...but on making inquiries as to <_> <the> details he seemed somewhat reticent...

Makel Leki

Senior Member
From Dracula, Chapter 1. The protagonist has stopped at a hotel on his way to Dracula's Castle and is going to continue his journey.
I found that my landlord had got a letter from the Count, directing him to secure the best place on the coach for me; but on making inquiries as to details he seemed somewhat reticent, and pretended that he could not understand my German. ... He and his wife, the old lady who had received me, looked at each other in a frightened sort of way. He mumbled out that the money had been sent in a letter, and that was all he knew.
Would it be correct to use "the details" instead of "details" here? What is the difference between the two?

When reading, I expected "the details," i.e. the details of my journey. On the other hand, the sentence doesn't say what details he asked the landlord about. Could it be that the author omitted the article because he simply didn't want to refer to any particular details, nor did he want us to guess at them?
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