"Stop," he cried, "everybody stop!" So urgent was his cry that even the typically-imperturbable city crowd froze in place, each person staring at him. He was small, perhaps five-foot-four, balding with short-cropped white hair, and wearing an immaculate grey suit. He had a faint ethnic cast to his eyes, as though one of his grandparents had thought briefly about being Japanese, or Malay, or Filipino. For a moment, he commanded a bubble of stillness on the sidewalk. "I've lost a contact," he said. In the moment before the crowd's attention rolled into indifference, he added, "Ten thousand dollars to the person who finds it! Intact!"
People froze in place or lowered themselves tenderly into squats, as though dropping a heel or toe might cost them a potential windfall. The bubble of stillness expanded as others walked up and were quickly impressed into the search. No one noticed when the instigator walked out into the street and to a well-dressed woman on the opposite sidewalk.
"There," he said. "The traffic of a sidewalk at rush hour, arrested. Pay up."
She quirked her lips, half smile and half grimace. With a flourish, she wrote out a check for a hundred thousand dollars.