He felt so free that he laughed and leaped into the air and turned a somersault just as he had dreamed of doing. Then one of the Brons' scientists gave him a heavy pair of shoes as if to remind him that no man can be altogether free. As he glumly strapped the heavy shoes to his feet, Jack thought of something his father had told him: "No man was ever really free, unless it was Robinson Crusoe.
Gunnar dropped the flash and his broadsword shrieked against the scabbard as he drew it. Odin set Maya's feet upon the floor. Still holding her with one arm, he drew his sword and made ready to stand beside Gunnar. A dozen cloaked figures came into the room. The first was Grim Hagen, smiling sardonically. The others were Brons.
"How much time have your people spent checking lists? You are the world's best list-checkers. And the worst. I wish we were just a handful of warriors going out for a fight. But whole families are coming along. Apparently the Brons intend to sow their seed among the stars. And with families. I'll wager that your lists are not worth a darning needle. Something will be left behind.
Here we are told how, during the wanderings of that holy man and his companions in the wilderness, certain of the company fell into sin. By the command of God, Brons, Joseph's brother-in-law, caught a Fish, which, with the Grail, provided a mystic meal of which the unworthy cannot partake; thus the sinners were separated from the righteous.
Odin was assigned to superintend one of the warehouses, and he was both annoyed and pleased to find that the girl Nea was his assistant. She was a hard worker and pleasant enough, though she said little to him. And the only time he saw her flustered was when she ordered a young man of the Brons out of the building. Jack felt a bit sorry for the fellow.
Man and Brons were orphans of the stars. Was there some element upon the earth that made them vicious? Was there any way that they could come out here into space on equal terms with living things? Or must they always come as conquerors, eager to fight, or refugees who soon became resentful of the natives.
In certain texts the separation of the two is clearly brought out; in Joseph of Arimathea, for instance, the Fish caught by Brons is to be placed at one end of the table, the Grail at the other.
Suddenly a dozen screaming wretches they could no longer be called soldiers came running up the street. They joined Grim Hagen's men and gibbered in fear as they pointed back. From down there came a sudden burst of music. Odin's heart leaped when he heard it. It was the old song of the Brons. But the lights were burning low back there and as yet he could see nothing. Then they came.
The advocates of the Folk-lore theory, on the other hand, practically evade this main difficulty, by basing their interpretation upon Borron's story of the catching of the Fish by Brons, equating this character with the Bran of Welsh tradition, and pointing to the existence, in Irish and Welsh legend, of a Salmon of Wisdom, the tasting of whose flesh confers all knowledge.
A Voice from Heaven bids him send his brother-in-law, Brons, to catch a fish. Meanwhile he, Joseph, is to prepare a table, set the Grail, covered with a cloth, in the centre opposite his own seat, and the fish which Brons shall catch, on the other side. He does this, and the seats are filled "Si s'i asieent une grant partie et plus i ot de cels qui n'i sistrent mie, que de cels qui sistrent."