Medieval Icelandic Sagas
The Saga of Hromund Gripsson
13th century, Old Norse.
again and againDisguiseagain and again
But the viking warrior Hromund is wearing women's clothes and grinding some corn at a wheel.
During a battle, Hromund Gripsson is wounded badly in the stomach. The sword slides in to the hilt, the reader is told. But Hromund is wearing a magic garter and from what we know of other circular adornments that have confered invulnerabilty to death in Mediaval storytelling, such as a girdle that Sir Gawain was given by the wife of Sir Bertilak de Hautdesert, a ring that Sir Perceval of Galles wore and a ring that Sir Eglamour of Artois was given, we are probably not surprised to see him recovering afterwards at a farmstead.
A man arrives with some others at the farm looking to seize Hromund and the head woman there denies all knowledge of him. A thorough search by these men of the buildings fails to find him. They leave, but then: 'There was a cauldron there we didn’t look in,' one of them says, and they turn back.
The head woman is waiting for them: 'Look in the cauldron if you want to,' she invites them, calmly; for Hromund is now wearing women's clothes and grinding some corn at a wheel.