Your Halloween Must-Read! ‘The Land Lady’ by Roald Daul (a short story)

I definitely need to show some more October spirit, so here it is. This is an eery read by Roald Daul. If you’re wondering, no it’s not terrifying and will not keep you up at night, but it’s fitting enough for October.

It is quite strange that I had never even heard about this story until I was told about it. Below this first snippet of the story is the link to the pdf of the entire thing.

THE LANDLADY

BY ROALD DAHL

Billy Weaver had travelled down from London on the slow afternoon train, with a change at Swindon on the way, and by the time he got to Bath it was about nine o’clock in the evening and the moon was coming up out of a clear starry sky over the houses opposite the station entrance. But the air was deadly cold and the wind was like a flat blade of ice on his cheeks.

“Excuse me,” he said, “but is there a fairly cheap hotel not too far away from here?”

“Try The Bell and Dragon,” the porter answered, pointing down the road. “They might take you in. It’s about a quarter of a mile along on the other side.”

Billy thanked him and picked up his suitcase and set out to walk the quartermile to The Bell and Dragon. He had 20 never been to Bath before. He didn’t know anyone who lived there. But Mr Greenslade at the Head Office in London had told him it was a splendid city. “Find your own lodgings,” he had said, “and then go along and report to the Branch Manager as soon as you’ve got yourself settled.”

Want to read the other few pages of the entire story? (Trust me it gets much more interesting…) Click here!

My thoughts on it:

*CAUTION SPOILERS AHEAD*

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I enjoyed this short story a lot! I totally didn’t see the end coming, and was so surprised at the last page! When I reread it though, I realized that I had skimmed over a bunch of clues, like the bitter almonds! If you didn’t pick this up while reading, the bitter almonds are poisonous, so if you were wondering what happened to Billy at the end of the story…well now you know.

As I said earlier, when I was looking back on the story, I ended up finding tons and tons of foreshadowing. This short story was so clever, which is one of my favorite qualities in stories; to reach the end, and being able to click everything together like a puzzle.

Thank you, and I hope you enjoyed the short read!

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