The first thing that Ed did at the library was take a look at the pedestal by the stairs, where Liv said she lived. Not too close a look, though. He didn’t want to get too close to the statue. Part of this reluctance to get near it he rationalized away as self-interest. If he was under watch, he might give too much away too soon by revealing his interest in it.
He couldn’t imagine why Ivan would bother double-crossing him, when he wasn’t looking for anything exorbitant for his help… but he didn’t know how much reason someone like Ivan would need to double-cross someone like Ed.
Having passed by the library before, he wasn’t surprised to see the figure of the sphinx… he couldn’t have called it to his mind for trying, but it was familiar on sight. Having never studied it much before, Ed was arrested briefly by the sight of the bare stone breasts, which almost prevented him from noticing the face. It was a simple and rough likeness, but a clear one.
Shesepankh, he thought, though he couldn’t begin to spell it. Maybe he would do some research while he was in the library, he decided. Hellenes, she’d said. Those were Greeks. “The Living Image”. He’d Google that.
Even though he’d never been in the downtown branch of the Jericho Public Library before, he felt the same sort of familiarity, the same level of “Oh, yes. That’s what it is.” that he felt when he looked at the statue. It was a public library. Clean and shabby. The interior was redone in the seventies, and it showed both its age and its vintage.
It reminded him of the libraries he’d been in, and the elementary school he attended long ago. It took money to make an institution look like anything other than an institution. Take away the money and there’d be nothing left but fluorescent lighting and painted-over brick walls with photocopied and laminated signs hanging off them.