Halley knows nobody comes through this part of the library–that’s why he’s here, in fact, to find a free computer–so he’s surprised to see so many chairs in the Bingham Reading Room. It looks like they actually had a reading, except he can’t remember any such announcement.
He imagines a lonely janitor, gesticulating for an invisible audience. He imagines ghosts settling their cold-jelly bones, drinking ethereal tea. He imagines Long Huo, Chair Herder, ushering his charges to new pastures.
Halley laughs at himself and heads to the computer.
After a fierce debate, the chairs vote to have him killed.