Blacktooth cut at Eric's legs; but Brighteyes sprang from the ground and took no harm. Now some cried, "Eric! Eric!" and some cried "Ospakar! Ospakar!" for no one knew how the fight would go. Gudruda sat watching in the high seat, and as blows fell her colour came and went.
"Now here is Ospakar Blacktooth," answered Skallagrim, "for well I know that raven banner of his. This is a good voyage, for we must seek but a little while before we come to fighting." Eric bade the men lay on their oars, and spoke: "Before us is Ospakar Blacktooth in two great dragons, and he is here to cut us off.
Eric shall come no more to Middalhof till Gudruda is gone hence, led by Ospakar Blacktooth." "And if Eric does not come here, how shall I see his face? for, mother, I long for the sight of it." "That is thy matter, thou lovesick fool.
Now Asmund the Priest went out into the courtyard, and meeting Ospakar Blacktooth, greeted him heartily, though he did not like his looks, and took him by the hand and led him to the hall, that was bravely decked with tapestries, and seated him by his side on the high seat. And Ospakar's thralls brought good gifts for Asmund, who thanked the giver well.
"Nay," answered Asmund, "thou hast got the greatest honour, and they, and Ospakar, such shame as may not be wiped out." Now when Blacktooth saw what had come to pass, he well-nigh choked, and fell from his horse in fury. Still, he could find no stomach for fighting, but, mustering his company, rode straightway from the Thing home again to Swinefell.
"Hearken all men!" said Eric. "Thrust him out!" quoth Björn. "Nay, cut him down!" said Ospakar, "he is an outlawed man." "Words first, then deeds," answered Skallagrim. "Thou shalt have thy fill of both, Blacktooth, before day is done." "Let Eric say his say," said Gudruda, lifting her head. "He has been doomed unheard, and it is my will that he shall say his say."
I know this, that when thereafter we stood back to back and met the company of Ospakar Blacktooth, who came to slay us ay, and Asmund also, and bear away Gudruda to be his wife he warred right gallantly, till seven of their band lay stiff on Horse-Head Heights, overthrown of us, and among them Mord, Blacktooth's son; and Ospakar himself went thence sore smitten of this Skallagrim.
So it came about, as I lay heavily asleep one night at Thorunna's side, having drunk somewhat too deeply of the autumn ale, that armed men seized me, bound me, and haled me from my bed. There were eight of them, and with them was Ospakar. Then Blacktooth bid Thorunna rise, clothe herself and come to be his May, and she made pretence to weep at this, but fell to it readily enough.
All evil things. Thou art outlawed, Eric, at the suit of Swanhild for the slaying of Atli the Earl. Swanhild sits here in Coldback, for she hath seized thy lands. Saevuna, thy mother, died two days ago in the hall of Middalhof, whither she went to speak with Gudruda." "Gudruda! what of Gudruda?" cried Eric. "This, Brighteyes: to-day she weds Ospakar Blacktooth."
Gudruda looked on Blacktooth, then she looked at golden Eric and opened her lips to speak. But before a word could pass them Ospakar rose in wrath, laying his hand upon his sword. "Thinkest thou thus to lure away my dove, outlaw? First I will see thee food for crows." "Well spoken, Blacktooth," laughed Eric. "I waited for such words from thee.