Chapter 71 - Egil met rm the Farmer

Egil with three comrades made him ready for the journey. They had horses and sledges, and so had the king's men. There was then deep snow, and all the roads were effaced. They betook them to their journey when they were ready, and sledged up the land; and when they came eastwards near Eida, it happened one night that so much fresh snow fell that they could not see the way. On the morrow they traveled slowly, because there were snowdrifts directly one left the track. And as the day wore on they stopped to bait their horses; this was near a wooded ridge. Then spoke the king's men with Egil: 'Here now the roads divide; forward below the ridge dwells a landowner named Arnold, our friend; we with our party will go and lodge there. But you shall go yonder up the ridge, and when you come over it you will soon have before you a large house where you are sure of lodging. A wealthy man dwells there, Armod Beard by name. But to-morrow early we will again join company and go on the next evening to Eida-wood. There dwells a worthy landowner named Thorfinn.'

Upon this they separated, Egil and his men going up the ridge. But of the king's men this is to be told, that no sooner were they and Egil out of sight of each other, than they took their snow-shoes (which they had brought with them) and put them on; then they retraced their way as fast as they could. Night and day they travelled, and turned toward Upland, thence north by the Dovre-fell, nor stayed they till they came before king Hacon, and told him of their journey, how it had sped.

Egil and his comrades crossed the ridge that evening. To be brief, so soon as they left the main road and got upon the ridge, they found deep snow, steep rocks, tangled copsewood. Now and again in the snow the horses so plunged and lay that they had to be pulled up out of it, and over rocks and crags was a hard struggle. Much ado had they with the horses; but the walking for the men was of the heaviest, and sorely wearied were they when they came off the ridge and saw before them a large house, for which they made.

And when they came to the enclosure, they saw men standing outside, Armod and some of his household. They exchanged words and asked each other's tidings, and when Armod knew that they were messengers of the king, he offered them lodging. This they accepted. Armod's house-carles took their horses and harness; but the master bade Egil go into the hall, and they did so.

Armod made Egil sit in the high seat on the lower bench, and his comrades outside him. They spoke much of what a toilsome way they had come that evening, but the house-carles thought it a great marvel that they had won through it at all; it was, they said, no road for man even were it free of snow.

Then said Armod: 'Think ye not this were the best hospitality, that a table should be set for you and supper given you now, and then you should sleep? This will best rest you.'

'We should like this right well,' said Egil.

So Armod had a table set for them, whereon were placed large bowls full of curds. Then said Armod that he was sorry he had no beer to give them. Egil and his men were very thirsty from weariness; they took up the bowls and drank the curds eagerly, Egil drinking far the most. No other food was brought.

The household was numerous. The mistress sat on the cross-bench, and beside her the other women. The master's daughter, ten or eleven years old, was running about the hall-floor. The mistress called her to her side, and spoke in her ear. Then the girl went out to where Egil sat, and recited a verse:

      'To thee with this message
      My mother doth send me,
      To bear word that Egil
      Be wary and wait.
      "So temper thy stomach,"
      Thus sayeth our lady,
      "With fare far more worthy
      Soon feed we our guests."'

Armod struck the girl, and bade her hold her tongue: 'You are always,' said he, 'saying what least suits.'

The girl went away; but Egil threw down the curd-bowl, which was now nearly empty. The bowls were then removed from them.

And now the household took their seats, and tables were set all round the hall, and food served; dishes of meat were brought in and set before Egil and the rest. After this ale was borne in, beer of the strongest. Soon they began to drink bumpers, each man was to drink off the horn; and especial care was taken that Egil and his companions should drink hard. Egil drank without shirking a drop for a long while, but when his companions were become helpless, then he drank for them what they could not. So matters went on till the tables were removed, and by then all in the room were well drunk.

But before each cup that he drank Armod said: 'I drink to you, Egil,' and the house-carles drank to Egil's companions with the same preface. A man was appointed to bear every cup to Egil's party, and he urged them to drink it off quick. Egil told his companions to drink no more, but himself drank for them what they could not avoid.

Egil soon found that it would not do for him to go on so. Wherefore he stood up, went across the floor to where Armod sat, took him with his hands by the shoulders, and forced him back against the inner posts, and spat in his face. Wherefore he stood up, walked across the floor to Armod, put both hands on his shoulders and pressed him up against the pillar, then heaved up a vomit of massive proportions that gushed all over Armod's face, into his eyes, nostrils and mouth, and flooded down his chest so that he was almost suffocated. When he recovered his breath he spewed up and all of his servants there began to swear at Egil.

What he'd just done, they said, made him the lowest of the low, and if he'd wanted to vomit he should have gone outside, not made a fool of himself inside the drinking hall.

'I shouldn't be blamed by anyone for this,' said Egil, 'I'm only doing the same as the farmer. He's spewing with all his might, just like me.'

Then Egil went back to his seat, sat down and asked for a drink. After that he recited this verse at the top of his voice:

      'With my spew I swear
      Thanks for your sociability!
      We have witnesses that
      I could walk the floor:
      Many a guest's gift
      Is even more gushing:
      Now the ale has ended up
      All over Armod.'

Armod jumped to his feet and ran out, but Egil asked for something more to drink. The housewife told the man who had been serving all evening to carry on as long as they wanted to drink, and make sure they had enough. The man took a great ox-horn, filled it and gave it to Egil, who swilled it down in one draught. Then he said:

      'Let's swallow each swig
      This sailor keeps serving;
      The bard is kept busy
      With barely a break:
      Not a lick shall I leave
      Of this malted liquor,
      Though the fellow keep filling
      Fresh horns till day break.'

Egil kept on drinking for some time, tossing down each horn he was given, but there was little fun to be had in the room as not many were still drinking. Then Egil and his men stood up, and took their weapons from the wall where they had hung them up; they then went to the granary in which their horse were, and laid themselves down in the straw, and slept through the night.


71. kafli - Egill fann rm skegg.

Egill bjst til ferar ok rr menn arir hans frunautar. Hfu eir hesta ok slea sv sem konungsmenn. vru snjvar miklir ok breyttir vegar allir. Ra eir til ferar, er eir vru bnir, ok ku upp land, ok er eir sttu austr til Eia, var at einni ntt, at fell snjr mikill, sv at gerla s vegana. Frst eim seint um daginn eftir, v at kafhlaup vru, egar af fr veginum.

Ok er lei daginn, dvlust eir ok u hestum snum. ar var nr skgarhls einn.

mltu eir vi Egil: "N skiljast hr vegar, en hr fram undan hlsinum br bndi s, er heitir Arnaldr, vinr vrr. Munum vr frunautar fara angat til gistingar, en r skulu fara hr upp hlsinn, ok er r komi ar, mun brtt vera fyrir yr br mikill, ok er yr ar vs gisting. ar br strauigr mar, er heitir rmr skegg. En morgin rdegis skulum vr hittast ok fara annat kveld til Eiaskgs. ar br gr bndi, er orfinnr heitir."

San skiljast eir. Fara eir Egill upp hlsinn, en fr konungsmnnum er at at segja, at egar er sn fal milli eira Egils, tku eir sk sn, er eir hfu haft, ok stigu ar , ltu san ganga aftr lei, sem eir mttu. Fru eir ntt ok dag ok sneru til Upplanda ok aan norr um Dofrafjall ok lttu eigi fyrr en eir kmu fund Hkonar konungs ok sgu um sna fer sem farit hafi.

Egill ok frunautar hans fru um kveldit yfir hlsinn. Var at ar skjtast af at segja, at eir fru egar af veginum. Var snjrinn mikill. Lgu hestarnir kafi annat skei, sv at draga var upp. ar vru kleifar ok kjarrskgar nkkurir, en um kjrrin ok kleifarnar var alltorstt. Var eim seinkan mikil at hestunum, en mannfrin var in yngsta. Mddust eir mjk, en kmust eir af hlsinum ok s fyrir sr b mikinn ok sttu angat til.

Ok er eir kmu tnit, s eir, at ar stu menn ti, rmr ok sveinar hans. Kstuust eir orum ok spurust tenda. Ok er rmr vissi, at eir vru sendimenn konungs, bau hann eim ar gisting. eir ekkust at. Tku hskarlar rms vi hestum eira ok reia, en bndi ba Egil ganga inn stofu, ok eir geru sv. rmr setti Egil ndvegi inn ra bekk ok ar frunautar hans tar fr. eir rddu margt um, hversu erfilliga eir hfu farit um kveldit, en heimamnnum tti mikit undr, er eir hfu fram komizt, ok sgu, at ar vri engum manni frt, at snjlaust vri.

mlti rmr: "ykkir yr eigi s beini beztr, at yr s bor sett ok gefinn nttverr, en san fari r at sofa? Munu r hvlst bezt."

"at lkar oss allvel," segir Egill.

rmr lt setja eim bor, en san vru settir fram strir askar, fullir af skyri. lt rmr, at honum tti at illa, er hann hafi eigi mungt at gefa eim. eir Egill vru mjk yrstir af mi. Tku eir upp askana ok drukku kaft skyrit ok Egill miklu mest. Engi kom nnur vistin fram.

ar var margt hjna. Hsfreyja sat verpalli ok ar konur hj henni. Dttir bnda var glfinu, tu vetra ea ellifu. Hsfreyja kallai hana til sn ok mlti eyra henni. San fr mrin tar fyrir borit, ar er Egill sat. Hon kva:

      v sendi mn mir
      mik vi ik til fundar
      ok or bera Agli,
      at r varir skyldi.
      Hildr mlti at horna:
      Haga sv maga num,
      eigu rir gestir
      ra nest frestum.

rmr laust meyna ok ba hana egja. "Mlir at jafnan, er verst gegnir."

Mrin gekk brott, en Egill skaut nir skyraskinum, ok var nr tmr. Vru ok brott teknir askarnir fr eim. Gengu ok heimamenn sti sn ok vru bor upp tekin um alla stofu ok sett vist. v nst kmu inn sendingar ok vru settar fyrir Egil sem fyrir ara menn.

v nst var l inn borit, ok var at it sterkasta mungt. Var brtt drukkinn einmenningr. Skyldi einn mar drekka af drshorni. Var ar mestr gaumr at gefinn, er Egill var ok sveitungar hans, skyldu drekka sem kafast. Egill drakk sleitiliga fyrst langa hr. En er frunautar hans gerust frir, drakk hann fyrir at, er eir mttu eigi. Gekk sv til ess, er bor fru brott. Gerust ok allir mjk drukknir, eir er inni vru, en hvert full, er rmr drakk, mlti hann: "Drekk ek til n, Egill." En hskarlar drukku til frunauta Egils ok hfu inn sama formla. Mar var til ess fenginn at bera eim Agli hvert full, ok eggjai s mjk, at eir skyldi skjtt drekka. Egill mlti vi frunauta sna, at eir skyldi ekki drekka, en hann drakk fyrir at, er eir mttu eigi annan veg undan komast.

Egill fann , at honum myndi eigi sv bit eira. St hann upp ok gekk um glf vert, angat er rmr sat. Hann tk hndum axlir honum ok kneiki hann upp at stfum. San eysti Egill upp r sr spju mikla, ok gaus andlit rmi, augun ok nasarnar ok munninn, rann sv ofan um bringuna, en rmi var vi andhlaup, ok er hann fekk ndinni fr sr hrundit, gaus upp spja. En allir mltu at, eir er hj vru, hskarlar rms, at Egill skyldi fara allra manna armastr ok hann vri inn versti mar af essu verki, er hann skyldi eigi ganga t, er hann vildi spja, en vera eigi at undrum inni drykkjustofunni.

Egill segir: "Ekki er at hallmla mr um etta, tt ek gera sem bndi gerir, spr hann af llu afli eigi sr en ek."

San gekk Egill til rms sns ok settist nir, ba gefa sr at drekka. kva Egill vi raust:

      Ttt erum ver at Vtta,
      vtti berk at httak
      ung til essar gngu,
      inn kinnal minni.
      Margr velr gestr, ars gistir,
      gjld, finnumsk vr sjaldan,
      rmi liggr, ri,
      lra dregg skeggi.

rmr hljp upp ok t, en Egill ba gefa sr drekka. mlti hsfreyja vi ann mann, er eim hafi skenkt um kveldit, at hann skyldi gefa drykk, sv at skyrti eigi, mean eir vildi drekka. San tk hann drshorn mikit ok fylldi ok bar til Egils. Egill kneyfi af horninu einum drykk. kva hann:

      Drekkum r, tt Ekkils
      eykrr beri tum
      horna sund at hendi,
      hvert full, bragar Ulli.
      Leifik vtr, tt Laufa
      leikstrir mr fri,
      hrosta tjarnar horni,
      horn til dags at morni.

Egill drakk um hr ok kneyfi hvert horn, er at honum kom, en ltil var glei stofunni, tt nkkurir menn drykki. San stendr Egill upp ok frunautar hans ok taka vpn sn af veggjum, er eir hfu upp fest, ganga san til kornhlu eirar, er hestar eira vru inni. Lgust er ar nir hlm ok svfu um nttina.

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