Chapter 3

Of Uspak's dealing with Odd.

Odd took Uspak to his heart, and let him pretty much rule over the household; he worked both hard and much, and was useful about the house.

So wears the winter, and Odd liked Uspak even better than before, because he took yet more things in hand. In harvest-tide he fetched in the sheep from the mountains, and they were well brought in, with none missing.

So weareth winter into spring, and then Odd gives out that he is going abroad in the summer, and says that his kinsman Vali shall take the household to him ; but Vali answers: "So falls it, kinsman, that I am not used to this, and I were liefer to deal with the money and the wares."

Now Odd turns to Uspak, and bids him take over to him the household. Uspak answers: u That would be over-much for me, how well soever things go, now thou hast to do therewith." Odd urges the matter, and Uspak excuses himself, as sorely as he desired to take it; so at last it came to this, that he bade Odd have his way, if he would promise him his help and furtherance. Odd says that he shall so deal with his possessions that he may wax the better man thereby, and be more highly favoured, and that he had put it to the proof that no man either could or would watch better over his wealth. Uspak bids him now to do according to his will, and so the talk ended.

Now Odd arrayed his ship, and let bear his wares thereto, and this was heard of, and in divers wise talked over.

Odd had no need to be long in getting ready. Vali went with him; and so when they were fully dight men lead him to ship. Uspak followed him the furthest, and they had many things to talk of: so when they were but a little way from the ship Odd said: "Now is there yet one thing which has not been settled."

"What is that?" said Uspak. "We have not seen to my priesthood," said Odd, "and I will that thou take it over."

"This is out of all reason," saith Uspak. " I am unmeet for this: already have I taken more things on my hands than I am like to handle or turn out well; there is no man so fit as is thy father; he is the greatest of lawmen, and exceeding wise." Odd says that into his hands he would not give it; "and I will have thee to take it," says he.

Uspak excused himself, and yet was fain to have it: then says Odd that he will be wroth if he take it not; wherefore at their parting Uspak took the priesthood.

So Odd fares abroad, and full happy was his voyage even as his wont was.

Uspak fares home, and this matter is talked of in diverse wise; and folk think that Odd hath given much power into the hands of this man.

Uspak rides to the Thing next summer with a company of men, and does well and helpfully there, and turns all due matters wellout of hand whereto he was by law bound, and rides thence with honour. He sus-tained his men in doughty wise; nowhere letting their part be borne down, nor were they downtrodden : he was kind and easy to all the neighbours, and there was no less plenty or hospitality at the stead than had been heretofore; nor was good housekeeping lacking thereto: and all went well. So weareth summer: Uspak rideth to the Leet and halloweth it; and when harvest comes, he fares to the fells when men go after their wethers, and they were brought in well, for the searching was careful, and no sheep were missing, either of Odd's or any other man's.