The Aran Islands By John M. Synge

 -  'Did Mourteen or any of them on the big island ever tell
you of the fight they had there threescore - Page 150
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'Did Mourteen Or Any Of Them On The Big Island Ever Tell You Of The Fight They Had There Threescore Years Ago When They Were Killing Each Other With Knives Out On The Strand?'

'They never told me,' I said.

'Well,' said he, 'they were going down to cut weed, and a man was sharpening his knife on a stone before he went. A young boy came into the kitchen, and he said to the man - "What are you sharpening that knife for?"'

'"To kill your father with," said the man, and they the best of friends all the time. The young boy went back to his house and told his father there was a man sharpening a knife to kill him.

'"Bedad," said the father, "if he has a knife I'll have one, too."

'He sharpened his knife after that, and they went down to the strand. Then the two men began making fun about their knives, and from that they began raising their voices, and it wasn't long before there were ten men fighting with their knives, and they never stopped till there were five of them dead.

'They buried them the day after, and when they were coming home, what did they see but the boy who began the work playing about with the son of the other man, and their two fathers down in their graves.'

When he stopped, a gust of wind came and blew up a bundle of dry seaweed that was near us, right over our heads.

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