Early the next morning, Clementine Phillips was waiting down by the corner, a block away from her home. Her mom had bought her story about the last minute field trip and signed the forged permission slip, just before she had left for work.

Clementine’s friends, who were on their way to school, had stopped by the corner to chat.

“You not going in again today?” Dark hair asked.

“Nope,” Clementine replied, “I got something else to do!”

“What’s that?” Red head asked.

“Can’t say right now,” Clementine replied, “maybe I’ll tell ya later!”

“Ohhhh, Clem’s a mystery girl this morning!” Dark hair teased.

Just then, the old beat up car pulled up. James Ford had arrived to pick up Clementine.

“Good mornin’, ladies!” Ford called out, “Clementine, you ready to go?!”

“Yeah,” Clementine replied, “see you guys later!”

“Uh-oh!” Dark hair said, “looks like Clem has a Sugar Daddy!”

“He’s my father!” Clementine replied, “we’re just going out for breakfast!”

“Oh, is that what you call it these days!” Dark hair replied, giggling.

Clementine just rolled her eyes and got into the car, as Ford drove away.

“Can you believe that?” Dark hair said, “that guy IS old enough to be her father! Don’t you think?!”

Red head just frowned, “I wish I had a Sugar Daddy!”

After they arrived at the hotel and Ford had parked the car, they headed immediately up to the fourth floor to Suite 42. Pebbles and Bam were waiting.

“Good morning, all!” Pebbles cheerily greeted.

“Good morning!” Clementine cheerily greeted back.

“Mornin’” Ford grumbled.

“Okay, Clementine, if you’ll have a seat,” Pebbles said, “we’ll begin.”

They all made themselves comfortable on the surrounding couches.

“A wire mob usually has a working crew of four,” Pebbles began, “each member has a particular job to do in support of the entire team. The four “positions” in a mob are as follows…..”

Ford noticed that Clementine was intently focused on what Pebbles was saying. He wondered if she was as attentive in school, whenever she did show up, as she was here. He decided, she probably wasn’t!

“….first we have what we call the ‘Steer’!” Pebbles continued, “that is Bam’s job, so I will have him explain what a ‘Steer’ does!”

Bam got up to speak. Clementine thought he looked like a younger version of the actor Keanu Reeves. Except Bam was shorter, thinner, had lighter hair than Keanu, and a different shaped face. Clementine, on second thought, realized he really didn’t look like Keanu Reeves at all! But she still thought Bam was cute!

“Okay,” Bam began, “the ‘Steer’ basically picks the mark.”

“What’s a mark?!” Clementine asked, smiling flirtatiously at Bam.

“The mark,” Bam explained, “is the person whose pocket we’re going to pick! I identify the mark, then determine where they keep their money. If they keep their wallet or cash in their left back pants pocket, for example, then I take my handkerchief, wipe my brow, or face, then place my handkerchief in my pocket where the money or wallet is located on the mark!’

“That’s geniusmatic!” Clementine replied.

“And that’s when the second “job” position begins,” Pebbles continued, “the ‘Stall’.”

“The Stall?” Clementine wondered.

“Yes,” Pebbles explained, “the ‘Stall’ learns to casually ‘bump’ into the mark, to slow them up, ‘stall them’ so to speak, just long enough for the third position to move in. The ‘Canon’”!

Clementine was intrigued.

“The ‘Canon’ moves in,” Pebbles explained, “and also ‘bumps’ or ‘brushes’ into the mark, whose being distracted by the ‘Stall’, just long enough to pick the mark’s pocket!”

“That’s so wild!” Clementine excitedly said.

“Then finally,” Pebbles concluded, “the fourth and final ’position’, the ‘Drop’. The ‘Drop’ takes the wallet or cash immediately from the ‘Canon’. If it’s a wallet, the Drop takes out the cash and disposes of the wallet!”

“But why?” Clementine asked, “wouldn’t you want to keep the wallet and see if the mark had any credit cards that you could use later?!”

“Absolutely not!” Pebbles replied, “we deal in cash only! Yeah, we could use credit cards to buy things and get cash advances, but then you leave a paper trail, as well as copies of our handwriting and maybe our faces on a store security camera. Not to mention that Mr. Mark’s credit card may be over the limit, cancelled, or even stolen itself. So we don’t need any of that type of attention! This is a cash only operation. Understand?!”

“Got it!” Clementine answered, “so what ‘position’ do you want me to train for?”

“Well,” Pebbles replied, “as I said, Bam will be our Steer. Your Father will be the Canon. I will be the Drop. Which leaves you, my dear, as our Stall!”

“So let me get this straight,” Clementine said, “you’re going to show me how to ‘bump’ into people?”

“Precisely!” Pebbles replied.

“Well, that’s cool,” Clementine said, “very cool!”

“Excellent, Clementine!” Pebbles said, “now that you know the basic set up, your father and I are going to go over some plans. Why don’t you meet back here in about an hour, okay?”

“Can’t I hang around and listen in on your plans?” Clementine asked.

“Oh, I think you’d be very bored,” Pebbles answered, “why don’t you and Bam go outside. There’s a park about a block north of here. Bam can show you the basics of the ‘Stall’ and you two can practice there, okay?”

Clementine threw a smile towards Bam. “Okay!” she replied, “sounds just peachy!”

Bam nodded, then walked Clementine to the door.

“After you, Miss!” he said, as he opened the door.

“Why, thank you, kind sir!” Clementine sweetly replied, as they both exited.

“I don’t like this at all!” Ford said.

Next: Chap. 11 “The Promise”

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