Tuesday, 5 October 2010

The Landlady by Roald Dahl

Billy Weaver a 17-year old boy  arrives in Bath from London for a business trip and is looking for a place to stay . He walks toward the Bell and Dragon, a pub in which he has been told he could spend the night at, but on the way he notices a sign in the window of a  house that says BED AND BREAKFAST. He checks the apartment by looking through the window and thinks it is a charming place with a nice dog curled up asleep on the rug, so he pressess the doorbell. A middle-aged landlady appears and invites him to enter and tells him about the rooms and prices. As the price is less than he has thought, Billy decides to stay. The lady tells Billy that he is the only guest she has while she shows him the room. Then Billy goes downstairs to sign the logbook and he sees that there are just two names written on the book. The names are over two years old and they sound familiar to him, as if he has read about them on the newspapers or somewhere else. He is trying to remember where he has heard the names before when the landlady brings him a cup of tea. Billy notices a strange odour coming from the woman, as walnuts or leather, he does not say anything, and remains sit down near the fire. He asks the lady something about the guests and she says that they are still in the house. Billy is confused and tries to change the subject  of the conversation by commenting on a parrot in a cage, which he thought it was alive, but he realises it is stuffed, the same as the dog on the rug near the fireplace. The landlady reveals that she stuffs all her animals when they pass away because she is a taxidermist. After that,  Billy notices a bitter almond taste in his tea and refuses to have another cup of it.  In the meantime, he asks the landlady again if there have not been any other guests except him and the two other boys in the last two years. The landlady gives him a smile and replies, “No, my dear. Only you.”, and Billy retires to his bed.

I recommend you to read the short story and get your own conclusions as many things have been said about the end of this story or the story itself!!!!

1 comment:

  1. I have read the story and I think it is reaaly well written. Roald Dahl is an excellent writer. One characteristic of his stories is that he never states things explicitly. On the contrary, with his writings he is always trying you to infer things and to come to your own conclusion. As in this case, the story is written for you to interpret things as you are reading, he is trying to make you arrive to your own conclusions. Read the story if you can. It is great!