THERE was now much talk about a Wineland voyage, for this was reckoned both a profitable and an honorable enterprise. The same summer that Karlsefni arrived from Wineland a ship from Norway arrived in Greenland. This ship was commanded by two brothers, Helgi and Finnbogi, who passed the winter in Greenland. They were descended from an Icelandic family of the East-firths. It is now to be added that Freydis, Eric's daughter, set out from her home at Gardar, and waited upon the brothers, Helgi and Finnbogi, and invited them to sail with their vessel to Wineland, and to share with her equally all of the good things which they might succeed in obtaining there. To this they agreed, and she departed thence to visit her brother, Leif, and ask him to give her the house which he had caused to be erected in Wineland; but he made her the same answer [as that which he had given Karlsefni], saying that he would lend the house, but not give it. It was stipulated between Karlsefni and Freydis that each should have on ship-board thirty able-bodied men, besides the women; nut Freydis immediately violated this compact by concealing five men more [than this number], and this the brothers did not discover before they arrived in Wineland, they now put out to sea, having agreed beforehand that they would sail in company, if possible, and, although they were not far apart from each other, the brothers, arrived somewhat in advance, and carried their belongings up to Leif's house. Now, when Freydis arrived, her ship was discharged and the baggage carried up to the house, whereupon Freydis exclaimed, “Why did you carry your baggage in here?” “Since we believed,” said they, “that all promises made to us would be kept.” “It was to me that Leif loaned the house,” says she, “and not to you.” Whereupon Helgi exclaimed, “We brothers cannot hope to rival thee in wrong dealing.” They thereupon carried their baggage forth, and built a hut, above the sea, on the bank of the lake, and put all in order about it; while Freydis caused wood to be felled, with which to load her ship. The winter now set in, and the brothers suggested that they should amuse themselves by playing games. This they did for a time, until the folk began to disagree, when dissensions arose between them, and the games came to an end, and the visits between the houses ceased; and thus it continued far into the winter. One morning early Freydis arose from her bed and dressed herself, but did not put on her shoes and stockings. A heavy dew had fallen, and she took her husband's cloak, and wrapped it about her, and then walked to the brothers' house, and up to the door, which had been only partly closed by one of the men, who had gone out a short time before. She pushed the door open, and stood silently in the doorway for a time. Finnbogi, who was lying on the innermost side of the room, was awake, and said, “What dost thou wish here, Freydis?” She answers, “I wish thee to rise and go out with me, for I would speak with thee.” He did so; and they walked to a tree, which lay close by the wall of the house, and seated themselves upon it. “How art thou pleased here?” says she. He answers, “I am well pleased with the fruitfulness of the land; but I am ill-content with the breach which has come between us, for, methinks, there has been no cause for it.” “It is even as thou sayest,” says she, “and so it seems to me; but my errand to thee is that I wish to exchange ships with you brothers, for that ye have a larger ship than I, and I wish to depart from here.” “To this I must accede,” says he, “if it is thy pleasure.” Therewith they parted; and she returned home and Finnbogi to his bed. She climbed up into bed, and awakened Thorvard with her cold feet; and he asked her why she was so cold and wet. She answered with great passion: “I have been to the brothers,” says she, “to try to buy their ship, for I wished to have a larger vessel; but they received my overtures so ill that they struck me and handled me very roughly; what time thou, poor wretch, wilt neither avenge my shame nor thy own; and I find, perforce, that I am no longer in Greenland. Moreover I shall part from thee unless thou wreakest vengeance for this.” And now he could stand her taunts no longer, and ordered the men to rise at once and take their weapons; and this they yield. And they then proceeded directly to the house of the brothers, and entered it while the folk were asleep, and seized and bound them, and led each one out when he was bound; and, as they came out, Freydis caused each one to be slain. In this wise all of the men were put to death, and only the women were left; and these no one would kill. At this Freydis exclaimed, “Hand me an axe.” This was done; and she fell upon the five women, and left them dead. They returned home after this dreadful deed; and it was very evident that Freydis was well content with her work. She addressed her companions, saying, “If it be ordained for us to come again to Greenland, I shall contrive the death of any man who shall speak of these events. We must give it out that we left them living here when we came away.” Early in the spring they equipped the ship which had belonged to the brothers, and freighted it with all of the products of the land which they could obtain, and which the ship would carry. Then they put out to sea, and after a prosperous voyage arrived with their ship in Ericsfirth early in the summer. Karlsefni was there, with his ship all ready to sail, and was awaiting a fair wind; and people say that a ship richer laden than that which he commanded never left Greenland.

All Directories