There came a ship out from Norway, and ran into Arnbael's Oyce (1), and the master of the ship was Hallvard the White, a man from the Bay (2). He went to stay at Lithend, and was with Gunnar that winter, and was always asking him to fare abroad with him. Gunnar spoke little about it, but yet said more unlikely things might happen; and about spring he went over to Bergthorsknoll to find out from Njal whether he thought it a wise step in him to go abroad.
"I think it is wise," says Njal; "they will think thee there an honourable man, as thou art."
"Wilt thou perhaps take my goods into thy keeping while I am away, for I wish my brother Kolskegg to fare with me; but I would that thou shouldst see after my household along with my mother."
"I will not throw anything in the way of that," says Njal; "lean on me in this thing as much as thou likest."
"Good go with thee for thy words," says Gunnar, and he rides then home.
The Easterling (3) fell again to talk with Gunnar that he should fare abroad. Gunnar asked if he had ever sailed to other lands? He said he had sailed to every one of them that lay between Norway and Russia, and so, too, I have sailed to Biarmaland (4).
"Wilt thou sail with me eastward ho?" says Gunnar.
"That I will of a surety," says he.
Then Gunnar made up his mind to sail abroad with him. Njal took all Gunnar's goods into his keeping.
(1) "Oyce," a north country word for the mouth of a river, from the Icelandic.
(2) "The Bay" (comp. ch. ii., and other passages), the name given to the great bay in the east of Norway, the entrance of which from the North Sea is the Cattegat, and at the end of which is the Christiania Firth. The name also applies to the land round the Bay, which thus formed a district, the boundary of which, on the one side, was the promontory called Lindesnaes, or the Naze, and on the other, the Gota-Elf, the river on which the Swedish town of Gottenburg stands, and off the mouth of which lies the island of Hisingen, mentioned shortly after.
(3) Easterling, i.e., the Norseman Hallvard. (4) Permia, the country one comes to after doubling the North Cape.