Njála, 031

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Chapter 31

Gunnar took Tofi on board, and said to Kolskegg and Hallvard, "Now we will hold our course for the north lands."

They were well pleased at that, and bade him have his way. So Gunnar sailed from the east with much goods. He had ten ships, and ran in with them to Heidarby in Denmark. King Harold Gorm's son was there up the country, and he was told about Gunnar, and how too that there was no man his match in all Iceland. He sent men to him to ask him to come to him, and Gunnar went at once to see the king, and the king made him a hearty welcome, and sat him down next to himself. Gunnar was there half a month. The king made himself sport by letting Gunnar prove himself in divers feats of strength against his men, and there were none that were his match even in one feat.

Then the king said to Gunnar, "It seems to me as though thy peer is not to be found far or near," and the king offered to get Gunnar a wife, and to raise him to great power if he would settle down there.

Gunnar thanked the king for his offer and said, "I will first of all sail back to Iceland to see my friends and kinsfolk."

"Then thou wilt never come back to us," says the king.

"Fate will settle that, lord," says Gunnar.

Gunnar gave the king a good long-ship, and much goods besides, and the king gave him a robe of honour, and golden-seamed gloves, and a fillet with a knot of gold on it, and a Russian hat.

Then Gunnar fared north to Hisingen. Oliver welcomed him with both hands, and he gave back to Oliver his ships, with their lading, and said that was his share of the spoil. Oliver took the goods, and said Gunnar was a good man and true, and bade him stay with him some while. Hallvard asked Gunnar if he had a mind to go to see Earl Hacon. Gunnar said that was near his heart, "for now I am somewhat proved, but then I was not tried at all when thou badest me do this before."

After that they fared north to Drontheim to see Earl Hacon, and he gave Gunnar a hearty welcome, and bade him stay with him that winter, and Gunnar took that offer, and every man thought him a man of great worth. At Yule the Earl gave him a gold ring.

Gunnar set his heart on Bergliota, the Earl's kinswoman, and it was often to be seen from the Earl's way, that he would have given her to him to wife if Gunnar had said anything about that.

References


Kafli 31

Gunnar tók við honum og mælti við Kolskegg og Hallvarð: „Nú munum vér halda til Norðurlanda.“

Þeir létu vel yfir því.

Gunnar sigldi úr Austurvegi með fé miklu. Hann hafði tíu skip og hélt þeim til Heiðabæjar í Danmörk. Haraldur konungur Gormsson var þar á land upp. Honum var sagt til Gunnars og það með að engi mundi hans maki á Íslandi. Hann sendi mann til hans að bjóða honum til sín. Gunnar fór þegar á konungsfund. Konungur tók við honum vel og setti hann hið næsta sér. Þar var Gunnar hálfan mánuð. Konungur hafði það að gamni að hann lét Gunnar reyna ýmsar íþróttir við menn sína og voru þeir engir að né eina íþrótt hefði til jafns við hann.

Konungur mælti til Gunnars: „Svo líst mér sem óvíða muni þinn jafningi fást.“

Konungur bauð að fá Gunnari kvonfang og ríki mikið ef hann vildi þar staðfestast.

Gunnar þakkaði konungi boð sitt og mælti: „Fara vil eg fyrst til Íslands að finna vini mína og frændur.“

„Þá munt þú aldrei aftur koma til vor,“ segir konungur.

„Auðna mun því ráða, herra,“ segir Gunnar.

Gunnar gaf konungi langskip gott og annað fé mikið. Konungur gaf honum tignarklæði sín og glófa gullfjallaða og skarband, og gullknútar á, og hatt gerskan.

Gunnar fór norður til Hísingar. Ölvir tók við honum báðum höndum. Hann færði Ölvi skip sín og kallar það vera hlut hans. Ölvir tók við fénu og kvað Gunnar vera dreng góðan og bað hann vera þar nokkura hríð.

Hallvarður spurði Gunnar ef hann vildi finna Hákon jarl. Gunnar sagði sér það vera nærri skapi „því að nú er eg að nokkuru reyndur en þá var eg að öngu er þú baðst þess.“

Síðan fóru þeir norður til Þrándheims á fund Hákonar jarls og tók hann vel við Gunnari og bauð honum að vera með sér um veturinn. Hann þá það og virðist hann hverjum manni vel. Að jólum gaf jarl honum gullhring. Gunnar lagði hug á Bergljótu frændkonu jarls og fannst það oft á jarli að hann mundi hana hafa gifta honum ef Gunnar hefði nokkuð þess leitað.


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