Friday, May 19, 2006

DeeDee Tastes a Mystery

Yesterday, DeeDee and I set out for Butler Library, armed with a list of the evidence implicating Dr. Mayhew in the book thefts. Once the Irregulars had recovered the lost copy of Glimpses of Gotham, Kiki and I thought it was best to call an end to our investigations. In fact, DeeDee and I would have paid a visit to the Butler librarian several days earlier, but Columbia’s never-ending graduation ceremonies prevented us from getting too close to the campus.

When we finally arrived at the library, DeeDee insisted we take one last look around the stacks for clues before we finally turned the matter over to the authorities. With classes over, the library was deserted. We made it through seven floors of books without seeing a single person. Then, the moment we stepped onto the eighth floor, we heard someone scream. We rushed to the screamer’s aid and discovered a frantic young library employee standing over the motionless body of a filthy bearded man. The man’s dark trench coat had fallen open, revealing pockets crammed with old maps. DeeDee dropped to her knees and took the man’s pulse. “I don’t feel anything,” she murmured before forcing the man’s jaw open and clamping her mouth over his own.

The library employee and I rushed to call 911 as DeeDee performed CPR. By the time we returned, the bearded man was still unconscious—but breathing. DeeDee was sitting on the floor, her back leaning against one of the bookshelves and her legs spread out in front of her. I couldn’t tell if she was panting with relief or exhaustion.

Minutes later, the paramedics arrived. From what we could tell, they believed the man may have slipped into a diabetic coma—though they seemed surprised to see someone so young in such a state. One of the paramedics congratulated DeeDee on her CPR skills while his colleagues hauled the sick man out of the library.

Back on the ground floor, a crowd of library workers had gathered outside the entrance to the stacks, and I noticed the librarian we had come to see standing among them. As I started to walk in his direction, DeeDee grabbed my arm.

“Not yet,” she said in the voice of someone coming down from a massive adrenaline high. “We can’t stop the investigation.”

“Why not?” I asked her.

“When I was giving that guy CPR, I tasted something.”

“Yuck. What was it? Cheesecake?”

“No. It was maple syrup.”


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