GXD13Y8-20WcLeEZm8aPxw Laxdæla Saga

Laxdæla Saga

The Story of the Laxdalers a 1903 translation into English by Robert Proctor

Section Reference 71


Through the winter are they ever meeting, Thorleik and Bolli, and had speech between them. They take part neither in game nor sport, nor in any other glee. And one time was Thorleik a-guesting at Tongue. Then talked those brethren so that all the day wore in their talk: then deemed Snorri that he knew that they must be planning some great matter. Then went Snorri to speak with those brethren. They greeted Snorri and let fall their talk; he took well their greeting, and then spake Snorri : What rede-taking have ye, that ye reck neither of sleep nor meat? Bolli answereth: No taking of rede is this, for that tale is of little mark that we have to talk about. So Snorri knew that they would hide from him all that which was in their hearts, but yet he misdoubted him that they must speak of that which should work sore trouble if it went forward. Then spake Snorri yet again to those brethren : It misdoubteth me that it will be neither folly nor gamesomeness that ye twain be so long a-talking over : and I hold you in no wise to blame if it be so : now therefore do ye well by me also and hide it not from me. We shall be able to take no worse rede in this matter all together than ye twain alone, since never will I withstand the furtherance of aught whereby your honour shall be more than it was aforetime. Thorleik deemed that Snorri promised fairly, and told him in few words all their mind, to wit, that they are minded to fare against those sons of Olaf, and they may avail to make a hard bargain of it with them : they say that they lack nought to have all they will from such men as were Halldor and his brethren, now that Thorleik had put his hands betwixt the hands of Olaf the king, and Bolli had become son-in-law to Snorri, such a chieftain as he was. Saith Snorri that the slaying of Bolli was fully atoned when Helgi Hardbeinson was the payment made; over-mickle, quoth he, was the trouble of men though it were stayed thenceforth. Bolli spake: How is it now, Snorri? Art thou nought so eager to aid as thou gavest out a short while since? And Thorleik should not even now have told thee of our minds if I had ruled therein. And whereas thou tellest that Helgi's death was the avenging of Bolli, yet is it known of men that fee was paid for the slaying of Helgi; so is my father yet unbooted. And when Snorri saw that his words won them not to change of mood, then he offers to bid for ransom sooner than that manslaying should be begun among men : and those brethren yeasay that. Thereafter rode Snorri to Herdholt with certain men: Halldor greeted him well, and bade him abide there: Snorri said that he must ride homeward that same evening, but yet made known that he had weighty business with him. Afterward they betake them to talk: and Snorri then showed forth his errand: he said that he had learned that those brethren, Thorleik and Bolli, would no longer endure to leave their father unbooted at the hands of Olaf's sons; and now would I seek for ransom, and wot if an end may be set to the ill-luck of you kinsmen. Halldor took this not amiss. Well known is it, quoth he, that Thorgils Hallason and the sons of Bolli were minded to do me a mischief ere thou didst turn away the avenging on their part, so that thenceforth they set themselves to the slaying of Helgi Hardbeinson ; and thou hast played a good part in these matters, whatsoever thou mayst have done in the earlier dealings betwixt us kinsmen. Quoth Snorri that he set much store by a good outcome of his errand, if he might so bring it to pass as was most to his heart, that good peace might be made between those kinsmen, and that they should keep faith one with the other: For known to me is the temper of those men who have to deal in this matter with you, that they will surely keep all that whereto they are pledged. Halldor answers : This will I yeasay for my part, if it be the will of my brethren, to pay such fee for the slaying of Bolli as those men doom who are chosen to that end. But I will that there be nought said of outlawry against any man, or of my priesthood and holding : the like will I also claim for those lands whereon my brethren dwell, that they own them freely for all the issue of this suit: let either side take its own man for the award. Snorri said that he deemed that Halldor bade well and fairly : quoth he that those brethren should take this choice if they would in any wise be ruled by him. Now he rode home sithence, and saith to those brethren, how his errand had sped, and this therewith, that he would drop their matters once and for all if they would not yeasay this choice. Then Bolli bade him look to it, and appointed Snorri to doom the case on behalf of those brethren. Then Snorri sendeth word to Halldor that they agreed to atonement, and bade him choose a man to meet with him for the giving the award. Halldor chose thereto Steinthor Thorlakson of Ere. The meeting for atonement should be at The Rocks on Shawstrand when four weeks were worn of summer. Thereafter rode Thorleik home to Holyfell, and thenceforth all the winter were there no tidings. And when it wore to the time appointed for the meeting, then came Snorri the Priest with those sons of Bolli, and they were in all fifteen in company. A like number came with Steinthor to the mote. Snorri and Steinthor betook them to speech together, and made covenant concerning the matter. Then they named the fine: but it is not told how much they awarded. Hereof is it said that the money was duly paid and the agreement was held on both sides. At Thorsness Thing was the were-gild handed over. A good sword gave Halldor to Bolli, and Steinthor gave Thorleik a shield, and that was the best of jewels. Now ended the Thing, and both sides were deemed to have waxed in these dealings.


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