Chapter 1

Of Ufeig and Odd his son.

A man named Ufeig dwelt westward in Midfirth, at a stead called Reeks: he was the son of Skidi, and his mother was called Gunnlaug, whose mother was Jarngerd, daughter of Ufeig Jarngerdson, of the Skards in the north country. Ufeig was wedded to a woman called Thorgerdi daughter of Vali; she came of great kin and was a stirring woman. Ufeig was a wise man, and full of good counsel; he was great-hearted in all wise, but unhandy at money-getting; great and wide lands he had but was scant of chattels; he spared not to give his meat to any, yet mostly was it got by borrowing what was needed for the household; he was thingman of Styrmir of Asgeir's-water, who was then held for the greatest chief west away there.'

Ufeig had a son by his wife named Odd, a goodly man, and of fair mien from his youth up, but little love he had from his father; he was but a sorry handy-craftsman. One named Vali also grew up in Ufeig's house; he was a goodly man and a well-loved.

So Odd grew up in his father's house till he was twelve winters old, and mostly Ufeig had little to do with him and loved him little, but the report of men ran that none of that country was of better conditions than Odd. On a time fell Odd to talk with his father, and craved of his help in money: "For I would depart hence: things have come to this," said he, "that of thee get I little honor, and to thee give I little help."

Ufeig answers: "I will not lay down for thee less than thou deservest, and I will go as close as I can to that, and then thou wilt know what avail it will be to thee."

Odd said that that would be but little to lean upon, and thus their speech had ended. But the next day Odd takes a line down from the wall, and a set of fishing gear, and twelve ells of wadmal, and so goes his ways with no farewell to any. He fared out to Waterness, and fell into the company of fishermen, and craved of them such outfit as he needed most, either to borrow or to buy on credit; so that when they knew he was of good kin, and whereas he himself was a lad well-liked, they risked trusting him; so he bought all on credit, and abode there certain seasons a-fishing; and it is told that their luck was ever at its best with whom was Odd.

So he was there three winters and three summers and was by then gotten so far, that he had paid back all that he had borrowed, and had gained for himself a good trading penny withal. He never went to see his father, and either of them went on as if he were naught akin to the other: he was well liked by his fellows.

So as it fell out he took to carrying goods north to the Strands, and bought himself the use of a keel, and so gathered goods : so his wealth increased speedily, till he owned the keel himself, and plied therewith between Midfirth and the Strands for certain summers, and now began to grow rich. At last he waxed weary of this work, and bought a share in a ship and fared abroad, and is now trading awhile, and still, he did well therein, and flourished, and now hath won both wealth and the good report of men.

This business he followed till he owned a ship of burden and the more part of its lading, and still, he went a-trading and became a man of great wealth and good renown: oft was he with lords and men of dignity in the Outlands, and was well accounted of wheresoever he was. Now he became so rich that he had two ships of burden a-trading, and as folks tell it, no chapman of his day was so wealthy as Odd, and in his seafaring was luckier than other men. He never laid his ship northward of Eyiafirth or westward of Ramfirth.