Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
Olav Audunssøn has little desire to stay on at Hestviken through the summer following his wife’s death. When the sons of the English armorer in Oslo ask him to be shipmaster of their boat on a trading voyage to London, it is plain that the idea pleases him. Eirik, Ingunn’s son by the Icelander, also wants to go on the trip, but Olav tells him nay—he must remain at Hestviken and be companion to little Cecilia, the daughter Ingunn bore in her last years.
In England, two adventures befall Olav. At evensong in the Dominican’s church, he sees a woman so much like dead Ingunn that for a moment his breath fails him. She resembles Ingunn completely, and yet she is young enough to be his daughter. With her is a blind man, apparently her husband. Olav sees her again, at mass and evensong, and after a time they begin to exchange glances and smiles. One night, her serving woman stops him after the service and leads him to a great house outside the walls. The strange woman is in the garden, her only dress a thin silk shift. For a moment Olav feels that he is about to clasp Ingunn again. Then he realizes that she is only a wanton wife seeking sport with a stranger. Thrusting her from him, he runs away.
At another time he goes with his shipmates to a famous shrine north of London. Separated from his companions, he wanders in the woods until he encounters some men beside a brook. That night they attack him for his rich dress and jewels. While Olav...
(The entire section is 1187 words.)
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