The Cocktail Mysteries: The Case of Alfred Smyth Concord, esq.
Chapter 1 A question worthy of being interrupted
Bang. Bang. Bang
James tensed his shoulders and let out a long slow breath. Why did people do both? It was bad enough they were doing this while the light was perfect for painting. His brush was half-way to the easel when…
“I got it hun.” Sandra called.
It was too late however, now he needed to see who was at the door. Setting the brush down he went to the doorway to find Sandra talking to a stranger.
“James, this is Alfred Smyth Concord….”
“Esquire, don’t forget the esquire, it’s quite important.” The person interjected.
“…esquire. He wants to buy one of your pictures…” She said facing him, her face hidden from the stranger. The expression was one he was familiar with, ‘Looney Bin’ is what he called it. He felt his face go into his practised placid smile. Sandra’s ‘Looney Bin’ face had never been wrong. He put on his ‘so glad to meet you face’ and focused back on the stranger, who remarkably was still talking.
“All the copies…all the digital versions…all backups…I must be the sole owner of all versions of that picture, that piece of art, name your price.”
James felt his eyes widen in surprise, he looked at Sandra, he looked at ‘Esquire’, he looked back to Sandra.
“I think a cocktail is in order. Gin and tonic Mr. Concord?” Sandra asked, “I have a lovely elderflower tonic?”
The man started, “Ah yes, how civilized, yes please, I’m sure it will help calm my nerves.”
“James?” Sandra asked.
What did one drink for picture negotiations? This was a question worthy of being interrupted.