Friday, April 6, 2012

New chapters added every day, however

   American author Lincoln Steffens was born on this day in 1866.

   "Power is what men seek," Steffens wrote, "and any group that gets it will abuse it. It is the same old story."

   He and Bookwitch had got off on a wrong foot to begin with. When the new library had opened Sully, as was his custom, had sucked on breath mints for most of the day. Bookwitch, his new boss, had reprimanded him.
   “We’re not to have candy in the library, Mr. Sullendorf,” she’d said.
   “They’re not candy, Miss Boswick,” he’d told her. “They’re breath mints. They’re for the customers’ benefit.”
   “Not customers. Patrons.”
   “Patrons, then.”
   “It’s against library rules to eat while on duty.”
   “It’s not really eating. And I’ve never had any complaints.”
   “I’m sorry. You’ll have to confine your eat—your whatever you call it—to the break room.
   For a couple of weeks after that, Sully, whenever Bookwitch was in his vicinity, had pretended to be rolling a breath mint around in his mouth. When Bookwitch had called him on the carpet he’d given her an innocent look, had opened his mouth to show her there was nothing in there.
   “Then why are you moving your jaws like that?”
   “My jaws?”
   “You’re moving your jaws.”
   “Is there a rule against moving my jaws?”
   After a while she’d let him alone about it, and he’d gone back to sucking on mints. But Bookwitch had been on his ass since then in a thousand ways...

-- The Misforgotten, Chapter 2

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