The tiny figure that catches April's interest the first time she goes into the professor's shop is, according to the professor, a "pre-Columbian burial figure" which was made in Mexico about two thousand years previously. April had at first been interested in the figure because to her, it looked Egyptian. April has always been captivated by "Egyptian stuff," and the tiny statue with "broad shoulders, short legs and a hole in the top of its head" seems to fit the bill when she first sees it. The statue is nestled in a glass case among a whole variety of other objects, "vases and jars, some partly cracked or broken, crudely made jewelry and tiny statues." To April, all of it looks "terribly ancient and interesting."
While April is examining the tiny figure through the glass, the professor approaches and leans over the counter right above her head. She asks him what, exactly, the figure is, and when he tells her, she can hardly believe it is as old as he says it is. The fact that it is not Egyptian after all does not seem to disappoint her very much, because the professor is a very intriguing character himself. Her interest is now divided; because "the old man (is) almost as unusual as the strange things behind the dusty glass" (Chapter 2 - "Enter April").