The time is one o’clock in the morning.
The place is the Ritesville town art gallery.
A window opens and a man comes in. His name is Harry Black, and he is a thief.
It is dark in the art gallery, but Harry has a light. He looks across the room at a painting.
“There it is!” he says.
Harry moves quickly across the room, He stands and looks at the painting.
“A million dollars for this?” he thinks. “I don’t understand it.”
But he takes a knife from his coat.
Then he takes the painting very, very slowly from its frame.
Harry goes back across the room to the window, but he walks into a table. There is a beautiful blue glass vase on the table. It falls on the floor and breaks into a hundred pieces.
Harry smiles. “Is that a million-dollar vase?” he thinks. “It isn’t now!”
He runs across the pieces of glass to the window.
Harry has a room in Mrs. Allen’s rooming house. He goes quietly up to his room and closes the door.
Mrs. Allen and her daughter, Janey, are sleeping. They don’t hear him.
Is his room, Harry takes the painting from his bag. He puts it in a newspaper, then he puts the newspaper under his bed.
In the morning, Janey Allen is in the kitchen. She is putting old bottles into a box.
“Recycling is important”, Janey thinks.
On the TV, a reporter is at the Ritesville art gallery. He is talking about the painting.
“It’s a million-dollar painting”, he is saying. “Here’s a photo of it.”
Now the reporter is talking about the blue glass vase.
“It’s in a hundred pieces now”, he says.
Janey looks at the photo of the vase, then she asks her mother, “Do you have any old bottles?”
“No”, Mrs. Allen says. “That’s all, Janey. But the newspaper recycling truck is coming today.”
“Of course!” Janey says. “It’s Friday!”
Harry isn’t in his room. He is talking on his telephone to a man in Seattle. The man wants the painting, but Harry isn’t happy.
“Five thousand dollars?” Harry says. ”No! It’s a million-dollar painting!...What?...No, I want fifty thousand, not five!...What?...The painting? Yes, I have it, and it’s OK.”
Art Gallery: galeria de arte
Break (to): quebrar
Painting: pintura, tela
Rooming House: pensão