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during the winters. There was no frost there in the winters, and the grass withered but little. The days and nights there were of more nearly equal length than in Greenland or Iceland. On the shortest day of winter, the sun was up between eykarstad” and “ dagmalastad.” When they had completed their house, Leif said to his companions, “I propose now to divide our company into two groups, and to set about an exploration of the country. One-half of our party shall remain at home at the house, while the other half shall investigate the land; and they must not go beyond a point from which they can return home the same evening, and are not to separate [from each other]. Thus they did for a time, Leif, himself, by turns joined the exploring party, or remained behind at the house. Leif was a large and powerful man, and of a most imposing bearing,-a man of sagacity, and a very just man in all things.
LEIF THE LUCKY FINDS MEN UPON A SKERRY AT SEA
It was discovered one evening that one of their company was missing; and this proved to be Tyrker, the German. Leif was sorely troubled by this, for Tyrker had lived with Leif and his father for a long time, and had been very devoted to Leif when he was a child. Leif severely reprimanded his companions, and prepared to go in search of him, taking twelve men with him. They had proceeded but a short distance from the house, when they were met by Tyrker, whom they received most cordially. Leif observed at once that his foster-father was in lively spirits. Tyrker had a prominent forehead, restless eyes, small features, was diminutive in stature, and rather a sorry-looking individual withal, but was, nevertheless, a most capable handicraftsman. Leif addressed him, and asked, Wherefore art thou so belated, fosterfather mine, and astray from the others?” In the beginning Tyrker spoke for some time in German, rolling his eyes and grinning, and they could not understand him; but after a time he addressed them in the Northern tongue: “I did not go much further [than you], and yet I have something of novelty to relate, I have found vines and grapes.” Is this indeed true, foster-father?" said Leif. "Of a certainty it is
true," quoth he, "for I was born where there is no lack of either grapes or vines.” They slept the night through, and on the morrow Leif said to his shipmates, “We will now divide our labors, and each day will either gather grapes or cut vines and fell trees, so as to obtain a cargo of these for my ship.” They acted upon this advice, and it is said that their after-boat was filled with grapes. A cargo sufficient for the ship was cut, and when the spring came they made their ship ready, and sailed away; and from its products Leif gave the land a name, and called it Wineland. They sailed out to sea, and had fair winds until they sighted Greenland and the fells below the glaciers. Then one of the men spoke up and said, “Why do you steer the ship so much into the wind ?” Leif answers: “I have my mind upon my steering, but on other matters as well. Do ye not see anything out of the common?” They replied that they saw nothing strange. "I do not know," says Leif, “whether it is a ship or a skerry that I see.” Now they saw it, and said that it must be a skerry; but he was so much keener of sight than they that he was able to discern men upon the skerry. “I think it best to tack,” says Leif, so that we may draw near to them, that we may be able to render them assistance if they should stand in need of it; and, if they should not be peaceably disposed, we shall still have better command of the situation than they.” They approached the skerry, and, lowering their sail, cast anchor, and launched a second small boat, which they had brought with them. Tyrker inquired who was the leader of the party. He replied that his name was Thori, and that he was a Norseman; “but what is thy name?” Leif gave his name.
Art thou a son of Eric the Red of Brattahlid ?” says he. Leif responded that he was. “ It is now my wish,”
to take you all into my ship, and likewise so much of your possessions as the ship will hold." This offer was accepted, and [with their ship] thus laden they held away to Ericsfirth, nd sailed until they arrived at Brattahlid. Having discharged the cargo, Leif invited Thori, with his wife, Gudrid, and three others, to make their home with him, and procured quarters for the other members of the crew, both for his own and Thori's men. Leif rescued fifteen persons from the skerry. He was afterwards called Leif the
Lucky. Leif had now goodly store both of property and honor. There was serious illness that winter in Thori's party, and Thori and a great number of his people died. Eric the Red also died that winter. There was now much talk about Leif's Wineland journey; and his brother, Thorvald, held that the country had not been sufficiently explored. Thereupon Leif said to Thorvald, “If it be thy will, brother, thou mayest go to Wineland with my ship; but I wish the ship first to fetch the wood which Thori had upon the skerry." And so it was done.
THORVALD GOES TO WINELAND Now Thorvald, with the advice of his brother, Leif, prepared to make this voyage with thirty men. They put their ship in order, and sailed out to sea; and there is no account of their voyage before their arrival at Leifs-booths in Wineland. They laid up their ship there, and remained there quietly during the winter, supplying themselves with food by fishing. In the spring, however, Thorvald said that they should put their ship in order, and that a few men should take the afterboat, and proceed along the western coast, and explore (the region] thereabouts during the summer. They found it a fair, well-wooded country. It was but a short distance from the woods to the sea, and [there were] white sands, as well as great numbers of islands and shallows. They found neither dwelling of man nor lair of beast; but in one of the westerly islands they found a wooden building for the shelter of grain. They found no other trace of human handiwork; and they turned back, and arrived at Leifs-booths in the autumn. The following summer Thorvald set out toward the east with the ship, and along the northern coast. They were met by a high wind off a certain promontory, and were driven ashore there, and damaged the keel of their ship, and were compelled to remain there for a long time and repair the injury to their vessel. Then said Thorvald to his companions, “I propose that we raise the keel upon this cape, and call it Keelness”; and so they did. Then they sailed away to the eastward off the land and into the mouth of the adjoining firth and to a headland, which projected into the sea there, and which was
entirely covered with woods. They found an anchorage for their ship, and put out the gangway to the land; and Thorvald and all of his companions went ashore. “It is a fair region here,” said he; "and here I should like to make my home.” They then returned to the ship, and discovered on the sands, in beyond the headland, three mounds: they went up to these, and saw that they were three skin canoes with three men under each. They thereupon divided their party, and succeeded in seizing all of the men but one, who escaped with his canoe. They killed the eight men, and then ascended the headland again, and looked about them, and discovered within the firth certain hillocks, which they concluded must be habitations. They were then so overpowered with sleep that they could not keep awake, and all fell into a [heavy] slumber from which they were awakened by the sound of a cry uttered above them; and the words of the cry were these: "Awake, Thorvald, thou and all thy company, if thou wouldst save thy life; and board thy ship with all thy men, and sail with all speed from the land !” A countless number of skin canoes then advanced toward them from the inner part of the firth, whereupon Thorvald exclaimed, “We must put out the war-boards on both sides of the ship, and defend ourselves to the best of our ability, but offer little attack.” This they did; and the Skrellings, after they had shot at them for a time, fled precipitately, each as best he could. Thorvald then inquired of his men whether any of them had been wounded, and they informed him that no one of them had received a wound. “I have been wounded in my arm-pit,” says he. “An arrow few in between the gunwale and the shield, below my
Here is the shaft, and it will bring me to my end. I counsel you now to retrace your way with the utmost speed. But me ye shall convey to that headland which seemed to me to offer so pleasant a dwelling-place: thus it may be fulfilled that the truth sprang to my lips when I expressed the wish to abide there for a time. Ye shall bury me there, and place a cross at my head, and another at my feet, and call it Crossness forever after.” At that time Christianity had obtained in Greenland: Eric the Red died, however, before [the introduction of] Christianity.
Thorvald died; and, when they had carried out his injunc
tions, they took their departure, and rejoined their companions, and they told each other of the experiences which had befallen them. They remained there during the winter, and gathered grapes and wood with which to freight the ship. In the following spring they returned to Greenland, and arrived with their ship in Ericsfirth, where they were able to recount great tidings to Leif.
THORSTEIN Ericsson DIES IN THE WESTERN SETTLEMENT
In the mean time it had come to pass in Greenland that Thorstein of Ericsfirth had married, and taken to wife Gudrid, Thorbrion's daughter, (she] who had been the spouse of Thori Eastman, as has been already related. Now Thorstein Ericsson, being minded to make the voyage to Wineland after the body of his brother, Thorvald, equipped the same ship, and selected a crew of twenty-five men of good size and strength, and taking with him his wife, Gudrid, when all was in readiness, they sailed out into the open ocean, and out of sight of land. They were driven hither and thither over the sea all that summer, and lost all reckoning; and at the end of the first week of winter they made the land at Lysufirth in Greenland, in the Western settlement. Thorstein set out in search of quarters for his crew, and succeeded in procuring homes for all of his shipmates; but he and his wife were unprovided for, and remained together upon the ship for two or more days. At this time Christianity was still in its infancy in Greenland. [Here follows the account of Thorstein's sickness and death in the winter.] ... When he had thus spoken, Thorstein sank back again; and his body was laid out for burial, and borne to the ship. Thorstein, the master, faithfully performed all his promises to Gudrid. He sold his lands and live stock in the spring, and accompanied Gudrid to the ship, with all his possessions. He put the ship in order, procured a crew, and then sailed for Ericsfirth. The bodies of the dead were now buried at the church; and Gudrid then went home to Leif at Brattahlid, while Thorstein the Swarthy made a home for himself on Ericsfirth, and remained there as long as he lived, and was looked upon as a very superior man.