In this, this country district, he reasoned that there must be someone out there.
Someone for who these portraits would have some kind of meaning, some kind of value.
Having made the decision not to throw them out, he didn't feel what he expected.
He first noticed it the day the scrapyard man came with his low-loader.
The scrap man looked at the old car and his eyes narrowed with what might have been disgust. Smoke drifted from the bowl of a charred pipe he was smoking. He took it out of his mouth and scratched his nose with the mouth-piece. It was a caricature of an old man's nose. Bulbous was the word that sprang to mind. No other word would do.
'Not your responsibility, you know. Shifting that car.'
'No. But the previous owners haven't left me much choice.'
The scrap man grunted. 'No. They wouldn't.'
The car was winched up onto the low-loader.
The old man re-lit his pipe before getting into the truck.
He had a terrible, unaccountable urge to ask this old man to take the paintings too.
Anything to be rid of them.
But sensed that the old man wouldn't, no matter how valuable, touch them with a very long barge pole.