"A kinder, gentler way to kill a private eye," John added. "Can I show these slides to Tammy?"

"I have the regular pictures, too." Frank got up and searched through a manila envelope. He pulled out a thin stack of five by seven photographs bound by a rubber band.

"I just want to show her. Maybe she's seen the car before somewhere."

"Here you go," Frank told him. "Knock yourself out."

The hallway outside of the lieutenant's office was bustling with activity. People were walking back and forth, the copy machines were churning, and the phones were screaming for attention. John realized again that a small part of him still missed the daily grind of police work. Not so much the work part of it, but the people and the atmosphere. It was damn true that things were never missed until they were gone.

A young recruit barged into the office and then suddenly looked embarrassed and apologized for interrupting.

Frank waved him in. "This is Mr. Farris, Thomas. He's a private investigator."

The young officer reached out and shook John's hand with firm grip. "Nice to meet you," he said.

"Go on and ask him," Frank egged the officer on. "I know you want to."

Thomas looked embarrassed again. "I plan to be a private eye myself. One day, anyway."

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"He'd probably make a good one," Frank added.

"Good. It's definitely different from police work. It's not quite as stable," John admitted.

"Ever been shot at, Thomas?" Frank asked with a broad grin spreading across his face.

"No."

John shook his head. "You going to ruin the kid."

"John here has."

"Really? How? When?" Thomas asked.

Now it was John's turn to look a little embarrassed. "It's this case I'm working on right now. It's turning into quite the strange one."

"What did you want, anyway?" the lieutenant asked his officer.

"Oh, I just wanted to know if we were still on for tomorrow."

"Far as I know. Remind me in the morning anyway."

"It was nice to meet you, Mr. Farris," Thomas said as he started back out of the office.

"I'll be glad to help when you're ready to make the transition into the real world."

He nodded and then closed the door behind him.

"He's got that hurried way about him. It's like he can't do enough for you," Frank told John.