Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Mystery

Wherefore Art Thou, Emajean?
A Friends of the Library Mystery
Part 1

She didn't mean to disappear. But it was never her intention in life to stand out from the crowd - to draw any attention to herself in any way either. So in disappearing, she became noticeable. Had she been around, this whole matter would never have ripened into a quest. But sometimes events spin beyond our control and we simply hang on for the ride.

Somewhere in between the Introduction and the Index of Persons Contained Therein, she had vanished.Well, her name was still there, but the page to which it referred had been ripped out -- severed from the book, along with any clues as to who she might have been or where she might be found.

The book passed through many hands over the years. No one ever examined it closely. No one mused upon the missing page trying to connect it with the woman they knew. One by one the people of that generation vanished, lost to time and war and life and death. Members of the family kept the volume, first for sentimental reminders of an earlier age. For subsequent generations it became an "heirloom."  Some advocated holding on to it for financial gain. But one day, even that value had faded in the face of how dirty and old it had become. When the time came to move to a smaller place, the old tome ended up in the "donation" pile.

Although the local library's donation standards would normally have precluded accepting this book, sharp eyes noticed that underneath the grime and water damage there was a gem of a mystery to be unraveled. Plucked from the pile destined for the County recycling program, the book moved to a new shelf in life. This shelf was marked "research later."

After another while had gone by, a researcher opened the book and discovered a loose photo.

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