The Story of Grettir the Strong, by William Morris

Chap. xlix.

The gathering to avenge Thorbiorn Oxmain.

Thorod Drapa-Stump sought tidings of this who might have slain Thorbiorn and his son, and when he came to Reeks, it was told him that Grettir had been there and given out the slayings as from his hand. Now, Thorod deemed he saw how things had come to pass; so he went to Biarg, and there found many folk, but he asked if Grettir were there.

The goodwife said he had ridden away, and that she would not slip him into hiding-places if he were there.

"Now ye will be well pleased that matters have so been wrought; nor was the slaying of Atli over-avenged, though this was paid for it. Ye asked not then what grief of heart I had; and now, too, it is well that things are even so."

Therewith they rode home, and found it not easy to do aught therein.

Now that spear-head which Grettir lost was not found till within the memory of men living now; it was found in the latter days of Sturla Thordson the lawman, and in that marsh where Thorbiorn fell, which is now called Spear-mead; and that sign men have to show that Thorbiorn was slain there, though in some places it is said that he was slain on Midfit.

Thorod and his kin heard that Grettir abode at Liarskogar; then they gathered men, and were minded to go thither; but when Gamli of Meals was ware thereof, he made Thorstein and Grettir sure of the farings of the Ramfirthers; and when Thorstein knew it, he sent Grettir in to Tongue to Snorri Godi, for then there was no strife between them, and Thorstein gave that counsel to Grettir that he should pray Snorri the Godi for his watch and ward; but if he would not grant it, he made Grettir go west to Reek-knolls to Thorgils Arisen, "and he will take thee to him through this winter, and keep within the Westfirths till these matters are settled."

Grettir said he would take good heed to his counsels; then he rode into Tongue, and found Snorri the Godi, and talked with him, and prayed him to take him in.

Snorri answered, "I grow an old man now, and loth am I to harbour outlawed men if no need drive me thereto. What has come to pass that the elder put thee off from him?"

Grettir said that Thorstein had often done well to him; "But more shall I need than him alone, if things are to go well."

Said Snorri, "My good word I shall put in for thee if that may avail thee aught, but in some other place than with me must thou seek a dwelling."

With these words they parted, and Grettir turned west to Reekness; the Ramfirthers with their band got as far as Samstead, and there they heard that Grettir had departed from Liarskogar, and thereat they went back home.

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