Njála, 153

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Chapter 153

FLOSI GOES ABROAD.


Now Flosi rides east to Hornfirth, and most of the men in his Thing followed him, and bore his wares east, as well as all his stores and baggage which he had to take with him.

After that they busked them for their voyage, and fitted out their ship.

Now Flosi stayed by the ship until they were "boun." But as soon as ever they got a fair wind they put out to sea. They had it long passage and hard weather.

Then they quite lost their reckoning, and sailed on and on, and all at once three great waves broke over their ship, one after the other. Then Flosi said they must be near some land, and that this was a ground-swell. A great mist was on them, but the wind rose so that a great gale overtook them, and they scarce knew where they were before they were dashed on shore at dead of night, and the men were saved, but the ship was dashed all to pieces, and they could not save their goods.

Then they had to look for shelter and warmth for themselves, and the day after they went up on a height. The weather was then good.

Flosi asked if any man knew this land, and there were two men of their crew who had fared thither before, and said they were quite sure they knew it, and, say they, "We are come to Hrossey in the Orkneys."

"Then we might have made a better landing," said Flosi, "for Grim and Helgi, Njal's sons, whom I slew, were both of them of Earl Sigurd Hlodver's son's bodyguard."

Then they sought for a hiding-place and spread moss over themselves, and so lay for a while, but not for long, ere Flosi spoke and said, "We will not lie here any longer until the landsmen are ware of us."

Then they arose, and took counsel, and then Flosi said to his men, "We will go all of us and give ourselves up to the earl; for there is naught else to do, and the earl has our lives at his pleasure if he chooses to seek for them."

Then they all went away thence, and Flosi said that they must tell no man any tidings of their voyage, or what manner of men they were, before he told them to the earl.

Then they walked on until they met men who showed them to the town, and then they went in before the earl, and Flosi and all the others hailed him.

The earl asked what men they might be, and Flosi told his name, and said out of what part of Iceland he was.

The earl had already heard of the burning, and so be knew the men at once, and then the earl asked Flosi, "What hast thou to tell me about Helgi Njal's son, my henchman."

"This," said Flosi, "that I hewed off his head."

"Take them all," said the earl.

Then that was done, and just then in came Thorstein, son of Hall of the Side. Flosi had to wife Steinvora, Thorstein's sister. Thorstein was one of Earl Sigurd's bodyguard, but when be saw Flosi seized and held, he went in before the earl, and offered for Flosi all the goods he had.

The earl was very wroth a long time, but at last the end of it was, by the prayer of good men and true, joined to those of Thorstein, for he was well backed by friends, and many threw in their word with his, that the earl took an atonement from them, and gave Flosi and all the rest of them peace. The earl held to that custom of mighty men that Flosi took that place in his service which Helgi Njal's son had filled.

So Flosi was made Earl Sigurd's henchman, and he soon won his way to great love with the earl.

References


Kafli 153

Flosi ríður nú austur til Hornafjarðar og fylgdu honum flestir þingmenn hans og flutti austur vöru sína og önnur fargögn þau er þeir skyldu hafa með sér. Síðan bjuggu þeir ferð sína og skip. Var Flosi nú við skipið þar til er þeir voru búnir. En þegar byr gaf létu þeir í haf. Þeir höfðu langa útivist og veðráttu illa. Fóru þeir þá hundvillir.

Það var einu hverju sinni að þeir fengu áföll stór þrjú nokkur. Sagði Flosi þá að þeir mundu nokkur vera í nánd löndum og þetta væru grunnföll. Þoka var mikil en veðrið óx svo að hríð mikla gerði að þeim. Fundu þeir eigi fyrr en þá keyrði á land upp um nótt eina og varð þar borgið mönnum en skip braut allt í spón en fé máttu þeir ekki bjarga. Urðu þeir að leita sér verma.

En um daginn eftir gengu þeir upp á hæð nokkura. Var þá veður gott. Flosi spurði ef nokkur maður kenndi land þetta. Þar voru þeir menn tveir er farið höfðu áður og sögðust kenna að vísu „og erum vér komnir við Orkneyjar í Hrossey.“

„Fá mættum vér betri landtöku,“ segir Flosi, „því að þeir Grímur og Helgi Njálssynir voru hirðmenn Sigurðar jarls Hlöðvissonar er eg vó.“

Leituðu þeir sér þá fylgsnis og reyttu á sig mosa og lágu svo um stund og eigi langa áður Flosi mælti: „Ekki skulum vér hér liggja lengur svo að landsmenn verði þess varir.“

Stóðu þeir þá upp og gerðu ráð sitt.

Flosi mælti þá til sinna manna: „Vér skulum ganga allir á vald jarlsins því að oss gerir ekki annað því að jarl hefir að líku líf vort ef hann vill eftir því leita.“

Gengu þeir þá allir í braut þaðan. Flosi mælti að þeir skyldu engum manni segja tíðindin eða frá ferðum sínum fyrr en hann segði jarli.

Fóru þeir þá til þess er þeir fundu menn þá er þeim vísuðu til bæjarins og kvaddi Flosi hann og allir þeir. Jarl spurði hvað manna þeir væru. Flosi nefndi sig og sagði úr hverri sveit hann var af Íslandi. Jarl hafði spurt áður brennuna og kenndist hann af því þegar við mennina.

Jarl spurði þá Flosa: „Hvað segir þú mér til Helga Njálssonar, hirðmanns míns?“

„Það,“ sagði Flosi, „að eg hjó höfuð af honum.“

Jarl mælti: „Takið þá alla.“

Þá var svo gert. Þá kom að í því Þorsteinn Síðu-Hallsson. Flosi átti Steinvöru systur Þorsteins. Þorsteinn var hirðmaður Sigurðar jarls. En er Þorsteinn sá Flosa höndlaðan þá gekk hann fyrir jarl og bauð fyrir Flosa allt það góss sem hann átti. Jarl var hinn reiðasti lengi. En þó kom svo um síðir við umtölur góðra manna með Þorsteini, því að hann var vel vinum horfinn og gengu margir til að flytja með honum, að jarl tók sættum við þá og gaf Flosa grið og öllum þeim. Hafði jarl á því ríkra manna hátt að Flosi gekk í þá þjónustu sem Helgi Njálsson hafði haft. Gerðist Flosi nú hirðmaður Sigurðar jarls og kom hann sér brátt í kærleika mikla við jarlinn.


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