He counted slowly. Twenty-one gold and three silver. He counted again. Twenty-one gold and three silver. He raised his head hesitantly and made brief eye contact with the expectant customer.
“I-I'm terribly sorry but,” began poor Rodin, but he was unable to finish the sentence, so frightened was he that the man would destroy his cart. The man's eyes glinted with rage and snatched the money back into his hands. Rodin gave no resistance. The man began counting. He counted again. Finally, he put the money back on the cart.
“Twenty-one gold and three silver,” said the man. “That puts me eight gold and seven silver short. Meet me in the tavern at the center of town after the sun has set, and I will give you the coin, as well as a gold piece on top of that for your patience.” And as suddenly as he approached, so the man left.
After the sun had set, Rodin dutifully approached the tavern at the center of town. It was the place to be for adventurers and heroes – at night the tavern bustled with commotion as heroes from all over the town gathered to share information and drink. Nervously, the little merchant entered and was almost overwhelmed by the raucous merry-making and the heavy smell of alcohol.