The Children of Odin The Book of Northern Myths

Page: 111

"If it be Gram," Sigmund said, "it is a sword that can[Pg 241] cut through this flagstone. Thrust the blade against the stone and try."

Sinfiotli thrust the blade against the stone and the blade went through the stone. Then, one on each side, they took hold of the sword and they cut the great stone in two. Afterwards, working together, it was easy to shift the turf and soil. The two came out under the sky.

Before them was the Hall of King Siggeir. They came to the Hall and they set dry wood before it and they fired the wood and made the Hall blaze up. And when the Hall was in a blaze King Siggeir came to the door and shouted, "Who is it that has fired the house of the King?"

And Sigmund said, "I, Sigmund, the son of Volsung, that you may pay for the treason wrought on the Volsungs."

Seeing Sigmund there with Gram, the great sword, in his hands, Siggeir went back into his Hall. Then Signy was seen with her white face and her stern eyes, and Sigmund called to her, "Come forth, come forth. Sigmund calls. Come out of Siggeir's blazing house and together we will go back to the Hall of the Branstock."

But Signy said, "All is finished now. The vengeance is wrought and I have no more to keep me in life. The Volsung race lives on in you, my brother, and that is my joy. Not merrily did I wed King Siggeir and not merrily did I live with him, but merrily will I die with him now."

She went within the Hall; then the flames burst over it and all who were within perished. Thus the vengeance of the Volsungs was wrought.

And Sigurd thought on the deed that Sigmund, his[Pg 242] father, and Sinfiotli, the youth who was his father's kinsman, wrought, as he rode the ways of the forest, and of the things that thereafter befell them.

Sigmund and Sinfiotli left King Siggeir's land and came back to the land where was the Hall of the Branstock. Sigmund became a great King and Sinfiotli was the Captain of his host.

And the story of Sigmund and Sinfiotli goes on to tell how Sigmund wed a woman whose name was Borghild, and how Sinfiotli loved a woman who was loved by Borghild's brother. A battle came in which the youths were on opposite sides, and Sinfiotli killed Borghild's brother, and it was in fair combat.

Sinfiotli returned home. To make peace between him and the Queen, Sigmund gave Borghild a great measure of gold as compensation for the loss of her brother. The Queen took it and said, "Lo, my brother's worth is reckoned at this; let no more be said about his slaying." And she made Sinfiotli welcome to the Hall of the Branstock.

But although she showed herself friendly to him her heart was set upon his destruction.

That night there was a feast in the Hall of the Branstock and Borghild the Queen went to all the guests with a horn of mead in her hand. She came to Sinfiotli and she held the horn to him. "Take this from my hands, O friend of Sigmund," she said.