The Caretaker, part three: Breakfast?
Part three – Breakfast?
The knock at the door was another reminder that Rannol’s schedule had not synchronised with that of Aribald.
“It is time to meet the Asurian delegates, my Lord.” Aribald walked over to pick up the diary but had to endure his second shock of the morning.
“You have not yet completed today’s writing!?”
Rannol had enough. He turned to Aribald and lifted a finger.
“Listen here, Aribald. First of all I cannot do all that is required of me if nobody tells me what it is.” He lifted a second finger.
“Moreover, my daily schedule will need to reflect who I am, not who my predecessor was.”
Aribald turned pale but whether from anger or mortification was hard to establish.
Rannol lifted a third finger. “But most of all, why have you failed to mention this delegation before?”
His hand was raised accusingly towards Aribald. But when the pale face of the man turned a scarlet red, Rannol let his hand drop, took a deep breath and actually managed a smile.
“Tell me about the delegation, Aribald.”
With a slight tremor to his voice, Aribald replied: “The Asurian delegation wants to access certain knowledge within the Library, my Lord. It is a recurring request that, of course, is always denied.”
Rannol blinked. “Denied? But what is the Library for, Aribald, if not to offer knowledge?”
“You are the Caretaker of that knowledge, my Lord. It is you who must assure that this knowledge will not be abused.”
The finality in Aribald’s voice made Rannol’s heart sink. He nodded vaguely at the secretary and put the book he was reading back on its shelf.
“One last question, Aribald?”
“When does the Caretaker have breakfast?”
Aribald smiled a little smile. “The Caretaker always has breakfast after writing his diary entry, my Lord.” He walked towards the door and opened it for Rannol.