The boys came on with us some distance to the north to visit one of
the ancient beehive dwellings that is still in perfect preservation.
When we crawled in on our hands and knees, and stood up in the gloom
of the interior, old Mourteen took a freak of earthly humour and
began telling what he would have done if he could have come in there
when he was a young man and a young girl along with him.
Then he sat down in the middle of the floor and began to recite old
Irish poetry, with an exquisite purity of intonation that brought
tears to my eyes though I understood but little of the meaning.
On our way home he gave me the Catholic theory of the fairies.
When Lucifer saw himself in the glass he thought himself equal with
God. Then the Lord threw him out of Heaven, and all the angels that
belonged to him. While He was 'chucking them out,' an archangel
asked Him to spare some of them, and those that were falling are in
the air still, and have power to wreck ships, and to work evil in
From this he wandered off into tedious matters of theology, and
repeated many long prayers and sermons in Irish that he had heard
from the priests.