Lew realized that he was holding a fresh cup of tea. He sipped it thoughtfully with a nod to the quiet little girl. "Fascinating," he said. "According to your story, Finnegan was inspired by imagining what knowledge might be hidden inside an object that was almost certainly a hoax."
The Book did not comment.
"I've actually seen this Orb," Lew continued, "or what might be the Orb. It's part of the lot of artifacts that Professor Zappencackler has me working on. I haven't seen it light up, though. I might have to try that."
The Clockwork Book turned a page. "I would like to annotate the story with this information," it said. So Lew described the Orb, explained how Zappencackler had purchased it, and at the Book's insistence he even detailed where exactly it was kept and how it was protected. "This is quite useful," the Book told him. "I thank you."
"Has Finnegan's story clarified the problems you face?" it asked him.
Lew sighed. "I don't see how, really. How can I learn by his example? He simply imagined that things were possible, and then he tried to figure out how they could be possible. That's just about what everybody does. The thing that makes him unique is that he was absolutely convinced that those things had already been done, someplace, by someone else. That worked wonderfully for him, but it's a delusion. I don't see how I could put it into practice."
When Lew left, the little girl left the door's sign flipped to show "Engaged". But he didn't notic