The Name


‘Grandpa, looks like we have to shut the hotel down,’ Noel closed the ledger. ‘We can’t bear losses anymore.’

Ninety-three-year-old Ethan D’Mello smiled ruefully, ‘This hotel was a tribute to my British employer, Noel. I named it after him – Henry Berrisford.’

‘Surely a great man, wasn’t he?’

‘Oh yes! A proper gent. He contributed immensely to the Christian community here.’


‘Indeed! He made us all, the natives, convert under the barrel of his Winchester rifle. The ones who refused acquainted themselves with the bullets.’

‘But! The name?’

‘I killed him one stormy night and named the place so that I never forget.’

Written for the weekly Friday Fictioneers hosted by the lovely Rochelle Wisoff – Fields. Image courtesy J.S. Brand. This piece of fiction is based on the forced conversions to Christianity by the British, French and the Portuguese when they ruled different parts of India. This is not meant to hurt anyone’s feelings or sentiments and I apologize in advance if it did. Please read other entries to this week’s challenge here


33 thoughts on “The Name

  1. ouch the murder part was unexpected – ha – and added extras
    and for some reason – the first few lines felt like Rod Serling talking:

    Ninety-three-year-old Ethan D’Mello smiled ruefully,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. No apology needed, Varad. It’s easy to feel ashamed of Britain’s imperial past, when so many terrible crimes were committed on local people. I live in Bristol in the UK, an old maritime city built on the slave trade. We have to remember the past, acknowledge it and hope lessons can be learned. A great story

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are many such tales from all over the world. Somehow, man seeks to assert his dominance over others using different devices, religion being primary among them. These stories keep repeating over time, but still we don’t seem to have learnt too much from them. Thanks for the comment, Lynn.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. History is history, and we don’t have to like or approve of it. These so-called “conversions” were shameful, and they put a black eye on hundreds of true missionaries who spent their lives in service to people without ever harming any of them.


  4. Dear Varad,

    This puts me in mind of the ‘conversions’ to Christianity during the Inquisition and in Eastern Europe. The Jews were “Baptized” but only allowed to come up if they denounced Judaism. I’ll never understand such tactics from any religion.
    Good story.




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