She shook her head and offered her hand, palm down. "What a lovely surprise to see you. You are buying today, or just looking?" She talked to me mostly in English and I answered as best I could in French.
"Looking for a person." I showed her the photos of the wire recorder while we exchanged a few pleasantries. Her business was doing as badly as mine--no one had any money, and thanks to September 11 and the war in Iraq, American tourists had all but disappeared.
Eventually she pointed a long, red fingernail at one of the photos. "And this item," she said, falling into eBay slang like so many in the business, "it is not one of mine."
"They tell me it comes from somewhere in the Vernaison. An older man, perhaps, with long gray hair?"
"It is familiar, I think. When I see it I am interested, but it is maybe a little pricey. I go away for a day hoping the man will come to his senses, et voila, the next day it