The Marriage Proposal
Revenge Isn't Always Perfect
The short voyage to Eysturoy was a safe and pleasant trip after the harrowing time they had on their way to Iceland. Along the way Laf dropped off, on their home islands, some members of his crew who lived on Sandoy, Hestur, and Nolsoy, before sailing up the Tangafjørður to Tróndur's home Gøta.
Tróndur í Gøtu did not need another reason to hate Sigmundur Brestisson. His dealings over the years with the Chieftain of Skúvoy had made him despise the arrogant man who leaned heavily on the support and protection of his Norwegian and Danish allies. This latest despicable act by Sigmundur, of refusing to acknowledge that his good friend had fairly won the marriage contest, and therefore the right to wed his daughter, was just another log on the fire of his burning fury.
The Chieftain of Eysturoy decided it was time to act. Actually Tróndur felt it was the perfect time to kill Sigmundur Brestisson. The Chieftain of Skúvoy had been humiliated when Sigvatr Bergulfrsson returned to Skúvoy in Valbrandr's ship and told everyone of the chieftain's deception. Sigmundur tried to deny the charges, saying that Valbrandr had acted alone and without his orders, but when Dirk IV of Frisia added that Sigmundur had already given him his gold coin before he left for Iceland it became obvious to most that the chieftain was not only a liar, and complicit in murder, but that he was also a cheat who had no honor as well !
Before Heinrekr the Saxon, Sigvatr Bergulfrsson, and Dirk IV of Frisia left Skúvoy each threatened the chieftain in one way or another. Sigvatr's men were especially vocal about Sigmundr's deceit, and if not for the fact that they were all exhausted, and many of them injured, they might have attacked the Chieftain of Skúvoy right then and there. Instead, after a loud shouting match with the chieftain, Sigvatr sailed home to bury his dead.
Yes ! This was the perfect moment to avenge all of the wrongs that Sigmundur Brestisson had done to the Faroe Islanders. And if Tróndur í Gøtu, his kinsmen, and his friends, could catch the chieftain alone they could kill him, and there would be so many people to suspect of his murder that no one would blame him specifically for Sigmundur's death.
To be close enough to act at a moment's notice, when and if Sigmundur became vulnerable, Tróndur í Gøtu moved himself and his men to the southern tip of Sandoy to keep an eye on the chieftain. He brought with him Laf Ossursson, Sigurd Thorlacsson, and Eldearn Combhood. A week later he was joined by others, including many from Sigvatr's crew who also wished to see Sigmundur dead.
And there they waited until, on a sunny day at the end of June, Geat the Red beached his row boat on the shore and came running up to their camp at full speed with news about Sigmundur.
" Tróndur ! Sigmundur has gone to Litla Dímun to bring a few sheep back to Skúvoy ! " he informed the Chieftain of Eysturoy in between gasping breaths.
Tróndur grinned from ear to ear.
" Did he go alone ? " he asked.
Geat the Red took a long breath before replying.
" No ! He went with Thore and Einar ! " he finally spit out.
Tróndur thought for a moment and then looked around at his men and shouted :
" I want twelve men to accompany me to Litla Dímun ! " he demanded more than asked.
Tróndur í Gøtu walked over to Laf and placed his hand on his shoulder.
" I, of course, want you to come with us ! " he told his friend, who was also his foster son, with a grin.
Tróndur landed his boat on the other side of Litla Dímun to try and catch Sigmundur and his comrades by surprise. This, in and of itself, was a treacherous task because there were so few places on this island to safely beach a craft. For this island had a mountain at it's center, with sheer rocky cliffs that went all the way down to the ocean, which could tear a boat apart. Tróndur í Gøtu, however, was willing to risk everything to kill his greatest enemy. After securing their ship among the rocks they climbed up the side of Litla Dímun and slowly and silently walked across the island. At the edge of the mountain they found a secure vantage point where they could watch Sigmundur and his friends.
The Chieftain of Eysturoy thought it best if they attacked all at once, but many in the group felt that Laf deserved the honor of killing Sigmundur. Tróndur, despite having misgivings about splitting his force, allowed Laf to take six of his men to go after Sigmundur.
Laf and his warriors tried to be as quiet and inconspicuous as possible when they moved down from the height that overlooked the shore where Sigmundur had landed his boat. Once they reached the grass at the edge of the beach, however, there was no place to hide, and they were quickly spotted.
Sigmundur quickly drew his sword, and held off Laf and his warriors, while Thore and Einar launched their little ship. After killing one of his attackers Sigmundur beat back the others before sheathing his sword and diving into the surf. He quickly outdistanced Laf's men, who had jumped in after him, and soon he was at the side of his boat where Thore and Einar helped him in. As they rowed away from their attackers they could here Laf on the beach howling like a wolf out of sheer frustration at their getting away.
Later that summer, in August, Tróndur í Gøtu and his men spotted Sigmundur fishing out in his boat with some friends, and attacked him. Despite a fierce fight that wounded two of Sigmundur's comrades, the Chieftain of Skúvoy was able to overturn Tróndur's boat, which drowned five of his men before they were able to tight their craft and make it back to dry land. Once again Sigmundur made it back to Skúvoy safely.
As he sat on the rocks along the shore of Sandoy, with sea water dripping down his face, Tróndur í Gøtu decided that it was time for him to stop playing games with Sigmundur. He was tired of losing men, and no longer cared if anyone, or everyone in the Faroe Islands for that matter, knew that it was he who had killed Sigmundur. The only thing that he cared about now was that the Chieftain of Skúvoy must die !
- End Chapter 10
- Next : Chapter 11 : A Narrow Escape
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2017.