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Færeyinga Saga

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

Section Reference 38


Now it must be told of Sigmund and his friends that they swam for a while, heading for Southrey, for that was the nearest land. But it was a long sea-mile, and when they had swum halfway Einar said, "We must part here. "Sigmund said that should never be. "And do thou, Einar, lean on my shoulders!"And he did so. So Sigmund swam on for a while. Then Thore said, as he swam behind him, "Kinsman Sigmund, how long wilt thou flit a dead man on thy back?""I don't see that I need," said Sigmund. They swam on till they had only a fourth of the way to go, when Thore said, "All our lives long we have been together, kinsman Sigmund, and great love have we twain had towards each other; but now it looks as if our life together was come to an end. I have pushed on as far as I can, and now I would have thee look to thyself and thine own life and give no heed to me, for thou wilt risk thine own life, kinsman, if thou art cumbered with me. "But Sigmund said, "It shall never be that we two part so, kinsman Thore. We will both of us come to land or neither. "Then Sigmund took him on his shoulders, but Thore was so worn out that he could do hardly anything to help himself. Then Sigmund swam on till he got to Southrey. There was a surf running on the island, and Sigmund was so worn out by this time that he was now driven from the land, and another time borne towards it. And Thore slipped off his shoulders there and was drowned, but Sigmund got to land at last, and he was so worn out that he could not walk, but he crawled up the shore and lay down on a heap of seaweed. This was at daybreak, and he lay there till it was quite light. There was a farmstead called Sandwick on the island a little way up, where dwelt a man named Thorgrim the Wicked, a big strong man, who held under Thrond of Gate. He had two sons, Ormstan and Thorstan, both hopeful men. Thorgrim the Wicked went down to the shore that morning, and he had a pole-axe in his hand. As he went by he saw red clothes sticking out of the seaweed heap; he pushed away the wrack and saw a man lying there. He asked him who he was. Sigmund told him his name. "Low lies our lord," said he, "but what hath wrought this?"Sigmund told him all that had happened. With that his sons came up. Then Sigmund prayed them to help him. Thorgrim did not answer at once, but began to talk to his sons in a low voice. "Sigmund has so much gear on him as it seems to me we have never owned the worth of, and his gold ring is mighty thick. The best thing we can do, it seems to me, is to slay him and then hide his body; it will never be known. "His sons spake against it for a while, but at last they were of the same mind. Then they went up to where Sigmund lay and caught hold of his hair, while Thorgrim the Wicked hewed off his head with the pole-axe. In this way Sigmund, that was so good a man in all ways, lost his life. They stripped off his clothes and gear, and then dragged him up under an earth-bank and buried him there. Thore's dead body was cast ashore, and they buried it beside Sigmund, and hid them both.


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