This is a continuation of my post from last Friday. Sorry I’m a little late with it. I meant to have it scheduled, but somehow I forgot. 😦
Of course, Ms. Strong called the police. While they waited for them to arrive, Ruth decided to take a glance through the other halls to see if anything else was disturbed. The corridor for DA Vinci didn’t seem to be disturbed at all. She half expected The Vitruvian Man to be topsy-turvy, but it was hanging right side up. The Conversion of Saul, with the other painting that Michelangelo created were fine. Nothing was amiss in the hall of Homer’s paintings either.
When she got back to Picasso’s hall, Ms. Strong was sitting on one of the benches in the middle of the expanded space. “Ms. Strong, are you alright?”
“Sure. I just can’t figure out the why of this. One thing is certain, I’m glad nothing in here is original. I’ll never dream about working at the Louvre again.”
The heavy shoes of Lieutenant Nice clicked up the outer hall. The women stood up in anticipation. He was tall and well-built. His brown hair was starting to recede. His eyes looked coal-black, yet somehow, were kind.
“The morning is rather bitter today, isn’t it, ladies. My name is Bob Nice, pronounced Niece, by the way. I was told that a painting is missing or down, or something?”
Obviously he didn’t seem to care all that much about the weather.
“Someone turned is upside down,” Ms. Strong said, pointing to Melancoly Woman on the wall to her left.
“Have you touched the painting at all?” Lt. Nice asked.
“No,” Ruth and Ms. Strong said in unison.
After examining the painting closely, including the wires on the back of it, he instructed Ms. Strong to close the gallery so that a forensic crew could come in to work.
Nice pulled out a notebook and pen. “Who has access to the gallery other than the patrons?”
“Well… I do, of course. The janitor has keys.” She thought a full minute and then continued, “Some of the members of the board of the Art Society are here after hours, but I’m the one who lets them in and out. That’s it. There’s no one else.”
He turned his attention to Ruth. “How often are you here?”
“Two or three times a month, sir.”
“Why so often?”
“Walking through the halls of great artists is accelerating and, at the same time, relaxing.”
“How do you get it?”
He’s gone stupid, she said to herself. “Through the glass doors at the front. Sir, I’m here during regular showing hours only.”
Nice turned without uttering another word until he got to the entrance of the outer hall. “Ms. Strong, be sure to close this gallery for the time being. The forensic team will knock on the door.” And with that, his shoes, once again clicked loudly in the hall until he reached the rug in the lobby.
Ruth started to chuckle. When Ms. Strong joined in, they both began to laugh.
“I think I just made an enemy,” Ruth said in between the guffaws.
Trying to refrain her giggles, Ms. Strong said, “Well, I better lock up. I’m going to have to throw you out.”
Ms. Strong walked with Ruth to the front door. They both said their goodbyes and the door was closed and locked behind Ruth.
Want to know what happened next? Here is part three. 😛