Eugene and Verner were collecting. The Roman Church, in need, was selling.
In the sitting room beside one of the two love seat siren talon grasped world globes there was an electric porcelain standing lamp. The figure of St. John pointed upward under the shade towards the light. A child clung to his robes gazing ecstatic at the illumination. William had slipped an ermine pelt over St. John's porcelain halo head. The ermine's dry nose rested upon the forehead of the barbarous predictive love saint. The child gazed in rapture at the incandescent light bulb.
Above the worn red satin hair stuffed carved gild wood love seat and lounging nude Arno hung an old, very valuable, broken drought cracked dark oil wood crucifix. It disappeared and so did Verner. Later...
I saw him in an expensive California cut suit under red canopy on red carpeted doorman entranced hotel on Sherbrooke Street.
"He has pawned it and is on a binge." Eugene explained. They were old friends. Eugene knew his odd old habits.
I reflected glazed drug idled at the polished hand carved wood display cabinet with superbly delicate, sparkling cut crystal wine glasses and wondered... "where did they come from and who cleans them?"
A week later the crucifix was on the wall and Verner had reappeared.