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Færeyinga Saga

The Saga of Thrond of Gate an 1896 translation into English by F. York Powell

Section Reference 40


A little after this Thrond gat him ready to set out from Gate, and Laf [would go] with him. They took ship and went twelve together. They got to Southrey and landed at Sandwick, Thorgrim the Wicked's homestead. This was some winters after Sigmund and his friend had lost their lives. They went up the island and came to the homestead. Thorgrim welcomed Thrond and his men, and they went in. Thrond and yeoman Thorgrim went into the inner room, but Laf and the others sat outside in the house by a fire that was kindled for them. Thrond and Thorgrim had a long talk. Thrond said, "What do men guess was Sigmund Brestesson's bane?""Men don't think that is clearly known,' answered Thorgrim, "but some guess that you must have found him on the shore or swimming off and slain him. ""That is a wicked guess and unlikely to boot," said Thrond, "for all men know that we wished to slay Sigmund, and why should we wish to murder him?And such things are not spoken with friendly intent. ""Others say," said Thorgrim, "that they must have sunk in their swim, or that Sigmund may have got to land somewhere, for he was a passing good man in many ways, and have been slain there, as he reached the land weak and worn out, and murdered!""That is a likely tale," says Thrond, "and it is my belief it was so; but come, fellow mine, is it as I think or not, that thou art he that wrought Sigmund's death?"Thorgrim denied it as strongly as he could. "It will do thee no good to deny it," said Thrond, "for I think I know that thou art guilty of this deed. "He denied it as before. Then Thrond let call Laf and Sigurd to him and commanded that Thorgrim and his sons should be fettered; and it was done, and they were fettered and fast bound. Thrond had had a great fire kindled in the fire-house, and had four lattices set up, one at each corner; he drew also nine squares out all ways from the lattices. Then he sat down on a stool between the fire and the littices and bade no man speak to him, and they did as he bid them. He sat so for a time, and after a while there walked a man into the fire-house; he was dripping wet; they knew the man for Einar the Southrey-man. He walked up to the fire and stretched out his hands to it for a short time, then turned and went out again. After a while another man walked into the fire-house; he walked up to the fire also, stretched his hands to it, and then went out. They knew him for Thore. Soon after that a third man came into the fire-house; he was a big man, all bloody he was, and he had his head in his hand; they all knew him for Sigmund Brestesson. He stood for a while on the hearth, and then went out again. After this Thrond rose off his stool and drew a deep breath, and said, "Ye can see now what was these men's bane. "Einar lost his life first, frozen to death or drowned, for he was the weakest of them; and Thore must have lost his next, and Sigmund must have carried him, and that must have tired him most of all; but he must have came ashore very weak, and these men have slain him, since he showed himself to us bloody and headless. "Thrond's fellows held that he had spoken truly, and that it must have happened as he said. Then Thrond said that they must ransack everything, and so they did, but found no trace of aught. Thorgrim and his sons denied it all, and said they had not wrought the deed. Thrond told them it was no good for them to deny it, and bade his men ransack the house thoroughly, and they did so again. There was a big old ark standing in the fire-house. Thrond asked them whether they had ransacked the ark. They said they had not, and broke it open, but they could see nought but rubbish therein, though they searched it through for some time. Then said Thrond, "Turn the ark upside down," and they did so, and found a rag bag that had laid in the ark, and brought it to Thrond. He untied it, and there were a great many rags wrapped together in it, but at last Thrond found a great gold ring, and knew it was the ring that had belonged to Sigmund Brestesson, the one Earl Hacon had given him. And when Thorgrim saw this, he acknowledged the murder of Sigmund, and told all that had happened. He showed them also where Sigmund and Thore were buried; and they took their bodies away with them. Thrond likewise brought Thorgrim and his sons away with him. And afterwards they were both laid to earth, Sigmund and Thore, in the church at Scufey that Sigmund had built.


28 December 2019 saga, faereyinga, norse, viking, translated, english Read Book