The Four Point Inn

’Tis five years since my ’usband and I chose to run this ’ere inn. “We‘re getting older, now, Clara,” says he, “And we cannot be farming forever. The young 'uns are grown and gone, what do we need with such an expanse of land in what‘s no more‘an a step from the wilderness?”
So we moved to this place, right in the centre of the village. A good place for an inn, so ‘tis, with the two main roads meeting just outside our door. And a good-sized building too, with stables for ‘orses, a small garden where folks as wishes can eat outside, a good sized kitchen, and plenty of room for guests. And a good thing too, for business has been good. No, sir, I cannot complain about that. It‘s the type of people we attract as worries me.

Take last week, for example. A party of eight men, big men with an impressive array of weapons; long, shining swords in them fancy sheaths, and at least half of the weapons with names, I don‘t doubt; bows and quivers full of arrows; shields, daggers and all sorts. And they all wore chainmail. Not that t‘were plain to see under the dark and grubby cloaks as they were wearin‘, but one sees. I‘d wager a day‘s takings that not one out of eight gave me 'is real name for the register. They sat in the corner, sayin‘ nothin‘ to no-one and scarin‘ the locals. Talked all night, so they did, murmuring in their corner with no more‘n a word to anyone else all night, eatin‘ and drinkin‘ until past midnight! Finally, I chased them back to their rooms, for a workin‘ woman must sleep, and after doin‘ a little more so as to keep the place tidy, I made off to my bed. But no more than four hours had gone by when I was woken by my ’usband a-gettin‘ out of bed.
“Go back to sleep,” he says, seeing me watchin‘ ’im, “'Tis still an hour or more till cock-crow. I‘ve just got to see as our guests leave their money when they go.”
And when I go down an hour later to start the breakfasts, I see the kind of money they‘ve left us with! A large coin of a sort I‘ve never seen the like of, printed with a man‘s 'ead on the back, and solid gold! Now what use is that in these parts? Where would a body find someone as is prepared to take that much currency? I ask you!

You can find the complete version of The Four Point Inn in issue 44 of TBD.

Joanna Hamilton