*The time is running like the wind, without any sign of exhaustion. Like it wouldn´t let us enjoy these last few days off we still have, but want to throw us right into that hectic life of university students. Just three days left – today and the weekend – and then boldly go towards a new fate. Moreover, this day will be in the spirit of preparations for the study. We´re going to visit new university library, try to book some books and ask which ones would be later useful for us. Also Alice should be back from the hospital in the afternoon. Jack will pick her up. I think he fancies her.... I´d finally like to know what does she look like.
I´ll turn the page now – last night I spent almost one hour watching out of the window like an idiot and waiting, if there´ll be that moving light at the graveyard again. But nothing happened. I hope I didn´t go crazy...it wouldn´t surprised me at all, but I really wouldn´t expect it SUCH early. The school and things like that didn´t start yet. There´s nothing I could be stressed out of. So, I think it wasn´t my imagination. It just doesn´t happen every night. Yeah, that´s it! It just happens irregularly or it was some extraordinary situation. And maybe I just deal with it too much...I don´t know. But I can´t help it. There is something wrong with it! Oh...others are leaving, I have to end now. Laters. Bye and kiss, your Kate.*
Kate went with others to the library. They entered a vestibule and approached to a desk of woman librarian. She was older woman of friendly look.
“Greetings, may I help you?” she asked politely.
“Good morning...we would like to ask, if it is possible to book some books and also if you could give us advice, which textbooks could we need,” Molly took charge of it.
“Of course you can book them. Well...in the case they are still available. And it will be my pleasure to advise you with the rest of it. Are you already registered?”
“No, not yet.”
“So tell me your names and books you´d like to reserve and we´ll see if they are still available.”
After they registered themselves, the woman librarian began to search a database of books. She exclaimed after a while: “You´re lucky! We have still all the books you want, for example that History of art is the last one left. Just tell me when you want to book them and our system will do the rest.”
“Excellent! And could you show me that book of History of art?”
“Of course, follow me.”
They went through the library to a section of books for the Faculty of Art. The librarian was examining the shelf for a while, then she got a bit nervous.
“That´s strange. It should be right here, nevertheless...wait...one, two... Oh come on!”
“What´s wrong?” Will asked her.
“I wanted to show you a book The Architecture you also wanted at least. There should be four, but there are just two of them! I´m afraid there is an error in the system or they are stolen.”
“We´ll help you to solve it, if you want,” Grace offered.
“That would be very nice of you. But how do you want to do it?”
Naturally, Grace had already an idea: “We´ll divide a list of books and compare an amount, which is in the database with an amount, which is on the shelves. I hope I´ll get an idea according to which books will be missing.”
They divided the list and started comparing. Other students who came into the library just stared at them. Although it was exhausting and took them many hours, they finished it and compared their findings.
“So, in total it is missing almost a hundred books!”
“That´s impossible! How could I don´t know about that? According to our system everything should be all right...I don´t understand it,” told confused librarian.
“All kinds of books are missing. Textbooks, fiction, even various manuals. I have no idea why would anyone do that. And how would he do that?”
Meanwhile Jack had to go to pick up Alice and he said he´s sorry he can´t help more. They decided to take a rest and go for a lunch, maybe they´ll get some idea. The librarian got back to her desk and kept wagging her head.
“It can´t be like this. There must be some connection. So many books can´t just disappear. And if everyone would do it, the system of borrowing books would notice it, right? No...I really don´t understand it!” Grace said angrily.
“If I had to look after a library like this one alone, I´d got mad of it. So many people going there every day and all...I wouldn´t be surprised, if some book would be missing,” Will said.
“And that´s why they have their electronic system of borrowing books. To prevent of stealing them,” Kate blurted out.
“Wait! Show me the list of missing books,” Grace said.
She skimmed through the list.
“We have to go back to the library. I need to confirm just one more thing...”
They paid and moved quickly to the library. There, Grace went straight to the librarian.
“Is anyone helping you here?” Grace blurted.
Confused librarian just stammered: “W-w-what?”
“I ask you if you work here alone or anyone helps you here.”
“One temporary worker helps me - Lucy Praiss.”
“She studies the Faculty of Art, doesn´t she?”
“Yes, already for three years. Do you know her?”
“No, but I have a suspicion that it is she who is stealing the books. Is she anywhere here?”
“Yes, she is in the back. She´s just putting the returned books back to the shelves. But I don´t believe she did it. Lucy is good and righteous girl. She wouldn´t do such thing to me. Why do you think she did it?”
“The person, who did it, had to know your system to be able to get through it. Lucy knows it very well and she has easy access to all the books, plus there is missing at least one of every book and textbook you need at Faculty of Art.”
They came to the back part of library to Lucy. When she saw them all around her, she got as white as a bone. She denied for a while, she claimed she didn´t know about that at first, but then she looked at the librarian´s face and started to cry. She confessed. She confessed she took all the missing books.
“But how did she do that?” Molly asked.
“I think she was waiting until some student returned a book she wanted. She registered it as returned one, put it among the other returned books waiting for taking away and when she went to put them back to the shelves, she went through a place which isn´t monitored by cameras. She can see the screens so she possibly knows where in the library such place is. I suppose she has her bag there and when she was walking through that place, she took the book out of a stack she was carrying and put that book into her bag. The other books she put to the shelves, so everything seemed to be normal. Am I right?” Grace finished her hypothesis.
Lucy nodded her head. A sorrow appeared in the librarian´s face.
“Poor girl, why did you do that?”
“At first I secretly borrowed some books and then just got them back. I couldn´t afford register myself to borrow them. Then my parents divorced and my father wasn´t able to pay my study anymore. I needed money to stay here and continue with my study. So I took that books and I was selling them secretly on the internet. I´m really so sorry. I didn´t want to harm you.”
“I would you borrow them for free. You should tell me about that.”
“It´s hard to talk about such things, you know?” Lucy sobbed, her cheeks were coloured by smudged mascara.
“Do you still have any of those books?”
Lucy lifted her head, eyes widely opened by a surprise.
“Yes, maybe a half of them...” she said unsurely.
“If you bring me back those you didn´t sell yet, I´ll forgive you and I´ll forget anything of this had ever happened. And we will discuss a compensation for the sold books later. You still have to study for one more year. I´ll give you your wage as usually and then, when you´ll finish your studies, you would work off the damage you caused.”
“You would do it for me? After all what I did? I don´t deserve it...I feel terrible that I betrayed your trust.”
“Lucy, I know you are a good girl. You just did a stupid mistake. But you are sorry for that and you can redress it, if you want of course. Just promise me you´ll never do it again. It´ll be our little library secret, ok?”
Lucy from all that happiness hugged librarian. She even couldn´t believe someone can be so kind. Others were leaving the library with gratifying feeling in their hearts.
“Thank you kids. How can I repay you?”
“Don´t mention it. It was our pleasure,” Kate said.
Maybe they did a good deed, but the librarian did so much more – she forgave Lucy´s mistake.
Jack and Alice were already waiting at the hall of residence. They could finally do the right hearty welcome. They were talking about what was happened during last few days and they agreed on they are curious, what is still waiting for them. It seems they´ll be a marvellous friends.