"How long have you been with the libraries?" William looks toward his walking partner as they tramp on the dusty road.
"I’ve only worked under the Librarian for six months." Tamara's face burns with embarrassment. She realizes how that must sound to some one who’s surely been around forever. On the street, she suddenly dodges around a lamp post as they move toward the Main Library.
"I would never have guessed," Way reads her blush and jerky move, and he reassures. "You know what you’re doing."
"Every time I think I know, Valoria tries to trick me." At this admission, Way’s lips quirk up in curiosity, it lasts but a second.
"Valoria often reminds us that we possess fractured minds. Which are never fully functioning." Tamara’s face displays frustration, as she confesses, "She says I must never completely trust my beliefs."
"Yes," Way nods, agreeing. "My Librarians' were always throwing conundrums at me. Riddles. Sometimes I think they are tricksters, not librarians!"
Tamara smiles, glad to be understood. And Way goes on, asking, "Why did you first send for me? Something about books?"
" A break-in, at to the main regional library. Several months ago. Books were taken. At first we just assumed it was a random crime, with an ordinary cause. Then, a week later it happened again."
At the corner, they move to the opposite side of the street. "What was taken?" Way takes her elbow as they cross.
"Books about Eastern Religions. Every single book about Hinduism, many books about Buddhism, and some about Zoroastrianism."
"Is that the connection with Rama?"
Tamara considers this, thinking about the chain of events "These break-ins brought the Guru Rama to our attention," she confirms.
"If there had not been a break-in, we might not have intensified our scrutiny of his cult."
William kneels examining the brass lock on the library's back door. Tamara points, to the scratches and gouges. And Ways studies where they’d replaced the lock after the first break-in, where they’d then been defeated a second time. He examined the newer second lock. A sudden quietness grabs at the pair, there in the alley. Tamara whirls, hand on William’s shoulder; behind her, a young girl stands, several feet away.
A child of no more than ten, loudly, calling “Man from India!" William stands. Slowly. A hand straying up to his sword’s pommel.
"Go back." the girl demands, heedless of his automatic motion. At this Tamara recognized the jerky motions, the vacant stare. As the girl recites her message, her young voice beseeches, "You must not interfere!"
William's feet glide a step toward this messenger. "Who has sent you?" From the darkened side of the alley a man appears just behind the chanting girl, bow at the ready.
Her threat delivered, the girl faces away, becoming part of the darkness without a look back at the pair. "You have been warned," comes from the the bowman, who then also retreats, with an eye on William.
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