The Children of Odin The Book of Northern Myths

Page: 56

"What is the way?" said Thor. "But no matter what it is, tell me of it and I shall do as thou dost say."

"Then," said laughing Loki, "I am to take you to Jötunheim as a bride for Thrym. Thou art to go in bridal dress and veil, in Freya's veil and bridal dress."

"What! I dress in woman's garb?" shouted Thor.

"Yea, Thor, and wear a veil over your head and a garland of flowers upon it."

"I—I wear a garland of flowers?"

"And rings upon thy fingers. And a bunch of housekeeper's keys in thy girdle."

"Cease thy mockery, Loki," said Thor roughly, "or I shall shake thee."

"It is no mockery. Thou wilt have to do this to win Miölnir back for the defence of Asgard. Thrym will take no other recompense than Freya. I would mock him by bringing thee to him in Freya's veil and dress. When thou art in his hall and he asks thee to join hands with him, say thou wilt not until he puts Miölnir into thy hands. Then when thy mighty hammer is in thy holding thou canst deal with him and with all in his hall. And I shall be with thee as thy bridesmaid! O sweet, sweet maiden Thor!"

"Loki," said Thor, "thou didst devise all this to mock me. I in a bridal dress! I with a bride's veil upon me! The Dwellers in Asgard will never cease to laugh at me."

"Yea," said Loki, "but there will never be laughter again in Asgard unless thou art able to bring back the hammer that thine unwatchfulness lost."

"True," said Thor unhappily, "and is this, thinkst[Pg 121] thou, Loki, the only way to win back Miölnir from Thrym?"

"It is the only way, O Thor," said the cunning Loki.

So Thor and Loki set out for Jötunheim and the dwelling of Thrym. A messenger had gone before them to tell Thrym that Freya was coming with her bridesmaid; that the wedding-feast was to be prepared and the guests gathered and that Miölnir was to be at hand so that it might be given over to the Dwellers in Asgard. Thrym and his Giant mother hastened to have everything in readiness.

Thor and Loki came to the Giant's house in the dress of a bride and a bridesmaid. A veil was over Thor's head hiding his beard and his fierce eyes. A red-embroidered robe he wore and at his side hung a girdle of housekeeper's keys. Loki was veiled, too. The hall of Thrym's great house was swept and garnished and great tables were laid for the feast. And Thrym's mother was going from one guest to another, vaunting that her son was getting one of the beauteous Dwellers in Asgard for his bride, Freya, whom so many of the Giants had tried to win.

When Thor and Loki stepped across the threshold Thrym went to welcome them. He wanted to raise the veil of his bride and give her a kiss. Loki quickly laid his hand on the Giant's shoulder.