Sagas & Legends
Death of Skallagrim.
There was a man named Thorgeir. He had to wife Thordis Yngvar's daughter, Egil's mother's sister. Thorgeir dwelt on Swan-ness at Lambstead. He had come out to Iceland with Yngvar. He was wealthy and much honoured of men. Thorgeir and his wife had a son Thord, who was dwelling at Lambstead after his father, when Egil now came back to Iceland.
It chanced in the autumn, shortly before winter, that Thord rode in to Borg to find Egil his kinsman; and he bade him to a banquet. He had had ale brewed out at his home. Egil promised to go, and a day was fixed about a week thence. So when the time came, Egil prepared to go, and with him Asgerdr his wife; they were a company of ten or twelve in all.
But just when Egil was ready, Skallagrim went out with him, and embracing him before he mounted said: 'You are late, methinks, Egil, in paying to me that money which king Athelstan sent me. What do you mean to do with that money?'
Egil answered, 'Are you very short of money, father? I did not know it. I shall at once let you have silver, when I know you need it; but I know that you still have in your keeping one or two chests full of silver.'
'I suppose,' said Skallagrim, 'you think that we have made our division of the movable property. You must now be content if I do what I like with that money I have in keeping.'
Egil answered: 'You cannot think you need to ask any leave from me in this; for you will choose to have it your own way, whatever I may say.'
Then Egil rode away till he came to Lambstead, where he was made heartily welcome; he was to be there three nights. That same evening that Egil left home, Skallagrim had a horse saddled. He then rode out just when others were going to bed. When he went away, he bore before him on his knees a very large chest; but under his arm he carried a brazen kettle. It has been since held for certain that he let down one or both into Krum's bog-hole, and dropped a large stone slab atop of them. Skallagrim came home about midnight, and then went to his place and lay down in his clothes. But in the morning, when it was light and people were dressed, there sat Skallagrim forward on the seat's edge, already dead, and so stiff that they could not straighten him nor move him, though they tried all they could.
Then a man was put on horseback, who galloped off as hard as he might to Lambstead. At once he sought Egil, and told him these tidings. Then Egil took his weapons and clothes and rode home, reaching Borg by eventide. And at once on dismounting he went in, and to the passage that was round the hall, with doors leading from the passage to the seats inside. Egil went on to the chief seat, and took Skallagrim by the shoulders, and forced him backwards, and laid him down in the seat, and rendered then the services to the dead. Then Egil bade them take digging tools and break open the wall on the south side. When this was done, then Egil supported the head and others the feet of Skallagrim; and so they bore him athwart the house out through the breach in the wall just made. Then they bore him immediately down to Nausta-ness. There for the night a tent was set over the body; but in the morning with flood-tide Skallagrim was put on a boat and rowed out to Digra-ness. There Egil had a mound raised on the point of the ness. Therein was laid Skallagrim, with his horse, his weapons, and his smithy tools. It is not told that any valuables were laid in the mound beside him.
Egil took the heritage, lands and chattels. Thenceforward he ruled the house. With Egil there was Thordis, daughter of Thorolf and Asgerdr.
Next: CHAPTER LXII. Egil's voyage to England.