Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wearisome Volubility

"Is that the 1797 edition of Infantile Malloreum or the 1846" asked the man who had spent the last fifteen minutes peering into Harold's locked book cabinet. "Oh, I see it's the later one. I shan't bother with that, then, it has a engraved plate at the beginning which I find disagreeable, printed as it is the wrong way round for a Carpathian Harpy. He should have checked his sources, you see. As it was he copied it from the original but only once, thus engraving a mirror image of the original."

He peered up at Harold. "You do understand the engraving process, yes? But why would you? You're just a man in a bookshop. One can't be expected to know about these things if you work in a shop."

"We are closing..." Harold pointed to the door.

"What? Closing, eh? Well. I suppose I'll have to come back tomorrow and see if you've anything half way decent in the classics, what?"

"You were uncharacteristically patient," said Julie when Harold had locked the door and pulled the blinds down.

"He was wrong," said Harold. "It's the 1797 that has the reversed graving, since it was copied from the 1684 Malefic Malloreum." He paused, frowning. "What do you mean, ' uncharacteristically'?"

Image: Malefic [2003]

2 comments:

aims said...

And Harold should know of course!

But Harold - patient? Hmmm....not when it comes to his money I think.

Leatherdykeuk said...

He clearly wasn't going to make any!