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There was a man named Valgard, he kept house at Hof by Rangriver, he was the son of Jorund the Priest, and his brother was Wolf Aurpriest (1). Those brothers, Wolf Aurpriest, and Valgard the Guileful, set off to woo Unna, and she gave herself away to Valgard without the advice of any of her kinsfolk. But Gunnar and Njal, and many others thought ill of that, for he was a cross-grained man and had few friends. They begot between them a son, whose name was Mord, and he is long in this story. When he was grown to man's estate, he worked ill to his kinsfolk but worst of all to Gunnar. He was a crafty man in his temper, but spiteful in his counsels.

Now we will name Njal's sons. Skarphedinn was the eldest of them. He was a tall man in growth, and strong withal; a good swordsman; he could swim like a seal, the swiftest-looted of men, and bold and dauntless; he had a great flow of words and quick utterance; a good skald too; but still for the most part he kept himself well in hand; his hair was dark brown, with crisp curly locks; he had good eyes; his features were sharp, and his face ashen pale, his nose turned up and his front teeth stuck out, and his mouth was very ugly. Still he was the most soldierlike of men.

Grim was the name of Njal's second son. He was fair of face and wore his hair long. His hair was dark, and he was comelier to look on than Skarphedinn. A tall strong man.

Helgi was the name of Njal's third son. He too was fair of face and had fine hair. He was a strong man and well-skilled in arms. He was a man of sense and knew well how to behave. They were all unwedded at that time, Njal's sons.

Hauskuld was the fourth of Njal's sons. He was baseborn. His mother was Rodny, and she was Hauskuld's daughter, the sister of Ingialld of the Springs.

Njal asked Skarphedinn one day if he would take to himself a wife. He bade his father settle the matter. Then Njal asked for his hand Thorhilda, the daughter of Ranvir of Thorolfsfell, and that was why they had another homestead there after that. Skarphedinn got Thorhilda, but he stayed still with his father to the end. Grim wooed Astrid of Deepback; she was a widow and very wealthy. Grim got her to wife, and yet lived on with Njal.


(1) The son of Ranveig the Silly, the son of Valgard, the son of Aefar, the son of Vemund Wordstopper, the son of Thorolf Hooknose, the son of Thrand the Old, the son of Harold Hilditann, the son of Hraereck Ringscatterer. The mother of Harold Hilditann, was Aud the daughter of Ivar Widefathom, the son of Halfdan the Clever. The brother of Valgard the Guileful was Wolf Aurpriest--from whom the Pointdwellers sprung--Wolf Aurpriest was the father of Swart, the father of Lodmund, the father of Sigfus, the father of Saemund the Wise. But from Valgard is sprung Kolbein the Young.

Next: 26. Of Asgrim And His Children