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Chapter 1: The Coming Of The Vikings. All along our East Anglian shores men had watched for long, and now word had come from Ulfkytel, our earl, that the great fleet of Swein, the Danish king, had been sighted off the Dunwich cliffs, and once again the fear of the Danes was on our land. And so it came to pass that I, Redwald, son of Siric, the Thane of Bures, stood at the gate of our courtyard and watched my father and our sturdy housecarles... more...

CHAPTER I. HOW OWEN OF CORNWALL WANDERED TO SUSSEX, AND WHY HE BIDED THERE. The title which stands at the head of this story is not my own. It belongs to one whose name must come very often into that which I have to tell, for it is through him that I am what I may be, and it is because of him that there is anything worth telling of my doings at all. Hereafter it will be seen, as I think, that I could do no less than set his name in the first... more...

INTRODUCTORY. A shore of dull green and yellow sand dunes, beyond whose low tops a few sea-worn pines and birch trees show their heads, and at whose feet the gray sea hardly breaks in the heavy stillness that comes with the near thunder of high summer. The tide is full and nearing the turn, and the shore birds have gone elsewhere till their food is bared again at its falling. Only a few dotterels, whose eggs lie somewhere near, run and flit,... more...

CHAPTER I. HOW LODBROK THE DANE CAME TO REEDHAM. Elfric, my father, and I stood on our little watch tower at Reedham, and looked out over the wide sea mouth of Yare and Waveney, to the old gray walls of the Roman Burgh on the further shore, and the white gulls cried round us, and the water sparkled in the fresh sea breeze from the north and east, and the bright May-time sun shone warmly on us, and our hearts went out to the sea and its freedom,... more...

Chapter I. The Seeking of Sword Helmbiter. Men call me "King Alfred's Viking," and I think that I may be proud of that name; for surely to be trusted by such a king is honour enough for any man, whether freeman or thrall, noble or churl. Maybe I had rather be called by that name than by that which was mine when I came to England, though it was a good title enough that men gave me, if it meant less than it seemed. For being the son of Vemund,... more...


CHAPTER I. GRIM THE FISHER AND HIS SONS. This story is not about myself, though, because I tell of things that I have seen, my name must needs come into it now and then. The man whose deeds I would not have forgotten is my foster-brother, Havelok, of whom I suppose every one in England has heard. Havelok the Dane men call him here, and that is how he will always be known, as I think. He being so well known, it is likely that some will write... more...

CHAPTER I. OUTLAWED! The whole of my story seems to me to begin on the day when I stood, closely guarded, before my judges, in the great circle of the people at the Folk Moot of the men of Somerset gathered on the ancient hill of Brent. All my life before that seems to have been as nothing, so quiet and uneventful it was compared to what came after. I had grown from boyhood to manhood in my father's great hall, on the little hill of Cannington... more...

Chapter 1: The Old Chief And The Young. The black smoke eddied and wavered as it rose over my father's burning hall, and then the little sea breeze took it and swept it inland over the heath-clad Caithness hills which I loved. Save for that black cloud, the June sky was bright and blue overhead, and in the sunshine one could not see the red tongues of flame that were licking up the last timbers of the house where I was born. Round the walls,... more...