When the slaughter was over, the Cruithni took the women who were still alive and went away. The young woman came out of her hiding-place and looked down the long slope of the battlefield where the dead and the wounded were everywhere, and the air rang with the screams and pulsed with their moans. Her eyes were huge, frightened, mad. Going out to look for her husband, she saw down the field a tall figure moving among the fallen, and she thought it was one of the Cruithni, murdering the wounded, and she started to run with her dagger in her hand. When she got closer, she saw that the tall figure had no weapon, and she thought he was a thief robbing the dead. When she got close enough to recognize her husband on the ground, she saw that the tall figure, gaunt and grim in a dark cloak, was standing over him. Her husband’s right arm had been chopped off, and both his eyes had been put out, and he was screaming.
The tall figure bent over him and put a hand on his forehead, and he stopped his screams, and when the beautiful woman came to him, she saw that his face was quiet and he was dead. The tall figure had gone farther down the field, and wherever he went, he seemed to draw silence with him, leaving peace behind him. No more screams or moans sounded, as if he had pulled a cloak of quiet over the bloody field.
The woman felt wonder at him, and gratitude that he had ended so much pain. She ran after him, shouting, “Wait! Wait!” The figure stopped and turned to her, showing her a lean face, deeply furrowed and worn. When she came close to him, he held up a hand and said, “Touch me not.”
“Who are you,” she said, “that brings peace to so many?”
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