GXD13Y8-20WcLeEZm8aPxw Laxdæla Saga

Laxdæla Saga

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

Section Reference 29


Now it is told of that one spring Olaf made it known to Thorgerd that he was minded to go a journey: I will that thou take the charge of our homestead and bairns. Thorgerd said she had little will thereto, but Olaf said that it must be so. He buyeth a ship that was lying up at The Shallows. Olaf fared in that summer, and cometh with his ship to Hordaland. There a little way inland dwelt a man who hight Gourmand Noise, a mighty man and a well to do, and a mickle wicking; a man ill to deal with was he, and had now set him down in peace, and was of the guard of Hakon the Earl, the Mighty. Gourmand fareth to the ship, and soon comes to know Olaf, because he had heard him spoken of. Gourmand biddeth Olaf to him, with as many men as he would. That yeasaith Olaf, and fareth to the guesting with five men. Olaf's shipmates were guested there about Hordaland. Gourmand maketh Olaf good cheer. The homestead there was right great and many men were there. Much glee was there all winter. But when the winter was worn, Olaf openeth his errand to Geirmund, to wit, that he will win him store of housetimber; much weight he laid on it, said he, that he gain good choice thereof. Geirmund answers: Hakon the earl hath the best forests, and I know of a surety that if thou go to meet him thou wilt get all thy desire, because the earl giveth good greeting to those men who are not of even manhood with thee, Olaf, if they seek to him. In the spring Olaf maketh ready to fare to meet with Hakon the earl: the earl maketh him welcome with marvellous goodwill, and bade Olaf abide with him so long as he would. Olaf telleth the earl how it stood with his journey: This will I pray of thee, lord, that thou grant us of thine own forests to hew housetimber. The earl answereth : Unstinted shall it be, though thou lade thy ship with the timber that we shall give thee; because we deem that not every day do such men as thou seek to us from Iceland. Now at their sundering the earl gave to Olaf a gold-inwrought axe, and that was the best of jewels. Then they sundered with the most friendship. Geirmund privily riddeth him of his lands, and is minded to go out to Iceland in the summer on Olaf's ship. He hath hidden this from all men. Olaf knew nought thereof till Geirmund flitted his goods to Olaf's ship, and that was much riches. Spake Olaf: Thou mightest not fare on my ship, had I known of this before; because I misdoubt me that there will be some in Iceland for whom it had been better that they had never seen thee ; but now that thou art come with so mickle wealth, it beseemeth me not to drive thee back like a sheep-dog. Geirmund saith: I shall not be turned back, for all thou art somewhat big of words; because I am minded to win to be thy faring-fellow. Olaf and his folk go aboard and sail out to sea. They had a good voyage, and made Broadfirth: now they run the gangways aland at Laxwateroyce. Olaf lets bear the timber out of the ship, and setteth up the ship under the roof that his father had let make. Olaf bade Geirmund to guesting with him. That summer let Olaf build a fire-house at Herdholt more and better than any men had afore seen. There were limned wondrous tales on the panel-timbers and likewise on the roof beams. This was so well wrought that men deemed it to be a far braver show when the hangings were not up. Geirmund was few-dealing in everyday matters, a hard man to most folk ; now he was ever so clad that he wore a kirtle of scarlet cloth and a gray cloak over all, a bearskin cap on his head, a sword in his hand; that was a mickle weapon and a good ; ivory-hilted, no silver was borne thereon ; but the brand was sharp, and rust never abode on it. This sword he called Footbiter, and never did he let it go out of his hand. Geirmund had been but a short while there before he set his mind on Thurid Olaf's daughter, and put forward his wooing to Olaf; but he gave him nay for answer. Then Geirmund maketh trial of Thorgerd with fee, to the end that she should be on his side. She took the fee, since no small sum was laid down ; then Thorgerd put this suit before Olaf. She saith moreover her mind, to wit, that her daughter might not be better mated: because he is a mickle champion, wealthy withal and proud. Then answereth Olaf: This shall not be done against thy will more than aught else ; yet I were liefer that Thurid were wedded to some other man. Thorgerd goeth forth and deemeth her errand well sped ; now she told Geirmund how it had gone. He thanked her for her help and high-heartedness. Now Geirmund puts forward his wooing to Olaf for the second time, and that was now an easy matter. After that Geirmund betroths him to Thurid, and the wedding shall be at Herdholt at the end of winter. That wedding was much thronged, because as then was the firehall fully wrought. There was at the wedding-feast Ulf Uggison, and he had made a lay upon Olaf Hoskuldson and of those tales that were written up in the firehall, and he brought it to the wedding-feast. This lay is called House-drapa, and is well made. Olaf gave good guerdon for the lay. He gave likewise great gifts to all the great men who had come at his bidding. Olaf was deemed to have waxed by this feast.


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