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WE are told that as the autumn went on Astrida came and spoke to Glum another morning, and, waking him up, asked him to give directions about the work, for the haymaking, she said, would be finished this day if all was ordered as it ought to be. Sigmund and Thorkel had already finished their hay, and they had gone early in the morning to the field "Sure-giver;’ "and they are no doubt very well pleased in having that field, which we should have, if all were as it should be." Then Glum got up, but he was not ready before nine o’clock. He took his blue cloak, and his spear with gold about it in his hand, and got his horse saddled. But Astrida said to him, "You take a good deal of pains about your dress, my son, for haymaking." His answer was, "I do not often go out to labour, but I shall do a good stroke of work, and I will be well dressed for it. However, I am not able to give directions for the farm-work, and I shall ride up to Hole and accept the invitation of my brother Thorstein." So he crossed over to the south side of the river, and as he came to the field he took the brooch out of his cloak. Vigdis and her husband Sigmund were in the field, and when she saw Glum she came towards him and greeted him, saying, "We are sorry that our intercourse as relations is so little, and we wish in everything to do our part to increase it." Glum told her, "I have turned in here because the brooch is gone from my cloak, and I want you to put a stitch in it for me." She said she would do it with pleasure, and did it accordingly. Glum looked over the field and remarked, "Sure-giver has not yet lost his character." Then he put on his cloak again, took his spear in his hand, and turned sharp on Sigmund, with it uplifted. Sigmund sprang up to meet him, but Glum struck him on the head so that he needed no second blow.  1 Then he went up to Vigdis, and told her to go home, "and tell Thorkel, on Glum’s part, nothing is yet done which will necessarily hinder our being on the footing of kinsmen, but that Sigmund is unable to leave the field." Glum rode on to Hole, and said nothing to his brother of what had happened; but when Thorstein saw how he was equipped, and how he had his cloak and spear, and perceived the blood in the ornaments of the weapon,  2 he asked him if he had used it within a short time. "Oh," cried Glum, "it is quite true; I forgot to mention it, I killed Sigmund, Thorkel’s son, with it to-day." "That will be some news," replied Thorstein, "for Thorkel and his kinsmen at Espihole." "Yes," said glum; "however, as the old saying is, ‘The nights of blood are the nights of most impatience.’ No doubt they will think less of it as time goes on." He staid three nights at his brother’s house, and then got ready to return home. Thorstein was preparing to ride with him, but Glum told him, "Look after your won household--I shall ride the straight path home to Thverá; they will not be so very keen in this business." So he went home to Thverá.
        Thorkel went to see Thorarin, and asked him for counsel as to the course to be taken. His answer was, "It may now be that Astrida will say, Glum has not got on his legs for nothing." "Yes," said Thorkel, "but I trow that he has got on that leg which will not bear him long." Thorarin replied, "That is as it may be. You have long dealt unfairly with them, and tried to turn them out, without considering what was to be expected from the descendants of one such as Eyiolf, a man of great family and withal himself of great courage. We are closely connected with Glum by kindred, and with you by marriage, and the suit seems a difficult one, if Glum follows it up, as I think he will." Thorkel then returned home, and the whole matter was kept quiet through the winter; but Glum had somewhat more men about him than he usually had.


1 Glum’s spear was probably a sort of halberd, with which he could either cut or thrust; such as is called "höggspiót," in Chapter xxii.

2 The words of the text are that he saw the blood "I málunum," which may mean in "the marks--letters--or ornaments of the weapon." Runes or letters were sometimes engraved on the blade of a sword or spear. In the Edda, the sword which Sigurd lays on the bridal bed between himself and Brynhilda is called "mæki málfáinn," which is interpreted "ornamented" (Sigurdarkvida iii. stanz 4), and again a similar epithet is applied to the sword which Skirnir shows to Gerda (Skirnismál, stanza 23). In both cases it may mean "bearing runes or letters chased on the blade."

Next: Chapter IX