At which point I eyed my “helper” accusingly, angered by this attempt at low humor. He looked surprised and then said “I thought you’d understand”, his face aggrieved with disappointment.

As he turned away, I shouted “Wait!”; he turned at the same time a menacing chorus of shushes surrounded us.

“Forgive my manners, librarian.”, I whispered. “It’s just that I’ve been here so long that I thought this was yet another dead end. Perhaps I’m too weary to deduce a hidden meaning to this story, which only seems to repeat itself”.

He looked at me speculatively, as if weighing my worth. I could feel the stares of other keepers of this suddenly quieter place, feeling that everyone and everything in this sacred building was waiting for a decision to be made. Then, after taking a deep breath, he said “Exactly. I suggest you keep reading the scroll; it will come to you in time.”

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