The Restaurant That Has Many Orders
(ちゅうもん の おおい りょうり てん)
One day in winter, two young men in modern British-soldier-like uniforms were wandering about a deep mountain: the rifles on their shoulders were shiny; the two dogs following with them were as big as polar bears.
"It's strange we've seen neither birds nor animals around here in the mountain.
What I want to do is to shoot and get any game.
I'm really eager to do it," one said.
"I'd like to aim at a deer. The victim might turn around and then fall with a thud," the other said.
Soon they noticed that their guide, who was a real hunter, had gone.
They'd gotten lost in the deep mountain.
More over, their dogs---polar-bear-like dogs---seemed to get dizzy: they growled, foamed at the mouth and then died.
"It's a heavy loss for me," one complained, examining his dead dog's eyelids.
"For me, too," the other said, looking down at his lying dog.
The first man looked a bit pale, and said,
"It's eerie out here. I think I'd better go back."
"Yeah, I'm getting cold and hungry. Let's head back," the other man said.
The wind started blowing hard.
The grass and the trees were humming and rustling here and there in the mountain.
"I'm getting hungry. I don't want to walk any more."
"Me, either. What I need is something hot to eat."
Then they looked back and noticed that there stood a big western style building not too far from them.
They found a signboard on the building:
WILDCAT HOUSE 】
"It's an ideal timing. Why not enter?"
"But a little strange, isn't it? A restaurant deep in the mountains!
I wonder if they will serve us something to eat here in this restaurant."
"Why not? The signboard says 'Restaurant'"
"Anyway, let's enter the building. I'm hungry enough to fall down."
They stood at the front door and saw a notice on it:
Anyone will be welcome. Feel free to come in.
They were so pleased to see it.
"Thank goodness! After the hard time we had been wandering around, we were able to find a restaurant that would give us a good meal for free."
"You are right. 'Feel free' must be 'For free'"
They opened the door. On its back, there was another message:
The fat and the young will receive a warm welcome.
"We two are welcome guests."
"Yeah, we both are fat and young." They were much more pleased.
They walked along the corridor a little and stopped at a door painted blue.
"Don't you feel strange? Why do they need door after door in this restaurant?"
"This must be a Russian style. I heard that in that country, these kinds of houses are found in cold places or in high mountains."
When they were about to open the blue door, they saw another notice on it.
Please understand this is a restaurant that has many orders.
"This style of restaurant must be popular in the mountains."
"It's true. A restaurant which serves a delicious dinner is not always in the center of the city."
Saying so, they opened the door.
Then again they found a notice on its back:
Be patient, as we have many orders.
"What on earth does it mean?" one frowned.
"It means that this restaurant has so many orders that they need much time to cook meals."
"Maybe it's true. Anyway, I want to enter the room where they serve us meals."
"I want to sit at a table as soon as possible."
But again another door was waiting for them. They saw a mirror hanging on it.
Under the mirror was a brush with a long handle. The notice on the door read:
Ladies and gentlemen, please brush your hair nicely and wipe the mud off your shoes.
"It's natural for customers to be neat and tidy."
"Good manners must be needed at this restaurant. Upper class people must be there."
They brushed their hair and cleaned their shoes.
As soon as the brush was put on the floor, it blurred and disappeared.
A blast of wind roared into the room.
They were so frightened that they got close to each other, opened the door, and rushed into the room where they expected to eat.
But there weren't any tables or chairs. Again they found another door with a notice that said;
Put your rifles and bullets here on the table
"It's surely impolite to sit at a dinner table with rifles."
"Well, a great man must be there."
Next, there was a black door. Its notice said:
Take off your hats and shoes.
"I wonder why we should take them off."
"It can't be helped. Let's take them off. It is certain that there is the great man in the room."
They hung their hats and took off their shoes to enter the room.
At the back of the black door, another notice stated:
Put glasses, wallets, valuables, etc. into the safe.
Indeed there was a big and black safe, which was already open and had a key hung near the notice on the door.
"Certainly such items have nothing to do with a dinner table."
"Maybe we'll pay our bill here when we leave."
They took off their glasses and put everything valuable into the safe and locked it.
They walked and encountered one more door:
Apply the cream in the jar to your faces, arms and legs.
There was a glass jar in front of the door.
"What does it mean by applying cream?"
"It was very cold outside.
Maybe it prevents against getting chaps in the warm room.
There must be noblemen there.
We may get acquainted with them."
They applied the cream in the jar to their faces, arms and legs.
They hurriedly opened the door.
Again there was a notice on the back of the door:
Don't forget to apply the cream to your ears.
"Oh, I forgot to do it. The master here pays attention to details."
"Anyway, I'm so hungry. When can we get to the dining room?"
They kept walking, and soon found another door's notice:
Dinner will be ready in fifteen minutes. Put perfume on your hair.
They took a little golden perfume bottle which was in front of the door, and put perfume on their hair.
But it smelled like vinegar.
"Why does this perfume smell like vinegar?"
"Perhaps they mistook a perfume bottle for a bottle of vinegar."
They opened the door and found another notice on its back.
It's too bad we have many orders.
This is the last order. Rub salt from the pot on all over your bodies
They found a pot filled with salt.
They looked at each other dubiously,
"It sounds strange."
"They gave us many orders."
"In my opinion, they don't intend to serve us dinner but they want to eat someone trapped by them. It means that we'll...be...eaten..."
They couldn't say any more and began trembling.
"We'd better run...away... "
They tried to open the door in vain, which they had opened a minute before.
The end of the corridor, they saw the last door and a notice:
You did very well. Don't hesitate to enter the room
Two big holes were on the last door, from which two blue eyes were staring at them.
"Oh!" one cried, trembling.
"Ah!" the other also cried, trembling all over with terror,
They heard someone whispering to other at the back of the door,
"They didn't rub the salt on their bodies."
"The boss's notice wasn't good enough.
He shouldn't have written "It's too bad we have many orders'."
"The boss won't share food with us: he won't give us any, not even bones."
"But if the two men don't come in, the boss will surely scold us claiming it's our fault."
"Let's call them. Hey, gentlemen! Come in quickly. We are ready to serve the dishes. All we have to do is to mix you with salted leaves and mayonnaise. Please come in quickly!"
The two men kept crying, shuddering from terror.
"Come on in! Don't cry so much.
The cream on your faces will flow down.
Our boss is waiting for you with a knife in his hand, licking his lips."
They were at a loss at what to do in this desperate situation.
Just when the door was broken and two big dogs jumped into the room.
"Bow wow!" The dogs also jumped at the last door. The room suddenly darkened.
There were terrible sounds on the other side of the door.
They heard an animal caterwauling and a scream as if someone were on the verge of death.
At that moment, the room disappeared like smoke and they found themselves standing in the field with two polar-bare-like dogs.
"Are you all right, gentlemen?"
Seeing their guide hunter approaching them, the two gave a deep sigh of relief.
Arranged from Kenji Miyazawa's story .