“How long has it been gone?”

Cecelia consulted her computer. “It was scanned on the twelfth. East desk, and just before closing according to the system.”

“Who would be there on Saturday night?”

“Gertrude, I think,” said Cecelia. “I can check the schedule if you’d like.”

“No, no,” Quinn rubbed his temples. “It makes sense. She’s the most junior person the library’s got, so she gets the graveyard shift on the weekend. Low stress, get your feet wet, and all that. At least that’s what they told me when I used to work it.”

“If you want to talk to her about it-”

“No,” Quinn said. “You’d have already done that, at least if you’re half as professional as I’ve come to believe.”

Cecelia flushed a little. “Well, yes. She said that it was an average-looking man with a valid library card, and nothing seemed odd.”

“Not even the fact that it was called ‘On Symbologie’ with fancy letters and fancier spelling? Not even the fact that the book was stamped “do not circulate, do not remove from building?”

“She checked the inside cover, and said there were no stamps, and the edge was gilded; it wouldn’t hold ink.”

“I suppose he could have pasted in a fake page to cover the stamp,” Quinn mused. “Easy enough, I guess; we don’t exactly search people for glue sticks.”

“What makes you think that? That he’d use a fake page?”

“It just seems to fit in with the modus operandi. Fake library card; fake barcode, fake page. If you were determined enough, you could pull a barcode off another book or the desk when no one was looking, and stick it in. Library cards can be stolen.”

“This name, though,” Cecelia gestured at the card. “It’s not in our system. Instead of using someone else’s card, this guy made his own, and not with the sort of name I’d use if I wanted to remain inconspicuous.”

“Pierre Richat,” Quinn read. “Sounds Cajun. Should make tracking him down easy enough.”

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