. When he got home, he threw himself into the chair. Because he was tired, it wasn't long before he fell asleep. The poor man spent the night there and when he opened his eyes day was just breaking. The cold had penetrated to his heart almost. He was a some time awake before he thought of the purse and the Dark Man and all the events of the day before. He had no sooner moved slightly than he noticed the weight in his waistcoat pocket. He put his hand in. What should be there but the purse !

to be continued
 
We would like to acknowledge that, because of unavoidable condensing, necessary for fitting this tale into the space available, some alteration in plot has had to be made. We have, however, tried to use An tAth Peadar's own beautiful West Cork Gaelic as far as possible.

*1 like a fairy wind'...This is an Irish expression meaning 'went quickly'... actually, a 'fairy wind' is one of those small whirls in the dust on a road on a hot day... these are called Fairy Winds' ('Sí ghaoithe')...

Replay backgrond music: Haunting melody.
Courtesy of Jack & Vivian, IrishPage.com Dec. 18, 2009
Click here for Séadna Chapter 1
Click here for Séadna Chapter 2
Click here for Séadna Chapter 3
Ar mbuiochas le Caoimhghín Ó Brolcháin
ar son a chabhair leis an nGaedhilge


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