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Medieval and Classical Library


Bardi Fares And Is Shipwrecked.

Online Medieval and Classical Library Release #34

Now Bardi sends men into the country-side. He and his had got rid of their land and stock in case this should be the end of the matter; the which they could not surely tell beforehand. The messenger was hight Thorod, and was by-named Kegward, not beloved of folk; he was to have three winters; he was akin to the sons of Gudround, wealthy in chattels withal. And now the purchase of their lands as aforesaid was all but settled.

Now there cometh withal a ship from the high seas into the mouth of Blanda, which was the keel of Haldor, Bardi's foster-brother.

Therewithal folk came back from the Thing, and when Haldor hears that Bardi must needs go abroad, he has the freight of the craft unshipped, and brings himself, ship and all, up into the Hope over against Bardi's house, and a joyful meeting was theirs.

"Kinsman," says Haldor, "ever hast thou handled matters well as concerning me; thou hast often been bounteous to me, nor didst thou wax wrath on me when I did not go with thee on that journey of thine, so therefore I will now promise thee some avail in return, as now thou shalt hear: this ship will I give thee with yard and gear."

Bardi thanked him, saying he deemed he had done the deed of a great man. So now he dights this craft, and has with him five- and-twenty men. Somewhat late they were bound for sea; then put off to the main, and are eleven days out at sea; but in such wise their faring befell that they wreck their ship against Sigluness in the north, and goods were lost, but the men saved.

Gudmund the Elder had ridden out to Galmastrand, and heareth the tidings and hasteneth homeward. And in the evening spake Eyolf, his son: "Maybe it is Bardi yonder on the other side, that we see from here." Many said it was not unlike.

"Now how wouldst thou go about it?" says Eyolf, even he, "if it should hap that he had been driven back here?" (1)

He answers: "What seemeth good to thee?"

He answers: "To bid them all home here to guesting. Meet were that."

Gudmund answers: "Large of mind thou, nor wot I if that be altogether so ill counselled."

Answers Eyolf, even he: "Speak thou, hailest of men! Now I can tell thee that Bardi, he and his, have been driven back, and broken to splinters against Sigluness, and have lost the best part of their goods. From this thou wilt have honour."

So he closed his mouth; but Gudmund thought he liked the matter none the better for that, yet lets him have his will.

(1)  "Maybe it is Bardi yonder on the other side that we see from
     here" -- "vera ma nu, at Barthi se fyrir handan, er hethan
     of ser."  These words must be supposed to have been spoken
     at Gudmund's house of Maddervales, situate some distance up
     the valley that runs inland up from the bottom of Eyiafirth.
     But that is a long way from Galmastrand, no neighbouring
     point of it even being in view from Maddervales.  It seems
     almost as if the writer imagined that this strand was on the
     eastern instead of western side of the firth, and so near to
     the bottom of it that it could be seen from the valley
     itself, for only the innermost part of Eyiafirth could be
     seen from Gudmund's house.  Moreover, this is said to have
     happened at night, and now it was autumn, and evenings
     drawing in fast, so that nothing could be seen at all, for
     we know from the saga already that Bardi was late bound for
     sea.  Maybe the statement is due to someone who thought that
     Gudmund dwelt at Maddervales in Horgriverdale.  That house
     indeed is situate on the upmost or innermost border of
     Galmastrand, but in such a manner that there is no view from
     it at all open towards this littoral tract.  The whole
     passage must be spurious.