“… a packet o’ paper, five bottles of ink, a box of small tacks and a half-dozen fresh nibs. Here ye’ are, Miss Fawkes….”
Merri smiles her thanks, and if they are a bit distracted, she cannot truly help it. She would not have left her sitting room at all had it not been Esther’s day off, but she’d run out of nearly everything she needed to continue her work on the Parabola Equation and there was no one else to run the errand.
That’s when she runs into the first of her neighbors, a Mrs. Caravola, who could not wait to ask her about the latest rumors regarding Mr. Paulsen. And if Merri thought she was distracted before she’d left the stationer’s shoppe, what she hears afterward — from Mrs. Caravola, from Mrs. Bennet, from Mr. and Mrs. Carlisle, and a Miss Dewberry, and young Mr. Remington — sets her ears buzzing.
Vaguely horrified — mostly because the rumormongers seemed to think she ought to be horrified and it didn’t take much probing to discover why they assumed she should be horrified — she alters her course and heads toward the bookshop where Henrik and Theodor share rooms.
It perhaps is not the wisest course she could choose, given she’s now as mired in scandal as Henrik, if not moreso, but she’s only two blocks along the way when she spots his familiar figure walking toward her on the street.
[okay, if this doesn’t suit, I shall rewrite however you think best. Cue Henrik!]