The Story of Grettir the Strong, by William Morris

Chap. xli.

Of Thorstein Dromond's Arms, and what he deemed they might do.

Now Grettir was with Thorstein for the rest of the winter and on into the spring; and it befell one morning, as those brothers, Thorstein and Grettir, lay in their sleeping-loft, that Grettir had laid his arms outside the bed-clothes; and Thorstein was awake and saw it. Now Grettir woke up a little after, and then spake Thorstein:

"I have seen thine arms, kinsman," said he, "and I deem it nowise wonderful, though thy strokes fall heavy on many, for no man's arms have I seen like thine."

"Thou mayst know well enough," said Grettir, "that I should not have brought such things to pass as I have wrought, if I were not well knit."

"Better should I deem it," said Thorstein, "if they were slenderer and somewhat luckier withal."

Grettir said, "True it is, as folk say, No man makes himself; but let me see thine arms," said he.

Thorstein did so; he was the longest and gauntest of men; and Grettir laughed, and said,

"No need to look at that longer; hooked together are the ribs in thee; nor, methinks, have I ever seen such tongs as thou bearest about, and I deem thee to be scarce of a woman's strength."

"That may be," said Thorstein; "yet shall thou know that these same thin arms shall avenge thee, else shall thou never be avenged; who may know what shall be, when all is over and done?"

No more is told of their talk together; the spring wore on, and Grettir took ship in the summer. The brothers parted in friendship, and saw each other never after.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:58