The Chronicle of The Kings of Norway

by Snorri Sturlson | c.1179-1241 | 320,198 words

The "Heimskringla" of Snorri Sturlason is a collection of sagas concerning the various rulers of Norway, from about A.D. 850 to the year A.D. 1177....

Part 98 - Of Styrkar The Marshal

Styrkar, King Harald Sigurdson's marshal, a gallant man, escaped upon a horse, on which he rode away in the evening. It was blowing a cold wind, and Styrkar had not much other clothing upon him but his shirt, and had a helmet on his head, and a drawn sword in his hand. As soon as his weariness was over, he began to feel cold.

A waggoner met him in a lined skin-coat. Styrkar asks him,

"Wilt thou sell thy coat, friend?"

"Not to thee,"

says the peasant:

"thou art a Northman; that I can hear by thy tongue."

Styrkar replies,

"If I were a Northman, what wouldst thou do?"

"I would kill thee,"

replied the peasant;

"but as ill luck would have it, I have no weapon just now by me that would do it."

Then Styrkar says,

"As you can't kill me, friend, I shall try if I can't kill you."

And with that he swung his sword, and struck him on the neck, so that his head came off. He then took the skin-coat, sprang on his horse, and rode down to the strand.

Olaf Haraldson had not gone on land with the others, and when he heard of his father's fall he made ready to sail away with the men who remained.

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