The Grand Heist
Monsieur Auguste Fontaine strolled down the Salon Carré at the Louvre. He had recently had an argument with his wife, Agathe, in which she told him the brute that he was, not being able to earn a single Franc. No Agathe, he thought, it is not I who is a brute. For Fontaine, the Louvre was an escape. An escape from his transgressing children, but worse, his barbaric wife. With every Veronese, Da Vinci, Vermeer, and Caravaggio he passed, his heart was calmed and the paintings replaced his everyday concerns. Fontaine was not a man of popularity, for he avoided entering his home in every way possible. He stopped at the library, read books not once touched, then entered the ...view middle of the document...
Where could he be? What if he was caught? Could they link me to him? Would he give my identity away? These questions flooded her sixteen-year-old brain as she moved not a bone in her body with the seconds that lapsed by. Her foot tapped at a steady rhythm that she was unaware of. She had been planning this for two years. Penelope spent day and night rectifying the slightest of flaws in her plan. Her doubts of being discovered were soon expelled from her head as she reassured herself of the facts. But the seconds had turned to minutes, which had turned into hours, and now, over a day. She had planned to meet Vincenzo here four hours after he took her, but still no luck. Her bloodshot eyes slowly gave up and gradually closed more and more. But before the instant that her eyes fell closed, they shot open. Penelope’s body froze as a branch broke behind her. Trembling, she turned and yelled “Is someone there?” Her blood rushed to her ears and her palms began to sweat. She pulled a strand of her dark brown hair behind her ear and then pulled her hand rapidly back down.
The seconds felt like an eternity, and as she abruptly turned her head, a hooded man behind her exclaimed, “Looking for someone?”
“Vincenzo. You nearly gave me a start!” But he did not respond. His black beard had grown longer since she had last seen him and his eyes, like two pieces of coal, were surrounded with dark circles. He merely smirked as he pulled a black sack that obviously contained a rectangular shaped object from his coat. He passed the sack to Penelope and she willingly took it from him. Feeling victorious, she handled the sack as if she was opening a Christmas present for the first time. A smirk spread across her face as she pulled down the top of the sack, revealing part of her face.
“She’s beautiful, isn’t she?” Vincenzo exclaimed.
“She truly is. Now, I will not be needing your services any longer for the time being.” Penelope replied.
“What do you mean? I did not steal this Da Vinci for you so you could simply disregard me! You told me you had a plan. You promised I would get my share in this,” he argued.
“What share? How shallow can you be? A painting such as this has more to give than money, you fool.”
“Just answer one question for me: what do you intend to do with the Mona Lisa?” Vincenzo asked.
“That is a matter to be discussed between her and I.” She stated.
Vincenzo Peruggia inquisitively stared into Penelope’s eyes, battling to discover how one could be so daft. Who on Earth is her, he thought. The painting? What a child she is. How could he have trusted a young girl in this? She had somehow managed to deceive him. Initially in their partnership, she presented her plan to him. Her voice had sounded so reassuring when she came up to him outside of the Louvre before he began his cleaning job there the last month. She used me, he thought.
“This isn’t the last of me,” he assured her, “I will find you again, and believe me, I will get my share young...