When you don’t have answers, you might find them in the public library. It’s not a dusty abstraction, but a living brain where minds come together to discuss politics or current events happening in the city. Gregson left the crime scene, pondering who could be behind the murders. A psychological profile was not materializing in his foggy brain because he could not understand the motive. He glanced at the landmark castle on the hill and decided to visit the library. It was old on the outside and modern on the inside. The information desk in the lobby was run by a tense librarian who had so many rules that even objects felt guilty for being out of place. Computers were setup in rows in the east wing where the unemployed looked-for jobs. Students worked on their homework in the study zone and old men discussed politics in high-backed chairs in the lounge. The tense librarian kept walking over to them to insist they be quiet.

“Gentlemen, you are too loud. Not everyone wants to hear about your politics and your love of scotch.”

“Awe… yes we’ll quiet down a bit,” they said.

Gregson smiled.

“Can I help you?” The tense librarian asked.

“I was wondering if this library has a section devoted to medieval weaponry.”

“Yes; it’s three floors above you. That wing of the library is being remodeled so you’ll have to negotiate the space with construction workers.”

“That’s not a problem,” Gregson replied. He was used to interacting with all kinds of people. The elevator was old, and he had a fear of enclosed spaces, so he opted to take the stairs.

“Boy, am I out of shape,” Gregson signed. Three flights up and he was out of breath. The books were different on the third floor; 100 years old was young and they looked untouched. There was a thick veneer of dust coating everything. These books are for library use only; Gregson read. Then why were there several gaps between the books? A thought occurred to him and he mustered up the courage to take the elevator down.

“I think someone’s stealing books!”

Scandalized, the librarian followed him back to the medieval section.

“Could somebody be reading them in the library?” Gregson asked.

“No.”

Then Gregson glanced at a construction worker walking up the tower towards the roof. He was carrying something in his tool-belt, and it wasn’t a hammer.

“Stop!” Gregson shouted and the chase was on. He walked up the scaffolding, threatening to break under his weight. “I’m too old for this!” Gregson said, but he got to the roof in decent time anyway. It was empty and then he heard screaming from below. He looked over the edge and saw the suicide splattered on the sidewalk. Gregson hurried down to the courtyard to retrieve the book, but it wasn’t there. A solitary castle was resting in the construction worker’s tool-belt where the book had been.

6 thoughts on “Chapter 3 The Castle Library

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