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The Living Portrait (Judy Bolton Mysteries, #18)
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#18: Living Portrait > Chapter 25: The Living Portrait - Summary

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William Land (williamland) | 1280 comments Mod
Chapter 25: A Reckless Adventure

Under the supervision of Washington and with Judy’s assistance as she has time, Peter prepares the trap. Judy and Honey have recruited friends to attend the auction. (Is there any need for this?)

In this section, the fact that Honey had “friends of her own” caught my attention. Since Honey is always mentioned in the context of Judy’s adventures, I never think of her having a separate, private circle of friends although of course she should.

Horace takes Honey, Judy, Roberta, and Monica to the auction as Peter has gone ahead on business. On the ride, Miss Gray tells Roberta that Mrs. Hardwick will travel to Florida after Christmas and so Roberta will get her wish. Miss Gray will be her permanent teacher. Miss Gary says she plans to teach five or six years which is the length of Don Rogers’s sentence if it is shortened.

The auction is held every Saturday to sale a few of the items brought to his shop. To attract “The Eye” as well as a crowd, Chinese treasures are included with numerous items. The first item auctioned is a Chinese vase. Lorraine bids on a milk glass hen which reminds me of her bidding on the Indian masks in The Ghost Parade. When Judy notices a well-dressed woman making a purchase, she wonders if the woman is “The Eye’s” wife and if the money she uses is part of the loot. Judy wants to find Peter and tell him her idea, but Monica assures Judy that Peter has everything under control.

Margaret gives us a detailed description of the auction and then Monica Gray’s portrait is brought out. The auctioneer mentions there are two portraits and “when the two are switched about a person gets the feeling that the girl in the portrait is alive.” The woman Judy suspected as being the wife of the criminal turns to leave. The auctioneer calls out and asks if it wasn’t her husband who was asking about the portrait. The woman objects and Judy overhears her saying, “Lon knows I objected to that portrait. He picked it up at an auction somewhere and acted as if it were quite a prize. I certainly don’t want another one like it.” The woman and her companion leave.

Judy doesn’t see Peter, and since she believes the woman will lead them to the other portrait, she decides to follow. She leaves Honey with Roberta before taking Monica and Horace with her. Or rather Horace takes them since Judy is without a car. Judy realizes she is acting hastily and if Peter wanted her he would have asked her along. Still, she plunges on. “Her love of excitement won over her better judgment.”

Horace drives them until the police come to a stop and surround a house. Judy begins to have regrets. As they cross the lawn they are stopped by a policeman. “What are you doing? You will be killed when the shooting starts.” Just then the shooting does start, and Judy lies down on the grass as instructed. Judy is frightened for leading Horace and Monica into danger and even more frightened for Peter.

My first thought was that this is a new experience for both Judy and Peter. Usually he is on the outside looking in and worrying or showing up after the fact when Judy is the one in danger. Now their roles are reversed. Judy’s fears are relieved when she hears Peter’s voice.” You had better come along quietly, Lorenzo Baker. This is the FBI.”

Judy decides the best thing is for them to leave the area since “We’re not supposed to be here. He is going to be terribly angry and I don’t blame him.” Judy proposes to drive back to the auction, meet Peter there, and confess her folly in following him. Horace takes the blame saying he was as greedy for news as the crooks were for money. Now, why was Judy expecting Peter to be “terribly angry?” I think it would be more in character for him to be “terribly disappointed” in her behavior.


Rebekah (rebroxanna) | 661 comments It's just like Judy to rush in on impulse and follow the crooks, and then regret her carelessness. I wouldn't blame Peter being mad at Judy. She could have been killed. Or Monica.


message 3: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 1167 comments Rebekah wrote: "It's just like Judy to rush in on impulse and follow the crooks, and then regret her carelessness. I wouldn't blame Peter being mad at Judy. She could have been killed. Or Monica."

This one time I thought Judy was definitely in the wrong. I remember not liking this decision when I read the book as a child.


message 4: by Faye (new)

Faye Kisker | 485 comments I see both of your points of view. But I think Judy acted as she always has. Judy didn't see Peter and she didn't want them to lose track of the woman whens he was leaving. I do agree that when they followed the police and got to the Baker house, they should have stayed out of it. She would not want Peter embarrassed that his wife showed up on his first big case. And Peter would be hesitant like he said ~ to do what he needed to do if he had known she was there.


William Land (williamland) | 1280 comments Mod
Faye wrote: "I see both of your points of view. But I think Judy acted as she always has. Judy didn't see Peter and she didn't want them to lose track of the woman whens he was leaving. I do agree that when the..."

I, too, see the viewpoints expressed by Becky and Beverly in this thread, but I also agree with Faye. Judy acted as she always had sometimes. She can be impulsive with little thought for the consequences of her actions in the interest of sleuthing.


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