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I was on the train and wrote a short story for my cutie while I looked out the rain-covered windows.

The archivist keeps a grand library. A museum of curiosities, it is great both in size and opulence.

One day, the archivist left her assistant in charge, and went into town to trade for a book she had heard of through a network of friends who keep an eye out for treasures for her.

Upon returning, she discovered that a part of her collection has been stolen. Apparently someone of a more heroic nature has followed the thief away from the archive. Her assistant could not remember his name, but only that he had vowed to return the lost artefact. It was a particularly old book, not very noteworthy other than its age.

Not being one to leave matters to others she doesn’t know, the archivist follows her assistant’s vague pointing after the hero, and her lost book.

Upon discovering the heroic one, he seems badly hurt. Apparently his showdown with the thief did not go as planned and he took some lumps for his effort.

The archivist thanked him and helped him as best she could. She left him with some water and headed off after the thief herself, despite the hero’s warnings.

The archivist thought it prudent to not jump headlong into a battle with a thief who had bested someone who seemed more qualified than she, so she laid low and bided her time, following the thief to another city.

Once she arrived, she followed the thief to what appeared to be a little home along some dirty streets lined with shabby buildings.

With her newfound information, the archivist heads for the local authorities, who quietly arrest the thief.

The archivist asked the thief, “why did you take this old book?”

The thief was overcome with grief.

Apparently he does not have much access to literature, and he had simply wanted to read the book.

So the archivist decided to make the thief an associate of her archive right on the spot. She agreed to share the archive with the thief in his city, so long as the archive remained in good condition.

And that’s how inter-library loans started!