The Monkey's Paw

The Landlady by Roald Dahl

What does the landlady do or say that show she is unusually well-prepared for Billy's arrival? (Extended response)

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The landlady answers the door almost as soon as Billy rings the bell.

He pressed the bell. Far away in a back room he heard it ringing, and then at once – it must have been at once because he hadn’t even had time to take his finger from the bell-button – the door swung open and a woman was standing there. Normally you ring the bell and you have at least a half-minute’s wait before the 120 door opens. But this dame was a like a jack-in-the-box. He pressed the bell – and out she popped! It made him jump.

The landlady immediately notes that she knows why Billy is there and announces his room is ready.

“I saw the notice in the window,” he said, holding himself back.

“Yes, I know.”

“I was wondering about a room.”

“It's all ready for you, my dear,” she said. She had a round pink face and very gentle blue eyes.


The Landlady