Gísli escaped, and no-one knew who did the killing. He helped to
bury Þorgrím. Soon after, the saga says:
Varð ok sá hlutr einn, er nýnæmum þótti gegna, at aldri festi
snæ útan ok sunnan á haugi Þorgríms ok eigi fraus; ok gátu
menn þess til, at hann myndi Frey svá ávarðr fyrir blótin, at
hann myndi eigi vilja, at fr0ri á milli þeira.38
Now a certain thing felt to be unprecedented was that snow nev-
er lay on the s = award and southern side of Þorgrím's mound,
and there was no frost; and people concluded that he must be so
dear to Frey because of the sacrifices he had offered, that the
god would not tolerate any chill between them.
Then we are told that the same winter people were holding ball-
games, when the bat cracked, and Gísli offered to repair it:
Gísli sezk niðr ok gerir at trénu, horfir á hauginn Þorgríms; snær
var á jorðu, en konur sátu upp í brekkuna, Þórdís systir hans ok
margar aðrar. Gísli kvað þá vísu.39
Gísli sat down to mend the bat, looking towards Þorgrím's
mound. There was snow on the ground, and the women were sit-
ting on the bank above, Gísli's sister Þórdís and many others.
Gísli then spoke a verse.
In this verse, Gísli let out that he had killed Þorgrím. His sister Þór-
dís, widow of Þorgrím, memorised the verse and then worked it out,
that is, she grasped the full sense of what it meant. From that moment,
Gísli's fate was sealed.
I will now consider the probable age of the passages I have quoted,
with some attention to any inner cohesion there may be between
them. The account of Þorgrím's autumn sacrifice is short and factual,
and offers no particular information about the method or practice of
sacrifice. Such general description as it contains could be widely avail-
able to the author of the saga. The description of how Gísli went to
the sleeping-place of Þorgrím and Þórdís at night after the sacrifice is
altogether more copious and precise. There is a parallel to this account
38 ÍF VI, p. 57.
39 ÍF VI, p. 58.