The Kiltartan History Book

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AN ADVICE SHE GAVE

"One time some great king or lord sent for the Goban to build a _caislean_ for him, and the son's wife said to him before he went 'Be always great with the women of the house, and always have a comrade among them.' So when the Goban went there he coaxed one of the women the same as if he was not married. And when the castle was near built, the woman told him the lord was going to play him a trick, and to kill him or shut him up when he had the castle made, the way he would not build one for any-other lord that was as good. And as she said, the lord came and bade the Goban to make a cat and two-tails, for no one could make that but himself, and it was meaning to kill him on it he was. And the Goban said he would do that when he had finished the castle, but he could not finish it without some tool he had left at home. And they must send the lord's son for it--- for he said it would not be given to any other one. So the son was sent, and the Goban sent a message to the daughter-in-law that the tool he was wanting was called 'When you open it shut it.' And she was surprised, for there was no such tool in the house; but she guessed by the message what she had to do, and there was a big chest in the house and she set it open. 'Come now,' she said to the young man,' look in the chest and find it for yourself.' And when he looked in she gave him a push forward, and in he went, and she shut the lid on him. She wrote a letter to the lord then, saying he would not get his son back till he had sent her own two men, and they were sent back to her."

SHORTENING THE ROAD

"Himself and his son were walking the road together one day, and the Goban said to the son 'Shorten the road for me.' So the son began to walk fast, thinking that would do it, but the Goban sent him back home when he didn't understand what to do. The next day they were walking again, and the Goban said again to shorten the road for him, and this time he began to run, and the Goban sent him home again. When he went in and told the wife he was sent home the second time, she began to think, and she said, 'When he bids you shorten the road, it is that he wants you to be telling him stories.' For that is what the Goban meant, but it took the daughter-in-law to understand it. And it is what I was saying to that other woman, that if one of ourselves was making a journey, if we had another along with us, it would not seem to be one half as long as if we would be alone. And if that is so with us, it is much more with a stranger, and so I went up the hill with you to shorten the road, telling you that story."

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