She went against her will. She rolled up the food inside in the handkerchief. There was a deep hole in the wall of the kitchen by the door, where the bar was slipped in when they barred the door; into this hole she put the handkerchief. In going back she shortened the road by going through a big field at command of the dead man. When they were at the top of the field she asked, was there any cure for those young men whose blood was drawn?
"There is no cure," said he, "except one. If any of that food had been spared, three bits of it in each young man's mouth would bring them to life again, and they'd never know of their death."
"Then," said Kate in her own mind, "that cure is to be had."
"Do you see this field?" asked the dead man.
"Well there is as much gold buried in it as would make rich people of all who belong to you. Do you see the three leachtans (piles of small stone)? Underneath each pile of them is a pot of gold."
The dead man looked around for a while; then Kate went on, without stopping, till she came to the wall of the graveyard, and just then they heard the cock crow.
"The cock is crowing," said Kate; "it's time for me to be going home."
"It is not time yet," said the dead man; "that is a bastard cock."
A moment after that another cock crowed. "There the cocks are crowing a second time," said she. "No," said the dead man, "that is a bastard cock again; that's no right bird." They came to the mouth of the tomb and a cock crowed the third time.
"Well," said the girl, "that must be the right cock."
"Ah, my girl, that cock has saved your life for you. But for him I would have you with me in the grave for evermore, and if I knew this cock would crow before I was in the grave you wouldn't have the knowledge you have now of the field and the gold. Put me into the coffin where you found me. Take your time and settle me well. I cannot meddle with you now, and 'tis sorry I am to part with you."
"Will you tell me who you are? " asked Kate.
"Have you ever heard your father or mother mention a man called Edward Derrihy or his son Michael?"
"It's often I heard tell of them " replied the girl.
"Well, Edward Derrihy was my father; I am Michael. That blackthorn that you came for to-night to this graveyard was the lucky stick for you, but if you had any thought of the danger that was before you, you wouldn't be here. Settle me carefully and close the tomb well behind you."
She placed him in the coffin carefully, closed the door behind her, took the blackthorn stick, and away home with Kate. The night was far spent when she came. She was tired, and it's good reason the girl had. She thrust the stick into the thatch above the door of the house and rapped. Her sister rose up and opened the door.
"Where did you spend the night?" asked the sister. "Mother will kill you in the morning for spending the whole night from home."
"Go to bed," answered Kate, "and never mind me."
They went to bed, and Kate fell asleep the minute she touched the bed, she was that tired after the night.
When the father and mother of the three young men rose next morning, and there was no sign of their sons, the mother went to the room to call them, and there she found the three dead. She began to screech and wring her hands. She ran to the road screaming and wailing. All the neighbours crowded around to know what trouble was on her. She told them her three sons were lying dead in their bed after the night. Very soon the report spread in every direction. When Kate's father and mother heard it they hurried off to the house of the dead men. When they came home Kate was still in bed; the mother took a stick and began to beat the girl for being out all the night and in bed all the day.
"Get up now, you lazy stump of a girl," said she, "and go to the wake-house; your neighbour's three sons are dead."
Kate took no notice of this. "I am very tired and sick," said she. "You'd better spare me and give me a drink."
The mother gave her a drink of milk and a bite to eat, and in the middle of the day she rose up.
"Tis a shame for you not to be at the wake-house yet," said the mother; "hurry over now."
When Kate reached the house there was a great crowd of people before her and great wailing. She did not cry, but was looking on. The father was as if wild, going up and down the house wringing his hands.
"Be quiet," said Kate. "Control yourself."
"How can I do that, my dear girl, and my three fine sons lying dead in the house?"
"What would you give," asked Kate, "to the person who would bring life to them again?"
"Don't be vexing me," said the father.
"It's neither vexing you I am nor trifling," said Kate. "I can put the life in them again."
"If it was true that you could do that, I would give you all that I have inside the house and outside as well."
"All I want from you," said Kate, "is the eldest son to marry and Gort na Leachtan (the field of the stone heaps) as fortune."
"My dear, you will have that from me with the greatest blessing."
"Give me the field in writing from yourself, whether the son will marry me or not."
He gave her the field in his handwriting. She told all who were inside in the wake-house to go outside the door, every man and woman of them. Some were laughing at her and more were crying, thinking it was mad she was. She bolted the door inside, and went to the place where she left the handkerchief, found it, and put three bites of the oatmeal and the blood in the mouth of each young man, and as soon as she did that the three got their natural colour, and they looked like men sleeping. She opened the door, then called on all to come inside, and told the father to go and wake his sons.
He called each one by name, and as they woke they seemed very tired after their night's rest; they put on their clothes, and were greatly surprised to see all the people around. "How is this?" asked the eldest brother.
"Don't you know of anything that came over you in the night?" asked the father.
"We do not," said the sons. "We remember nothing at all since we fell asleep last evening."
The father then told them everything, but they could not believe it. Kate went away home and told her father and mother of her night's journey to and from the graveyard, and said that she would soon tell them more.
That day she met John.
"Did you bring the stick?" asked he.
"Find your own stick," said she, "and never speak to me again in your life."
In a week's time she went to the house of the three young men, and said to the father, "I have come for what you promised me."
"You'll get that with my blessing," said the father. He called the eldest son aside then and asked would he marry Kate, their neighbour's daughter. "I will," said the son. Three days after that the two were married and had a fine wedding. For three weeks they enjoyed a pleasant life without toil or trouble; then Kate said, "This will not do for us; we must be working. Come with me to-morrow and I'll give yourself and brothers plenty to do, and my own father and brothers as well."
She took them next day to one of the stone heaps in Gort na Leachtan. "Throw these stones to one side," said she.
They thought that she was losing her senses, but she told them that they'd soon see for themselves what she was doing. They went to work and kept at it till they had six feet deep of a hole dug; then they met with a flat stone three feet square and an iron hook in the middle of it.
"Sure there must be something underneath this," said the men. They lifted the flag, and under it was a pot of gold. All were very happy then. "There is more gold yet in the place," said Kate. "Come, now, to the other heap." They removed that heap, dug down, and found another pot of gold. They removed the third pile and found a third pot full of gold. On the side of the third pot was an inscription, and they could not make out what it was. After emptying it they placed the pot by the side of the door.
About a month later a poor scholar walked the way, and as he was going in at the door he saw the old pot and the letters on the side of it. He began to study the letters.
"You must be a good scholar if you can read what's on that pot," said the young man.
"I can," said the poor scholar, "and here it is for you. There is a deal more at the south side of each pot."
The young man said nothing, but putting his hand in his pocket, gave the poor scholar a good day's hire. When he was gone they went to work and found a deal more of gold in the south side of each stone heap. They were very happy then and very rich, and bought several farms and built fine houses, and it was supposed by all of them in the latter end that it was Derrihy's money that was buried under the leachtans, but they could give no correct account of that, and sure why need they care? When they died they left property to make their children rich to the seventh generation.