Of course, he had taken precautions. Yet, at a glance, while walking past the Renaissance frescoes at Ivory Hall, a speck of magenta had haunted his finger tip, grinning devilishly back at him.
‘And where was it previously kept?’ Lord Cohen asked suddenly, still gazing intently at the spotlighted picture, his cigar slowly disappearing, unsmoked.
‘It arrived this morning,’ replied Michel, glancing furtively at his watch. He shivered at the sight of the glaring colours of the picture reflected on the clock face.
Lord Cohen turned to face him, his eyes blind in the semi-darkness.
‘But who’s —?’
‘Well you will appreciate, I can’t quite —’
‘Yes, I understand. I will have to consult my agent’.
‘I will have to consult my agent first to ascertain —’
explained Lord Cohen cautiously.
‘Oh! But such — that will not be possible,’
interjected Michel, swallowing with difficulty.
‘Well, such a unique, relatively unheard-of Miró has
already enthralled the eye of innumerable collectors…’
God, if the room was getting hot!
‘Right,’ Lord Cohen examined the picture once
again, whilst taking a seemingly eternal pull at his cigar.
Then exhaling a cloud of smoke, he held out his hand.
‘£9 million. It’s because I trust you Michel.’
As soon as he was alone again, Michel collapsed exhausted. The deed was done. He looked at the speck on his finger and smiled. Yes, he was going to paint again. A Picasso this time.