"Came here to tell you something, Frank."

The lieutenant took note and stopped twisting the paper clip in his hand. He pulled his feet down off the desk.

"We noticed something on the Corvette the other day."

"You noticed something?"

"The brake lines were cut, Frank. Did you know about it?"

His face went pale. He sat expressionless for a few seconds. John wondered if the lieutenant was going to blow up at him or bust out laughing. "I knew all about it," the man finally said.

"Why didn't you say something to me?"

Frank stood up and walked around his desk to sit beside John. "This is the first time in my career that I've ever done anything like this, John. I want you to know that."

Now John was intrigued. "What are you talking about?"

"You know about the chief position?"

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John had a funny feeling about the whole thing. He never should have opened his big mouth. He nodded.

"I want it. I want it bad," Frank said. "I sort of put off knowing about the brake line until I got the interview and could get back on the case or get someone else to finish it out properly."

"I think I understand you, but it just seems crazy."

"It's totally wrong. I know I'm being foolish about this. But if I hid some things, the case would stay a little quiet and I could be given a fair shot at the promotion. Also, when you're in the middle of something big they don't want to pull you off of it."

John slumped in his chair. He was devastated.

"I'll make you a deal."

"I'm listening," John said.

"Now I know about the brakes."

"What?"

"I know about it. New evidence has just been discovered and the case is being pushed to the forefront."

"But what about the promotion?"

"Who cares? If it means getting the look you just gave me, I don't want it."

John half-heartedly smiled. He was surprised by the lieutenant's sudden thoughtfulness.

"I can't take that look you gave me. It was the exact same look my mother used to give me. It's a look that reeks of disappointment. I hate it."

Feeling better, John pulled himself up and slapped his friend on the back. "I knew there was a conscience in that head of yours."

Frank went back to his desk. "Tell me what you got and how I can help."