?I?m telling ya, the 'perfessor' ain't nuts!"
Sylvester "Cokie" Mokie's voice was a high, angry squeak. His words were directed at Moe Maybrick, the fat little proprietor of Moe's Mansion.
"Well," Moe grunted, as his pudgy body searched for a more comfortable resting place against the rough bricks which bordered the entrance of his tenth-rate flophouse, "you may be right, Cokie, but I wouldn't lay money on it."
"Wha' d'ya mean, Moe?" Cokie demanded. He was perched on a metal refuse box, near the curb and directly opposite the entrance to the Mansion.
Moe looked at Cokie for a moment before replying. The reason for Sylvester Mokie's better known name was his predilection for that narcotic, cocaine. In other words, Cokie was a snow-bird. And if he was "high on it?
Moe knew the uselessness of conversation. But his look satisfied him that the little man on the refuse container was still in this world.
"It isn't in the cards," Moe explained. "That little gadget he carries. Those X's he makes on the sidewalk. He's been doing it for ten years now and nobody knows why."
"Ya know what I think," Cokie said. "I think the perfessor's looking for buried treasure, that's what! Ain't that right, Finnegan?"
Traffic Officer Finnegan had just stepped out of the Manhattan Tea Room and on seeing Moe and Cokie arguing, had come over to join them Finnegan's breath held a pleasant aroma, but it wasn't from tea. If it was, it was the first tea that ever bore the label, "100 Proof."
Finnegan stood beside Moe at the entrance to the flophouse and patted his perspiring face. He had the sort of face that is always perspiring.
"Well now," he said between pats, "I wouldn't know what the professor's l