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THEN they sailed and arrived in Norway; and Heidar laid before Eyiolf many schemes for disposing of himself, but he would not agree to anything which was proposed. "Well," said Hreidar, "what are your plans, then?" "I really do not know." "Will you not visit the king, or some of the other great men? You would, as a matter of course, be entitled to every assistance from us. (At this time Hacon, the ward of Athelstan, ruled in Norway.)  1 Such chiefs are the persons whom you ought to serve." Eyiolf answered, "I am not well fitted for a king’s service; and though things might turn out as I should desire, yet I decline the proposal." Hreidar said, "What will you do, then?" "Why," replied Eyiolf, " do you shirk asking me to your own house? for that is what I want." "I do not like to offer you that which it is not good you should accept, and good alone ought you to have at my hands." "I am curious," said Eyiolf, "to know how this matter stands." "You shall know all about it," answered Hreidar, "although it befits me ill to speak of it. I have a brother named Ivar; we live together, and hold our property jointly, and are very fond of one another; but we are not of the same mind in one thing, for he cannot bear any Icelander; so that they are not safe where he is. He is out sea-roving all the summer; but when he comes home, he takes up his quarters in my house, with ten or twelve men, and everybody there has to look to their wishes. All these fellows will be so ill-disposed towards you, that you would not in any way be comfortable there."
        "I am very curious, said Eyiolf, "to learn what these men are like, and whatever happens, it will be no fault of yours, if you let the visit take place." Hreidar replied, "I owe this to my brother, seeing that he brings me home the excellent gifts which he does--not to let a difference arise between us on your account--and I shall be very much vexed if they mock and insult you." "Ah! you want terribly to get out of having me at your house," remarked Eyiolf; "but how will he bear himself towards me--will he beat me?" "It will be something worse than beating; he has many ill-conditioned men with him, and they will put the worst construction on all you do or say." Eyiolf said, "That’s no great trial. If a man knows it before, it is folly not to bear that sort of thing: that shall be no hindrance." Hreidar replied, "There is a difficulty both ways--you are my friend, and he is my brother, whom I love much."
        The end of it was that Eyiolf went to stay at Hreidar’s, on the promontory; and when Ivar was expected home, he put on a great fur cloak, which he wore every day; he was a tall man, and sat always at Hreidar’s side.


1 The date asigned for this voyage of Eyiolf is 918, at which time Hacon, the ward of Athelstan, had not succeeded to the throne, but Harold Hárfagr was still king. See Laing’s "Heimskringla," vol. i. p. 314. It is very possible that these words may have been inserted by some transcriber.

Next: Chapter III