The slaying of Hauskuld, the priest of Whiteness
About that time Hauskuld, the Priest of Whiteness, awoke; he put on his clothes, and threw over him his cloak, Flosi's gift. He took his corn-sieve, and had his sword in his other hand, and walks towards the fence, and sows the corn as he goes.
Skarphedinn and his band had agreed that they would all give him a wound. Skarphedinn sprang up from behind the fence, but when Hauskuld saw him he wanted to turn away, then Skarphedinn ran up to him and said -
"Don't try to turn on thy heel, Whiteness priest," and hews at him, and the blow came on his head, and he fell on his knees. Hauskuld said these words when he fell -
"God help me, and forgive you!"
Then they all ran up to him and gave him wounds.
After that Mord said -
"A plan comes into my mind."
"What is that?" says Skarphedinn.
"That I shall fare home as soon as I can, but after that I will fare up to Gritwater, and tell them the tidings, and say 'tis an ill deed; but I know surely that Thorgerda will ask me to give notice of the slaying, and I will do that, for that will be the surest way to spoil their suit. I will also send a man to Ossaby, and know how soon they take any counsel in the matter, and that man will learn all these tidings thence, and I will make believe that I have heard them from him."
"Do so by all means," says Skarphedinn.
Those brothers fared home, and Kari with them, and when they came home they told Njal the tidings.
"Sorrowful tidings are these," says Njal, "and such are ill to hear, for sooth to say this grief touches me so nearly, that methinks it were better to have lost two of my sons and that Hauskuld lived."
"It is some excuse for thee," says Skarphedinn, "that thou art an old man, and it is to be looked for that this touches thee nearly."
"But this," says Njal, "no less than old age, is why I grieve, that I know better than thou what will come after."
"What will come after?" says Skarphedinn.
"My death," says Njal, "and the death of my wife and of all my sons."
"What dost thou foretell for me?" says Kari.
"They will have hard work to go against thy good fortune, for thou wilt be more than a match for all of them."
This one thing touched Njal so nearly that he could never speak of it without shedding tears.