Chapter 49 - Slaying of Thorvald Proud.

Eyvind Skreyja and Alf were the names of two brothers of Gunnhilda, sons of Auzur Toti. They were tall and strong, and great traders. They were then made much of by king Eric and Gunnhilda. Not generally liked were they; at this time they were young, but fully grown to manhood. It so befell in the spring that a great sacrifice was fixed to be held in the summer at Gaular. Here was the most renowned chief temple. Thither flocked numbers from the firths and from the fells, and from Sogn, and almost all the great men. King Eric went thither. Then spoke Gunnhilda with her brothers: 'I would fain that you two should so manage matters in this crowded gathering, that ye get to slay one of the two sons of Skallagrim, or, better still, both.'

They said it should be done.

Lord Thorir made ready to go thither. He called Arinbjorn to speak with him. 'Now will I,' said he, 'go to the sacrifice, but I will not that Egil go thither. I know the craft of Gunnhilda, the vehemence of Egil, the power of the king; no easy task were it to watch these all at once. But Egil will not let himself be hindered, unless you stay behind. Now Thorolf and the rest of his company shall go with me; Thorolf shall sacrifice and pray for happiness for his brother as well as himself.'

Whereupon Arinbjorn told Egil that he meant to stay at home; 'and you shall be with me,' said he.

Egil agreed that it should be so.

But Thorir and the rest went to sacrifice, and a very great multitude was there, and there was much drinking. Thorolf went with Thorir wheresoever he went, and they never were apart day or night. Eyvind told Gunnhilda that he could get no chance at Thorolf. She bade him then slay some one of Thorolf's men rather than let everything fail.

It chanced one evening, when the king had gone to rest, as had also Thorir and Thorolf, but Thorfid and Thorvald still sate up, that the two brothers Eyvind and Alf came and sat down by them, and were very merry. First they drank as one drinking-party; but presently it came to this, that each should drink half a horn, Eyvind and Thorvald being paired together to drink, and Alf and Thorfid.

Now as the evening wore on there was unfair drinking; next followed bandying of words, then insulting language. Then Eyvind jumped up, drew a sword, and thrust at Thorvald, dealing him a wound that was his death. Whereupon up jumped on either side the king's men and Thorir's house-carles. But men were all weaponless in there, because it was sanctuary. Men went between and parted them who were most furious; nor did anything more happen that evening.

Eyvind had slain a man on holy ground; he was therefore made accursed, and had to go abroad at once. The king offered a fine for the man; but Thorolf and Thorfid said they never had taken man-fine, and would not take this. With that they parted. Thorir and his company went home. King Eric and Gunnhilda sent Eyvind south to Denmark to king Harold Gormsson, for he might not now abide on Norwegian soil. The king received him and his comrades well: Eyvind brought to Denmark a large war-ship. He then appointed Eyvind to be his coastguard there against freebooters, for Eyvind was a right good warrior.

In the spring following that winter Thorolf and Egil made them ready to go again a-freebooting. And when ready, they again stood for the eastern way. But when they came to Vik, they sailed then south along Jutland, and harried there; then went to Friesland, where they stayed for a great part of the summer; but then stood back for Denmark. But when they came to the borderland where Denmark and Friesland meet, and lay by the land there, so it was that one evening when they on shipboard were preparing for sleep, two men came to Egil's ship, and said they had an errand to him. They were brought before him. They said that Aki the wealthy had sent them thither with this message: 'Eyvind Skreyja is lying out off Jutland-side, and thinks to waylay you as you come from the south. And he has gathered such large force as ye cannot withstand if ye encounter it all at once; but he himself goes with two light vessels, and he is even now here close by you.'

But when these tidings came before Egil, at once he and his took down their tenting. He bade them go silently; they did so. They came at dawn to where Eyvind and his men lay at anchor; they set upon them at once, hurling both stones and spears. Many of Eyvind's force fell there; but he himself leapt overboard and got to land by swimming, as did all those of his men who escaped. But Egil took his ships, cargo, and weapons.

They went back that day to their own company, and met Thorolf. He asked wither Egil had gone, and where he had gotten those ships with which they came. Egil said that Eyvind Skreyja had had the ships, but they had taken them from him. Then sang Egil:

      'In struggle sternly hard
      We strove off Jutland-side:
      Well did the warrior fight,
      Warder of Denmark's realm.
      Till, with his wights o'erborne,
      Eastwards from wave-horse high
      To swim and seek the sand
      Swift Eyvind Skreyja leapt.'

Thorolf said: 'Herein ye have so wrought, methinks, that it will not serve us as our autumn plan to go to Norway.'

Egil said it was quite as well, though they should seek some other place.

 



49. kafli - Drp orvalds ofsa ok hefnd Egils.

Eyvindr skreyja ok lfr askmar htu brr Gunnhildar, synir zurar tta. eir vru menn miklir ok allsterkir ok kappsmenn miklir. eir hfu mest yfirlt af Eirki konungi ok Gunnhildi. Ekki vru eir menn okkaslir af alu, vru ungum aldri ok fullkomnir at roska.

at var um vrit, at blt mikit skyldi vera at sumri Gaulum. at var gzt hfuhof. Stti angat fjlmenni mikit r Fjrum ok Fjlum ok r Sogni ok flest allt strmenni. Eirkr konungr fr angat.

mlti Gunnhildr vi brr sna: "at vil ek, at it hagi sv til fjlmenni essu, at it fi drepit annan hvrn eira sona Skalla-Grms, ok bazt, at bir vri."

eir sgu, at sv skyldi vera.

rir hersir bjst til ferar eirar. Hann kallai Arinbjrn til mls vi sik. "N mun ek," sagi hann, "fara til bltsins, en ek vil ekki, at Egill fari angat. Ek kann rum Gunnhildar, en kappsem Egils, en rki konungs, at ess mun eigi hgt at gta alls saman. En Egill mun ekki letjast lta, nema sr eftir. En rlfr skal fara me mr," sagi hann, "ok arir eir frunautar. Skal rlfr blta ok leita heilla eim brrum."

San sagi Arinbjrn Agli, at hann mun heima vera - "ok vit bir," sagi hann. Egill kva sv vera skyldu.

En eir rir fru til bltsins, ok var ar allmikit fjlmenni ok drykkjur miklar. rlfr fr me ri, hvar sem hann fr, ok skilust aldregi dag n ntt. Eyvindr sagi Gunnhildi, at hann fekk ekki fri vi rlf.

Hon ba hann drepa einhvern manna hans, - "heldr en allt beri undan."

at var eitt kveld, er konungr var til svefns genginn ok sv eir rir ok rlfr, en eir stu eftir orfir ok orvaldr, kmu eir ar brr, Eyvindr ok lfr, ok settust hj eim ok vru allktir, drukku fyrst sveitardrykkju. kom ar, at horn skyldi drekka til hlfs. Drukku eir saman Eyvindr ok orvaldr, en lfr ok orfir. En er lei kveldit, var drukkit vi sleitur ok v nst orahnippingar ok stryri. hljp Eyvindr upp ok br saxi einu ok lagi orvaldi, sv at at var rit banasr. San hljpu upp hvrirtveggju, konungsmenn ok hskarlar ris, en menn vru allir vpnlausir inni, v at ar var hofshelgi, ok gengu menn milli ok skilu , er astir vru. Var ekki fleira til tenda at kveld.

Eyvindr hafi vegit vum, ok var hann vargr orinn, ok var hann egar brott at fara. Konungr bau btr fyrir manninn, en rlfr ok orfir sgu, at eir hfu aldregi tekit mannbtr ok eir, vildu ekki r taka, skilust at sv bnu. Fru eir rir heim.

Eirkr konungr ok au Gunnhildr sendu Eyvind sur til Danmerkr til Haralds konungs Gormssonar, v at hann mtti eigi vera norrnum lgum. Konungrinn tk vel vi honum ok fruneyti hans. Eyvindr hafi til Danmarkar langskip allmikit. San setti konungr Eyvind ar til landvarnar fyrir vkingum. Eyvindr var hermar inn mesti.

En er vr kom eftir vetr ann, bast eir rlfr ok Egill enn at fara vking. En er eir vru bnir, halda eir enn Austrveg. En er eir koma Vkina, sigla eir sur fyrir Jtland ok herja ar, ok fara eir til Frslands ok dveljast mjk lengi um sumarit, en halda eir enn aftr til Danmerkr.

En er eir koma til landamris, ar er mtist Danmrk ok Frsland, ok lgu vi land, var at eitt kveld, er menn bjuggust til svefns skipum, at menn tveir kmu skip Egils ok sgu, at eir ttu vi hann erendi. Var eim fylgt til hans.

eir segja, at ki inn augi hafi sent angat me eim erendum, at - "Eyvindr skreyja liggr ti fyrir Jtlandssu ok tlar at sta yr, er r fari sunnan, ok hefir hann li mikit saman dregit, sv at r hafi engi hld vi, ef r hitti li hans allt. En hann sjlfr ferr me lttiskipum tveimr ok er n hr skammt fr yr."

En er tendi essi kmu fyrir Egil, lta eir egar af sr tjldin, ba fara hljliga. eir geru sv. eir kmu dgun at eim Eyvindi, ar er eir lgu um akkeri, lgu egar at eim, ltu ganga bi grjt ok vpn. Fell ar li margt af Eyvindi, en hann sjlfr hljp fyrir bor ok komst me sundi til lands ok sv allt at li, er undan komst. En eir Egill tku skipin ok ft eira ok vpn, fru aftr um daginn til lis sns, hittu rlf. Spyrr hann, hvert Egill hafi farit ea hvar hann hafi fengit skip au, er eir fara me. Egill segir, at Eyvindr skreyja hafi haft skipin ok eir hfu af honum tekit. kva Egill:

      Gerum helzti hara
      hr fyr Jtlands su.
      Barisk vel, ss vari,
      vkingr, Dana rki,
      r sund fyr sandi
      snarfengr me li drengja
      austr af unnar hesti
      Eyvindr of hljp skreyja.

rlfr segir: "etta tla ek yr sv hafa gert, at oss mun ekki haustlangt r at fara til Nregs."

Egill sagi, at at var vel, tt eir leitai annan sta.




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