3. Thorfinn's Leap

     Meeting them in Syfjaourholur, Brom is at first unrecognizing. He apparently does not remember the events of that night, but his head shows only a slight lump where the wound was. Poul announces that they are the one's responsible, at which Brom is angered but holds off reprisal since he is a guest. Brom is there to call upon Katrina Tostisdaughter, and press his suit with Tosti.

     Trying to smooth things over, Tosti suggests a day of games. There are several wrestling matches. Thorfinn does well in a match against Brom, but is eventually thrown and pinned by superior size. During the games, Kitgari visits the spirit world. There he sees that someone in the area has a magical connection to some distant spirit. Over dinner, Katrina Tostisdaugther favors Thorfinn over Brom with her attention, much to Brom's annoyance. Meanwhile, Kitgari speaks with the Lagakin workers of the homestead and warns them against the evils of Tjaraholt.

     After dinner, they join Kitgari who tells them about what was revealed. After a short ritual, Kitgari announces that it is Thorfinn who has the magical spirit connection. Kjartan then goes off to see Katrina. He attempts to read her fortune through runecasting, but in what he takes for a sign of ill omen the rune-wood suddenly burns through. He poorly covers up for it, and tells her that her future will be interesting. Secretly he believes that those around her will die.

     Upon returning home, Thorfinn comes up with an idea. He will prove his father's innocence of witchcraft by jumping the same stream with his own horse. He and his friends go south to the homestead of Grim. There he calls out the old man and tells him of his plan. After some arguing, Grim agrees to collect his relatives who witnessed the jump and go to the same spot. Thorfinn has never seen the spot of the jump.

     Grim and his sons take Thorfinn and his people there, and Thorfinn is a bit shocked at the width of the jump. The stream is swollen with the spring melt just like at the time 15 years ago when his father made the jump. The stream is too swift to ford. His cousin Egil helps to carefully set a rope which goes across downstream for Thorfinn to save himself. The next morning, Grim's relatives arrive at the spot to bear witness. Thorfinn rides for the spot twice and his horse shies away from the jump. The third time, he leaps and though as he starts his jump it seems too weak, the horse sails through the air and lands with only its rear legs in the water on the other side. In that last ride, Kitgari senses the presence of a spirit but says nothing.

     After the uproar following the leap, when Grim's people have gone home Kitgari visits the spirit world and speaks to the horse spirit which appeared to protect Thorfinn. It reveals only that it was charged with the task of protecting Thorfinn by a woman, and that it has done so for 20 years and will do so for 20 more. Kitgari puzzles over this since Thorfinn is only 16, concluding that Thorfinn's mother must have planned Thorfinn's birth in advance.

John H. Kim <jhkim@darkshire.net>
Last modified: Thu Jun 27 22:32:22 2002