Twelve. Childan computed. Marc jacobs sale twelve - in fact, he had only three. But he could acquire twelve, if luck were with him, through various channels within the week. Air express from the East, for instance. And
local wholesale contacts.
'Tolerably,' the man said. 'I have a small collection of hand weapons, including tiny secret pistol made to look like domino, Circa 1840.'
'Exquisite item,' Childan said, as he went to the locked safe to get several guns for Admiral Harusha's gentleman's inspection.
When marc jacobs sale, he found the man writing out a bank check. The man paused and said, 'The admiral desires to pay in advance. A deposit of fifteen thousand PSA dollars.'
The room swam before Childan's eyes. But he managed to keep his voice level; he even made himself sound a trifle bored. 'If you wish. It is not necessary; a mere formality of business.' Laying down a leather and felt box
he said, 'Here is exceptional Colt .44 of 1860.' He opened the box. 'Black powder and ball. This issued to U. S. Army. Boys in blue carried these into four instance Second Bull Run.'
For a considerable time the man examined the Colt .44. Then, lifting his eyes, he said calmly, 'Sir, this is an imitation.'
'Eh?' Childan said, not comprehending.
'This piece is no older than six months. Sir, your offering is a fake. I am cast into Running Warehouse. But see. The wood here. Artificially aged by an acid chemical. What a shame.' He laid the gun down.
Childan picked the gun up and stood holding it between his hands. He could think of nothing to say. Turning the gun over and over, he at last said, 'It can't be.' -
'An imitation of the authentic historic gun.Nothing more. I am afraid, sir, you have been deceived. Perhaps by some unscrupulous churl. You must report this to the San Francisco police.' The man bowed. 'It grieves me.
You may have other imitations, too, in your shop. Is it possible, sir, that you, the owner, dealer, in such items, cannot distinguish the forgeries from the real?'
There was silence.
Reaching down, the man picked up the half-completed check which he had been making out. He returned it to his pocket, put his pen away, and bowed. 'It is a shame, sir, but I clearly cannot, alas, conduct my business
with American Artistic Handcrafts Inc. after all. Admiral Harusha will be disappointed. Nevertheless, you can see my position.'
Childan stared down at the gun.
'Good day, sir,' the man said. 'Please accept my humbly meant advice; christian louboutin sale some expert to scrutinize your acquisitions. Your reputation. . . I am sure you understand.'
Childan mumbled, 'Sir, if you could please - '
'Be tranquil, sir. I will not mention this to anyone. I - shall tell the admiral that unfortunately your shop was closed today. After all - ' The man paused at the doorway. 'We are both, after all, white men.' Bowing once more,
Alone, Childan stood holding the gun.
It can't be, he thought.
But christian louboutin sale in heaven. I am ruined. I have lost a fifteen-thousand-dollar sale. And my reputation, if this gets out. If that man, Admiral Harusha's gentleman, is not discreet.
I will kill myself, he decided. I have lost place. I cannot go on; that is a fact.
On the other hand, perhaps that man erred.
Perhaps he lied.
He was sent by United States Historic Objects to destroy me. Or by West Coast Art Exclusives.
Anyhow, one of my competitors.
The gun is no doubt genuine.
How can I find out? Childan racked his brains. Ah. I will have the gun analyzed at the University of California Penology Department. I know someone there, or at least I once did. This matter came up before once. Alleged
non-authenticity of ancient breechloader.
In haste, marc jacobs sale one of the city's bonded messenger and delivery services, told them to send a man over at once. Then he wrapped the gun and wrote out a note to the University lab, telling them to make
professional estimate of the gun's age at once and inform him by phone. The delivery man arrived; Childan gave him the note and parcel, the address, and told him to go by helicopter. The man departed, and Childan began pacing
about his store, waiting . . . waiting.
At three o'clock the University called.