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"Now see here," Captain Pickwin interrupted. "We didn't bring this boy all the way to Chicago and pay him $1000 a day for him to spend his time in church."

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Chapter Eleven:  First Things First

A Character story about diligence.

The city of Chicago was becoming clearer as they approached the Loop. Trans could see the Handcock and Sears buildings through the side car window, both of whose tops disappeared in the low cloud cover.
"Can you let us know what the plan is?" asked Trans anxiously turning toward the Captain in the front seat.
"There's time for that. First I want to get you both settled in your hotel room and feed you a good supper." Captain Pickwin gave the Gringles a brief tour of the city as they headed for Lake Shore Drive. Trans had never seen so many tall buildings and now that he was so close, they looked even larger.
"Flippen-grizzlesnaps!" Trans exclaimed as he beheld the plush carpets and chandeliers of the hotel lobby.
While they waited for the Captain to check them in, Trans said to his dad, "I sure am glad you're with me. I really believe that if we work together- you know, your brains and my ability- we two can solve this case. Don't you think?"
"Well, not exactly. We will need the Lord's help for sure. And I'm sure He is able to use us if He chooses." Trans nodded in agreement, ashamed of his pride. When they entered the 7th floor room, Trans' eyes grew wide with astonishment. "Wow! I didn't know they made hotels like this!"
"I only wish you had more time to enjoy the amenities," the Captain said with a smile. "But you will be very busy in training when you're not on the job."
"Uh, Captain," Mr. Gringle inserted. "Would it be all right with you if Trans and I attended church this evening? We'd, uh, like to-"
"Now see here," Captain Pickwin interrupted. "We didn't bring this boy all the way to Chicago and pay him $1000 a day for him to spend his time in church."
"I understand that, Captain, but I believe that if we first are allowed to meet with God's people and seek God's wisdom in this problem, you will find 'Nick the Knife' in your hands sooner than you think."
"Since when, Mr. Gringle, do you know more about detective work than I?" the Captain replied angrily.
"I'm sure I don't. But may we, just the same, attend church this evening? We will gladly forfeit today's pay, won't we Trans?" The boy nodded obediently, as his mind filled with a hundred things he could buy with that much money.
"Oh, very well. But you will have to have a body guard at all times. I will meet you in the lobby for breakfast at 7 am." And with that, the Captain left the room without saying 'good-bye.'
Inspector Homston was chosen as that evening's body guard. After searching the phone book, the three hailed a taxi and headed for 1600 block of LaSalle to attend the famous Moody Church. Trans noticed the Inspector fidgeting several times during the service as the Pastor spoke on Christian conduct and future rewards. He obviously knew none of the hymns and didn't close his eyes during the prayer (Trans peeked!).
By the time they returned to the hotel, Trans was starved. "Can't we get something to eat?" he begged his dad.
"Say, that sounds like a good idea. What would you-" but just then a knock sounded at the door. Trans tensed as Mr. Gringle opened it.
"Room service for Gringles," a man announced. Then he rolled into the room a cart covered with a white cloth. "Just sign here," he said, holding up a clipboard. Once uncovered, they found a full course meal, more food than they could possibly eat! Following prayer, Trans grabbed a turkey leg and began gnawing on it as his thoughts turned once again to the task at hand. What would tomorrow bring? Would that be the wonderful day that the crook 'Nick the Knife' got caught? Would that be the day he got a fancy award and got his picture in all the papers?
"Dad, do you think if we can solve this case, they'll give me a reward?"
"What kind of reward did you want, Son?" Mr. Gringle asked between bites.
"Oh, I don't know. Just something to shows the kids back home."
"I don't know, Trans. But I know one thing. If you do your best, you will please God and that is the greatest reward of all, just as the preacher said tonight."
"Yeah, I guess that's right." Trans felt ashamed he forgot the message so soon. As they each crawled into a huge double bed that night, Trans remarked, "You know, Dad, it seems like no one in the F.B.I. has faith in God."
"If that's true, it's changed now."
"Really? How's that?"
"You, Trans. You're in the F.B.I."
"Oh, yeah. . . Well, that makes two then, counting you."
"So it does," he answered. A few more moments of silence followed.
"Good night, partner," Trans said through a yawn.
"Good night, partner." And soon both were asleep.