I'm looking for what I think is a a short story, probably from the 70s or late 60s.

It's about a bank robbery where the lookout poses as a police officer. During the robbery, several people ask him (I think) for standard 70s-ish police help: a lost child asking for help finding their parent, a request to not give a parking ticket, that kind of thing. By the end of the story, he has a change of heart and turns himself - and his accomplices - in to the real police.

I believe it was written in American English, for initial publication in the US.

I'm fairly certain this was in print.

1 Answer 1


The answer came to me, of course, a few minutes ago: Clothes Make the Man by Henri Duvernois; this site seems to have a copy (or, at least, a detailed synopsis) of the story.

It turns out they weren't robbing a bank but a house, and the main character doesn't turn himself in so much as he arrests the other two.

Along the way, another officer salutes him on his "patrol", he helps a little old lady across a street, and gets spat on by an angry drunk; the latter he dragged "off down the street".

Our main character, Tango, is treated poorly by the boss (unnamed in the link) both before and after the job. When the boss and the third accomplice ("The Eel", who doesn't do much during the story) come out of the house, Tango blows his whistle "loud and long enough to bring all the police in Paris" and yells at them that they're under arrest.

  • 1
    Good job finding this! Please can you edit your answer to add some more details about this story, confirming for any reader that it's the same one you described in the question? That way, your answer will be more useful for future site passersby.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Feb 20 at 20:02

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