THE STORY OF THE HEATH-SLAYINGS
Of Bardi's Way-Fellows.
Online Medieval and Classical Library Release #34
The Lord's day cometh Bardi to Lechmote, and rideth on thence to the man-mote; and by then he came was much folk there come, and good game is toward. Now were men eager for game, whereas the man-motes had been dropped so long. Little was done in the case, though men were busy in talk at that meeting.
Now the foster-brethren Haldor and Bardi fell to talk together, and Bardi asks whether he would fare with him somewhat from out the country-side that autumn. Says Haldor: "Belike it will be found that on my part I utter not a very manly word, when I say that my mind is not made up for this journey. Now all things are ready for my faring abroad, on which faring I have been twice bent already. But I have settled this in my mind, if ever perchance I may have my will, to be to thee of avail that may be still greater, shouldst thou be in need of it, and ever hereafter if thou be hard bestead; and this also is a cause hereof, that there are many meeter than I for the journey that, as my mind tells me, thou art bent on."
Bardi understood that so it was as he said, and he said that he would be no worse friend to him than heretofore.
"But I will bid thee somewhat," says Haldor; "it befell here last summer, that I fell out with a man hight Thorarin, and he was wounded by my onslaught. (1) He is of little account for his own sake, but those men claim boot for him of whose Thing he is, and of much account are they. Now it is not meet for me to put Eilif and Hoskuld from the boot, so I will thou make peace for me in the matter, as I cannot bring myself to it, whereas I have nay- said hitherto to offer them atonement."
Then goeth Bardi forthwith to meet Eilif and Hoskuld, and straightway takes up the word on behalf of Haldor, and they bespeak a meeting between themselves for the appeasing of the case, when it lacked four weeks of winter, at the Cliffs, Thorarin's dwelling.
Now cometh Bardi to speech with Gefn's-Odd that he should fare with him south to Burgfirth.
Odd answereth his word speedily: "Yea, though thou hadst called on me last winter, or two winters ago, I had been all ready for this journey."
Then met Bardi Thorgisl, the sister's son of Odd's mother, and put the same words before him. He answereth: "That will men say, that thou hast not spoken hereof before it was to be looked for, and fare shall I if thou willest."
Then meeteth he Arngrim, the fosterling of Audolf, and asked him if he would be in the journey with him; and he answereth: "Ready am I, when thou art ready."
The same talk held he with all them afore-named, and all they took his word well.
Now spake Bardi: "In manly wise have ye dealt with me herein; now therefore will I come unto you on the Saturday, when it lacketh five weeks of winter; and if I come not thus, then are ye nowise bound to fare with me."
Now ride men home from the man-mote, and they meet, the foster- father and son, Thorarin and Bardi, and Bardi tells him of the talk betwixt him and Haldor. Thorarin showed that it liked him well, and said that the journey would happen none the less though Haldor fared not. "Yea, he may yet stand thee in good stead. And know that I have made men ware of this journey for so short a while, because I would that as late as might be aforehand should it be heard of in the country of those Burgfirthers."
(1) "It befell here last summer, that I fell out with a man hight Thorarin, and he was wounded by my onslaught," &c. This refers to that endbit of a chapter with which the fragment of the Heathslayings' story now begins in the old MS. (mentioned in our introductory notice to the story). We give it here in a literal translation as it stands: --
"Six days. Now Haldor misses the horses and seeks for them, and finds them, and deems they have been sadly used and goes now on a meeting with Thorarin; and now he loses his temper to him and dealeth him such a wound as was a sore hurt to him howbeit not baneful; so this matter cometh before the two, Hoskuld and Eilif, and they crave that boot be done for their Thingman. To that matter he (Haldor) taketh nowise readily, nor did they come to peace on that affair; and thus done, the matter now stands on awhile."
Bardi arranged with the two gothar to settle the matter on behalf of Haldor when four weeks were still left of summer, (Chapter XVII), and amid the broken readings from which we have given a summary (Chapter XXXII), one gathers that Bardi came to the arranged peace-meeting, but what the result was can only be guessed, peace apparently.