Leonardo's growing obsession with the woman is only increased when he begins to dream about her, and tries to sketch her image. Reuben Venzia, the "man who wanted it all," also dreams of the Dark Lady, and the three males conspire to determine to whom the Dark Lady will appear next.
The poignant ending of the tale with the "man who got it all" is purely Resnick, and absolutely wonderful. Leonardo is just alien enough to carry the detachment his character needs to make the other men's obsession plain—yet he is also male in a very basic way, and that, too, is why he comes to obsess over the Dark Lady.
Although some standard Resnick characters (the gunfighter, the remittance man, the high-rolling gambler, the elegant thief) make appearances in the story, they are not central. The Dark Lady's attraction is no stronger for Resnick than for Leonardo, for she also stands for that obsession that lets artists (and writers) endure great privation, alienate friends and family, and cast all other efforts aside, in pursuit of their art.
And that, perhaps, is why Mona Lisa smiles.
The French translation of this novel, "la Belle tĂ©nĂ©breuse", was the 2000 Prix Tour Eiffel Winner. William Shakespeare referred to a "Dark Lady" in a number of sonnets, and dedicated sonnets 127 to 154 to her.