The two stories which I have decided to discuss are The Land Lady and Lamb to the slaughter. The reason for this being my choice is because I found them extremely interesting and entertaining.
In the Land Lady Billy Weather a young 17 year old who travelled down from London to Bath arrived at the Bed and Breakfast. Billy was drawn in from the small sign in the window, it said BED AND BREAKFAST, BED AND BREAKFAST BED AND BREAKFAST. Each word was staring at him like a large black eye this is what drew Billy in. When Billy reaches and put his finger on the door bell the Landlady appears straight away. As if she is waiting for his arrival. But this dame was like a jack-in-the-box he pressed the bell and out she popped. This creates a nervous atmosphere for Billy which is rather entertaining. Billy thinks that she is a crazy landlady landlady appeared to be slightly off her rocker didnt worry Billy in the least.
In the Lamb to the Slaughter its funny how the leg of lamb is brought up in conversation after Mrs Maloney has used the meat to kill her husband. Mrs Maloney went to the groceries to get some peas. The grocer Sam says what about meat to which Mrs Maloney replies no thanks I have a nice leg of lamb from the freezer. Mrs Maloney is trying to act normal and as if nothing has happened. When she arrives home she called Patrick is everything ok. There is a little sarcasm going on here as she knows Patrick is dead because she killed him.
As Patrick worked for the police Mrs Maloney knew the officers who arrived. The leg of lamb was cooking in the oven and Mrs Maloney said to the officers please eat the meat she implies it will be a favour to me if youd eat it up The reader knows this will be a favour as the very murder weapon will be eaten up by detectives. One of the police officers said the weapon is still in the house personally I think it is here in these premises the other officer says i reckon it is here under are very noses This is so ironic as it is there under their very noses because they are eating it. Even Mrs Maloney began to giggle. Irony is used here which entertains the reader.
When young Billy arrived at the bed and breakfast he said to the Land lady I saw your sign in the window. She replied to this by saying yes I know This implies that she was either expecting him or watching him. The Landlady followed Billy to his room and asked him to come down and sign the guest book when his ready. When Billy went down to put his name in the guest book he noticed there were only 2 other names who had stayed at the bed and breakfast in the last 2 years. He said aloud Christopher Mullholland Gregory Temple he heard the names before but couldnt think where. Then he realised they were in the paper but couldnt think what for. Billy said the last entry is over 2 years old it is very strange that nobody else has stayed here before there must be a reason behind it.
Billy said to the Land lady I suppose they left fairly recently. left? But my dear boy they never left. He is still here. Mr Temple is also here. This makes the reader think what an earth is she going on about its like shes going mad. They are on the third floor, both of them together the Land lady said. The Land lady said there wasnt a blemish on his body how would she of known that unless she had seen his body before. When Billy looks around the room he comes across 2 pets, a parrot and a dachshund (dog) to which he discovers that they are stuffed. The Landlady said to him I stuff all my little pets myself when they pass away. This seems rather strange and if I was Billy I would be rather shocked and wonder if the Land lady stuffed the unlucky two boys.
Billy asks the Land lady if there have been any other guests in the last 2 or 3 years. To which she replied no, my dear, she said only you at this stage it doesnt look to good for Billy as his tea tasted like bitter almonds bitter almonds was once known as poison, Dahl is implying to the reader that the Landlady has spiked Billys drink.
Mary was waiting for Patrick to arrive home, looking out of the window for him. When he arrives he doesnt seem to be so excited to see her as she does. He replies to her with words such as hullo yes sit down. As a reader it indicates that something is on his mind. Patrick then tells Mary this is going to be a bit of a shock to you, Im afraid and I know its kind of a bad time to tell you but their simply was no other way, of course Ill give you money and see that you are looked after. Although we dont actually get to find out the actually reason for why Mary killed Patrick, Dahl is implying that he has done something bad that is unforgivable. In my opinion I think that Patrick told Mary that he was having an affair with another woman and that he was going to leave her for this unknown person. This is why he states of course I will see youre looked after
In the Landlady there is no murder, Dahl has left it to the imagination of the reader, but he is implying that the Landlady has done the same to him as to the pets and the other two young boys. Whereas in Lamb to Slaughter there is a murder but again Dahl has left it to the reader as to why Mrs Maloney hit Patrick with a leg of Lamb.
Also in both of the stories especially in Lamb to slaughter it seems that Mrs Maloney gets away with the murder as she gave the murder weapon for the police officers to eat. However it also seems that whatever the Land lady has done shed also got away with it.
To form a conclusion of the stories I would say that Dahl has aimed at entertaining the reader more in Lamb to Slaughter than the Landlady, where as in the Land lady he has focused more on intriguing the reader.