1965-08-13 - Ancient Find
Summary: Lindon meets Ambrose again, and this time the conversation is much friendlier.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
lindon ambrose 

This time, Lindon is being careful. It's another necessary excusion sans Lamont. He should be safe at the library today. There have been no incidents in months, and he's just taking a break outside for his lunch. He can afford to dine in the finest restaurants, and today he's got a peanut butter and jam sandwich with an apple, stashed in a brown paper bag.

There's a spot outside the library with a bench in the shadow of a tree. It's where he likes to dine on nice days, and so he makes his way over there. Middle of the day, no incidents in ages. There should be no cause for alarm.

A few college students wander past the bench, chitchatting with one another over the summer lectures and the accompanying homework. A mom and her two children are sitting on what counts for the lawn and the young ones are kicking a beach ball back and forth. It's the picture of quietude outside of the library and surely nothing to disrupt it by causing shade on this sunny day?

No one except for Ambrose, meandering along the main causeway approaching the library proper. Someone's let on to him that there might be a few…antiques that don't quite belong here. He scans his surroundings with apparent casual ease; it makes the gesture seem long-pracited. In his fitted black t-shirt and jeans, he looks the part of maybe another college student on the hunt for a book. He comes to a slower walk and then to a halt, eyes gone narrow towards the bench and its occupant, paper bag and all.

"…I'll be damned," he mutters, even as he looks between the building and the taller man. "And here I thought you meant the library of that absurd house." These words are spoken loud enough to precede him on his approach to Lindon.

Lindon is just about to bust open that bag of PBJ goodness when he looks up to see Ambrose. For a few moments, he blinks soulfully at the fellow, then closes the bag again and sits up a bit. "I did," he says. "There is a library in the house, but I also happen to work here." He pauses, then adds, "I'm an archivist. I work in the back."

He bites his lower lip, then says, "It's not a ridiculous house. It's just where I happen to live." He lowers his gaze self-consciously. It is a bit ridiculous.

Ambrose stops short of the bench, at least five feet away, and slips his thumbs into the loops of his jeans. No paired revolvers today, but there's definitely a knife sheath hanging within easy reach.

"It does make sense that you would live there," the brunet allows, his eyes roaming over the librarian and to the brown sack and back. "It seems the type to contain a library within. No doubt there are rows and rows upon books…" His tone goes thoughtful, almost…conniving. Ooh. Where there's shelving, there's the chance of dust-collecting artifacts left forgotten and forlorn, so far from their homes. He schools his expression back to a polite neutrality quickly enough. "Is the library hosting any visiting exhibits?"

"It's my friend's house," Lindon says. "I live with him. He's nice enough to let me have a room." Yes, a room to himself, because surely there is no funny business going on. Lindon looks up from where he sits, like a schoolboy afraid he'll get called to the front of the class.

"Exhibits? No. We just got some books donated from an estate sale, and we're authenticating some of the specimens, but they probably won't be on display for the public."

"How kind of your friend. Still…a shame, that," Ambrose replies quietly, side-eyeing the building containing myriad books. "I was hoping that the establishment would be open to the idea of hosting items of greater reknown. Mind, all books are important, I acknowledge this," he then says, shrugging to dismiss any instance of derision, " — but…you know of my interests. They are much older than those that might linger at an estate sale."

Still. The man is definitely giving the library an interested look, something shy of a leer. …he might just be considering burgling it.

"Sometimes there are private viewings," Lindon says with some misgiving. It's a compulsion to inform the man of the truth, not an invitation. "You would be surprised what can be found from an estate sale donation," he adds. "People don't know the value of what they have. Sometimes they think a book or a scroll is a cheap souvenir, and it turns out to be an authetic pieace. Just in this latest arrival—"

Lindon pauses. He's saying too much, isn't he? He's bad about that. This stranger doesn't care, surely. He clears his throat and glances down at his brown bag. "Anyway, it's an interesting job."

"I'm certain that it is." Ambrose makes no effort to hide the interested note in his tone now. "A private viewing, you say? And what about this latest arrival? I won't tell another soul, cross my heart," and he draws an x slowly across the surface of the black t-shirt slowly, smiling faintly. "I'm not one to prattle on about potentially incriminating information."

Lindon regards Ambrose solemnly. "I hope you don't," he says. "It's at my discretion, and I don't want to have to field every man on the street who wants to take a peek. These pieces have to be handled with great care to preserve them, and the fewer people gawking at them the better." Mr. Mills is quite protective of his books!

That said," he admits, "we received some scrolls in excellent condition considering how old they are. Babylon, 10th Century. Tenth! They must have been kept pristine forever before they were brought to the New World."

The brunet nods most solemnly at Lindon's quiet fervor. Indeed, he understands how important it is to protect the past…in another facet entirely. He visibly perks at the information then granted to him; a twinkle appears in his eyes that seems almost predatory.

"…probably entombed until their recovery," he opines quietly, reaching up to scratch at one line of his jaw. Stubble. He really should shave and notes this to himself. "And the library is…authenticating them before…passing them on to a museum? A private collection? Or are they to be displayed here?"

"Yes," Lindon says. "That's right you'd mentioned you worked in antiquities." Lindon's demeanor brightens. He's not talking to one of the clueless and unwashed masses. "So this might be quite interesting. Yes, probably entombed until their recovery, and the man that had these kept them in a temperature and humidity controlled room. We couldn't get any luckier."

Lindon sighs quietly. "We're authenticating them, and I'm translating what I can before they end up being passed on to a museum. We care for plenty of old and delicate pieces, but this walks the line between literature and artifact. I know the Met is watching our work quite closely."

Ambrose allows himself a little pleased smile. Works in antiquities, indeed. No better way to obfuscate the truth than with similar wording.

"So it appears that the Met is intending to take possession of them once your good work is done. Hmm." The brunet gives the library another conspiratorial glance — oh yes, they'll get to know one another soon enough, have no fear. "Has your translation brought up anything of interest? Or is it another long groceries list handed off to one of the slaves from the house-master?"

Lindon hangs his head as he concedes this debate. "It's not really my choice," he says. "They give me the work, I do it, they take it when it's done." He offers Ambrose an apologetic smile. "I just work with what's in front of me." He silently mourns his lack of sway when it comes to the big decisions, but then he perks up when the translations are mentioned. "It actually seems to be instructions to a builder concerning the construction of a mosque. Pretty exciting stuff."

The specifics of the building in question are enough to authenticate this scroll in the mind of the Jackal, at least.

"That is exciting," he agrees. "It is a shame, however, that they remove it from general view of the public. Would it be…improper of me to ask for a viewing of this scroll? I don't intend to infringe upon your time and I understand if it is not allowed so early in the recovery process." Ambrose sounds so very considerate of the Archive's efforts.

"See, Babylon was already well in decline," Lindon explains. "The bricks were being used to build Baghdad and Basra. This piece might be a specific order for the tearing down of one building to be used for another somewhere else." His explanation tapers off. "I'm sure the Met will publicly display it," he says with the smallest frown. Those people at the Met! Touching his scroll.

Clearing his throat, Lindon says, "Anyway, as I've said, I can use discretion, and normally I would in the case of an expert, but please don't let it get out to the general population. One of the best parts of my job is how seldom I have to work with other people."

Basra. Ambrose almost quivers in place to hear the name of his childhood home spoken again; his control over the Bane slips briefly and it makes a snatch at a nearby butterfly inspecting his boots. The insect plummets to the grass in a tumble of white wings. The man reels in the curse again without blinking twice and pastes a moderately truthful smile on his face.

"I can promise you my utmost discretion in the matter if allowed to see this artifact. No one else will be aware of my having seen it." …maybe even literally, if he gets hands on the library's security guards — or what counts for security. "Believe me, I understand all too well the boon of working alone. The lack of interference is taken for granted by so many." Look at him smile more charmingly yet. And not too many days back, he was calling Lindon a 'storkish soothesayer' and skulking off in relative shock. How an opportunity at an antique changes things.

Lindon's gaze is drawn to the fluttering, and his brow furrows. He doesn't give it much thought, though, which is a pity, because imagine where that thoughtstream would lead? No, he's too distracted by his find. Poor Lamont. It's all Lindon has been able to talk about. He looks back up at Ambrose and smiles faintly. Ambrose wasn't very nice before. He's being nice now. Socially awkward Lindon isn't sure what to do with that inormation.

"I would have to sign you in," he says, "but that's no problem. Of course you'll have to wear gloves and a mask, we don't even want anyone's breath on it, you understand. The paper is quite brittle."

"Of course, gloves and a mask. I understand completely. The artifact must be preserved in completion, not touched by breath or fingerprints. It might injure it and that would be a bloody shame," Ambrose emphasizes gently. "I'll come prepared to appreciate it with care." And appreciate it all of the way out of the building to boot! He tones down the charm level by one notch after noting the lack of equivalent response from the librarian.

"I'm unprepared today and you are on lunch," he nods at the paper bag. "Shall we set a time and day for this showing? And, again, upon my heart, I won't tell a soul."

Lindon nods to Ambrose, those dark eyes so soulful. Yes! Yes, Ambrose understands. The scroll must be preserved and no harm must come to it. Gosh, Ambrose is looking rosy in Lindon's eyes. The man has saved him from being robbed, and here he is so understanding of the rules and regulations. So few people have respect for the rules and regulations! But Ambrose does.

"Oh! Yes, of course." He sets his brown bag aside and pats down his jacket for the inside pocket, from which he draws a business card. It has his name on it, where he works, the title of archivist, and a number. "Here, in case you need to reach me. We can set up a time next week if you like."

The other man watches Lindon's motions carefully despite his smile, his attention hawk-like. Patting down a coat sometimes brings out other things than business cards. He takes the offered card most carefully, as not to touch Lindon in the least, and looks over it with lifted brows.

"Wonderful. If you'll pardon my excitement, sooner would be better. I would hate to miss seeing it before the Met gets their hands upon it." Security appears so much more difficult to circumvent there. All the fancy alarm systems! Besides…Ambrose has to get his hands on it.

Goodness, this man probably wouldn't know what to do with a weapon even if he had one. Sometimes people really are just nice and harmless. Lindon tells Ambrose, "Of course, and it's easier for me for you to come while I've got it out anyway, doing the translation, and I'll be doing that all next week."

Poor Lindon. Of course he'll follow standard security protocol. Ambrose will have to sign in. "There's still time before the Met comes calling. I get to finish my translation uninterrupted."

"Next week then." There's a hint of disappointment in Ambrose's expression, but it disappears as quickly as a wisp of cloud in midday sun. The business card disappears as well into one of his back pockets and when he looks back at Lindon again, he's sporting a warm and friendly smile. It's not the megawatt charm he tried earlier, but far more subdued and yet no less of a front. "I'll be certain to call in a few days to see when you're available. My work schedule is unpredictable, but this is an opportunity I can't pass by."

Lindon gives Ambrose a pained look. "I'd make it earlier if I could, but they've got me authenticating a Colonial era Bible over the next few days. There's a donation riding on it, so you know they want that expidited. But next week, bright and early, I'll be working on it again."

Subtler charm is more within Lindon's comfort zone. He answers it with a warm smile. "I look forward to hearing from you. How serendipitous, you saving my life, and now me seeing you here. It really is the least I can do."

"I understand," Ambrose says almost soothingly. "I'm honored that you're giving me this opportunity. Please…you owe me nothing." He gives the building one last glance before he begins to move to walk away. "Expect my call then, Mister Mills. I'm looking forwards to our next meeting."

His smile only turns cool and crafty once he's completely turned about. Time to set well-laid plans…because that tall and skinny book-mouse isn't going to know what hit him.

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