"Not at the moment," Eadulf the Reeve replies to Torwin. "But I will let you know if I hear of any such opportunities. For now, remain in Edoras and do not re-enter Hereward of Harrowdale's service."
With that Torwin thanked him and said he would return in a week.
When his sisters, and his aunt Estlay, heard that their brother/nephew had come to spend a season, they hugged him tightly. They had grown used to Torwin only showing up for short periods of time then leaving again to return to Harrowdale. Leofstan was grateful too, for over the summer at least the extra help would be much needed. Torwin did not mind working around the home and farm, he had no other family of course, and so the belonging he found was important. But working for his aunt and uncle meant he did not have to find other work, and had time to wait for the King's summons, no matter how long it took. Not that he needed to work; the treasure he had earned from the cave of the Horse-eater could last him years, if he wanted.
Over the following weeks, Torwin would return to Meduseld and briefly spoke with Eadulf when the Reeve was to be found, but always the answer was the same - no project was forthcoming. To Torwin, it felt more that he had been spurned, and now he began to wonder at the lack of summons from the King. In his heart he wondered if that was the end of his opportunity to earn favor in the King's court and if he had used the mearasgifu wisely. Perhaps it would have been better to sell it. But even now he held a princely sum of treasure, and it had not helped him, either.
Then out of nowhere one evening he received a message from the Reeve to appear at Meduseld for a feast. He donned his only fine outfit, recently tailored for him for such occasions - a tunic of white linen over black silken breeches, a belt of leather, and a black doublet with a silver embroidered pattern of overlapping lines. On the way, he looked for Hereweald and Istril, hoping that if they were free, the Doorwarden would let them in, as well.
At the feast Eadulf pointed out that in attendance was Éogar, Second Marshal of the Mark, along with other captains and lords of renown. "Éogar has heard of the deeds of your company at the Brocdene and even your effort to save those taken into Nan Curunir. He did not show particular interest in speaking with you, for in your company are not the only men and women of Rohan who perform praiseworthy deeds. But I have learned," continued the Reeve, "that Éogar has been tasked by the King to take on the repairs of the dikes at the Fords of Isen. It is not yet clear who is to pay for it, for it is a delicate matter. If perhaps you can get the Marshal's attention and ear, you may have a chance to offer your support."
The events of that evening went far better than Torwin had hoped. While enjoying the feast he quietly observed proceedings, looking for for an opportunity to get Éogar's attention. When many had eaten their fill but the ale casks were yet half full, a song was called for, and not one they had all heard before, and so Torwin saw his chance. Without hesistation he stood and sang.
He sang of the troubles of the Westfold, the incursions of Dunlendings, of Orcs, and of Wargs. He sang of his company's experiences, exploits, failures and victories; of their defeat of the Horse-eater, their rescue of the folk of Déoric, and their fruitless pursuit of the captives to the West. He ended with a call to all riders to restore the strength of the Westfold, and of Rohan.
A merrier song might have been more appropriate for the mood of that crowd, but that was not Torwin's style. Besides, he knew Éogar had a reputation for being fierce and a hard man (how could it be otherwise, having survived as Marshal through Fengel's reign?), and so he picked an old battle tune, making up the words as he went along.
His song was far more effective than he hoped, and late that evening Éogar approached him. While a servant filled their goblets the Marshal thanked him for his song. "I have also heard of you from well-respected farmers in my lands, Léofold and Merwyn. Normally, I am little impressed by songs. They are good to rally men before a battle, but little have I known them to win my favor. But before you entered Meduseld I knew the deeds of you and your companions to be true, and so your song caught my attention. So then lad, tell me news out of the far West." And so the two of them talked, and in time Torwin turned the conversation to the Fords, and learning of the project given by the King, offered his support.
"We were there to stop an evil, and by chance were fortuitous to discover horde of the Horse-eater. As it had been taken from the folk of Rohan, so I believe it should go back to serve their good." By these words Éogar was further impressed by Torwin, and accepted his offer.
In the late days of summer Éogar sent one of his captains, Guthred, to collect the gold. To Torwin's surprise Guthred had brought a gift from the Marshal. "This helm is to recognize the ways you have served the Westfold already, and in token of your support for the Marshal's project. You still have the favor of my lord, so should you need his aid, find me here in Edoras, and I will send word to him."