Njála, 110

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Chapter 110

OF HILDIGNNA AND MORD VALGARD'S SON.


Hildigunna woke up and found that Hauskuld was away out of his bed.

"Hard have been my dreams," she said, "and not good; but go and search for him, Hauskuld."

So they searched for him about the homestead and found him not.

By that time she had dressed herself; then she goes and two men with her, to the fence, and there they find Hauskuld slain.

Just then, too, came up Mord Valgard's son's shepherd, and told her that Njal's sons had gone down thence, "and," he said, "Skarphedinn called out to me and gave notice of the slaying as done by him."

"It were a manly deed," she says, "if one man had been at it."

She took the cloak and wiped off all the blood with it, and wrapped the gouts of gore up in it, and so folded it together and laid it up in her chest.

Now she sent a man up to Gritwater to tell the tidings thither, but Mord was there before him, and had already told the tidings. There, too, was come Kettle of the Mark.

Thorgerda said to Kettle, "Now is Hauskuld dead as we know, and now bear in mind what thou promisedst to do when thou tookest him for thy fosterchild."

"It may well be," says Kettle, "that I promised very many things then, for I thought not that these days would ever befall us that have now come to pass; but yet I am come into a strait, for 'nose is next of kin to eyes,' since I have Njal's daughter to wife."

"Art thou willing, then," says Thorgerda, "that Mord should give notice of the suit for the slaying?"

"I know not that," says Kettle, "for me ill comes from him more often than good."

But as soon as ever Mord began to speak to Kettle he fared the same as others, in that he thought as though Mord would be true to him, and so the end of their counsel was that Mord should give notice of the slaying, and get ready the suit in every way before the Thing.

Then Mord fared down to Ossaby, and thither came nine neighbours who dwelt nearest the spot.

Mord had ten men with him. He shows the neighbours Hauskuld's wounds, and takes witness to the hurts, and names a man as the dealer of every wound save one; that he made as though he knew not who had dealt it, but that wound he had dealt himself. But the slaying he gave notice of at Skarphedinn's hand, and the wounds at his brothers' and Kari's.

After that he called on nine neighbours who dwelt nearest the spot to ride away from home to the Althing on the inquest.

After that he rode home. He scarce ever met Njal's sons, and when he did meet them, he was cross, and that was part of their plan.

The slaying of Hauskuld was heard over all the land, and was ill-spoken of. Njal's sons went to see Asgrim Ellidagrim's son, and asked him for aid.

"Ye very well know that ye may look that I shall help you in all great suits, but still my heart is heavy about this suit, for there are many who have the blood feud, and this slaying is ill- spoken of over all the land."

Now Njal's sons fare home.


References


Kafli 110

Það var einn dag að Mörður kom til Bergþórshvols. Þeir gengu þegar á tal, Njálssynir og Kári. Mörður rægir Höskuld að vanda sínum og hefir nú enn margar nýjar sögur og eggjar einart Skarphéðin[1] og þá að drepa Höskuld og kvað hann mundu verða skjótari ef þeir færu eigi þegar að honum.

„Gera skal þér kost á þessu,“ segir Skarphéðinn, „ef þú vilt fara með oss og gera að nokkuð.“

„Það vil eg til vinna,“ segir Mörður. Og bundu þeir það með fastmælum og skyldi hann þar koma um kveldið.

Bergþóra spurði Njál: „Hvað tala þeir úti?“

„Ekki er eg í ráðagerð með þeim,“ segir Njáll. „Sjaldan var eg þá frá kvaddur er hin góðu voru ráðin.“

Skarphéðinn lagðist ekki niður um kveldið og ekki bræður hans né Kári. Þessa nótt hina sömu kom Mörður Valgarðsson og tóku þeir vopn sín Njálssynir og Kári og riðu í braut.

Þeir fóru þar til er þeir komu í Ossabæ og biðu þar hjá garði nokkurum. Veður var gott og sól upp komin.


Tilvísanir

  1. eggjar einart Skarphéðin : “Skarphéðinn kills his adoptive brother at the prompting of Mörður, just as Höður at Loki‘s instigation blindly kills Baldur.” North, Richard. Pagan words and Christian meanings. (s. 174).

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