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A Man Walked Into a Bard One Day . . .

Massey said he delivered his findings to Scott by telephone the day he was arrested.

If Scott is worried that he will ultimately be charged, he doesn't show it. He said he started becoming an amateur bibliophile only seven years ago. Ten years ago, when the robbery occurred, he said, "I wouldn't have known the difference between a First Folio Shakespeare and a paperback Jackie Collins."

He said it was just "serendipity" that he met a man in Cuba with a "First Folio of Shakespeare, the icon of culture."

Scott said he feels he was born in the wrong age: He doesn't use e-mail and barely uses a cellphone.

"The only thing that I don't like that are antiques are my girlfriends!" he jokes, saying he has a 21-year-old fiancee in Havana. He said he has been engaged several times but never married.

His favorite books are art books of Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci and Titian. He said he has no close friends and spends much time alone, listening to Italian opera.

Even inside, Scott wears dark glasses. He sees no point in saving money. His spending, he said, "is a practical realization that I am mortal. And basically, I don't want to leave my money to the Flat Earth Society or the local cats' home."

Told that his neighbors have described him as eccentric, Scott paused before saying he is really more of a "dilettante." Yes, that is a good description, he said, because he is a "dabbler, particularly in the arts."

But then he paused again and said, "I suppose a mad person doesn't think they are insane. Nobody entirely conforms to the norm. Long live those differences!"

A neighbor, who did not want to be identified because of police involvement in the case, said Scott is a "harmless man who was very nice." She said he could not possibly be an international thief.

Another neighbor said she thought it odd he spends so much time polishing expensive cars in front of his home and then takes the bus.

Scott's late father, an electrical engineer, and his mother, a retired government employee, spent little. He said he just came back from staying at the Ritz in Paris, where he regularly goes to lay a dozen roses for Princess Diana.


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