After standing, shocked, for some time, Bear began to regain his senses.
Bear went out the door. Bear looked up the street. Bear looked down the street.
Nothing seemed to have changed.
Perhaps, Bear thought, this agency was set up partly as a business office, and partly as a tourist attraction. An odd combination. But, well, in a place as odd as this, it makes sense. Or could make sense. In its own, odd way.
Bear thought back to an old Star Trek program. Kirk and Spok had landed on a deserted planet — a planed that seemed deserted. Slowly people began to appear, as if going about their regular business. (That turned out to be a really weird program! Things were not at all the way they seemed.)
The thought brought no encouragement to Bear in the situation. None at all. Not a bit.
Bear was beginning to feel much less certain of anything — including himself.
Was this, perhaps, the replay of a scene from The Wicker Man?
Bear shuddered. His mind was getting away on him. For the first time, Bear felt himself becoming truly alarmed by the incongruity of the situation.
Bear did no like feeling alarmed.
Still, he had his wits enough about him to start formulating a plan. If he were to learn about his new home, Bear became convinced he would need to discover the secrets of the old-looking book on the desk. Being in the Municipal Office, it must have something to do with the community.
Armed with a new fortitude, and tentative sense of adventure, Bear trundled again into the Office, and back to the desk. He opened the book.
Nothing jumped out at him.
He quickly looked through the tome, and discovered his conclusion was correct. It was a ledger, full of useful information. Property details. The whole list of residents and where they lived. The types of buildings — homes, businesses, and more. Inventory of vacant lots. Other notes which Bear could not decipher. Preliminary tax rolls. Some kind of municipal budget in the process of being drafted.
Bear was fascinated. He had hit the mother lode of community information, wisdom, gossip. He wasn't entirely certain about the gossip, but was hopeful. His biggest weakness, that sense of hopefulness. A "Casey at the Bat" sort of approach.
"Ah," cried Bear, joyfully, in something others would have identified as a huge roar. "Now I can get to know who my neighbours are!"
Bear wasted no time in beginning to consider the details in the documents.
Suddenly, Bear, deeply engrossed in his study, was again startled. The front door of the Municipal Office opened.