TjCPbjJxgEKUzVAC6edZvg Hænsna-Þóris Saga

Hænsna-Þóris Saga

The Story of Hen-Thorir from an 1891 translation into English by William Morris and Eiríkr Magnússon

Section Reference 17


Thorod weddeth Jofrid

On a day Odd says that it were not ill to have a little avail of the lands of Ornolfs-dale: "whereas other men have wrongfully sat upon my possessions."

The women said that it were good so to do, for that the beasts were very scant of milk, and that they would milk much the better for such change. "Well, thither shall they," said Odd, "for there is much good pasture there."

Then said Thorod: "I would go with the cattle, for then will they deem it a harder matter to set on us."

Odd said he was right fain thereof; so they go with the cattle, and when they are come a long way, Thorod bids them drive the beasts where the pasture is worst and stoniest. So wears the night away, and they drive the beasts home in the morning, and when the women have milked them, they say they have never been so dry before; wherefore the thing is not tried again.

Weareth a while away now, till on a morning early Odd falleth to talk with Thorod his son: "Go thou down along the countryside, and gather folk; for now will I drive those men from our possessions; but Torfi shall fare north aver the Neck, and make this muster known, and we will meet at Stoneford."

So do they, and gather folk. Thorod and his folk muster, ninety men in all, and so ride for the ford; thereto come first Thorod and his company, and he biddeth them ride on : "I will await my father."

Now as they come to the garth at Ornolfsdale, Gunnar was making up a wain-load; then saith a lad who was with Gunnar: "Men are faring to the stead, no little company." "Yea," said Gunnar, "so it is;" and he went home to his house, and took his bow, for he was the best shooter among men, and came nighest therein to matching Gunnar of Lithend. He had built a fair house at the stead, and there was a window in the outer door wherethrough a man might thrust out his head; by this door he stood, bow in hand. Now comes Thorod to the house, and, going up to the house with but few men, asks if Gunnar will offer any atonement.

He answers: "I wot not of aught to be atoned for, and I look for it that before ye have your will of me, my handmaidens here will have set the Sleepthorn into some of yon fellows, or ever I bow adown in the grass."

Said Thorod: "True it is that thou art wellnigh peerless among the men that now are, yet may such a company come against thee as thou mayest not withstand, for my father is riding to the garth now with a great company, and is minded to slay thee."

Gunnar answered: "It is well, but I would have wished to have had a man before me ere I fall to field. But I wonder at it nowise, though thy father keep but little to the peace."

Said Thorod: "Nay, 'tis all the other way; we wish indeed that thou and I should make a good and true peace, and that thou stretch forth thine hand, and give me Jofrid thy daughter."

Gunnar answers: "Thou cowest me not to give thee my daughter; yet would the match be not far from equal as to thee, for thou art a brave man and a truer

Thorod saith: "It will not be so accounted of amongst men of worth; and I must needs give thee many thanks for thy taking this choice on such condition as befitteth."

So what with the talking over of his friends, what with thinking that Thorod had ever fared well of his ways, Gunnar stretched forth his hand, and so the matter ended.

But even therewith came Odd into the home-mead, and Thorod straightway turned to meet his father, and asked him of his intent. Odd said he was minded to burn up the house and the men therein; but Thorod answered: "Another road have matters gone, for Gunnar and I have made peace together." And he told how the thing had betid. "Hearken to the fool!" saith Odd; "would it be any the worse for thee to have the woman if Gunnar our greatest foe were first slain? And an ill deed have I done in ever having furthered thee."

Thorod answered and said: " Thou shalt have Hen Thorir to do with me first, if it may no otherwise be done."

Then men go between them, and the father and son are appeased, and the end of the matter was that Thorod was wedded to Jofrid, and Odd was very ill content.

So folk go home with matters thus done, and later on men sit at the wedding, and Thorod deems his lot happy. But at the end of the winter Thorod fared abroad because he had heard that Thorwald his brother was in bondage, and he would ransom him with money; he came to Norway, but never back to Iceland again, neither he nor his brother.

Now waxed Odd very old, and when he knew that neither of his sons would come back to him, a great sickness took him, and when it grew heavy on him, he spake to his friends, bidding them bear him up to Skaney-fell when he was dead, and saying that thence would he look down on all the Tongue ; and even so was it done.

As for Jofrid, Gunnar's daughter, she was wedded afterwards to Thorstein Egilson of Burg, and was the greatest-hearted of women. Thus endeth the story of Hen Thorir.

27 December 2019 saga, Gunnlagg, Rafn, norse, viking, translated, english Read Book