Before continuing with the arrival of new heroes the saga interjects three chapters that open the quarrel between Witig and Heime, which is sort-of an overall story arc for the next 40 chapters. Having just captured Eckisax, Dietrich wonders what to do with his old sword, Nagelring.
Dietrich sat on his throne next to his father king Dietmar, and his companions were around him. And this day Heime served him and poured him wine. He filled a golden bowl and served him well. Then Dietrich saw his sword Nagelring, showed it to his companion, and said: Good Nagelring, you have gone through a lot when I left Bern with you, both weapons and stone, and I don't think a better sword could be found; Heime, for your services I would grant this sword to no one but you, take it, friend, and use it.
Heime took Nagelring and thanked his lord for this gift. And there were many other people around who praised Dietrich for this.
Then Witig spoke: You are served badly, Nagelring, and you should have been given to a better man. And as long as I have been in Bern I did not like your company more than a woman's, because when I was in need when two men rode into the house of five, and you sat on your horse and did nothing. Jarl Hornboge and Hildebrand could not come to me because the river was in the way, and when the jarl finally came I did not need you any more, and I don't owe you a lot of thanks
Then Dietrich said he had heard a great shame, that somebody would not help his companion when he was in need. You evil dog, he said, go from my eyes! It would be better if you were hanged in Bern before the day is over.
Then Heime left the hall, took his horse Rispa and all his weapons, and rode away.
Heime went northward to the mountains, several days on unknown roads, and he wondered what kind of heroic deed he would do.
Then he heard of a man called Ingram, a powerful robber and warrior. He was mostly to be found in the Falsterwald, and had ten companions. This Falsterwald lies between Sachsenland and Denmark. Ingram had a feud with a duke in Sachsenland, and did as much damage as he could.
Heime decided to look for this Ingram, and when he found him Ingram took him among his companions. Now they lived in the forest and did many evil deeds.
It is said that some merchants traveled from Sachsenland to Denmark, nd they carried many goods, and they were with 60 men, and believed that no one would be able to attack them. They traveled into the Falsterwald.
When the robbers had discovered them, Ingram said: See, even though they are with many, those who call themselves heroes will be able to take their riches. So they armed themselves and rode to the merchants. The merchants readied their swords, spears, and shields, and battle begon.
It didn't take long before Ingram and his companions were victorious, and they had no dead on their side, but they didn't stop before all 60 people were dead. Then they took their wares, weapons, and horses, and were very content with their actions. And they considered themselves more famous than before, and that they had won against a great many more people
Now the saga leaves the quarrel to simmer and switches to the story of Detlef the Dane, the next hero to come to Dietrich's court. It is completely different in tone than the Witig and Fasold stories, as is proven by the opening chapter.
In Denmark in Skåne in the place called Tummelborg there lived a man named Biterolf. His wife was Oda, and she was the daughter of the jarl of Sachsenland, and they had a son named Detlef.
Detlef preferred to be in the kitchen instead of riding with his father, and therefore his father and mother didn't really like him, and believed he was a fool and a changeling. Still, he had learned to ride a horse, throw spears, swing swords, and throw stones. Everybody assumed he was not really interested in that, though, and he never combed his hair and never bathed either in the bathhouse or a pool, and preferred to lie in the ashes in the kitchen and run around with the kitchen boys.
Biterolf and Oda prepare to go to a feast, and Detlef wants to join them. At first they laugh him off, but he starts behaving more like a hero and even takes a bath. He is allowed to join.
Detlef's sudden change of behaviour leave the opening chapter hanging. When we get to the last chapters of Detlef's story, though, it starts to make sense again, since he does not join Dietrich as hero, but as a servant. That would fit with his initial description as a boorish lout. See below.
After the feast Detlef and Biterolf travel on. Then they ride through the Falsterwald and are spotted by Ingram and company.
That day Heime kept watch for Ingram and his companions, When he saw them, he reported back and said that their helmets were well-made, and that the robbers had their work laid out for them.
Ingram decided that they didn't all have to go, five men would be enough. But father and son fought mightily, and after a while all five lay dead on the ground. When Ingram saw that he ordered everyobody to attack, but Biterolf cleaved Ingram's helmet and head while Detlef killed two men. And they didn't stop until all robbers but Heime were dead. Now Heime hit Biterolf on the helmet so that he fell unconscious, but Detlef hit him on the helmet, and Heime sank to one knee. Quickly he recovered, sprang on his horse and rode as quickly as he could, all day long, and was glad he was still alive. He said, what many have proven, that the best piece of iron was the spur, since it saved him that day, and many others did the same.
But when Heime came to a river his stallion Rispa sprang so mightily that Heime flew off him. And it is said that there was a watermill there, and it was milling, but Heime heard the sounds as "hit, hit, strike, strike", and he rode day and night until he came back to Bern. Here he reconciled himself with Dietrich, and became his follower again.
Biterolf and Detlef took all gear from the dead robbers, and took them home, and they had achieved great honour.
Detlef returns home and then sets out again, this time to find Dietrich von Bern, much like Witig did. He first comes to a friend of his father's called Sigurd and fights him, then sleeps with his daughter, who helps him by taking away her father's Siegerstein, a 'victory stone'. Thus Detlef wins, and departs.
This part does not fit well into the rest of the Detlef story. Boer advanced the theory that the Sigurd part was originally a story separate from Detlef's journey to Bern, and also that it is much older than the rest.
Detlef rode further south, and encountered a man who came from Amelungenland on the way to Hunnenland. Detlef asked him about Dietrich, son of Dietmar, the king of Bern. The man praised Dietrich, and told Detlef Dietrich had ridden to his uncle Ermenrik for a feast. Detlef asked the man if he knew of a route that would bring him to Dietrich before Dietrich had reached Rome. The man told him to go via Trident
King Ermenrik had announced a great feast and had invited all manner of kings, princes, and jarls, dukes, counts, and barons, and also Dietrich and his men.
Detlef knew Dietrich was not at home, and when the road split he considered going to his grandfather, but in the end he decided he wanted to see Dietrich and his heroes more, so he rode after Dietrich.
He overtook Dietrich in the town called Fritila-Burg in the home of Ake Harlungentrost, a brother of Ermenrik
Detlef took residence in the same house as Dietrich and his men, and Dietrich asked him who he was. Detlef said he was Amelrich Soti's son from Denmark. Dietrich asked him where he was going, and Detlef said he was looking for a worthy lord who would allow him to care for his arms and horse, and if that lord were Dietrich von Bern, it would be all the better. And in return he asked Dietrich who he was and who his lord was.
Witig spoke up, and informed Detlef that he was looking at Dietrich von Bern himself, and Heime, and many others with him. Detlef greeted Dietrich, and offered his services. Dietrich accepted, and told him he was riding to the feast, and that Detlef should care for his horse and arms.
The next morning they rode on, and Ake came with them, and they arrived in Rome right when the feast started. The heroes and other lords went to the king's halls, but the squires and servants were lodged in inns, where the horses were also stabled.
Detlef didn't want to go into the king's hall for food and drink, but preferred to arrange things for himself. So when the feast started, Detlef went to the market with a few other boys
And then all his 30 marks of gold were spent. Still, he didn't want to give up his feast while the king's went on, so again he went to the market and bought new food and drink, and he pawned Heime's horse Rispa and his sword Nagelring for ten marks of gold. And thus they ate and drank until everything was gone.
And Detlef went to the market again, and now he pawned Witig's horse Schimming and his sword Mimung for twenty marks of gold. Then he again invited his guests, and also he had the inn hung with tapestries.
And when everything was eaten and drunk the king's feast had gone on for seven days and would go on for two more. And again he went to the market, and when someone asked 12 pennies for something, he would bid 20. And he pawned Dietrich's horse Falke, and his sword Eckisax and his helm Hildegrim for 30 marks of gold, and now he had no fewer than thirty hundreds of guests, servants and squires, fiddlers and minstrels. And on the day the feast ended, Detlef gave the golden ring his mother had given to him to the chief minstrel Isung
Detlef’s behaviour here seems to align well with the opening chapter, where he was a lout, but not so much with the rest of the story, where he was a hero. So maybe the heroic stories come from a different source than the opening chapter and the current ones.
Here Isung the chief minstrel (whatever that may mean) suddenly appears in the saga and sticks around for the next twenty chapters, even playing a major part in Witig's rescue. While he is around the saga makes a point of highlighting how very generous kings and heroes are towards minstrels, giving them gold, silver, clothes, and other valuable goods. Minstrels will approve of that message.
Do not confuse this Isung with king Isung of Bertangaland, they are different characters.
Now Dietrich called Detlef and demanded his weapons and horse, and also those of his men. And Detlef said that he had to pay money first, since he had pawned them so that the servants and squires could also have a feast, and I didn't want to go to the king's dish to take food and drink, since the city is unknown to me
And Dietrich said: Sure, but how much is it?
Well, Detlef said, not a lot, and the 30 marks I brought with me you don't have to pay, but I did pawn Heime's horse and arms, and Witig's, and your own, for 60 marks of gold. And I also gave your cloak to the chief minstrel, and also my golden ring. And when I came here the gate to the garden was locked, so that I jumped on the door with my left foot
Now Heime thought he recognised this man
Now Dietrich went to the king
And the king did so, and Detlef said he had spent 30 marks of his own, and he didn't need that back, but that Dietrich's horse and arms, and those of two of his companions, would cost 60 marks to get back.
The king became angry and asked him what kind of man he was to spend so much in nine days. Or what great deeds have you done to be worth such a sum? Are you a fool or a changeling?
Detlef said that it was custom for noble men to invite a guest for food and drink if they hadn't eaten yet. And the king orderded to bring him food and drink, and Detlef ate as much as three other knights. And a golden beaker with wine was brought that was so big that one servent could barely carry it, and Detlef emptied it in one gulp. And the king and Dietrich looked at what he did, but he barely acknowledged them.
Then a knight called Walther of the Waskastein spoke up, and he was the sister son of kings Ermenrik and Dietmar, and the best of all knights at court
Then they went to a field, took a stone that weighed no less than two ship's pounds
Now they took a banner pole
Then Detlef took the pole and threw it back across the hall, and as soon as he had thrown it he ran through the hall, which had two doors, and caught it in the air. And all said that Detlef had won the contest and had acquired Walther's head.
But king Ermenrik said, Good man, I'd like to ransom my nephew's head with gold, silver, and jewelry. And Detlef said, What should I do with his head? He is a good knight, and I'll gladly give you his head, and pay me whatever you think fitting. And the king agreed.
And then the king paid his as much money as he had spent, and bought back the horses and arms Detlef had pawned, and also the money Detlef had spent from his own pocket, and he knighted him.
Then Detlef revealed his name and ancestry, and Dietrich made him one of his companions. And then Dietrich went home with all his men, including Detlef, and the chief minstrel Isung went with them.
After Detlef the heroes Amelung and Herbrand join Dietrich, bringing his total to nine. Also Diether, Dietrich's father, dies, and Dietrich becomes king. From now on the saga uses that title throughout.
The next chapter is A quarrel about Mimung. How Heime and Witig quarrel. Two wars and a search-and-rescue mission.