Resurrection in Black and White
Charlie dabbed the quill in the inkwell and carefully filled out the the blank pages of the journal. It was salvaged from a chest that managed to keep it dry within the secret compartment of the captain’s wardrobe, and when her Squirrel handed it over Charlotte DuRay was so thrilled she almost kissed the gangly, bushy-haired young man. Charlotte was forging her masterpiece; or rather, the provenance for her masterpiece. She meticulously copied the manifest of a recently discovered shipwreck on the beach of a tiny island in Indonesia: port stops, crew, passengers, cargo, significant events. She left out no details throughout the dozens upon dozens of pages, while making one addition to the cargo in an otherwise unremarkable entry in December, 1781. It was the addition of a painting being delivered to a collector in London, “Le Petite Mort”, a 17th century oil on canvas of a young woman by a French artist. Disappeared before it could be photographed, it had been described as having a Vermeer-like quality of capturing light.