Just then Gunnar heard of the death of his father-in-law Hauskuld; a few nights after, Thorgerda, Thrain's wife, was delivered at Gritwater, and gave birth to a boy child. Then she sent a man to her mother, and bade her choose whether it should be called Glum or Hauskuld. She bade call it Hauskuld. So that name was given to the boy.
Gunnar and Hallgerda had two sons, the one's name was Hogni and the other's Grani. Hogni was a brave man of few words, distrustful and slow to believe, but truthful.
Now men ride to the horse-fight, and a very great crowd is gathered together there. Gunnar was there and his brothers, and the sons of Sigfus. Njal and all his sons. There too was come Starkad and his sons, and Egil and his sons, and they said to Gunnar that now they would lead the horses together.
Gunnar said, "That was well."
Skarphedinn said, "Wilt thou that I drive thy horse, kinsman Gunnar?"
"I will not have that," says Gunnar.
"It wouldn't be amiss though," says Skarphedinn; "we are hot- headed on both sides."
"Ye would say or do little," says Gunnar, "before a quarrel would spring up; but with me it will take longer, though it will be all the same in the end."
After that the horses were led together; Gunnar busked him to drive his horse, but Skarphedinn led him out. Gunnar was in a red kirtle, and had about his loins a broad belt, and a great riding-rod in his hand.
Then the horses ran at one another, and bit each other long, so that there was no need for any one to touch them, and that was the greatest sport.
Then Thorgeir and Kol made up their minds that they would push their horse forward just as the horses rushed together, and see if Gunnar would fall before him.
Now the horses ran at one another again, and both Thorgeir and Kol ran alongside their horses' flank.
Gunnar pushes his horse against them, and what happened in a trice was this, that Thorgeir and his brother fall down flat on their backs, and their horse a-top of them.
Then they spring up and rush at Gunnar. Gunnar swings himself free and seizes Kol, casts him down on the field, so that he lies senseless. Thorgeir Starkad's son smote Gunnar's horse such a blow that one of his eyes started out. Gunnar smote Thorgeir with his riding-rod, and down falls Thorgeir senseless; but Gunnar goes to his horse, and said to Kolskegg, "Cut off the horse's head; he shall not live a maimed and blemished beast."
So Kolskegg cut the head off the horse.
Then Thorgeir got on his feet and took his weapons, and wanted to fly at Gunnar, but that was stopped, and there was a great throng and crush.
Skarphedinn said, "This crowd wearies me, and it is far more manly that men should fight it out with weapons; and so he sang a song:
"At the Thing there is a throng;
Past all bounds the crowding comes;
Hard 'twill be to patch up peace
'Twixt the men. This wearies me;
Worthier is it far for men
Weapons red with gore to stain;
I for one would sooner tame
Hunger huge of cub of wolf."
Gunnar was still, so that one man held him, and spoke no ill words.
Njal tried to bring about a settlement, or to get pledges of peace; but Thorgeir said he would neither give nor take peace; far rather, he said, would he see Gunnar dead for the blow.
Kolskegg said, "Gunnar has before now stood too fast, than that he should have fallen for words alone, and so it will be again."
Now men ride away from the horse-field, every one to his home. They make no attack on Gunnar, and so that halfyear passed away. At the Thing, the summer after, Gunnar met Olaf the peacock, his cousin, and he asked him to come and see him, but yet bade him be ware of himself; "For," says he, "they will do us all the harm they can, and mind and fare always with many men at thy back."
He gave him much good counsel beside, and they agreed that there should be the greatest friendship between them.