The Mourner (1963) – Pocket Books

“The statues. They are sixteen inches high, made of alabaster, and were placed in the niches at the base of the two memorials. No two of them are precisely alike, and they all express an attitude of mourning. Every possible variation on mourning, both true and false. There are monks, priests, choirboys– Well. At any rate, they are priceless. And at the time of the French Revolution, many of them were stolen or lost. At the present time, seventy-four of the statuettes are still in Dijon; some were always there, others have been found and returned. Of the remaining eight, one is owned by a private collector in France, two by a private collector in this country, in Ohio, and two are in the Cleveland Museum. The other three mourners are still missing.”

Harrow closed the book but kept his finger in place. “That’s what this article would have told you,” he said, “and just as quickly as I have told it to you.”

Parker waited, controlling his impatience. None of this was necessary. Harrow wanted a statue stolen, that was the point. If the job looked easy enough, and if the price was right, he might do it. Otherwise, no. All this talk was a waste of time.

But Harrow wasn’t finished yet. “Now, for you to understand what I want, and why I want it, you must understand something about me.”





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