Chapter 17 - Hildirida's sons in Finmark and at Harold's court.

Hildirida's sons took the business in Halogaland; and none gainsaid this because of the king's power, but Thorolf's kinsmen and friends were much displeased at the change. The two brothers went on the fell in the winter, taking with them thirty men. To the Finns there seemed much less honour in these stewards than when Thorolf came, and the money due was far worse paid.

That same winter Thorolf went up on the fell with a hundred men; he passed on at once eastwards to Kvenland and met king Faravid. They took counsel together, and resolved to go on the fell again as in the winter before; and with four hundred men they made a descent on Kirialaland, and attacked those districts for which they thought themselves a match in numbers, and harrying there took much booty, returning up to Finmark as the winter wore on. In the spring Thorolf went home to his farm, and then employed his men at the fishing in Vagar, and some in herring-fishing, and had the take of every kind brought to his farm.

Thorolf had a large ship, which was waiting to put to sea. It was elaborate in everything, beautifully painted down to the sea-line, the sails also carefully striped with blue and red, and all the tackling as elaborate as the ship. Thorolf had this ship made ready, and put aboard some of his house-carles as crew; he freighted it with dried fish and hides, and ermine and gray furs too in abundance, and other peltry such as he had gotten from the fell; it was a most valuable cargo. This ship he bade sail westwards for England to buy him clothes and other supplies that he needed; and they, first steering southwards along the coast, then stretching across the main, came to England. There they found a good market, laded the ship with wheat and honey and wine and clothes, and sailing back in autumn with a fair wind came to Hordaland.

That same autumn Hildirida's sons carried tribute to the king. But when they paid it the king himself was present and saw. He said:

'Is this tribute now paid all that ye took in Finmark?'

'It is,' they answered.

'Less by far,' said the king, 'and much worse paid is the tribute now than when Thorolf gathered it; yet ye said that he managed the business ill.'

'It is well, O king,' said Harek, 'that thou hast considered how large a tribute should usually come from Finmark, because thus thou knowest how much thou losest, if Thorolf waste all the tribute before thee. Last winter we were in Finmark with thirty men, as has been the wont of thy stewards heretofore. Soon after came Thorolf with a hundred men, and we learnt this, that he meant to take the lives of us two brothers and all our followers, his reason being that thou, O king, hadst handed over to us the business that he wished to have. It was then our best choice to shun meeting him, and to save ourselves: therefore we quickly left the settled districts, and went on the fell. But Thorolf went all round Finmark with his armed warriors; he had all the trade, the Finns paid him tribute, and he hindered thy stewards from entering Finmark. He means to be made king over the north there, both over Finmark and Halogaland: and the wonder is that thou wilt listen to him in anything whatever. Herein may true evidence be found of Thorolf's ill-gotten gains from Finmark; for the largest merchant ship in Halogaland was made ready for sea at Sandness in the spring, and all the cargo on board was said to be Thorolf's. It was laden mostly, I think, with gray furs, but there would be found there also bearskins and sables more than Thorolf brought to thee. And with that ship went Thorgils Yeller, and I believe he sailed westwards for England. But if thou wilt know the truth of this, set spies on the track of Thorgils when he comes eastwards; for I fancy that no trading-ship in our days has carried such store of wealth. And I am telling thee what is true, O king, when I say that to thee belongs every penny on board.'

All that Harek said his companions confirmed, and none there ventured to gainsay.

 



17. kafli - Af aflafngum rlfs.

Hildirarsynir tku vi sslu Hlogalandi. Mlti engi mar mti fyrir rki konungs, en mrgum tti etta skipti mjk mti skapi, eim er vru frndr rlfs ea vinir. eir fru um vetrinn fjall ok hfu me sr rj tigu manna. tti Finnum miklu minni vegr at essum sslumnnum en er rlfr fr. Greiddist allt miklu verr gjald at, er Finnar skyldu reia.

ann sama vetr fr rlfr upp fjall me hundra manna, fr egar austr Kvenland ok hitti Faravi konung. Geru eir r sitt ok ru at at fara fjall enn sem inn fyrra vetr ok hfu fjgur hundru manna ok kmu ofan Kirjlaland, hljpu ar byggir, er eim tti sitt fri vera fyrir fjlmennis sakar, herjuu ar ok fengu of fjr, fru aftr, er lei vetrinn, upp mrkina.

Fr rlfr heim um vrit til bs sns. Hann hafi menn skreifiski Vgum, en suma sldfiski, ok leitai alls konar fanga til bs sns.

rlfr tti skip mikit. at var lagt til hafs. at var vandat at llu sem mest, steint mjk fyrir ofan sj. ar fylgi segl stafat me vendi blm ok rauum. Allr var reii vandar mjk me skipinu. at skip ltr rlfr ba ok fekk til hskarla sna me at fara, lt ar bera skrei ok hir ok vru ljsa. ar lt hann ok fylgja grvru mikla ok ara skinnavru, er hann hafi haft af fjalli, ok var at f strmikit. Skipi v lt hann orgils gjallanda halda vestr til Englands at kaupa sr kli ok nnur fng, au er hann urfti. Heldu eir skipi v sur me landi ok san haf ok kmu fram Englandi, fengu ar ga kaupstefnu, hlu skipit me hveiti ok hunangi, vni ok klum, ok heldu aftr um haustit. eim byrjai vel, kmu at Hralandi.

at sama haust fru Hildirarsynir me skatt ok fru konungi. En er eir reiddu skattinn af hendi, var konungr sjlfr vi ok s.

Hann mlti: "Er n allr skattrinn af hndum reiddr, s er it tku vi Finnmrk?"

"Sv er," sgu eir.

"Bi er n," sagi konungr, "skattrinn miklu minni ok verr af hendi goldinn en er rlfr heimti, ok sgu r, at hann fri illa me sslunni."

"Vel er at, konungr," segir Hrekr, "er hefir hugleitt, hversu mikill skattr er vanr at koma af Finnmrk, v at veiztu gerr, hversu mikils r missi, ef rlfr eyir me llu finnskattinum fyrir yr. Vr vrum vetr rr tigir manna mrkinni, sv sem fyrr hefir verit vani sslumanna. San kom ar rlfr me hundra manna. Spurum vr at til ora hans, at hann tlai af lfi at taka okkr brr ok alla menn, er okkr fylgu, ok fann hann at til saka, er , konungr, hafir selt okkr hendr sslu , er hann vildi hafa. Sm vr ann helzt vrn kost at firrast fund hans ok fora oss, ok kmum vr fyrir sk skammt fr byggum fjallit, en rlfr fr um alla mrkina me her manns. Hafi hann kaup ll. Guldu Finnar honum skatt, en hann batzt v, at sslumenn yrir skyldi ekki koma mrkina. tlar hann at gerast konungr yfir norr ar, bi yfir mrkinni ok Hlogalandi, ok er at undr, er r lti honum hvetvetna hla. Munu hr snn vitni til finnast um fjrdrtt ann, er rlfr hefir af mrkinni, v at knrr s, er mestr var Hlogalandi, var binn vr Sandnesi, ok kallaist rlfr eiga einn farm allan, ann er var. Hygg ek, at nr vri hlainn af grvru, ok ar hygg ek, at finnast myndi bjrr ok safali meira en at, er rlfr fri r, ok fr me orgils gjallandi. tla ek, at hann hafi siglt vestr til Englands. En ef vill vita sannendi af essu, haldi til njsn um fer orgils, er hann ferr austr, v at ek hygg, at ekki kaupskip hafi komit jafnmikit f vrum dgum. tla ek at sannast at segja, at r, konungr, eigi hvern penning, ann er ar var ."

etta snnuu frunautar hans allt, er Hrekr sagi, en hr kunnu engir mti at mla.


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