Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
The Flight of the Earls (Author: Tadhg Ó Cianáin)

section 48

On the day of the Epiphany following, having heard Mass in the churches, the inhabitants of the city went at midday to their houses and homes. A certain pair of soldiers chanced to go into a certain church of the Holy Virgin Mary. A statue and image of Mary with the figure of her Son in her bosom happened to be on the altar, with a precious, beautiful, bright, conspicuous crown of red gold on the image


of Mary, and another on that of her Son. The suggestion which the devil made to them was to commit an outrage on the image of Mary and her Son and to strip them of the two crowns, and to go into France afterwards. When they decided upon this, one of the m en ascended the altar, and without feeling or scruple, took the crown off the image of Mary. He put it into the other's hand. He then stretched towards the Child, desiring to remove His crown. The Child put up His own hand against his to protect His crown. The wicked man became startled, and trembled and conceived a sorrow, which was not true repentance. They then went out of the church and entered a certain hostel in the city. When they had taken their dinner they made known part of the affair to two women who were in the house. Afterwards they left the city and hied them on the road for France. From midday until nightfall and from that to the dawn of day they kept continually journeying and walking. On the next day they took a wrong road, and went astray during the whole night.