Ludovicus reflects on the previous night's events as he looks at the water flowing beside the barge.
They had eventually found a boarding house, renting a minuscule room with narrow bed -- more like shelves hung from the walls -- with thin mattresses. Smelly and not particularly clean, but at least it had kept the mice that came out at night from climbing on them. Considering how little hard coin Ludovicus had remaining, that was all they'd been able to afford.
Their night out had been disappointing as well -- particularly from Giuseppe's Venitian-bred perspective -- for there was no wine available here. They'd been laughted at when they'd asked, and from what they could understand only the nobility and the very rich could afford wine. The rest of the people drank weak beer, seasoned with whatever herbs and spices they could afford. The resulting brew was bitter and gritty. The food, at least, had been reasonably good.
They'd almost missed their boat, too, for Giuseppe wasn't much of an early riser. The crew of the barge was already casting off its ropes when they'd boarded, to be immediately met by the 'captain' who'd demanded immediate payment for the trip. Ludovicus' purse was now very light indeed and the trip wasn't over yet. Their pack contained a little food -- hopefully they would be able to obtain some more along the river as the barge stopped at whatever city it crossed.