Mr Brown got to a hotel late in the evening after a long journey. He asked the hall-porter whether there were any vacant rooms in the hotel. At that moment another traveller came to the hotel and asked the hall-porter for a room, too, The only vacant room was a double room, that is, a room with two beds in it.
“Do you mind if you spend the night in that room together?” the hall-porter asked. “It’ll be less expensive for you, you’ll each pay half”.
At first the travellers didn’t like the idea, but just then it began raining hard, and they were too tired to go to another hotel, so they changed their minds. They spoke to each other and then told the porter that they agreed to spend the night in the same room. Their things were carried in, and soon the two men went to sleep to the accompaniment of the rain. Suddenly Mr Brown was woken up by a loud noise. It was quite dark.
“What’s the matter?” Mr Brown asked
in surprise. “Is anything the matter?”
In a weak voice the second traveller answered, “I’m sorry, but I had to wake you up. I’ve got asthma. I feel very bad. In addition I’ve got a terrible headache. If you don’t want me to die, open the window quickly”.
Mr Brown jumped out of bed and began looking for his matches, but he couldn’t find them in the dark, and the sick man went on moaning, “Air, air… I want fresh air. I’m dying.”
Mr Brown still couldn’t find the matches, so he tried to find the window. It took him some time, and at last he thought he had found it. But he was unable to open it. As the voice of the traveller grew weaker and weaker, Mr Brown in horror took a chair and broke the window with it. The sick man immediately stopped moaning and said that he was very grateful and felt much better. Then the two of them slept peacefully until morning.
When they woke up next morning, they were surprised to see that the only window in the room was still closed, but the large looking-glass was broken to pieces.