‘Go to the camp for us, O friend Loeg’ [said Cú Chulainn], ‘and consult Lugaid Mac Nois, descendant of Lomarc, to know who is coming against me tomorrow. Let it be asked diligently, and give him my greeting.’
Then Loeg went.
‘Welcome,’ said Lugaid; ‘it is unlucky for Cú Chulainn, the trouble in which he is, alone against the men of Ireland. It is a comrade of us both, Ferbaeth (ill-luck to his arms!), who goes against him tomorrow. Findabair is given to him for it, and the kingdom of his race.’
Loeg turns back to where Cú Chulainn is.
‘He is not very joyful over his answer, my friend Loeg,’ said Cú Chulainn.
Loeg tells him all that. Ferbaeth had been summoned into the tent to Ailill and Medb, and he is told to sit by Findabair, and that she should be given to him, for he was her choice for fighting with Cú Chulainn. He was the man they thought worthy of them, for they had both learned the same arts with Scathach. Then wine is given to him, till he was intoxicated, and he is told, ‘They thought that wine fine, and there had only been brought the load of fifty wagons. And it was the maiden who used to put hand to his portion therefrom.’
‘I do not wish it,’ said Ferbaeth; ‘Cú Chulainn is my foster-brother, and a man of perpetual covenant with me. Nevertheless I will go against him tomorrow and cut off his head.’
‘It will be you who would do it,’ said Medb.
Cú Chulainn told Loeg to go to meet Lugaid, that he should come and speak with him. Lugaid comes to him.
‘So Ferbaeth is coming against me tomorrow,’ said Cú Chulainn.
‘He indeed,’ said Lugaid.
‘An evil day!’ said Cú Chulainn; ‘I shall not be alive therefrom. Two of equal age we, two of equal deftness, two equal when we meet. O Lugaid, greet him for me; tell him that it is not true valour to come against me; tell him to come to meet me tonight, to speak with me.’
Lugaid tells him this. When Ferbaeth did not avoid it, he went that night to renounce his friendship with Cú Chulainn, and Fiacha Mac Fir-Febe with him. Cú Chulainn appealed to him by his foster brotherhood, and Scathach, the foster-mother of them both.
‘I must,’ said Ferbaeth. ‘I have promised it.’
‘Take back (?) your bond of friendship then,’ said Cú Chulainn.
Cú Chulainn went from him in anger. A spear of holly was driven into Cú Chulainn’s foot in the glen, and appeared up by his knee. He draws it out.
‘Go not, O Ferbaeth, till you have seen the find that I have found.’
‘Throw it,’ said Ferbaeth.
Cú Chulainn threw the spear then after Ferbaeth so that it hit the hollow of his poll, and came out at his mouth in front, so that he fell back into the glen.
‘That is a throw indeed,’ said Ferbaeth. Hence is Focherd Murthemne. (Or it is Fiacha who had said, ‘Your throw is vigorous today, O Cú Chulainn,’ said he; so that Focherd Murthemne is from that.)
Ferbaeth died at once in the glen. Hence is Glenn Firbaith. Something was heard:
Fergus, who said:
‘O Ferbaeth, foolish is thy expedition
In the place in which thy grave is.
Ruin reached thee …
In Croen Corand.
‘The hill is named Fithi (?) for ever;
Croenech in Murthemne,
From today Focherd will be the name
Of the place in which thou didst fall, O Ferbaeth
O Ferbaeth,’ etc.
‘Your comrade has fallen,’ said Fergus. ‘Say will you pay for this man on the morrow?’
‘I will pay indeed,’ said Cú Chulainn.
Cú Chulainn sends Loeg again for news, to know how they are in the camp, and whether Ferbaeth lived. Lugaid said: ‘Ferbaeth is dead,’and Cú Chulainn comes in turn to talk with them.