"Thank you, madam," Rudolph said gratefully, involuntarily licking his lips. He'd had nothing that day but an apple he'd plucked off a tree on his way to the city. He followed her, slightly dazed, through the corridor - too narrow for much comfort after the largeness of the cave - and up a set of rickety wood steps that did not seem quite willing to support the large landlady. Even with his slim frame, he stepped on them cautiously; he was sure the landlady and her husband would not be pleased with him if he broke their stairs, and he couldn't afford to have that kind of attention. After all, he was still a runaway from the royal family. Not that they'd send anyone looking for him, but he'd rather keep out of trouble for a while.
The landlady showed him into a small room with a bed at one end, a dresser at the other, and not much else. The room most likely could not fit another piece of furniture and still give him room to stand anywhere other than on top of the bed.
"There you go, sir. I'll send George up in a minute with some food for you." She patted him on the shoulder and left the room. Rudolph sat on the bed and took off his shoes. He lay back on the pillow and tried to think about what he would do next.
When George, the old landlord came in about 10 minutes later, Rudolph was lying, fully clothed, on top of the bed. He was fast asleep.
Rudolph woke several hours later at the creaking of an opening door - his door, he soon realized.
"Where do you reckon he's got his bag?" A gruff, deep whisper came from the open door.
"How do you know he's got any money, Ern?" A second voice, also whispering, asked.
"Of course he's got money, Al. Did you see that tunic he was wearing? Sure, it was dirty, but it was obviously pretty nice. Come on, let's see if we can find anything." As the two men crept into the room, Rudolph could see from the faint moonlight that these were the men he had seen downstairs. He considered yelling for help, but he was quite certain that these men could hurt him much faster than anyone could come running.
Suddenly a light turned on in the hall, and Rudolph had to cover his eyes. From the shouts of surprise, it seemed like Al and Ern had had to as well.
"Well, ain't that just something. How dare you try to rob that man!" A woman's voice came from the open door. Rudolph tried to open his eyes, and immediately shut them again. The woman had turned on his bedroom light and was advancing toward the two thieves. There were several large thumps, two yells of pain, and the thud of two bodies hitting the floor.
"Don't worry, they're just knocked out. I would hope for something as kind if I were you, sir. How dare you leave me all alone in that cave!"
It was Alisen.
*P.S. Do they have electric lights? I have no idea. For the sake of surprise, I decided they did for now.