Although Mlle. Olive spoke English well, Claude saw that she did so only by keeping her mind intently upon it. The stiff sentences she uttered were foreign to her nature; her face and eyes ran ahead of her tongue and made one wait eagerly for what was coming. He sat down in a sagging canvas chair, absently twisting a sprig of Gaura he had pulled. "You have found a flower?" She looked up. "Yes.
"Before we finally turn our backs on the last scattered houses of the village, we find both sides of the road lined with ugly worm-fences, which are overtopped by the various species of Helianthus, Thistles, Biennial Gaura, and the Illinoisian Bell-flower with cerulean blossoms, and other tall weeds.
The Fenians were the chief troops of Leinster, and were Milesians of the race of Heremon; and their renowned commander Fionn, according to the Four Masters, was slain by the cast of a javelin, or, according to others, by the shot of an arrow, at a place called Ath Brea, on the river Boyne, A.D. 283, the year before the battle of Gaura, by the Lugnians of Tara, a tribe who possessed the territory now called the barony of Lune, near Tara, in Meath; and the place mentioned as Ath Brea, or the Ford of Brea, was situated somewhere on the Boyne, between Trim and Navan.
Among the flowers, which had come back self-sown or from old roots, Claude found a group of tall, straggly plants with reddish stems and tiny white blossoms, one of the evening primrose family, the Gaura, that grew along the clay banks of Lovely Creek, at home. He had never thought it very pretty, but he was pleased to find it here.
After the death of Fionn Mac Cumhaill, the Fenians were commanded by his son Oisin or Ossian, the celebrated warrior and bard; and at the time of the battle of Gaura, Osgar, another famous champion, the son of Oisin, commanded the Fenian forces. Denmark and Norway, came over and fought on the side of the Fenians at Gaura.
The tremendous battle of Gaura is considered to have led to the subsequent fall of the Irish monarchy, for after the destruction of the Fenian forces, the Irish kings never were able to muster a national army equal in valor and discipline to those heroes, either to cope with foreign foes, or to reduce to subjection the rebellious provincial kings and princes; hence the monarchy became weak and disorganized, and the ruling powers were unable to maintain their authority or make a sufficient stand against the Danish and Anglo-Norman Invaders of after time.