‘We’ll find it.’ Barry smiled down at the elderly woman on her hands and knees. ‘Let me help you up,’ he said grasping her arm, and gently pulling her onto her feet. They’d met, minutes earlier, when he’d checked her entrance ticket into the art gallery. Mrs Collins he recalled. Then she’d dropped something on the floor.
‘You don’t understand, my husband gave it to me,’ she whispered.
‘Come and sit down,’ he said. She smelt of Lily of the Valley, it reminded him of his late grandmother. God rest her soul. He led the woman over to an ornate chair, brushed aside the notice declaring “DO NOT SIT” and patted the seat. Mrs Collins sat, a gloved hand shielding her eyes.
‘It means so much to me,’ she sobbed. ‘My Ernest gave it to me.’
‘What are we looking for?’ said Barry.
‘My beautiful ring of course - my emerald. Barry searched the chequer board floor of the gallery. Lifting the brocade cloth he peered beneath the table, running a calloused hand across cool marble. Completely oblivious to Mr Collins, who was busy stealing the Pablo Picasso.