Monday, March 27, 2006

The Story So Far

I’m sure you’re expecting to hear what happened last night in the tunnels below Columbia University. Believe me—I’m anxious to tell you. But I’ve been advised by one of my most loyal readers (thanks, Luz) that I’m in danger of confusing everyone unless I take the time to bring you up to date on the story. So here goes . . .

Three weeks ago, I discovered evidence (namely an electric blanket and a half-eaten cheesecake) that led me to believe that someone might be secretly living in Butler Library—the main library on the Columbia University campus. My curiosity piqued, I decided to investigate. For almost a week, I staked out the darkest, most deserted sections of the library but saw nothing of note. Then one evening I fell asleep while reading a book I had found lying on a nearby desk. Sometime around midnight, I was rudely awakened by a mysterious goggle-wearing man who informed me—in a very uncivil tone—that I was using “his” book as a pillow. That was my first—and last—meeting with Butler Library’s only resident.

The book he yanked out from underneath my head was entitled The Untold History of Columbia University. From the little I managed to read before drifting off to dreamland, I gathered that an insane asylum had once stood on the very ground where Columbia was built and that a system of tunnels lay underneath the school. Later research informed me that the tunnels did, in fact, exist and that some of them dated back to the days of the old Bloomingdale Insane Asylum.

I began to suspect that there might be a connection between the man living in the library and the tunnels underneath the school. As it turns out, I was right. (More about that once I've gotten a little sleep.)

Kiki Strike and the Irregulars agreed to help me with my investigations, and DeeDee Morlock managed to make the first break in the case. Her father, Sirius Morlock, a professor of chemistry at Columbia has first-hand knowledge of the tunnels underneath the school. In 1968, while Professor Morlock was an undergraduate at Columbia, he and group of his fellow students staged an uprising and took over the campus. He used the tunnels to smuggle food and supplies to the rebels. Though he probably had no idea what he was getting his daughter into, Professor Morlock gave the Irregulars our first big scoop—a hand-drawn map of the tunnels.

Last night, the Irregulars took our first tour.


Post a Comment

<< Home