Miss O’Riley was shattered by her recent experience. While the police had recovered her stolen paintings and her gallery looked as it always had, she was a changed woman. She no longer felt the same pleasure in her work and each morning was a trial for her, bringing back all the shock she had felt when she discovered the burglary. She also felt confused and unhappy because Old Bert apparently was the thief, someone she had trusted and felt was her friend. More and more she turned to Mr. Stoneyheart for his advice and support.
Mr. Stoneyheart had been paying a great deal of attention to Miss O’Riley throughout all this. He listened to her worries and took her out to dinner frequently in an attempt to raise her spirits. For Miss O’Riley this was the only bright spot during this bleak time.
One day Mr. Stoneyheart IM’d Miss O’Riley saying he had an idea about her gallery and wanted to discuss it with her. Miss O’Riley was of course very anxious to hear what Mr. Stoneyheart had to say so she invited him over right away.
Mr. Stoneyheart and Miss O’Riley sat down in her office where Mr. Stoneyheart brought out a briefcase.
“I know that you have been going through a very difficult time lately and I have been wondering how I could help you. “
Miss O’Riley was pleased to hear this.
Mr. Stoneyheart continued “I have a proposal to make to you. I know how much you love the gallery and I am sorry to see you in such distress. You seem to be getting no happiness from your work here and that should not be. Nothing would give me greater satisfaction than to see you as you were before the robbery, the lovely young woman I first met a few months ago.”
“I would like to invest in your business so that you never worry about the finances again. Of course you would still run the gallery, but I would be able to take a more formal role in advising you, and in this way take the day to day cares off your shoulders.”
With that Mr. Stoneyheart opened his briefcase and showed Miss O’Riley more cash than she had ever seen in her life. Miss O’Riley jumped out of her seat and stared with astonishment at the opened briefcase. For the moment she was struck dumb.
Mr. Stoneyheart also presented a document for her to sign which would give him partnership in the Tissot Gallery. Miss O’Riley was still in shock, but gradually was beginning to comprehend what he had said. She looked at him for a moment, then said “Does this mean that we would be partners?”
Mr. Stoneyheart assented. “Yes, we would be partners together in this business. What do you think about that?”