The Atrium

The Museum's vast atrium, which would have seemed imposing even if it did not house a lush garden replete with statuary, had at its center a finely-wrought compass whose inscriptions directed passerby to the South, West, North, and East areas of the building, appending to each a brief description of the artifacts that might be found therein.

Mr. Gilby was quite impressed by a gilded serpent that dangled from the branches of a magnificent apple tree, and he began taking notes on them in a small journal that he carried with him.

Beyond the tree, Sir Thomas stood a respectful distance from a fiery likeness of the archangel, which was forcing two cowering clay statues from a delicate gate. Their exodus appeared to fascinate Mr. Flowers, who knelt beside them for a closer look.