Ever near the king, flying over his head by day and roosting near his pillow at night, the faithful raven kept constant watch. The Norwegian and was at last reached, and then commenced the real race, each of them being eager to be the first to enter the smithy of Loan Maclibhuin at Drontheim. So close did they keep together that, on arriving within sight of their destination, they were neck and neck.
Now was the time for the sable bird to do the king a good service. This he did by adroitly and unseen dropping a small but very sharp pebble into the one shoe of Hiallus-nan-urd, which, getting under his foot, caused urn great pain, and to limp worse than he did before on account of his
artificial leg. The hammerman was compelled to stop and take off his shoe to remove the pebble, while the king made a vigorous effort and pushed forward rapidly, the raven having whispered into the king's ear. Olave Goddardson's increased speed enabled him to leave the hammerman behind some distance, and to enter the smithy of Loan Maclibhuin before his competitor. On entering he closed the door behind him, much to the surprise and chagrin of the swarthy smith, who recognized him at once. Without taking any notice of Loan Maclibhuin, the king determined to show that he was not distressed or tired by the fatigues of his long and hurried journey, seized hold of a huge sledge-hammer, and swinging it round his head, struck it with such force upon the anvil that he clove the massive block of iron in twain, and shivered the stone bed, upon which it rested, into pieces.
The wizard-smith looked out eagerly to see if his ally and messenger, Hiallus-nan-urd, was near at hand, when Olave, hearing the ominous croaking of his attendant raven, suddenly bethought him of the witch's warning that the challenge was a mere ruse to decoy him there for his destruction, looked round for any signs of the great sword he knew Loan Maclibhuin was engaged in making, and which he was convinced must be somewhere near at hand. On casting his eyes towards the fire he beheld what he sought; and walking boldly across the smithy he seized it in his hand, greatly to the dark smith's confusion and amazement.
At the same moment that the king had entered, a door at the side of the smithy, and placed considerably in the shade, might have been seen to open, and from it had entered, unseen by him, a Norwegian maiden of surpassing fairness and beauty, who was a witness of his prowess with the sledge-hammer and the anvil. She advanced into the light as the king had laid his hand upon the great sword, when, for the first time, he perceived her and was immediately struck with her beauty.
Hearing the stumping of the artificial leg of the hammerman drawing near to the door outside, and being again reminded by the croaking of the faithful raven, which began now to flap his wings in great impatience, and
peck at the king's feet, he had but little time for compliments or admiration; so, addressing himself to the maiden, and pointing with his left hand to the dark smith, he said, "Say, fair maid, is not this your father, Loan Maclibhuin, the seventh son of old Windy Cap, king of Norway?"
"He is, Sir knight," replied Emergaid, for so was the beauteous daughter of the royal blacksmith named.
"Then!" exclaimed the king of Man, drawing forth the red-hot steel from the fire before either the smith or his hammerman, who was now about to enter, had time to prevent him--"then thus do I fulfil the wizard's prophecy! Your blood, old man, is royal blood like my own, and in royal living blood shall this good blade be tempered."
With his left arm he gently pushed aside the fair Emergaid, who had stepped forward to protect her father, and springing towards him, plunged the red-hot sword into the old smith's heart.
"And," continued King Olave, withdrawing the hissing blade from the body as it fell at his daughter's feet, and turning towards the door, "thus do I punish you my one-legged travelling companion, and prove the temper of his wondrous sword."
Before the now affrighted Hiallus-nan-urd could reach the door again to make his escape, the king made one cut at him, and, striking on the top of his head, the sword went down through his body, severing it in two.
No sooner had the divided hammerman fallen to the ground than the white-spotted raven pounced upon one half. Seizing the still quivering heart, he tore it out, and flew off with it in the direction of the Isle of Man, croaking quite triumphantly as he passed out of the open window.
The fair Emergaid had swooned directly she saw her father fall, and thus was spared the dreadful sight of the hammerman's fate.
To her the twice-saved monarch now turned his attention, and raising her gently in his arms, he bore her from the smithy, gazing with admiration on her lovely face. As he did so he felt his own heart struck by as hot and sharp a pang as that by which he had slain her father.
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THE DEATH OF LOAN MACLIBHUIN, THE DARK SMITH.
At first the wooing of King Olave Goddardson did not progress. Grief for the loss of her father forbade her listening to the love of him who had made her an orphan. Still her first sight of him, when he proved how stalwart a knight he was by cleaving her father's anvil, had more than favourably impressed her, and she could not but admire so gallant a suitor; so as he was as resolute in love as in other matters, he finally won her consent and made the best amends he possibly could for depriving her of one protector in her father by becoming himself her protector and her husband.
Suffice to say that his frank and manly bearing won her heart, and she consented to share with him the royal honours and duties of his little island kingdom.
King Olave conducted his lovely bride with a large fleet in great state to the Isle of Man, where he had her crowned queen; and though history is silent on the subject, we may naturally conclude they lived happily together.
From the union were descended a long line of kings of Man, one of whom was the great Olave the Black, the boldest sea rover of his day. The last descendants of Olave Goddardson and Emergaid the Fair, who reigned in Mona, was Magnus, and in him ended the royal race of Goddard Crovan, surnamed the Conqueror.