The Story of Grettir the Strong, by William Morris

Chap. xxxiv.

Grettir hears of the Hauntings.

Now we take up the story where Grettir Asmundson sat at Biarg through the autumn after they parted, he and Slaying-Bardi at Thoreys-peak; and when the time of winter-nights had well-nigh come, Grettir rode from home north over the neck to Willowdale, and guested at Audunstead; he and Audun made a full peace, and Grettir gave Audun a good axe, and they talked of friendship between them. Audun dwelt long at Audunstead, and was a man of many and hopeful kin; his son was Egil, who married Ulfheid, daughter of Eyulf Gudmundson, and their son was Eyulf, who was slain at the Althing, he was the father of Orm, who was the chaplain of Bishop Thorlak.

Grettir rode north to Waterdale, and came to see his kin at Tongue. In those days dwelt there Jokull, the son of Bard, the mother's brother of Grettir: Jokull was a big man and a strong, and the most violent of men; he was a seafaring man, very wild, and yet a man of great account.

He greeted Grettir well, and he was there three nights. There were so many words about Glam's hauntings, that nought was so much spoken of as of that. Grettir asked closely about all things that had happed. Jokull said that thereof was told no more than the very truth; "And, perchance, thou art wishful to go there, kinsman?"

Grettir said that so it was.

Jokull bade him do it not, "Because it is a great risk for thy good luck, and thy kinsmen have much to hazard where thou art," said he, "for of young men we think there is none such as thou; but from ill cometh ill whereas Glam is; and far better it is to deal with men than with such evil wights."

Grettir said, "That he had a mind to go to Thorhall-stead and see how things went there."

Said Jokull, "Now I see it is of no avail to let thee; but so it is, as men say, Good luck and goodliness are twain."

"Woe is before one's own door when it is inside one's neighbour's; think how it may fare with thyself ere things are ended," said Grettir.

Jokull answered, "Maybe we may both see somewhat of things to come, but neither may help aught herein."

They parted thereafter, and neither thought well of the other's foretelling.

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Last updated Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 22:07