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Færeyinga Saga

The Saga of Thrond of Gate an 1896 translation into English by F. York Powell

Section Reference 21

When the spring came, Earl Hacon asked Sigmund where he was minded to harry that summer. Sigmund said that should lay with the Earl. "I will not set thee on to put the Swedes to shame" said the Earl, "but I would fain have thee fare west over the deep near the Orkneys. There is a man wont to dwell called Harold Ironpate; he is an outlaw of mine, and one of my greatest foes. He was done many a lawless deed here in Norway. He is a mighty man; him I would have thee kill, if thou can bring it about. "Sigmund said that he would meet him if he could get at him.

Sigmund sailed from Norway with eight ships. Thore steered the dragon Wandilsloom and Sigmund Randwersloom. They sailed westward over the Main, and got no good all the summer. And at the end of the summer they ran under Angelsay with their ships, which island lies in the English Sea. There they saw lying before them ten ships, and with them was a great dragonship. Sigmund right soon saw that Harold Ironpate led those ships. They settled the next morning for the fight. And the night passed, and at sunrise in the morning they handed up their weapons, and all that day they fought till night, when the darkness parted them, and they settled to fight next morning. And when the morning came Harold hailed Sigmund's ship, and asked him whether he would fight again. He said, he had a mind to do nothing else. "Then I will say now," says Harald, "what I have never said before, that I would we two should become mates and fight no longer. "The men on both sides spoke up for this, and said that they must need be set at one and make one fleet, and that there were few that could withstand them then. Sigmund said that one thing stood in the way against their being set at one. "What is that?" says Harold. Sigmund answers, "Earl Hacon sent me after thy head. ""Ill is my wont at his hands," says Harold, "and ye two are right unlike, for thou art the bravest of men, but Hacon is one of the worst of men. ""We two shall not think the same way about that," says Sigmund. But now their men bestirred them to get them set at one, and it came about that they were set at one, and they lay all their war-booty together in one lot. That summer they harried far and wide, and few could withstand them. But when harvest-tide was come, Sigmund said that he should steer from Norway. "Then we two must part," answers Harold. "That shall not be,"said Sigmund. "I would have us both fare to Norway, for then I shall have done something of what I gave my word on to Earl Hacon if I could find thee. ""Why should I go to meet my greatest foe?"

"Let me be counsellor in this matter," said Sigmund. "Well," said Harold, "inasmuch as I trust thee well, and also in that thou art well used to such things, therefore thou shalt be my counsellor here. "

Whereon they steered north for Norway, and made it off Hordaland, where they were told that Earl Hacon was in North Mæri at Bergund. They held on their way thither, and laid their ships in Stone-voe. Then Sigmund went ashore at Bergund with twelve men in a row-boat, for he would be the first to go to Earl Hacon, but Harold lay in Stone-voe the while. And he went up to see Earl Hacon when he was sitting at the board drinking, and he came into the hall before the Earl and greeted him well. The Earl welcomed him blithely, and asked him for tidings, and bade them set a stool for him, and they did so. They talked for a while and Sigmund told him of his cruise, but he did not let out that he had found Ironpate. But the story seemed to Hacon to hang overlong, till at last he asked whether he had found Harold. "Yea, of a truth," said Sigmund. And he told him how it had come about, that they two were set at one. When the Earl heard it he spake not a word, but grew red to look on, and after a while he said, "Thou hast often done my errands better than this, Sigmund. ""The man is here now, lord," said Sigmund, "in thy power, and I would have thee take his offers for my sake and give him quarter or grith for life and limb, and for his abiding here. "

"There shall not go that way," said the Earl, "but I shall have him slain as soon as I can get at him. ""I will offer thee my handsel for him, Lord," said Sigmund, "and as great fee as ever thou wilt withal. "

"He shall never get peace from me," said the Earl. Then answered Sigmund, "I have served thee for little and for no good, inasmuch as I cannot even get grith and peace for one man; I shall fare abroad out of this land and serve thee no longer, and I only wish that it may cost you something at his hands before he is slain. "With that Sigmund sprung up and walked out of the room, but the Earl sat still and held his peace, and no man dared pray for Sigmund. Then the Earl began to speak, "Wroth was Sigmund then," said he, "and scathe will there be to my kingdom if he goes abroad; but that cannot have been said in earnest. ""It surely was said in earnest," say his men. "Go now after him," then says the Earl, "and we will make peace withal as he begged; "with that the Earl's men went to Sigmund and told him this, whereon Sigmund goes to the Earl, and the Earl was foremost to greet him telling him that he would make peace as he had begged him at first, "for I will not have thee go abroad away from me. "Then Sigmund took grith and peace for Harold from Earl Hacon, and he went to find Harold, and told him what had happened and how the matter was settled.

Harold said it was little good to trust the Earl; however, they went together to meet him, and he and the Earl were set at one together. After this Harold went off north to Halgoland, but Sigmund was with the Earl all the winter in great favour, and his kinsman there also, and a great following with them. Sigmund kept his men well both in clothes and weapons.

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