Treasure Hunt.

Ian Ross

Not every thief becomes a thief. Part of the Crime series.

On stage, the Diva was singing. In her dressing room the thief had minutes before the curtain calls. The Diva would return to dress for the opening night party and to adorn herself in the diamonds the Earl of Chennan had given her. Those diamonds had to be somewhere here.

The light from the electric chandelier showed the thief a burstingly full room. Her eye ran over the chaise-longue, the armchair buried under hats and linen and the racks of sequined and silk dresses. She glanced at the jostling photos on the wall and the gaudily-framed image of the Earl on the dressing table. She took in the tubs of make-up and powder and the rows of shoes of every colour and discomfort. A million hiding places and a dozen boxes of costume jewellery in which the diamonds could be concealed. Applause and cheering broke like a dam in the house.

The diamonds must be to hand but must also be hidden. The Diva couldn’t risk a bag being snatched or the necklace being mislaid between clothes. She would not have the patience or care to secrete them in a cushion or behind a picture.

The audience were cheering the curtain for the fourth time. The thief looked around the room once more and shrugged. A bell rang for the final curtain call and the thief switched off the light and left. The light ceased glittering through sixteen two-carat diamonds looped over the glass in the chandelier.