'I was up in town yesterday,' I
tell Tony easily, turning back from my long study of the sky
outside the window as if I'd simply been wondering whether the
matter was worth mentioning, 'and someone I was talking to
thinks he knows someone who might possibly be interested.'
Tony frowns. 'Not a dealer?' he queries suspiciously.
'No, no — a collector. Said to be keen on eighteenth-century
art. Especially the sculptures of Paul Dubois. Very keen.'
'Money all right?' Tony asks.
'Money, as I understand it, is far from being a problem.'
So, it's all happening. The words are coming. And it's not at
all a bad start, it seems to me. I'm impressed with myself. I've
given him a good spoonful of jam to sweeten the
'Something of a mystery man, though, I gather,' I say solemnly.
'Keeps a low profile. Won't show his face in public.'
Tony looks at me thoughtfully. And sees right through me. All my
boldness vanishes at once. I've been caught cheating my
neighbours! I feel the panic rise.
'You mean he wouldn't want to come down here to look at it?'
'I don't know,' I flounder hopelessly. 'Perhaps... possibly...'
'Take it up to town,' he says decisively. 'Get your chum to show
it to him.'
I'm too occupied in breathing again to be able to reply. He
misconstrues my silence.
'Bit of a bore for you,' he says.