Chapter 22

At the Hotel - Part Two

It did not take the porter long to hand the menu to Lord McShredder and a bowl of unsalted peanuts to Frido McClown. Then he went back to the lobby and rang up a phone number he only used in cases of emergency. This was an emergency and he needed the help of the hotel manager. The manager was living close by in the little town of Liddesdale on the other end of Loch Sunart. The manager was amazed to hear from Lachlan MacFish, his porter, that a most noble guest was staying at the hotel.

"Lachlan", he said, out of breath, "utmost discretion and fulfil all wishes of the noble gentlemen, you get me? I'll be there early in the morning and assist you. Today the gentlemen certainly have to rest. And always remember, Lachlan, a lord is always in the right."
"Very well, Sir, but couldn't you come today?"
"Lachlan, don't be silly. You will manage that all right."
That's like him, the porter thought, I've got to do the work and he goes fishing. Well, I'll manage the matter until tomorrow.

"Hey, Mister - er, porter!" a voice interrupted his thoughts. "Bring me some washed salad and 25 wash rugs!"

 



"Very well, Sir Frido", he said. He scratched his ear in surprise. Nothing wrong with washed salad, but what would somebody use 25 wash rugs for? Of course he had no idea that the wash rugs were to be used as bathing towels for the hamsters. The little animals were so dirty after the long journey that they urgently needed a bath. So the obvious thing was to make a swimming pool of the tub. The butler could take the wash basin after all.

"Potter?"
"Ay, Sir Frido?"
"Do you have little slats?"
"Yes, Sir Frido, for serving snacks."
"Excellent, porter, bring 25 of them."
"25 slats, Sir?"
"25 slats, porter."
Lachlan MacFish, the porter, hastened to fulfil the wishes of this curious guest. The butler on the other hand quite enjoyed it to be served for once. When the porter had taken the salad, 25 wash rugs and 25 little slats to the butler's room, he heard a croaking voice:
"Hey, room service, is my meal prepared?"
The porter hurried to His Lordship's door.
"Sir Lord of Killichonan, did Your Highness call me?"
"My bypass? I don't have any bypass, Mister. I am hungry, where is my dinner?"
"Craving your pardon, the dinner, Sir Lord of Killichonan, is served in the lounge."
The door was opened with a dash and Lord McShredder faced the porter furiously.
"What do you mean by that impertinence? Which thinner Lord of Killichonan is swerving about to plunge? There is no Lord of Killichonan but me!"
By now Lachlan MacFish realized that milord was very deaf so that he repeated with raised voice: "Dinner, Sir, your dinner. Did Your Lordship already choose?"

 



"Salmon with chanterelles and wedges", His hungry Lordship replied and hardly could repress a smack. "Very well, Sir Lord of Killichonan", the porter said and walked back to the butler's room.
"Sir, what would you like for dinner?"
"Haggis and chips. I'll dine in my room", McClown's voice was to be heard.
"Er, in 25 little bowls, Sir Frido?"
"25 small ones and one big one, porter!"

The rest of the day was filled with peace and munching. That was, for the porter it was neither. It just was hell. Once McShredder asked for fresh tobacco or a newspaper which had to bought in the next town, then McClown urgently required sunflower seed which could only be got at the next farm. Poor Lachlan was standing behind his reception counter, trembling, close to a nervous breakdown, any time expecting calls for "Room service!" or "Porter!" And he heard them often, very often. Close to midnight he took a cup of tea and shortbread and another helping of haggis to His Lordship and a jar of milk with 25 eggcups and 50 biscuits to the butler. Then he fell asleep behind his counter, sobbing exhaustedly.
From milord's room nothing but snoring was audible. Apart from that the hotel seemed to be quiet. But if you listened at the butler's door, a lot of curious noises might be heard: splashing, gnawing, sounds like "Eippij!" and soft snoring from Frido McClown. The hamsters, however, had their party-time. Some of the rodents were sitting on the edge of the tub eating biscuits, others were surfing in the water. The mayor was standing in front of the large bathroom mirror and rehearsed a speech.



Beside the tub Flecki and Taty were busy covering the floor with toilet paper. Goldi had discovered a small pedal bin and invited one hamster friend after the other "to stand on the lid for a moment". Then he jumped onto the pedal and with a loud cry of "Pleh!"2 the corresponding hamster sailed through the air. In the best case he landed in the bathing tub.

Only when the sun sent her first rays, the small, elegant hotel was really silent. The porter was still lying behind his counter exhaustedly and rubbed his tired eyes. Now it was time for him to get up and prepare the breakfast. In a crabby mood he walked to the kitchen and quickly closed his eyes again when he saw the mounds of dirty dishes. His Lordship and the butler had been served with the best of the best and that in double and triple helpings. Add to this countless little dishes like eggcups, slats, tea spoons, and small plates the use of which Lachlan MacFish could not make head or tail of. It took him quite some time to tidy up the kitchen, then he laid the breakfast table. Now he went to wake up the guests.

2 (Hamstish: Help)