Once the children had been packed off to school the following morning, Beth began to open the mail. Bills, circulars, and one letter that needed to be read a second time.
‘What are you doing this weekend?’ she asked.
William put down his paper and thought for a moment. ‘I’m on the duty rota. It’s my one in four. Ross is taking the children to Legoland, it’s the new rage,’ he added as he buttered a second slice of toast. ‘And you?’
‘I was planning to visit the Fitz and see how much it’s changed since I left. But I’m now thinking of driving to Buckingham and visiting an old lady I’ve never met before.’
‘Sounds intriguing,’ said William. ‘So far the only clue is the envelope you’re still clutching.’
‘It’s from a Mrs Eileen Lomax, the widow of Gordon Lomax, a West End art dealer who died last month,’ said Beth. ‘I sent her a letter of condolence and she’s replied thanking me and asking if I could visit her as she needs some advice on a private matter.’
‘I need more clues,’ said William as Beth removed two eggs from a saucepan of boiling water and dropped them into the egg cups in front of him.
‘Lomax owned one of the most successful galleries in the West End but, following the collapse of the market for Dutch landscapes, it’s thought he wasn’t doing much better than breaking even.’
‘Death, debt and divorce, as you so often remind me,’ said William, ‘are the art dealer’s best friends.’
‘And two of those might well apply in Gordon Lomax’s case. So I think I’ll put off my planned visit to the Fitz and make the journey to Buckingham instead. Gordon was very kind to me when I first joined the art world so it’s the least I can do.’
‘And to think you could have gone to Legoland with Ross and the children,’ teased William, picking up a teaspoon and cracking his egg.
‘Perhaps I’ll find a Rembrandt or a Vermeer gathering dust in her attic,’ said Beth as William removed the top of his egg to find it was hard-boiled.