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THEN Gisli and the rest went down to the ship and put out to sea. Thev sailed more than a hundred days and came to land westwards into Dyrafirth [in Iceland] on the coast somewhat towards the south at the mouth of a river which was called Hawkdalemouth.
Two men are to be mentioned here, both named Thorkel. They lived each on his own part of the shore. One dwelt at Saurar in Keldudale on the side somewhat to the south. This was Thorkel Ericson. And the other lived on the side farther north at Alvidru. His name was Thorkel Wealthy. Thorkel Ericson went first of the men of rank down to the ship and met Thorbiorn Sour. So was Thorbiorn nicknamed from the time when he saved himself with the sour milk. Not all the land had at that time been taken up on both sides of the fjord, so Thorbiorn Sour bought land on the shore toward the south at Sabol in Hawkdale. There Gisli built the house, and there they lived from that time forth.
Bjartmar was the name of a man. He lived on Arnarfirth up inland at the head. His wife's name was Thurid. She was Raven's daughter from Ketilseyre in Dyrafirth. Raven himself was the son of Dyri, who first laid claim to the land as a settler. Bjartmar and Thurid had children. Their daughter was named Hilda. She was the oldest of the children. Their sons were Helgi, Sigurd, and Vestgar.
Vestan was the name of a man from the east, out of Norway, who came out to Iceland at the time of the settlement and found lodgings with Bjartmar. Vestan married Hilda, Bjartmar's daughter, and when they had not as yet been long together, they had children born to them. Aud was the name of their daughter and Vestan, that of their son.
Vestan the Eastman was the son of Vegar, the brother of Vebiorn, famed warrior from Sogn [in western Norway]. Bjartmar was the son of An Redcloak, son of Grim Shaggy-cheek, who was the brother of Orvar-Odd, the son of Ketil Salmon, the son of Hallbiorn, the half troll. The mother of An Redcloak was Helga, the daughter of An the Archer.
Vestan, son of Vestan the Eastman, became a great sea-faring man. He owned a farmstead on Onundarfirth under Hesti at the time when he here comes into the saga. His wife was named Gunnhild. Two sons he had, Berg and Helgi.
Now after these things had taken place, Thorbiorn Sour died, and his wife, Thora, likewise. Then Gisli and Thorkel, his brother, took over the home. And Thorbiorn and Thora were laid to rest in a howe.
Another man was named Thorbiorn. He was nicknamed Sealrock. He lived on Talknafirth at Kvigandafell. Thordis was his wife, and Asgerd, his daughter. Thorkel, Sour's son, sought Asgerd in marriage and took her to wife; and Gisli, the other of Sour's sons, asked in marriage the sister of Vestan, Aud, who was Vestan the Eastman's daughter, and she was given to him. Both brothers then lived together in Hawkdale.
One spring Thorkel Wealthy had a journey to make southward to the Thing at Thorsness 11 and the two sons of Sour went with him. At Thorsness at that time lived one Thorstan Codfish-eater, son of Thorolf Moss-beard. Thorstan had to wife Thora, daughter of Olaf, Thorstan's son. Their children were Thordis, Thorgrim, and Bork the Fat. Thorkel finished his business at the Thing, and after the Thing, Thorstan asked to his home Thorkel Wealthy and the two sons of Sour, and gave them good gifts at parting. And they, in turn, invited to their home west of there during the Thing the next spring, the sons of Thorstan. And now they fared homeward.
And the next spring they went away westward, Thorstan's sons with ten others, to the Thing at Valseyr and met there the sons of Sour. And these invited Thorstan's sons home from the Thing; but first had they to accept the bidding of Thorkel Wealthy. After that they went to Sour's sons and had there good feasting.
Now Thordis, the sister of these brothers, seemed to Thorgrim exceeding fair, and he asked for her, and she was thereupon pledged to him. And forthwith was made the wedding feast. Sabol went with her [as dowry], and Thorgrim set up his household there in the west. But Bork stayed behind in Thorsness, and near him, his sister's sons, Saka-Stein and Thorod.
Thorgrim lived on at Sabol, but Sour's sons went to Hol and built themselves a good house there. The yards at Hol and Sabol lay bordering each other. They lived there, both parties, and friendship was strong between them. Thorgrim had the standing of a chief and thereby came to the brothers right next to him no little strength and prestige.
They all fared one spring to the Thing, forty men together; they were all dressed in flashy clothes. On the journey were Vestan, the brother-in-law of Gisli, and all the Sourdalers.
There was a man named Gest; he was Oddleif's son. He had come to the Thing and was in a booth near Thorkel Wealthy. Now, the Hawkdalers were sitting at drink together, but other men had gone to the court because it was the time during the Thing when lawsuits were being brought up.12 There came a man inside the booth of the Hawkdalers. A great gander he was, named Arnor. "Very great is it of you Hawkdalers that ye give heed to nothing but drink and come not to the court, where your fellowthingmen have lawsuits to settle. Thus it seemed to everybody, though I was the one to speak out."
Then said Gisli: "Let us go to the court. It may be that more men said the same thing."
They went then to the court, and Thorgrim asked whether any men there were those who needed their help--"and shall not be left undone that by which we may help, as long as we have life, those to whom we have pledged our aid."
Then answered Thorkel Wealthy: "Of little worth are the suits which men have to settle here, but tell you we shall, if we have need of your backing."
And now men began to speak about how showy the men of Hawkdale were, and how bold in their speech.
Thorkel then said to Gest: "How long thinkest thou that the zeal of these Hawkdalers and their overbearing mind will be as great as it now is?"
Gest answered: "They will not be living at peace a third summer hence, those who are now there in the flock."
Arnor was near to their talk and rushed into the booth of the Hawkdale men and told them what was said.
Gisli spoke up: "Herein it might be that he has spoken what has been said before. Let us be on our guard lest he be as a man speaking the truth. And besides I see a good plan to this end, that we bind our friendship with greater fastness than before. Let us swear, the four of us, blood brotherhood."
To all of them this seemed good counsel. So they went down to a point of land running out into the sea and cut out of the earth a long piece of sod so that both ends were still fast to the ground, and they set thereunder a spear inscribed with runes, a spear that a man [standing on the ground] could touch at a point where the nail joins the head to the shaft.
The four were to go under the upraised sod, Thorgrim, Gisli, Thorkel, and Vestan. And they opened, each a vein, and let their blood flow together in the earth that was dug up under the sod, and mixed it all together, the blood and the earth. Then fell they all down upon their knees and swore the oath, that each should avenge the other as a brother. And they called all the gods to witness. Now, when they had all joined hands, Thorgrim spoke out: "Enough of a task have I when I enter into this with those two, Thorkel and Gisli, my brothers-in-law. Nothing at all binds me to Vestan." And therewith he snatched his hand away.
"Likewise shall we then do, more of us," said Gisli, and he, too, withdrew his hand quickly. "I shall not bind to myself an oath with the man who will not do the same with Vestan, my brother-inlaw."
The men all took this thing much to heart. Gisli said then to Thorkel, his brother: "Now has it happened as I feared, and that shall come to nought which has been done. It seems that fate has decided it."
Men now fared home from the Thing.
This news happened in the summer time, that a ship came out from Norway into Dyrafirth. Two brothers owned it. Norsemen they were. One was named Thorir; the other, Thorarin. They were men from the Vik by birth. Thorgrim rode to the ship and bought four hundred tree-trunks. Part of the money he paid immediately into their hands, and part he took on credit. Then the traders drew their ship ashore at the mouth of the Sanda river and made their abode there.
There was a man called Odd; he was Orlyg's son. He lived at Eyr on Skutilsfirth. He took the owners of the ship to live with him.
Now Thorgrim sent Thorod, his son, to get his wood together and to count it, for he intended shortly to bring it home. Thorod came there and took the wood and gathered it together in one place. And it seemed to him that their bargain was other than what Thorgriln had told him of. He used hard words against the Eastmen, and they stood it not, but struck him down and killed him.
After this deed they left the ship and fared about Dyrafirth and got themselves horses. Thereafter they minded to go to their abode. They went on their way thither a day and a night until they came to the dale which runs up out of Skutilsfirth. Here they took their morning meal and fell thereafter to sleep.
Now tidings of these things had been brought to Thorgrim, and he made ready to go thence from his home. He had himself taken over the firth and went after them all alone. He came upon them where they lay and woke Thorarin. He poked him with the shaft of his spear, so that Thorarin leaped up therewith and would take to his sword, for he knew Thorgrim; but Thorgrim thrust at him with his spear and killed him. By this time Thorir awoke and would avenge his fellow, but Thorgrim stabbed him through likewise with his spear. These places are still called Day-meal Vale and Eastmen's Fall. After this Thorgrim went back home and became well-known for that journey. There he sat on his farmstead throughout the winter.
11. This 'Thing' at Thorsness, like that at Valseyr, below, was one of the large local assemblies where people gathered for lawsuits, business, et al. Not the great annual assembly called the Althing, held at Thingvellir, near modern Reykjavik.
12. There was another division which followed during the later days of the spring Thing, when judgment was given or taken, fines paid, etc.