“…These are the correct pages?”
David looked them over, and nodded. Which I expected; he had told me which ones to reproduce, and I am more than capable of doing such a simple task. “You are an alumnus too,” I pointed out. “What did you do to the Library?”
He seemed a little nettled by that. “I didn’t do anything to them,” he said (I found his tone a touch evasive). “I just got tired of the way they make researchers jump through hoops for a taste of — okay, that’s the formula I was thinking of.”
I looked at it again. I could read it, but… “It’s nonsense.”
David shook his head. “No, it’s in code,” he said as he started jotting things down in a notebook. “These medieval alchemists loved codes. Well, ciphers. Though the handwriting would have been enough, for some of those guys.
“Anyway,” David said after some tedious scribbling and calculating that I will skip over, “here’s the translation.” I looked at it. Even then, it seemed gibberish — but then something seemed to click, and the instructions suddenly made a good deal more sense. Hardly surprising, I decided. Chemistry is derived from alchemy, yes? It’s no harder than David reading Chaucer, I suppose.