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Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual
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Enlarge: Osgood prevents the untimely intervention of the police

Noodles started for the back door of the bank, but Osgood cautioned him to wait. "My vacuum barrier will prevent the sound of the alarm from escaping," he said, "but the silent alarm will still alert the police." He was carrying the odd little box whose wires now trailed across the town, over the rooftops, and to the front and back doors of the police station. He now pressed a large button on that box, a button that was labeled Danger!

Across town, the heavy iron doors of the police station became magnetized and silently locked together.

"Now!" Osgood cackled, "into the bank!"

Noodles was impressed by Osgood's speed. The old man staggered along in his doddering way but somehow teased each lock open, penetrating deeper and deeper into the bank until they reached the vault. Here Osgood paused in thought. That must have been difficult: for although the bank's alarm couldn't be heard outside of Osgood's vacuum dome, here inside the bank it was deafening.

"Now," the old man shouted, "this is where I need your help." Noodles took a master key from him: it was a complicated device with row after row of extendable teeth. "This should give you access to the safety deposit boxes; mine is number 8920. You must remove my property and load it into the airship. But before you disable the vacuum barrier I must turn off the alarm: otherwise the whole town will hear it. I will unlock the vault, and then I'll go to find the alarm box. Wait till the alarm stops and then, quick as you can, open the deposit box and take my property. Do you understand?"

Noodles assured Osgood that he understood completel

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