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"There are many sayings concerning maids, and some concerning old men; also, if I mistake not, one or two about young men and maids." "Spare Estein those last," cried Helgi lightly. "He thinks himself old, and never gives maids a thought at all." Evidently Thorar knew nothing of the message, and Estein became silent again.

One by one the defenders dropped at their posts, and at last, when widening gaps appeared in the line of shields, Liot and Osmund boarded together, each from his own side. "Back to the poop, Helgi!" Estein cried. "To the poop, men! we cannot hold the gangways. One tired man cannot fight with five fresh."

The sea-king must not stay, E'en for tresses rich as summer And for smile as bright as May; But one hope I cannot part from We may meet again some day!" "And we shall, Osla!" he exclaimed half aloud. He was aroused by hearing the voices of Helgi and Thorar come back to him clear and cheerfully. A thought struck him. Could Thorar have sent the message?

Estein looked for a moment as though he would have retorted sharply, but biting his lip he fell back again, nor did he exchange another word with the man. It was about mid-day, when, as they were coming down a wooded slope, Helgi exclaimed, "Hark! what is that clamour?" Jomar too heard the shouts, for he stopped for a moment and listened keenly, and then started off faster than before.

Afterwards it will be too late, with only seventy men," the wary Grim replied. "We can choose our hour," said Estein; "and whatever plan we fall on, it seems we must be in time." Helgi laughed lightly. "I thought you would leave us little say, Estein, when once you were aroused," he said. "'Tis all the same to me.

To make for King Bue's hall, and, taking advantage of the woods that covered all the country, spy out what might be seen, was the hazardous scheme he proposed. Perhaps, he thought, Helgi might be wandering the country too, and if fate was kind they might meet. In any case he could not rest in his state of uncertainty, and he pushed boldly on.

If the theory stated below as to the original Helgi legend be correct, the feud with Hunding's race, as told in these poems, must be extraneous. I conjecture that it belonged originally to the Volsung cycle, and to the wer-wolf Sinfjötli.

It is also told me of Bolli's sons that they are likely to grow into men of high mettle, and that they are exceeding masterful; but the wrong they have to wreak is great. We cannot think of escaping from making some amends after such awful deeds. I shall be the most open to people's reproaches for this by reason of my alliance with Helgi.

"Helgi's head seems hardly so strong as his hand, Thorar!" For once the lawman was overreached, and with a laugh he drained his horn and answered, "I had thought better of you Norsemen." The hardest part of the business now remained. To go out in the same way he knew would excite suspicion; if he delayed too long, search would be made for Helgi; and there sat Thorar facing him.

Helgi answers, "I think I know who this man is, of whom you have now been telling. He must be Thorleik Bollison, and a sharp and mindful man you are." The lad said again, "Next sat a young man; he was in a blue kirtle and black breeches, and his tunic tucked into them. This man was straight-faced, light of hair, with a goodly-featured face, slender and graceful."