Chapter 13

Of the Ending of Uspak.

That same harvest gathereth Hermund folk, and fareth out to Hwammsleet, being minded for Burg to burn Egil in his house: but when they came out by Valfell, they heard as if a string twanged up in the fell, and thereon Hermund felt a sickness, and a smart under his arm, and they had to turn back, and the sickness waxed heavy upon him; and when they were come by Thorgaut-stead they had to lift him off, and then they fared to Sidamuli for a priest, but when he came Hermund was speechless; so the priest abode by him, and on a time as the priest looked on him there came a murmur on to his lips : " Two hundreds in the ghyll, two hundreds ih the ghyll!"

And therewithal he gave up the ghost, and so ended his life-days, even as is here said.

Now abideth Odd at his house in great estate ; and his wife he loveth well.

All this while nought had been heard of Uspak: a man named Mar married Swala; he was the son of Hildi; he took up his abode at Swalastead; a brother he had named Bialfi, half-witted, but a strong man. There was one named Bergthor, who dwelt at Bodvarsknolls: he had summed up the case when Uspak was outlawed ; and so on an eve at Bodvarsknolls, when men were sitting by the fires, it fell out that one came and smote on the door and bade the master come out; but the master wotted that Uspak was come there, and said that he would nowise go out. Uspak egged him much thereto, but none the more would he go, and all others he forbade to stir abroad; so they two parted. But on the morrow when women came to the byre, lo! nine cows wounded to death. This was heard of far and wide.

Again, as time wore on, it befell that a man came to Swalastead, and into the hall wherein slept Mar: that man went up to the bed, and thrust Mar through with a sax. It was Uspak, and he sang:

Drew I new-grinded
Glaive from scabbard,
Against the maw
Of Mar I sped it,
So sore I grudged
That son of Hildi
The breast of Swala
Shapely fashioned.

Even therewith, as he turned toward the door, up sprang Bialfi, and thrust at him with a whittle.

Uspak went to a house called Burgknolls, and declared the slaying there; then he went his ways, and nought was heard of him for a while. The slaying of Mar was heard of far and wide, and deemed a dreadful hap. Then came this tidings, that the best stallions Odd owned, five together, were found dead, which deed folk laid on Uspak. But now a long while wore, and nought was heard of him; but in harvest, when men went after the wethers, they found a cave in certain rocks, and in the cave a dead man, beside whom stood a basin of blood as black as tar. This was Uspak, and folk deemed that the hurt Bialfi had given him must have grieved him, and that he had died from want of help: so ended his life-days. It is not told that there was any blood-suit for the slaying of Mar, or the slaying of Uspak.

Odd abode at Mel till his old age, and was deemed a most noble man ; from him are come the Midfirthers, Snorri Kalfson, and many other great men.

Ever after endured the goodwill and kindly affection between the father and son. And here endeth this story.