“Cabin crew, take your seats.” The captain’s voice filled the dimly lit business class section of the cabin where Elmer Galway and Bradley Johnston were comfortably seated. British Airways flight 93 from London Heathrow to Toronto’s International Airport was on its final approach to its destination. Galway looked out the window. The aircraft was plunging into a sea of thick clouds and a light drizzle tapped on the window pane. It was the spring of 2000, almost two and a half years from the day Irena Montryan had first come to Oxford to seek Galway’s help for her exhibition and had ended up talking to his former student instead.
Bradley Johnston was looking forward to seeing her again and hoping to have the chance to get to know her better. The next few hours promised to be busy, though. A limousine was to pick them up at the airport and take them to their hotel. They would then have just enough time to check in, freshen up, and get dressed for the evening before being chauffeured down to the museum for the exhibition’s official opening at 7:30 p.m. Many local personalities and officials were expected to attend the reception. Galway would deliver one of the speeches, a foretaste of his talk on the papyrus and the story of its discovery scheduled for the following afternoon.
Bradley, with no official business of his own, would probably be following Galway around and be taken for his assistant—a prospect he didn’t particularly relish. Irena had insisted he should come along too, and since the museum covered the expenses he had accepted the