Being the seventh and final part of the tale of Culhwch ac Olwen; in which our heroes complete the hardest part of the task, namely obtaining the razor, scissors and comb that lie between the ears of the Twrch Trwyth
And after Yscithyrwyn Penbaedd was killed, Arthur and his host departed to Gelli Wic in Cornwall. And then he sent Menw ap Teirgwaedd to see if the precious things were between the two ears of Twrch Trwyth, since it would be useless to encounter him if they were not there. Although it was certain where he was, for he had laid waste the third part of Ireland. And Menw went to seek for him, and he met with him in Ireland, in Esgeir Oerfel. And Menw took the form of a bird; and he descended upon the top of his lair, and strove to snatch away one of the precious things from him, but he carried away nothing but one of his bristles. And the boar rose up angrily and shook himself so that some of his venom fell upon Menw, and he was never well from that day forward.
After this Arthur sent an embassy to Odgar mac Aedd king of Ireland, to ask for the Cauldron of Diwrnach Wyddel, his purveyor. And Odgar commanded him to give it. But Diwrnach said, "Heaven is my witness, if it would avail him anything even to look at it, he should not do so." And the embassy of Arthur returned from Ireland with this denial. And Arthur set forward with a small retinue, and entered into Prydwen, his ship, and went over to Ireland. And they proceeded into the house of Diwrnach Wyddel. And the hosts of Odgar saw their strength. When they had eaten and drunk as much as they desired, Arthur demanded to have the cauldron. And he answered, "If I would have given it to any one, I would have given it at the word of Odgar king of Ireland."
When he had given them this denial, Bedwyr arose and seized hold of the cauldron, and placed it upon the back of Hygwyd, Arthur's servant, who was brother, by the mother's side, to Arthur's servant, Cachamwri. His office was always to carry Arthur's cauldron, and to place fire under it. And Llenlleawg Wyddel seized Caledfwlch, and brandished it. And they slew Diwrnach Wyddel and his company. Then came the Irish and fought with them. And when he had put them to flight, Arthur with his men went forward to the ship, carrying away the cauldron full of Irish money. And he disembarked at the house of Llwydden ap Celcoed, at Porth Cerddin in Dyfed. And there is the measure of the cauldron.
Then Arthur summoned all the warriors that were in the three Islands of Britain, and in the three Islands adjacent, and all that were in France and in Armorica, in Normandy and in the Summer Country, and all that were chosen footmen and valiant horsemen. And with all these he went into Ireland. And in Ireland there was great fear and terror concerning him. And when Arthur had landed in the country, there came to him the saints of Ireland and asked his protection. And he granted his protection to them, and they gave him their blessing. Then the men of Ireland came to Arthur, and brought him provisions. And Arthur went as far as Esgeir Oerfel in Ireland, to the place where the Twrch Trwyth was with his seven young pigs. And the dogs were let loose upon him from all sides. That day until evening the Irish fought with him, nevertheless he laid waste the fifth part of Ireland. And on the day following the household of Arthur fought with him, and they were worsted by him and got no advantage. And the third day Arthur himself encountered him, and he fought with him nine nights and nine days without so much as killing even one little pig. The warriors inquired of Arthur what was the origin of that swine; and he told them that he was once a king, and that God had transformed him into a swine for his sins.
Then Arthur sent Gwrhyr Gwalstawt Ieithoedd, to endeavour to speak with him. And Gwrhyr assumed the form of a bird, and alighted upon the top of the lair, where he was with the seven young pigs. And Gwrhyr Gwalstawt Ieithoedd asked him, "By him who turned you into this form, if you can speak, let some one of you, I implore you, come and talk with Arthur." Grugyn Gwrych Ereint made answer to him. (Now his bristles were like silver wire, and whether he went through the wood or through the plain, he was to be traced by the glittering of his bristles.)
And this was the answer that Grugyn made, "By him who turned us into this form, we will not do so, and we will not speak with Arthur. That we have been transformed thus is enough for us to suffer, without your coming here to fight with us."
"I will tell you. Arthur comes but to fight for the comb, and the razor, and the scissors, which are between the two ears of Twrch Trwyth."
Said Grugyn, "Except he first take his life, he will never have those precious things. And tomorrow morning we will rise up, and we will go into Arthur's country, and there will we do all the mischief that we can."
So they set forth through the sea towards Wales. And Arthur and his hosts, and his horses and his dogs, entered Prydwen, that they might encounter them without delay. Twrch Trwyth landed in Porth Cleis in Dyfed, and Arthur came to Mynyw. The next day it was told to Arthur that they had gone by, and he overtook them as they were killing the cattle of Cynnwas Cwrr y Fagyl, having slain all that were at Aber Gleddyf, of man and beast, before the coming of Arthur.
Now when Arthur approached, Twrch Trwyth went on as far as Preseli, and Arthur and his hosts followed him there, and Arthur sent men to hunt him; Eli and Trachmyr, leading Drutwyn the whelp of Greid ab Eri, and Gwarthegyd ap Caw, in another quarter, with the two dogs of Glythmyr Ledewig, and Bedwyr leading Cafall, Arthur's own dog. And all the warriors ranged themselves around the Nyfer. And there came there the three sons of Cleddyf Difwlch, men who had gained much fame at the slaying of Yscithyrwyn Penbaedd; and they went on from Glyn Nyfer, and came to Cwm Cerwyn.
And there Twrch Trwyth made a stand, and slew four of Arthur's champions, Gwarthegyd ap Caw, and Tarawc of Allt Clwyd, and Rheidwn ab Eli Atfer, and Iscofan Hael. And after he had slain these men, he made a second stand in the same place. And there he slew Gwydre the son of Arthur, and Garselit Wyddel, and Glew ab Ysgawd, and Iscawyn ap Panon; and there he himself was wounded.
And the next morning before it was day, some of the men came up with him. And he slew Huandaw, and Gogigwr, and Penpingon, three attendants upon Glewlwyd Gafaelfwr, so that heaven knows, he had not an attendant remaining, excepting only Llaesgefyn, a man from whom no one ever derived any good. And together with these, he slew many of the men of that country, and Gwlydyn Saer, Arthur's chief architect.
Then Arthur overtook him at Pelumyawc, and there he slew Madawc ap Teithyon, and Gwyn ap Tringad, the son of Nefed, and Eiryawn Penllorau. Then he went to Aberteifi, where he made another stand, and where he slew Cyflas ap Cynan, and Gwilenhin king of France. Then he went as far as Glyn Ystu, and there the men and the dogs lost him.
Then Arthur summoned Gwyn ap Nudd, and he asked him if he knew anything of Twrch Trwyth. And he said that he did not.
And all the huntsmen went to hunt the swine as far as Dyffryn Llychwr. And Grugyn Gwallt Ereint, and Llwydawg Gofynnyad closed with them and killed all the huntsmen, so that there escaped but one man only. And Arthur and his hosts came to the place where Grugyn and Llwydawg were. And there he let loose the whole of the dogs upon them, and with the shout and barking that was set up, Twrch Trwyth came to their assistance.
And from the time that they came across the Irish sea, Arthur had never got sight of him until then. So he set men and dogs upon him, and thereupon he started off and went to Mynydd Amanw. And there one of his young pigs was killed. Then they set upon him life for life, and Twrch Llawin was slain, and then there was slain another of the swine, Gwys was his name. After that he went on to Dyffryn Amanw, and there Banw and Bennwig were killed. Of all his pigs there went with him alive from that place none save Grugyn Gwallt Ereint, and Llwydawg Gofynnyad.
Thence he went on to Llwch Ewin, and Arthur overtook him there, and he made a stand. And there he slew Echel Forddwytwll, and Garwyli the son of Gwyddawg Gwyr, and many men and dogs likewise. And then they went to Llwch Tawy. Grugyn Gwrych Ereint parted from them there, and went to Din Tywi. And then he proceeded to Ceredigion, and Eli and Trachmyr with him, and a multitude likewise. Then he came to Garth Gregyn, and there Llwydawg Gofynnyad fought in the midst of them, and slew Rhudfyw Rhys and many others with him. Then Llwydawg went thence to Ystrad Yw, and there the men of Armorica met him, and there he slew Hirpeissawg the king of Armorica, and Llygatrudd Emys, and Gwrbothu, Arthur's uncles, his mother's brothers, and there was he himself slain.
Twrch Trwyth went from there to between the Tawe and Ewyas, and Arthur summoned all Cornwall and Devon to him, to the estuary of the Severn, and he said to the warriors of this Island, "Twrch Trwyth has slain many of my men, but, by the valour of warriors, while I live he shall not go into Cornwall. And I will not follow him any longer, but I will oppose him life to life. Do as you will." And he resolved that he would send a body of knights, with the dogs of the island, as far as Ewyas, who should return afterwards to the Severn, and that tried warriors should traverse the island, and force him into the Severn. And Mabon ap Modron, came up with him at the Severn, upon Gwynn Mygddon, the horse of Gweddw, and Goreu ap Custennin, and Menw ap Teirgwaedd; this was between Llyn Lliwan and Aber Gwy. And Arthur fell upon him together with the champions of Britain. And Osla Cyllellfawr drew near, and Manawyddan ap Llyr, and Cacmwri the servant of Arthur, and Gwyngelli, and they seized hold of him, catching him first by his feet, and plunged him in the Severn, so that it overwhelmed him. On the one side, Mabon ap Modron spurred his steed and snatched his razor from him, and Cyledyr Wyllt came up with him on the other side, upon another steed, in the Severn, and took from him the scissors. But before they could obtain the comb, he had regained the ground with his feet, and from the moment that he reached the shore, neither dog, nor man, nor horse could overtake him until he came to Cornwall. If they had had trouble in getting the jewels from him, much more had they in seeking to save the two men from being drowned. Cacmwri, as they drew him forth, was dragged by two millstones into the deep. And as Osla Cyllellfawr was running after the boar, his knife had dropped out of the sheath, and he had lost it, and after that, the sheath became full of water, and its weight drew him down into the deep, as they were drawing him forth.
Then Arthur and his hosts proceeded until they overtook the boar in Cornwall, and the trouble which they had met with before was mere play to what they encountered in seeking the comb. But from one difficulty to another, the comb was at length obtained. And then he was hunted from Cornwall, and driven straight forward into the deep sea. And it was never known where he went; and Aned and Aethlem with him. Then went Arthur to Gelliwic, in Cornwall, to anoint himself, and to rest from his fatigues.
Said Arthur, "Is there any one of the marvels yet unobtained?" Said one of his men, "There is, the blood of the witch Orddu, the daughter of the witch Orwen, of Penn Nant Gofid, on the confines of Hell." Arthur set forth towards the North, and came to the place where was the witch's cave. And Gwyn ab Nudd, and Gwythyr ap Greidawl, counselled him to send Cacmwri, and Hygwyd his brother to fight with the witch. As they entered the cave, the witch seized upon them, and she caught Hygwyd by the hair of his head, and threw him on the floor beneath her. And Cacmwri caught her by the hair of her head, and dragged her to the earth from off Hygwyd, but she turned again upon them both, and drove them both out with kicks and with cuffs.
And Arthur was angry at seeing his two attendants almost killed, and he sought to enter the cave; but Gwyn and Gwythyr said to him, "It would not be fitting or seemly for us to see you squabbling with a hag. Let Hiramreu and Hireidil go to the cave." So they went. But if great was the trouble of the first two that went, much greater was that of these two. And heaven knows that not one of the four could move from the spot, until they placed them all upon Llamrei, Arthur's mare. And then Arthur rushed to the door of the cave, and at the door he struck at the witch, with Carnwennan his dagger, and cut her in two, so that she fell in two parts. And Caw, of North Britain, took the blood of the witch and kept it.
Then Culhwch set forward, and Goreu ap Custennin, with him, and as many as wished ill to Yspaddaden Pencawr. And they took the marvels with them to his court. And Caw of North Britain came and shaved his beard, skin, and flesh clean off to the very bone from ear to ear.
"Are you shaved, man?" said Culhwch.
"I am shaved," he answered.
"Is your daughter mine now?"
"She is yours," he said, "but therefore you need not thank me, but Arthur who has accomplished this for you. By my free will you should never have had her, for with her I lose my life."
Then Goreu ap Custennin, seized him by the hair of his head, and dragged him after him to the keep, and cut off his head and placed it on a stake on the citadel. Then they took possession of his castle, and of his treasures.
And that night Olwen became Culhwch's bride, and she continued to be his wife as long as she lived. And the hosts of Arthur dispersed themselves, each man to his own country. And thus did Culhwch obtain Olwen, the daughter of Yspaddaden Pencawr.