Philon the curator, such a lazy man as ever lived on the Isle of Saru, was asleep. He was always asleep, but his sleep was to acquire more than a tinge of guilt.
There were no visitors to the miserable little museum of finds. There never was much call to spend time viewing relics in these humid winter days after the flood. Philon had taken one of the exhibits – a moth-eaten fabric bag of polyvinyl waste – and placed himself upon it under the shade of the welcome sign.
Welcomed to the quiet isle that day – which day? – and arriving who knows how, perhaps by barge, perhaps by sled, was someone after just a single item. Nothing else was touched.
Philon swears even now that no item but one was missing, though its absence was only noted when he roused from his slumbers to eat, to drink a little, and to reluctantly carry on his task of cataloguing the collection. Thus in time perhaps further stock will be reported as missing, but for now …Now Philon stands mute and helpless in front of the glass case. The fabric backing shows the dust-free silhouette surrounding the nail from which, according to the handwritten label, is missing a “Printer Wheel (Daisy), circa 20th Century”.