Monday, January 26, 2009

Who IS Esther May Morrow?

AE: Who is Esther May Morrow? Where did she come from? As we wait patiently outside the main entrance to Sotheby’s, on this particularly cold evening in London, those are the questions spreading virulently through the ranks of press and paparazzi. This is the most eagerly awaited high-class auction of the year, yet the event is shrouded in secrecy. Each of the more than one hundred bidders tonight has been hand-picked by Ms. Morrow—an unprecedented measure—and the many antiques on sale are equally eclectic.

This is Arthur Everest, reporting for Eternal Press on what may well be the most controversial night in the history of Sotheby’s. Unfortunately, no press are allowed inside. We’ll try and speak to a few of the guests as they arrive. Here’s one now. Mrs. Dorothy Buchan? Mrs. Buchan, you’re a regular at these high profile auctions. Can I ask you to shed some light on the mysterious catalogue of items you’ll be bidding on tonight?

DB: Out of my way, darling, before I bid you lights out. Awful tie, by the way.

AE: Any word on lot number sixty-two? Can you tell us what the Archangel is?

DB: Out of your league, darling. So far out of your league it isn’t funny. Actually...har-har-har...

AE: Thank you, Mrs. Buchan. And now we have, I’m told…yes, we have our first glimpse of the elusive Esther May Morrow. Slim, medium height, dressed in a red and white summer dress and a straw bonnet, she resembles a middle-aged Barbara Stanwyck. It’s hard to believe we know so little about her. She’s finding it difficult to see through all the flash photography. An elegant, I might say old-fashioned lady, very sure of herself. I imagine she’s received plenty of generous offers already for her antiques. And like I said, this is a highly unusual arrangement. No one knows for sure what many of these items actually are, only that they’re sought after by eminent collectors from around the world.

Ms. Morrow, Arthur Everest for Eternal Press. Why did you insist on personally vetting the applications for tonight’s auction?

EMM: I have my reasons, as have they, for being here. You’ll all find out before the night is over.
AE: Word has it that lot sixty-two, the Archangel, has the Ministry of Defence worried. What exactly is it?

EMM: It’s something that has been around for thousands of years. An ancient treasure.

AE: Care to elaborate?

EMM: Not at all.

AE: Thank you, Ms. Morrow. Good luck with the auction tonight.

EMM: Thank you, young man. I’ll be seeing you again, I’m sure.

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