By Tim Severin

In London in 1019, a couple of months have handed due to the fact Thorgils escaped the clutches of the Irish Church, purely to discover himself on the middle of a capricious love affair with Aelfgifu—wife of Knut the good, ruler of britain, and some of the most robust males of the Viking empire. As this passionate courting among the 2 starts to spread, it forebodes inevitable results. whilst Thorgils is eventually at the run back, he meets Grettir, an outlaw feared for his volatility, and the 2 turn into go back and forth partners and sworn brothers. on the gates of Byzantium, Thorgils’ loyalty is placed to the final word test.

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However the ice blocks were a happy, glowing white tinged with blue, and Drang Island was once a depressing, sq., brooding rectangular. It gave me the shivers. the idea of swimming around the intervening expanse of sea — i may see the tide swirl — used to be daunting. somebody at the mainland needs to be appearing as a go-between, sometimes rowing out to the island to carry offers and information. I made a circuit of the fiord's coastline, staying at one farmhouse after one other, claiming to be trying to find land to shop for. Already i used to be traveling below an assumed identify as I had no want for Gunnhildr and her father to benefit that i used to be again in Iceland. the one guy to grasp of my go back was once Snorri Godi, that wily previous chieftain, on whom I had referred to as which will speak about the redemption of my fireplace ruby. He nonetheless held the gem in secure conserving, and that i had left with him the majority of my silver hoard, asking that he wait sooner than handing at the funds to Gunnhildr's family members in order that I had time to fulfill Grettir. I stored simply enough silver with me to teach the farmers of Skagafiord that i may have the funds for their land costs. I speedy pointed out the farmer probably to be Grettir's touch. He owned the farm closest to Drang and there has been a touchdown seashore and boatshed on his estate. extra vital, he used to be no longer a member of the gang taking its lead from Thorbjorn Ongul, the executive landholder within the zone. Thorbjorn Ongul I judged to be a troublesome guy. every thing approximately him used to be off-putting. He had a scarred eye socket. He had misplaced the eyeball in his adolescence whilst his stepmother had struck him within the face for being disobedient and had half-blinded him. Now he used to be surly and belligerent, and clearly a bully. "We'll get that bastard off our island, if it is the very last thing I do,' he guaranteed me whilst I raised the topic of Grettir at the island. 'Half the boys round listed below are too faint-hearted to take any motion. yet i have been purchasing out their stocks of the island — we used to possess it together — in order that whoever takes the choice approximately its destiny, it is going to be me. ' He paused, and checked out me suspiciously. 'Anyway, what is your curiosity within the position? ' 'I simply puzzled: if i am getting a farm round right here could I have the ability to buy a percentage within the island and positioned a few sheep on it? ' 'Not with out my permission, you couldn't,' he stated rudely. 'By the time you finalise any land deal, i'm going to have visible to it that I carry the bulk percentage within the island. Grettir is useless meat. he is due for a shock, the murderous son of a complain. ' I lower back to the farmer whom I had guessed used to be delivering Grettir on Drang. certain adequate, while I provided him sufficient silver, he agreed to row me over to the island after darkish. He warned me, in spite of the fact that, that Grettir was once risky and unpredictable. 'You are looking to be careful,' he acknowledged. "When the temper is on him, the outlaw turns violent. He swam over from the island final autumn and broke into my farm construction. He was once trying to find provides, yet I wasn't at domestic on the time. So he stripped off his rainy outfits, lay down through the fireplace and went to sleep. of the ladies servants walked in on him and located him stark bare.

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