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The Living Portrait (Judy Bolton Mysteries, #18)
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#18: Living Portrait > Chapter 22: The Living Portrait - Summary

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William Land (williamland) | 1252 comments Mod
Chapter 22: A Narrow Escape

Judy now questions Peter about the information he received from the auctioneer. Most of the information is identical to what Horace was told. After Monica received threatening phone calls and was almost run over a couple of times, she took the portrait to the auctioneer. A respected citizen with the description of “The Eye” inquired about the painting. The suspect’s wife collects Chinese treasures and the couple frequents the auction house. Peter guesses the last time “The Eye” warned Monica about the portrait, he was told it had been taken to the auctioneer, and then went to the auctioneer himself. He inquired about the portrait and asked the description of the buyer when told it was sold. Apparently Judy bought it within minutes of it being offered for sale.

Peter believes the criminal identified Judy as the buyer and located her house. Peter doesn’t know how the identical portrait was obtained so a switch could be made. The auctioneer was surprised when Peter mentioned a second portrait. After the sale, Monica came into the shop a carrying a letter Don sent asking her to take care of the portrait. She was told that the portrait had been sold. Judy says that Roberta told her substitute teacher Judy had bought the portrait.

Roberta joins the conversation, and Judy notices a scratch on her arm. She suspects Blackberry. Roberta avoids confirming it but admits she was taking Blackberry for a walk. Judy asks about Tuffy, but Roberta has already left the room. Judy remembers that it is the day for the junior F.B.I. to meet and asks Peter if he is an honorary member. He isn’t required to be since the purpose of the club is to help him, and they are already helping him “more than you know.” He is very mysterious about the help he is receiving.

Peter plans to set a trap for the missing robber. Judy is to take the portrait they have and put it up for sale in the same shop where it was purchased. Auction day will be next Saturday. The auction shop is in Farringdon so Chief Kelly can help. Peter will make sure there are Chinese treasures being auctioned to attract the criminal’s wife. Horace should have a good story from the auction event.

In the meantime Peter wants to visit Monica Gray, and Judy suggests that she and Roberta tag along for a social call. Judy is willing to take the chance they will be welcomed. She believes Monica can confirm whether or not there are two portraits and who owned the second one. Judy decides that they can ask for a copy of the poem Roberta recited as an excuse to visit. Once they have an opening they can ask additional questions. The woman’s address is on the Photostats of the letters and she only lives an hour away. Peter is not sure the plan will work. Judy believes Monica Gray will co-operate because she wants her portrait.

The next day Roberta is excited to make the trip. Roberta has her own questions to ask. Why did Miss Gray peek into their window? Why did she say she would go back in the frame? Judy reminds her to simply ask for the verse about Buttercup. While they are discussing their strategy, Roberta sees her teacher walking along the road and calls out “There she is!” Judy misses seeing her because a black car passing them swerves to avoid a truck coming head on. Peter is forced to the shoulder and almost over the embankment. Miss Gray drops out of sight.


Rebekah (rebroxanna) | 631 comments I just don't understand why Judy (or anyone) would want to buy a portrait of a stranger for their home. Unless it was a real masterpiece by a famous artist.


message 3: by Faye (new)

Faye Kisker | 408 comments I think it is an interesting plan to put the second portrait up for sale with the same auctioneer. But since the thief already took the portrait with the money in it, why is he interested in a second one?
But it is late and I am tired, maybe I am just not thinking clearly.


Rebekah (rebroxanna) | 631 comments Faye wrote: "I think it is an interesting plan to put the second portrait up for sale with the same auctioneer. But since the thief already took the portrait with the money in it, why is he interested in a seco..."
Now that you mention it, I don't get it either. Maybe like Peter says "You'll see." I will be looking out for the explanation.


message 5: by Faye (new)

Faye Kisker | 408 comments Rebekah wrote: "I just don't understand why Judy (or anyone) would want to buy a portrait of a stranger for their home. Unless it was a real masterpiece by a famous artist."

I think I would be tempted if I loved the way the person looked or was dressed.


message 6: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 1057 comments Rebekah wrote: "I just don't understand why Judy (or anyone) would want to buy a portrait of a stranger for their home. Unless it was a real masterpiece by a famous artist."

I agree, although Judy says she liked the expression. As a child, I thought this was strange.


message 7: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 1057 comments Faye wrote: "I think it is an interesting plan to put the second portrait up for sale with the same auctioneer. But since the thief already took the portrait with the money in it, why is he interested in a seco..."

No, I wondered the same, Faye.


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