Though Christoph Alden had traveled all day to reach Leipzig, he did not immediately enter the Rosengarten once he came to it. After all, a man carrying nothing with which to pay for room and board would be turned away in a heartbeat. And so, the draftsman settled himself into a comfortable (more or less) spot against the wall across the street and took out a sheet of paper and several pencils.
It took an hour before a rough sketch of the inn was complete, and then Christoph began experimenting with shading and other elements to make the inn seem more... appealing. After all, what self-respecting inn owner wouldn't want his inn portrayed in a far better light than anyone would ever see it. And as Christoph had learned, if you knew how to sell something to someone who didn't want it, you could have almost anything you wanted... and someone who did want it was far easier.
Two hours passed and Christoph decided the work was as complete as it needed to be. Standing slowly and stretching out, he glanced at the image on the page critically once more and murmured, "What I wouldn't give for some color..." But that was another issue altogether. Shrugging it off, Christoph finally entered the inn.
"May I help you, sir?" the weary man inside greeted him. Christoph was instantly cheerful.
"I simply must compliment this fine establishment on the general look of things!" he exclaimed. The man was taken slightly aback, for he'd been hearing almost nonstop how horrible the Rosengarten was.
"Err... what?" he stammered.
"No, really!" Christoph insisted. "I admit, I've been traveling a while, but to come here and find my way to this... it's amazing! I must have a higher authority looking after my well-being... this place is magnificent! Surely, you must charge sixty pfennigs a night!"
Flattered and confused, the owner admitted, "Well, it's... I-we charge eight."
Christoph gaped. "Eight! You must be out of your mind!" He dropped his sketch of the inn on the counter. "Surely you must reconsider your prices. I was so taken by the Rosengarten that I sat across the street for near four hours to get this right."
The owner's jaw dropped. The sketch certainly did portray the inn in a remarkably favorable light. Was this what this strange young man saw in his inn? Astonishing. He simply had to have the sketch.
"How much will you take for that sketch?" he asked breathlessly. Christoph glanced down at the sketch.
"You want to buy it?" he asked, adopting a slightly skeptical tone. "Really? Well, to be honest, I don't think I quite got the essence of the place right... what I could do with a good bit of color..."
"I'll pay you thirty pfennigs for it!" the man exclaimed hurriedly. Christoph laughed and shook his head.
"I'd scarce take more than fifteen for it," he replied.
"No, it's brilliant!" the owner protested. "I shan't give you less than thirty."
"Give me fifteen," Christoph countered, "and give me a room for the night."
"And whatever you like in the way of food and drink!" the owner exclaimed, positively delighted that he was going to get his hands on the sketch.
"Well in that case, give me ten pfennigs," Christoph said. The owner was practically hopping in his excitement.
"Done!" he shrieked, handing over ten pfennigs to Christoph. The young draftsman smirked and handed the sketch over.
"A key then, sir?" he asked. The owner nodded and handed over a key to a vacant room. Satisfied, Christoph pocketed the ten pfennigs and moved further into the Rosengarten. After depositing his pack in his room, he descended to the common room and glanced about. It was not long before his eyes fell on William and a great grin broke out on his face.
"William!" he exclaimed, crossing the room to greet his friend.