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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STORY OF GRETTIR THE STRONG 383
and day. At this time Thurid advised Angle to make another attempt on the island; he therefore gathered a force of a dozen men together, and set sail in very foul weather, but no sooner had they reached open sea than the wind lulled, so they came to Drangey at dusk. Noise had been told to guard the ladders, and had gone out as usual with very ill grace ; he thought to himself he would not draw them up, so he lay down there and fell asleep, remaining all clay long in slumber till Angle came to the island. Mounting the ladders, he and his men found Noise snoring at the top; arousing him roughly, they learned from him what had happened, and how Grettir lay sick in the hut with Illugi tending him. Angle thrashed Noise soundly for betraying his master, and the men made for the hut. Illugi guarded the door with the greatest valour, and when they thrust at him with spears he struck off all the spear heads from the shafts. But some of the men leapt up on to the roof, tore away the thatch, and broke one of the rafters. Grettir thrust up with a spear and killed one man, but he could not rise from his knee by reason of his wound; the others leapt down and attacked him; young Illugi threw his shield over him and made defence for both in most manly wise. Grettir killed another man, whose body fell upon him, so that he could not use his sword; wherefore Angle at that moment was able to stab him between the shoulders, and many another wound they gave him till they thought he was dead. Angle took Grettir's short sword and struck at the head of the body with such force that a piece of the sword-blade was nicked out. So died Grettir, the bravest man of all who ever dwelt in Iceland. The gallant young Illugi was offered his life by Angle if he would promise not to try to avenge Grettir; but he scorned the offer, and was slain next day; the brothers were buried in a cairn on the island. Noise was taken aboard the boat, but bore himself so ill that he too was killed. Now Angle thought to claim from Thorir of
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