Gilly was also worrying about Mac who, by this stage, was little more than a simply broken soul. Mac refused to leave his post by the canal and no amount of pleading from his friends could make him change his mind. All anyone could now do was to try and make sure Mac ate something every now and again and was as comfortable as possible.

With every passing day Mac’s vigil seemed more and more hopeless.

‘If Inteachán was coming back,’ Gilly said to Iseult, ‘then surely she would be back by now.’

Iseult smiled sadly.

‘I fear you are right, Gilly,’ she said. ‘I also fear that this will be the death of Mac.’

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