Sid and Jack crept out of the stairwell door moments later, crouching and shuffling their way down the hall to the apartment door.
"Get out the popper," Sid whispered.
"No, let's pick it, she ain't home and we don't want to wake the old ladies neighbors," said Jack, reaching into the pack.
"Fine, whatever. Just hurry up before someone comes out looking for Geritol."
Jack pulled out the bump-lock kit he had made the night before and set to work. Sid sat on his heels, leaning against the frame of the doorway as Jack worked, and kept watch; looking up and down the hallway, his eyes swiveling back and forth, searching.
"Damn it," hissed Jack. "It ain't working."
"Come on, just pop the damn thing then, we'll be in an out in less than sixty seconds. No cop going to get here that fast if they don't know we're here," said Sid.
Jack threw the bump-lock into the pack and took out a twelve-inch, black crow-bar. Jamming it into the door frame, just above the lock, he looked at Sid and nodded his head once. Jack lifted his right hand, holding up three fingers and mouthed, "In three. Three...two...one."
The door opened, triggering the klaxons as the floodlights came on in the hallway and foyer to Mrs. Williams’ apartment.
"What!" screamed Sid. "He said the joint wasn't wired! Move, move, move, let's get the diamond and get the hell out."
They ducked inside, quickly, running through the foyer, turning right at the coat stand; past three doors on the left, they turned right; two more doors, then they took the second one into the study.
"Under the desk," Sid said as each of them grabbed one side of the desk and slid it roughly across the wood floor, gouging the ancient oak as a thin mist of white vapor collected silently above them.
"36-24-18-4-6," said Jack, as Sid wrenched open the panel covering the safe.
Sid started twisting the dial when he felt the intense pressure of someone, some thing, grabbing the back of neck and squeezing very hard. Suddenly, his head jerked forward, smashing into Jack's skull, everything going black.