A young man in his early twenties poked his head in through the opening frosted glass office door. The strong scent of cigarette smoke greeted his nostrils as he entered the room.
"Supervisor Gilbreth, sir? Pardon my interruption. Um, well...I don't know how to say this..."
The man glanced up from the newspaper dated June 20th, 1950 to look the red-faced junior agent in the eyes. "Just spit it out, Johnson."
"Well, sir, there's these New York detectives and they...they have this guy with them, He has massive mutton chops on each side of his face...I mean huge, sir, and..."
The CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) Senior Supervisor removed his perfectly shined black leather no. 10's from his desk and lay the paper down. Clearly annoyed, he dotted out his burning cigarette, leaned forward, and pressed his fingertips together. "Mutton chops, you say? Why would this fella' interest me or anyone else around here, son?"
"Director Hillenkoetter, sir. He thought our department should be the one to look into this. He says it's a matter of national security," the agent said and scratched his head of red hair nervously. He looked down at the rattling metal fan humming back and forth on the desk. The rotating blades intermittently disturbed a vertical stream of cigarette smoke emanating from an overflowing ashtray.
"Alright, it's not like we have a choice, then...send them in, agent."
"Yessir!" Johnson said and disappeared out of the room and into the office's waiting area.
Gilbreth could just make out the near-inaudible mumbling coming from outside. Then the door handle turned and in walked three men, one of which sported one extremely impressive set of mutton chop side burns just as Agent Johnson indicated.
Standing as the men approached, Gilbreth extended a hand to the man he assumed was the lead Detective. "Gentlemen?"
"Agent Gilbreth?" the detective inquired, removing his hat. He placed the Fedora on the top hook of a coat rack just inside the door.
"That I am. And you are?"
Exchanging handshakes over the desk, the first police officer spoke, "I'm Detective Gerald Lawson, NYPD...me and Detective Dick Carlyle here, my partner..."
The other detective nodded as Gilbreth looked over at him and returned the expression.
"...we take care of the beat around the Great White Way...you know Broadway?"
"Ah, I see. Well, who do we have here, then?"
The man in a black and white striped prison uniform began to open his mouth, but was interrupted by the detective.
"Yeah, okay, so this guy here, he shows up outta nowhere right there in the middle of 7th..."
"So, poof, right in the middle of 7th Avenue?...hmmm." muttered the CIA agent as he began to sit. He pointed at the prisoner. "Please, detectives and...um, mister, whoever you are, please take a seat. That is, unless you are a thief. Are you a thief?"
The two NYPD detectives laughed. "I don't believe he's nothin' like that, Agent Gilbreth, he seems harmless enough, though. Actually he's polite to a damn fault, but then again I've seen all kinds..." The police officer gave his handcuffed prisoner a quick glance. "Aren't ya? Well, as I was sayin' this guy right here, he just pops up outta nowhere and nearly gets himself ran over by a cabbie. Then, just in time some guy no one can identify shows up, saves him, and ...poof! Up and disappears."
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