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Determined to save his friend's life if he could, he armed himself and his men and went with Egil to the palace of the king, where he asked Erik for Egil's life as a reward for his devotion to him when others had deserted him. Erik made no reply, and then Arinbjörn cried out: "This I will say. Egil shall not die while I or one of my men remain alive."

Another of Asgeir's daughters was named Hrefna; she was the fairest woman in those northern countrysides and very winsome. Asgeir was a very mighty man. It is told how one time Kjartan Olafson went on a journey south to Burgfirth. Nothing is told of his journey before he got to Burg. There at that time lived Thorstein, Egil's son, his mother's brother.

Egil greeted him well, and Hoskuld sat down by him, but Olaf stood up and looked about him. He saw a woman sitting on the dais in the booth, she was goodly and had the looks of one of high degree, and very well dressed. He thought to himself this must be Thorgerd, Egil's daughter. Olaf went up to the dais and sat down by her. Thorgerd greeted the man, and asked who he was.

Olaf now asks, "How speeds the wooing?" And now I shall have my way so far, that this shall not drop here. For true is the saw, that 'others' errands eat the wolves'; and now I shall go straightway to Egil's booth." Hoskuld bade him have his own way.

Springing upon Egil from the left, he left his enemy's right arm free. Instantly this arm began forcing and jamming its way downward across Egil's body. Should it find what it sought ! Alwin saw what was coming. He set his teeth and struggled desperately; but he could not prevent it. Another moment, and the Black One's fingers had closed upon his sword-hilt; the blade hissed into the air.

It is likely that that moment would have seen the end of Alwin, if it had not happened that Valbrand the steersman was in the booth, arraying himself for the feast. He was a gigantic warrior, with a face seamed with scars and as hard as the battle-axe at his side. He caught Egil's uplifted arm and wrested the blade from his grasp.

A storm drove his ship ashore on the English coast at the mouth of the Humber, the ship being lost but he and his thirty men reaching shore. Inquiring in whose land he was, people told him that Erik Blood-Axe ruled that region. Egil's case was a desperate one. He was in the domain of his deadly foe, with little hope of escape.

He gazed at her with wonder and admiration, and something more; gazed so intently that he did not see Egil's eyes fastened upon him. Helga laughed at his surprise; then she frowned. "If you say that you like me better in these clothes, I shall be angry with you," she whispered sharply. Fortunately, Alwin was not obliged to commit himself.

Only a few of his old friends went with him, but among them was Arinbjörn, Egil's former friend. Sudden had been King Erik's fall. Lately lord of a kingdom, he had now not a foot of land he could call his own, and he sailed about as a sea-robber, landing and plundering in Scotland and England.

Then Egil's eyes lit on me, and he stared for a minute. "Ho!" he cried, "here is no crow, but a stout warrior enough. What do you here, Olaf's right-hand man?" "Helping the crows over seas," I said, trying to meet his words lightly, though my heart was heavy enough. "Why then, friend," he said, "I must see these charges of yours. Stand aside, and let me go into that cabin."