Chapter 2

Of Uspak's coming to Odd.

The tale tells that on a certain summer Odd brought his ship to Boardere in Ramfirth with intent to abide there through the winter: there was he bidden of his friends to settle at home in the land, and he did according to their desire, and bought land at Mel in Midfirth: there he set up a great household, and became bounteous in his housekeeping, which, as folk say, was deemed of no less worth than his seafaring aforetime; neither was any man so renowned as was Odd in all the north country. He did better with his wealth than most men; a liberal man to such as had need and were anigh him; yet did he nought for the comfort of his father: his ship he laid up in Ramfirth.

Men say for sure that no man of Iceland was ever so wealthy as was Odd; yea, that he had no less than any three of the richest; in every wise was his wealth huge; in gold and in silver, in land and in live-stock. Vali his kinsman abode with him, whether he were at home or abroad. So Odd abides at his house in all this honour aforesaid.

There was a man named Glum, who dwelt at Skridinsenni, betwixt Bitra and Kollafirth: his wife's name was Thordis; she was the daughter of Asmund, the Long-hoary, father of Grettir the Strong: their son was Uspak,a man great of growth and strong, ill to deal with, and masterful; inhisearly days he began to go a-ferrying wares between the Strands and the north-country; he was a well-grown man, and soon became mighty of body. Onesummer he came to Midfirth and sold his take there; and on a day he gets him a horse, and rides up to Mel and there meets Odd; they greeted each other and asked for the common tidings, and Uspak said: "So goes it, Odd, that folk speak well of thy ways, and thou art much praised of men, and all deem themselves well-housed who are with thee ; such luck am I hoping for, for I would dwell with thee."

Odd answered: "But thou art not much praised of men, nor art thou well-beloved: men deem that there is guile under thy brow, even as it was with thy kin before thee."

Answereth Uspak: "Prove it by trial, and take it not on hearsay of others; for few are better spoken of than their deserts: nor am I asking for a gift; I would have house-room of thee, but I will keep myself; so try how thou wilt like it." Odd answers: "Mighty are thy kin, and hard to reach if ye take it into your heads to turn on me; but whereas thou art earnest with me to take thee in, I will risk it for the space of one winter."

So Uspak took that with thanks, and went in the harvest-tide to Mel with his goods, and soon became friendly with Odd : he was of good avail about the stead, doing as much work as any two others, and Odd liked him well.

So wears the time, and in spring Odd bids him abide there, saying that he deemed it better so: Uspak was fully willing, and so he takes to overlooking the house, and things go on exceeding well, and folk make much to do about how well the man goes on; and he was in good favour with folk.

So standeth that house fair flourishing, and no man's fortune was deemed more worth than Odd's: one thing only seemed lacking for the fulfilment of his honour, a priesthood to wit: but in those days it was the custom for men to set up a new priesthood, or to buy one, and even so did Odd now: he speedily gathered thingmen to him, for all were fain of him. So are things quiet awhile.