Chapter 81 - Slaying of rnd and of the preparation of the lawsuit.

One morning Thorstein rose with the sun, and went up on the hill. He saw where Steinar's cattle were. Then went Thorstein out on the moor till he came to the cattle. There stands a wood-clad rock by Hafs-brook: upon this Thrand was lying asleep, having put off his shoes. Thorstein mounted the rock: he had in his hand a small axe, and no other weapon. With the shaft of the axe he poked Thrand, and bade him wake. Up he jumped swiftly and suddenly, gripped his axe with both hands and raised it aloft, and asked Thorstein what he wanted. He replied, 'I wish to tell you that this land is mine; yours is the pasture beyond the brook. It is no wonder if you do not yet know the landmarks here.' Said Thrand, 'It makes no odds to me who owns the land: I shall let the cattle be where they please.' ''Tis likely,' said Thorstein, 'that I shall wish myself, and not Steinar's thralls, to rule my own land.' Said Thrand, 'You are a far more foolish man, Thorstein, than I judged you to be, if you will take night-quarters under my axe, and for this risk your honours. Methinks, from what I see, I have twice your strength; nor lack I courage: better weaponed am I also than you.' Thorstein replied: 'That risk I shall run, if you do not as I say about the pasture. I hope that our good fortune may differ much, as does the justice of our cause.' Thrand said: 'Now shall you see, Thorstein, whether I at all fear your threats.' And with that Thrand sat down and tied on his shoe. But Thorstein raised his axe swiftly, and smote on Thrand's neck so that his head fell forward on his breast. Then Thorstein heaped some stones over him and covered his body, which done, he went home to Borg.

On that day Steinar's cattle were late in coming home; and when there seemed no hope of their coming, Steinar took his horse and saddled it, and fully armed himself. He then rode to Borg. And when he came there he found men to speak to, and asked where Thorstein was. It was told him that he was sitting within. Then Steinar asked that he should come out; he had (he said) an errand with him. Which when Thorstein heard, he took his weapons and went out to the door. Then he asked Steinar what was his errand. 'Have you slain Thrand my thrall?' said Steinar. 'Truly I have,' said Thorstein; 'you need not put that upon any other man.' 'Then I see,' said Steinar, 'that you mean to guard your land with the strong hand, since you have slain my two thralls: yet methinks this is no great exploit. Now will I offer you in this a far better choice, if you wish to guard your land by force: I shall not trust other men with the driving of my cattle, but be you sure of this, the cattle shall be on your land both night and day.' 'So it is,' said Thorstein, 'that I slew last summer your thrall, whom you set to feed cattle on my land, but afterwards let you have the feed as you would up to the winter. Now have I slain another thrall of yours, for the same fault as the former. Again you shall have the feed from now through the summer, as you will. But next summer, if you feed on my land, and set men to drive your cattle thither, then will I go on slaying for you every man that tends them, though it be yourself. I will act this every summer while you hold to the manner of grazing that you have begun.'

Then Steinar rode away and home to Brekka. And a little while after Steinar rode up to Stafar-holt, where Einar then dwelt. He was a priest. Steinar asked his help, and offered him money. Einar said, 'You will gain little by my help, unless more men of honour back you in this cause.' After that Steinar rode up to Reykjar-dale to see Tongue-Odd, and asked his help and offered him money. Odd took the money, and promised his help; he was to strengthen Steinar to take the law of Thorstein. Then Steinar rode home.

But in the spring Odd and Einar went with Steinar on the journey of summons, taking a large company. Steinar summoned Thorstein for thrall-slaying, and claimed lesser outlawry as the penalty of each slaying. For this was the law, when thralls of anyone were slain, and the fine for the thrall was not brought to the owner before the third sunrise. But two charges of lesser outlawry were equivalent to one of full outlawry. Thorstein brought no counter-summons on any charge.

And soon after he sent men southwards to Ness, who came to Grim as Moss-fell and there told these tidings. Egil did not show much interest about it, but he quietly learned by the questions what had passed between Thorstein and Steinar, as also about those who had strengthened Steinar in this cause. Then the messengers went home, and Thorstein appeared well pleased with their journey.

Thorstein Egil's son took a numerous company to the spring-tide Thing: he came there one night before other men, and they roofed their booths, he and the Thingmen who had booths there. And when they had made all arrangements, then Thorstein bade his Thingmen set to work, and they built there large booth-walls. Then he had roofed in a far larger booth than the other that were there. In this booth were no men.

Steinar rode to the Thing also with a numerous company, as did Tongue-Odd, and Einar from Stafar-holt; they roofed their booths. The Thing was a very full one. Men pleaded their causes. Thorstein offered no atonement for himself, but to those who advised atonement made answer, that he meant to abide by judgment. He said that he thought the cause which Steinar came, about the slaying of his thralls, was little worth; Steinar's thralls, he argued, had done enough to deserve death. Steinar was high and mighty about his cause: he had, as he thought, charges good in law, and helpers strong enough to win his rights. So he was most impetuous in his cause.

That day men went to the Thing-brink and spoke their pleadings; but in the evening the judges were to go out to try suits. Thorstein was there with his train; he had there chief authority as to the rules of the Thing, for so it had been while Egil held priesthood and headship. Both parties were fully armed.

And now it was seen from the Thing that a troop of men was riding down along Cleave-river with gleaming shields. And when they rode into the Thing, there rode foremost a man in a blue mantle. He had on his head a gilded helm, by his side a gold-decked shield, in his hand a barbed spear whose socket was overlaid with gold, and a sword at his girdle. Thither had come Egil Skallagrim's son with eighty men, all well-weaponed, as if arrayed for battle. A choice company it was: Egil had brought with him the best landowners' sons from the southern Nesses, those whom he thought the most warlike. With this troop Egil rode to the booth which Thorstein had had roofed, a booth hitherto empty. They dismounted. And when Thorstein perceived his father's coming, he with all his troop went to meet him, and bade him welcome. Egil and his force had their travelling gear carried into the booth, and their horses turned out to pasture. This done, Egil and Thorstein with the whole troop went up to the Thing-brink, and sat them down where they were wont to sit.

Then Egil stood up and spoke with loud voice: 'Is Aunund Sjoni here on the Thing-brink?' Aunund replied that he was there. And he said, 'I am glad, Egil, that you are come. This will set right all the dispute here between these men.' 'Is it by your counsel,' said Egil, 'that your son Steinar brings a charge against my son Thorstein, and has gathered much people to this end, to make Thorstein an outcast?' 'Of this I am not the cause,' said Aunund, 'that they are quarrelling. I have spend many a word and begged Steinar to be reconciled with Thorstein; for in any case I would have spared your son Thorstein disgrace: and good cause for this is the loving friendship of old that has been between us two, Egil, since we grew up here as next-door neighbours.' 'It will soon be clear,' said Egil, 'whether you speak this as truth or vain words; though I think this latter can hardly be. I remember the day when either of us had deemed it incredible that one should be accusing the other, or that we should not control our sons from going on with such folly as I hear this is like to prove. To me this seems right counsel, while we both live and are so nearly concerned with their quarrel, that we take this cause into our own hands and quash it, and let not Tongue-Odd and Einar match our sons together like fighting horses. Let them henceforth find some other way than this of making money.'

Then stood up Aunund and spoke: 'Rightly say you, Egil; and it ill-beseems us to be at a Thing where our sons quarrel. Never shall that shame be ours, that we lacked the manhood to reconcile them. Now, Steinar, I will that you give this cause into my hands, and let me deal with it as I please.'

'I am not sure,' said Steinar, 'that I will so abandon my cause; for I have already sought me the help of great men. I will now only bring my cause to such an issue as shall content Odd and Einar.' Then Odd and Steinar talked together. Odd said, 'I will give you, Steinar, the help that I promised towards getting law, or for such issue of the cause as you may consent to accept. You will be mainly answerable for how your cause goes, if Egil is to be judge therein.'

Whereupon Aunund said: 'I need not leave this matter to the tongue of Odd. Of him I have had neither good or bad; but Egil has done to me much that is very good. I trust him far more than others; and I shall have my way in this. It will be for your advantage not to have all of us on your hands. I have hitherto ruled for us both, and will do so still.' Steinar said, 'You are right eager about this cause, father; but I think we shall oft rue this.'

After this Steinar made over the cause to Aunund to prosecute or compromise according to law. And no sooner had Aunund the management of this cause, than he went to seek the father and son, Thorstein and Egil. Then said Aunund: 'Now I will, Egil, that you alone shape and shear in this matter as you will, for I trust you best to deal with this my cause as with all others.'

Then Thorstein and Aunund took hands, and named them witnesses, declaring withal that Egil Skallagrimsson should along judge this cause, as he would, without appeal, then and there at the Thing. And so ended this suit.

Now men went home to their booths. Thorstein had three oxen led to Egil's booth and slaughtered for the Thing banquet.

And when Tongue-Odd and Steinar came home to their booth, Odd said: 'Now have you, Steinar, and your father ruled the issue of your suit. I now declare myself free of debt to you, Steinar, in regard of that help which I promised you; for it was agreed between us that I should help you in carrying through your suit, or to such issue as should content you; free am I, I say, whatever may be the terms adjudged you by Egil.' Steinar said that Odd had helped him well and manfully, and their friendship should be closer than before. 'I pronounce you,' he said, 'free of debt to me in regard of that whereto you were bound.'

In the evening the judges went out; but nothing happened that needs to be told.


81. kafli - Vg rndar ok af mlatilbnai.

orsteinn st upp einn morgin vi sl ok gekk upp Borg. Hann s, hvar naut Steinars vru. San gekk orsteinn t mrar, til ess er hann kom til nautanna. ar stendr skgarklettr vi Hfslk, en uppi klettinum svaf rndr ok hafi leyst af sr ska sna. orsteinn gekk upp klettinn ok hafi xi hendi ekki mikla ok engi fleiri vpn. orsteinn stakk xarskaftinu rndi ok ba hann vaka. Hann spratt upp skjtt ok hart ok greip tveim hndum xina ok reiddi upp. Hann spuri, hvat orsteinn vildi.

"Ek vil segja r, at ek land etta, en r eigu hagabeit fyrir tan lkinn. Er at eigi undarligt, tt vitir eigi landamerki hr."

rndr segir: "Engu ykkir mr skipta, hverr land . Mun ek ar lta naut vera, er eim ykkir bezt."

"Hitt er lkligra," segir orsteinn, "at ek muna n ra vilja fyrir landi mnu, en eigi rlar Steinars."

rndr segir: "Miklu ertu, orsteinn, vitrari mar en ek huga, ef vill eiga nttbl undir xi minni ok htta til ess viringu inni. Mr snist, at tla til, sem ek muna hafa tvau fl n, en mik skortir eigi hug. Ek em ok vpnar betr en ."

orsteinn mlti: " httu mun ek leggja, ef gerir eigi at um beitina. Vnti ek, at mikit skili hamingju okkra, sv sem mlaefni eru jfn."

rndr segir: "N skaltu sj, orsteinn, hvrt ek hrumst nkkut ht n."

San settist rndr nir ok batt sk sinn, en orsteinn reiddi upp xina hart ok hj hls rndi, sv at hfuit fell bringuna. San bar orsteinn grjt at honum ok huli hr hans, gekk san heim til Borgar.

En ann dag kmu seint heim naut Steinars, ok er rotin vn tti ess, tk Steinarr hest sinn ok lagi sul. Hann hafi alvpni sitt. Hann rei sur til Borgar, ok er hann kom ar, hitti hann menn at mli. Hann spuri, hvar orsteinn vri. Honum var sagt, at hann sat inni. ba Steinarr, at orsteinn kmi t, kvast eiga erendi vi hann. Ok er orsteinn heyri etta, tk hann vpn sn ok gekk t dyrr. San spuri hann Steinar, hver erendi hans vri.

"Hefir drepit rnd, rl minn?" segir Steinarr.

"Sv er vst," segir orsteinn, "arftu at ekki rum mnnum at fla."

" s ek, at munt ykkjast harhendliga verja land itt, er hefir drepit rla mna tv. En mr ykkir at ekki sv mikit framaverk. N mun ek gera r essu miklu betra kost, ef vill me kappi verja landit itt, ok skal ekki rum mnnum n at hlta at reka nautin, en vita skaltu at, at nautin skulu bi dag ok ntt nu landi vera."

"Sv er," segir orsteinn, "at ek drap fyrra sumar rl inn, ann er fekkt til at beita nautunum land mitt, en san lt ek yr hafa beit, sem r vildu, allt til vetrar. N hefi ek drepit annan rl inn fyrir r. Gaf ek essum ina smu sk sem inum fyrra. N skaltu hafa beit hean fr sumar, en at sumri, ef beitir land mitt ok fr menn til ess at reka hingat f itt, mun ek enn drepa fyrir r einn hvern mann, ann er fnu fylgir, sv, at fylgir sjlfr. Mun ek sv gera hverju sumri, mean heldr teknum htti um beitina."

San rei Steinarr brott ok heim til Brekku, ok litlu sar rei Steinarr upp Stafarholt. ar bj Einarr. Hann var goorsmar. Steinarr ba hann lis ok bau honum f til.

Einarr segir: "ik mun litlu skipta um mna lisem, nema fleiri viringamenn veiti at essu mli."

Eftir at rei Steinarr upp Reykjardal fund Tungu-Odds ok ba hann lis ok bau honum f til. Oddr tk vi fnu ok ht liveizlu sinni, at hann skyldi efla Steinar at koma fram lgum vi orstein. Steinarr rei san heim.

En um vrit fru eir Oddr ok Einarr me Steinari stefnufr ok hfu fjlmenni mikit. Stefndi Steinarr orsteini um rladrp ok lt vara fjrbaugsgar um hvrt vgit, v at at vru lg, ar er rlar vru drepnir fyrir manni, enda vri eigi fr rlsgjldin fyrir ina riju sl. En jafnt skyldu metast tvr fjrbaugssakar ok ein skggangssk.

orsteinn stefndi engum skum mt, ok litlu sar sendi orsteinn menn sur Nes. Kmu eir til Mosfells til Grms ok sgu ar essi tendi. Egill lt sr ftt um finnast ok spuri at hlji vandliga um skipti eira orsteins ok Steinars ok sv at eim mnnum, er Steinar hfu styrkt til essa mls. San fru sendimenn heim, ok lt orsteinn vel yfir eira fer.

orsteinn Egilsson fjlmennti mjk til vrings ok kom ar ntt fyrr en arir menn, ok tjlduu bir snar, ok ingmenn hans, er ar ttu bir. Ok er eir hfu um bizt, lt orsteinn ganga til ingmannali sitt, ok geru ar barveggi mikla. San lt hann b tjalda miklu meiri en arar bir, r er ar vru. eiri b vru engir menn.

Steinarr rei til ings ok fjlmennti mjk. ar r Tungu-Oddr fyrir lii ok var allfjlmennr. Einarr r Stafaholti var ok fjlmennr. Tjlduu eir bir snar. Var ingit fjlmennt. Fluttu menn fram ml sn. orsteinn bau engar sttir fyrir sik, en svarai v em mnnum, er um sttir leituu, at hann tlai at lta dms ba, sagi, at honum ttu ml ltils ver, au er Steinarr fr me um drp rla hans, en tali rla Steinars hafa gngar sakar til gert. Steinarr lt strliga yfir mlum snum. ttu honum sakar lgligar, en lisafli gngr at koma mlum fram. Var hann v framgjarn um sn ml.

ann dag gengu menn ingbrekku, ok mltu menn mlum snum, en um kveldit skyldu dmar t fara til sknar. Var orsteinn ar me flokk sinn. Hann r ar ingskpum mest, v at sv hafi verit, mean Egill fr me goor ok mannaforr. eir hfu hvrirtveggju alvpni.

Menn s af inginu, at flokkr manna rei nean me Gljfr, ok blikuu ar skildir vi. Ok er eir riu ingit, rei ar mar fyrir blri kpu, hafi hjlm hfi gullroinn, en skjld hli gullbinn, hendi krkaspjt, var ar gullrekinn falrinn. Hann var sveri gyrr. ar var kominn Egill Skalla-Grmsson me tta tigu manna, alla vel vpnaa, sv sem til bardaga vri bnir. at li var valit mjk. Hafi Egill haft me sr ina beztu bndasonu af Nesjum sunnan, er honum ttu vgligstir. Egill rei me flokkinn til bar eirar, er orsteinn hafi tjalda ltit ok r var au. Stigu eir af hestum snum.

Ok er orsteinn kenndi fer fur sns, gekk hann mti honum me allan flokk sinn ok fagnai honum vel. Ltu eir Egill bera inn fargervi sna b, en reka hesta haga. Ok er etta var sslat, gekk Egill ok orsteinn me flokkinn allan upp ingbrekku ok settust, ar sem eir vru vanir at sitja.

San st Egill upp ok mlti htt: "Hvrt er nundr sjni hr ingbrekkunni?"

nundr kvast ar vera. "Ek em feginn orinn, Egill, er ert kominn. Mun at allt bta til um at, er hr stendr milli mls manna."

"Hvrt rr v, er Steinarr, sonr inn, skir skum orstein, son minn, ok hefir dregit saman fjlmenni til ess at gera orstein at urarmanni?"

"v veld ek eigi," segir nundr, "er eir eru sttir. Hefi ek ar lagt til mrg or ok beit Steinar sttast vi orstein, v at mr hefir verit hvern sta orsteinn, sonr inn, sparari til smar, ok veldr v s in forna stvintta, er me okkr hefir verit, Egill, san er vit fddumst hr upp samtnis."

"Brtt mun at," segir Egill, "ljst vera, hvrt mlir etta af alvru ea af hgma, tt ek tla at sr vera munu. Man ek daga, at hvrumtveggja okkrum mundi ykkja lkligt, at vit myndim skum skjast ea stilla eigi sonu okkra, at eir fari eigi me fflsku slkri sem ek heyri, at hr horfist til. Snist mr at r, mean vit erum lfi ok sv nr staddir deilu eira, at vit takim ml etta undir okkr ok setim nir, en ltim eigi Tungu-Odd ok Einar etja saman sonum okkrum sem kapalhestum. Ltum hafa annat hean fr til fvaxtar sr en taka slku."

st nundr upp ok mlti: "Rtt segir , Egill, ok at er okkr fallit at vera v ingi, er synir okkrir deila. Skal okkr ok aldri skmm henda at vera eir vanskrungar at stta eigi. N vil ek, Steinarr, at selir mr ml essi hendr ok lir mik me fara sem mr lkar."

"Eigi veit ek at," segir Steinarr, "hvrt ek vil sv kasta nir mlum mnum, v at ek hefi r leitat mr lisemar af strmenni. Vil ek n sv at einu lka mlum mnum, at at lki vel Oddi ok Einari."

San rddu eir Oddr ok Steinarr sn milli, sagi Oddr sv: "Efna vil ek, Steinarr, lisem vi ik, er ek ht at veita r til laga ea eira mlalyka, er vill taka r til handa. Muntu mest byrgjast, hvernig ml n eru til komin, ef Egill skal um dma."

mlti nundr: "Ekki arf ek at eiga etta undir tungurtu Odds. Hefi ek af honum haft hvrki gott n illt, en Egill hefir margt strvel gert til mn. Tri ek honum miklu betr en rum, enda skal ek essu ra. Mun r at hfa at hafa eigi alla oss fangi r. Hefi ek enn hr til rit fyrir okkr, ok skal enn sv vera."

"kafr ertu um etta ml, fair, en oft tla ek, at vit irimst essa."

San seldi Steinarr hendr nundi mlit, ok skyldi hann skja ea sttast , sv sem lg kenndu til.

Ok egar er nundr r fyrir mlum essum, gekk hann til fundar vi fega, orstein ok Egil.

mlti nundr: "N vil ek, Egill, at skapir einn ok skerir um essi ml, sv sem vill, v at ek tri r bezt til at skipa essum mnum mlum ok llum rum."

San tkust eir nundr ok orsteinn hendr ok nefndu sr vtta ok at me vttnefnunni, at Egill Skalla-Grmsson skyldi einn gera um ml essi, sv sem hann vill, allt skorat ar ingi, ok lauk sv essum mlum. Gengu menn sv heim til ba. orsteinn lt leia til bar Egils rj yxn ok lt hggva til ingnests honum.

Ok er eir Tungu-Oddr ok Steinarr kmu heim til bar, mlti Oddr: "N hefir , Steinarr, ok it fegar rit fyrir lyk mla ykkarra. N teljumst ek r lauss vi ik, Steinarr, um liveizlu , er ek ht r, v at sv var mlt me okkr, at ek skylda veita r sv, at kmir mlum num fram ea til eira lyka, er r hugnai, hvernig sem r gefst sttarger Egils."

Steinarr segir, at Oddr hefir honum vel veitt ok drengiliga ok eira vintta skal n vera miklu betri en r. "Vil ek kalla, at sr r lauss vi mik um at, er vart bundinn."

Um kveldit fru dmar t, ok er ekki getit, at ar yri til tenda.

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