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CHAPTER III. THE VIKINGS MAKE READY. While Havard Snaketongue was
on his way with Sigvald's answer to King Sweyn the Vikiugs lost not
a moment in their preparations for the voyage. Whatever the chiefs
might think of it, the men were overjoyed at the prospect of a
fresh adventure; and the only difficulty that arose was from the
desire of all to accompany Sigvald, though it was out of the
question that more than half the force could go. Such heartburning
did this cause, that at last recourse was had to lots; and though
those who did not draw the lucky lot still growled and grumbled at
their ill-fortune, they could not complain against the chiefs, for
had not heaven, that is chance or fate, settled it once for all?
This matter of going or not going was in reality almost all the
Vikings had to do. There in the harbour their three hundred
shipsalways lay fit for sea with stores and arms aboard, for no one
knew when they might be summoned to the fight. In four days,
therefore, Sigvald was ready to start with his hundred and fifty
ships; of which one-half, seventy-five, were larger, carrying about
one hundred men each; and seventy-five smaller, with crews of not
more than fifty men. All told, the force mustered about eleven
thousand men, a match for any levy which King Sweyn might raise
against them in that short space of time. The day before they
started they went out for what we should now call a naval review;
and Sigvald, steering his ship which was called the " Bison " or "
Urus," led the way out of the port. After him came Bui in the "
Lion," then Beorn in the "Bear," for he called his ship after
himself, then Vagn in his new ship the "Eaven,"then Thorkell the
Tall in the " Dragon," then Sigurd, Bui's brother, in the "
Sea-Horse;" and after these great chiefs a...
General Books LLC
|Country of origin:
George Webbe Dasent
||246 x 189 x 3mm (L x W x T)
||Paperback - Trade
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