Historical research is a solitary pursuit. Alone in the venture, as when climbing, the elation at success is indescribable. But when a foot slips and the world spins, a sense of exposure grips your stomach like a fist. This week, as I reached for a handhold I thought to be secure, I found only sandstone that crumbled away. Without a guidebook to the climb above me, and only the distant voices of encouragement from those on other mountainsides, as I ponder the next move isolation presses in and the fear of falling gnaws at my core.