Chapter 45 - Flight of Egil.
Egil went in the night and sought the places where boats were. But wheresoever he came to the strand, men were always there before him.
He went thus through the whole night, and found never a boat. But when day dawned, he was standing on a certain ness. He saw then another island, and
between him and it lay a very wide sound. This was then his counsel: he took helmet, sword, and spear, breaking off the spear-shaft and casting it out
into the sea; but the weapons he wrapped round in his cloak and made thereof a bundle which he bound on his back. Then he plunged into the water, nor
stayed his swimming till he came to the island. It was called Sheppey; it was an island of no great size covered with brushwood. There were cattle on it,
both sheep and oxen, belonging to Atla-isle. But when he came to the island, he wrung his clothes dry.
By this time it was broad daylight, and the sun was risen. King Eric had Atla-island well searched as soon as it was light; this took some
time, the island being large, and Egil was not found. Then the king made them row to other islands and seek him. It was evening when twelve men rowed to
Sheppey. They were to look for Egil, and had also to bring from thence some cattle for slaughter. Egil saw the boat coming to the island; he then lay down
and hid himself in the brushwood before the boat came to land. They left three men behind with the boat; but nine went up, and they separated into three
search parties, with three in each. But when a rise in the ground was between them and the boat, then Egil stood up (having before got his weapons ready),
and made straight across for the sea, and then along the shore. They who guarded the boat were not aware of it till Egil was upon them. He at once smote one
with a death-blow; but another took to his heels, and he had to leap up something of a bank. Egil followed him with a blow cutting off his foot. The third man
leapt out into the boat, and pushed off with the pole. Egil drew the boat to him with the rope, and leapt out into it. Few blows were exchanged ere Egil slew
him, and pushed him overboard. Then he took oars and rowed the boat away. He went all that night and the day after, nor stayed till he came to lord Thorir's.
As for Aulvir and his comrades, the king let them go in peace, as guiltless in this matter.
But the men who were in Sheppey were there for many nights, and killed cattle for food, and made a fire and cooked them, and piled a large
fuel-heap on the side of the island looking towards Atla-isle, and set fire thereto, and let folk know their plight. When that was seen, men rowed out to
them, and brought to land those who yet lived.
The king was by this time gone away; he went to another banquet.
But of Aulvir there is this to be told, that he reached home before Egil, and Thorolf and Thorir had come home even before that. Aulvir told
the tidings, the slaying of Bard and the rest that had there befallen, but of Egil's goings since he knew nothing. Thorolf was much grieved hereat, as also
was Arinbjorn; they thought that Egil would return nevermore. But the next morning Egil came home. Which when Thorolf knew, he rose up and went out to meet
him, and asked in what way he had escaped, and what tidings had befallen in his journey. Then Egil recited this stave:
'From Norway king's keeping,
From craft of Gunnhilda,
So I freed me (nor flaunt I The feat overbold),
That three, whom but I wot not,
The warrior king's liege-men,
Lie dead, to the high hall
Of Hela downsped.'
Arinbjorn spoke well of this work, and said to his father that he would be bound to atone Egil with the king.
Thorir said, 'It will be the common verdict that Bard got his desert in being slain; yet hath Egil wrought too much after the way of his kin,
in looking little before him and braving a king's wrath, which most men find a heavy burden. However, I will atone you, Egil, with the king for this time.'
Thorir went to find the king, but Arinbjorn remained at home and declared that one lot should befall them all. But when Thorir came to the
king, he offered terms for Egil, his own bail, while the king should doom the fine. King Eric was very wroth, and it was hard to come to speech with him; he
said that what his father had said would prove true - that family would never be trustworthy. He bade Thorir arrange it thus: 'Though I accept some atonement,
Egil shall not be long harboured in my realm. But for the sake of thy intercession, Thorir, I will take a money fine for this man.' The king fixed such fine
as he thought fit; Thorir paid it all and went home.
45. kafli - Þórir hersir nær sætt fyrir Egil.
Egill fór nú um nóttina ok leitaði þar til, er skipin váru, en hvar sem hann kom til strandar, þá var þar allt menn fyrir. Hann fór nótt
þá alla ok fekk hvergi skip.
En er lýsa tók, var hann staddr á nesi nökkuru. Hann sá þá ey eina, ok var þar sund í milli ok furðuliga langt. Þá var þat ráð hans, at hann
tók hjálminn, sverð ok spjót ok braut þat af skafti ok skaut því á sæ út, en vápnin vafði hann í yfirhöfn sinni ok gerði sér af bagga ok batt á bak sér. Þá
hljóp hann á sund ok létti eigi fyrr en hann kom til eyjarinnar. Hon hét Sauðey ok var ekki mikil ey ok hrísótt. Þar var í fénaðr, naut ok sauðir, ok lá þat
til Atleyjar. En er hann kom til eyjarinnar, vatt hann klæði sín. Þá var dagr ljóss ok sól farin.
Eiríkr konungr lét rannsaka eyna, þegar ljóst var. Þat var seint, er eyin var mikil, ok fannst Egill eigi. Var þá farit á skipi til annarra
eyja at leita hans.
Þat var um kveldit, at tólf menn reru til Sauðeyjar at leita Egils, en þó váru margar eyjar nær. Hann sá skipit, er fór til eyjarinnar, en
níu gengu upp ok skiptu leitum. Egill hafði lagizt niðr í hrísit ok falst, áðr skipit kom at landi.
Nú gengu þrír í hverja leit, en þrír gættu skips. Ok er leiti bar í milli þeira ok skipsins, þá stóð Egill upp ok gekk til skipsins. En þeir,
er skipsins gættu, fundu eigi fyrr en Egill var kominn at þeim. Hann hjó einn þegar banahögg, en annarr tók á rás, ok var þar at hlaupa á brekku nökkura. Egill
hjó eftir honum ok af fótinn. En einn hljóp á skipit ok stakk við forkinum, en Egill dró at sér festina ok hljóp út á skipit, ok skiptust þeir eigi lengi
höggum við, áðr Egill drap hann ok rak hann útbyrðis. Þá tók hann árar ok reri á brott skipinu. Fór hann þá nótt alla ok daginn eftir ok létti eigi fyrr en
hann kom til Þóris hersis. En Ölvi ok förunauta hans lét konungr fara í friði af þessum sökum.
En þeir menn, er í Sauðey váru, þá váru þeir þar margar nætr ok drápu fé til matar sér, tóku eld ok gerðu seyði. Þeir gerðu svá mikit, at sjá
mátti heim, lögðu þá eld í ok gerðu vita. En er þat var sét, þá var róit til þeira. Konungr var þá í brott. Fór hann þá til annarrar veizlu.
Þeir Ölvir kómu fyrr heim en Egill, ok váru þeir Þórir ok Þórólfr nýkomnir heim frá brullaupinu. Ölvir sagði tíðendi, dráp Bárðar ok þá
atburði, er þar höfðu orðit, en hann vissi ekki til ferða Egils, ok var Þórólfr allókátr ok svá Arinbjörn. Þótti þeim sem hann myndi eigi aftr koma. En eftir
um morgininn kom Egill heim. En er Þórólfr varð þess víss, þá stóð hann upp ok gekk til fundar við Egil ok spurði, með hverjum hætti hann hefði undan komizt
ok hvat til tíðenda hefði orðit í för hans. Þá kvað Egill vísu:
Svá hefk leystsk ór Lista
né fágak dul drjúgan,
dáðmildr ok Gunnhildar,
at þrifreynis þjónar
þrír nakkvarir Hlakkar
til hásalar Heljar
helgengnir för dvelja.
Arinbjörn lét vel yfir þessum verkum, sagði föður sinn skyldan vera til at sætta hann við konung.
Þórir segir: "Þat mun vera mál manna, at Bárðr hefði verðleika til þess, er hann var drepinn, en þó er Agli of mjök ættgengt at sjást of lítt
fyrir at verða fyrir reiði konungs, en þat verðr flestum mönnum þungbært. En þó mun ek koma þér í sætt við konung at sinni."
Þórir fór á fund konungs, en Arinbjörn var heima ok kvað eitt skyldu yfir þá líða alla. En er Þórir kom á fund konungs, þá bauð hann boð fyrir
Egil, bauð festu sína, en dóm konungs. Eiríkr konungr var inn reiðasti, ok var óhægt ráðum við hann at koma.
Konungr mælti ok kvað þat mundu sannast, er faðir hans hafði sagt, at seint myndi mega tryggja þá frændr, bað Þóri svá til haga, - "þótt ek
gera sætt nökkura, at Egill sé ekki langvistum í mínu ríki. En sakar þín, Þórir, mun ek fé taka fyrir menn þessa."
Gerði konungr fésekð slíka, sem honum sýndist, en Þórir galt allt. Fór hann þá heim.