Bear and Crispin usually receive small coins such as a silver penny for their performances. Sometimes the people play them with food for their music, singing, dancing, and juggling. Once in a while, they might be offered lodging or a hot meal. It wasn't much by our standards today, but people back then worked to survive, not thrive. In addition, Bear was a spy for a treasonous group of men. He collected information and asked questions to gather information for this group. This may be where espionage originated at the grass roots level. People who travel widely and deal with commoners could pick up a lot of useful information. Crispin received the additional benefit of mentoring from Bear, achieving skills that would enable him to survive if he and Bear ever parted ways.