Sagas & Legends
The king's message to Kveldulf.
King Harold lay with his fleet in the Firths, whence he sent messengers round the land to such as had not come to him, but with whom he thought he had business. The messengers came to Kveldulf, and were well received. They set forth their errand, said that the king would have Kveldulf come to him.
'He has heard,' said they, 'that you are a man of renown and high family. You will get from him terms of great honour, for the king is very keen on this, to have with him such as he hears are men of mark for strength and bravery.'
Kveldulf answered that he was an old man, not fit for war or to be out in warships. 'I will now,' said he, 'sit at home and leave serving kings.'
Upon this the messengers said, 'Then let your son go to the king; he is a tall man and a likely warrior. The king will make you a baron,' said they to Grim, 'if you will serve him.'
'I will be made baron under none,' said Grim, 'while my father lives; he, while he lives, shall be my liege-lord.'
The messengers went away, and when they came to the king told him all that Kveldulf had said before them. Whereat the king looked sullen, but he spoke little; these men, he said, were proud, or what were they aiming at? Aulvir Hnuf was standing near, and he bade the king not be wroth. 'I will go,' said he, 'to Kveldulf; and he will consent to come to you, as soon as he knows that you think it a matter of moment.'
So Aulvir went to Kveldulf and told him that the king was wroth, and it would not go well unless one of the two, father or son, came to the king; he said, too, that he would get them great honour from the king if they would but pay homage. Further he told them at length, as was true, that the king was liberal to his men both in money and in honours.
Kveldulf said, 'My foreboding is that I and my sons shall get no luck from this king: and I will not go to him. But if Thorolf returns this summer, he will be easily won to this journey, as also to be made the king's man. Say you this to the king, that I will be his friend, and will keep to his friendship all who heed my words; I will also hold the same rule and authority from his hand that I held before from the former king, if he will that it continue so still, and I will see how I and the king agree.'
Then Aulvir went back and told the king that Kveldulf would send him his son, and he (said Aulvir) would suit better; but he was not then at home. The king let the matter rest. In the summer he went inland to Sogn, but in autumn made ready to go northwards to Throndheim.
Next: CHAPTER VI. Thorolf resolves to serve the king.