The Story of Grettir the Strong, by William Morris

Chap. lxxix.

Of the Talk at the Thing about Grettir's Outlawry.

That summer, at the Althing, the kin of Grettir spake many things concerning his outlawry, and some deemed he had outworn the years thereof, if he had come at all into the twentieth year; but they who had blood-suits against him would not have it so, and said, that he had done many an outlaw's deed since he was first outlawed, and deemed his time ought to last longer therefor.

At that time was a new lawman made, Stein, the son of Thorgest, the son of Stein the Far-sailing, the son of Thorir Autumn-mirk; the mother of Stein was Arnora, the daughter of Thord the Yeller; and Stein was a wise man.

Now was he prayed for the word of decision; and he bade them search and see whether this were the twentieth summer since Grettir was made an outlaw, and thus it seemed to be.

But then stood forth Thorir of Garth, and brought all into dispute again, for he found that Grettir had been one winter out here a sackless man, amidst the times of his outlawry, and then nineteen were the winters of his outlawry found to be. Then said the lawman that no one should be longer in outlawry than twenty winters in all, though he had done outlaw's deeds in that time.

"But before that, I declare no man sackless."

Now because of this was the acquittal delayed for this time, but it was thought a sure thing that he would be made sackless the next summer. But that misliked the Skagafirthers exceeding ill, if Grettir were to come out of his outlawry, and they bade Thorbiorn Angle do one of two things, either give back the island or slay Grettir; but he deemed well that he had a work on his hands, for he saw no rede for the winning of Grettir, and yet was he fain to hold the island; and so all manner of craft he sought for the overcoming of Grettir, if he might prevail either by guile or hardihood, or in any wise soever.

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