Competition: Literally Lost: 44
Sunday 09 August 1998
At a wretched town called M-, where we dined, I had a warm dispute with our landlord, which, however, did not terminate to my satisfaction. I sent on the mules before, to the next stage, resolving to take post-horses, and bespoke them accordingly of the aubergiste, who was, at the same time, innkeeper and postmaster. We were ushered into the common eating-room, and had a very indifferent dinner, after which, I sent a louis-dore to be changed, in order to pay the reckoning. The landlord, instead of giving the full change, deducted three livres a head for dinner, and sent in the rest of the money by my servant. Provoked more at his ill manners than at his extortion, I ferreted him out of a bed-chamber, where he had concealed himself, and obliged him to restore the full change, from which I paid him at the rate of two livres a head. He refused to take the money, which I threw down on the table; and the horses being ready, stepped into the coach, ordering the postilions to drive on. Here I had certainly reckoned without my host. The fellows declared they would not budge, until I should pay their master; and as I threatened them with manual chastisement, they alighted, and disappeared in a twinkling. I was now so incensed, that though I could hardly breathe; though the afternoon was far advanced, and the street covered with wet snow, I walked to the consul of the town, and made my complaint in form. This magistrate, who seemed to be a tailor, accompanied me to the inn, where by this time the whole town was assembled, and endeavoured to persuade me to compromise the affair. I said, as he was the magistrate, I would stand to his award. He answered, that he would not presume to determine what I was to pay. I have already paid him a reasonable price for his dinner, (said I) and now I demand post-horses according to the king's ordonnance. The aubergiste said the horses were ready, but the guides were run away; and he could not find others to go in their place. I argued with great vehemence, offering to leave a louisdore for the poor of the parish, provided the consul would oblige the rascal to do his duty. The consul shrugged up his shoulders, and declared it was not in his power. This was a lie, but I perceived he had no mind to disoblige the publican. If the mules had not been sent away, I should certainly have not only payed what I thought proper, but corrected the landlord into the bargain, for his insolence and extortion; but now I was entirely at his mercy, and as the consul continued to exhort me in very humble terms, to comply with his demands, I thought proper to acquiesce.
Literally Lost 43: The book was `The Battle For Room Service' by Mark Lawson. The action took place in Alaska. There is no winner, so the prize will be rolled over to next week.
Missing Malaysia Airlines plane: Despite expected death toll we must remember air travel has never been safer
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 Q&A: What do we know about what happened?
The 10 Best hiking boots
Come to Crimea: Could tourism help heal the divisions in Ukraine?
Malaysia Airlines MH370: the missing aircraft, and what investigators will be looking for
- 1 Bad cattitude: Family call police after crazed and 'hostile cat with a history of violence' attacks baby before attempting to 'flee custody'
- 2 Family forced to flee home after discovering 'terrifying' nest of spiders in bananas
- 3 First Kiss: Filmmaker gets 20 strangers to make out on YouTube with awkward results
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
£25000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Corporate Traveller: Opportunity for a B...
£20000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Corporate Traveller: We're looking for t...
£25000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Flight Centre Limited: Flight Centre Bus...
£16000 - £27000 per annum + Commission + Award-Winning Benefits): Flight Centr...