GXD13Y8-20WcLeEZm8aPxw Laxdæla Saga

Laxdæla Saga

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

Section Reference 57


A man hight Thorgils, and was known after his mother and called Hallason: he dwelt in Horddale at the stead hight Tongue: his father was Snorri, son of Alf-a-dales. Halla the mother of Thorgils was daughter to Guest Oddleifson. Thorgils was a mickle man and fair, and the greatest of braggarts: he was nowise called a man of even dealings; most commonly he was somewhat at variance with Snorri the Priest: Snorri held Thorgils to be a busybody, and much given to finery. Thorgils made many errands for himself westaway in the countrysides; he was ever coming to Holyfell, and put himself forward to be steward for Gudrun. She answered him well by seeming, but made light of the matter altogether. Thorgils would have her son Thorleik home with him, and he was a long time at Tongue, and learned law of Thorgils; for he was a man most wise in the laws. At that time was Thorkel Eyjolfson a seafarer. He was a most notable man and of great kin: he was a mickle friend to Snorri the Priest: he abode ever with Thorstein Kuggison whiles he was out in Iceland. And once, when Thorkel had a ship lying up at the Shallows on Bardistrand, it came to pass in Burg-firth that the son of Eid Skeggison of Ridge was slain by the sons of Helga of Kroppi. He who had been the slayer hight Grim: his brother hight Njal; he was drowned a little after in Whitewater. Grim was outlawed and made a wood-abider for the slaying; Grim lay out on the fells while he was in outlawry: he was a mickle man and stark. Eid was then much aged, when this came to pass; wherefore this matter was not followed up. Men laid much wite on Thorkel Eyjolfson in that he drave not home these rights in some fashion, such a man of war as he was, and so bounden by kinship to Eid. In the summer, when Thorkel had made his ship ready, he fared south over Broadfirth; he gets him a horse there, and thereafter rides alone south to Burgfirth: he lets not his journey till that he comes to Ridge, to the house of Eid his kinsman. Eid gave him good welcome. Then Thorkel tells him what his errand is, to wit, that he would seek a meeting with Grim, the wood-abider. Then asks Thorkel if Eid knoweth aught of where his lair may be. Eid answers: I am not fain that thou fare on this journey; methinks, kinsman, quoth he, that there is much risk as to how the journey may end, when thou hast to do with a man of hell such as is Grim; but if thou wilt nought for it but to fare forth, then will I that thou fare with many men, and have the whole matter in thine own hand. I deem that would be nowise brave, saith Thorkel, to set on one man with an overpowering host; but I will that thou lend me thy sword Skofnung; then it is like that I may get the better of a single vagabond, though he be somewhat well knit. Thou must have thy way herein, quoth Eid; but it will not come on me unawares though thou rue this rashness some time or other. But as thou art minded to do this for my sake, I shall not deny thee what thou askest; because methinks Skofnung is well bestowed if thou bear him. But such is the nature of the sword, that the sun must not shine on his hilts, and he may not be drawn if so be women are by. But if a man be hurt with the sword, that hurt may not be healed, save the lifestone that goes with it be rubbed thereon. Thorkel said that he would keep careful watch on it. Now takes he Skofnung to him, and bade Eid tell him the road to where Grim had his lair. Eid said that he thought it most like that Grim had his lair north on Two-days-heath by Fishmeres. Afterward rideth Thorkel north over the heaths on the way which Eid had shown him. He rides north over the heath a very long time, until he sees a hut beside a mere; and he turneth thither.


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