Chapter 68 - Arinbjörn pays Ljót's holdings over to Egil.
Egil after Yule-tide was taken with much sadness that he spake not a word. And when Arinbjorn perceived this he began to talk with Egil,
and asked what this sadness meant. 'I wish,' said he, 'you would let me know whether you are sick, or anything ails you, that I may find a remedy.'
Egil said: 'Sickness of body I have none; but I have much anxiety about this, how I shall get that property which I won when I slew Ljot the Pale northwards
in Mæra. I am told that the king's stewards have taken up all that property, and claimed ownership thereof for the king. Now I would fain have your help in
the recovery of this.'
Arinbjorn: 'I do not think your claim to the ownership of that property is against the law of the land; yet methinks the property is now come into strong
keeping. The king's treasury hath a wide entrance, but a narrow exit. We have urged many arduous claims of money against powerful persons, but we were in
more confidence with the king than now; for the friendship between me and king Hacon is shallow; yet must I act after the old saw: He must tend the oak
who is to dwell beneath it.'
'Yet,' said Egil, 'my mind is that, if we have law to show, we should try. Maybe the king will grant us right in this, for I am told that the king is just,
and keeps well to the laws which he has made here in the land. I am rather minded to go seek the king and try the matter with him.'
Arinbjorn said that he did not desire this. 'I think, Egil, that these things will be hard to reconcile, your eagerness and daring, and the king's temper
and power. For I deem him to be no friend of yours, and for good reason as he thinks. I would rather that we let this matter drop, and did not take it up.
But if you wish it, Egil, I will rather myself go to the king and moot the question.'
Egil said that he thanked him heartily, and would choose it to be so.
Hacon was then in Rogaland, but at times in Hordaland; there was no difficulty in finding him. And not long after this talk Arinbjorn made ready for his
journey. It was then publicly known that he purposed to seek the king. He manned with his house-carles a twenty-oared galley that he had. Egil was to stay
at home; Arinbjorn would not have him go. Arinbjorn started when ready, and his journey went well; he found king Hacon, and was well received.
And when he had been there a little while, he declared his errand before the king, and said that Egil Skallagrimsson was come there in the land, and thought
he had a claim to all that property that had belonged to Ljot the Pale. 'We are told, O king, that Egil pleads but law in this; but your stewards have taken
up the property, and claimed ownership for you. I would pray you, my lord, that Egil may get law herein.'
The king was slow to speak, but at length answered: 'I know not, Arinbjorn, why thou comest with such pleading for Egil. He came once before me, and I told
him that I would not have him sojourn here in the land, for reasons which ye already know. Now Egil must not set up such claim before me ad he did before my
brother Eric. And to thee, Arinbjorn, I have this to say, that thou mayest be here in the land only so long as thou preferrest not foreigners before me and
my word; for I know that thy heart is with Harold son of Eric, thy foster-son; and this is thy best choice, to go to those brothers and be with them; for I
strongly suspect that men like thee will be ill to trust to, if I and Eric's sons ever have to try conclusions.'
And when the king had so spoken, Arinbjorn saw that it would not do to plead this cause any further with him; so he prepared to return home. The king was
rather sullen and gloomy towards Arinbjorn after he knew his errand; but Arinbjorn was not in the mood to humble himself before the king about this matter.
And so they parted.
Arinbjorn went home and told Egil the issue of his errand. 'I will not,' said he, 'again plead such a cause to the king.'
Egil at this report frowned much; he thought he had lost much wealth, and wrongfully. A few days after, early one morning when Arinbjorn was in his chamber
and few men were present, he had Egil called thither; and when he came, then Arinbjorn had a chest opened, and weighed out forty marks of silver, adding
these words: 'This money I pay you, Egil, for those lands which belonged to Ljot the Pale. I deem it just that you should have this reward from me and my
kinsman Fridgeir for saving his life from Ljot; for I know that you did this for love of me. I therefore am bound not to let you be cheated of your lawful
right in this matter.'
Egil took the money, and thanked Arinbjorn. Then Egil again became quite cheerful.
68. kafli - Arinbjörn geldr Agli jarðir Ljóts.
Egill fekk ógleði mikla eftir jólin, svá at hann kvað eigi orð. Ok er Arinbjörn fann þat, þá tók hann ræðu við Egil ok spurði,
hverju þat gegndi, ógleði sú, er hann hafði. "Vil ek," segir hann, "at þú látir mik vita, hvárt þú ert sjúkr eða berr annat til. Megum vér þá
bætr á vinna."
Egill segir: "Engar hefi ek kvellisóttir, en áhyggjur hefi ek miklar um þat, hversu ek skal ná fé því, er ek vann til, þá er ek fellda Ljót inn
bleika norðr á Mæri. Mér er sagt, at ármenn konungs hafi þat fé allt upp tekit ok kastat á konungs eigu. Nú vil ek þar til hafa þitt liðsinni um
Arinbjörn segir: "Ekki ætla ek þat fjarri lands lögum, at þú eignaðist fé þat, en þó þykkir mér nú fét fastliga komit. Er konungsgarðr rúmr
inngangs, en þröngr brottfarar. Hafa oss orðit margar torsóttar fjárheimtur við ofreflismennina, ok sátum vér þá í meira trausti við konung en
nú er, því at vinátta okkur Hákonar konungs stendr grunnt, þó at ek verða svá at gera sem fornkveðit orð er, at þá verðr eik at fága, er undir
"Þar leikr þó minn hugr á," segir Egill, "ef vér höfum lög at mæla, at vér freistim. Má svá vera, at konungr unni oss hér af rétts, því at mér er
sagt, at konungr sé maðr réttlátr ok haldi vel lög þau, er hann setr hér í landi. Telst mér þat helzt í hug, at ek muna fara á fund konungs ok freista
þessa mála við hann."
Arinbjörn segir, at hann var ekki fúss þess. "Þykkir mér sem því muni óhægt saman at koma, Egill, kappi þínu ok dirfð, en skaplyndi konungs ok ríki
hans, því at ek hygg hann vera engan vin þinn, ok þykkja honum þó sakar til vera. Vil ek heidr, at vit látim þetta mál niðr falla ok hefim eigi upp.
En ef þú vill þat, Egill, þá skal ek heldr fara á fund konungs með þessi málaleitan."
Egill segir, at hann kynni þess mikla þökk ok aufúsu ok hann vill þenna kost gjarna. Hákon var þá á Rogalandi, en stundum á Hörðalandi. Varð ekki
torsótt at sækja hans fund. Var þat ok eigi miklu síðar en ræðan hafði verit.
Arinbjörn bjó ferð sína. Var þá gert ljóst fyrir mönnum, at hann ætlaði til konungs fundar. Skipaði hann húskörlum sínum tvítugsessu, er hann átti.
Egill skyldi heima vera. Vildi Arinbjörn eigi, at hann færi. Fór Arinbjörn þá, er hann var búinn, ok fórst honum vel. Fann hann Hákon konung ok fekk þar
Ok er hann hafði litla hríð dvalizt þar, bar hann upp erendi sín við konung ok segir, at Egill Skalla-Grímsson er þar kominn til lands ok hann þóttist
eiga fé þat allt, er átt hafði Ljótr inn bleiki. "Er oss svá sagt, konungr, at Egill muni lög mæla um þetta, en fét hafa tekit upp ármenn yðrir ok kastat
á yðvarri eigu. Vil ek yðr þess biðja, herra, at Egill nái þar af lögum."
Konungr svarar hans máli ok tók seint til orða: "Eigi veit ek, hví þú gengr með slíku máli fyrir hönd Egils. Kom hann eitt sinn á minn fund, ok sagða ek
honum, at ek ekki vilda hér í landi vistir hans af þeim sökum, sem yðr er áðr kunnigt. Nú þarf Egill ekki at hefja upp slíkt tilkall við mik sem við
Eirík, bróður minn. En þér, Arinbjörn, er þat at segja, at þú svá megir vera hér í landi, at þú metir eigi meira útlenda menn en mik eða mín orð, því
at ek veit, at hugir þínir standa þar til, er Haraldr er Eiríksson, fóstrson þinn, ok er þér sá kostr beztr at fara til fundar við þá bræðr ok vera með
þeim, því at mér er mikill grunr á, at mér muni slíkir menn illir tiltaks, ef þat þarf at reyna um skipti vár sona Eiríks."
Ok er konungr tók þessu máli svá þvert, þá sá Arinbjörn, at ekki myndi tjá at leita þeira mála við hann. Bjóst hann þá til heimferðar. Konungr var heldr
styggr ok óblíðr til Arinbjarnar, síðan hann vissi erendi hans. Arinbjörn hafði þá ok ekki skaplyndi til at mjúklæta sik við konung um þetta mál. Skilðust
þeir við svá búit.
Fór Arinbjörn heim ok sagði Agli erendislok sín. "Mun ek eigi slíkra mála oftar leita við konung."
Egill varð allófrýnn við þessa sogu, þóttist þar mikils fjár missa ok eigi at réttu.
Fám dögum síðar var þat snemma einn morgin, þá er Arinbjörn var í herbergi sínu, - var þar þá ekki margt manna, - þá lét hann kalla þangat Egil, ok er
hann kom þar, þá lét Arinbjörn lúka upp kistu ok reiddi þar ór fjóra tigu marka silfrs ok mælti svá: "Þetta fé geld ek þér, Egill, fyrir jarðir þær, er
Ljótr inn bleiki hafði átt. Þykkir mér þat sannligt, at þú hafir þessi laun af okkr Friðgeiri frændum fyrir þat, er þú leystir líf hans af Ljóti, en ek
veit, at þú lézt mín at njóta. Em ek því skyldr at láta þik eigi lögræning af því máli."
Egill tók við fénu ok þakkaði Arinbirni. Gerðist Egill þá enn einteiti.