The good-natured viking picked him up, took him home, gave him of the best of food and of sparkling mead, and would have lodged him in his house; but the green-haired man said he could not tarry, for he had many miles to sail that night.
“But when the sun comes up in the east,” added the stranger, “look for a thank-gift on the wild seashore.”
And behold, as morning dawned, the viking saw a goodly vessel making gallant headway. As she drew near the land with streamer flying and broad sails flapping in the wind, the viking saw that there was no soul on board of her; and yet, without steersman to guide her, the vessel avoided the shoals and held her way straight to the spot where he was standing.
Her prow was a dragon’s head, a dragon’s tail formed her stern, and dragon’s wings bore her along swifter than an eagle before the storm.
The green-haired stranger was a sea-god, and the dragon-ship “Ellide” was his thank-gift.
Thus Frithiof, though only the son of a thane, had treasures that might have been coveted by kings and princes. He sat in his father’s halls, surrounded by his companions; upon his right was seated his bosom friend Bjorn, and twelve bold champions clad in steel were ranged around the board. And they drank in silence to the memory of Thorsten Vikingsson.
But suddenly the harps struck up, and the skalds poured forth their songs in honor of the dead thane.
And Frithiof’s eyes filled with tears as he listened to his father’s praises.
In spite of Frithiof’s wealth, Helgi and Halfdan looked with disdain upon the son of their father’s friend; and when Frithiof asked to have Ingebjorg for his wife, Helgi scornfully answered, “My sister shall not wed the son of a thane. If you like to be our serf, we will make room for you among our servants.”
Then went Frithiof away in wrath.
There was another suitor for the hand of Ingebjorg, good old King Ring, who, having lost his wife, thought that the Lily of the North would make a tender mother for his little son.
And he sent to Helgi and Halfdan to ask for Ingebjorg in marriage, but the brothers treated him as they had treated Frithiof; and the old King was roused, and he swore he would revenge himself.
Helgi and Halfdan were afraid when they found that Ring was really making ready for war. They began to get their army into order, and placed Ingebjorg for safety in the temple of Baldur, and in their distress they even sent to Frithiof to ask him to come and help them.
They chose wisely in the messenger they sent to plead for them, for it was none other than old Hilding, who had been so kind to Frithiof in his childhood.
Frithiof was playing at chess with Bjorn when Hilding arrived. He pretended not to hear the message, and went on with his game.
“Shall the pawn save the king?” he asked of Bjorn.