The main branch of the Hamilton Public Library was a frenzy of activity. It was Susan’s first trip downtown since starting at McMaster University. She scanned the main floor lobby for the information desk. She slipped past rows of computers as they hypnotized the masses with internet delights.
“Excuse me,” she said to a man at the information desk.
“Yes,” said the man.
“I’m looking for someone called Truffle,” said Susan. “I’m told he hangs out here a lot.”
“Look for the guy with the braided beard, periodicals section,” said the man.
Susan wandered around until she found the periodicals. A guy with a braided beard wearing a smiley face t-shirt with a bullet hole between it’s eyes was reading the latest edition of Walrus.
“Excuse me, are you named Truffle?” said Susan.
“No, my name is Clarence, but people call me Truffle for reasons you can’t possibly begin to understand,” he said without looking up. He slammed down the magazine. “Crap. Utter pretentious drivel. Now, what would bring you from the trendy confines of Westdale to the mean streets of the urban core?”
Susan took a deep breath. “I’m a first year history student and I’m doing a paper on royal weddings in Canada and my TA knows you and told me you could help me,” she said in one breath.
Truffle looked at her carefully. “Okay, it’s a slow morning. Come, escalate with me to the history section,” he said as they moved to the revolving staircase.
“Since Canada has no monarchy, there’s no such thing as a royal wedding, just one characterized as such. The one to which you are referring took place in 1865. The bride was Clarabel McNabb, granddaughter of Sir Alan Napier McNabb. The groom, Franklin Hamilton, great-grandson of George Hamilton, founder of this great city. The wedding took place a Dundurn Castle,” said Truffle.
“Dundurn Castle,” repeated Susan, writing furiously in her notebook.
“The bride’s processional included four Mounties. It was suggested they were present to prevent her escape. Young Franklin was as dumb and he was unattractive. It was a marriage of political expedience.
“After their nuptials they apparently found common ground in their mutual love of adventure. For five years they travelled the world, going on safaris and the like. Their marriage came to a mysterious and tragic end in 1870 during a cross country dirigible expedition. Their dirigible went down near Lower Fort Garry in Manitoba. The federal government claims it was brought down by Métis rebels led by Louis Riel. They used it as the precipitating cause to crush the Red River Rebellion. I maintain that Clarabel pushed her husband out of the dirigible and fled with the help of the Métis.”
Truffle noticed Susan stopped writing. “Is there a problem?”
“That’s interesting n’all, but that’s not the royal wedding I meant,” said Susan.
“I was told to ask you about the wedding between Wayne Gretzky and Janet Jones,” she said.
Truffle’s face flushed. “Who’s your TA?”
“Charlie McGuffin,” Susan said with a smile.
“McGuffin? That Edmontonian redneck? He knows I hate the Oilers. I’m from Calgary. You plebeians! Out of my sight you lowbrow has-been.”
Susan giggled all the way back to the university.