Chapter 70: Deal with an Arabian Prince (3)
Anthony thought about that and soon nodded.
When selling, your words and actions differ depending on whether you know it well or not.
It is hard to convince someone by guaranteeing the value of something. Additionally, the white man
had far greater knowledge about paintings than Anthony.
He couldn’t just ask for a little more money.
“Why don’t you explain?”
The white man was looking with confusion, so Anthony spoke vaguely. He didn’t want them to know
that there was a deal between himself and Haejin.
Haejin also asked back vaguely. However, he didn’t move. He just stared at Anthony.
Anthony spoke as if he couldn’t understand what Haejin was doing, but Haejin crossed his arms and
just stared at the paintings.
It looked like he was thinking about the paintings, but Anthony couldn’t stand Haejin dragging the time
and not saying anything. He came to Haejin and spoke in a low voice.
“What are you doing? Go and explain!”
“Am I supposed to help you for free? Or… have you accepted my earlier offer?”
Anthony knew. He knew, but he was pretending to have forgotten about the offer and was trying to
drag Haejin in.
However, Haejin made his point clear. Anthony slightly panicked, but he immediately nodded.
“Fine. I will accept that offer.”
“Why don’t we write a contract so that we would be able to trust each other?”
Haejin was not worried at all about Anthony’s anger. He crossed his arms and acted as if there was
“If you had accepted my offer earlier, I wouldn’t do this. However, now that I know you can change
your words anytime, I should get a guarantee before I proceed.”
“We cannot afford to sign a contract in this situation! I gave you an offer and refused yours earlier. I
hadn’t promised I would accept your terms, no matter what they were. But now, I accept. I will accept,
so end this damn situation now!”
He spoke in a low voice so only Haejin could understand him, but everyone could see that he was
Anyway, Haejin smiled at Anthony’s red face and nodded.
“Okay then, I will trust you.”
Prince Sahmadi got curious at seeing Anthony lose his cool at an Asian in the middle of the deal.
He sat on the sofa and looked at Haejin, waiting for him to say something.
“Thirty-five million dollars for the two paintings from Gogh. Is that your prince’s opinion or yours?”
Haejin passed Anthony and asked the white man. He flinched and looked at the prince.
It told Haejin that it wasn’t the prince’s idea to lower the price so much.
“Of course, it’s the prince’s opinion.”
Only then did he say that it had been the prince’s decision, but he had told the answer already with his
“Okay. Let’s move on with that, but for what reasons do you think the two paintings from Gogh are
worth thirty-five million?”
“You can’t be thinking that all Gogh paintings go for over ten million dollars. Many are worth below
that. And, Gogh’s still-life paintings are not thought to be very valuable, and this one is from a series.”
“So, how much do you think this still-life painting is worth?”
“We think seven million dollars would be reasonable.”
That made sense. However, the still-life painting was not the one that mattered.
“Then, you are thinking this painting is worth about twenty-eight million, right?”
Haejin pointed at Gogh’s painting of the sun setting in the riverbank. The white appraiser nodded.
At this, Haejin went behind the painting and went to Prince Sahmadi.
“Haha, well… so, you think this painting is only worth twenty-eight million dollars. Do you know the
meaning of this painting? Oh, you don’t have to buy it, so please talk comfortably. I’m here as an
appraiser. I am just curious.”
The white man shrugged and answered.
“I don’t know what kind of answer you want to hear but, in my opinion, Gogh drew this during his last
days, when his mental disease was the most serious. So, although it shows his style, it is not that
creative. It is very similar to Wheatfield with Crows which he drew before he killed himself. There’s
He said exactly what he thought.
“I agree. It might look that way at a glance.”
“At a glance?”
Yes. It could look that way at a glance. That is why Haejin had thought Anthony wouldn’t be able to
receive much for the paintings, even though they were all real.
However, he couldn’t just end like that, and he wondered how Gogh drew it at the time, so he had
used magic to look into the past without Anthony and his secretary noticing.
The result was amazing. This painting was not just one of Gogh’s last works: it was his final piece on
which he had signed right before he killed himself.
The white appraiser was angry with Haejin for degrading his appraisal as an amateur’s.
“You are rude and arrogant. What’s your name? Are you Chinese? Or Japanese? I will officially
protest to your country’s appraisal committee right away!”
“Please don’t get mad. Listen to me first!”
Haejin had touched his pride on purpose, but it was a little funny to watch him react so passionately.
“I am getting mad? You are giving me a lesson! Well, tell me. What is there if you look closer?”
If he had been alone, he wouldn’t have reacted so fiercely. However, Haejin thought he was angry
because he was being insulted in front of the prince.
Although he was interpreting for the prince, it was possible that he could understand a simple
“As you know, Gogh died in Auvers-sur-Oise. At the time, he was tormented with the guilt of relying on
his brother economically and the disputes with the people around him. Because of the sense of
shame about failing to succeed as an artist, his depression reached his peak. This painting is his last
painting which he drew, watching the river that flowed in front of Auvers-sur-Oise right before he died.
After drawing this, he showed his sorrow to his brother and shoot himself with a pistol.”
The white man snorted.
“Huh! You are making things up. Then, show us the proof. Why is this Gogh’s last painting?”
Haejin crossed his arms in front of the painting. Then, he slowly knelt down.
“Gogh left his last words to his brother Theo before he died. However, he left them in red paint on the
red riverbank so that no one would be able to recognize them.”
“Well, what did he write?”
This was Anthony speaking. Even he couldn’t believe Haejin. His voice was full of doubt.
Haejin pointed at the river in the painting with his index.
“Look here. The movement of the river is strange. It says ‘Pijn is het einde’ in Dutch. Can you see it?”
At this, the white man, his prince, and even Anthony went to the painting.
It was so delicately hidden that if Haejin hadn’t seen the past, he wouldn’t have been able to find it.
After searching it for long, Anthony yelled first.
“Oh! I found it! This is it!”
“Yes, that’s it.”
After Anthony, the white man and the prince found it in turn and exclaimed. The white man’s face
turned red with a thrill as he carefully traced the letters.
“However, what does that mean?”
Actually, Haejin didn’t know what that meant. So, he had secretly searched its meaning on the Internet
after using magic.
“Pain is over.”
At Haejin’s answer, the white man exclaimed.
Anthony sat on the sofa again and thought about it.
“Pain is over… pain is over? Gogh once said, ‘Pain is forever’. Then, pain is over means?”
“That he was about to give up his life. That there would be no more pain…”
“That fits Gogh. However, why did he hide this like that?”
The white man answered this question.
“Because of the guilt he felt toward his brother and the desperation he felt when facing death without
success. So, he wanted to hide it although he was admitting it. Ohh… maybe this red hue represents
his own blood.”
Anthony agreed with him.
“Yes. The color that represents Gogh is yellow. He never filled the entire canvas with red. Maybe he
thought about his own end as he painted this.”
As they all knew well about art, they found their own answers without Haejin’s further explanation.
The white man whispered to the prince about the secret of the painting. The prince nodded as he
listened. Then, he exclaimed and pointed at the painting.
“The prince wants to buy this painting very much.”
“At how much he wants to buy it?”
The white man looked into Haejin’s eyes. However, Haejin’s eyes were calm without any emotion. He
soon gave up.
“How much do you want to receive?”
“Same with the start. Fifty million.”
The white man looked surprised. Then, he talked to his prince. In the meantime, Anthony drank the
wine and tried to not look nervous.
“The prince accepts the deal.”
“Then, you are giving up Degas’s painting?”
“Actually, the prince doesn’t like this painting from Degas. He thinks paintings like this that
emphasizes the woman’s body are religiously problematic.”
“Yes. So, even if he buys this painting, he would give it to someone else as a gift.”
Haejin hadn’t thought of that. To think of such a beautiful painting in such a way… however, to think
about it, it wasn’t all bad.
“Then, what about giving it as a gift?”
“The price is already over what the prince had in mind. He says he cannot spend more.”
Anthony chimed in.
“If it is hard, then suggesting more would not be polite. I can find its owner somewhere else.”
He was doing that because he wouldn’t get more even if the price went up, but Haejin couldn’t let that
No matter what Anthony said, Haejin had the right to sell those three paintings, so he didn’t care and
announced it to the prince.
“One dollar. How about one dollar?”