Ripley Under Ground

In Ripley Under Ground (1970) a Derwatt exhibition coincides with suspicions of forgery by an American collector, Murchison. Ripley travels to London to impersonate Derwatt, invites Murchison back to France where he kills him (brained with a wine bottle in his cellar). Bernard Tufts no longer wants to paint the forgeries: he visits Ripley and helps to dispose of Murchison's body, eventually kills himself and Ripley uses parts of his body to fake Derwatt's death.

There is a lot of relevant material in Under Ground: much of the first third of the book deals with Derwatt's life and work, the fabrication of his new life and the series of forgeries created by Bernard.

The book opens with Tom getting a call from Jeff of the Buckmaster Gallery, about to put on a Derwatt exhibition, who is worried about an American collector who, on the basis of colour differences, thinks that there is a Derwatt forger at work. This allows long passages of description of how the systematic forgeries by Bernard, after Derwatt's death, came about.

Crackling, a buzz, a dull click, and they were cut off.
'Damn,' Tom said mildly. Warn him? Was something wrong at the gallery? With Derwatt Ltd? Warn him? Tom was hardly involved. He had dreamed up the idea of Derwatt Ltd, true, and he derived a little income from it, but - Tom glanced at the telephone, expecting it to ring again at any moment. Or should he ring Jeff? No, he didn't know if Jeff was at his studio or at the gallery. Jeff Constant was a photographer...
'Hello.' Jeff's voice said. 'Look, Tom, I'm wondering if you could come over. To
London, I . . . There's a man coming from New York, probably tomorrow . . . I explained it in my letter. You know Derwatt's show opens on Tuesday. I'll hold him off till then. Ed and I just won't be available.' Jeff sounded quite anxious. 'Are you free, Tom?'

In the letter, received later that day, Jeff explains,

There is an American named Thomas Murchison, not a dealer but a collector - retired with plenty of lolly. He bought a Derwatt from us three years ago. He compared it with an earlier Derwatt he has just seen in the States, and now he says his is phoney. It is, of course, as it is one of Bernard's. He wrote to the Buckmaster Gallery (to me) saying he thinks the painting he has is not genuine, because the technique and colours belong to a period of five or six years ago in Derwatt's work. I have the distinct feeling Murchison intends to make a stink here. And what to do about it? You're always good on ideas, Tom.
Can you come over and talk to us? All expenses paid by the Buckmaster Gallery? We need an injection of confidence more than anything. I don't think Bernard has messed up any of the new canvases. But Bernard is in a flap, and we don't want him around even at the opening, especially at the opening. . .
PS. Murchison's letter was courteous, but supposing he's the kind who will insist on looking up Derwatt in
Mexico to verify, etc?

The last was a point, Tom thought, because Derwatt didn't exist. The story (invented by Tom) which the Buckmaster Gallery and Derwatt's loyal little band of friends put out, was that Derwatt had gone to a tiny village in Mexico to live, and he saw no one, had no telephone, and forbade the gallery to give his address to anyone. Well, if Murchison went to Mexico, he would have an exhausting search, enough to keep any man busy for a lifetime.
What Tom could see happening was Murchison - who would probably bring his Derwatt painting over - talking to other art dealers and then the press. It could arouse suspicion, and Derwatt might go up in smoke. Would the gang drag him into it? (Tom always thought of the gallery batch, Derwatt's old friends, as 'the gang', though he hated the term every time it came into his head.) And Bernard might mention Tom Ripley, Tom thought, not out of malice but out of his own insane - almost Christlike - honesty.
Tom had kept his name and his reputation clean, amazingly clean, considering all he did. It would be most embarrassing if it were in the French papers that Thomas Ripley of Villeperce-sur-Seine, husband of Heloise Plisson, daughter of Jacques Plisson, millionaire owner of Plisson Pharmaceutiques, had dreamed up the money-making fraud of Derwatt Ltd, and had for years been deriving a percentage from it, even if it was only ten per cent. It would look exceedingly shabby. . .
Derwatt Ltd was now big, and a collapse would have ramifications. Down would go the lucrative art supply line of materials labelled 'Derwatt', from which the gang, and Tom, got royalties also. Then there was the Derwatt School of Art in Perugia, mainly for nice old ladies and American girls on holiday, but still a source of income, too. The art school got its money not so much from teaching art and selling 'Derwatt' supplies as from acting as a rental agent, finding houses and furnished apartments, of the most expensive order, for well-heeled tourist-students, and taking a cut from it all. The school was run by a pair of English queens, who were not in on the Derwatt hoax. . .Tom had needed some extra money, the Greenleaf money not being enough for him to enjoy the kind of life he had come to prefer, and Tom had been interested in his cut of the Derwatt affair. Now he regretted that. He had accepted ten per cent, when ten per cent had been very little. Even he had not realized that Derwatt would flourish the way it had.


Tom in thinking about his lifestyle, notes,

he had besides Derwatts, a Soutine, of whose work Tom was especially fond, a Van Gogh, two Magrittes, and drawings by Cocteau and Picasso, and many drawings of less famous painters which he thought equally good or better.

Tom has a plan,

Why not impersonate Derwatt, he thought. My God, yes! That was the solution, the perfect solution, and the only solution.
Derwatt was about his age, close enough - Tom was thirty-one and Derwatt would be about thirty-five
[Der2]. Blue-grey eyes, Tom remembered Cynthia (Bernard's girl friend) or maybe Bernard saying in one of their gushing descriptions of Derwatt the Untarnishable. Derwatt had had a short beard, which was a tremendous help, would be, for Tom.
Jeff Constant would surely be pleased with the idea. A press interview. Tom must brush up on the questions he might have to answer, and the stories he would have to tell. Was Derwatt as tall as he? Well, who among the press would know? Derwatt's hair had been darker, Tom thought. But that could be fixed.

Tom phones Jeff who readily agrees with the idea and will make preparations. Tom considers his paintings,

Tom got up with the cold cup of tea. It would be amusing and funny if he could bring it off, he thought, as he stared at the Derwatt over his fireplace. This was a pinkish picture of a man in a chair[A1], a man with several outlines, so it seemed one was looking at the picture through someone else's distorting eyeglasses. Some people said Derwatts hurt their eyes. But from a distance of three or four yards, they didn't. This was not a genuine Derwatt, but an early Bernard Tufts forgery. Across the room hung a genuine Derwatt, 'The Red Chairs' [B1]. Two little girls sat side by side, looking terrified, as if it were their first day in school, or as if they were listening to something frightening in church. 'The Red Chairs' was eight or nine years old. Behind the little girls, wherever they were sitting, the whole place was on fire. Yellow and red flames leapt about, hazed by touches of white, so that the fire didn't immediately catch the attention of the beholder. But when it did, the emotional effect was shattering. Tom loved both pictures. By now he had almost forgotten to remember, when he looked at them, that one was a forgery and the other genuine.
Tom recalled the early amorphous days of what was now Derwatt Ltd. Tom had met Jeffrey Constant and Bernard Tufts in
London just after Derwatt had drowned - presumably intentionally - in Greece. Tom had just returned from Greece himself; it was not long after Dickie Greenleaf s death. Derwatt's body had never been found, but some fishermen of the village said they had seen him go swimming one morning, and had not seen him return. Derwatt's friends - and Tom had met Cynthia Gradnor on the same visit - had been profoundly disturbed, affected in a way that Tom had never seen after a death, not even in a family. Jeff, Ed, Cynthia, Bernard had been dazed. They had spoken dreamily, passionately, of Derwatt not only as an artist but as a friend, and as a human being. He had lived simply, in Islington, eating badly at times, but he had always been generous to others. Children in his neighbourhood had adored him, and had sat for him without expecting any payment, but Derwatt had always reached in his pockets for what were perhaps his last pennies to give them. Then just before he had gone to Greece, Derwatt had had a disappointment. He had painted a mural on a government assignment for a post office in a town in the north of England. It had been approved in sketch form, but rejected when finished: somebody was nude in it, or too nude, and Derwatt had refused to change it. ('And he was right, of course!' Derwatt's loyal friends had assured Tom.) But this had deprived Derwatt of a thousand pounds that he had counted on. It seemed to have been a last straw in a series of disappointments - the depth of which Derwatt's friends had not realized, and for this they reproached themselves. There had been a woman in the picture too, Tom recalled vaguely, the cause of another disappointment to Derwatt, but it seemed that the woman was not so important to him as his work disappointments. All Derwatt's friends were professionals also, mostly freelance, and were quite busy, and in the last days when Derwatt had called on them - not for money but for company on several evenings - they had said they hadn't time to see him. Unbeknownst to his friends, Derwatt had sold what furniture he had in his studio and got himself to Greece where he had written a long and depressed letter to Bernard. (Tom had never seen the letter.) Then had come the news of his disappearance or death.
The first thing Derwatt's friends, including Cynthia, had done was gather all his paintings and drawings and try to sell them. They had wanted to keep his name alive, had wanted the world to know and appreciate what he had done. Derwatt had had no relatives, and as Tom recalled, he had been a foundling without even known parents. The legend of his tragic death had helped instead of hindered; usually galleries were uninterested in paintings by a young and unknown artist who was already dead - but Edmund Banbury, a freelance journalist, had used his entrees and his talent for articles on Derwatt in newspapers, colour supplements and art magazines, and Jeffrey Constant had made photographs of Derwatt's paintings to illustrate them. Within a few months of Derwatt's death they found a gallery, the Buckmaster Gallery and moreover in Bond Street, which was willing to handle his work, and soon Derwatt's canvases were selling for six and eight hundred pounds.
Then had come the inevitable. The paintings were all sold, or nearly, and this was when Tom had been living in London (he had lived for two years in a flat in S.W.I, near Eaton Square) and had run into Jeff and Ed and Bernard one night in the Salisbury pub. They had again been sad, because Derwatt's paintings were coming to an end, and it had been Tom who had said, 'You're doing so well, it's a shame to end like this. Can't Bernard knock off a few paintings in Derwatt's style?' Tom had meant it as a joke, or a half-joke. He hardly knew the trio, only knew that Bernard was a painter. But Jeff, a practical type like Ed Banbury (and not a bit like Bernard), had turned to Bernard and said, 'I've thought of that, too. What do you think, Bernard?' Tom had forgot Bernard's exact reply, but he remembered that Bernard had lowered his head as if in shame or plain terror at the idea of falsifying his idol, Derwatt. Months later, Tom had encountered Ed Banbury in a street in London, and Ed had said cheerfully that Bernard had brought off two excellent 'Derwatts' and they had sold one at the Buckmaster as genuine.


Later, Jeff has a meeting with Tom, says that it is not plausible to continue to 'find' more Derwatts and Tom suggests that they should claim that he is still alive but reclusive.

. . . it had worked. Derwatt's paintings had begun coming from Mexico, it was said, and the dramatic story of Derwatt's 'resurrection' had been exploited to advantage by Ed Banbury and Jeff Constant in more magazine articles, with photographs of Derwatt and his (Bernard's) latest paintings, though not of Derwatt himself in Mexico, because Derwatt permitted no interviewers or photographers. The paintings were sent from Vera Cruz and not even Jeff or Ed knew the name of his village. Derwatt was perhaps mentally sick to be such a recluse. His paintings were sick and depressed, according to some critics, but were now among the highest priced paintings of any living artist in
England or on the Continent or in America. Ed Banbury wrote to Tom in France, offering him ten per cent of the profits, the loyal little group (now numbering only three, Bernard, Jeff and Ed) being the sole beneficiaries of Derwatt's sales. Tom had accepted, mainly because he considered it, his acceptance, rather a guarantee of his silence about the duplicity. But Bernard Tufts was painting like a demon.
Jeff and Ed bought the Buckmaster Gallery. Tom was not sure if Bernard owned any part of it. Several Derwatts were in a permanent collection of the gallery
[C1], and the gallery showed the paintings of other artists as well, of course. This was more Jeffs job than Ed's, and Jeff had hired an assistant, a sort of manager for the gallery. But this step up, the purchase of the Buckmaster Gallery, had come after Jeff and Ed had been approached by an art materials manufacturer called George Janopolos or some such, who wanted to start a line of goods to be labelled 'Derwatt', which would include everything from erasers to oil paint sets, and for which he offered Derwatt a royalty of one per cent. Ed and Jeff had decided to accept for Derwatt (presumably with Derwatt's consent). A company had then been formed called Derwatt Ltd.

Tom flies to London and, travelling from the airport in a bus, he sees a poster advertising the exhibition

DERWATT was written in bold black script slanting downward - Derwatt's signature - and the picture reproduced in colour looked in the dim light dark purple or black and somewhat resembled the raised top of a grand piano [D1]. A new Bernard Tufts forgery, doubtless. There was another such poster a few yards on.

Discussing the disguise,

Jeff said to remind you you're not much shorter than Derwatt was . . . and Derwatt had bluish-grey eyes. But yours'll do.' Ed laughed. . .
'He walked with a slight stoop,' Bernard said. 'His voice - He was a little shy in public. It was son of a monotone, I suppose. . . 'Now and then he laughed.' . . .
Below the mirror on a little shelf three snapshots of Derwatt were propped up - Derwatt reading a book in shirtsleeves in a deckchair, Derwatt standing with a man Tom did not know, facing the camera. Derwatt had glasses in all the pictures.


They discuss Murchisson. Tom must maintain that The Clock is genuine and also The Tub, in the new show. Tom's Man in Chair is similarly questionable.

By
five o'clock, Tom had been briefed or refreshed on several things: the town in Greece where Derwatt had officially last been seen nearly six years ago [Der3]. Tom, in case he was queried, was to say he had left Greece under another name on a Greek tanker bound for Vera Cruz, working as oiler and ship's painter.

They take a cab to the gallery

'And this - caretaker or manager at the gallery,' Tom said. 'What's his name?'
'Leonard Hayward,' Ed said. 'He's about twenty-six. Queer as Dick's hatband, belongs in a King's Road boutique, but he's okay. Jeff and I let him into the circle. Had to. It's really safer, because he can't spring any blackmail, if he signed a written agreement with us to caretake the place, which he did. We pay him well enough and he's amused. He also sends us some good buyers.' Ed looked at Tom and smiled. 'Don't forget a bit of workin' class accent. You can do it quite well as I remember.'

There is an interview with several newspaper reporters

'Do you intend to live in
Mexico indefinitely, Mr Derwatt?'
'Mr Derwatt, we're so surprised to see you here. What made you decide to come to London?'
'Don't call me Mister Derwatt,' Tom said grumpily. 'Just Derwatt.'
'Derwatt, certain critics have said . . . that your work resembles a period of Picasso's related to his cubist period, when he began to split faces and forms.'
'I have no periods,' Tom said. 'Picasso has periods. That's why you can't put your finger on Picasso - if anybody wants to. It's impossible to say "I like Picasso", because no one period comes to mind. Picasso plays. That's all right. But by doing this he destroys what might be a genuine - a genuine and integrated personality. What is Picasso's personality?' . . .
'What is your favourite painting in this show? Which do you think you like best?'
'I have no - No, I can't say that I have a favourite painting in this show. Thank you.' Did Derwatt smoke? What the hell. Tom reached for Jeff s Craven A's and lit one with a table lighter before two reporters could spring to his cigarette. Tom drew back to protect his beard from their fire. 'My favourites perhaps are the old ones - "The Red Chairs", "Falling Woman"
[E1], maybe. Sold alas.' Out of nowhere, Tom had recalled the last title. It did exist. . .
'Does Mexico inspire you? I notice there are no canvases in the show with a Mexican setting.'
(A slight hurdle, but Tom got over it. He had always painted from imagination.)
'Can you at least describe the house where you live in Mexico, Derwatt?' asked Eleanor.
(This Tom could do. A one-storey house with four rooms. A banana tree out front. A girl came to clean every morning at ten, and did a little shopping for him at noon, bringing back freshly baked tortillas, which he ate with red beans - frijoles - for lunch. Yes, meat was scarce, but there was some goat. The girl's name? Juana.)
'Do they call you Derwatt in the village?'
'They used to, and they had a very different way of pronouncing it, I can tell you. Now it's Filipo. There's no need of another name but Don Filipo.'

Murchison arrives

'How do you do, Mr Derwatt?' he said, smiling. 'What an unexpected treat to meet you here in
London!'
They shook hands.
'How do you do?' Tom said. . .
'I've got one of your paintings - "The Clock"
[F1]. In fact, I brought it with me.' Mr Murchison was smiling widely now, staring with fascination and respect at Tom, and Tom hoped his gaze was dazzled by the surprise of actually seeing him. . .
'Well, to come to the point, Mr Derwatt, I - I'm interested in a certain change of technique that you show in "The Clock". You know, of course, the picture I mean?' Murchison asked.
Was that a casual or a pointed question, Tom wondered? 'Of course,' Tom said.
'Can you describe it?'
Tom was still standing up. A slight chill went over him. Tom smiled. 'I can never describe my pictures. It wouldn't surprise me if there were no clock in it. Did you know, Mr Murchison, I don't always make up my own titles? And how anyone got "Sunday Noon"
[G1] out of the particular canvas is beyond me.' (Tom had glanced at the gallery programme of twenty-eight [Der6] Derwatts now on exhibit, a programme which Jeff or someone had thoughtfully opened and placed on the blotter of the desk.) 'Is that your effort, Jeff?'
Jeff laughed. 'No, I think it's Ed's. Would you like a drink, Mr Murchison? I'll get you one from the bar.'
'No, thank you, I'm fine.' Then Mr Murchison addressed Tom.
'It's a bluish-black clock held by - Do you remember?' He smiled as if he were asking an innocent riddle.
'I think a little girl - who's facing the beholder
[F2] , shall we say?'
'Hm-m. Right,' said Murchison. 'But then you don't do little boys, do you?'
Tom chuckled, relieved that he'd guessed right. 'I suppose I prefer little girls.'
Murchison lit a Chesterfield. He had brown eyes, light-brown wavy hair, and a strong jaw covered with just a little too much flesh, like the rest of him. 'I'd like you to see my picture. I have a reason. Excuse me a minute. I left it with the coats.' . . .
Murchison came back carrying a brown-paper-wrapped picture under one arm. It was a medium-sized Derwatt, perhaps two feet by three. 'I paid ten thousand dollars for this,' he said, smiling. 'You may think it careless of me to leave it in the cloakroom, but I'm inclined to trust people.' He was undoing the wrapping with the aid of a penknife. 'Do you know this picture?' he asked Tom.
Tom smiled at the picture. 'Of course I do.'
'You remember painting it?'
'It's my picture,' Tom said.
'It's the purples in this that interest me. The purple. This is straight cobalt violet - as you can probably see better than I.' Mr Murchison smiled almost apologetically for a moment. 'The picture is at least three years old, because I bought it three years ago. But if I'm not mistaken, you abandoned cobalt violet for a mixture of cad red and ultramarine five or six years ago. I can't exactly fix the date.'
Tom was silent. In the picture Murchison had, the clock was black and purple. The brushstrokes and the colour resembled those of 'Man in Chair'
[A2] (painted by Bernard) at home. Tom didn't know quite what, in the purple department, Murchison was hammering at. A little girl in a pink-and-apple-green dress was holding the clock, or rather resting her hand on it, as the clock was large and stood on a table. 'To tell you the truth, I've forgot,' Tom said. 'Perhaps I did use straight cobalt violet there.'
'And also in the painting called "The Tub" outside,' Murchison said, with a nod towards the gallery. 'But in none of the others. I find it curious. A painter doesn't usually go back to a colour he's discarded. The cad red and ultramarine combination is far more interesting - in my opinion. Your newer choice.' . . .
'How many years ago did you paint "The Clock"?' Murchison asked.
'That I'm afraid I can't tell you,' Tom said in a frank manner. He had grasped Murchison's point, at least in regard to time, and he added, 'It could have been four or five years ago. It's an old picture.'
'It wasn't sold to me as an old one. And "The Tub"
[H1]. That's dated only last year, and it has the same straight cobalt violet in it.'
The cobalt for the purpose of shadow, one might say, was not dominant in 'The Clock'. Murchison had an eagle eye. Tom thought 'The Red Chairs' - the earlier and genuine Derwatt - had the same straight cobalt, and he wondered if it had a fixed date? If he could say 'The Red Chairs' was only three years old, prove it somehow, Murchison could simply go to hell. Check with Jeff and Ed later on that, Tom thought.
'You definitely remember painting "The Clock"?' Murchison asked.
'I know it's my picture,' Tom said. 'I might have been in Greece or even Ireland when I painted it, because I don't remember dates, and the dates the gallery might have are not always the dates when I painted something.'
'I don't think "The Clock" is your work,' Murchison said with good-natured American conviction.
'Good heavens, why not?' Tom's good-nature matched Murchison's.
'I have a nerve sticking my neck out like this, I know. But I've seen some of your earlier work in a museum in Philadelphia. If I may say so, Mr Derwatt, you're - '
'Just call me Derwatt. I like it better.'
'Derwatt. You're so prolific, I think you might forget - I should say not remember a painting. Granted "The Clock" is in your style and the theme is typical of your- '
Jeff, like Ed, was listening attentively, and in this pause Jeff said, 'But after all this picture came from Mexico along with a few others of Derwatt's. He always sends two or three at a time.'
'Yes. "The Clock" has a date on the back. It's three years old, written in the same black paint as Derwatt's signature,' Murchison said, swinging his painting round so all could see it. 'I had the signature and the date analysed in the States. That's how carefully I've gone into this,' Murchison said, smiling.
'I don't quite know what the trouble is,' Tom said. 'I painted it in Mexico if the date's three years old in my own writing.'
Murchison looked at Jeff. 'Mr Constant, you say you received "The Clock" along with two others, perhaps, in a certain shipment?'
'Yes. Now that I recall - I think the other two are here now lent by London owners - "The Orange Barn"
[I1] and - Do you recall the other, Ed?'
'I think it's "Bird Spectre"
[J1] probably. Isn't it?'
From Jeff's nod, Tom could see it was true, or else Jeff was doing well at pretending.
'That's it,' said Jeff.
'They're not in this technique. There's purple in them, but made by mixed colours. The two you're talking about are genuine - genuinely later pictures at any rate.'
Murchison was slightly wrong, they were phoneys as well. Tom scratched his beard, but very gently. He kept a quiet, somewhat amused air.
Murchison looked from Jeff to Tom. 'You may think I'm being bumptious, but, if you'll excuse me, Derwatt, I think you've been forged. I'll stick my neck out farther, I'll bet my life that "The Clock" isn't yours.'
'But Mr Murchison,' Jeff said, 'that's a matter of simply - '
'Of showing me a receipt for a certain number of paintings in a certain year? Paintings received from Mexico which might not be even titled? What if Derwatt doesn't give them a title?'
'The Buckmaster Gallery is the only authorized dealer for Derwatt's work. You bought that picture from us.'
'I'm aware of that,' said Murchison. 'And I'm not accusing you - or Derwatt. I'm just saying, I don't think this is a Derwatt. I can't tell you what happened.' Murchison looked at all of them in turn, a bit embarrassed by his own outburst, but still carried along by his conviction. 'My theory is that a painter never reverts to a single colour which he once used or any combination of colours once he has made a change to another colour as subtle and yet as important as lavender is in Derwatt's paintings. Do you agree, Derwatt?'
Tom sighed and touched his moustache with a forefinger. 'I can't say. I'm not so much of a theoretician as you, it seems.'
A pause.
'Well, Mr Murchison, what would you like us to do about "The Clock"? Refund your money?' Jeff asked. 'We'd be happy to do that, because - Derwatt has just verified it, and frankly it's worth more than ten thousand dollars now.'
Tom hoped Mr Murchison would accept, but he was not that kind of man.
Murchison took his time, pushed his hands into his trousers pockets and looked at Jeff. 'Thank you, but I'm more interested in my theory - my opinion, than in the money. And since I'm in London, where there're as good judges of painting as anywhere in the world, maybe the best, I intend to have "The Clock" looked at by an expert and compared with - certain indisputable Derwatts.'
'Very well,' said Tom amiably.
'Thank you very much for seeing me, Derwatt. A pleasure to meet you.' Murchison held out his hand.
Tom shook it firmly. 'A pleasure, Mr Murchison.'
Ed helped Murchison wrap up his painting, and provided more string, as Murchison's string would no longer tie.
'Can I reach you through the gallery here?' Murchison said to Tom. 'Say tomorrow?'
'Oh, yes,' Tom said. 'They'll know where I am.'
When Murchison had left the room, Jeff and Ed gave huge sighs.
'Well - how serious is it?' Tom asked.
Jeff knew more about pictures. He spoke first, with difficulty. 'It's serious if he drags in an expert, I suppose. And he will. He may have a point about the purples. One might call it a clue that could lead to worse.'
Tom said, 'Why don't we go back to your studio, Jeff? Can you whisk me out the back door again - like Cinderella?'
'Yep, but I want to speak to Leonard.' Jeff grinned. 'I'll drag him in to meet you.' He went out.
The hum from the gallery was less now. Tom looked at Ed, whose face was a bit pale. / can disappear, but you can't, Tom thought. Tom squared his shoulders, and lifted his fingers in a V. 'Chin up, Banbury. We'll see this one through.'

'Mr Murchison is going to want to see you again probably,' Jeff said. 'With the expert. So you've got to disappear. You'll leave for Mexico tomorrow - officially. Maybe even tonight.' Jeff was sipping a Pernod. He looked more confident, perhaps because the press interview and even the Murchison interview had gone reasonably well, Tom thought.
'Mexico my foot,' Ed said, coming in with his cup of tea. 'Derwatt will be somewhere in England staying with friends, and even we won't know where. Let some days pass. Then he'll go to Mexico. By what means? Who knows?'
Tom removed his baggy jacket. 'Is there a date for "The Red Chairs"?'
'Yes,' Jeff said. 'It's six years old.'
'Printed here and there, I suppose?' Tom asked. 'I was thinking of updating it - to get over this purple business.'
Ed and Jeff glanced at each other, and Ed said quickly, 'No, it's in too many catalogues.'
'There's one way out, have Bernard do several canvases - two anyway - with the plain cobalt violet. Sort of prove that he uses both kinds of purple.' But Tom felt discouraged as he said it, and he knew why. Tom felt that it might be Bernard that they couldn't count on any longer. Tom looked away from Jeff and Ed. They were dubious. He tried standing up, straight, feeling confident of his Derwatt disguise. 'Did I ever tell you about my honeymoon?' Tom asked in Derwatt's monotone.
'No, tell us about your honeymoon!' Jeff said, ready for a laugh and grinning already.


A newspaper review of the exhibition and the interview are included later in the text

The Observer said: ' . . . breaking his long retreat with a surprise appearance Wednesday afternoon at the Buckmaster Gallery, Philip Derwatt
[Der1], who prefers to be called simply Derwatt, was reticent about his Mexican whereabouts but voluble enough when questioned about his work and that of his contemporaries. On Picasso: "Picasso has periods. I have no periods." ' In the Sunday Times photograph, he stood behind Jeff's desk gesticulating with his left fist raised, an action Tom did not remember having made, but here it was. '. . . wearing clothes that had obviously been in a cupboard for years . . . held his own against a battery of twelve reporters, which must have been a trial after six years of seclusion, we assume.' Was that 'we assume' a dig? Tom thought not, really, because the rest of the comment was favourable. 'Derwatt's current canvases maintain his high standards - idiosyncratic, bizarre, even sick, perhaps? . . . None of Derwatt's paintings is dashed off or unresolved. They are labours of love, though his technique appears quick, fresh and easy for him. This is not to be confused with facility or the look of it. Derwatt says he has never painted a picture in less than two weeks . . .' Had he said that? '. . . and he works daily, often for more than seven hours per day. . . . Men, little girls, chairs, tables, strange things on fire, these still predominate [K1] . . . . The show is going to be another sell-out.' No mention was made of Derwatt's disappearance after the interview.


Tom (as Tom) sees Bernard talking to Murchison in his hotel, waits for Bernard to leave ...

Then Tom approached him. 'Excuse me. I think I saw you at the Derwatt show today.' Tom had put on an American accent, mid-western with a hard 'r' in Derwatt.
'Why, yes, I was there,' Murchison said.
'I thought you looked like an American. So am I. Do you like Derwatt?' Tom was being as naive and straightforward as possible without seeming dim-witted.
'Yes, I certainly do.'
'I own two of his canvases,' Tom said with pride. 'I may buy one of the ones in the show today - if it's left. I haven't decided yet. "The Tub".'
'Oh? So do I own one,' Murchison said with equal candour.
'Y'do? What's it called?'
'Why don't you sit down?' Murchison was standing, but indicated the chair opposite him. 'Would you care for a drink?'
'Thanks, I don't mind if I do.'
Murchison sat down. 'My picture is called "The Clock". How nice to run into someone who owns a Derwatt, too - or a couple of them!'
A waiter came.
'Scotch for me, please. And you?' he asked Tom.
'A gin and tonic,' Tom said. He added, 'I'm staying here at the Mandeville, so these drinks are on me.'
'We'll argue about mat later. Tell me what pictures you have.'
' "The Red Chairs",' Tom said, 'and - '
'Really? That's a gem! "The Red Chairs". Do you live in
London?'
'No, in France.'
'Oh,' with disappointment. 'And what's the other picture?'
' "Man in Chair".'
'I don't know that,' Murchison said.
For a few minutes, they discussed Derwatt's odd personality, and Tom said he had seen Murchison go into a back room of the gallery where he had heard Derwatt was.
'Only the press was let in, but I crashed the gate,' Murchison told Tom. 'You see, I've got a rather special reason for being here just now, and when I heard Derwatt was here this afternoon at the gallery, I wasn't going to let the opportunity slip.'
'Yes? What's your reason?' Tom asked.
Murchison explained. He explained his reasons for thinking Derwatt might be being forged, and Tom listened with rapt attention. It was a matter of Derwatt using a mixture of ultramarine and cadmium red now, for the past five years or so (since before his death, Tom realized, so Derwatt had begun this, not Bernard), and of having in 'The Clock' and in 'The Tub' gone back to his early simple cobalt violet. Murchison himself painted, he told Tom, as a hobby.
'I'm no expert, believe me, but I've read almost every book about painters and painting that exists. It wouldn't take an expert or a microscope to tell the difference between a single colour and a mixture, but what I mean is, you'll never find a painter going back to a colour mat he has consciously or unconsciously discarded. I say unconsciously, because when a painter chooses a new colour or colours it is usually a decision made by his unconscious. Not that Derwatt uses lavender in every picture, no indeed. But my conclusion is that my "Clock" and possibly some other pictures, including "The Tub" that you're interested in, by the way, are not Derwatts.'
'That's interesting. Very. Because as it happens my "Man in Chair" sort of corresponds to what you're saying. I think. And "Man in Chair" is about four years old now. I'd love you to see it. Well, what're you going to do about your "Clock"?'
Murchison lit one of his Chesterfields. 'I haven't finished my story yet. I just had a drink with an Englishman whose name is Bernard Tufts, a painter also, and he seems to suspect the same thing about Derwatt.'
'What?' Tom asked.
'That - just maybe Constant and Banbury are putting up with a few forgeries in order to sell more Derwatts than Derwatt can produce. I don't go so far as to say Derwatt's in on it. But wouldn't that be a funny story, if Derwatt's so absent-minded he can't even remember how many pictures he's painted?' Murchison laughed.
It was funny, Tom supposed, but not hilarious. Not as funny as the truth, Mr Murchison. Tom smiled. 'So you're going to show your picture to the expert tomorrow?'
'Come up and see it now!'
Tom tried to take the bill, but Murchison insisted upon signing.
Tom went with him in the lift. Murchison had his painting in a corner of his closet, wrapped as Ed had wrapped it that afternoon. Tom looked at it with interest.
'It's a handsome picture,' Tom said.
'Ah, no one can deny that!'
'You know - ' Tom propped it on the writing-desk and was now looking at it from across the room with all the lights turned on. 'It does have a similarity to my "Man in Chair". Why don't you come over and look at my picture? I'm very near Paris. If you think my picture might be forged, too, I'll let you take it back with you to show in London.'
'Hum,' said Murchison, thinking. 'I could.'
'If you've been taken in, so have I, I think.' It would only be insulting to offer to pay for Murchison's flight, Tom thought, so he did not. 'I've a pretty big house and I'm alone at the moment, except for my housekeeper.'
'All right, I will,' said Murchison, who hadn't sat down.
'I intend to leave tomorrow afternoon.'
'All right, I'll postpone that Tate Gallery appointment.'
'I've lots of other paintings. Not that I'm a collector.' Tom sat down in the largest chair. 'I'd like you to have a look at them. A Soutine. Two Magrittes.'
'Really?' Murchison's eyes began to look a little dreamy. 'How far are you from Paris?'

Back at home, with Murchison in tow, Tom admires his paintings

Tom went into the living-room. Here were flowers, and Mme Annette had turned up the heat. There was a fireplace, and Tom loved fires, but he felt he had to watch them constantly, or he loved watching them so much he could not tear himself away, so he decided not to light one now. He stared at 'Man in Chair' over the fireplace, and bounced on his heels with satisfaction - satisfaction with its familiarity, its excellence. Bernard was good. He'd just made a couple of mistakes in his periods. Damn periods anyway. Logically, 'The Red Chairs', a genuine Derwatt, should have the place of honour in the room over the fireplace. Typical of him that he had put the phoney in the choice spot, he supposed. Heloise didn't know that 'Man in Chair' was bogus, and knew nothing of the Derwatt forgeries ...

Mr Murchison came down. He had changed his clothes, and wore grey flannel trousers and a green and black tweed jacket. 'The country life!' he said, beaming. 'Ah!' He had caught sight of 'The Red Chairs' facing him across the room, and went over for closer inspection. 'That's a masterpiece. That's the real McCoy!'
No doubt of that, Tom thought, and a thrill of pride went over him which made him feel slightly foolish. 'Yes, I like it.'
'I think I've heard about it. I remember the title from somewhere. I congratulate you, Tom.'
'And there's my "Man in Chair",' Tom said, nodding towards the fireplace.
'Ah,' Murchison said on a different note. He went nearer, and Tom saw his tall, sturdy figure grow tense with concentration. 'And how old is this?'
'About four years old,' Tom said truthfully.
'What did you pay, to ask a rude question?'
'Four thousand quid. Before devaluation. About eleven thousand two hundred dollars,' Tom said, calculating the pound at two eighty.
'I'm delighted to see this,' Murchison said, nodding. 'You see, the same purple turns up again. Very little of it here, but look.' He pointed to the bottom edge of the chair. Due to the height of the picture and the width of the fireplace, Murchison's finger was inches away from the canvas, but Tom knew the streak of purple that he meant. 'Plain cobalt violet.' Murchison crossed the room and looked again at 'The Red Chairs', peering at it at a distance of ten inches. 'And this is one of the old ones. Plain cobalt violet too.'
'You really think "Man in Chair" is a forgery?'
'Yes, I do. Like my "Clock". The quality is different. Inferior to "The Red Chairs". Quality is something one can't measure with the aid of a microscope. But I can see it here. And- I'm also sure about the plain cobalt violet here.'
'Then,' Tom said in an unperturbed way, 'maybe it means Derwatt is using plain cobalt violet and the mixture you mentioned - alternately.'
Murchison, frowning, shook his head. 'I don't see it that way.'
Mme Annette was pushing the tea in on a cart. One wheel of the cart squeaked slightly. 'Voila le the, M. Tome.'
Mme Annette had made flat brown-edged cookies, and they gave off a cosy smell of warm vanilla. Tom poured the tea.
Murchison sat on the sofa. He might not have seen Mme Annette come and go. He stared at 'Man in Chair' as if dazed or fascinated. Then he blinked at Tom, smiled, and his face was genial again. 'You don't believe me, I think. That's your privilege.'
'I don't know what to say. I don't see the difference in quality, no. Maybe I'm obtuse. If, as you say, you'll get an expert to look at yours, I'll abide by what an expert says. And by the way, "Man in Chair" is the picture you can take back to
London with you, if you like.'
'I'd most certainly like. I'll write you a receipt for it and even insure it for you.' Murchison chuckled.
'It's insured. Don't worry.'
...

Mme Annette had lit the fire. Tom and Murchison settled themselves on the big yellow sofa.
'It's a funny thing,' Tom began, 'I like "Man in Chair" just as much as "The Red Chairs". If it's phoney. Funny, isn't it?' Tom was still talking in a mid-western accent. 'You can see it's got the place of honour in the house.'
'Well, you didn't know it was a forgery!' Murchison laughed a little. 'It'd be very interesting - very - to know who's forging.'
Tom stretched his legs out in front of him and puffed on a cigar. 'What a funny thing it would be,' he began, playing his last and best card, 'if a forger was doing all the Buckmaster Gallery Derwatts now, all the ones we saw yesterday. Someone as good as Derwatt, in other words.'
Murchison smiled. 'Then what's Derwatt doing? Sitting back and taking it? Don't be ridiculous. Derwatt was much as I'd thought he would be. Withdrawn and sort of old-fashioned.'
'Do you think the Buckmaster Gallery people might be crooks?' Murchison asked. 'They must be. Why would they be putting up with a forger? Shoving forgeries among the real ones?'
Murchison thought the other new Derwatts, all of them in the current show, except 'The Tub', were genuine, Tom realized. 'That's if these are really forgeries - your "Clock" and so forth. I suppose I'm not yet convinced.'
Murchison smiled with good humour. 'Just because you like your "Man in Chair". If your picture is four years old and mine's at least three, these forgeries have been going on quite a while. Maybe there're more in London that weren't lent for the show. Frankly, it's Derwatt I suspect. I suspect him of being in cahoots with the Buckmaster people to earn more money. Another thing - there've been no drawings by Derwatt for years now. That's odd.'
'Really?' Tom asked with a feigned surprise. He knew this, and he knew what Murchison was driving at.
'Yes. There're a couple of old Derwatts at the Tate
[L1] as you probably know. Then I'll speak to the Buckmaster people without giving them any warning - if Riemer corroborates me.'
Tom's mind began to make painful leaps. Saturday was the day after tomorrow. Riemer might want to compare 'The Clock' and 'Man in Chair' with the Tate Gallery Derwatts and those in the current show. Could Bernard Tufts' paintings stand up to it? And if they couldn't? He poured more brandy for Murchison and a bit for himself which he did not want. He folded his hands on his chest. 'You know, I don't think I'll sue - or whatever one does - if there's forging going on.'
'Hah! I'm a little more orthodox. Old-fashioned, maybe. My attitude. Suppose Derwatt's really in on it?'
'Derwatt's rather a saint, I hear.'

Murchison's plane was at 4 P.M. for London. Time for a decent lunch here, as Orly was about an hour away by car under good conditions. While Murchison had been changing his shoes for their little walk, Tom had wrapped 'Man in Chair' in three thicknesses of corrugated paper, string, brown paper and more string. Murchison was going to keep the painting with him on the plane, he had told Tom. Murchison said he had reserved a room at the Mandeville for this evening.
'But remember, no charges pressed on my part,' Tom said, 'about "Man in Chair".'
'That doesn't mean you'll deny it's a fake,' Murchison said with a smile. 'You're not going to insist it's genuine?'
'No,' Tom said. 'Touche. I'll bow to the experts.'
The open woods was not the place for a conversation which had to get down to a pinpoint, Tom felt. Or did it have to expand into a huge grey cloud? Tom was not happy, at any rate, talking to Murchison in the woods.
Tom asked Mme Annette to prepare the lunch rather early, because of M. Murchison's departure, and they began at a quarter to one.

Before Murchison leaves, Tom invites him down to the cellar on the pretext of giving him some wine.

Murchison had had a thought, and Tom knew what that thought was, that Tom Ripley was in on it, deriving some kind of benefit or profit from it. 'Yes, I have an interest in it,' Tom said quickly. 'You see, I know the young man who spoke to you in your hotel the other day. I know all about him. He's the forger.'
'What? That - that - '
'Yes, that nervous fellow. Bernard. He knew Derwatt. It started out quite idealistically, you see - '
'You mean, Derwatt knows about it?'
'Derwatt is dead. They got someone to impersonate him.' Tom blurted it out, feeling he had nothing any longer to lose, and maybe something to gain. Murchison had his life to gain, but Tom could not quite put that into words, not plain words, as yet.
'So Derwatt's dead - since how long?'
'Five or six years. He really died in
Greece.'
'So all the pictures - '
'Bernard Tufts - You saw what kind of fellow he is. He'd commit suicide if it came out he was forging his dead friend's paintings. He told you not to buy any more. Isn't that enough? The gallery asked Bernard to paint a couple of pictures in Derwatt's style, you see - ' Tom realized he had suggested that, but no matter. Tom also realized that he was arguing hopelessly, not only because Murchison was adamant, but because there was a split in Tom's own reasoning, a split he was well acquainted with. He saw the right and the wrong. Yet both sides of himself were equally sincere: save Bernard, save the forgeries, save even Derwatt, was what Tom was arguing. Murchison would never understand. 'Bernard wants out of it, I know. I don't think you'd like to risk a man's killing himself out of shame just to prove a point, would you?'
'He might've thought of shame when he began!' Murchison looked at Tom's hands, his face, back to his hands again. 'Was it you impersonating Derwatt? Yes. I noticed Derwatt's hands.' Murchison smiled bitterly. 'And people think I don't notice little things!'
'You're very observant,' Tom said quickly. He suddenly felt angry.
'My God, I might've mentioned it yesterday. I thought of it yesterday. Your hands. You can't put a beard on those, can you?'

Tom brains him with a bottle

gasping a little, trying to get his breathing back to normal, Tom moved in the darkness towards the stairs and climbed them. He closed the cellar door. The spare john had a basin, and here he washed his hands quickly. Some blood showed pink in the running water, and Tom thought it was Murchison's, until he saw that it kept coming, and that he had a cut at the base of his thumb. But it wasn't a bad cut, it could have been worse, so he considered himself lucky. He pulled toilet paper from the roll on the wall and wrapped it around his thumb.
Mme Annette was busy in the kitchen now, which was another piece of luck. If she came out, Tom thought, he would say that M. Murchison was already in the car - in case Mme Annette asked where he was. It was time to go.
Tom ran up to Murchison's room. The only things Murchison had not packed were his topcoat and toilet articles in the loo. Tom put the toilet articles into a pocket of Murchison's suitcase and closed it. Then he carried the suitcase and the topcoat down the stairs and out of the front door. He put these things into the Alfa-Romeo, then ran back upstairs for Murchison's 'Clock', which was still wrapped. Murchison had been so sure of himself, he hadn't bothered unwrapping 'The Clock' to compare it with 'Man in Chair'. Pride goeth before a fall, Tom thought. He took his wrapped 'Man in Chair' from Murchison's room into his own room, and stuck it in a back comer of his closet

Bernard visits Tom at his house in France

Bernard shook his head. 'I feel as if I'm at the end. That's all. The show was the end. It's the last show I can paint. The last picture. "The Tub." And now they're trying to bring - you know - bring him back to life.'
And I succeeded, Tom might have said, but his face remained as serious as Bernard's. 'Well - he's presumably been alive for the past five years. I'm sure they're not going to force you to go on painting if you don't want to, Bernard.'
'Oh, they're going to try, Jeff and Ed. But I've had enough, you see. Quite enough.'
'I think they know that. Don't worry about that. We can - Look, Derwatt can go into seclusion again. In
Mexico. Let's say he's painting for the next many years, and refuses to show anything.' Tom walked up and down as he spoke. 'Years can pass. When Derwatt dies - we'll have him burn all his last paintings, something like that, so no one will ever see them!' Tom smiled.
Bernard's sombre eyes, staring at the floor, made Tom feel as if he had told a joke that his audience didn't get. Or worse, committed a sacrilege, cracked a bad joke in a cathedral.
'You need a rest, Bernard. Would you like a phenobarb? I have some mild ones, quarter grains.'

And so does a British police inspector investigating Murchison's disappearance

[Bernard firmly] stood up suddenly. 'Would you excuse me a minute?' He went off towards the stairs.
Mme Annette served Webster's drink.
Bernard came down with a thick brown notebook, quite worn, in which he was trying to find something as he walked across the room. 'If you want to know a little about Derwatt - I copied several things from his journals here. They were left in a suitcase in
London when he went to Greece. I borrowed them for a while. His journals are chiefly about painting, the difficulties he had from day to day, but there's one entry - Yes, here it is. It's seven years old. This is really Derwatt. May I read it?'
'Yes, please do,' said Webster.
Bernard read, ' "There is no depression for the artist except that caused by a return to the Self." He spells Self with a capital, "The Self is that shy, vainglorious, egocentric, conscious magnifying glass which should never be looked at or through. A glimpse of it occurs in midstream sometimes, when it is a real horror, and between paintings, and on vacations - which should never be taken." ' Bernard laughed a little. ' "Such a depression consists in, besides wretchedness, vain questions such as what is it all about? And the exclamation, how badly I've fallen short! And the even worse discovery which I should have noticed long ago, I can't even depend on the people who are supposed to love me at a time when I need them. One doesn't need them when working well. I mustn't show myself in this moment of weakness. It will be, might be, thrown at me at some later date, like a crutch that should have been burnt - tonight. Let the memory of the black nights live only in me." Next paragraph,' said Bernard with reverence.' "Do people who can really talk to each other without fear of reprisals have the best marriages? Where has kindness, forgiveness gone in the world? I find more in the faces of children who sit for me, gazing at me, watching me with innocent wide eyes that make no judgement. And friends? In the moment of grappling with the enemy Death, the potential suicide calls upon them. One by one, they are not at home, the telephone doesn't answer, or if it does, they are busy tonight - something quite important that they can't get away from - and one is too proud to break down and say, 'I've got to see you tonight or else!' This is the last effort to make contact. How pitiable, how human, how noble - for what is more godlike than communication? The suicide knows that it has magical powers." ' Bernard closed the notebook. 'Of course he was rather young when he wrote that. Still not thirty.'
'Very moving,' said the Inspector. 'When did you say he wrote that?'
'Seven years ago. In November,' Bernard replied. 'He tried a suicide in London in October. He wrote this when he recovered. It wasn't a - bad bout. Sleeping pills.'
Tom listened uneasily. He hadn't heard of Derwatt's attempted suicide.
'Perhaps you think it melodramatic,' Bernard said to the Inspector. 'His journals weren't meant for anyone to read. The Buckmaster Gallery has the others. Unless Derwatt asked for them.' Bernard had begun to stammer, to look uncomfortable, probably because he was carefully trying to lie.
'He's the suicide type, then?' asked Webster.
'Oh, no! He has ups and downs. Perfectly normal. I mean, normal for a painter. At the time he wrote this, he was broke. A mural assignment had fallen through, and Derwatt had even finished the mural. The judges turned it down because there were a couple of nudes in it. It was for a post office somewhere.' Bernard laughed as if it were of no importance now.
[M1]
And oddly, Webster's face was serious and thoughtful.
'I read this to show you that Derwatt is an honest man,' Bernard continued, undaunted. 'No dishonest man could have written this - or anything else that's in this book on the subject of painting - or simply life.' Bernard thumped the book with the back of his fingers. 'I was one of the ones who was too busy to see him when he needed me. I had no idea he was in such a bad state, you see. None of us did. He even needed money, and he was too proud to ask for any. Such a man doesn't steal, doesn't commit - I mean permit forgery.'
Tom thought Inspector Webster was going to say, with the solemnity proper to the occasion, 'I understand,' but he only sat with splayed knees, still thoughtful, with one hand turned inward on his thigh.
'I think that's great - what you read,' Chris said in the long silence. When no one said anything, Chris ducked his head, then lifted it again, as if ready to defend his opinion.
'Any more later entries?' Webster asked. 'I'm quite interested in what you read, but - '
'One or two,' Bernard said, leafing through the notebook. 'But again six years ago. For instance, "The eternal falling short is the only thing that takes the terror out of the act of creation." Derwatt has always been - respectful of his talent. It's very hard for me to put into words.'
'I think I understand,' said Webster.
Tom sensed at once Bernard's severe, almost personal disappointment. He glanced at Mme Annette, standing discreetly mid-distance from the arched doorway and the sofa.
'Did you speak with Derwatt at all in London, even by telephone?' Webster asked Bernard.
'No,' Bernard said.
'Or with Banbury or Constant either - while Derwatt was there?'
'No. I don't often see them.'
No one, Tom thought, could suspect Bernard of lying. He looked the essence of probity.
'But you're on good terms with them?' Webster asked, cocking his head, looking a little apologetic for the question. 'I understand you knew them years ago when Derwatt lived in London?'

Tom later explains events to his wife

Heloise had not heard of his disappearance. Tom explained Murchison's suspicion of his 'Clock' as a forgery, and Tom said he was convinced there was no forgery being done of Derwatt's paintings, and so, like the police, he could not account for Murchison's disappearance. Just as Heloise did not know about the forging, she did not know how much of an income Tom derived from Derwatt Ltd, about $ 12,000 per year, about the same as the income from the stocks he had acquired from Dickie Greenleaf. Heloise was interested in money, but not particularly in where it came from. She knew her family's money contributed as much to their household as Tom's, but she had never thrown this up to Tom, and Tom knew she couldn't have cared less, which was another thing he appreciated in Heloise. Tom had told her that Derwatt Ltd insisted on giving him a small percentage of their profits, because he had helped them organize their business years ago, before he and Heloise met. Tom's Derwatt Ltd income was sent to him, or handled by the
New York company which was a distributor of the Derwatt-labelled art supplies. Some of this Tom invested in New York, and some he had sent to France to be turned into francs. The head of the Derwatt art supply company (who also happened to be a Greek) was aware that Derwatt did not exist and was being falsified.
'There's something I'd like to tell you,' Bernard said. 'The night after Derwatt died - We all heard about his death twenty-four hours after it happened in Greece - I - I had a vision of Derwatt standing in my bedroom. There was moonlight coming through the window. I'd broken a date with Cynthia, I remember, because I wanted to be alone. I could see Derwatt there and feel his presence. He was even smiling. He said, "Don't be alarmed, Bernard, I'm not badly off. I'm feeling no pain." Can you imagine Derwatt saying something as predictable as that? Yet I heard him.'
Bernard had heard his inner ear. Tom listened respectfully.
'I sat up in bed watching him for maybe a minute. Derwatt sort of drifted around my room, the room where I paint sometimes - and sleep.'
Bernard meant painted Tufts, not Derwatts.
Bernard continued, 'He said, "Carry on, Bernard, I'm not sorry." By sorry, I gathered he meant he wasn't sorry he'd killed himself. He meant, just go on living. That is - ' Bernard looked at Tom for the first time since he had begun speaking ' - for as long as it's supposed to last. It's hardly something one has control over, is it? Destiny does it for you.'
Tom hesitated. 'Derwatt had a sense of humour. Jeff says he might've appreciated your forging his work with such success.' Thank God, this went down not badly.

Tom and Bernard in discussion later

'To a point. Yes, the forging might have been a professional joke. Derwatt wouldn't have liked the business side of it. Money might have made him commit suicide as easily as being broke.'
Tom felt Bernard's thoughts starting to turn again, in a disorganized and hostile way, hostile to him. Should he make a move to call it a night? Or would Bernard take that as an insult? 'The blasted flics are arriving so early, I think I'll turn in.'
Bernard leaned forward. 'You didn't understand what I meant the other day when I said I'd failed. With that detective from
London, when I was trying to explain Derwatt to him.'

Plenty of story left, but no relevant references.

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page rewritten 15th September 2009