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There dwelt a man called Helgi, who was the biggest of bonders thereabout: from there had Grettir a good horse, which the bonder owned, and thence he went to Giorvidale, where farmed a man named Thorkel. He was well stored with victuals, yet a mannikin withal: therefrom took Grettir what he would, nor durst Thorkel blame him or withhold aught from him.

"I know not," said Thorkel, "how thou wilt fare in the end, but men of equal prowess I deem you not: lay as few burdens on him as thou mayst, Biorn." Biorn said, that neither of them should pick and choose words from out his mouth. Now, when a hill's brow was between them, Grettir went back to the pass, for now there was no striving with others for the onset.

Again Ulf's hairy face gathered into a heavy frown. "No man can say I fear a foeman," he said, "but I should like ill to fight after two sleepless nights." "Bah! "They are doubtless making ready to board us." The ship drew so near that they could plainly see the men on board, and conspicuous among them the tall form of Thorkel appeared in the bow.

Thorkel next raised levies in Caithness, Sutherland, and Ross, joined forces with Thorfinn in Moray, and harried the land, whereupon Duncan collected an army from the south of Scotland and Cantire and Ireland, and attacked his enemies in the north.

Never have I so much as hinted to yonder peace-nithing a word of harm against Edmund Ironside." From Thorkel the Tall came one of his rare laughs, a sound like the grating of a rusty hinge, and Rothgar unfolded his arms to fling them out in angry rejection. "This is useful to learn!" he sneered.

Helgi, who had kept at his shoulder throughout, seized his arm. "They are giving way on Thorkel's ship. Osmund is on board. If we return not, the ship is cleared." With a gesture of despair Estein turned. "Back, men, back! Thorkel needs all his friends, I fear," he cried; and to Helgi he said, "The day is lost. We can but sell our lives dearly now." They came back too late.

Would he do such horrid wickedness?" "No!" Randalin cried passionately. "No!" But even as she cried it, Thorkel the Tall dared to lean forward and give the royal shoulder a rallying slap. "Amleth himself never played a game better," he said; "but is it worth while to continue at it when no Englishmen are watching?" And his words seemed to open a door against which the others were crowding.

The noble and one of the soldiers had forced their way to the side from which Thorkel had been riven, and a third threatened him from the rear. Three blades stabbed at him as with one motion. It was a strange thing that saved him, Randalin could explain it least of all.

He sent Thorkel to King Olaf in Norway to seek protection for himself against Einar, and Thorkel came back bearing an invitation to Thorfinn to visit the Norwegian court, from which the jarl returned as much in favour with the king as Einar was in disgrace. Brusi then tried to reconcile Thorfinn and Einar, and Thorkel was to be included in the settlement.

Then Thorkel came, and together we went to Colchester, and thence he bade me go to Bures in peace and take my old place, for he said that Cnut and Emma the queen would have me honoured in all that I would, even did he himself not wish to keep me as his own friend. Then said I: "What of Geirmund, your own man, who had Bures?" Egil laughed.

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