"Hold on, there!" came a sharp challenge from the stairs behind and below me. "What are you doing? And what's that picture doing?"
It was one of the Museum's guards.
"I was going to ask somebody that same question," I told him as austerely as I could manage. "What about this picture? I thought there was a Böcklin hanging here."
The guard relaxed. "Oh, I beg your pardon, sir. I thought you were somebody else--the man who brought that thing." He nodded at the picture. "Personally, I think it's plain beastly."
"And the Museum has accepted it at last?" I asked.
He shook his head. "Oh, no, sir."
I, too, came close. There was no plate beneath the painting. But in the lower left-hand corner of the canvas were sprawling capitals, pale paint on the dark, spelling out the word GOLGOTHA. Beneath these, in small, barely readable script:
I sold my soul that I might paint a living picture.