Fiddler's Riddle

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The sort of pub where Death might go if he felt a tad depressed, just for the atmosphere.

Not a jolly place, with an even more lugubrious and egregiously mean-spirited Mine Host. This is even before we consider his wife, possibly the reason for his being lugubrious and mean-spirited. They attempted to abduct Eskarina Smith when she went astray in Ohulan Cutash, when she innocently went in to ask for a glass of milk.

When she turned a keg of beer first into fresh milk and then into triple distilled mountain peach brandy, the landlord saw dollar signs floating in front of his eyes and they were unwise enough to attempt to assert a monopoly on the source of the bounty (Esk). Doubly unwise, as Granny Weatherwax was out there looking for her too. However, they were spared Granny's wrath when Esk escaped, but discovered the brandy had turned into something nasty by morning...

A generation later, the pub is apparently under new management by the time the railway reaches Ohulan Cutash. The current publican is a Mr Skiller, who is also the town's mayor. Moist von Lipwig considers it "a very good tavern".

Interestingly enough, a Mr and mrs Skiller, described as a childless couple, were the management of the Fiddler's Riddle who at the time of Equal Rites tried to abduct and exploit Esk.

Speculation on the inconsistency:

  • i) The leopard spontaneously changed its shorts, and on discovering what fairy gold turns into in the morning, they decided of their own free will to become better people;
  • ii) more likely, and an aside undescribed in Equal Rites, Granny Weatherwax was hot on the trail of the absconded Esk. Granny tracked her as far as the Riddle, and, possibly backed up by Hilta Goatfounder, extracted the story and the Skillers' motivations. She then gave them a little talking-to, with Hilta grimly backing her up and promising, as local Witch, to pop by every now and again to act as social worker and probation officer. People do change for the better once a Discworld witch takes an abiding personal interest in their circumstances...
  • iii) Management has passed to a relative of the same name who genuinely has transformed the place. After all, the Duchess got even better at the end of Monstrous Regiment, when Polly's brother took over, backed by some of the girls from the Last Detail.