Chapter 25 - Skallagrim's journey to the king.

Skallagrim made him ready for this journey, choosing out of his household and neighbours the strongest and doughtiest that were to be found. One was Ani, a wealthy landowner, another Grani, a third Grimolf and his brother Grim, house-carles these of Skallagrim, and the two brothers Thorbjorn Krum and Thord Beigaldi. These were called Thororna's sons; she dwelt hard by Skallagrim, and was of magic skill. Beigaldi was a coal-biter. There was a man named Thorir Giant, and his brother Thorgeir Earthlong, Odd Lonedweller, and Griss Freedman. Twelve there were for the journey, all stalwart men, and several of them shape-strong.

They took a rowing-ship of Skallagrim's, went southwards along the coast, stood in to Ostra Firth, then travelled by land up to Vors to the lake there; and, their course lying so that they must cross it, they got a suitable rowing-ship and ferried them over, whence they had not very far to go to the farm where the king was being entertained.

They came there at the time when the king was gone to table. Some men they found to speak with outside in the yard, and asked what was going on. This being told them, Grim begged one to call Aulvir Hnuf to speak with him. The man went into the room and up to where Aulvir sat, and said: 'There be men here outside newly come, twelve together, if men one may call them, for they are liker to giants in stature and semblance than to mortal men.'

Aulvir at once rose and went out, for he knew who they were who had come. He greeted well his kinsman Grim, and bade him go with him into the room.

Grim said to his comrades: ''Tis the custom here that men go weaponless before the king; six of us shall go in, the other six shall bide without and keep our weapons.'

Then they entered, and Aulvir went up to the king, Skallagrim standing at his back. Aulvir was spokesman: 'Here now is come Grim Kveldulf's son; we shall feel thankful to thee, O king, if thou make his journey hither a good one, as we hope it will be. Many get great honour from thee to whom less is due, and who are not nearly so accomplished as is he in every kind of skill. Thou wilt also do this because it is a matter of moment to me, if that is of any worth in thy opinion.'

Aulvir spoke fully and fluently, for he was a man ready of words. And many other friends of Aulvir went before the king and pleaded this cause.

The king looked round, and saw that a man stood at Aulvir's back taller than the others by a head, and bald.

'Is that Skallagrim,' asked the king, 'that tall man?'

Grim said he guessed rightly.

'I will then,' said the king, 'if thou cravest atonement for Thorolf, that thou become my liege-man, and enter my guard here and serve me. Maybe I shall so like thy service that I shall grant thee atonement for thy brother, or other honour not less than I granted him; but thou must know how to keep it better than he did, if I make thee as great a man as was he.'

Skallagrim answered: 'It is well known how far superior to me was Thorolf in every point, and he got no luck by serving thee, O king. Now will I not take that counsel; serve thee I will not, for I know I should get no luck by yielding thee such service as I should wish and as would be worthy. Methinks I should fail herein more than Thorolf.'

The king was silent, and his face became blood-red. Aulvir at once turned away, and bade Grim and his men go out. They did so. They went out, and took their weapons, and Aulvir bade them begone with all haste. He and many with him escorted them to the water-side. Before parting with Skallagrim, Aulvir said:

'Kinsman, thy journey to the king ended otherwise than I would have chosen. I urged much thy coming hither; now, I entreat thee, go home with all speed, and come not in the way of king Harold, unless there be better agreement between you than now seems likely, and keep thee well from the king and from his men.'

Then Grim and his company went over the water; but Aulvir with his men, going to the ships drawn up by the water-side, so hacked them about that none was fit to launch. For they saw men coming down from the king's house, a large body well armed and advancing furiously. These men king Harold had sent after them to slay Grim. The king had found words soon after Grim went out, and said:

'This I see in that tall baldhead: that he is brim full of wolfishness, and he will, if he can reach them, work scathe on men whom we should be loth to lose. Ye may be sure, ye against whom he may bear a grudge, that he will spare none, if he get a chance. Wherefore go after him and slay him.'

Upon this they went and came to the water, and saw no ship there fit to launch. So they went back and told the king of their journey, and that Grim and his comrades would now have got clear over the lake.

Skallagrim went his way with his comrades till he reached home; he then told Kveldulf of this journey. Kveldulf showed him well pleased that Skallagrim had not gone to the king on this errand to take service under him; he still said, as before, that from the king they would get only loss and no amends. Kveldulf and Skallagrim spoke often of their plans, and on this they were agreed, that they would not be able to remain in the land any more than other men who were at enmity with the king, but their counsel must be to go abroad. And it seemed to them desirable to seek Iceland, for good reports were given about choice of land there. Already friends and acquaintances of theirs had gone thither - to wit, Ingolf Arnarson, and his companions - and had taken to them land and homestead in Iceland. Men might take land there free of cost, and choose their homestead at will.

So they quite settled to break up their household and go abroad.

Thorir Hroaldson had in his childhood been fostered with Kveldulf, and he and Skallagrim were about of an age, and as foster-brothers were dear friends. Thorir had become a baron of the king's at the time when the events just told happened, but the friendship between him and Skallagrim continued.

Early in the spring Kveldulf and his company made ready their ships. They had plenty of good craft to choose from; they made ready two large ships of burden, and took in each thirty able-bodied men, besides women and children. All the movable goods that they could carry they took with them, but their lands none dared buy, for fear of the king's power. And when they were ready, they sailed away: first to the islands called Solundir, which are many and large, and so scored with bays that few men (it is said) know all their havens.

 



25. kafli - Fer Skalla-Grms konungs fund.

Skalla-Grmr bjst til ferar eirar, er fyrr var fr sagt. Hann vali sr menn af heimamnnum snum ok nbum, er vru sterkastir at afli ok hraustastir, eira er til vru. Mar ht ni, bndi einn auigr, annarr ht Grani, rii Grmlfr ok Grmr, brir hans, heimamenn Skalla-Grms, ok eir brr, orbjrn krumr ok rr beigaldi. eir vru kallair rrnusynir. Hon bj skammt fr Skalla-Grmi ok var fjlkunnig. Beigaldi var kolbtr. Einn ht rir urs ok brir hans, orgeirr jarlangr. Oddr ht mar einbi, Grss lausingi. Tlf vru eir til fararinnar ok allir inir sterkustu menn ok margir hamrammir.

eir hfu rrarferju, er Skalla-Grmr tti, fru sur me landi, lgu inn Ostrarfjru, fru landveg upp Vors til vatns ess, er ar verr, en lei eira bar sv til, at eir skyldu ar yfir fara. Fengu eir sr rrarskip, at er vi eira hfi var, reru san yfir vatnit, en var eigi langt til bjar ess, er konungrinn var veizlu. Kmu eir Grmr ar ann tma, er konungr var genginn til bora.

eir Grmr hittu menn at mli ti garinum ok spuru, hvat ar var tenda. En er eim var sagt, ba Grmr kalla til mls vi sik lvi hnfu.

S mar gekk inn stofuna ok ar til, er lvir sat, ok sagi honum: "Menn eru hr komnir ti, tlf saman, ef menn skal kalla, en lkari eru eir ursum at vexti ok sn en mennskum mnnum."

lvir st upp egar ok gekk t. ttist hann vita, hverir komnir myndi. Fagnai hann vel Grmi, frnda snum, ok ba hann ganga inn stofu me sr.

Grmr sagi frunautum snum: "at mun hr vera sir, at menn gangi vpnlausir fyrir konung. Skulum vr ganga inn sex, en arir sex skulu vera ti ok gta vpna vrra."

San ganga eir inn. Gekk lvir fyrir konunginn. Skalla-Grmr st at baki honum.

lvir tk til mls: "N er Grmr hr kominn, sonr Kveld-lfs. Kunnum vr n aufsu, konungr, at r geri hans fr ga hingat, sv sem vr vntum, at vera muni. F eir margir af yr sm mikla, er til minna eru komnir en hann ok hvergi nr eru jafnvel at sr gervir um flestar rttir sem hann mun vera, ok mtt sv etta gera, konungr, at mr ykkir mestu mli skipta, ef r ykkir at nkkurs vert."

lvir talai langt ok snjallt, v at hann var orfrr mar. Margir vinir lvis gengu fyrir konung ok fluttu etta ml.

Konungr litaist um. Hann s, at mar st at baki lvi ok var hfi hri en arir menn ok skllttr. "Er etta hann Skalla-Grmr," sagi konungr, "inn mikli mar?"

Grmr sagi, at hann kenndi rtt.

"Ek vil ," sagi konungr, "ef beiist bta fyrir rlf, at gerist minn mar ok gangir hr hirlg ok jnir mr. M mr sv vel lka n jnusta, at ek veita r btr eftir brur inn ea ara sm, eigi minni en ek veitta honum rlfi, brur num, ok skyldir betr kunna at gta en hann, ef ek gera ik at sv miklum manni sem hann var orinn."

Skalla-Grmr svarar: "at var kunnigt, hversu miklu rlfr var framar en ek em at sr gerr um alla hluti, ok bar hann enga gfu til at jna r, konungr. N mun ek ekki taka at r. Eigi mun ek jna r, v at ek veit, at ek mun eigi gfu til bera at veita r jnustu, sem ek mynda vilja ok vert vri. Hygg ek, at mr veri meiri muna vant en rlfi."

Konungr agi, ok setti hann dreyrrauan at sj. lvir sneri egar brott ok ba Grm ganga t. eir geru sv, gengu t ok tku vpn sn. Ba lvir fara brott sem skjtast. Gekk lvir lei me eim til vatnsins ok margir menn me honum.

r eir Skalla-Grmr skilist, mlti lvir: "Annan veg var fr n, Grmr frndi, til konungs en ek mynda kjsa. Fsta ek ik rnjk hingatfararinnar, en n vil ek hins bija, at farir heim sem skyndiligast, ok ess me, at komir eigi fund Haralds konungs, nema betri veri stt ykkur en mr ykkir n horfast, ok gt n vel fyrir konungi ok hans mnnum."

San fru eir Grmr yfir vatnit, en eir lvir gengu ar til, er skip au vru, er upp vru sett vi vatnit, ok hjuggu sv, at ekki var frt, v at eir s mannfr ofan fr konungsbnum. Vru eir menn margir saman ok vpnair mjk ok fru siliga. menn hafi Haraldr konungr sent eftir eim til ess at drepa Grm.

Hafi konungr tekit til ora litlu sar en eir Grmr hfu t gengit, sagi sv: "at s ek skalla eim inum mikla, at hann er fullr upp lfar ok hann verr at skaa eim mnnum nkkurum, er oss mun ykkja afnm , ef hann nir. Megu r at tla, eir menn, er hann mun kalla, at skum s vi hann, at s skalli mun engan yvarn spara, ef hann kemst fri. Fari n eftir honum ok drepi hann."

San fru eir ok kmu til vatnsins ok fengu ar engi skip, au er fr vri, fru aftr san ok sgu konungi sna fer ok sv at, at eir Grmr myndi komnir yfir vatnit.

Skalla-Grmr fr lei sna ok fruneyti hans, til ess er hann kom heim. Sagi Skalla-Grmr Kveld-lfi fr fer eira. Kveld-lfr lt vel yfir v, er Grmr hafi eigi farit til konungs ess erendis at ganga til handa honum, sagi enn sem fyrr, at eir myndi af konungi hljta skaa einn, en enga uppreist.

Kveld-lfr ok Skalla-Grmr rddu oft um rager sna, ok kom at allt samt me eim, sgu sv, at eir myndi ekki mega vera ar landi heldr en arir menn, eir er stt vri vi konung, ok myndi eim hitt r at fara af landi brott, ok tti eim at fsiligt at leita til slands, v at var sagt ar vel fr landkostum. ar vru komnir vinir eira ok kunningjar, Inglfr Arnarson ok frunautar hans, ok tekit sr landskosti ok bstai slandi. Mttu menn ar nema sr lnd keypis ok velja bstai. Stafestist at helzt um rager eira, at eir myndi brega bi snu ok fara af landi brott.

rir Hraldsson hafi verit barnsku at fstri me Kveld-lfi, ok vru eir Skalla-Grmr mjk jafnaldrar. Var ar allkrt fstbrralagi. rir var orinn lendr mar konungs, er etta var tenda, en vintta eira Skalla-Grms helzt vallt.

Snemma um vrit bjuggu eir Kveld-lfr skip sn. eir hfu mikinn skipakost ok gan, bjuggu tv knrru mikla ok hfu hvrum rj tigu manna, eira er lifrir vru, ok um fram konur ok ungmenni. eir hfu me sr lausaf allt, at er eir mttu me komast, en jarir eira ori engi mar at kaupa fyrir rki konungs.

En er eir vru bnir, sigldu eir brott. eir sigldu eyjar r, er Slundir heita. at eru margar eyjar ok strar ok sv mjk vgskornar, at at er mlt, at ar munu fir menn vita allar hafnir.

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