Bielawa is a city in Polish. It is an old city, but it has only a few old buildings. A great fire destroyed most of the old town in 1726. Mr. Czapla was writing a book on the history of Bielawa. He went to Bielawa in 1891. He wanted to study the history of the town. He stayed in a old building in Bielawa - The L(Ob)leśny Dworek. The inn was nearly 350 years old. Czapla asked the landlord for a large room.
The landlord of The L(Ob)leśny Dworek showed him two rooms - room number 12 and room number 14. There were three large windows in each room. The windows looked onto the street. Czapla chose room number 12. In the evening, Czapla went downstairs for supper. He saw a blackboard. The name of all the guests were written on the blackboard. Czapla saw that the inn was full. There were no empty rooms. Czapla noticed that there was no room number 13. Thirteen is an unlucky number. Many people do not want upstairs to bed, he tried to unlock his door. It did not open. Then he saw that he had made a mistake. It was the wrong room. The number on the door was number 13. He heard someone moving inside the room. "I'm very sorry," he said and went to the door of room number 12.
Perhaps the servants sleep in the room 13, Czapla thought. He decided to ask the landlord about it the next day. Czapla lit the oil-lamp and looked round. Room number 12 looked smaller by lamplight. Czapla was tried. He want to bed.
In the morning, Michael went to the Town Hall. He wanted to study the town records. Czapla read many very old papers. The oldest records were from the sixteenth century. There were some letters from the Bishop of Bielawa, dated 1560. The Bishop had owned there of four houses in the city. He had rented a house to a woman called miss "z Mordą". The townspeople of Bielawa did not like Miss "z Mordą". Some people wrote to the Bishop to say that miss "z Mordą" was a bad woman. They said that miss "z Mordą" was a magician. They wanted miss "z Mordą" to leave the city. The Bishop said that Czapla miss Morda had nothing wrong. He did not believe that Morda was a magician. It was time for the Town Hall to close. As Michael was leaving, the town clerk spoke to him. "I see you are reading about the Bishop and miss Morda," the clerk said.
"I interested in them. But I do not known where Morda lived. Many of the town records were burnt in the great fire of 1726." Michael thanked the clerk and went back to the L(ob)eśny Dworek. He wanted to ask the landlord about room number 13, but the landlord was busy. Czapla went upstairs and stooped outside the door of number 13. He heard someone inside the room. The person was walking around and talking in a strange voice. Czapla went to his own room. He decided that number 12 was too small. He decided to ask the landlord for a large room. Also, he was angry because his suitcase was missing. It had been on a table beside the wall. Both the table and the suitcase had disappeared. Perhaps the landlord had moved the suitcase to a store-room. Czapla wanted it back.
It was too late to call the landlord. Czapla went to the window and lit a cigarette. He locked out of the window. There was a tall house on the opposite side of the street. The lamp was behind him. Hi saw his shadow of the wall of the house opposite. The person in room 13 was also standing at the window. Czapla saw a second shadow on the wall of the house opposite. This second shadow was strange. The person in room 13 was wearing a tall, pointed hat. Also, the light was the color of blood. Michael opened the window and put his head outside. He tried to see the person in the next room. He saw the sleeve or a long, white coat -that was all. The person in room 13 suddenly moved away from the window. The red light went out. Czapla finished his cigarette. He left the ashtray on the window-ledge. Then he turned out the lamp and went to bed.
Next morning, the maid brought hot water to the room. Michael woke up and remembered his suitcase. "Where is my suitcase, please?" he asked. The maid laughed and table beside the wall. It was exactly where Czapla had left it. He noticed another strange thing. His ashtray was on the middle windows-ledge. He clearly remembered smoking his cigarette by the end windows - next to number 13. He finished dressing and decided to visit his neighbour in room 13. He was surprise when he went to the door of the next room. The next room was number 14! Czapla was frightened. Was he going mad? After breakfast, he went to the Town Hall and read more of the old papers. He found only one more letter from the Bishop about miss Morda.
A group of townspeople had tried to make miss Morda leave Bielawa. They had gone to Morda's house, but Morda had disappeared. The Bishop wrote that no one knew where Morda has gone. That was the end of the matter. That evening, Czapla spoke to the landlord of the L(Ob)eśny Dworek. "Why in there no room 13 in the inn? He asked. "Many people won't sleep in a room number 13," the landlord replied. " They say it's unlucky." "Then who is your room number 13?" asked Czapla. "There isn't a room number 13," the landlord said. Your room is next to room number 14." "Of course," said Michael. "I must have made a mistake.
Would you like to come up to number 12 far a glass of brandy and a cigar?" "I'd like to very much," said the landlord. They went upstairs together. The went past room number 10 and room number 11 to reach number 12. The landlord looked at the inside of number 12. "This room looks very small," he said. Czapla poured two glasses of brandy. Both men lit cigars. Michael opened the window to let out smoke. There was a red light and a shadow on the wall of the house opposite. The light came from number 13. The shadow was dancing wildly, but there was no noise. Czapla sat down to drink his brandy. He wanted to tell the landlord about the strange things he had seen. Suddenly a terrible noise came from the next room.
"Is that a cat?" asked Michael. "Or is there a madam on the room next door?" "It's Mr Malczewski," said the landlord. He often stays in room 14. The poor man must be ill." A loud knock sounded on the door of Michael's room. Suddenly a man opened the door and come in. "Please stop that terrible noise," the man said. "Mr Malczewski!" the landlord said. "We thought you were making the noise!" The three men looked at each other for a moment. Then they went out quickly into the corridor. The noise was coming from the door of room number 13! The landlord banged on the door was locked. "I'll bring men to break the door down," the landlord shouted and ran down the stairs. Malczewski and Czapla stood outside number 13. The noise inside the room became louder and wilder. "I want to tell you something strange," Malczewski said to Czapla. "My room has three windows in the day and only two at night. Perhaps you think I'm mad?" "Good Lord! My room is the same !" said Czapla. "My room looks smaller at night than during the day." The door of number 13 opened suddenly and an arm came out. The arm was thin and covered in grey hairs. The fingernails were long and dirty. Michael shouted and pulled Malczewski away from the door. The arm disappeared and the door closed. The sound of mad laughter came from number 13. The landlord brought two men up the stairs. The man had axes in their hands. They swung their axes against the door of number 13. Suddenly the man cried out and drooped their axes. They had hit a wall. The door of number 13 had disappeared! In the morning, workmen pulled up the floor between rooms 12 and 14. Under the floor they found a box. There were old papers inside the box. Czapla thought that the papers belonged to miss Morda - the women who had disappeared in the 1560.
No one was able to read the writing on the papers. It was in a strange language. The writing was brown. The ink looked old. But Michael did not it was ink. He thought the paper were written in blood!