"Surely there's an inn around here that doesn't charge such a fortune for a night's stay and a warm meal," her companion replied. "Or maybe a cold meal . . . " she trailed off, appearing to be adding sums in her head.
"The straits aren't that dire," Arlondwen replied, but she knew that her friends words rang true. "Look - the King's Piper - we've stayed there before; I'm sure they'll extend us credit if necessary." The disappearance of the sun's last rays behind the horizon convinced Firiel that she would have to make some sort of allowance if she wanted to sleep in a bed that night.
"Have your way, Arlondwen, but promise me this: the next job we see, we take."
"Even if it's guarding a merchant's caravan?"
"Even if it's guarding a merchant's caravan," replied Firiel firmly. "It's not that bad, in any case. It's temporary and safe and well-paying. Then we will at least have food to eat while we seek out a noble quest to protect all that is good and right and glorious in Middle Earth." Arlondwen's eyes flashed with pride for a moment. "I jest, Arlondwen. What are the chances you'll find a job such as that? All of the men with skill are employed in the King's Guard, and all of the women who can wield a blade wisely keep that fact hidden."
They maneuvered their horses behind the inn to the stables. Handing her reins to the nearest stable boy, Arlondwen began her instructions for the care of her horse. Just as she began to elaborate on his diet, Firiel pulled her toward the inn. "If you can't tip him, you won't get what you ask, no matter what." Grudgingly, Arlondwen let herself be pulled into the inn. Firiel purchased a single room and two cold meals in the common room before Arlondwen left her state of high dudgeon.