Jon and Vidkun travelled day and night till they met King Magnus. Svein and Thorer proceeded northwards with their men, and plundered far and wide in Halogaland. But while they lay in a fjord called Harm, Thorer and his party saw King Magnus coming under sail towards them; and thinking they had not men enough to fight him, they rowed away and fled.
Thorer and Egil brought up at Hesjutun; but Svein rowed out to sea, and some of their people rowed into the fjords. King Magnus pursued Thorer, and the vessels struck together while they were landing. Thorer stood in the forecastle of his ship, and Sigurd Ulstreng called out to him, and asked,
"Art thou well, Thorer?"
"I am well in hands, but ill on my feet."
Then all Thorer's men fled up the country, and Thorer was taken prisoner. Egil was also taken prisoner, for he would not leave his wife. King Magnus then ordered both of them to be taken out to Vambarholm; and when they were leading Thorer from the ship he tottered on his legs.
Then Vidkun called out,
"More to the larboard, Thorer!"
When he was being led to the gallows he sang: —
"We were four comrades gay, —
Let one by the helm stay."
When he came to the gallows he said,
"Bad counsel comes to a bad end."
Then Thorer was hanged; but when he was hoisted up the gallows tree he was so heavy that his neck gave way, and the body fell down to the ground; for Thorer was a man exceedingly stout, both high of stature and thick.
Egil was also led to the gallows, and when the king's thralls were about hanging him he said,
"Ye should not hang me, for in truth each of you deserves much more to be hanged."
People sang these verses about it: —
"I hear, my girl, that Egil said,
When to the gallows he was led,
That the king's thralls far more than he
Deserved to hang on gallows-tree.
It might be so; but, death in view,
A man should to himself be true, —
End a stout life by death as stout,
Showing no fear; or care, or doubt."
King Magnus sat near while they were being hanged, and was in such a rage that none of his men was so bold as to ask mercy for them.
The king said, when Egil was spinning at the gallows,
"Thy great friends help thee but poorly in time of need."
From this people supposed that the king only wanted to have been entreated to have spared Egil's life.
Bjorn Krephende speaks of these things: —
"King Magnus in the robbers' gore
Dyed red his sword; and round the shore
The wolves howled out their wild delight,
At corpses swinging in their sight.
Have ye not heard how the king's sword
Punished the traitors to their lord?
How the king's thralls hung on the gallows
Old Thorer and his traitor-fellows?"