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Dimitri Makalos didn't give Alessandro full authority for all aspects of house. In particular, he wanted to keep the architect away from most of the security arrangements. Being cautious, he only asked Alessandro to cover vehicle access from the main gate to the house. The security of the house itself, the rest of the grounds, surveillance beyond the grounds and most importantly, the security of his own private office was entrusted to others. The result was that no one single individual had full knowledge of all aspects of security.

Alessandro made it up the last few steps to meet his host and Dimitri Makalos greeted him. "Good evening, Alessandro, Maria, it is very good to see you both again. You are looking well, but perhaps a little out of breath for the climb?"

"Not at all, Dimitri, not at all. Everything well with you? The arrangements for the arrival of guests are certainly working well."

Alessandro took Dimitri Makalos' right hand in his, and then covered it with his left. As they shook hands, no one was able to notice the small memory stick being passed by Alessandro to his employer. As they let go of each other, he said "All as you asked for."

Dimitri Makalos grunted. "Good. I am intrigued as how Doctor Porcini has ensured his property is safe. I am sure you understand that if I am to offer Greek antiquities on loan to his collection, I am keen to make sure they are safe."

"Yes, I fully understand." Alessandro doubted whether Dimitri Makalos was being entirely truthful, but he was in no position to question his host. Nor did he care as he was being paid enough for the information.

Dimitri Makalos beckoned towards the house. "Please, do go on through to the house." Accompanied by his wife, Alessandro moved on to join the growing throng. Dimitri Makalos turned away and smiled as his next guest, Eva Lombardo, a talented and upcoming opera singer approached him.

By nine o'clock, Dimitri Makalos had greeted over a hundred guests. The manservant who had been quietly standing in the shadows stepped out.

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