The Story of Grettir the Strong, by William Morris

Chap. xciii.

Thorstein and Spes come out to Norway.

Thorstein Dromund was with the Varangians while the talk ran highest about these matters; so famed did he become that it was deemed that scarce had any man of the like prowess come thither; the greatest honours he gat from Harald Sigurdson, for he was of his kin; and after his counsels did Thorstein do, as men are minded to think.

But a little after Sigurd was driven from the land, Thorstein fell to wooing Spes to wife, and she took it meetly, but went to her kinsmen for rede; then they held meetings thereon, and were of one accord that she herself must rule the matter; then was the bargain struck, and good was their wedded life, and they were rich in money, and all men deemed Thorstein to be a man of exceeding good luck, since he had delivered himself from all his troubles.

The twain were together for two winters in Micklegarth, and then Thorstein said to his goodwife that he would fain go back to see his possessions in Norway. She said he should have his will, so they sold the lands they had there, and gat them great wealth of chattels, and then betook them from that land, with a fair company, and went all the way till they came to Norway. Thorstein's kin welcomed them both right heartily, and soon saw that Spes was bountiful and high-minded, and she speedily became exceeding well befriended. Some children they had between them, and they abode on their lands, and were well content with their life.

In those days was Magnus the Good king over Norway. Thorstein soon went to meet him, and had good welcome of him, for he had grown famous for the avenging of Grettir the Strong (for men scarce know of its happening that any other Icelander, save Grettir Asmundson, was avenged in Micklegarth); and folk say that Thorstein became a man of King Magnus, and for nine winters after he had come to Norway he abode in peace, and folk of the greatest honour were they deemed, he and his wife.

Then came home from Micklegarth king Harald Sigurdson, and King Magnus gave him half Norway, and they were both kings therein for a while; but after the death of King Magnus many of those who had been his friends were ill-content, for all men loved him; but folk might not abide the temper of King Harald, for that he was hard and was wont to punish men heavily.

But Thorstein Dromund was fallen into eld, though he was still the halest of men; and now was the slaying of Grettir Asmundson sixteen winters agone.

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