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Private Eye for Hire is a 1950 Mickey Mouse comic book story, originally published in Four Color Comics #296.

Synopsis

After seeing a new Humphrey Boobert movie, Mickey sees a sign saying that a private eye's office is for rent. Inspired by the movie, Mickey decides to become a detective and rents the office. To his chagrin, Mickey's first customers hire him to perform menial watch jobs, but he then gets a client who wants him to spy on his wife, who he believes is cheating on her diet.

While spying on Mrs. Bulge at a department store, a shoplifter, believing Mickey to be a member of his gang, hands him a stolen diamond necklace. Seeing an opportunity, Mickey decides to infiltrate the gang with the intent of turning them over to the police. After getting into the thieves' car and being taken to their hideout in a waterfront warehouse, Mickey is brohght before the gang's leader. To avoid being outed, Mickey puts on a tough guy act, claiming to be "the slickest shoplifter in the world". Suspicious, the leader tries to call his bluff by taking him to a depertment store to see him in action.

In an attempt to attract some nearby guards, Mickey tries to steal a set of silverware, but the guards believe him to be the son of the store's owner. Next, he tries to steal a mink coat in front of the store's manager, but he instead mistakes him for a delivery boy. Then, Mickey tries to steal the "most expensive pearl necklace in the world", but the salesman lets him have it, believeing he has unlimited credit due to the other items he has on him. Finally, he tries to show his stolen goods to the doorman, but he lets him through, believing him to be a paying customer whose hands are full.

In desperation, Mickey plants the goods on the gang members and tries to make a run for it, but they yank him into their car by his suspenders and take him back to the warehouse. Mickey sees that the thieves' car is being escorted by fellow members disguised as officers, and he decides to put on one of their uniforms to slink away and tip off the police. He then sees a pier crane with a large net on it, and he gets an idea to caputre the gang.

After operating the crane to set the net in place, Mickey calls the leader on a public telephone and tells them that the cops are coming, advising them to get out through Door 7. The thieves beat a hasty retreat out the door, off a ledge and into the net. Mickey then calls Captain O'Hara over to arrest them, expecting a big reward for his job, but O'Hara instead offers him his undying friendship.

While walking away from the pier to call Minnie, a woman approaches Mickey, thinking he's an officer due to his disguise, and asks him to rescue her cat from a telephone pole. While climbing up the pole, Mickey spots Mrs. Bulge through a window in the adjacent house. After saving the cat, Mickey climbs back up the pole and enters the window to continue his snoop job. While following Mrs. Bulge through her house, he sees that she's been disguising chocolate balls as fringes on her drapery and busts her for cheating on her diet. Her husband pays Mickey for completing his mission, and he decides to use the money to retire from the detective business.