Ashenden got up and walked slowly to his hotel. It was a small hotel, spotlessly clean, and his bedroom had a nice view; though on a cold wet day it would have been miserable, but in that warm and sunny weather was gay and pleasing.
There were tables in the hall and he sat on one of these and ordered a bottle of beer The landlady was curious to know why he had come to stay in that dead season and he was glad to satisfy her curiosity. He told her that be had recently recovered from an illness and had come to Lucerne to get his strength back. He was employed by the governmen and was taking the opportunity to improve his German.
He asked her if she would recommend a teacher to him. The landlady was good-humored and talkative, so that Ashenden felt pretty sure that she would repeat the information he gave her in the proper quarter. It was his turn now to ask a few questions. She talked a lot about the war, and because the hotel in that month was so full. rooms had to be found for visitors in neighboring houses, which were nearly empty .
A few people came in from outside to cat their meals but she had some resident guests. One was an old Irish couple who spent their summers in Lucerne and the other was an Englishman and his wife. She was a German and they were obliged on that account to live in a neutral country. Ashenden took care to show little curiosity about them he recognized Grantley Caypor from the description but of her own accord she told him that they spent most of the day walking about the mountains. Herr Caypor was a scientist and interested in wild flowers. His wife was a very nice woman. Ah, well, the war could not last for ever. The landlady went away and Ashenden went upstairs.