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How can you do things like ?X -> (*var* x) without Read Macros ?

Sometimes it is very useful to hide some underlying implementation details
when writing systems such as inference engines. Since Scheme doesn't have
ability to handle read macros then is it possible to do 
something like the following in a differnet way ?

       where "x" is a variable and "?" is a read macro and the "?" read macro
       reads the next character, which is "x" and transforms "?X" into
       the following list structure   (*var* x) . This representation 
       is useful to the underlying code and the "?x" is useful to 
       a user to designate unifiable variables in a backward or forward chaining
Any and all responses are appreciated.

thanks in advance,

Gene Pierce