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Of Snorri The Priest, Of The Mewlithe-Folk.

Online Medieval and Classical Library Release #33

Snorri Thorgrimsom set up house at Holyfell, and his mother was over the housekeeping. Mar Hallwardson, his father's brother, betook himself thither with much live-stock, and was head over Snorri's household and husbandry. There Snorri held a thronged house of the greatest largesse.

Snorri was middling in height and somewhat slender, fair to look on, straight-faced and of light hue; of yellow hair and red beard; he was meek of mood in his daily ways; little men knew of his thought for good or ill; he was a wise man, and foreseeing in many things, enduring in wrath and deep in hatred; of good rede was he for his friends, but his unfriends deemed his counsels but cold.

He was now Warden of the Temple there; therefore was he called Snorri the Priest, and a great chief he became; but for his rule he was much envied, because there were many who for the sake of their kin thought they were of no less worth than he, but had more to fall back upon, because of their strength and proven hardihood.

Now Bork the Thick and Thordis Sur's daughter, had a daughter who was called Thurid, and was at this time wedded to Thorbiorn the Thick, who dwelt at Frodis-water. He was the son of Worm the Slender, who had dwelt there and had settled the land of Frodis- water; he had before had to wife Thurid of Broadwick, daughter of Asbrand of Combe; she was sister to Biorn, the Champion of the Broadwickers, who hereafter cometh again into this tale, and to Arnbiorn the Strong. These were the sons of Thorbiorn and Thurid: Ketil the Champion, Gunnlaug, and Hallstein.

But Thorbiorn of Frodis-water was overbearing and reckless with men lesser than he.

In those days dwelt at Mewlithe, Geirrid, daughter of Thorolf Halt-foot, with Thorarin the Swart, her son. He was a big man and a strong; ugly he was, and moody and quiet in his daily guise: he was called the Peace-maker. He had not much wealth to boast of, yet was his housekeeping gainful. So little of a meddler was he, that his foes said that he had no less the heart of a woman than a man. He was a married man, and his wife was called Aud; Gudny was his sister, whom Vermund the Slender had to wife.

At Holt, west of Mewlithe, dwelt a widow who was called Katla. She was fair to look upon, but yet not to all men's minds. Her son was called Odd; he was a big man and of good pith, a mighty brawler, and babbling, slippery, and slanderous.

Now Gunnlaug, the son of Thorbiorn the Thick, was eager to learn; he often stayed at Mewlithe, and learned cunning from Geirrid, Thorolt's daughter, because she knew much wizard lore. But on a day Gunnlaug came to Holt on his way to Mewlithe, and talked much with Katla; but she asked if he were minded once more for Mewlithe to pat the old carline's belly there. Gunnlaug said that was not his errand, "but thou art not so young, Katla, that it befits thee to cast Geirrid's eld in her teeth."

Katla answered: "I did not deem that we were so like herein; but it matters not," said she; "ye men deem that there is no woman beside Geirrid, but more women know somewhat than she alone."

Odd Katlason fared often to Mewlithe with Gunnlaug; but when they happened to go back late, Katla would often bid Gunnlaug to abide there at Holt, but he went home ever.

Go to Chapter XVI