I'm wandering through the corridors of A[…]. We are in a wing of the house that is completely unknown to us and we are exploring. We open a door and behind it is a small suite of two interconnected rooms with the second opening onto a balcony over a narrow but lovely view with a river and hills immediately below but with more building directly opposite and no more than 10-20 feet between them.
The room is piled high with old furniture and bric-a-brac. I recognise it as the possessions of some old, famous gnostic (or alchemist). There is a wood panel that has been painted with special esoteric imagery. It has a lip going back behind it – possibly to allow the painting to stand by itself – so that the profile from the side looks like a tick mark.
I know that dark forces, also roaming the corridors, want to keep this painting hidden or, possibly, they don't know that it is there yet but if they did they would destroy it, so I decide to smuggle it out. I position it so that the angle of the panel/lip fits around my spine and I put it under my jumper so that it covers the whole of my back.
We go back to more familiar corridors and in the passage between the kitchen and the ballroom, a French girl has set up a stall. As we pass I see that she is selling paintings by the same gnostic/alchemical master whose room we have just been in. We start talking and I take out my painted board (which has now shrunk to a hand-sized piece of panel). I lay it over one of the girl's paintings and they are an identical match.