Book Title: Run with the Hare, Hunt with the Hound
Author: Paul M. Duffy
Publication Date: eleventh October 2022
Publisher: Cennan imprint of Cynren Press
Page Length: 342 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Run with the Hare, Hunt with the Hound
Paul M. Duffy
On a distant Gaelic farmstead in medieval Ireland, phrase reaches Alberic of conquering Norman knights arriving from England. Oppressed by the social order that enslaved his Norman father, he yearns for the reckoning he believes the invaders will deliver—however his world is about to burn. Captured by the Norman knight Hugo de Lacy and put in at Dublin Castle as a translator, Alberic’s confused loyalties are examined at each flip. When de Lacy marches inland, Alberic is about on a collision course with his former masters amidst rumours of an excellent Gaelic military rising in the west. Can Alberic navigate safely by way of revenge, lust and betrayal to seek out his place amidst the beginning of a kingdom in a land of conflict?
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Paul Duffy, writer of Run with the Hare, Hunt with the Hound (2022), is certainly one of Ireland’s main discipline archaeologists and has directed quite a few landmark excavations in Dublin in addition to main tasks in Australia, France and the United Kingdom.
He has printed and lectured extensively on this work, and his books embody From Carrickfergus to Carcassonne—the Epic Deeds of Hugh de Lacy throughout the Cathar Crusade (2018) and Ireland and the Crusades (2021). He has given many talks and interviews on nationwide and worldwide tv and radio (RTÉ, BBC, NPR, EuroNews).
Paul has additionally printed a number of works of quick fiction (Irish Times, Causeway/Cathsair, Outburst, Birkbeck Writer’s Hub) and in 2015 received the Over the Edge New Writer of the Year Award. He has been shortlisted for quite a few Irish and worldwide writing prizes and was awarded a writing bursary in 2017–2018 by Words Ireland.
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We noticed indicators of the fall. Of the havoc wrought removed from our lands by the Engleis. Dishevelled bands of exiles travelling north on the slíghe. Fires past our borders and stories of silhouetted horsemen furtive on the hills. The Tiarna saved vigil, the kelt ever in his fist. Then the poet got here and his method heralded destruction. That itinerant wizard. That unholy satirist. He signalled the reckoning, whether or not he knew it or not. He signalled the intrusion of the exterior world. The small fruit of my existence bursting open, its rind splitting and wasps spilling from galls to crowd the opening and feed on the juice.
Lochru noticed him first, late that subsequent day. He got here to fetch me from the monastery and deliver me again to the Tiarna’s farmstead, the lad Fiachra with him main a donkey, his eyes filled with suspicion. On our return previous the low meadow, we stopped to strive our hand with the winter geese and noticed the poet wandering at the fringe of the lavatory that ran away eastwards from our borders.
‘There’s a crane yonder in the meadowland,’ Lochru mentioned in that archaic method he had of talking, his dropsied face muffling his phrases and his snout pointing over the sedge. We lay on our bellies behind a crisping brace of fern. On the flat earlier than us, a riot of geese clamoured and fouled the floor with their black excrement. Slings in our fists, we lay nonetheless, watching the birds rooting at the damp earth for no matter it’s that offers them sustenance.
‘Crane?’ I whispered and Lochru snorted, letting me know that my youth had betrayed me. That there was no crane. That there was one thing unusual someplace. Something misplaced in the sloping scene earlier than us. I mentioned no extra, however studied the foreground the place the nice tumult of geese jostled. My eyes ranged additional, past the limits of the river, marked by a line of bulrush rising from the grass. And past that, a glistening moist floor, filled with the swollen river overspill with willow and elder un-coppiced and rising wild. I noticed nothing to comment upon. Lochru waited nonetheless, his satisfaction that his outdated eyes had seen what I couldn’t, competing with his mounting impatience.
Then I noticed him, stooping as he moved slowly round the tree roots, navigating the fringe of the huge lavatory. His head coated with a bolt of material which fell round his shoulders and beneath, a inexperienced cloak skirting his knees. The color of his cloak introduced him as a person of standing. A person that must be on the slíghe with a retinue and a horse, not travelling alone, slopping by way of the turf.
‘Exile?’ I whispered, remembering the Tiarna’s cousin, hounded into the wastes, fleeing from dispute earlier than his eyes have been minimize from his head.
‘File’ mentioned Lochru. Poet. A person to traverse boundaries. A person of twelve years’ studying who would know by coronary heart the limitless genealogies, the types of reward and of redress. A person revered and feared who, if the phrases have been with him may elevate up a tiarna in noble verse or destroy him with satire, break his energy, throw doubt upon his legitimacy. If the ability was with him, his phrases may elevate a blemish and even slander a person to the doorways of demise.
‘Stay low and watch,’ Lochru mentioned, ‘and tell me all that he does. Do not move or follow until the stranger has gone.’
Lochru surged ahead in a swift however awkward motion, letting free a stone from his sling earlier than touchdown closely on his knees, crying out with the effort. The geese erupted, withdrawing in competing panic, brewing upwards in such a cacophony that my eyes rose with them, watching their mixed bulk empty into the gray sky. When my gaze returned to scan the fringe of the lavatory, I may not see the poet. At size, I picked out his stooped type behind a hummock. As the geese cleared, his distant, shaded face searched in our course wanting for the supply of the fright. Lochru stood up then with nice effort groaning and urgent on his knee to rise in the method of rheumatic man. He walked down the slope, in direction of the river, mumbling expressively to himself. Bending, he got here up with a gander, shivering in his hand. He made an excellent present of inspecting the chook earlier than pulling its neck and hooking it beneath his belt, lustily clapping filth from his fingers. He turned, making his method again uphill in direction of the eaves of the Tiarna’s wooden the place Fiachra waited, slicing withies by the donkey.
The poet watched all of this from his hiding place. He watched as Lochru, with his uneven gait, made his method upslope by way of the furze bushes. Lochru performed his half, nicely, and from the place I lay, I watched him re-join Fiachra, holding up the chook in triumph. The poet waited for a time, crouched low, ready till he was glad there was no hazard. He stood out from behind the heather and took up his labouring tread into the south. I watched till his gradual progress took him from view.
When I reached the treeline, the withies have been minimize and piled up in nice stacks beside the place the donkey was tethered, ready dourly. A hearth smouldered beneath cowl of the darkish wooden and the goose was roasting on a sharpened ash rod with sprigs of smoking plumage sticking from the carelessly plucked pores and skin. The gentle waned as I settled in beside the hearth and the time when our absence can be famous was approaching. Lochru took the chook from the spit, pulling it aside with his broad fingers and he shared it out in 3 ways in accordance with our standing, and we sat again from the hearth swallowing scorching gobbets of the flesh and gazing up at the small parcels of the dying day by way of the cover above, savouring the second as a breath of freedom.
‘And MacMurchada dead,’ mentioned Lochru, repeating the information that was on all lips.
Fiachra didn’t converse and I crammed the silence.
‘A tyrant they say, though the Tiarna liked him well enough.’
‘True,’ Lochru mentioned. ‘Raided with him into Osraige in the days of Toirdelach. And MacMurchada never came here seeking vengeance with his foreign mercenaries.’ Fiacra spoke up hotly.
‘They say his body rotted around him while he still drew breath. A great putrescence coming out of him.’ He seemed to me, his darkish eyes glinting. ‘A curse, surely, for bringing the foreigner.’
‘But will his foreigner soldiers leave now that the old bear is dead?’ Lochru mentioned, his fingers thick inside the gnarl of his beard.
‘Ask this one,’ Fiacra mentioned, his regard sly and lips glazed with grease as he tossed a bone in my course, ‘the worst foreigner of them all.’
‘They say at the monastery that King Henri is come to Yrlande to lay his hand on MacMurchada’s land.’ I mentioned this to cease Fiacra’s windpipe. ‘And that there is a man with him – de Lacy, to whom Míde has been promised.’ Lochru erupted in a excessive brash chuckle.
‘Haah…now Christendom’s strongest king comes to say our lands. Well lads, will I dwell to see such wrongness?’
‘He will sweep this way surely and who is there to stop him?’ I mentioned.
‘And you and your father will be there to welcome them with arms wide having buried knives in all of our backs,’ Fiacra mentioned with vehemence. ‘But the foreigners have not heard of our own king – Ua Conor and his war dog Ua Ruairc. They will be sent back over the sea with spears in their backs.’
‘So that is our choice – Ua Ruairc of Breifni or the Engleis?’ Lochru mentioned loudly, casting his eyes upwards. Fiacra spat into the leaf litter as Lochru laughed. And that settled the matter. Not a phrase was spoken of the poet.
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