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Medieval and Classical Library

The Story of Burnt Njal
(Njal's Saga)

Part 7: Sections 102 - 117

Online Medieval and Classical Library Release #11


Now we must take up the story, and say that Njal spoke thus to
Hauskuld, his foster-son, and said, "I would seek thee a match."

Hauskuld bade him settle the matter as he pleased, and asked
whether he was most likely to turn his eyes.

"There is a woman called Hildigunna," answers Njal, "and she is
the daughter of Starkad, the son of Thord Freyspriest.  She is
the best match I know of."

"See thou to it, foster-father," said Hauskuld; "that shall be my
choice which thou choosest."

"Then we will look thitherward," says Njal.

A little while after, Njal called on men to go along with him. 
Then the sons of Sigfus, and Njal's sons, and Kari Solmund's son,
all of them fared with him and they rode east to Swinefell.

There they got a hearty welcome.

The day after, Njal and Flosi went to talk alone, and the speech
of Njal ended thus, that he said, "This is my errand here, that
we have set out on a wooing-journey, to ask for thy kinswoman

"At whose hand?" says Flosi.

"At the hand of Hauskuld, my foster-son," says Njal.

"Such things are well meant," says Flosi, "but still ye run each
of you great risk, the one from the other; but what hast thou to
say of Hauskuld?"

"Good I am able to say of him," says Njal; "and besides, I will
lay down as much money as will seem fitting to thy niece and
thyself, if thou wilt think of making this match.

"We will call her hither," says Flosi, "and know how she looks on
the man."

Then Hildigunna was called, and she came thither.

Flosi told her of the wooing, but she said she was a proudhearted

"And I know not how things will turn out between me and men of
like spirit; but this, too, is not the least of my dislike, that
this man has no priesthood or leadership over men, but thou hast
always said that thou wouldest not wed me to a man who had not
the priesthood."

"This is quite enough," says Flosi, "if thou wilt not be wedded
to Hauskuld, to make me take no more pains about the match."

"Nay! " she says, "I do not say that I will not be wedded to
Hauskuld if they can get him a priesthood or a leadership over
men; but otherwise I will have nothing to say to the match."

"Then," said Njal, "I will beg thee to let this match stand over
for three winters, that I may see what I can do."

Flosi said that so it should be.

"I will only bargain for this one thing," says Hildigunna, "if
this match comes to pass, that we shall stay here away east."

Njal said he would rather leave that to Hauskuld, but Hauskuld
said that he put faith in many men, but in none so much as his

Now they ride from the east.

Njal sought to get a priesthood and leadership for Hauskuld, but
no one was willing to sell his priesthood, and now the summer
passes away till the Althing.

There were great quarrels at the Thing that summer, and many a
man then did as was their wont, in faring to see Njal; but he
gave such counsel in men's lawsuits as was not thought at all
likely, so that both the pleadings and the defence came to
naught, and out of that great strife arose, when the lawsuits
could not be brought to an end, and men rode home from the Thing

Now things go on till another Thing comes.  Njal rode to the
Thing, and at first all is quiet until Njal says that it is high
time for men to give notice of their suits.

Then many said that they thought that came to little, when no man
could get his suit settled, even though the witnesses were
summoned to the Althing, "and so," say they, "we would rather
seek our rights with point and edge."

"So it must not be," says Njal, "for it will never do to have no
law in the land.  But yet ye have much to say on your side in
this matter, and it behoves us who know the law, and who are
bound to guide the law, to set men at one again, and to ensue
peace.  'Twere good counsel, then, methinks, that we call
together all the chiefs and talk the matter over."

Then they go to the Court of Laws, and Njal spoke and said,
"Thee, Skapti Thorod's son and you other chiefs, I call on, and
say, that methinks our lawsuits have come into a dead lock, if we
have to follow up our suits in the Quarter Courts, and they get
so entangled that they can neither be pleaded nor ended. 
Methinks, it were wiser if we had a Fifth Court, and there
pleaded those suits which cannot be brought to an end in the
Quarter Courts."

"How," said Skapti, "wilt thou name a Fifth Court, when the
Quarter Court is named for the old priesthoods, three twelves in
each quarter?"

"I can see help for that," says Njal, "by setting up new
priesthoods, and filling them with the men who are best fitted in
each Quarter, and then let those men who are willing to agree to
it, declare themselves ready to join the new priest's Thing."

"Well," says Skapti, "we will take this choice; but what weighty
suits shall come before the court?"

"These matters shall come before it," says Njal, -- "all matters
of contempt of the Thing, such as if men bear false witness, or
utter a false finding; hither, too, shall come all those suits in
which the judges are divided in opinion in the Quarter Court;
then they shall be summoned to the Fifth Court; so, too, if men
offer bribes, or take them, for their help in suits.  In this
court all the oaths shall be of the strongest kind, and two men
shall follow every oath, who shall support on their words of
honour what the others swear.  So it shall be also, if the
pleadings on one side are right in form, and the other wrong,
that the judgment shall be given for those that are right in
form.  Every suit in this court shall be pleaded just as is now
done in the Quarter Court, save and except that when four twelves
are named in the Fifth Court, then the plaintiff shall name and
set aside six men out of the court, and the defendant other six;
but if he will not set them aside, then the plaintiff shall name
them and set them aside as he has done with his own six; but if
the plaintiff does not set them aside, then the suit comes to
naught, for three twelves shall utter judgment on all suits.  We
shall also have this arrangement in the Court of Laws, that those
only shall have the right to make or change laws who sit on the
middle bench, and to this bench those only shall be chosen who
are wisest and best.  There, too, shall the Fifth Court sit; but
if those who sit in the Court of Laws are not agreed as to what
they shall allow or bring in as law, then they shall clear the
court for a division, and the majority shall bind the rest; but
if any man who has a seat in the Court be outside the Court of
Laws and cannot get inside it, or thinks himself overborne in the
suit, then he shall forbid them by a protest, so that they can
hear it in the Court, and then he has made all their grants and
all their decisions void and of none effect, and stopped them by
his protest."

After that, Skapti Thorod's son brought the Fifth Court into the
law, and all that was spoken of before.  Then men went to the
Hill of Laws, and men set up new priesthoods: In the
Northlanders' Quarter were these new priesthoods.  The priesthood
of the Melmen in Midfirth, and the Laufesingers' priesthood in
the Eyjafirth.

Then Njal begged for a hearing, and spoke thus: "It is known to
many men what passed between my sons and the men of Gritwater
when they slew Thrain Sigfus' son.  But for all that we settled
the matter; and now I have taken Hauskuld into my house, and
planned a marriage for him if he can get a priesthood anywhere;
but no man will sell his priesthood, and so I will beg you to
give me leave to set up a new priesthood at Whiteness for

He got this leave from all, and after that he set up the new
priesthood for Hauskuld; and he was afterwards called Hauskuld,
the Priest of Whiteness.

After that, men ride home from the Thing, and Njal stayed but a
short time at home ere he rides east to Swinefell, and his sons
with him, and again stirs in the matter of the marriage with
Flosi; but Flosi said he was ready to keep faith with them in

Then Hildigunna was betrothed to Hauskuld, and the day for the
wedding feast was fixed, and so the matter ended.  They then ride
home, but they rode again shortly to the bridal, and Flosi paid
down all her goods and money after the wedding, and all went off

They fared home to Bergthorsknoll, and were there the next year,
and all went well between Hildigunna and Bergthom.  But the next
spring Njal bought land in Ossaby, and hands it over to Hauskuld,
and thither he fares to his own abode.  Njal got him all his
household, and there was such love between them all, that none of
them thought anything that he said or did any worth unless the
others had a share in it.

Hauskuld dwelt long at Ossaby, and each backed the other's
honour, and Njal's sons were always in Hauskuld's company.  Their
friendship was so warm, that each house bade the other to a feast
every harvest, and gave each other great gifts; and so it goes on
for a long while.


There was a man named Lyting; he dwelt at Samstede, and he had to
wife a woman named Steinvora; she was a daughter of Sigfus, and
Thrain's sister.  Lyting was tall of growth and a strong man,
wealthy in goods and ill to deal with.

It happened once that Lyting had a feast in his house at
Samstede, and he had bidden thither Hauskuld and the sons of
Sigfus, and they all came.  There, too, was Grani Gunnar's son,
and Gunnar Lambi's son, and Lambi Sigurd's son.

Hauskuld Njal's son and his mother had a farm at Holt, and he was
always riding to his farm from Bergthorsknoll, and his path lay
by the homestead at Samstede.  Hauskuld had a son called Amund;
he had been born blind, but for all that he was tall and strong. 
Lytina had two brothers -- the one's name was Hallstein, and the
other's Hallgrim.  They were the most unruly of men, and they
were ever with their brother, for other men could not bear their

Lyting was out of doors most of that day, but every now and then
he went inside his house.  At last he had gone to his seat, when
in came a woman who had been out of doors, and she said, "You
were too far off to see outside how that proud fellow rode by the

"What proud fellow was that," says Lyting "of whom thou

"Hauskuld Njal's son rode here by the yard," she says.

"He rides often here by the farm-yard," said Lyting, "and I can't
say that it does not try my temper; and now I will make thee an
offer, Hauskuld, to go along with thee if thou wilt avenge thy
father and slay Hauskuld Njal's son."

"That I will not do," says Hauskuld, "for then I should repay
Njal, my foster-father, evil for good, and mayst thou and thy
feasts never thrive henceforth."

With that he sprang up away from the board, and made them catch
his horses, and rode home.

Then Lyting said to Grani Gunnar's son, "Thou wert by when Thrain
was slain, and that will still be in thy mind; and thou, too,
Gunnar Lambi's son, and thou, Lambi Sigurd's son.  Now, my will
is that we ride to meet him this evening, and slay him."

"No," says Grani, "I will not fall on Njal's son, and so break
the atonement which good men and true have made."

With like words spoke each man of them, and so, too, spoke all
the sons of Sigfus; and they took that counsel to ride away.

Then Lyting said, when they had gone away, "All men know that I
have taken no atonement for my brother-in-law Thrain, and I shall
never be content that no vengeance -- man for man -- shall be
taken for him."

After that he called on his two brothers to go with him, and
three house-carles as well.  They went on the way to meet
Hauskuld as he came back, and lay in wait for him north of the
farm-yard in a pit; and there they bided till it was about
mideven (1).  Then Hauskuld rode up to them.  They jump up all of
them with their arms, and fall on him.  Hauskuld guarded himself
well, so that for a long while they could not get the better of
him; but the end of it was at last that he wounded Lyting on the
arm, and slew two of his serving-men, and then fell himself. 
They gave Hauskuld sixteen wounds, but they hewed not off the
head from his body.  They fared away into the wood east of
Rangriver, and hid themselves there.

That same evening, Rodny's shepherd found Hauskuld dead, and went
home and told Rodny of her son's slaying.

"Was he surely dead?" she asks; "was his head off?"

"It was not," he says.

"I shall know if I see," she says; "so take thou my horse and
driving gear."

He did so, and got all things ready, and then they went thither
where Hauskuld lay.

She looked at the wounds, and said, "'Tis even as I thought, that
he could not be quite dead, and Njal no doubt can cure greater

After that they took the body and laid it on the sledge and drove
to Bergthorsknoll, and drew it into the sheepcote, and made him
sit upright against the wall.

Then they went both of them and knocked at the door, and a house-
carle went to the door.  She steals in by him at once, and goes
till she comes to Njal's bed.

She asked whether Njal were awake?  He said he had slept up to
that time, but was then awake.

"But why art thou come hither so early?"

"Rise thou up," said Rodny, "from thy bed by my rival's side, and
come out, and she too, and thy sons, to see thy son Hauskuld."

They rose and went out.

"Let us take our weapons," said Skarphedinn, "and have them
with us."

Njal said naught at that, and they ran in and came out again

She goes first till they come to the sheepcote; she goes in and
bade them follow her.  Then she lit a torch, and held it up and
said, "Here, Njal, is thy son Hauskuld, and he hath gotten many
wounds upon him, and now he will need leechcraft."

"I see death marks on him," said Njal, "but no signs of life; but
why hast thou not closed his eyes and nostrils?  see, his
nostrils are still open!"

"That duty I meant for Skarphedinn," she says.

Then Skarphedinn went to close his eyes and nostrils, and said to
his father, "Who, sayest thou, hath slain him?"

"Lyting of Samstede and his brothers must have slain him," says

Then Rodny said, "Into thy hands, Skarphedinn, I leave it to take
vengeance for thy brother, and I ween that thou wilt take it
well, though he be not lawfully begotten, and that thou wilt not
be slow to take it."

"Wonderfully do ye men behave," said Bergthora, "when ye slay men
for small cause, but talk and tarry over such as this until no
vengeance at all is taken; and now of this will soon come to
Hauskuld, the Priest of Whiteness, and he will be offering you
atonement, and you will grant him that, but now is the time to
set about it, if ye seek for vengeance."

"Our mother eggs us on now with a just goading," said
Skarphedinn, and sang a song.

     "Well we know the warrior's temper (2),
     One and all, well, father thine,
     But atonement to the mother,
     Snake-land's stem (3) and thee were base;
     He that hoardeth ocean's fire (4)
     Hearing this will leave his home;
     Wound of weapon us hath smitten,
     Worse the lot of those that wait!"

After that they all ran out of the sheepcote, but Rodny went
indoors with Njal, and was there the rest of the night.


(1)  Mideven, six o'clock p.m.
(2)  "Warrior's temper," the temper of Hauskuld of Whiteness.
(3)  "Snake-land's stem," a periphrasis for woman, Rodny.
(4)  "He that hoardeth ocean's fire," a periphrasis for man,
     Hauskuld of Whiteness.


Now we must speak of Skarphedinn and his brothers, how they bend
their course up to Rangriver.  Then Skarphedinn said, "Stand we
here and listen, and let us go stilly, for I hear the voices of
men up along the river's bank.  But will ye, Helgi and Grim, deal
with Lyting single-handed, or with both his brothers?"

They said they would sooner deal with Lyting alone.

"Still," says Skarphedinn, "there is more game in him, and
methinks it were ill if he gets away, but I trust myself best for
not letting him escape."

"We will take such steps," says Helgi, "if we get a chance at
him, that he shall not slip through our fingers."

Then they went thitherward, where they heard the voices of men,
and see where Lyting and his brothers are by a stream.

Skarphedinn leaps over the stream at once, and alights on the
sandy brink on the other side.  There upon it stands Hallgrim and
his brother.  Skarphedinn smites at Hallgrim's thigh, so that he
cut the leg clean off, but he grasps Hallstein with his left
hand.  Lyting thrust at Skarphedinn, but Helgi came up then and
threw his shield before the spear, and caught the blow on it. 
Lyting took up a stone and hurled it at Skarphedinn, and he lost
his hold on Hallstein.  Hallstein sprang up the sandy bank, but
could get up it in no other way than by crawling on his hands and
knees.  Skarphedinn made a side blow at him with his axe, "the
ogress of war," and hews asunder his backbone.  Now Lyting turns
and flies, but Helgi and Grim both went after him, and each gave
him a wound, but still Lyting got across the river away from
them, and so to the horses, and gallops till he comes to Ossaby.

Hauskuld was at home, and meets him at once.  Lyting told him of
these deeds.

"Such things were to be looked for by thee," says Hauskuld. 
"Thou hast behaved like a madman, and here the truth of the old
saw will be proved; `but a short while is hand fain of blow.'
Methinks what thou hast got to look to now is whether thou wilt
be able to save thy life or not."

"Sure enough," says Lyting, "I had hard work to get away, but
still I wish now that thou wouldest get me atoned with Njal and
his sons, so that I might keep my farm."

"So it shall be," says Hauskuld.

After that Hauskuld made them saddle his horse, and rode to
Bergthorsknoll with five men.  Njal's sons were then come home
and had laid them down to sleep.

Hauskuld went at once to see Njal, and they began to talk.

"Hither am I come," said Hauskuld to Njal, "to beg a boon on
behalf of Lyting, my uncle.  He has done great wickedness against
you and yours, broken his atonement and slain thy son."

"Lyting will perhaps think," said Njal, "that he has already paid
a heavy fine in the loss of his brothers, but if I grant him any
terms, I shall let him reap the good of my love for thee, and I
will tell thee before I utter the award of atonement, that
Lyting's brothers shall fall as outlaws.  Nor shall Lyting have
any atonement for his wounds, but on the other hand, he shall pay
the full blood-fine for Hauskuld."

"My wish," said Hauskuld, "is, that thou shouldest make thine own

"Well," says Njal, "then I will utter the award at once if thou

"Wilt thou," says Hauskuld, "that thy sons should be by?"

"Then we should be no nearer an atonement than we were before,"
says Njal, "but they will keep to the atonement which I utter."

Then Hauskuld said, "Let us close the matter then, and handsel
him peace on behalf of thy sons."

"So it shall be," says Njal.  "My will then is, that he pays two
hundred in silver for the slaying of Hauskuld, but he may still
dwell at Samstede; and yet I think it were wiser if he sold his
land and changed his abode; but not for this quarrel; neither I
nor my sons will break our pledges of peace to him; but methinks
it may be that some one may rise up in this country against whom
he may have to be on his guard.  Yet, lest it should seem that I
make a man an outcast from his native place, I allow him to be
here in this neighbourhood, but in that case he alone is
answerable for what may happen."

After that Hauskuld fared home, and Njal's sons woke up as he
went and asked their father who had come, but he told them that
his foster-son Hauskuld had been there.

"He must have come to ask a boon for Lyting then," said

"So it was," says Njal.

"Ill was it then," says Grim.

"Hauskuld could not have thrown his shield before him," says
Njal, "if thou hadst slain him, as it was meant thou shouldst."

"Let us throw no blame on our father," says Skarphedinn.

Now it is to be said that this atonement was kept between them


That event happened three winters after at the Thingskala-Thing
that Amund the Blind was at the Thing; he was the son of Hauskuld
Njal's son.  He made men lead him about among the booths, and so
he came to the booth inside which was Lyting of Samstede.  He
made them lead him into the booth till he came before Lyting.

"Is Lyting of Samstede here?" he asked.

"What dost thou want?" says Lyting.

"I want to know," says Amund, "what atonement thou wilt pay me
for my father.  I am base-born, and I have touched no fine."

"I have atoned for the slaying of thy father," says Lyting, "with
a full price, and thy father's father and thy father's brothers
took the money; but my brothers fell without a price as outlaws;
and so it was that I had both done an ill deed, and paid dear for

"I ask not," says Amund, "as to thy having paid an atonement to
them.  I know that ye two are now friends, but I ask this, what
atonement thou wilt pay to me?"

"None at all," says Lyting.

"I cannot see," says Amund, "how thou canst have right before
God, when thou hast stricken me so near the heart; but all I can
say is, that if I were blessed with the sight of both my eyes, I
would have either a money fine for my father, or revenge man for
man, and so may God judge between us."

After that he went out; but when he came to the door of the
booth, he turned short round towards the inside.  Then his eyes
were opened, and he said, "Praised be the Lord!  Now I see what
his will is."

With that he ran straight into the booth until he comes before
Lyting, and smites him with an axe on the head, so that it sunk
in up to the hammer, and gives the axe a pull towards him.

Lyting fell forwards and was dead at once.

Amund goes out to the door of the booth, and when he got to the
very same spot on which he had stood when his eyes were opened,
lo! they were shut again, and he was blind all his life after.

Then he made them lead him to Njal and his sons, and he told them
of Lyting's slaying.

"Thou mayest not be blamed for this," says Njal, "for such things
are settled by a higher power; but it is worth while to take
warning from such events, lest we cut any short who have such
near claims as Amund had."

After that Njal offered an atonement to Lyting's kinsmen. 
Hauskuld the Priest of Whiteness had a share in bringing Lyting's
kinsmen to take the fine, and then the matter was put to an
award, and half the fines fell away for the sake of the claim
which he seemed to have on Lyting.

After that men came forward with pledges of peace and good faith,
and Lyting's kinsmen granted pledges to Amund.  Men rode home
from the Thing; and now all is quiet for a long while.


Valgard the Guileful came back to Iceland that summer; he was
then still heathen.  He fared to Hof to his son Mord's house, and
was there the winter over.  He said to Mord, "Here I have ridden
far and wide all over the neighbourhood, and methinks I do not
know it for the same.  I came to Whiteness, and there I saw many
tofts of booths and much ground levelled for building.  I came to
Thingskala-Thing, and there I saw all our booths broken down. 
What is the meaning of such strange things?

"New priesthoods," answers Mord, "have been set up here, and a
law for a Fifth Court, and men have declared themselves out of my
Thing, and have gone over to Hauskuld's Thing."

"Ill hast thou repaid me," said Valgard, "for giving up to thee
my priesthood, when thou hast handled it so little like a man,
and now my wish is that thou shouldst pay them off by something
that will drag them all down to death; and this thou canst do by
setting them by the ears by talebearing, so that Njal's sons may
slay Hauskuld; but there are many who will have the blood-feud
after him, and so Njal's sons will be slain in that quarrel."

"I shall never be able to get that done," says Mord.

"I will give thee a plan," says Valgard; "thou shalt ask Njal's
sons to thy house, and send them away with gifts, but thou shalt
keep thy tale-bearing in the background until great friendship
has sprung up between you, and they trust thee no worse than
their own selves.  So wilt thou be able to avenge thyself on
Skarphedinn for that he took thy money from thee after Gunnar's
death; and in this wise, further on, thou wilt be able to seize
the leadership when they are all dead and gone."

This plan they settled between them should be brought to pass;
and Mord said, "I would, father, that thou wouldst take on thee
the new faith.  Thou art an old man.

"I will not do that," says Valgard.  "I would rather that thou
shouldst cast off the faith, and see what follows then."

Mord said he would not do that.  Valgard broke crosses before
Mord's face, and all holy tokens.  A little after Valgard took a
sickness and breathed his last, and he was laid in a cairn by


Some while after Mord rode to Bergthorsknoll and saw Skarphedinn
there; he fell into very fair words with them, and so he talked
the whole day, and said he wished to be good friends with them,
and to see much of them.

Skarphedinn took it all well, but said he had never sought for
anything of the kind before.  So it came about that he got
himself into such great friendship with them, that neither side
thought they had taken any good counsel unless the other had a
share in it.

Njal always disliked his coming thither, and it often happened
that he was angry with him.

It happened one day that Mord came to Bergthorsknoll, and Mord
said to Njal's sons, "I have made up my mind to give a feast
yonder, and I mean to drink in my heirship after my father, but
to that feast I wish to bid you, Njal's sons, and Kari; and at
the same time I give you my word that ye shall not fare away

They promised to go, and now he fares home and makes ready the
feast.  He bade to it many householders, and that feast was very

Thither came Njal's sons and Kari.  Mord gave Skarphedinn a
brooch of gold, and a silver belt to Kari, and good gifts to Grim
and Helgi.

They come home and boast of these gifts, and show them to Njal. 
He said they would be bought full dear, "and take heed that ye do
not repay the giver in the coin which he no doubt wishes to get."


A little after Njal's sons and Hauskuld were to have their yearly
feasts, and they were the first to bid Hauskuld to come to them.

Skarphedinn had a brown horse four winters old, both tall and
sightly.  He was a stallion, and had never yet been matched in
fight.  That horse Skarphedinn gave to Hauskuld, and along with
him two mares.  They all gave Hauskuld gifts, and assured him of
their friendship.

After that Hauskuld bade them to his house at Ossaby, and had
many guests to meet them, and a great crowd.

It happened that he had just then taken down his hall, but he had
built three outhouses, and there the beds were made.

So all that were bidden came, and the feast went off very well. 
But when men were to go home Hauskuld picked out good gifts for
them, and went a part of the way with Njal's sons.

The sons of Sigfus followed him and all the crowd, and both sides
said that nothing should ever come between them to spoil their

A little while after Mord came to Ossaby and called Hauskuld out
to talk with him, and they went aside and spoke.

"What a difference in manliness there is," said Mord, "between
thee and Njal's sons!  Thou gavest them good gifts, but they gave
thee gifts with great mockery."

"How makest thou that out?" says Hauskuld.

"They gave thee a horse which they called a `dark horse,' and
that they did out of mockery to thee, because they thought thee
too untried.  I can tell thee also that they envy thee the
priesthood.  Skarphedinn took it up as his own at the Thing when
thou camest not to the Thing at the summoning of the Fifth Court,
and Skarphedinn never means to let it go."

"That is not true," says Hauskuld, "for I got it back at the
Folkmote last harvest."

"Then that was Njal's doing," says Mord.  "They broke, too, the
atonement about Lyting."

"I do not mean to lay that at their door," says Hauskuld.

"Well," says Mord, "thou canst not deny that when ye two,
Skarphedinn and thou, were going east towards Markfleet, an axe
fell out from under his belt, and he meant to have slain thee
then and there."

"It was his woodman's axe," says Hauskuld, "and I saw how he put
it under his belt; and now, Mord, I will just tell thee this
right out, that thou canst never say so much ill of Njal's sons
as to make me believe it; but though there were aught in it, and
it were true as thou sayest, that either I must slay them or they
me, then would I far rather suffer death at their hands than work
them any harm.  But as for thee, thou art all the worse a man for
having spoken this."

After that Mord fares home.  A little after Mord goes to see
Njal's sons, and he talks much with those brothers and Kari.

"I have been told," says Mord, "that Hauskuld has said that thou,
Skarphedinn, hast broken the atonement made with Lyting; but I
was made aware also that he thought that thou hadst meant some
treachery against him when ye two fared to Markfleet.  But still,
methinks that was no less treachery when he bade you to a feast
at his house, and stowed you away in an outhouse that was
farthest from the house, and wood was then heaped round the
outhouse all night, and he meant to burn you all inside; but it
so happened that Hogni Gunnar's son came that night, and naught
came of their onslaught, for they were afraid of him.  After that
he followed you on your way and great band of men with him, then
he meant to make another onslaught on you, and set Grani Gunnar's
son, and Gunnar Lambi's son to kill thee; but their hearts failed
them, and they dared not to fall on thee."

But when he had spoken thus, first of all they spoke against it,
but the end of it was that they believed him, and from that day
forth a coldness sprung up on their part towards Hauskuld, and
they scarcely ever spoke to him when they met; but Hauskuld
showed them little deference, and so things went on for a while.

Next harvest Hauskuld fared east to Swinefell to a feast, and
Flosi gave him a hearty welcome.  Hildigunna was there too.  Then
Flosi spoke to Hauskuld and said, "Hildigunna tells me that there
is great coldness with you and Njal's sons, and methinks that is
ill, and I will beg thee not to ride west, but I will get thee a
homestead in Skaptarfell, and I will send my brother, Thorgeir,
to dwell at Ossaby."

"Then some will say," says Hauskuld, "that I am flying thence for
fear's sake, and that I will not have said."

"Then it is more likely that great trouble will arise," says

"Ill is that then," says Hauskuld, "for I would rather fall
unatoned, than that many should reap ill for my sake."

Hauskuld busked him to ride home a few nights after, but Flosi
gave him a scarlet cloak, and it was embroidered with needlework
down to the waist.

Hauskuld rode home to Ossaby, and now all is quiet for a while.

Hauskuld was so much beloved that few men were his foes, but the
same ill-will went on between him and Njal's sons the whole
winter through.

Njal had taken as his foster-child, Thord, the son of Kari.  He
had also fostered Thorhall, the son of Asgrim Ellidagrim's son. 
Thorhall was a strong man, and hardy both in body and mind, he
had learnt so much law that he was the third greatest lawyer in

Next spring was an early spring, and men are busy sowing their


It happened one day that Mord came to Berathorsknoll.  He and
Kari and Njal's sons fell a-talking at once, and Mord slanders
Hauskuld after his wont, and has now many new tales to tell, and
does naught but egg Skarphedinn and them on to slay Hauskuld, and
said he would be beforehand with them if they did not fall on him
at once.

"I will let thee have thy way in this," says Skarphedinn, "if
thou wilt fare with us, and have some hand in it."

"That I am ready to do," says Mord, and so they bound that fast
with promises, and he was to come there that evening.

Bergthora asked Njal, "What are they talking about out of doors?"

"I am not in their counsels," says Njal, "but I was seldom left
out of them when their plans were good."

Skarphedinn did not lie down to rest that evening, nor his
brothers, nor Kari.

That same night, when it was well-nigh spent, came Mord Valgard's
son, and Njal's sons and Kari took their weapons and rode away. 
They fared till they came to Ossaby, and bided there by a fence. 
The weather was good, and the sun just risen.


About that time Hauskuld, the Priest of Whiteness, awoke; he put
on his clothes, and threw over him his cloak, Flosi's gift.  He
took his corn-sieve, and had his sword in his other hand, and
walks towards the fence, and sows the corn as he goes.

Skarphedinn and his band had agreed that they would all give
him a wound.  Skarphedinn sprang up from behind the fence, but
when Hauskuld saw him he wanted to turn away, then Skarphedinn
ran up to him and said, "Don't try to turn on thy heel, Whiteness
priest," and hews at him, and the blow came on his head, and he
fell on his knees.  Hauskuld said these words when he fell, "God
help me, and forgive you!"

Then they all ran up to him and gave him wounds.

After that Mord said, "A plan comes into my mind."

"What is that?" says Skarphedinn.

"That I shall fare home as soon as I can, but after that I will
fare up to Gritwater, and tell them the tidings, and say 'tis an
ill deed; but I know surely that Thorgerda will ask me to give
notice of the slaying, and I will do that, for that will be the
surest way to spoil their suit.  I will also send a man to Ossaby
and know how soon they take any counsel in the matter, and that
man will learn all these tidings thence, and I will make believe
that I have heard them from him."

"Do so by all means," says Skarphedinn.

Those brothers fared home, and Kari with them, and when they came
home they told Njal the tidings.

"Sorrowful tidings are these," says Njal, "and such are ill to
hear, for sooth to say this grief touches me so nearly, that
methinks it were better to have lost two of my sons and that
Hauskuld lived."

"It is some excuse for thee," says Skarphedinn, "that thou art
an old man, and it is to be looked for that this touches thee

"But this," says Njal, "no less than old age, is why I grieve,
that I know better than thou what will come after."

"What will come after?" says Skarphedinn.

"My death," says Njal, "and the death of my wife and of all my

"What dost thou foretell for me?" says Kari.

"They will have hard work to go against thy good fortune, for
thou wilt be more than a match for all of them."

This one thing touched Njal so nearly that he could never speak
of it without shedding tears.


Hildigunna woke up and found that Hauskuld was away out of his

"Hard have been my dreams," she said, "and not good; but go and
search for him, Hauskuld."

So they searched for him about the homestead and found him not.

By that time she had dressed herself; then she goes and two men
with her, to the fence, and there they find Hauskuld slain.

Just then, too, came up Mord Valgard's son's shepherd, and told
her that Njal's sons had gone down thence, "and," he said,
"Skarphedinn called out to me and gave notice of the slaying as
done by him."

"It were a manly deed," she says, "if one man had been at it."

She took the cloak and wiped off all the blood with it, and
wrapped the gouts of gore up in it, and so folded it together and
laid it up in her chest.

Now she sent a man up to Gritwater to tell the tidings thither,
but Mord was there before him, and had already told the tidings. 
There, too, was come Kettle of the Mark.

Thorgerda said to Kettle, "Now is Hauskuld dead as we know, and
now bear in mind what thou promisedst to do when thou tookest him
for thy fosterchild."

"It may well be," says Kettle, "that I promised very many things
then, for I thought not that these days would ever befall us that
have now come to pass; but yet I am come into a strait, for `nose
is next of kin to eyes,' since I have Njal's daughter to wife."

"Art thou willing, then," says Thorgerda, "that Mord should give
notice of the suit for the slaying?"

"I know not that," says Kettle, "for me ill comes from him more
often than good."

But as soon as ever Mord began to speak to Kettle he fared the
same as others, in that he thought as though Mord would be true
to him, and so the end of their counsel was that Mord should give
notice of the slaying, and get ready the suit in every way before
the Thing.

Then Mord fared down to Ossaby, and thither came nine neighbours
who dwelt nearest the spot.

Mord had ten men with him.  He shows the neighbours Hauskuld's
wounds, and takes witness to the hurts, and names a man as the
dealer of every wound save one; that he made as though he knew
not who had dealt it, but that wound he had dealt himself.  But
the slaying he gave notice of at Skarphedinn's hand, and the
wounds at his brothers' and Kari's.

After that he called on nine neighbours who dwelt nearest the
spot to ride away from home to the Althing on the inquest.

After that he rode home.  He scarce ever met Njal's sons, and
when he did meet them, he was cross, and that was part of their

The slaying of Hauskuld was heard over all the land, and was
ill-spoken of.  Njal's sons went to see Asgrim Ellidagrim's son,
and asked him for aid.

"Ye very well know that ye may look that I shall help you in all
great suits, but still my heart is heavy about this suit, for
there are many who have the blood feud, and this slaying is ill-
spoken of over all the land."

Now Njal's sons fare home.


There was a man named Gudmund the Powerful, who dwelt at
Modruvale in Eyjafirth.  He was the son of Eyjolf the son of
Einar (1).  Gudmund was a mighty chief, wealthy in goods; he had
in his house a hundred hired servants.  He overbore in rank and
weight all the chiefs in the north country, so that some left
their homesteads, but some he put to death, and some gave up
their priesthoods for his sake, and from him are come the
greatest part of all the picked and famous families in the land,
such as "the Pointdwellers" and the "Sturlungs" and the
"Hvamdwellers," and the "Fleetmen," and Kettle the Bishop, and
many of the greatest men.

Gudmund was a friend of Asgrim Ellidagrim's son, and so he hoped
to get his help.


(1)  Einar was the son of Audun the Bald, the son of Thorolf
     Butter, the son of Thorstein the Unstable, the son of Grim
     with the Tuft.  The mother of Gudmund was Hallberg, the
     daughter of Thorodd Helm, but the mother of Hallbera was
     Reginleifa, daughter of Saemund the South-islander; after
     him is named Saemundslithe in Skagafirth.  The mother of
     Eyjolf, Gudmund's father, was Valgerda Runolf's daughter;
     the mother of Valgerda was Valbjorg, her mother was Joruna
     the Disowned, a daughter of King Oswald the Saint.  The
     mother of Einar, the father of Eyjolf, was Helga, a daughter
     of Helgi the Lean, who took Eyjafirth as the first settler. 
     Helgi was the son of Eyvind the Easterling.  The mother of
     Helgi was Raforta, the daughter of Kjarval, the Erse King. 
     The mother of Helga Helgi's daughter, was Thoruna the
     Horned, daughter of Kettle Flatnose, the son of Bjorn the
     Rough-footed, the son of Grim, Lord of Sogn.  The mother of
     Grim was Hervora, but the mother of Hervora was Thorgerda,
     daughter of King Haleyg of Helgeland.  Thorlauga was the
     name of Gudmund the Powerful's wife, she was a daughter of
     Atli the Strong, the son of Eilif the Eagle.  the son of
     Bard, the son of Jalkettle, the son of Ref, the son of Skidi
     the Old.  Herdisa was the name of Thorlauga's mother, a
     daughter of Thord of the Head, the son of Bjorn Butter-
     carrier, the son of Hroald the son of Hrodlaug the Sad, the
     son of Bjorn Ironside, the son of Ragnar Hairybreeks, the
     son of Sigurd Ring, the son of Randver, the son of Radbard. 
     The mother of Herdisa Thord's daughter was Thorgerda Skidi's
     daughter, her mother was Fridgerda, a daughter of Kjarval,
     the Erse King.


There was a man named Snorri, who was surnamed the Priest.  He
dwelt at Helgafell before Gudruna Oswif's daughter bought the
land of him, and dwelt there till she died of old age; but Snorri
then went and dwelt at Hvamsfirth on Saelingdale's tongue. 
Thorgrim was the name of Snorri's father, and he was a son of
Thorstein codcatcher (1).  Snorri was a great friend of Asgrim
Ellidagrim's son, and he looked for help there also.  Snorri was
the wisest and shrewdest of all these men in Iceland who had not
the gift of foresight.  He was good to his friends, but grim to
his foes.

At that time there was a great riding to the Thing out of all the
Quarters, and men had many suits set on foot.


(1)  Thorstein Codcatcher was the son of Thorolf Mostrarskegg,
     the son of Ornolf Fish-driver, but Ari the Wise ways he was
     the son of Thorgil Reydarside.  Thorolf Mostrarskegg had to
     wife Oska, the daughter of Thorstein the Red.  The mother of
     Thorgrim was named Thora, a daughter of Oleif the Shy, the
     son of Thorstein the Red, the son of Oleif the White, the
     son of Ingialld, the son of Helgi; but the mother of
     Ingialld was Thora, a daughter of Sigurd Snake-eye, son of
     Ragnar Hairybreeks; but the mother of Snorri the Priest was
     Thordisa, the daughter of Sur, and the sister of Gisli.


Flosi hears of Hauskuld's slaying, and that brings him much grief
and wrath, but still he kept his feelings well in hand.  He was
told how the suit had been set on foot, as has been said, for
Hauskuld's slaying, and he said little about it.  He sent word to
Hall of the Side, his father-in-law, and to Ljot his son, that
they must gather in a great company at the Thing.  Ljot was
thought the most hopeful man for a chief away there east.  It had
been foretold that if he could ride three summers running to the
Thing, and come safe and sound home, that then he would be the
greatest chief in all his family, and the oldest man.  He had
then ridden one summer to the Thing, and now he meant to ride the
second time.

Flosi sent word to Kol Thorstein's son, and Glum the son of
Hilldir the Old, the son of Gerleif, the son of Aunund Wallet-
back, and to Modolf Kettle's son, and they all rode to meet

Hall gave his word, too, to gather a great company, and Flosi
rode till he came to Kirkby, to Surt Asbjorn's son.  Then Flosi
sent after Kolbein Egil's son, his brother's son, and he came to
him there.  Thence he rode to Headbrink.  There dwelt Thorgrim
the Showy, the son of Thorkel the Fair.  Flosi begged him to ride
to the Althing with him, and he said yea to the journey, and
spoke thus to Flosi, "Often hast thou been more glad, master,
than thou art now, but thou hast some right to be so."

"Of a truth," said Flosi, "that hath now come on my hands, which
I would give all my goods that it had never happened.  Ill seed
has been sown, and so an ill crop will spring from it."

Thence he rode over Amstacksheath, and so to Solheim that
evening.  There dwelt Lodmund Wolf's son, but he was a great
friend of Flosi, and there he stayed that night, and next morning
Lodmund rode with him into the Dale.

There dwelt RunoIf, the son of Wolf Aurpriest.

Flosi said to Runolf, "Here we shall have true stories as to the
slaying of Hauskuld, the Priest of Whiteness.  Thou art a
truthful man, and hast got at the truth by asking, and I will
trust to all that thou tellest me as to what was the cause of
quarrel between them."

"There is no good in mincing the matter," said Runolf, "but we
must say outright that he has been slain for less than no cause;
and his death is a great grief to all men.  No one thinks it so
much a loss as Njal, his foster-father."

"Then they will be ill off for help from men," says Flosi; "and
they will find no one to speak up for them."

"So it will be," says Runolf, "unless it be otherwise

"What has been done in the suit?" says Flosi.

"Now the neighbours have been summoned on the inquest," says
Runolf, "and due notice given of the suit for manslaughter."

"Who took that step?" asks Flosi.

"Mord Valgard's son," says Runolf.

"How far is that to be trusted?" says Flosi.

"He is of my kin," says Runolf; "but still if I tell the truth of
him, I must say that more men reap ill than good from him.  But
this one thing I will ask of thee, Flosi, that thou givest rest
to thy wrath, and takest the matter up in such a way as may lead
to the least trouble.  For Njal will make a good offer, and so
will others of the best men."

"Ride thou then to the Thing, Runolf," said Flosi, "and thy words
shall have much weight with me, unless things turn out worse than
they should."

After that they cease speaking about it, and Runolf promised to
go to the Thing.

Runolf sent word to Hafr the Wise, his kinsman, and he rode
thither at once.

Thence Flosi rode to Ossaby.


Hildigunna was out of doors, and said, "Now shall all the men of
my household be out of doors when Flosi rides into the yard; but
the women shall sweep the house and deck it with hangings, and
make ready the high seat for Flosi."

Then Flosi rode into the town, and Hildigunna turned to him and
said, "Come in safe and sound and happy kinsman, and my heart is
fain at thy coming hither."

"Here," says Flosi, "we will break our fast, and then we will
ride on."

Then their horses were tethered, and Flosi went into the sitting-
room and sat him down, and spurned the high seat away from him on
the dais, and said, "I am neither king nor earl, and there is no
need to make a high seat for me to sit on, nor is there any need
to make a mock of me."

Hildigunna was standing close by, and said, "It is ill if it
mislikes thee, for this we did with a whole heart."

"If thy heart is whole towards me, then what I do will praise
itself if it be well done, but it will blame itself if it be ill

Hildigunna laughed a cold laugh, and said, "There is nothing new
in that, we will go nearer yet ere we have done."

She sat her down by Flosi, and they talked long and low.

After that the board was laid, and Flosi and his band washed
their hands.  Flosi looked hard at the towel and saw that it was
all in rags, and had one end torn off.  He threw it down on the
bench and would not wipe himself with it, but tore off a piece of
the tablecloth, and wiped himself with that, and then threw it to
his men.

After that Flosi sat down to the board and bade men eat.

Then Hildigunna came into the room and went before Flosi, and
threw her hair off her eyes and wept.

"Heavy-hearted art thou now, kinswoman," said Flosi, "when thou
weepest, but still it is well that thou shouldst weep for a good

"What vengeance or help shall I have of thee?" she says.

"I will follow up thy suit," said Flosi, "to the utmost limit of
the law, or strive for that atonement which good men and true
shall say that we ought to have as full amends."

"Hauskuld would avenge thee," she said, "if he had the blood-feud
after thee."

"Thou lackest not grimness," answered Flosi, "and what thou
wantest is plain."

"Arnor Ornolf's son, of Forswaterwood," said Hildigunna, "had
done less wrong towards Thord Frey's priest thy father; and yet
thy brothers Kolbein and Egil slew him at Skaptarfells-Thing."

Then Hildigunna went back into the hall and unlocked her chest,
and then she took out the cloak, Flosi's gift, and in it Hauskuld
had been slain, and there she had kept it, blood and all.  Then
she went back into the sitting-room with the Cloak; she went up
silently to Flosi.  Flosi had just then eaten his full, and the
board was cleared.  Hildigunna threw the cloak over Flosi, and
the gore rattled down all over him.

Then she spoke and said, "This cloak, Flosi, thou gavest to
Hauskuld, and now I will give it back to thee; he was slain in
it, and I call God and all good men to witness, that I abjure
thee, by all the might of thy Christ, and by thy manhood and
bravery, to take vengeance for all those wounds which he had on
his dead body, or else to be called every man's dastard."

Flosi threw the cloak off him and hurled it into her lap, and
said, "Thou art the greatest hell-hag, and thou wishest that we
should take that course which will be the worst for all of us. 
But `women's counsel is ever cruel.'"

Flosi was so stirred at this, that sometimes he was bloodred in
the face, and sometimes ashy pale as withered grass, and
sometimes blue as death.

Flosi and his men rode away; he rode to Holtford, and there waits
for the sons of Sigfus and other of his men.

Ingialld dwelt at the Springs; he was the brother of Rodny,
Hauskuld Njal's son's mother (1).  Ingialld had to wife
Thraslauga, the daughter of Egil, the son of Thord Frey's priest
(2).  Flosi sent word to Ingialld to come to him, and Ingialld
went at once, with fourteen men.  They were all of his household.

Ingialld was a tall man and a strong, and slow to meddle with
other men's business, one of the bravest of men, and very
bountiful to his friends.

Flosi greeted him well, and said to him, "Great trouble hath now
come on me and my brothers-in-law, and it is hard to see our way
out of it; I beseech thee not to part from my suit until this
trouble is past and gone."

"I am come into a strait myself," said Ingialld, "for the sake of
the ties that there are between me and Njal and his sons, and
other great matters which stand in the way."

"I thought," said Flosi, "when I gave away my brother's daughter
to thee, that thou gavest me thy word to stand by me in every

"It is most likely," says Ingialld, "that I shall do so, but
still I will now, first of all, ride home, and thence to the


(1)  They were children of Hauskuld the White, the son of
     Ingialld the Strong, the son of Gerfinn the Red, the son of
     Solvi, the son of Tborstein Baresarks-bane.
(2)  The mother of Egil was Thraslauga, the daughter of Thorstein
     Titling; the mother of Thraslauga was Unna, the daughter of
     Eyvind Karf.


The sons of Sigfus heard how Flosi was at Holtford, and they rode
thither to meet him, and there were Kettle of the Mark, and Lambi
his brother, Thorkell and Mord, the sons of Sigfus, Sigmund their
brother, and Lambi Sigurd's son, and Gunnar Lambi's son, and
Grani Gunnar's son, and Vebrand Hamond's son.

Flosi stood up to meet them, and greeted them gladly.  So they
went down the river.  Flosi had the whole story from them about
the slaying, and there was no difference between them and Kettle
of the Mark's story.

Flosi spoke to Kettle of the Mark, and said, "This now I ask of
thee; how tightly are your hearts knit as to this suit, thou and
the other sons of Sigfus?"

"My wish is," said Kettle, "that there should be peace between
us, but yet I have sworn an oath not to part from this suit till
it has been brought somehow to an end; and to lay my life on it."

"Thou art a good man and true," said Flosi, "and it is well to
have such men with one."

Then Grani Gunnar's son and Lambi Sigurd's son both spoke
together, and said, "We wish for outlawry and death."

"It is not given us," said Flosi, "both to share and choose, we
must take what we can get."

"I have had it in my heart," says Grani, "ever since they slew
Thrain by Markfleet, and after that his son Hauskuld, never to be
atoned with them by a lasting peace, for I would willingly stand
by when they were all slain, every man of them."

"Thou hast stood so near to them," said Flosi, "that thou
mightest have avenged these things hadst thou had the heart and
manhood.  Methinks thou and many others now ask for what ye would
give much money hereafter never to have had a share in.  I see
this clearly, that though we slay Njal or his sons, still they
are men of so great worth, and of such good family, that there
will be such a blood feud and hue and cry after them, that we
shall have to fall on our knees before many a man, and beg for
help, ere we get an atonement and find our way out of this
strait.  Ye may make up your minds, then, that many will become
poor who before had great goods, but some of vou will lose both
goods and life."

Mord Valgard's son rode to meet Flosi, and said he would ride to
the Thing with him with all his men.  Flosi took that well, and
raised a matter of a wedding with him, that he should give away
Rannveiga his daughter to Starkad Flosi's brother's son, who
dwelt at Staffell.  Flosi did this because he thouoht he would so
make sure both of his faithfulness and force.

Mord took the wedding kindly, but handed the matter over to Gizur
the White, and bade him talk about it at the Thing.

Mord had to wife Thorkatla, Gizur the White's daughter.

They two, Mord and Flosi, rode both together to the Thing, and
talked the whole day, and no man knew aught of their counsel.


Now, we must say how Njal said to Skarphedinn.

"What plan have ye laid down for yourselves, thou and thy
brothers and Kari?"

"Little reck we of dreams in most matters," said Skarphedinn;
"but if thou must know, we shall ride to Tongue to Asgrim
Ellidagrim's son, and thence to the Thing; but, what meanest thou
to do about thine own journey, father?"

"I shall ride to the Thing," says Njal, "for it belongs to my
honour not to be severed from your suit so long as I live.  I
ween that many men will have good words to say of me, and so I
shall stand you in good stead, and do you no harm."

There, too, was Thorhall Asgrim's son, and Njal's fosterson.  The
sons of Njal laughed at him because he was clad in a coat of
russet, and asked how long he meant to wear that?

"I shall have thrown it off," he said, "when I have to follow up
the blood-feud for my foster-father."

"There will ever be most good in thee," said Njal, "when there
is most need of it."

So they all busked them to ride away from home, and were nigh
thirty men in all, and rode till they came to Thursowater.  Then
came after them Njal's kinsmen, Thorleif Crow, and Thorgrim the
Big; they were Holt-Thorir's sons, and offered their help and
following to Njal's sons, and they took that gladly.

So they rode altogether across Thursowater, until they came on
Laxwater bank, and took a rest and baited their horses there, and
there Hjallti Skeggi's son came to meet them, and Njal's sons
fell to talking with him, and they talked long and low.

"Now, I will show," said Hjallti, "that I am not blackhearted;
Njal has asked me for help, and I have agreed to it, and given my
word to aid him; he has often given me and many others the worth
of it in cunning counsel."

Hjallti tells Njal all about Flosi's doings.  They sent Thorhall
on to Tongue to tell Asgrim that they would be there that
evening; and Asgrim made ready at once, and was out of doors to
meet them when Njal rode into the town."

Njal was clad in a blue cape, and had a felt hat on his head, and
a small axe in his hand.  Asgrim helped Njal off his horse, and
led him and sate him down in his own seat.  After that they all
went in, Njal's sons and Kari.  Then Asgrim went out.

Hjallti wished to turn away, and thought there were too many
there; but Asgrim caught hold of his reins, and said he should
never have his way in riding off, and made men unsaddle their
horses, and led Hjallti in and sate him down by Njal's side; but
Thorleif and his brother sat on the other bench and their men
with them.

Asgrim sate him down on a stool before Njal, and asked, "What
says thy heart about our matter?"

"It speaks rather heavily," says Njal, "for I am afraid that we
shall have no lucky men with us in the suit; but I would, friend,
that thou shouldest send after all the men who belong to thy
Thing, and ride to the Althing with me."

"I have always meant to do that," says Asgrim; "and this I will
promise thee at the same time, that I will never leave thy cause
while I can get any men to follow me."

But all those who were in the house thanked him, and said that
was bravely spoken.  They were there that night, but the day
after all Asgrim's band came thither.

And after that they all rode together till they come up on the
Thing-field, and fit up their booths.