Vælferðin (Welfare) was published in 1917. The story commences with Isaac who purposely enters the forest. He looks for a patch of land where he can begin anew, plough a new life. He walks for days and finally finds a suitable spot. He immediately builds a shack for himself and the livestock he has taken along.
He is a work horse but misses company, someone to take care of the home and the domestic side of things. Inger arrives. And this is happiness, for now he can focus all his energy and might on clearing the field and ploughing the earth.
The years pass, and the two loners become quite wealthy, owning a home, lands and livestock. Inger bears two healthy boys and a girl who has harelip, just as she does. She does not wish her daughter the harm to have to live with the same handicap as her mother, so she kills her. But rumours spread and the crime is unearthed and Inger is imprisoned.
Isaac continues to work hard and hold everything together until his wife returns. And she returns but irrevocably changed.