IV – The Doctor

At the corridor of the inn, the doctor paused at the door where he heard the angry male voices coming from the other side of the door. He looked around at the empty corridor and wondered who else was there. The only travelers at the inn were him and the man he came with. He had seen the visitors logbook unless, they had sneaked in without being noticed. The voices were getting restless.

“Please don’t,” one of the man pleaded. “I don’t have it with me. I swear. Take my journals. That’s all I have.”

“I don’t want yer journals. Give me yer gold or me and me friends will take it from ye!”

“I don’t have any I swear.”

“That’s not what I was told.”

“He’s lying,” said a second man.

“I heard differently,” said a third.

The doctor became worried. Three against one, thought the doctor, that’s not right. He heard them scuffle about, then a round of gunshots and the helpless man calling out for assistance. The doctor had to help. He looked around before he did what he did next. With his index finger pointed at the doorknob he made little circles near it. He pushed it open and was greeted with a swirl of papers fluttering in the air. When they finally settled on the floor, the doctor saw no one inside. It was empty.

That couldn’t be, he thought, I heard the voices, the gunshots. Where did they go? The fresh smell of gunpowder lingered in the air. This wasn’t the first time his mind played tricks on him. Was he going mad?

“Is everything all right, doctor?” said the inn keeper as she came limping up the stairs. She was a stout and corpulent woman with a pleasant face.

The doctor was about to say something, when he looked back into the uninhabited room. The door barely closed itself as the inn keeper approached him.

“No, no, everything is all right,” the doctor said and walked toward his room.

“One more thing doctor,” she said. “Whatever you do don’t leave your room at night.”

What an odd request, thought the doctor.

“I beg your pardon?” the doctor wanted to make sure he heard right.

“Well, you see. We lock the front doors at night,” she said. “Mostly for safety. Ruthless people with ill intentions only travel by night. We had a few problems with robberies a few years back. Nothing for you to worry. The husband stays watch in the front desk with Sterla.”

“Sterla?”

“Yes, his Sharp Buffalo rifle,” she smiled.

“There are no buffalos around here,” remarked the doctor.

“Of course not, neither are the robbers,” she smiled. “As long as you stay in your room and lock the door you should be fine.”

“Thank’s for the warning,”

“How did this door open?” she muttered to herself. “I could have sworn I locked it.”

The doctor quickly slid into his room.