The Rune Stone
" A Second Stone ! "
Nils Eggum reluctantly brought these new archaeologists out to Bergenhaugen and showed them where the original stone had been found. The farmer had grown tired of all these, " museum people ", as he called them, coming out to his farm and bothering him. If it had been June or July, after the planting had been done, he would have simply sent them away. But now, in early April, he saw no harm in allowing them to see the site.
Terje, went off and began to look over the entire site while his student, and the farmer watched him carefully. While the professor was thoroughly searching the area Bente, on her own, fluttered her eyes at Nils and spoke to him.
" May we stay a while and examine the rest of the hill ? " she asked with a smile that the old farmer could not say no to.
Nils could not help but blush a little as he replied :
" Why of course you may my dear ! "
When Terje discovered that the farmer agreed to let them stay he tried, but he could not wipe the smirk off of his face, as he thought to himself :
" Well, at least bringing her along accomplished something ! "
As the farmer left, the professor pointed to the opposite side of the field.
" Why don't you search the far end of the field. If you hit a large stone dig around it and see if it is large enough to have been used as a rune stone. " he instructed her.
Then he muttered under his breath :
" I am sure that I will have to go over the same ground before we leave, but at least she will not be close enough to inundate me with question after question ! "
Terje methodically poked his trowel into the ground, being careful not to miss any area in the square he had sectioned off with string. Several times he struck hard objects beneath the soil, but each turned out to be nothing more than a large rock. Patience is, and always has been, a cornerstone of archaeology, and it was a theory that Terje wholeheartedly subscribed to. So onward he probed.
After finishing his first square Terje placed two more stakes in the ground, and made a second square, which connected to the first. When he glanced over at his student he could not help but wince with disgust. Instead of using proper archaeological procedures to probe the soil Bente was simply thrusting her trowel into the ground as though she were digging for clams. He was about to admonish his student when she suddenly jumped up and pointed to the ground beneath her.
" I have found something professor ! And it appears to be very big ! " she yelled over to him.
If Bente had been a professor, or at the very least a respected archaeologist, he would have run over immediately to see what it was that she had struck beneath the surface. Seeing her as nothing more than an amateur student, he stayed where he was and simply yelled back instructions.
" Find the edges of the rock, and let me know how big it is ! " he told her.
At any moment Terje, who had started probing the second square, expected to hear Bente apologizing to him that all she had found was a large rock, or maybe a small boulder. But life does not always work out the way your mind's eye perceives it !
" Professor ! The stone is approximately two meters, by 1 meter ! " she yelled out.
Terje's ears perked up like a dog, and his head shot around and stared over at his student.
" Could she really have found something of significance ? " he asked himself as he left his trowel in the dirt and quickly walked over to her.
Terje could not believe his eyes ! Bente had not only found the edges of the stone, but she had already brushed the dirt off of the top of it by the time he arrived. Despite trying to act scholarly, he could not help dropping to his knees and impetuously grabbing one corner of the stone.
" Well ! Work your fingers under the other side and let's try to turn the stone over ! " he barked at his student.
Benter fell to her knees and forced her fingers under the stone. Together they slowly raised it up and gently set it back down on it's lower side. Terje quickly pulled a brush out of his pocket, and began to whisk away a layer of moist soil, as Bente watched with a huge smile on her face. Then, suddenly, he stopped and stared at the stone.
" Runes ! " was all he said before returning to cleaning the slab.
Terje worked fast, and just as he cleaned off the last bit of dirt, he commented on how unusual the rune stone was.
" Look at how deep the runes are carved into the stone's surface,.... it is almost as though it had been done recently ! " he explained to Bente.
Bente rolled her eyes before asking :
" What does the runic inscription mean ? " she asked.
Terje gave his student a cross look.
" It could take months, ... maybe even years to fully decipher it's meaning,... but this last part,... here on the bottom of the stone,... I have seen this before. " he said and then paused to run his fingers over the inscription.
" Yes ! Yes !! On the Ledberg Rune Stone, and on the,.... Gorlev Rune Stone,.. it is a rhyming spell,.... a charm if you believe in such things. Pistil, Mistil, Kistil, ... thistle, mistletoe, casket. " he told his assistant as he wrote it all down on the pad he had pulled from his pocket.
Bente pointed to the top row of runes.
" And the first part. What does that mean ? " she asked.
Terje shook his head.
Well the first part says that Hlorridi raised this stone in memory of Thrym the thief who stole his hammer. But the second part,...." he stopped and shook his head.
" I can decipher the letters, but they don't appear to be corresponding to any known words in Old Norse ! " he replied as he scratched his chin.
" F-R-O-E-M, B-Y-N-A-R, W-I-L-L-O-P, D-A-N-I-R-A " he whispered to himself one letter at a time.
" They make no sense. Froem, bynar, willop, danira, pistil, mistil, kistil,... what could that...." he never had a chance to finish.
Suddenly, from out of the bright blue sky, there was a flash of lightning, and the world around them changed. Terje slowly rose up and looked around him with wide eyes, as he slowly placed the notebook back into his pocket.
Bente placed her hand on the professor's shoulder, which made him jump slightly.
" Professor Terje,.... where are we ? " she asked.
Terje spun around in a quick circle to try and take it all in at once.
" I have no idea ! " he told her.
- End Chapter 6
- Next : Chapter 7 : Muspelheim And Niflheim
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2017.