he men were only waiting his word to end the affair. Then Asbiorn, whose face was white and pitying as he looked at us, gripped his father by the arm and faced him.
"I will not have it thus," he said hoarsely. "The men are brave men, and it were shame to slay them. Give them to me."
Heidrek laughed at him in a strange way, but the men yelled and made a rush at us, sword in hand. Whereon Asbiorn swung his round shield into place from off his shoulder, and gripped his light axe and faced them. It was the lightness of that axe which had spared me; but the men knew, and feared it and the skill of the wielder, and they shrank back.
"What, again?" said Heidrek. "I thought we had settled that question. What would you with them?"
"That is to be seen. Let me have them."
"Pay for them, then," shouted one of the men. "They are over and above your share of plunder."
"Aye," said Asbiorn at once, "I claim them for my share. Have them down to the new ship, and set them in the forepeak till I need them."