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Sole Charge

Donald Kerr, the Rare Books Librarian,
went to North America for two months -- which left

me alone with the collection. The first month
I spent doing more vacuuming and dusting, and

I finished a bibliography on the Kenderdine collection
of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Then I started indexing

the photograph collection. One day I went up to morning
tea and while I was sipping coffee the fire alarm went off.

I dashed downstairs, and told everyone to clear the room.
This was okay. I checked everyone was out, locked

the doors, and assembled with the other staff outside.
The fire brigade gave the all clear to re-enter the building.

Just as I was about to unlock the doors and walk in,
a staff member noticed mist rolling out of the stack areas.

Blow me days. The CO2 gas system had gone off without
warning. I would've opened the doors and been literally

extinguished, with some of the very best literature
in the land. What a tragic ending to the sequence eh!


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