I walked down the lane, I rounded the corner and reached the main road. There was a sign pointing up the lane. It read “Copper House Hotel”. The sign was new.
I waited until dark, I took the ladder to the bottom of the lane and I removed the sign. There is no Copper House Hotel.
The doctor was there. The doctor was almost always there evenings in the pub. She was what the locals call a GP, a general practitioner; she had her office in her house. She called it her surgery, but I don't think that she cut up people.
She was good to talk to – I fancied her to tell the truth. She answered my questions about Brasslans. Yes, it was a bit odd, not so old, no church, but a school and a pub and a post office with a small supermarket. Quiet, but nice place to live; most people worked in Bigtown, a few in the factory.
But most odd was the big, new town hall and the pompous mayor in it; and why did Brasslans need a tourist information office?
I decided to search Brasslans the next day. I didn't find any more signposts to the hotel, but walked each road and street all named after metals. Would you want to live in Zinc Crescent? I found the school and the factory and the post office and walked around the outside of the town hall twice.
I looked in the big glass window of the tourist information office; there was a stand containing leaflets about churches, museums, castles and such; all in other villages except one. You've guessed it – the Copper House Hotel.
I took all the leaflets about the hotel and sat on a park bench in the bit of green space outside the town hall and studied one of them. Funny, I recognised none of the pictures on the leaflet, the building in the picture had a red tiled roof.
The leaflet listed an address, Copper Lane in Brasslans, and a telephone number. I pulled out my cell phone and rang it. It was no surprise to see someone in the tourist information office lean over to another desk and pick up the phone. Yes, it was the Copper House Hotel, yes, I could book a room for the night.
I tapped my phone violently with all my fingers and cut the call. I saw the person in the tourist information office shake her head and put the phone down. I decided to walk away and contact my lawyer.
I walked back along the main road. Very odd, a bus full of old people turned into Copper Lane. A bit stupid, I thought, there's no space to turn at the end of the lane.
I walked on. The bus was outside the house, the driver was unloading suitcases, people were banging on the front door and on the back door.
“It this the Copper House Hotel?”
“No! There is no hotel in the village.”
I knew that, I had walked all the streets in Brasslans, there were no hotels. I didn't stop, I walked on in the direction of the pub. I didn't want to get involved – tourists can be violent.