And as he stood upon the well-loved spot, striving to find some traces of the past, his faithful hound bounded forth to greet him, and licked his master’s hand. And then his favorite steed drew near, and thrust his nose into Frithiof’s hand, hoping to find therein a piece of bread, as in the days of old. His favorite falcon perched upon his shoulder, and this was Frithiof’s welcome to the home of his ancestors.
There had been a fierce battle, for King Ring with his army had come against Helgi and Halfdan, and the country had been laid waste, and many warriors slain.
And when all chance of withstanding him was at an end, the brothers, rather than lose their kingdom, had consented that Ingebjorg should be the wife of Ring.
Ingebjorg was married! Frithiof’s heart was full of deep sorrow, and he turned his steps towards the temple of Baldur, hoping that at the altar of the god he might meet with consolation.
In the temple he found King Helgi, and the sorrow that was weighing down Frithiof’s heart gave place to hatred and revenge.
Caring nothing for the sacred place, he rushed madly forward. “Here, take thy tribute,” said he, and he threw the purse that Jarl Angantyr had given him with such force against the face of the King that Helgi fell down senseless on the steps of the altar.
Next, seeing his arm-ring on the arm of the statue, for Helgi had taken it from Ingebjorg and placed it there, he tried to tear it off, and, lo! the image tottered and fell upon the fire that was burning with sweet perfumes before it.
Scarcely had it touched the fire when it was ablaze, and the flames spreading rapidly on every side, the whole temple was soon a smoldering heap of ruins.
Then Frithiof sought his ship. He vowed that he would lead a viking’s life, and leave forever a land where he had suffered so much sorrow. And he put out to sea.
But no sooner were his sails spread than he saw ten vessels in chase of him, and on the deck of one stood Helgi, who had been rescued from the burning temple, and had come in chase of him.
Yet Frithiof was rescued from the danger as if by miracle; for one by one the ships sank down as though some water-giant had stretched out his strong arm, and dragged them below, and Helgi only saved himself by swimming ashore.
Loud laughed Bjorn.
“I bored holes in the ships last night,” said he; “it is a rare ending to Helgi’s fleet.”
“And now,” said Frithiof, “I will forever lead a viking’s life. I care not for aught upon the land. The sea shall be my home. And I will seek climes far away from here.”
So he steered the good ship “Ellide” southward, and among the isles of Greece strove to forget the memories of bygone days.
In and out of the sunny islands that lay like studs of emerald on a silver shield sailed Frithiof, and on the deck of the dragon-ship he rested through the summer nights, looking up at the moon, and wondering what she could tell him of the northern land.