Havelok the Dane eBook

Ian Serraillier
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 358 pages of information about Havelok the Dane.

Then they put me and my brothers into our old loft, and Havelok and Goldberga had the room that had been my father’s.  As for Biorn, he would be in the great room, before the fire.  There was only this one door to the house, and therefore he would guard that.  His thralls were in the sheds, as ours used to be, so that we and he were alone in the house.

Now, as soon as we three had gone into our old place of rest, Raven went at once, as in the old days, to the little square window that was in the high-pitched gable, and looked out over the town and sea.  We used to laugh at him for this, for he was never happy until he had seen, as we said, if all was yet there.

“There are yet lights in the jarl’s hall,” he said, “and there are one or two moving about down in the haven.  I think that there is a vessel coming in.”

“Come and lie down, brother,” I said.  “We are not in Grimsby, and you cannot go and take toll from her if there is.”

He laughed, and came to his bed; but we talked of old days and of many things more for a long while before we slept.  And most of all, we thought that Sigurd the jarl knew Havelok by the token of the ring and by that likeness to Gunnar which Mord had seen, and that our errand was almost told.

So we slept without thought of any danger; but the first hour of the night in that house was not so quiet to Goldberga, for presently she woke Havelok, and she was trembling.

“Husband,” she said, “it is in my mind that we are in danger in this place; for I cannot sleep by reason of a dream that will come to me so soon as my eyes are closed.”

“You are overtired with the voyage,” Havelok told her gently; and then he asked her what the dream was.

“It seems that I see you attacked by a boar and many foxes, and hard pressed, and then that a bear and good hounds help you.  Yet we have to flee to a great tree, and there is safety.  Then come two lions, and they obey you.”

“I think that is a dream that comes of waves, and the foam that has followed us, and the shrill wind in the rigging, and the humming of the sail, sweet wife; and the tree is the tall mast maybe, and the lions are the surges that you saw along this shore, where is no danger.”

So she was content; and then all in the house slept.


Maybe it was about an hour before midnight when the first waking came to any of us, and then it was Biorn himself who was roused by footsteps that stayed at the doorway itself, after coming across the garth, and then a voice that was strange to him which bade him open.  At once he caught up his axe and went to the door, and asked quietly who was there.

“Open at once,” said the man who was without; “we must speak with you.”

“Go hence, I pray you, and wait for morning,” said the sheriff.  “Here are guests of the jarl’s, and they must not be disturbed.”

Project Gutenberg
Havelok the Dane from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook