New Yorkeditor Jonas Faukman was just turning off the lights in his Manhattan office when his phone rang. He had no intention of picking up at this hourthat is, until he glimpsed the caller-ID display. This ought to be good, he thought, reaching for the receiver.
Do we still publish you? Faukman asked, half serious.
Jonas! Robert Langdons voice sounded anxious. Thank God youre there. I need your help.
Faukmans spirits lifted. Youve got pages for me to edit, Robert? Finally?
No, I need information. Last year, I connected you with a scientist named Katherine Solomon, the sister of Peter Solomon?
Faukman frowned. No pages.
She was looking for a publisher for a book on Noetic Science? Do you remember her?
Faukman rolled his eyes. Sure. I remember. And thanks a million for that introduction. Not only did she refuse to let me read the results of her research, she didnt want to publish anything until
some magical date in the future.
Jonas, listen to me, I dont have time. I need Katherines phone number. Right now. Do you have it?
Ive got to warn you . . . youre acting a little desperate. Shes great looking, but youre not going to impress her by
This is no joke, Jonas, I need her number now.
All right . . . hold on. Faukman and Langdon had been close friends for enough years that Faukman knew when Langdon was serious. Jonas typed the name Katherine Solomon into a search window and began scanning the companys e-mail server.
Im looking now, Faukman said. And for what its worth, when you call her, you may not want to call from the Harvard Pool. It sounds like youre in an asylum.
Im not at the pool. Im in a tunnel under the U.S. Capitol.
Faukman sensed from Langdons voice that he was not joking. What is it with this guy? Robert, why cant you just stay home and write? His computer pinged. Okay, hold on . . . I got it. He moused through the old e-mail thread. It looks like all I have is her cell.
Ill take it.
Faukman gave him the number.
Thanks, Jonas, Langdon said, sounding grateful. I owe you one.
You owe me a manuscript, Robert. Do you have any idea how long
The line went dead.
Faukman stared at the receiver and shook his head. Book publishing would be so much easier without the authors.