So Gunnar fared abroad, and Kolskegg with him. They sailed first to Tonsberg (1), and were there that winter. There had then been a shift of rulers in Norway. Harold Grayfell was then dead, and so was Gunnhillda. Earl Hacon the Bad, Sigurd's son, Hacon's son, Gritgarth's son, then ruled the realm. The mother of Hacon was Bergliot, the daughter of Earl Thorir. Her mother was Olof Harvest-heal. She was Harold Fair-hair's daughter.
Hallvard asks Gunnar if he would make up his mind to go to Earl Hacon?
"No; I will not do that," says Gunnar. "Hast thou ever a long- ship?"
"I have two," he says.
"Then I would that we two went on warfare; and let us get men to go with us."
"I will do that," says Hallvard.
After that they went to the Bay, and took with them two ships, and fitted them out thence. They had good choice of men, for much praise was said of Gunnar.
"Whither wilt thou first fare?" says Gunnar.
"I wish to go south-east to Hisingen, to see my kinsman Oliver," says Hallvard.
"What dost thou want of him?" says Gunnar.
He answered, "He is a fine brave fellow, and he will be sure to get us some more strength for our voyage."
"Then let us go thither," says Gunnar.
So, as soon as they were "boun," they held on east to Hisingen, and had there a hearty welcome. Gunnar had only been there a short time ere Oliver made much of him. Oliver asks about his voyage, and Hallvard says that Gunnar wishes to go a-warfaring to gather goods for himself.
"There's no use thinking of that," says Oliver, "when ye have no force."
"Well" says Hallvard, "then you may add to it."
"So I do mean to strengthen Gunnar somewhat," says Oliver; "and though thou reckonest thyself my kith and kin, I think there is more good in him."
"What force, now, wilt thou add to ours?" he asks.
"Two long-ships, one with twenty, and the other with thirty seats for rowers."
"Who shall man them?" asks Hallvard.
"I will man one of them with my own house-carles, and the freemen around shall man the other. But still I have found out that strife has come into the river, and I know not whether ye two will be able to get away; for they are in the river."
"Who?" says Hallvard.
"Brothers twain," says Oliver; "one's name is Vandil, and the other's Karli, sons of Sjolf the Old, east away out of Gothland."
Hallvard told Gunnar that Oliver had added some ships to theirs, and Gunnar was glad at that. They busked them for their voyage thence, till they were "allboun." Then Gunnar and Hallvard went before Oliver, and thanked him; he bade them fare warily for the sake of those brothers.
(1) A town at the mouth of the Christiania Firth. It was a great place for traffic in early times, and was long the only mart in the south-east of Norway.