GXD13Y8-20WcLeEZm8aPxw Laxdæla Saga

Laxdæla Saga

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

Section Reference 69


This summer had Gunnar Thidrandi's-bane been sent to Gudrun to ward and hold, and Gudrun had taken him in: his name was hidden. Gunnar had been made outlaw for the slaying of Thidrandi Geitison of Cross-wick, as is told of in the story of the Njardwickings. He fared with head close covered, because many mighty men were in the suit against him. The first evening of the feast, when men went to wash them, there stood a mickle man by the washing-stead: he was thick of shoulders and broad of breast: he had a hat on his head. Thorkel asked who he was. He named himself as it seemed good to him. Thorkel spake: Thou wilt not be speaking the sooth: liker art thou by thy look to Gunnar Thidrandi's-bane: and if thou be so mickle a champion as others say of thee, then mayst thou not will to hide thy name. Then spake Gunnar: Right gallantly speakest thou herein: methinks I need no longer hide myself from thee: thou hast rightly kenned thy man: or what art thou minded the rather to do with me? Said Thorkel that his will would be that he should learn that soon. He spake to his men that they should lay hands on him. Now Gudrun sat within on the thwart-dais, and women beside her there; and they wore veils of linen on their heads. And when she is made ware of these tidings, then riseth she from the bride-bench and calleth on her men to bear aid to Gunnar: she bids them moreover spare no man who should show himself anywise dangerous. Gudrun had by far the greater host. Things looked like to end there far otherwise than had been thought on. Then went Snorri the Priest between men and bade them lull this storm: And this is plain for thee, Thorkel, that thou must not lay such stress hereon; thou mayst see now how proud is Gudrun, if she will have her way now against the twain of us. Thorkel gives out that he is pledged to Thorkel Geitison to slay Gunnar if he cometh anywhere west into the. countrysides: and he is my most friend, quoth he. Spake Snorri: Far more art thou bound to do after our will: and this is the most needful for thee thyself, since thou canst never get thee such another woman to wife as is Gudrun, though thou seek far and wide. Now what by the counsel of Snorri, and this therewith, that he saw that he spake the sooth, then was Thorkel appeased; but Gunnar was fetched thence that same evening, and the feast fared forward well and worshipfully. And when the bridal was ended, men make them ready to depart. Thorkel gave to Snorri the Priest gifts of right great price, and to all those men that were of most worth there. Snorri the Priest bade Bolli Bollison home to him and prayed him to abide there at all times that he deemed it good. Bolli yeasaith that: he rides with Snorri home to Tongue. But Thorkel dwells at Holyfell and takes on him the mastership of the house; and soon was it seen of him that he was no worse a man therein than in journeying. Straightway at harvest-tide he let pull down the hall, and it was built up again by winter; fair was it and stately. Now groweth mickle love betwixt Gudrun and Thorkel. So wears now the first winter of their life together. In the spring Gudrun asks Thorkel what he will do for Gunnar Thidrandi's-bane. Thorkel said that she must the rather rule therein: thou hast aforetime taken up the matter so strongly that thou mayst not be quit unless he be let go on our part in seemly fashion. Gudrun said that he had guessed aright: I will, quoth she, that thou give him a ship, and such faring-goods as he may not do without. Then Thorkel answers, and smiled: Nowise little-hearted art thou in many ways, and unmeet were it for thee to be wedded to a man who was overmuch of a skinflint, nor is that what thou wouldst have: this shall be done according to thy will. Now this thing fares forth so that Thorkel gave to Gunnar a ship with all its gear. Gunnar took this gift right thankfully and said that never could he be so long-armed as to win repayment to them for all the goodwill that they showed him. The next summer fared Gunnar from Iceland and came to Norway. After that he fared to his homestead: he was a man of great wealth and mickle worth, and a good man of his hands.


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