He replied, "I know it for certain, for the man told me himself who brought the king to the land."
It went, according to the old proverb, that the king has many ears. This was told the king, and he immediately ordered horses to be gathered, and rode away directly with 900 men. He rode all that night and the following day. Then some men met them who were riding to the town with mead and malt. In the king's retinue was a man called Gamal, who rode to one of these bondes who was an acquaintance of his, and spoke to him privately. "I will pay thee," said he, "to ride with the greatest speed, by the shortest private paths that thou knowest, to Earl Hakon, and tell him the king will kill him; for the king has got to the knowledge that Earl Hakon set King Svein on shore at Nis-river." They agreed on the payment. The bonde rode, and came to the earl just as he was sitting drinking, and had not yet gone to bed. When the bonde told his errand, the earl immediately stood up with all his men, had all his loose property removed from the farm to the forest, and all the people left the house in the night. When the king came he halted there all night; but Hakon rode away, and came east to Svithjod to King Steinkel and stayed with him all summer. King Harald returned to the town, travelled northwards to Throndhjem district, and remained there all summer; but in autumn he returned eastwards to Viken.
As soon as Earl Hakon heard the king had gone north he returned immediately in summer to the Uplands (A.D. 1063), and remained there until the king had returned from the north. Then the earl went east into Vermaland, where he remained during the winter, and where the king, Steinkel, gave him fiefs. For a short time in winter he went west to Raumarike with a great troop of men from Gautland and Vermaland, and received the scat and duties from the Upland people which belonged to him, and then returned to Glutland, and remained there till spring. King Harald had his seat in Oslo all winter (A.D. 1064), and sent his men to the Uplands to demand the scat, together with the king's land dues, and the mulcts of court; but the Uplanders said they would pay all the scat and dues which they had to pay, to Earl Hakon as long as he was in life, and had forfeited his life or his fief; and the king got no dues that winter.
73. AGREEMENT BETWEEN KING HARALD AND KING SVEIN.
This winter messengers and ambassadors went between Norway and Denmark, whose errand was that both Northmen and Danes should make peace, and a league with each other. and to ask the kings to agree to it. These messages gave favourable hopes of a peace; and the matter proceeded so far that a meeting for peace was appointed at the Gaut river between King Harald and King Svein. When spring approached, both kings assembled many ships and people for this meeting. So says a skald in a poem on this expedition of the kings, which begins thus: --
"The king, who from the northern sound His land with war-ships girds around, The raven-feeder, filled the coast With his proud ships, a gallant host! The gold-tipped stems dash through the foam That shakes the seamen's planked home; The high wave breaks up to the mast, As west of Halland on they passed,
"Harald whose word is fixed and sure, Whose ships his land from foes secure, And Svein, whose isles maintain is fleet, Hasten as friends again to meet; And every creek with vessels teems, -- All Denmark men and shipping seems; And all rejoice that strife will cease, And men meet now but to make peace."
Here it is told that the two kings held the meeting that was agreed upon between them, and both came to the frontiers of their kingdoms. So says the skald: --