(This is the second entry to the novel, please scroll back to the blog They Had the Right to Remain Silent (1) to pick up the story at its beginning.  Earlier postings will describe the intentions of this site.  Welcome, and enjoy.)
They Had the right to Remain Silent
Richard S. Jachimecki
Chapter ( i ) continues…
     Henri internally groaned at the reference, but liked Pennington’s lack of pretentiousness and continued his presentation.
     The chessboard itself was as meticulously crafted as the figures. The sixty- four squares were alternated oak and black mahogany. Each had an inlaid crown of olive branches. The board was framed in mahogany, and carved claw feet were mounted at the corners. This raised the playing surface six inches above the counter. Drawers pulled out from underneath, exposing molded custom spaces for each piece, lined in red velvet. The artist’s signature was laser- cut into one of the drawer faces.
     “I have it on authority only twenty- five of these were produced. Each is unique in color and woods used,” declared Henri. “History has shown, upon breaking of the molds, the value has tripled on each past series. A set has gone for as high as two- hundred and fifty thousand at auction.” he said.
     “Well, that sounds like one hell of a return on investment,” mused Pennington.
     “Aptly put, sir.” agreed Henri, “Tiernay’s works are distributed worldwide, but very selectively. Gauttiano’s is the exclusive seller of his line in New York,” he stated.
         The pair stood in front of the piece, an odd Laurel and Hardy. Henri, slender and a good seven inches taller than the rotund Texas oilman, was motionless. Pennington resumed his back and forth rocking.
     “And this one goes for?” asked Pennington.
     “Forty- five,” Henri answered. A vacuum fell upon the room. Henri sensed the need for dramatic pause. The other patrons had moved to nearby displays, within closer earshot.
     “Of the Roman Series, this is Number Twenty- five,” Henri whispered, finally breaking the silence, “upon casting this, the mold was broken.”
     “Well sir, I shall have it!” Pennington shouted, pulling off his gloves, taking Henri’s hand and shaking it vigorously.
     “Braver, a wise decision, braver,” responded Henri, caught up in the moment, as their audience joined with applause for the entertainment.
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