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I WANT it distinctly understood that I have nothing whatever to do with the GI Protective Bureau. A lot of people have been asking questions, just because I happen to know a couple of the guys that run it. I know how the whole thing started, and to prove I am not 5-involved in any way I'll tell it just the way they told it to me.

These guys—Benny Swartz and Herbie Peters—get an idea Chicago could do with a little more law and order.

They have pretty good reasons for thinking that. They're not back in town two days when burglars rob police headquarters of $10,000. The next day some thief steals all the buns out of the police cafeteria. And right after that thugs snatch the Mayor's limousine for a getaway car, apparently after shooting down one of Buck Clancy's smartest contact boys. Buck Clancy, as everybody in Chicago knows, is the under cover boss for a lot of profitable rackets.

"This," says Benny firmly, "has gone far enough. It's time something was done about crooks disregarding the code this way!"

"Which code?" asks Herbie.

"The code for cops and robbers," says Benny. "Chicago has long been an outstanding example for playing that game according to the rules. And it is strictly not according to Hoyle for crooks to pick on the police department —even for a joke."

"I don't think these guys were joking," says Herbie. "But is it any of our business? We got problems of our own, figuring out what kind of work we're gonna do now that we're civilians again. I don't think Mr. Milligan is gonna pay our bills in this high class dump forever, even if he is a millionaire, and Mug Milligan's old man. Just because we're pals of Mug's is no reason why his old man should be willing to support all three of us; and furthermore—"

"You don't get it," says Benny, folding up the newspaper and slapping it down on the breakfast tray. "It's psy-"

"Psychology?" Herbie wrinkles up his face and looks baffled. "Then I sure don't get it. All-I know is, Mr. Milligan says for us to get busy and figure out a project that all three of us can work on. You and me and Mug Milligan. In my book that means we got to start earnin' our own living right away. Not only you and me, but even his own son—"

"Sure, sure," says Benny, standing up and surveying himself in a mirrored door. He is a small, wiry guy with shrewd black eyes and a sharp nose. He is attired at the moment in black and yellow striped pajamas and a bright cerise robe. He nods at himself like he is satisfied and pulls a cigarette out of his pocket. "Psychology," he says, "works in all directions. All you got to do is take advantage of it, and you're promotin' a sure thing."

"Promotin'!" snorts Herbie, easing his big frame out of a. delicate pink and gold chair. "You're always promotin'. I may not be smart about psychology, but I got sense enough to know this: old Mr. Milligan didn't get to be a millionaire by lettin' other guys promote him for this and that."

"Sure not," agrees Benny. "He got what he wanted by lettin' other guys promote what they wanted. It's complicated, but just take our case for an example. We get acquainted with Mug Milligan out at that rehabilitation center in Arizona. That was no accident. The head doc rigged it up because he was worried about Mug Milligan. The surgeons have patched up the burned places and given Mug an artificial foot, but he is still full of depression, even if he has got a swell home and a millionaire father in Chicago. So the doc looks around for somebody that's worse off than Mug in one way or another, and he picks on us. Which is smart. We're not in such bad shape physically in Mug is. All you got is a bum leg from shell fragments, and all I got is wheezy lungs from a chest wound. But. we're not depressed, even if we don't have no homes to go back to, and not very good prospects of being able to handle our prewar jobs. Now do you begin to get it? That's psychology."

"Yeah. Okay," says Herbie, trying hard. "So that's why you were handin' Mug all that sob stuff about us bein' happy to be...

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