THE FUNERAL OF KOL THORSTEIN'S SON. ( From a painting by Henry Semiradsky. ) - Burnt Njal, The Story of Burnt Njal 
The Story of Burnt Njal. The Great Icelandic Tribune, Jurist, and Counsellor, translated from the Njals Saga by the Late Sir George Webbe Dasent. With Editor’s Prefatory Note and Author’s Introduction. Hon. Rasmus B. Anderson, Editor in Chief (London: Norroena Society, 1907).
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THE FUNERAL OF KOL THORSTEIN'S SON.
(From a painting by Henry Semiradsky.)
Itwas long a custom among the Northmen to celebrate the funerals of their chiefs with the most elaborate and often magnificent ceremonies. Since the principal revenue that supported the state was derived from the sea. it was natural that recognition should be given to the sources upon which kings and subjects alike subsisted The custom accordingly obtained of submitting the bodies of kings, and of Viking chiefs especially, to ships drawn upon the shore and, when arms and armor were deposited beside the body, a favorite charger slaughtered, and fatted bullocks prepared for a feast, the whole was set on fire, and while the cremation was proceeding the people gave demonstrations of the most intense grief. Disposition of the remains of the late Christian IX, of Denmark, in Roskild Church, in February, 1906, was preceded by slaughter of his favorite horse, in deference to the ancient custom referred to.
Wales, and there they lay in hiding in a creek out of the way.
That morning Kol Thorstein's son went into the town to buy silver. He of all the Burners had used the bitterest words. Kol had talked much with a mighty dame, and he had so knocked the nail on the head, that it was all but fixed that he was to have her, and settle down there.
That same morning Kari went also into the town. He came where Kol was telling the silver. Kari knew him at once, and ran at him with his drawn sword and smote him on the neck; but he still went on telling the silver, and his head counted “ten” just as it spun of the body.
Then Kari said—“Go and tell this to Flosi, that Kari Solmund's son hath slain Kol Thorstein's son. I give notice of this slaying as done by my hand.”
Then Kari went to his ship, and told his shipmates of the manslaughter. Then they sailed north to Beruwick, and laid up their ship, and fared up into Whitherne in Scotland, and were with Earl Malcolm that year. But when Flosi heard of Kol's slaying, he laid out his body, and bestowed much money on his burial.
Flosi never uttered any wrathful words against Kari.
Thence Flosi fared south across the sea and began his pilgrimage, and went on south, and did not stop till he came to Rome. There he got so great honour that he took absolution from the Pope himself, and for that he gave a great sum of money.
Then he fared back again by the east road, and stayed long in towns, and went in before mighty men, and had from them great honour. He was in Norway the winter after, and was with Earl Eric till he was ready to sail, and the Earl gave him much meal, and many other men behaved handsomely to him.
Now he sailed out to Iceland, and ran into Hornfirth, and thence fared home to Swinefell. He had then fulfilled all the terms of his atonement, both in fines and foreign travel.