The tavern of Albert (B)

The tavern of Albert - at Klaus's house
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Part (B) – The first part here

Claus, a prominent lord of the city, had set up and chaired a private club, with the powerful people and rich of the city. Often, they, wore their costumes, something like long tailcoats, and with their sticks in each hand, they gathered and discussed the future of the city and decisions, as if they were taking them. Claus' appearance, was strict, with round glasses that perfectly matched his no-angled face.

His speech is strict, absolute, kept pace with his appearance. His views are clear, without a trace of coloring and emotion. He liked, in addition to meetings with club members, to be at dinners and interviews. There he expressed the only truth he possessed and in his style demanded from the public the acceptance of. He roamed the streets of the city with the air of the mayor, whose position he envisioned...

But he did not want to get involved in elections, after all, they required knowledge from the citizens, who knew he did not have. He believed that the time would come when he could be imposed with his prestige. Of course he had the knowledge, acquaintances and background to achieve it. He was also involved in writing books, which everyone read in the club of his fans. His writing style was a bit like a religious sect and his texts contained something between instructions and prophecies for the near future.. It swelled with pride every time someone, not only read but also applied what he wrote.

It was the old acquaintance with Klaus that brought Albert to his door that icy night. With fast movements and great attention from prying eyes, entered his luxury home. After the necessary greetings and compliments, soon the conversation reached the topic that occupied the anxious tavern owner. He was narrating his plan and talking non-stop, while Claus, sitting cross-legged, nodded appropriately for Albert's ideas and other times he seemed skeptical. After a great monologue, Albert concluded:

– “You have the experience and acquaintances to advise me... I am at a dead end…”, and with the agony etched on his face, now he was silent.

Claus, wait for a few moments speechless, but to the tavern owner seemed a century… Then lowering his round glasses a little, he cleared his throat, she looked Albert in the eyes and started to talk:

– “Of course, of course. Besides, we have an old friendship, which now as I think about it, can be developed into cooperation;”

– “What do you mean?;”

– “As you know this city is not well run… Citizens are already very unhappy with the performance of the mayor, but also of the previous ones, and now the time has come for us, from club, to take over. Let's take this city one step further. With one or two more scandals, the current situation will be reversed and then…”

– “But who will accept such a thing; I guess you mean without making an official party”, Albert interrupted him.

– “Accepting something, my friend, is very relevant… In the club as you know we are very reasonable people. But the majority of the world is not... Everyone is occupied by his emotions. Sometimes fear, sometimes indignation, sometimes anger… That's why our city goes from bad to worse... So let's leave their feelings unbridled, to see what chaos they will bring and finally understand, that we are the only reliable solution. Nothing will be done in secret, all with the consent of our citizens.”

– “And what about the mayor; So he will simply give up his position;”

– “Ha ha ha η poor Alberto…” he laughed out loud but colorlessly, Claus. “The mayor is a big fan of mine... Of course I have a horse-drawn carriage ready for him to disappear when things get tough, but who cares;”

– “Again, what has this got to do with my tavern;”, replied the tavern owner, revealing that his anxiety remains, despite the proverbial composure of his interlocutor;

– “Well, all i want from you is to go back to your tavern, to continue your good work and blame those who do not come to your tavern, that make people hungrier. Also read our newspapers. You will have my news soon…”

– “Εhhh, Yes but…”, cried Albert. “I'm a bit scared…”

– “Do not worry, all the sensible people in the club are in the right places. The publisher, the goldsmith, the judge. Ready, by oath, to help each other and uphold our truth.”

-” Okay…”, Albert replied with less doubt than before. Hesitantly he gets up from the chair, greets skeptical and leaves Claus's house, always with due care.

Some days have passed, boring and with relatively little traffic in Albert's tavern. Of course, it was still much more crowded than before, more than any other tavern in town. The defamation of other taverns, had taken place. He also convinced his customers that the reason they were constantly hungry was these "others", who were not his customers, and created the feeling of hunger throughout the entire city.

The "others", were provocatively circulating in the streets, and only with their unfortunate appearance, they were forcing Albert's customers to visit him again for a generous portion of food. Nevertheless, that was the success of the tavern owner. No extra customers were persuaded to try his prototypes dishes.

One morning, the postman of the area made his appearance at the door of the tavern, holding with difficulty a large box. The sender was unknown, only some foreign letters were on one side. Albert opened the box with impatience and curiosity. He found some metal rings inside, with heavy construction, which he had never seen before. Their upper part had a large surface, booty one, which in a small hand could catch a little of the adjacent fingers. They had a small star deeply engraved on the tip, with six peaks. There were many of them, hundreds. Inside the box was a letter. Albert quickly unfolded it and began to read:

"Friend Alberto. I am sending you these metal rings that I have been designing for a long time. Make sure whoever eats from now on in your tavern to wear them, because good customers need to stand out. Their construction is such that it does not allow them to come out again, will always be a proud jewel for their diet. Next to the star there is space to engrave a number, which will be unique for everyone. You now have quite a few hungry customers, they will not say no. Only then will they continue to enjoy your kitchen ζε Buy a newspaper every day… Show faith and trust ".

The note left him with many questions. he watched more closely at the rings. Actually, they also had space next to the star to engrave the number that Claus wrote to him. But the thing that made him roll his usually half-closed eyes, was that the ring used to be worn on the finger was not closed. It had an opening so that its diameter fluctuated and on the inside it had many small metal needles. So when it would close, it would be hooked into the skin and would not come out without leaving a mark. He was impressed…

He did not waste time, the next morning he left a trusted waitress at his feet and began carving the rings. He entered 12-digit numbers because he thought that the first digits should simply symbolize his tavern and the rest of the customers. In the following days he dealt only with this, but he still did not understand what all this meant. He did not understand how he would bring more customers, instead of discouraging them. Okay, his fanatical customers would have no problem carrying something metallic on them forever, they may be even proud of it, but the rest; The next period he started to give his rings, with relative success. He told them that they will now have a secured table in the tavern without reservations and with a discount. Everything finally became easier than he thought…

Every day the rich tavern owner also bought a newspaper to be informed about the news, as Claus had suggested. Day by day he watched wages plummet and businesses close. Only a few very large stores were left open. The pennies were constantly losing their value and the citizens were finding it increasingly difficult to manage their lives. The goldsmiths, who were from the founding members of the Claus club, they bought houses and shops for a piece of bread, since the citizens could not pay the unbearable taxes that had already been imposed by the mayor.

The situation became even more dramatic when there were serious shortages of basic necessities. Scandals were constantly erupting involving the city's politicians. The municipal councilors and attendees of the mayor were constantly changing their positions. Chaos began to prevail, that poverty made it more intense. The citizens were divided and blamed each other, with Albert's customers especially, out of control. It was also the ring, which as it was tightly tied on them, it caused them pain and extra sadness;

Albert, watching the events closely, he wondered if Claus was referring to these news, that would help him increase his clientele. This disturbance with the success of his tavern did not make sense. The interim mayor, choice of Claus, he now maintained large lists, where each citizen corresponded to a number. Only those who were written in these lists had 5 pennies at their disposal to buy the essentials for the whole month. The hours someone worked, his savings, all, after a while, was on the list. The lists with the numbers of the citizens and their data, distributed in the few large open stores.

After a while the goldsmiths no longer gave pennies with the same ease, until their circulation stopped completely. Then, to the pleasant surprise of Albert, the ring appeared in the newspapers… His own ring, that put in customers, was the only solution to the problems that had arisen. Anyone who had it could enter the shops of the city that had been left open, but also the only way to obtain basic necessities.

A smirk appeared on Albert's lips, watching like in a vision, endless queues of customers come to dine at his tavern to get the coveted ring. Finally, his smart customers, are rewarded for their choice. In fact, for someone to get in your carriage, or on a boat he had to wear it. So those who were to leave the city, and had not dined at his tavern, they left on foot and with a small bag with the necessary things…

(Το γ’ part here)

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