Then thanks be to God, who has saved us all!
[She sinks down on a
chair to the left. Gudmund hastens
towards the door at the back.
[Enters, stopping him.] You come too late. Sir Bengt is dead.
Too late, then, too late.
The guests and your men have prevailed against the murderous crew. Knut Gesling and his men are prisoners. Here they come.
and a number of GUESTS and HOUSE-CARLS,
lead in KNUT GESLING, ERIK OF HEGGE, and several of
KNUT’s men, bound.
[Who is pale, says in a low voice.] Man-slayer, Gudmund. What say you to that?
Knut, Knut, what have you done?
’Twas a mischance, of that I can take my oath.
He ran at me swinging his axe; I meant but to defend myself, and struck the death-blow unawares.
Many here saw all that befell.
Lady Margit, crave what fine you will. I am ready to pay it.
I crave naught. God will judge us all. Yet stay—one thing I require. Forgo your evil design upon my sister.
Never again shall I essay to redeem my baleful pledge. From this day onward I am a better man. Yet would I fain escape dishonourable punishment for my deed. [To GUDMUND.] Should you be restored to favour and place again, say a good word for me to the King!
I? Ere the sun sets, I must have left the country.
the GUESTS. ERIK in whispers, explains
[To GUDMUND.] You go? And Signe with you?
Good fortune follow you both!
[Flinging her arms round MARGIT’s neck.] Dear sister!
Margit, I thank you. And now farewell. [Listening.] Hush! I hear the tramp of hoofs in the court-yard.
[Apprehensively.] Strangers have arrived.
[A HOUSE-CARL appears in the doorway at the back.