Yet through it all I was pleased, as any young man would have been, with the gift of the wonderful sword which once had been that of Thorgrimmer, the sea-rover, whose blood ran in my body against which it lay, and I hoped that this day I might have chance to use it worthily as Thorgrimmer did in forgotten battles.
Also I caused them to shape stronger bows on the model of my own with which I had shot the three Frenchmen far away at Hastings that, as it was said, once had been the battle-bow of Thorgrimmer the Norseman my ancestor, as the sword Wave-Flame was his battle-sword.
Then I cried: "A-hoi!" as Thorgrimmer my ancestor may have done when he wielded this same sword, and while Deleroy still staggered beneath my thrust I grasped Wave-Flame with both hands, wheeled it aloft, and smote.
Pray the All-Father Odin nay, that is heresy for which I might burn if you or the wenches told it to the priests pray God, I mean, that He may grant you a better, as He did to old Thorgrimmer, if the tale be true, Thorgrimmer whose sword you wear and have wielded shrewdly, as that French knight knows in hell to-day." "Who was Odin?" I asked. "The great god of the North.
Lord after lord rushed at me with glaring eyes, but my mail turned their copper spears and knives of flint. Oh! Wave-Flame fed full that day, and if Thorgrimmer my forefather could have seen us from his home in Valhalla, surely he must have sworn by Odin that never had he given it such a feast. The Inca warriors grew afraid and shrank back. "This Red-Beard from the sea is indeed a god.
With it, the tale tells, Thorgrimmer did great deeds, slaying many after their heathen fashion in his battles by land and sea. For he was a wanderer, and it is said of him that once he sailed to a new land far across the ocean, and won home again after many strange adventures, to die at last here in England in some fray.
For I seem to see you far away amidst war and love and splendour, holding Wave-Flame aloft as did that Thorgrimmer who begat us. Well, go where you are called or as occasion drives, though you have much to keep you at home. I would that you were wed, since marriage is an anchor that few ships can drag.
At least I hold in my hand the sword of one who begat my forefather hundreds of years ago, a certain Thorgrimmer who was great in his time. Now I have had my fill of fighting to-day, and you, doubtless through no fault of your own, have had none; you also are clad in mail and I, a common fellow, have none.
I, Hubert of Hastings, write this in the land of Tavantinsuyu, far from England, where I was born, whither I shall never more return, being a wanderer as the rune upon the sword of my ancestor, Thorgrimmer, foretold that I should be, which sword my mother gave me on the day of the burning of Hastings by the French.