Chapter 40 - Of Egil's and Skallagrim's games.

Skallagrim took much pleasure in trials of strength and games; he liked to talk about such. Ball-play was then a common game. Plenty of strong men there were at that time in the neighbourhood, but not one of strength to match with Skallagrim. He was now somewhat stricken in years. There was a man named Thord, son of Grani, at Granastead, who was of great promise; he was then young; very fond he was of Egil, Skallagrim's son. Egil often engaged in wrestling; he was headstrong and hot-tempered, but all had the sense to teach their sons to give way to Egil. A game of ball was held at White-river-dale in the early winter, to which was a great gathering of people from all the country-side. Thither went many of Skallagrim's household to the game. Chief among them was Thord, Grani's son. Egil asked Thord to let him go with him to the game; he was then in his seventh winter. Thord let him do so, and Egil mounted behind him. But when they came to the play-meeting, then the men made up sides for the play. Many small boys had come there too, and they made up a game for themselves. For this also sides were chosen.

Egil was matched to play against a boy named Grim, son of Hegg, of Hegg-stead. Grim was ten or eleven years old, and strong for his age. But when they played together Egil got the worst of it. And Grim made all he could of his advantage. Then Egil got angry and lifted up the bat and struck Grim, whereupon Grim seized him and threw him down with a heavy fall, and handled him rather roughly, and said he would thrash him if he did not behave. But when Egil got to his feet, he went out of the game, and the boys hooted at him.

Egil went to Thord and told him what had been done. Thord said:

'I will go with you, and we will be avenged on them.'

He gave into his hands a halberd that he had been carrying. Such weapons were then customary. They went where the boys' game was. Grim had now got the ball and was running away with it, and the other boys after him. Then Egil bounded upon Grim, and drove the axe into his head, so that it at once pierced his brain. After this Egil and Thord went away to their own people. The Myramen ran to their weapons, and so did either party. Oleif Halt, with his following, ran to help the Borgarmen, who were thus far the larger number, and they parted without doing more. But hence arose a quarrel between Oleif and Hegg. They fought at Laxfit, by Grims-river; there seven men fell, but Hegg was wounded to death, and his brother Kvig fell. But when Egil came home, Skallagrim said little about it; but Bera said Egil had in him the makings of a freebooter, and that 'twould be well, so soon as he were old enough, to give him a long-ship. Then Egil made a stave:

'Thus counselled my mother,
For me should they purchase
A galley and good oars
To go forth a-roving.
So may I high-standing,
A noble barque steering,
Hold course for the haven,
Hew down many foemen.'

When Egil was twelve years old, he was grown so big that there were but few men howso large and strong that he could not overcome in games. In his twelfth winter he was often at games. Thord Grani's son was then twenty years old; he was very strong. As the winter wore on, if often chanced that the two, Egil and Thord, were matched against Skallagrim. And once in the winter it so befell that there was ball-play at Borg, southwards in Sandvik. Thord and Egil were set against Skallagrim in the game; and he became weary before them, so that they had the best of it. But in the evening after sunset it began to go worse with Egil and his partner. Skallagrim then became so strong and he caught up Thord and dashed him down so violently that he was all bruised and at once got his bane. Then he seized Egil. Now there was a handmaid of Skallagrim's named Thorgerdr Brak, who had nursed Egil when a child; she was a big woman, strong as a man, and of magic cunning. Said Brak:

'Dost thou turn they shape-strength, Skallagrim, against thy son?'

Whereat Skallagrim let Egil loose, but clutched at her. She broke away and took to her heels with Skallagrim after her. So went they to the utmost point of Digra-ness. Then she leapt out from the rock into the water. Skallagrim hurled after her a great stone, which struck her between the shoulders, and neither ever came up again. The water there is now called Brakar-sound. But afterwards, in the evening, when they came home to Borg, Egil was very angry. Skallagrim and everybody else were set at table, but Egil had not yet come to his place. He went into the fire-hall, and up to the man who there had the overseeing of work and the management of moneys for Skallagrim, and was most dear to him. Egil dealt him his deathblow, then went to his seat. Skallagrim spoke not a word about it then, and thenceforward the matter was kept quiet. But father and son exchanged no word good or bad, and so that winter passed.

The next summer after this Thorolf came out, as was told above. And when he had been in Iceland one winter, in the spring following he made ready his ship in Brakar-sound. But when he was quite ready, then one day Egil went to his father, and asked him to give him an outfit.

'I wish,' said he, 'to go out with Thorolf.'

Skallagrim asked if he had spoken at all on that matter with Thorolf. Egil said he had not. Skallagrim bade him do that first. But when Egil started the question with Thorolf, he said:

'Tis not likely that I shall take you abroad with me; if your father thinks he cannot manage you here in his house, I have no confidence for this, to take you with me to foreign lands; for it will not do to show there such temper as you do here.'

'Maybe,' said Egil, 'neither of us will go.'

In the night came on a furious gale, a south-wester. But when it was dark, and now flood-tide, Egil came where the ship lay. He went out on to the ship, and outside the tenting; he cut asunder the cables that were on the seaward side; then, hurrying back to land by the bridge, he at once shot out the bridge, and cut the cables that were upon land. Then the ship was driven out into the firth. But when Thorolf's men were aware that the ship was adrift, they jumped into the boat; but the wind was far too strong for them to get anything done. The ship drifted over to Duck-kyle, and on the islands there; but Egil went home to Borg.

And when people got to know of the trick that Egil had played, the more part blamed it. Egil said he should before long do Thorolf more harm and mischief if he would not take him away. But then others mediated between them, and the end was that Thorolf took Egil, and he went out with him that summer.

When Thorolf came on shipboard, at once taking the axe which Skallagrim had given into his hands, he cast it overboard into the deep so that it nevermore came up. Thorolf went his way in the summer, and his voyage sped well, and they came out to Hordaland. He at once stood northwards to Sogn. There it had happened in the winter that Brynjolf had fallen sick and died, and his sons had shared the heritage. Thord had Aurland, the estate on which his father had dwelt. He had become a liege-man of the king, and was made a baron. Thord's daughter was named Rannveig, the mother of Thord and Helgi, this Thord being father if Ingiridr whom king Olaf had to wife. Helgi was father of Brynjolf, father of Serk, Sogn, and Svein.


40. kafli - Fr knattleikum. tanfr Egils.

Skalla-Grmr hendi mikit gaman at aflraunum ok leikum. Um at tti honum gott at ra. Knattleikar vru tir. Var ar sveit gott til sterkra manna ann tma, en hafi engi afl vi Skalla-Grm. Hann gerist heldr hniginn at aldri.

rr ht sonr Grana at Granastum, ok var hann inn mannvnligsti mar ok var ungum aldri. Hann var elskr at Agli Skalla-Grmssyni. Egill var mjk at glmum. Var hann kappsamr mjk ok reiinn, en allir kunnu at at kenna sonum snum, at eir vgi fyrir Agli.

Knattleikr var lagir Hvtrvllum allfjlmennr ndveran vetr. Sttu menn ar til va um hera. Heimamenn Skalla-Grms fru angat til leiks margir. rr Granason var helzt fyrir eim. Egill ba r at fara me honum til leiks. var hann sjaunda vetr. rr lt at eftir honum ok reiddi hann at baki sr.

En er eir kmu leikmtit, var mnnum skipt ar til leiks. ar var ok komit margt smsveina, ok geru eir sr annan leik. Var ar ok skipt til.

Egill hlaut at leika vi svein ann, er Grmr ht, sonr Heggs af Heggsstum. Grmr var ellifu vetra ea tu ok sterkr at jfnum aldri. En er eir lkust vi, var Egill sterkari. Grmr geri ok ann mun allan, er hann mtti. reiddist Egill ok hf upp knatttrt ok laust Grm, en Grmr tk hann hndum ok keyri hann nir fall mikit ok lk hann heldr illa ok kvest mundu meia hann, ef hann kynni sik eigi. En er Egill komst ftr, gekk hann r leiknum, en sveinarnir pu at honum.

Egill fr til fundar vi r Granason ok sagi honum, hvat hafi gerzt.

rr mlti: "Ek skal fara me r, ok skulum vit hefna honum."

Hann seldi honum hendr skeggxi eina, er rr hafi haft hendi. au vpn vru t. Ganga eir ar til, er sveinaleikrinn var. Grmr hafi hent knttinn ok rak undan, en arir sveinarnir sttu eftir. hljp Egill at Grmi ok rak xina hfu honum sv at egar st heila. eir Egill ok rr gengu brott san ok til manna sinna. Hljpu eir Mramenn til vpna ok sv hvrirtveggju. leifr hjalti hljp til eira Borgarmanna me menn, er honum fylgu. Vru eir miklu fjlmennri, ok skilust at sv gervu.

aan af hfust deildir me eim leifi ok Hegg. eir brust Laxfit vi Grms. ar fellu sjau menn, en Heggr var srr til lfis, ok Kvgr fell, brir hans.

En er Egill kom heim, lt Skalla-Grmr sr ftt um finnast, en Bera kva Egil vera vkingsefni ok kva at mundu fyrir liggja, egar hann hefi aldr til, at honum vri fengin herskip. Egill kva vsu:

      at mlti mn mir,
      at mr skyldi kaupa
      fley ok fagrar rar,
      fara brott me vkingum,
      standa upp stafni,
      stra drum knerri,
      halda sv til hafnar,
      hggva mann ok annan.

er Egill var tlf vetra gamall, var hann sv mikill vexti, at fir vru menn sv strir ok at afli bnir, at Egill ynni eigi flesta menn leikum.

ann vetr, er honum var inn tlfti, var hann mjk at leikum. rr Granason var tvtugs aldri. Hann var sterkr at afli. at var oft, er lei vetrinn, at eim Agli ok ri tveimr var skipt mti Skalla-Grmi.

at var eitt sinn um vetrinn, er lei, at knattleikr var at Borg sur Sandvk. vru eir rr mti Skalla-Grmi leiknum, ok mddist hann fyrir eim, ok gekk eim lttara. En um kveldit eftir slarfall, tk eim Agli verr at ganga. Gerist Grmr sv sterkr, at hann greip r upp ok keyri nir sv hart, at hann lamist allr, ok fekk hann egar bana. San greip hann til Egils.

orgerr brk ht ambtt Skalla-Grms. Hon hafi fstrat Egil barnsku. Hon var mikil fyrir sr, sterk sem karlar ok fjlkunnig mjk.

Brk mlti: "Hamast n, Skalla-Grmr, at syni num."

Skalla-Grmr lt lausan Egil, en reif til hennar. Hon brst vi ok rann undan, en Skalla-Grmr eftir. Fru au sv tanvert Digranes. hljp hon t af bjarginu sund. Skalla-Grmr kastai eftir henni steini miklum ok setti milli hera henni, ok kom hvrtki upp san. ar er n kallat Brkarsund.

En eftir um kveldit, er eir kmu heim til Borgar, var Egill allreir. En er Skalla-Grmr hafi setzt undir bor ok ala manna, var Egill eigi kominn sti sitt. gekk hann inn eldahs ok at eim manni, er ar hafi verkstjrn ok fjrforr me Skalla-Grmi ok honum var krstr. Egill hj hann banahgg ok gekk san til stis sns. En Skalla-Grmr rddi ekki um, ok var at ml aan af kyrrt, en eir fegar rddust ekki vi, hvrki gott n illt, ok fr sv fram ann vetr.

En it nsta sumar eftir kom rlfr t, sem fyrr var sagt. En er hann hafi verit einn vetr slandi, bj hann eftir um vrit skip sitt Brkarsundi.

En er hann var albinn, var at einn dag, at Egill gekk til fundar vi fur sinn ok ba hann f sr fararefni. "Vil ek," sagi hann, "fara tan me rlfi."

Grmr spuri, ef hann hefi nkkut at ml rtt fyrir rlfi. Egill segir, at at var ekki. Grmr ba hann at fyrst gera.

En er Egill vaki at ml vi rlf, kva hann ess enga vn, - "at ek muna ik flytja me mr brott. Ef fair inn ykkist eigi mega um ik tla hr hblum snum, ber ek eigi traust til ess at hafa ik tanlendis me mr, v at r mun at ekki hla at hafa ar slkt skaplyndi sem hr."

"Vera m," sagi Egill, "at fari hvrrgi okkarr."

Um nttina eftir geri iver, tsynning. En um nttina, er myrkt var ok fl var sjvar, kom Egill ar ok gekk fyrir tan tjldin. Hj hann sundr festar r, er tbora vru. Gekk hann egar sem skjtast upp um bryggjuna, skaut t egar bryggjunni ok hj r festar, er land upp vru. Rak t skipit fjrinn. En er eir rlfr uru varir vi, er skipit rak, hljpu eir btinn, en verit var miklu hvassara en eir fengi nkkut at gert. Rak skipit yfir til Andakls ok ar eyrar upp, en Egill fr heim til Borgar.

En er menn uru varir vi brag at, er Egill hafi gert, lstuu at flestir. Hann sagi, at hann skyldi skammt til lta at gera rlfi meiri skaa ok spellvirki, ef hann vildi eigi flytja hann brott. En ttu menn hlut at milli eira, ok kom sv at lykum, at rlfr tk vi Agli, ok fr hann tan me honum um sumarit.

egar rlfr kom til skips, er hann hafi tekit vi xi eiri, er Skalla-Grmr hafi fengit hendr honum, kastai hann xinni fyrir bor djpi, sv at hon kom ekki upp san.

rlfr fr ferar sinnar um sumarit ok greiddist vel um hafit, ok kmu tan at Hralandi. Stefnir rlfr egar norr til Sogns. En ar hfu au tendi orit um vetrinn, at Brynjlfr hafi andazt af stt, en synir hans hfu skipt arfi. Hafi rr Aurland, b ann, er fair eira hafi bit . Hafi hann gerzt konungi handgenginn ok gerzt lendr mar.

Dttir rar ht Rannveig, mir eira rar ok Helga. rr var fair Rannveigar, mur Ingirar, er tti lfr konungr. Helgi var fair Brynjlfs, fur eira Serks r Sogni ok Sveins.

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