Let's just hope I don't come to regret it.
Last evening, Mr. Foehammer came by my apartment, just as I was finishing my preparations. He left me at the bottom of the stairs to enter the Athenaeum through the sewers. I, heavily laden with a bag, cautiously approached aboveground. I found Miss Ying and Mr. Starsider at the front door, and Miss Netizen soon arrived. Miss Ying and Mr. Starsider told me all was clear, so I contacted Mr. Foehammer on the communicator he'd given me (Such a handy device, that!), and entered the Athenaeum myself.
I'd been inside several times since the publishing of my article, as Mr. Steamweaver didn't seem to have reacted to it. (Perhaps he didn't even see it...) I used those opportunities to examine the place carefully, especially the books. So I learned that the books are catalogued, though the system does seem to be different than standard, and shelved in particular categories. The catalog numbers are written on an inside leaf. I also couldn't find a paper copy of the catalog itself. Now, it's possible that there is one, stored elsewhere, but I'm betting that Mr. Steamweaver practices what he preaches, and stores the catalog only on punchcards. And that gave me an idea.
So last night, as Mr. Foehammer was performing his magic on the Engine itself, I scurried through the shelves, finding and removing books that I know to be very rare. So that I wouldn't leave gaping holes in the shelves, I replaced those books...with books from my own library. That was difficult--they're all like old friends. But I know I can replace these particular books easily enough. I wrote spurious catalog numbers inside, to disguise their origins.
Then, just as I finished, an idea occurred to me. I called Mr. Starsider inside, and the two of us spent several minutes rearranging other books, replacing them in the wrong areas. Hopefully, the Steamweaver Company people will simply assume that people who have been visiting the Athenaeum have been misshelving the books, and this will make it more difficult to discover what I've done. Even more difficult, if the Engine is indeed not working correctly now, so that they cannot access their own catalog.
Once that was done, I carried the books from the Athenaeum back home, changed, and then took them to Miss Ceejay's cafe. I'd decided I didn't dare try to hide them in my apartment, in case Mr. Steamweaver does come to suspect sabotage. I doubt that anyone would think to search Miss Ceejay's place. I left them upstairs in her storage room, out of direct sight. Once I came downstairs, the others started arriving, and we had a relaxing time there, far away from the Athenaeum.
All we can do now is wait, and see what happens. And try somehow to find a permanent solution.