Sagas & Legends
Of Aulvir and Egil.
There was a man named Aulvir, a house-carle of Thorir's, who was manager and bailiff over his estate. He had the getting in of debts, and was treasurer. Aulvir was past his youth, but was still quite a hale man. It so happened that Aulvir had to leave home to get in some rents of Thorir's that had stood over from the spring. He had a row-boat, on board which went twelve of Thorir's house-carles. Just then Egil began to recover, and rose from his bed. He thought it was dull work at home when everybody was gone away. So he spoke with Aulvir, and said he would like to go with him. But Aulvir thought one good comrade would not overload them, as there was enough ship-room. So Egil prepared to go. He had his weapons, sword, halberd, and buckler.
They went their way when they were ready. They had the wind blowing hard against them, and sharp gale and troublesome; but they pursued their journey vigorously, taking to their oars. And their progress was such, that on the evening of a day they came to Atla-isle, and there put in to land. In this island, not far up from the shore, was a large farm belonging to king Eric. The overlooker thereof was a man named Bard. He was called Bard of Atla-isle, and was a good business man and worker; not of high birth, but much prized by the king and Gunnhilda.
Aulvir and his men drew up their ship beyond flood-tide mark. They then went to the farm buildings, and found Bard outside, and told him of their journey, and withal that they would fain be there for the night. Bard saw that they were very wet, and led them to a fire-hall that stood apart from the other buildings. There he had a large fire made for them, at which their clothes were dried. When they had put them on again, Bard came in. 'Now will we,' said he, 'set you a table here. I know you will be glad to sleep; you are weary from your wetting.'
Aulvir liked that well. Soon the table was set, and food given them, bread and butter and large bowls of curds set forth. Bard said: 'Right sorry am I that there is no ale in the house, that I might receive you as I would; you will have to make out with what there is.'
Aulvir and his folk were very thirsty, and drank up the curds. Then Bard had oat-drink brought in, and they drank that. 'I should like,' said Bard, 'to give you better drink if I had any.'
There was no lack of straw in the room. Then he bade them lie down to sleep.
Next: CHAPTER XLIV. The slaying of Bard.