Edward Discovers A Rosalba Carriera Original:

In Armistice Plot Edward Ware has gone to Venice to discover certain incriminating letters from Hitler to Herr von Wessel in the early 1920s. Instead he invades the von Wessel villa on the Grand Canal, which at first seems to be empty, only to find Helga herself peering down at him from the wall. Her appearance startles him.

Helga von Wessel has always known how to make a dramatic appearance. She knows how to upstage everyone else. Her appearance in a rendition of a classic painting makes Edward wonder what is going to happen next:

Looking down at him was Helga von Wessel posing as the Young Lady With A Parrot. She gazed down at him from a swirl of silks, ribbons, pearls, lace, flowers, hair combs, and buxom pink flesh, dressed in an eighteenth-century court costume. The original was by the Venetian painter Rosalba Carriera. This was obviously painted by a skilled imitator — all too skilled.

No one else had such a wicked, knowing expression.

Why had she left the painting there? Was she expecting him to show up? No doubt. Was it her warning to him that she was full of tricks? Obviously.

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