THERE was a man named Narvi who dwelt at Hrisey. He had as his wife Ulfeida, the daughter of Ingiald, son of Helgi the thin. Their sons were Eyiolf, Klængr, Thorbrand, and Thorvald, all distinguished men and kinsmen of Glums. Two of these, Klæengr and Eyiolf, lived at Hrisey, after their fathers death. A man named Thorvald, who had married Helga, the daughter of Thord, the son of Hraf, of Stöckahlad, and who was nicknamed "Menni," dwelt at Hagi at that time. One spring Thorvald came from Hagi, and lay off Hrisey in his vessel, intending to fish, and when Klængr was aware of this he stared with him. They got out into the firth, and fell in with a whale which was just dead, which they made fast and towed into the firth in the course of the day. Klængr wanted to bring the carcass into Hrisey, because the distance was shorter, but Thorvald desired to tow it to Hagi, and said he had and equal right to do so. Klængr maintained that it was not the law to take it anywhere except to the nearest point where any of the men engaged in the capture owned land. Thorvald asserted his rights, and said that Glums kinsmen had no business to interfere with the fair partition of the fish. Whatever the laws were, the strongest should now have their way. At that moment Thorvald had the largest number of men with him, and so they took the drift fish from Klængr by force, though both of them were land-owners. Klængr went home very much dissatisfied, and Thorvald and his people laughed at him and his party, telling them they did not dare to hold on to their booty.
One morning Klængr got up early, and went with three other men in to Hagi, so as to be there in good time whilst people were still asleep. Then Klængr said--"Well try a scheme; here are cattle about in the homestead; we will drive them on to the buildings, under which Thorvald is asleep, and so we shall get him to come out." 1 They did this, and Thorvald woke up and rushed out of doors. Klængr made at him, and gave him a mortal wound; but went away again without daring to declare himself the slayer, because there were so many people about on the spot. So he went out to one of the islands, and there declared that he had killed Thorvald. The right of claiming atonement belonged to Thorarin and Thord, and they treated the case as one of murder. 2 When the suit was being brought before the Thing, Glum was quiet at home, but whilst the Thing was going on he went about in the districts of Fliot and Svarvadardal, begging for help to meet the execution of the anticipated sentence of forfeiture; however, he asked men to say nothing of this intention of his. Klaufi, of Bárd, exclaimed, "To be sure we will help Glum; he married Halldora, the daughter of Arnor Red-cheek;" and many men besides promised to support him. Then Glum returned home, but the suit ran its course at the Thing, and when that was over they got ready to carry out the sentence of forfeiture with four ships, and thirty men in each ship. Einar, Thorarn, and Thord commanded the ships, and when they came in-shore at the island, in the twilight of morning, they saw a smoke rising over the buildings. Einar asked his people whether it appeared to them, as it did to him, that the smoke was not a clear blue. They answered that so it seemed to them. "Then," said Einar, "it appears likely to me from that smoke that there are a good many people in the house, and that steam hanging in the air must be the steam from men. If this be so we shall find out about it by rowing away from the island openly and then we shall be sure if there by any number of men there." They did this, and when the men who were in the island saw them they rushed out to their vessels, and put out after them, for Glum had come thither with two hundred and forty men, and they chased them right up to Oddaeyr, so that the sentence of forfeiture was not carried out, and the men of Eyjafirth got dishonour by the failure.
Glum remained in his own dwelling through the summer. He had to open an Autumn court; but the place of holding it is on the east of the firth, not far from Kaupáng, and the men of Eyjafirth got a large force together, whilst Glum had only thirty men. Many people spoke to Glum and told him that he ought not to go with a small number of followers. His answer was, "The finest portion of my life is gone by, and I am pleased that they have not driven me so hard that I cannot ride the straight path." He went up the firth in a ship, and then disembarked and went to he booths. Now between the firth and the booths there are certain steep ascents covered with loose gravel, and when Glum came opposite to the booth which belonged to Einar, men rushed out upon him and his people and dashed their shields against them so as to push them down the slope. Glum fell and rolled shield and all down the bank on to the spit of sand below. He was not wounded, but three spears had stuck in his shield. Thorvald Tafalld had then come to shore and saw that Glum was in a strait: he jumped on land with his oar in his hand and, running up the slope, hurled it at Gudmund the powerful: it came against his shield, which broke, and the handle of the oar struck him on the breast so that he fell down senseless and was carried off by four men to his booth. Then they challenged one another to come on, and cast weapons and stones on both sides, and the contest was a hard one; many were wounded; but all said the same thing--that it was impossible for a small number to fight better than Glum and his men had done. Einar and his men made a vigorous onslaught; but people interfered, and it ended in Glum losing two men, Klængr, the son of Narvi, and Grim Eyrarlegg, the brother of his wife Halldora. Then Brusi, the son of Halli, made these verses:
"Thou warrior-goddess of the shield!
We held our own in battle fray--
I know tis so--we did not yield
The honour of the day.
"Those chiefs forsooth, the while we fought,
(Bright nymph! it may not be denied)
Strode somewhat faster than I though
Adown the steep hill side."
Then Einar composed a stanza:
"he had to run away perforce
From out the fight--that swordsman bold--
I trow twas hard to stop his course
As down the bank he rolld.
"Well usd the pirates spear to wield,
In vain that chieftain fought,
And the loose shingle faild to yield
The foothold which he sought."
Then Glum composed some verses in answer to him:
"Though standing on the band so high
Their helmets made a gallant show,
They did not dare their luck to try
Upon the beach below.
"They did not dare to risk the path,
Whilst on the sandy shore we stood,
And facd the dread Valkyries wrath
With shields that drippd with blood."
The matter was settled upon the ground that the death of Klængr and Thorvald of Hagi were set off one against the other, and the slaying of Grim Eyrarlegg was considered equal to the injury caused to Gudmund; but Glum was much dissatisfied with this close of the suit, as he expressed himself in the following stanza, which he made afterwards:
"The world is worthless; and my life
With all the keen delights of strife
Hath well-nigh passed away.
"Too weak, when gallant Grim lay low,
To strike mid men th avenging blow,
And blood with blood repay!"
1 The caves must have been level with the ground and probably covered with turf or sod.
2 Because the slayer had not on the spot avowed the deed.