Njála, 068

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Chapter 68

Sometime after Thorgeir Starkad's son fared to Kirkby to see his namesake,[1] and they went aside to speak, and talked secretly all day; but at the end Thorgeir Starkad's son gave his namesake a spear inlaid with gold, and rode home afterwards; they made the greatest friendship the one with the other.

At the Thingskala-Thing in the autumn, Kolskegg laid claim to the land at Moeidsknoll, but Gunnar took witness, and offered ready money, or another piece of land at a lawful price to those under the Threecorner.

Thorgeir took witness also, that Gunnar was breaking the settlement made between them.

After that the Thing was broken up, and so the next year wore away.

Those namesakes were always meeting, and there was the greatest friendship between them. Kolskegg spoke to Gunnar and said, "I am told that there is great friendship between those namesakes, and it is the talk of many men that they will prove untrue, and I would that thou wouldst be ware of thyself."

"Death will come to me when it will come," says Gunnar, "wherever I may be, if that is my fate."

Then they left off talking about it.

About autumn, Gunnar gave out that they would work one week there at home, and the next down in the isles, and so make an end of their hay-making. At the same time, he let it be known that every man would have to leave the house, save himself and the women.

Thorgeir under Threecorner goes to see his namesake, but as soon as they met they began to talk after their wont, and Thorgeir Starkad's son, said, "I would that we could harden our hearts and fall on Gunnar."

"Well," says Thorgeir Otkell's son, "every struggle with Gunnar has had but one end, that few have gained the day; besides, methinks it sounds ill to be called a peace-breaker."

"They have broken the peace, not we," says Thorgeir Starkad's son. "Gunnar took away from thee thy cornfield; and he has taken Moeidsknoll from my father and me."

And so they settle it between them to fall on Gunnar; and then Thorgeir said that Gunnar would be all alone at home in a few nights' space, "and then thou shalt come to meet me with eleven men, but I will have as many."

After that Thorgeir rode home.

References

  1. Sometime after Thorgeir Starkad's son fared to Kirkby to see his namesake: "As I indicated, Gunnar’s enemies include all kinds of people, many of them without a streak of villainy. The author nicely makes the two Thorgeirs serve as emblems for the moral range of people who will kill Gunnar, from Mord to Gizur." Miller, William Ian. The Two Thorgeirs and Death of Gunnar: Chapters 67–77 (p. 134).

Kafli 68

Nokkuru síðar fór Þorgeir Starkaðarson í Kirkjubæ að finna nafna sinn[1] og gengu þeir á eintal og töluðu dag allan hljótt. En að lyktum gaf Þorgeir Starkaðarson nafna sínum spjót gullrekið og reið heim síðan. Gerðu þeir með sér hina kærustu vináttu.

Á Þingskálaþingi um haustið sótti Kolskeggur til lands að Móeiðarhvoli en Gunnar nefndi votta og bauð þeim lausafé undan Þríhyrningi eða land annað að löglegri virðingu. Þorgeir nefndi sér votta að Gunnar ryfi sætt á þeim. Eftir það var lokið þinginu.

Liðu nú þau misseri. Finnast þeir nafnar jafnan og eru með þeim hinir mestu dáleikar.

Kolskeggur mælti til Gunnars: „Sagt er mér að mikil sé vinátta með þeim nöfnum og er það margra manna mál að þeir muni vera ótrúlegir og vildi eg að þú værir var um þig.“

„Koma mun til mín feigðin,“ segir Gunnar, „hvar sem eg er staddur ef mér verður þess auðið.“

Skildu þeir þá talið.

Gunnar sagði fyrir um haustið að þeir skyldu vinna viku heima þar en aðra niðri í Eyjum og hætta þá heyverkum. Sagði hann svo fyrir að allt skyldi fara manna af bænum nema hann og konur.

Þorgeir undan Þríhyrningi fer að finna nafna sinn en þegar er þeir fundust töluðu þeir að vanda sínum.

Þorgeir Starkaðarson mælti: „Eg vildi að við herðum okkur og færum að Gunnari.“

„Svo að einu hafa fundir orðið við Gunnar,“ sagði Þorgeir Otkelsson, „að fáir hafa af því sigrast enda þykir mér illt að heita griðníðingur.“

„Þeir hafa rofið sættina en við eigi,“ segir Þorgeir Starkaðarson. „Tók Gunnar af þér sáðland þitt en Móeiðarhvol af okkur feðgum.“

Og semja þeir það með sér að fara að Gunnari. Sagði þá Þorgeir að Gunnar mundi á fárra nátta fresti einn heima vera. „Skalt þú koma við hinn tólfta mann til móts við mig en eg mun hafa jafnmarga.“

Síðan reið Þorgeir heim.


Tilvísanir

  1. Nokkuru síðar fór Þorgeir Starkaðarson í Kirkjubæ að finna nafna sinn: "As I indicated, Gunnar’s enemies include all kinds of people, many of them without a streak of villainy. The author nicely makes the two Thorgeirs serve as emblems for the moral range of people who will kill Gunnar, from Mord to Gizur." Miller, William Ian. The Two Thorgeirs and Death of Gunnar: Chapters 67–77 (s. 134).

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