Chapter 21 A light brush with the law
The first thing I did on our return was to contact Ineke to reaffirm my interest in our relationship, we chatted for a long time on the phone and she seemed just as keen as I was.
Alan was pleased to see me back and after the initial greetings he broke the news that I would have to go and buy a new car because the Austin princess that I had two months previously was a totally destroyed, having caught fire when Alan and his friends were having an evening trip out to Bristol, they had to evacuate the car with no time to spare to even pick up their coats.
I made a trip to Bristol to the Mercedes-Benz dealers and bought a near new Mercedes-Benz 250T automatic estate car, it was colored sand gold and was a beautiful luxury vehicle, previously owned by a Weston-super-Mare businessman, it had only done 17,000 miles, and was ideally suitable for my business trips to the local cash and carry and was a joy to drive.
The hotel was still thriving and making plenty of money whilst I had been away, they had unfortunately had a fire in the cooker in the kitchen, but there were no injuries, and Alan had bought a replacement cooker, they called the fire brigade to put out the blaze ignoring the fact that there were two CO2 fire extinguishers hanging on the wall in the kitchen.
Having had a few guests walkout without paying and a few cheques that bounced, I had put in place a system of “pay before stay” we would get comments like “I’ve never been to a hotel before where you have to pay on arrival”, we would willingly show them the rooms but if they wanted to stay they had to pay up front.
For some unknown reason I broke this rule and allowed two young men to have bed and breakfast without paying, when I locked up at night and closed the garage doors it was my practice to make a note of any strange car numbers, in the morning it was found that they had absconded during the night without paying, I looked around the room and picked up an ATM receipt which I saved as evidence, I reported the incident to the police
gave them a description of the car and the ATM receipt and thought that’s the end of that.
It turned out the incident was by no means over; these two were muggers that were subsequently given their just desserts.
One year we had a party booking from a company in Holland and they had a successful stay, the next year they wrote again and booked another week, a couple of months later they wrote to say that they were not coming.
My return letter stated “having confirmed your booking some months ago I would strongly advise you to carry on with this booking as it is our policy to take legal action”
They wrote back to say they could not come because we did not have a fire escape and the hotel was unsuitable for their clients, as they had been the year before I concluded that both these arguments were just excuses, I instructed my solicitor to take action against them, the case was heard by the local Bristol magistrates during which it came out then actually found a cheaper hotel, the court found in my favor, they then decided they would appeal this decision and we finished up in London at the Appeal Courts, the highest court in Great Britain, I attended with my solicitor and when the case was called the magistrates requested the documents from their solicitors, and when handed one copy said “ there are three magistrates here do you expect us to share”
The appeal courthouse in London
The judge then made a ruling that their Solicitors would be liable for the costs of that first hearing, and I hate to think what that would come to, the case was adjourned for a later hearing but before we left the building our solicitors had agreed that if I would drop the case they would paid all the costs to date, I agreed this on the grounds that I was wasting my time, and I remembered my father had once said to me “ poor people do not have anything to do with solicitors, but they used to”.
I think this was the time when the hotel was at its most profitable, I had finished most of the major works and was still able to enlarge the hotel by buying more apartments in the adjacent building, and life was not all work and no play; I will relate an incident that happened that winter.
One little tale worth recording is the tale of young Mary, which started one autumn late evening; I was watching the television when the reception bell was pressed by an old man who looked very much like a tramp.
His first request was for a toilet and whilst he was away I enquired of his young female companion if he was her Father.
No she replied I have only just met him and he offered me a bed for the night and as I have nowhere else to go.
She, despite being ragged and dirty, was a pretty teenager and the thought of her sleeping with such a man was disturbing to me; I suggested that she dump him when she got outside and come back and see me alone.
When he returned I refused them a room and they left the building leaving me to return to my television, a little time later the bell went again and this time Mary was on her own; my first thought was a good bath would do her a lot of good so I showed her into an en-suite room and ran the bath water for her.
Food was the next priority so I went to the kitchen and made some sandwiches, when I returned to the room I could hear her splashing in the bath and noticed she had left the bathroom door wide open.
Using the food as an excuse I went into the bathroom to find her enjoying a good hot bath totally naked and unphased by my presence, we made small talk for a few minutes until I took her hand and told her to stand up, I proceeded to soap up her beautiful body in a standing position and when my hand found its way between her slim legs I casually asked if that was alright. She smiled and opened her legs to give me better access to her hidden delights.
She had a teenagers pert little breasts standing proud of her small body which I had great pleasure in washing the soap off as she prepared to get out of the bath, when we had her reasonably dry I said get straight into bed and get warm.
She lay in bed watching as I undressed in front of her bright eyes that did not miss a thing, we did not say a word as I got in beside her and cuddled her small body against me; I must have weighed a least twice as much as she did and being about three times as old as her, I lay there for a little while thanking my lucky stars for my good fortune.
But I’m afraid you have to use your imagination on the next few paragraphs, suffice it to say the night went well; pity about the sandwhiches they went in the bin the next morning.
The next morning after more fun and games she dressed in her none too clean clothes and slipped out of the side door, never to be seen again, I had given her five pounds and requested she buy me some socks from Marks & Spencers, It seemed a better way than just pressing money into her hand.