‘Terms are same. Rag students kidnap living persons for ransom – they are not charged. An amnesty in my case would not be out of order. The yard are looking for a needle in a haystack, but they haven’t a clue where the haystack is. Mr. Commissioner your men are clever, but do not ask the impossible of them. My scheme was meant to be a clean, humane antic – you have turned it into a much more serious affair. Will other paintings be safe if I get away with this? I think so – I would certainly not react same again – too much risk – too little thanks. I ask you in the position that it stands – have you the right to deny the Gallery the chance to regain the portrait? I ask you to make a special concession in this affair, decreeing that as the act has already been accomplished, all the proceedings will be dropped if the Goya is returned. And now for the matter of the £140,000. The art world has made no effort at subscription – there remains the press – will they rescue the Duke? Here is my plan in brief – turn it down off hand, and I go to sleep for another year. Full details will be sent if acceptable. On the night before the ‘borrowing’ I was hooded with a silk stocking. I propose to be picked up hooded in a dark London street with Goya. Your pickup car to have 3 guards to safeguard me from interference from the photographers assembled at the Gallery – I am not to be questioned. Press men will take pictures of return of Goya, after which I am to be secreted out of rear door, and driven to any London side street named. I to be hooded throughout. My identity to remain secret on your honour. The press will now have scoop photos – will they be gentlemen? I am suggesting that each individual editor should pay 5/- per 1,000 of his circulation. Editors to send money to a certain London bank. Bank to issue full subscription lists to national press. Within 2 weeks bank to send full cheque to a certain London establishment of national repute. A committee of 5 to agree to my selection of charity, with rights to direct money. Pinch penny editors who do not print, to be sent to Coventry. Print and don’t pay editors, to be sent to Tristan. The yanks like a lark – they will cooperate there are gentlemen in the foreign press too. Mr Robbins [Lord Robbins Chairman of the Board of Trustees] assert thyself and get the damn thing on view again. I am offering three pennyworth of old Spanish firewood in exchange for £140,000 of human happiness. A real bargain compared to a near million for a scruffy piece of Italian cardboard. [Leonardo’s Virgin and child]

See 4th Ransom Note