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This short story was in a Sci-Fi or Fantasy anthology I read in the late 1960s. It involves a scientist who invents a small device with a circular cable loop that is capable of slowing time almost to a standstill for anyone inside the cable loop. The scientist's bad-guy lab assistant steals the device as well as the scientist's daughter and disappears. Using a second time device, a detective, hired by the scientist, pursues the bad guy into the time-stopped, motionless world to which he ran. Ultimately the detective reclaims the device and rescues the girl. They become very close during their time together and ultimately are shifted back to normal time with a humorous result.

Additional note based on comments: a small portable box (machine) is attached to a cable (think bicycle lock cable) that can be wrapped around a person (or two) and activated. Whoever is within the cable experiences normal time-flow but sees the outside world as stopped. In the story, several days are spent in this "frozen" world by the detective and the girl. The author's great descriptions of the time-frozen world are what I remember best. Finally, using the bad guy's stolen "cable" the girl returns to her father's lab and is reunited with her father. The detective arrives shortly after and the scientist offers to introduce his daughter to him but instead he walks directly to her, takes her in his arms and kisses her.

  • Hi, welcome to SF&F! The question looks pretty good, but you should still look at the suggestions in case they help trigger some more memories. – DavidW Apr 12 at 0:54
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    This is just different enough from Larry Niven's story "ARM" that I don't think it's the same one. In that one, a scientist had developed a way to speed up time inside a spherical field. About 600:1, I think. Then the guy was killed, and the detective had to figure out who had done it and how he had gotten away (while leaving the corpse inside the 600:1 field which it was dangerous for anyone to move into or out of). The scientist had a niece who was a minor character, but she was not a daughter, and the detective did not get romantically involved with her. – Lorendiac Apr 12 at 1:07
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    @user14111 It looked to me as if Sierra Pete's wording in a couple of places in that post clearly meant: "Whenever you step into the affected area, the rate of the passage of time in there drops to almost nothing (in comparison to what you were previously experiencing in the outside world).'" – Lorendiac Apr 12 at 3:12
  • What is the humorous result? Don't worry about spoilers. Give us all the details you can remember. Any tiny detail may be the thing that jogs someone's memory. – John Rennie Apr 12 at 10:56
  • @SierraPete This feels familiar. Like Lorenidac said, this has a lot of similarities to ARM, but I think I may have read something like this as well. Just to make sure you're not referencing ARM, though, you don't happen to recall anything like a flashlight being used as a weapon, or someone half-stuck out the field violently flopping around, do you? (Incidentally, there was also a "Batman: The Animated Series" episode, "Time Out of Joint", that shared some elements.) – Jacob C. Apr 12 at 18:37

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