THE STORY OF THE HEATH-SLAYINGS
Of Bardi And His Workman Thord The Fox.
Online Medieval and Classical Library Release #34
Now wears the time, till Friday of the sixth week, and at nones of that day home came the home-men of Bardi, and had by then pretty much finished with their hay-work.
Bardi and his brethren were without, when the workmen came, and they greeted them well. They had their work-tools with them, and Thord the Fox was dragging his scythe behind him.
Quoth Bardi: "Now draggeth the Fox his brush behind him."
"So is it," saith Thord, "that I drag my brush behind me, and cock it up but little or nought; but this my mind bodes me, that thou wilt trail thy brush very long or ever thou avenge Hall thy brother."
Bardi gave him back no word in revenge, and men go to table.
Those brethren were speedy with their meat, and stood up from table straightway, and Bardi goeth up to Thord the Fox and spake with him, laying before him the work he shall do that evening and the day after, Saturday to wit.
Forty haycocks lay yet ungathered together in Asbiorn's-ness; and he was to gather them together, and have done with it that evening. "Moreover, to-morrow shalt thou fare to fetch our bell- wether hight the Flinger, whereas our wethers be gone from the sheepwalks, and come into the home-pastures."
Now he bade Thord to this, because the wether was worse to catch than other sheep, and swifter withal. "Now further to-morrow shalt thou go to Ambardale, and fetch home the five-year-old ox which we have there, and slaughter him, and bring all the carcass south to Burg on Saturday. (1) Great is the work, but if thou win it not, then shalt thou try which of us bears the brush most cocked thenceforward."
Thord answered and said that often he had heard his big threats; and thereof he is nowise blate.
Now rideth Bardi in the evening to Lechmote, and the brethren together, and Bardi and Thorarin talk together the evening through.
(1) "Burg", the homestead of Bardi's brother-in-law, Eyolf, is defined, Chapter XXXIX, as Burg the southernmost. To this day there are two homesteads in the locality between lower Willowdale-water and Westhope-water, named Burg the "northernmost" and "southernmost," the one north, the other south of Burgwork (cf. Preface). At present the northernmost is by a great deal the more considerable property of the two.