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It was difficult to concentrate on the parlor games with Steve, because she knew her husband was going to be in the thick of things before long.

Ever since she'd known Johnny he'd been in the thick of things, carrying out his duty as a faithful cop. That yen for action had elevated him to the position of one of the most respected men on the force. It had also brought her more sleepless nights than she cared to remember. But she knew that no force on earth could change his occupation … Johnny Martin was a cop's cop, and of that she was mighty proud.

The Smith Pier Gang #2 panel 2

She remembered now so well the day, six months after they were married, that Johnny had forgotten his good luck ring. He was a traffic patrolman on a downtown beat then. To spend a day on duty without the ring always upset him, so she was determined to deliver it as soon as she discovered it on the washstand. That was the first time she'd ever seen Officer Martin in action.

Just as she arrived at his intersection, she saw a woman start across the street. In the next instant, a careening sedan was speeding through the red light at break-neck speed. Quick as a flash, Officer Martin pulled the woman out of the path of the car, just in time. At the same time a man came running out of the corner bank yelling, "Stop those robbers!"

Whipping out his revolver Johnny fired two shots at the fleeing car. Almost at the same instant the back end began to careen, and halfway down the block it crashed into a fire hydrant.

As the bandits leaped from the car with pistols drawn, Officer Martin shouted for them to halt.Their retort in bullets went wild, but Johnny Martin's aim was perfect. Buth bandits went down with disabling slugs in arms and legs.

They were Muggsy Sloan and Dopey Haines of the Smith Pier mob.

"We'll get you some day, copper," they snarled as the police wagon took them away. "We'll handle you good and proper!"

And Mrs. Johnny Martin knew the Smith Pier mob hadn't forgotten her husband's name …

For his bravery and quick-thinking, Patrolman Martin hung up his uniform and went back to his street clothes as Detective Martin of the homicide squad.

If this meant more exciting duty for Johnny it meant more anxious moments for Mrs. Johnny. Every time he left the house on assignment he was risking his life. There were times when she tossed all night, wondering if she would see him alive again after a certain dangerous case was closed.

The Smith Pier Gang #2 panel 4

Then he would return in the morning, gaunt and hollow-eyed, smiling quietly but saying little. That was the way he handled all cases, big or small … rough or easy …

The Smith Pier Gang #2 panel 6
The Smith Pier Gang #2 panel 7
Neural Network Novellas series cover
The Smith Pier Gang #2 episode cover
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Neural Network Novellas

AI generated art using text prompts are a new, controversial means of creating visual art. The cowboy and the shepherd have working dogs to assist them. The spaceman relies on his blaster and android assistant to complete his mission. The writer can now use an AI artist to create art for his written creations. Join us as we explore this new creative process by taking classic prose stories, feeding them to our supportive silicon sketcher, and share the results with you.
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