Sunday, August 15, 2010

Missing Monarch

Harold took out his jeweller's glass. "A 1960 letter from Saint Paul McCartney to the Corinthians, you say?"

"That's right. Original. I want two hundred quid for it." The man turned and looked out of the door. "Cash." He turned back, beads of sweat forming on his upper lip and forehead.

"It's a fake." Harold stood. "See this stamp on the envelope? That's what we call the missing monarch. The tuppeny stamps weren't inked properly, see, and didn't print the queen's head. The stamp's from 1961, rendering your whole claim puerile. I'll give you thirty quid."

"It's worth two hundred!"

"Then try Music Memorabilia on Westgate. He might overestimate its value."

"Nah. You can have it for fifty quid."

"I said thirty." Harold counted out three ten-pound notes. "Take it or leave it."

"I'll take it." He snatched up the money and left the shop, the door not slamming, thanks to the hydraulic spring.

Harold picked up the phone and dialled Music Memorabilia. "Mike? Harold Waterman from Alexandrian Gold. A bloke's just come in and sold me your stolen McCartney letter." He paused, listening. "Yes... Seventy-five quid."

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