Still Thor walked along with the proud consciousness that he was the god Thor; and feeling that though he was so small he was yet a person of some importance, made his way to the palace, and desired to see the King. After some little time he and his fellow travelers were ushered into the presence of Utgarda Loke, the King of the country.

"Nay," answered Utgarda Loke, "you must grow a little before you are great at anything." At which speech the courtiers again shouted with laughter; but Utgarda Loke, turning to his servants, bade them make trial of Loki's powers. So they brought a great trough full of food, and Loki was placed at one end, and a courtier named Loge at the other.

And a large gray cat came leaping along, and planted itself firmly before Thor, showing its sharp claws, and glaring upon him with its fiery eyes. Thor seized it, but in spite of all his efforts he was only able to raise one of the cat's paws from the ground. "Pooh! pooh!" exclaimed Utgarda Loke, "you are a mere baby, fit only for the nursery.

"What is it?" he echoed; he had found a chair and sat like Thor in the court of Utgarda. "About the mine and all that." The man eyed her enquiringly for an instant and picked at his cuff. "Let me ask you a question," he said: "Did your father say nothing except about the mine?" "No, not that I remember, except to imply that you that he no, he said nothing worth repeating."

"I am beyond measure astounded and ashamed," replied the god. "Ha! ha!" laughed Utgarda Loke. "I knew that you were. However, as we are well out of the city I don't mind telling you a secret or two. Doubtless you will receive a little comfort from my doing so, as you confess that your coming hither has been to no purpose.

They both fell to work to devour what was before them, and met at the middle of the trough. But it was found that while Loki had eaten the flesh of his portion, Loge had eaten, not only the flesh, but the bones also. Therefore Loki, was, of course, vanquished. Then Utgarda Loke turned to Thialfe. "And pray, in what may this youth be specially skilled?" he asked.

Here Loki uttered an exclamation of delight, but Thor bade him be silent, and Utgarda Loke went on: "Thialfe's enemy was Hugr, or Thought, and let man work away as hard as he pleases, Thought will still outrun him. "As for yourself, the end of the drinking-horn, though you did not see it, reached the sea, and as fast as you emptied it, it filled again, so that you never could have drained it dry.

I believe that my old nurse Hela would be more than a match for you. Here, Hela, come and wrestle with the mighty god Thor." And Utgarda Loke laughed disdainfully. Forth stepped a decrepit old woman, with lank cheeks and toothless jaws. Her eyes were sunken, her brow furrowed, and her scanty locks were white as snow.

And Utgarda Loke, hearing the door open, raised his eyes, thinking to see some great courtier enter, but he knew nothing of the bows and greetings of Thor, until happening to cast his eyes to the ground, he saw a little man with his companions saluting him with much ceremony.

A second time he took a draught, but the horn was far from being emptied. Again a third time he essayed to drain it, but it was full almost to the brim. Therefore he set it down in despair, and confessed himself unable to drain it. "I am disappointed in you," said Utgarda Loke; "you are not half the man I took you for.