The Case of the Moving Plaque

John L. Casti The Cambridge Quintet: A Work of Scientific Speculation describes a set of fictional rooms at Christ's College. In these rooms is a plaque commemorating Charles Darwin.

"The Sherry"

Turning away from the oak-paneled and beamed dining room of his suite of rooms, Snow looked through the doorway connecting the dining room to the drawing room, casting his glance up at the plaque over the fireplace in the Georgian-style drawing room.

As the reader progresses through the courses, it appears that the location of the plaque has shifted:

"The Soup"

A cheery fire crackled in the fireplace beneath the plaque commemorating Darwin, taking the chill off the unseasonably cool evening. The guests situated themselves around an elegantly set rectangular oaken table laid for five [...]

A second fireplace and a second plaque? Or the same set up as in "The Sherry" section and the understanding the the guests have moved from drawing to dining room between the sentences? Interesting bit of indeterminacy in a book devoted to dinner-table conversation that itself deals with the consequences of Turing's work on the halting problem.

As one moves on and reads the other courses, one realizes there are two plaques referenced by the characters in this symposium. The reference to "the plaque" is to the plaque in the room, dinning or drawing, and not to a single one that might be a residual ghost from the use the definite article at a particular place.

And so for day 488