I burst through the main door almost taking out RR (who had just returned from a trip by train) and offered to carry his newspaper upstairs for him. While he took the lift, I charged up the the wide sweeping staircase to the first floor – and won the race. I left his papers on the polished mahogany table for him to collect.
Then I continued into the packed reading room of the public library. I was lucky that the barriers had been left open and that I was able to wander in without showing my ID. There I greeted the Edinburgh University linguistics lecturer who I pass on my walk to work each day, then hunted for the notes inside a book that had been put aside for me by the library staff many months earlier.
Everything was intact exactly as I left it on my last visit. I wondered if I had deprived anyone else of access to this text during my long absence.