Sipping my tea and staring into the fire, I ignore the engineers
report covering the floor.
"Ignoring the problem will do me no good... "
"Nope" says Victor from the depths of the armchair.
"It wasn't just the dancers making the floor shake yesterday was it?"
"Nope" says Victor.
"How can this be possible-is the Palaeozoic Museum really that old?"
"Yep" says Victor.
"I mean, I know having a glass house in the extremes of the New
Babbage climate is foolish. So expensive to heat in the winter, and the
soot eats away at the iron window frames... but I thought when they
built it, they would have taken that into consideration. What was
Professor Nishi thinking? Though I suppose really it's not all her
fault.. the City Hall explosion must have weakened some of the bedrock,
the site itself is unstable they say."
"Yep" says Victor.
"Well, it's going to cost thousands. The engineers say that there's
really no saving what's there; it has to have new foundations, over
seventy eight percent of the framework is in need of replacement, and
the site has to be stabilized before they can do any of that. I'm not
even sure how they would go about stabilizing the site! But the patron
support at the dance yesterday was incredible, I MUST keep the museum
open... or is that just me being too sentimental?"
"Don't know" says Victor.
"Well... I get a steady income from the Mechanix Arms, but that's not
really enough to rebuild the museum. If I sold the Arms... that might
be enough to pay for most of the museum repairs, but I'm really not sure
that would cover the site improvements.Excavation, new footings,
something about reinforced piers because of the weight of the dinosaur
"statues", which the man said were exceptionally heavy in his
experience. Isn't that strange? Can you imagine why they'd be so heavy?"
"Nope" mumbles Victor.
"It's really too bad I just paid Mr Cleanslate so much for the
insurance policy on the White Rabbit. It's just, having Doc O's giant
tower of doom looming up out of the Vernian, I felt the restaurant was
so exposed. I should have taken out some sort of maintenance insurance
on the museum instead."
"Seems so" says Victor.
"Well, that's all I can do then, I'll put the Arms up for sale, and
hope someone else will take it over. It really has been a wonderful
jumping off place for new people in Babbage. I mean, those that don't
really need a fancy place like the Brunel-all the bells and whistles and
pub and sauna and all. I'll put up a sign tomorrow, it's the slow
period so there aren't any tenants in at the moment."