The Landlady: The Sequel
Shortly after the death of Billy Weaver another ‘unknowing victim’ was approaching the station at Bath having taken all day to travel down from Dublin. As Patrick Reid stepped off the train he approached the conductor and said “Excuse me, but are there any cheap hotels around here?”
“Try the Bell and Dragon,” he answered in his well spoken accent. “They might take you in and it’s only down the road.”
“Thank you,” Patrick said in his distinguished accent. He picked up his very extravagant and large suitcase, and carried on down the road. He could see the Bell and Dragon’s neon sign flickering in the distance. It was getting ever closer until he was stopped dead ...view middle of the document...
“Oh yes the room is all ready for you.”
“How much does it cost to stay here?”
“Five and sixpence a night, including breakfast,” the old lady stated.
This was very cheap; nearly half what he was willing to pay.
“Is that ok?” she finished.
“That’s fine. Where am I staying?” he asked inquisitively
“Just hang up your coat up and I will show you.”
He looked up at the hat stand and noticed that there were no other garments on the stand. “Does the women ever go out?” he thought as, he hung up his coat and hat and followed her upstairs. She started walking up the stairs and stopped half way; she smiled at him and pointed up the stairs gesturing for him to go ahead. As they got to the top she said,
“We have it all to ourselves; I don’t have the pleasure of taking people in very often.”
Patrick knew there was something odd about the women but at five and sixpence a night, who gives a damm about that?!
“With a price like that I’m very surprised that you are not swimming in applicants,” he joked.
“I am very picky you see,” she said defensively. “I always have the room ready just on the off-chance that an acceptable young gentleman will come along. It gives me great pleasure to open up the door to find someone standing there who is exactly right... like you,” she said with a big smile on her soft pink rounded face. “So, the first floor is mine and the second is all yours. I will show you your room now.”
As she climbed a second set of stairs Patrick noticed that the smell of almonds became stronger along with another strong but unrecognisable scent. As they got to the landing she opened the first door and said,
“This is your room.” She took him in to a very small but pleasant front bedroom “The morning sun comes straight in through this window Mr. Weaver... it is Mr. Weaver isn’t it?”
“No it’s Mr. Reid, Patrick Reid,” He corrected her.
“Oh yes, sorry Mr. Reid. I’ve put a hot water bottle in-between the sheets to air them out. It’s very comforting to have a hot water bottle in a strange bed with new sheets. Don’t you agree Mr. Weaver...? I mean Mr. Reid? And you can light the fire any time you want.”
“Thank you,” Patrick said. He noticed that the bedspread had been taken off and bedclothes tucked in ready for him to get in. Patrick put his suitcase on the bed and the landlady noticed the big green shamrock on the front.
“Are your from Ireland?” she asked
“Yes, I am indeed, why do you ask?”
“Like I said, the perfect person,” she replied as she started backing out of the door.
He began to unpack but was interrupted by the landlady.
“Do you want supper or have you already eaten?”
“I’m not hungry thanks, I think I might just go to bed.”
“One last thing.” She asked “Would you be kind enough to pop into the sitting room on the ground floor and sign the guest book on the grand piano? Everyone has to as it is the law of the land and we don’t want to break any laws now do we?”
“Certainly not,” he replied, “I will do it as soon as I finish...