THE BOOK OF ROMANCE - online children's book

King Arthur, His Court and Knights in the Age of Chivalry, by Andrew Lang

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368 STORY OF GRETTIR THE STRONG
self, and took it very ill that he found none. About this time, strange rumours were flying about to the effect that a farm belonging to one Thorhall was haunted. Thorhall was an honest man and very rich in cattle and livestock, but could hardly get a shepherd to stay in his service; whereat, being sore perplexed, he went for advice to Skapti the Lawman. Skapti promised to get him a shepherd called Glam, a Swede, for which Thorhall thanked him. On his return he missed two dun cows, went to look for them, and on the way met a man carrying faggots, who said his name was Glam. He was great of stature, uncouth in appearance, his eyes grey and glaring, and his hair wolf-grey. Thorhall told him Skapti had recom­mended him, adding that the place was haunted, but Glam made light of this: ' Such bugs will not scare me,' quoth he. There was a church at Thorhall-stead, but Glam loathed church-song, being godless, foul-tempered and surly, and no man could abide him, Thorhairs wife least of all. So time wore on till Christmas-eve, when Glam called for his meat, but was told that no Christian man would eat meat on that day. He insisted; and the housewife gave it, though prophesying evil would come of it. Glam took the food and went out growling and grumbling.
He was heard in the early morning on the hills, but not as the day wore on; then a snowstorm came, and Glam returned not that night nor yet the day following, so search parties were sent out, who found the sheep scattered wide about in fens, beaten down by the storm, or strayed up into the mountains. Then they came to a great beaten place high up in a valley, where it seemed as though there had been wrestling, stones and earth torn up, and signs of a severe strug­gle; looking closer, they found Glam dead, his body blue and swollen to the size of an ox. They tried to bring the body down to the church, but could only move it a very little way ; they returned, therefore, and
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