Authors: Лайон Спрэг Де Камп , Флетчер Спрэг Прэтт
Original language: English
Publisher: The Dragon, 1954
Fleeingfin Land, Harold Shea, his wife Belphebe (late of Faerie Queen) and the indomitable Pete Brodsky find themselves in CelticIreland instead of Ohio, arriving in a downpour.
It is Pete’s knowledge of Ireland that saves them; a life time of being around Irish cops, and trying to be one of the boys, makes Brodsky invaluable.
Upon arrival, they are mistaken for Fomorians by the ‘Hound of Ulster’, the legendary Cuchulainn himself. However, they are set upon by Lagenians, and Cuchulainn rescues them, being upset with them for ganging up.
Falling in with Cucuc, as they came to find he was called, they set out for his camp. As usual, they claim to be magicians, and ask to see the leading druid inIreland.
To resist the amorous advances of Cucuc, Belphebe strips naked in public, there by violating a taboo, and driving Cucuc from her. To explain her behavior, Pete improvises the tale that she has a horrible geas laid on her that makes any man that comes near her violently ill. This mollifies Cucuc, but prompts the druid to attempt the lifting of the bogus geas. In so doing, he inflicts a real one, and Shea is even more bereft.
All his magic has failed dismally inIreland; the return spell attempt nearly fried them when it tracted lightning, his water-to-wine spell nearly inundated the party at which he tried it. He has impressed Cathbadh, the druid of Cucuc’s faction, by removing a werewolf-like curse from a man with some elementary hypnosis. When Cathbadh inadvertently puts the bogus geas on Belphebe, he admits defeat, and tells Shea that there is one other inIreland that might be able to help — Ollgaeth, chief druid to the Connachta, hereditary enemies of Ulster.
Brodsky, with his knowledge of Celtic lore, has tried to warn Cucuc that the Connachta will still try to do him mischief. Cucuc is undismayed, and so the trio set out to meet Ollgaeth to try once more to return to Ohio.