False colors (aka Masterpiece in Murder) by Richard Powell

By Richard Powell

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But if you come along and back up my opinion, it will mean something. You're a dealer. Then I'll be the guy who gave her honest encouragement when no one else would take her painting seriously. " "Forget her stuff, Pete. Just look at her face and the adjectives will come easily. " "I'll at least take a look at her stuff. " "Let me decide as we go along. I don't want to build her up any more than necessary. " "Yeah, I suppose," I muttered. A dealer and a well-heeled collector might even be able to take your maiden aunt, who colors Christmas cards, and put her across as a real genuine Primitive.

If the guy Nancy was looking at ever charged admission, the customers would want double their money back. " "You heard what I told Sheldon. " "You could be very good and still not have a big name. " "Well, in World War Two I went into the army, and when the war ended I was assigned to something called Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Subcommission of the Allied Commission in Italy. Not as an expert. Just as an interpreter, because I could talk a few languages. I didn't know anything about art at first, but it was fun tracking down masterpieces that the Nazis had grabbed, and so I began studying art and the Commission started giving me assignments of my own.

A couple of tough characters are after Accardi's stuff. I don't want to be worked over twice. I don't want you to be worked over even once. " She put a hand on my arm and said softly, "You're not scared. You have a lot of courage. " "Oh, that? That's moral courage. Sure, I have moral courage. " "Pete, we've got to help Nick. He has talent. With a little help he can get ahead in art. But he has no money and it's awfully hard for an ex-convict to get a decent job. " "You're so right. Except that he's in trouble already, and I don't think he got there by spending his spare time in church.

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