The Story of Grettir the Strong, by William Morris

Chap. xlii.

Of the Death of Asmund the Grey haired.

Now must the tale be taken up where it was left before, for Thorbiorn Oxmain heard how Thorbiorn Tardy was slain, as aforesaid, and broke out into great wrath, and said it would please him well that now this and now that should have strokes in his garth.

Asmund the Greyhaired lay long sick that summer, and when he thought his ailings drew closer on him, he called to him his kin, and said that it was his will, that Atli should have charge of all his goods after his day.

"But my mind misgives me," said Asmund, "that thou mayst scarce sit quiet because of the iniquity of men, and I would that all ye of my kin should help him to the uttermost but of Grettir nought can I say, for methinks overmuch on a whirling wheel his life turns; and though he be a mighty man, yet I fear me that he will have to heed his own troubles more than the helping of his kin: but Illugi, though he be young, yet shall he become a man of prowess, if he keep himself whole."

So, when Asmund had settled matters about his sons as he would, his sickness lay hard on him, and in a little while he died, and was laid in earth at Biarg; for there had he let make a church; but his death his neighbours deemed a great loss.

Now Atli became a mighty bonder, and had many with him, and was a great gatherer of household-stuff. When the summer was far gone, he went out to Snowfellness to get him stockfish. He drave many horses, and rode from home to Meals in Ramfirth to Gamli his brother-in-law; and on this journey rode with him Grim Thorhallson, Gamli's brother, and another man withal. They rode west to Hawkdale Pass, and so on, as the road lay west to Ness: there they bought much stockfish, and loaded seven horses therewith, and turned homeward when they were ready.

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