A week ago, Dr. Milton P. Sause, a retired veterinarian, was searching for a needle in a literary haystack. Sidney C. Miller Jr., a Baltimore lawyer and book collector, found it for him.
The "needle" was an 82-year-old copy of "The Cavalry," which was Volume 4 of the 10-volume "Photographic History of the Civil War," published in 1911.
Dr. Sause's father had lent his copy to someone, perhaps as long ago as 1928, and it had never been returned. Dr. Sause said he knew the book was missing but did not try to retrieve it until earlier this month, when he ran a small ad in The Sun asking the borrower's family to return it.
His only response was from a man who had the full set and wanted to chat about it.
Mr. Miller, however, saw a subsequent news story about Dr. Sause's quest. Since he had only the one volume, purchased several years ago in a used-book store in Hanover, N.H., he decided to complete Dr. Sause's set.
"I was just lucky to be able to do it," said Mr. Miller, a counsel to the Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., who collects military books himself. "I like to be able to help people out when I can."
Dr. Sause, 71, said he was prompted to look for the missing volume because his sons are interested in the Civil War and his 3 1/2 -year-old grandson is coming along.
"The family was was over [Tuesday] night, and they were very pleased with [the volume]," Dr. Sause said.
He said he received an offer of a second copy of the book, but suggested the owner take it to a used-book store, just in case someone else is looking for that particular literary "needle."