Blood is Thicker Than Steele
Transcribed by Jan from the Episode Written by:
Richard DeRoy

Steele, Laura and Mildred enter the office building parking area.

"Good night Mildred," bids Laura.

Mildred responds, "Good night."

"Good night luv, good night Mildred," says Steele waving to Mildred.

"See you tomorrow. Good night," adds Laura as she and Steele head for the Auburn.

A screeching car entering the car park stops Mildred's walk to her car. She calls out, "You crazy peop-" but is cut off as a man jumps from the car and grabs her, forcing her into the car. Mildred calls out, "HELP", before the man closes the door and it races away.

Laura and Steele give chase in the Auburn through suburban streets. The car with Mildred turns right but Steele turns left as he queries, "This way?"

"This way," confirms Laura.


"Shortcut. There are certain advantages to growing up in Los Angeles." The Auburn brakes to a stop to let a school class cross the road.

"There they are!" calls out Steele as they watch the car with Mildred whiz by.

"Who are they? What do they want with Mildred?"

Remington has no response as he resumes the chase. The car enters a driveway with electronic gates and pulls into a carport of a large house. Steele and Laura stop outside the house and it's high fence.

The two men in the car escort her from the car as a frightened Mildred threatens, "Wait until my boss gets his hands on you. You'll be sorry."

Laura and Steele run up to the gate, which is now closed. Laura looks up and asks, "Wired?"

"Has to be," says Remington.

"Service entrance?"

"If they have any class." Steele heads off around the perimeter as Laura hits the fence, setting off the alarm. She starts to climb it, passing a sign that reads, "Trespassing, loitering forbidden by law."

Inside the house the two men are tying Mildred to a chair. When she hears the alarm she says, "Ah-ha. Oh boy, now you're really in trouble."

The two men stand and one pull/puts a gun in his shoulder-holster, "They're in trouble." He leaves the room as the second man sits on a desk and picks up an strip of black material. Mildred tells him, "This is kidnapping. Fifteen years. That's what you'll get. Twenty years maybe. Oh, they've got crowded cells. Starchy food.""

The looks at Mildred, "You know something, you remind me of my mother."

"Oh good," says Mildred smiling, pleased with herself.

"Yeah. I hate her," says the man as he then gags her with the strip of black material.

Outside, has climbed over the fence and continues to shake it. The man with the gun runs up and grabs her. She gives in easily, "Can't win them all"

"Amateurs," he mutters as he grabs her by the arm and leads her to the house. Inside the house, the man who has gagged Mildred is now slowly walking through an unlit room with his gun drawn. He passes a darkened alcove and Steele rises from the shadows coming up behind the man. Laura is lead into the house by her captor and the man who Steele approaches says, "Come on in baby,". He turn as Steele taps him on the shoulder and punches him dead centre on the nose when the man turns around. As Laura's captor looks on she grabs his gun and turns it on him.

"Yes, do come in baby," says Steele as he walks over the man he hit and does up his jacket buttons. "Now then, we're looking for a Miss Krebs. *Mildred* Krebs."

Suddenly the lights are turned on and they see a middle-aged, grey-haired man holding a glass of champagne at the head of a staircase. The man says, "Congratulations. You certainly live up to your reputation Mr Steele." As the grey-haired man speaks the man whom Laura is holding the gun on backs away.

"I beg your pardon?"

"I heard you were the best. I had to be sure." The man walks down the stairs.

"Are you telling us this was some kind of *test*?" asks an unimpressed Laura.

"A very critical one, from my point of view," says the man as he leads them into the lounge.

"We don't audition Mr ahhh," says Steele to prompt the man.

"Gallen," fills in Laura, "If I'm not mistaken." She looks to the man to confirm. "Walter Gallen. One of our country's most famous ex-patriates."

"You're much too generous Miss Holt," comments the man.

"I thought you were living among the sheltering palms?"

"I have been," replies Gallen meeting Laura's stare, "But the government has asked me to testify about my *old* associates at the Greykirk corporation. If I do then they'll let me, ah, come home."

"What do you want with us?" asks Steele.

"Well actually-" he stops and holds out a hand, "Are you sure that you won't join me in a drink Mr Steele? Miss Holt?"

"We don't drink without Miss Krebs."

"Ah. Forgive me. My manners have gotten rather rusty in the tropics." He turns the one of his men, "Ron." The man leaves the room. "Now if we can dispense with the amenities, I have two children living in this house. And they mean the *world* to me. You do *get* to be as powerful as the Greykirk Corporation playing by the rules."

"You're afraid if the Greykirk Corporation hears you're going to testify they're going to grab the children to stop you," surmises Laura.

"Exactly. Up until now the children have been safe. My being here has changed that and I will NOT agree to testify until I know Chris and Angel are in safe hands." He looks pointing at Steele and Laura. "All you have to do is take them on a little trip."

"How little?" asks Steele, less than enthused.

"Mr Steele adores children," says Laura, which draws an unsure look from him to which she smiles.

Gallen continues, "I've been asked to testify the day after tomorrow in the Federal Court in Phoenix. Now, you deliver Chris and Angel to me after the hearing, safe and sound, and I'm going to put you in a brand new *tax* bracket."

"Won't the government provide your family with protection?" asks Laura.

"The Greykirk Corporation reaches very *high* in the government," explains Gallen. "You *have* three futures in your hands. Mine. My children's. And the future of a government investigation."

"Quite a salesmen," comments Steele with a nervous laugh.

"The best. I should have stuck to it."

Mildred enters the lounge followed by Ron, "Mr Steele."

"Mildred!" calls out Laura as she dashes around Steele to check on Miss Krebs. "Are you alright?"

"Well I've felt better."

"Yes. Well it was only a *test* Mildred," informs Steele, looking at Gallen.

"A test?"

"To see how resourceful we are," explains Laura looking at one of the men present them with a tray on which three filled champagne glasses sit.

"You *kidnap* me to test them?" asks an unimpressed Mildred looking at Ron. She takes one of the champagne glasses. "Oh, that's brilliant. I mean. Brilliant!" She flings the champagne into Ron's face and says, "I'm a lousy sport," as Laura laughs.


Plates reading "Steele Tours" are on a sedan car door that is being driven by Steele. Laura is in the passenger seat. Both are dressed in matching jackets, shirts, ties and matching hats complete with a "Steele Tours" badge.

"You think you might have gone at this a bit too enthusiastically?" asks Remington pointing to the badge on his hat.

"The girls at Four East," offers Laura.


"The girls I went through college with. One's a neurosurgeon. One's a television executive. One's even got a *seat* on the stock exchange. And they're *all* raising families. I don't even have goldfish."

"Ah, so you're planning on getting your feet wet looking after the Gallen children, hey?"

"Damp," qualifies Laura.

"Oh, the quandary of the independent woman. What am I missing and who am I missing it with?"

"Time is passing. Pleasantly enough, but it's passing."

"Why do I get this neurotic impulse to apologise for that?"

"I don't know. You're certainly not suggesting - that I'm suggesting - that you should?"

"Oh no no no. How could I possibly suggest a suggestion like that?" He looks away nervously.


In a New York building a woman leads a business man carrying a metallic briefcase into a conference room. On one corner of the table there are three telephones, one red, one black and one white. "I hope this meets your needs sir."

"It will be fine."

"We had the telephones installed just as you requested."

"What's your name again?"

"Mrs Trout."

"*Thank* you Mrs Trout," says the man with an annoyed tone. The woman leaves the room with the automatic doors closing behind her. The man opens his briefcase and pulls out a round object that he fits over the mouthpiece of the white telephone. He dials. "Senator Colliger please. Stephen Cole, Greykirk Corporation." Cole presses a button on the table and the far wall screen with 'the company that gets things done' opens to reveal a while wall with a few red dots. "Senator Colliger How are things in Washington? ...Yes, I know. Those committee meetings can be tedious. Senator, I have some news that I've been asked to pass along ... Walter Gallen is back in the country again ... Slipped in two days ago ... With the aid of the Justice Department ... No. Don't worry sir. This conversation is perfectly safe ... Well, a tap would only pick up an irritating, electronic whine ... I've been instructed to tell you sir, and these are the chairman's precise words, the re-appearance of Walter Gallen will actually *help* both you and Greykirk ... Well, we believe there's an area in which Mr Gallen is - vulnerable - to persuasion."


Gallen is on bended knee in front of a young girl outside his home.

"I'll miss you more than you'll miss me," says the young girl.

"There's not a chance," replies Gallen.

"Then can I have some pocket money?" the girl slyly asks.

"Of course you can. Here you are." He hands her a note.

"Daddy ..." whines the girl.

"Okay," Gallen hands her another note and the girl smiles.

"I love you, Daddy."

"How deep are her pockets?" asks Laura of Steele. They are both standing in their uniforms by the 'Steele Tours' car.

The girl tugs on Steele's jacket. "My bags are in the house."

"Won't they be lonely without you?" he responds not moving. The girl puts her hands on her hips and marches around to the car.

A woman carries a suitcase out of the house and Gallen introduces her. "This is my secretary, Miss Shelby Haines." Steele takes the suitcase from Miss Haines.

"When will you be bringing the children back?" asks Miss Haines in a no-nonsense tone.

"I haven't decided yet Shelby," replies Gallen smiling at Steele and Laura.

A teenage boy leaves the house carrying a suitcase. He looks at his father and smiles appreciatively when he sees Laura. He walks straight to her and as he passes Steele hand him the suitcase.

"Hi, I'm Chris."

"Hello, I'm Laura Holt," says Laura as she shakes Chris' hand.

"Nice to meet you. Real nice." Chris continues to stare.

"This is Mr Steele," says Laura indicating her partner.

"Hello," says Chris, his gaze never leaving Laura.

"Likewise, I'm sure," says an unimpressed Steele.

Laura indicates Chris should go to the car. When Chris continues to stare she pulls her hand from his grasp and moves to the car as Chris follows, still smiling. Steele places Chris' suitcase in the boot. Gallen leans on the car and pointedly says, "Have a good trip. And a safe one," says Gallen.

Steele shuts the boot, "Ah, our hallmark, yes." He starts to head for the driver's seat but returns when he realises keys are still in the boot-lock, which he returns to retrieve. "Whoops. Nice to meet you." He nods to Miss Haines. Angel waves from the back seat as Gallen and Miss Haines watch the car drives off.

Another car pulls into the driveway and Miss Haines asks, "Where will you be? If I need to reach you."

"You won't need to reach me," replies Gallen.

"The children go away suddenly. You go away. Don't you trust me any more."

"Of course I trust you."

"There was a time when you wouldn't have excluded me."

"I'll always be grateful to you."

"For looking after the kids?"

"For everything."

Miss Haines gives a wry smile. "Well I'm grateful to you. For your gratitude Mr Gallen."

He looks at her and then down at the ground before walking away to the car.


Inside a circus-themed 'Fabulous party pizza' parlour, Steele, Laura and the children sit in a corner.

A voice from a large doll-chef calls out, "Number thirteen to the centre ring!"

An enthusiastic Laura asks, "The Grand Canyon?"

"Boring," replies the bored girl.

"An Indian Reservation? Arizona's full of them." He does the 'wo-ho-wo-ho' sound with hand-over-mouth motion.

"Bor-ing!" replies the girl.

"Your father hired us to take you on a cultural odyssey. Steele Tours' lives by-it's-word," emphasises Laura.

A black van stops outside the pizza parlour. Two men leave the van and walk into the restaurant past a juggling clown. They look around the room and as two clowns walk past them they spot 'Steele Tours' and its charges. The men smile at each other and follow the clowns to the toilets.

"Why don't we just get a motel room and party?" asks a hopeful Chris.

"We *are* partying," answers a bewildered Laura.

"This? This is kid's stuff."

"You're kids," says an unimpressed Steele.

The doll-chef's voice calls out, "Number eighteen in the centre ring."

Steele looks at his docket. "Ah, our gourmet lunch." He is even less impressed as he goes to collect his next meal.

The two 'clowns' leave the toilet. Steele watches them from the counter and notices one lean into Laura and lead the girl from the table. Laura stands up and rushes after the child, "Excuse me sir, she belongs to me." She grabs a large pizza, still in it's tray, from a passing waitress and approaches the clown. She taps him on the shoulder and then shoves the pizza tray into the clown's midriff. The other clown grabs Chris who calls out, "Hey, get off of me!"

Steele has collected his pizza and sniffs it, looking up to see Chris struggling with the clown as he's dragged from the restaurant. Steele drops the pizza and runs over the tables and calls out, "Next round on me," to the patrons he disturbs. He picks up a coffee-pot and taps the clown on the shoulder. As the clown looks around he pours the coffee onto the clown's hand causing him to scream and let go of Chris. Steele reaches past the clown, now clutching his burnt hand, and says, "Come on, young man, so much to see, so much to do." They rush through the kitchen, past a man listening to the radio tossing a pizza base. Steele empties a container of tomato base onto the floor. As the two clowns rush after them they slip on the tomato paste.

Outside, by the side of the restaurant Laura, Steele and the children run to the street.

"I wonder who those clowns were?" asks Chris.

"Well, you know circus people. Anything for excitement," evades Steele.

Laura looks out into the street and sees the two clowns by their 'Steele Tours' car. She steps back out of the clowns' line of vision. She signals for Remington to have a look and all four peer out from the side of the restaurant. Luckily, the two clowns are staring I the opposite direction. Steele pulls them back out of view before the clowns turn around. Laura points to the city bus with an open door that is parked in the street just opposite them.

"The 'A' tour Mr Steele," she asks.

"What's the 'A' tour?" asks Chris.

Remington understands Laura's intention. "There's an added attraction. We steal a bus."

"Boring?" asks Laura, with a touch of sarcasm.

"Neat!" is Chris' enthusiastic response as the little girl grins.

"I knew there was a way to these kids," she comments.

"Hmmn. Crime," replies Steele.

Laura indicates they should all board for the bus. On the footpath near the back of the bus the driver is talking to a woman, "I tell you honey, it's no easy job. Fighting traffic. Dealing with the public. Somedays I- Hey!" The driver stops talking to the woman and calls out after the moving bus. "Come back with my bus!"

The bus driver's reaction draws the attention of the clowns who run around the corner to their van.

On the bus Remington checks the rear-view mirror and sees a subdued Angel who accuses, "You thief." Chris is watching Laura as he keeps a lookout for the clowns at the back of the bus.

Steele waves and calls out, "Sorry folks," as he passes a crowd of people who become annoyed when the almost empty bus passes their bus stop. Not seeing a tail Laura sits down and crosses her legs.

Chris sits opposite her and says, "You're no tour guide. A girl with your looks doesn't have to work this hard."

Laura laughs, "There are times when I tell myself the same thing."

"Why don't we ditch what's-his-name and go spend a week on my yacht."

"Your yacht?"

"It'll be mine when I'm sixteen."

"I see. Like a boy's first jalopy."

Ever hopeful, Chris continues, "We'll have a ball. You know what I mean?"

"I'm very flattered, Chris but I'm afraid I have to decline."

"How about I throw in a diamond bracelet?"

"Quite a throw-in."

Chris puts his hand on Laura's thigh, "Every woman has her price." Laura slaps his hand away and walks to the front of the bus as a police car starts to give chase.

Laura reaches Steele as he sees and hears the police car. "Uh-oh. How many years do you get for stealing city property?"

"I think they figure it by weight," says Laura.


"Hang a right at the next corner."

"Yeah, what good will that do?"

"A lot. If I know where we are." Steele turns right at the next intersection. "Pull over here." The bus stops and Laura, Chris and Angel hop off.

Steele calls out, "I'll go ditch the bus," and drives off.

Angel asks, "Why do we have to get off?"

"So you can go to the bathroom," offers Laura.

"I don't have to go!"

"You *should* have to," replies Laura as she goes to a public telephone and dials.

Steele continues to drive the bus with the police car close behind. He turns into a street and is forced to stop when another police car blocks off his path. Armed police leave the car and call out on the loud-hailer, "This the police. Come out with your hands raised. Come out with your hands raised."

Steele slowly exits the bus as instructed pretending to call out to someone on the bus, "Now, now. You don't want to do anything like that. You don't want to hurt anyone. I understand why you hijacked the bus, General Washington," he gives a quick glance to the police, " The Delaware's frozen. Now these things happen."

Steele backs up to a policeman with his gun drawn who asks, "Loony?"




"You got guts." The policeman's gun is in Steele's back. "Get back. Back, back, back, back." Steele goes behind the policeman and checking his attention is still focused on the bus, he runs away, as the policeman starts negotiations, "General. Want to talk to you. Calmly. Reasonably." He then softly instructs, "Get the SWAT team."


Steele joins Laura and the children at the public telephone. Laura brings him up to date, "Mildred is bringing new wheels."

"Here?" asks Steele, anxious to leave the area.

"An old college friend of mine lives in this neighbourhood."

"Oh. One of the girls from four-east?"

"The leader, Barbara Frick. A child psychology major."

"I shall sit at her feet," says Steele, grabbing Angel.

"Not if I get there first," says Laura taking Chris by the arm, who smiles and takes advantage by putting his arm around her waist.


Inside Barbara's house, Steele peeks at the window by the door and then hooks the safety chain before nervously walking into the living room. Barbara and Laura are sitting down.

"I must say Laura, I never thought I'd see the day when *you'd* bring two kids to the house. Even somebody else's."

"Thank you," says Laura, looking embarrassed as she sips from a mug.

Remington defends Laura, "Actually, Laura's *wonderful* with children. Of course, Laura's *wonderful* with everyone. So, um, so tolerant."

Barbara asks Steele, "Sugar?"

"Two lumps, yes," replies Steele before turning to Laura and mouthing a sarcastic, "Love her."

Chris is heard yelling, "ANGEL!"

Angel runs into the room, "He hit me!"

Chris closely follows, "She hit me first."

"He raised his voice."

"She took my sandwich!"

"I was hungry."

Steele looks at Laura and softly instructs, "Be wonderful."

Laura doesn't meet his stare as she admonishes, "Chris!"

Steele stands, "Angel now just-"

"May I?" interrupts Barbara. Steele gladly sits down. Barbara looks at the girl, "Angel, I hear you." She then turns to the teenager, "Chris, I hear you too." Barbara looks back at Angel, "You feel invaded. Violated." She looks at Chris, "You feel they're is no *justice* in the world." She looks back to Angel, "But believe me, *I* hear you." She makes a fist to emphasise her assertion.

"I'm sorry," says Chris.

Angel shrugs her shoulders, "I was bad. Bad."

Chris looks skywards and puts his arm around Angel as he leads her away.

"How did you manage that?" asks a stunned Laura.

Barbara is pleased. "Well it's difficult to explain to, uhm, civilians," but she continues, "You see children are very complex. You develop a third ear." Laura tries to look interested as Steele nods and stirs his drink. "You see, Angel didn't really want that sandwich. And Chris didn't really want justice. They just *wanted* to be heard." She clenches her fist again for emphasis and then sits back in her chair smugly. "Well, if you were a mother you'd understand."

Steele smiles at Laura who is staring at her friend. He then suggests, "Hmmn. You ought to write a book about it Barbs."

"What I know I share," says a pleased Barbs.

Outside, a large motorhome screeches out-of-control around the corner with Mildred at the wheel. She struggles for control and the motorhome runs over and stops in a bed of flowers.

Steele looks at the window and asks Barbara, "How do you feel about sharing your front lawn?"

Mildred exits the motorhome with the opening door just missing a tree. Laura approaches the window and Steele asks, "You expect *me* to travel in *that* with `The Bad Seed'?"

Laura looks pleased with her idea. "It's self-contained. Mobile. We won't be exposing them to strangers." The doorbell rings before he can reply.

Barbs answers the door and Mildred enters with a single, white flower. "Hi. I'm Mildred Krebs. I'm sorry but I owe you about three flats of petunias." She hands the flower to Barbara who looks quickly out the window by the door and then follows Mildred, now in the living room and talking to Laura, "I've bought you fresh clothes and I've got them in the RV," she signals to the motorhome.

"Oh that's terrific Mildred," replies Laura.

Mildred looks at Steele who is impassive. "Oh boss, you are going to have a *blast* with that tiger. It's so cosy and convenient."

Steele is not looking forward to the experience, "Yes, everyone within swatting distance."

"We'd better go before those clowns show up for a second show." She calls out sweetly, "Chris. Angel." Angel appears crunching into an apple. "Where's Chris?" Angel shrugs her shoulders.

Laura and Steele become alert, both calling out for the boy.

Laura calls out, "Where are you?" They both continue calling as they enter the front yard. Steele pokes his head in the motor home and then they walk to the other side of the yard as Laura asks, "My God. How did they get him?"

"Well, let's not jump to depressing conclusions, hey?" says Steele sounding as anxious as Laura as they continue to call for Chris. They head back into the house and walk down the corridor. From inside a cupboard door, with a key in the lock, there is a banging noise. Steele unlocks and opens the door. Chris is inside. Steele sees him and storms down the passageway back to the living room followed by Laura and Chris. He says to Angel, "That wasn't funny love! Right step." Angel quickly hides behind Mildred who tries to calm him but he continues, "You pull a stunt like that again and you won't sit down until you're eligible to retire."

"Boss, you're a role model!" Mildred is shocked.


Steele looks at Mildred as Angel steps from her cover, "You *threatened* me." Angel then turns heel and walks to a connecting door. She turns and faces Steele, "I'm going to have my Daddy RUIN you!" Angel then slams the door behind her.

Steele growls and walks to the door and starts knocking. Laura throws her arms out in despair and follows him as Mildred looks on shocked.

Barbara calls out emphatically, "Angel, I *hear* you!"

Chris tells Barbara, "Mrs Frick. Angel went through that 'I hear you' routine three psychiatrists back.

At the closed door Steele continues to yell, "Angel! I'm counting to two!"

Laura is calm as she tries to reason with him. "Give her a minute. Let her *cool* down."

"Let her cool down? I'm the one that's boiling."

Laura loses her cool, "She's a child! You're an adult."

"Thank you Miss Holt for that *startling* bit of information," replies Steele sarcastically.

"And what's *that* supposed to mean?"

"Be my guest," he challenges.

"All right. Obviously, the child in you is a bit overwhelmed by the child in HER"."

"If the child in you takes one more shot at the child in me-"

Mildred tries to explain to a startled Barbara, "Actually, they're really very close," as she tries to lead Barbara and Chris out of the living room.

Steele accuses, "You didn't take this job just to see how YOU function with children, you took this job to see how *I* function.

"Why would I POSSIBLY care?" grits out Laura before storming from the living room.

Inside the room, Angel is speaking into the telephone, "I *don't* want to go to Arizona. And I certainly don't won't to ride in some tacky old trailer. You come pick me up."

Miss Haines is on the other end of the telephone looking pleased, "I can't do that sweetheart. Look. I'll tell you what. Why don't you call me whenever you can and tell me how it's going. Will you do that? Good girl."

Angel slowly hangs up the telephone. As Miss Haines hangs up, one of the men trying to snatch the children walks into the room. "Who was that?"

Miss Haines is startled and nervous. "Ah. No-one important."

"Gallen? One of the kids?"

"I'd tell you."

"Would you Miss Haines?" The man grabs her and twists her arm behind her back. "It's a little late for you to have second thoughts. We're not going to hurt them." He twists her arm more.

"They're in a trailer. Heading for Arizona."

The man releases her. "Thank you Miss Haines." He then picks up the telephone and dials.


Steele is driving the motorhome along a highway. Laura approaches and places her arm on the back of the driver's seat. "I'll take over for a while if you'd like," she offers with a strained smile.

"No, no, no. It's alright."

"Are you sure?"

"Oh yes. Love it. Open road. Crisp, clean smell of gas fumes." He slaps the dashboard. "Nauga-hide."

Laura takes a deep breath and sits down next to him. She glances at him and is unsure as she tentatively asks, "Is there anything you want to talk about?"

"Such as?"

"I don't know. Anything."

"Not that I can think of." Chris approaches them. "Ah, Chris old buddy, hey."

Laura reaches out and pats Chris' arm and enthusiastically greets the boy, "Hello Chris."

"Anything I can do for you?" asks Steele.

"Anything I can do?" asks Laura.

Chris smiles, "Fighting huh? My parents always tried to make time for me when they were fighting."

"Oh we're not really fighting," covers Steele.

Laura cuts him off, "Yes we are."

"Where's Angel?" asks Steele trying to avoid the fight.

"Sleeping," replies Chris.

"Ah, exhausted from her labours no doubt."

"You've got to try to understand Angel," says Chris, "She's had a rough time. She was only a baby when Mum took off."

"Took off?" asks Laura.

"Yeah, Mum meet this guy from Europe. When he went home she followed him. They live on a beach somewhere. Spain or Portugal. Angel was only five when it happened. I was older."

"You?" asks Steele.

Chris shrugs, "I was older."

"Nine?" asks Laura, obviously thinking of her own parent's desertion.


"I was sixteen when my father left," says Laura. "It hurt a lot." Steele glances at her comment.

"You're a girl," comments Chris.

"I see," says Laura, smiling sweetly again, "That's different."

"Actually, I'm kind of grateful to Mum. Whole thing has made me, you know, kind of hip."

"Grow up fast did we?" asks Steele.

"Boy, did I?" Chris gives Laura a sly wink, which she doesn't know quite how to respond. "Tell me something straight. Are you supposed to protect Angel and me? It's okay. Dad always thinks he's fooling me so I let him think so. I've had more cousins with big shoulders and bulges in their jackets."

Laura levels with Chris. "Mr Steele and I are private investigators."

"Dad up to something? Dangerous?"

"Not if everything goes the way it's supposed to," reassures Steele.

"Just don't tell Angel huh? She's just a kid."

The motor home passes a car with its bonnet raised and a man looking at the engine. When the motor home passes the man closes the bonnet and picks up the car telephone. "Mobile operator? I want New York city. Area code two-one-two."

The man in the New York office picks up the red telephone, "Cole." The screen behind him now displays the highway network.

"Simpson," says the man in the car. "I've just picked them up crossing into Arizona."

"You know what to do."

"I got a car awaiting."

"Be advised this is no ordinary operation. Gallen's engaged the Remington Steele agency and they come equipped with a formidable reputation." The black telephone rings. "I suggest it would be best for all concerned if *no-one* was left to comment on the children's disappearance." Cole hangs up the red telephone and picks up the black one. "Cole ...Yes Senator, I am aware of the rumours bouncing around Washington ... But as I told you earlier we're in complete control the situation ... I don't think that's something you need to know ... We're *not* interested in keeping Gallen from testifying. That would only prolong the agony. We want him to blow the Government's case out of the water. Put an end to it once and for all ... Yes senator, I think we know how to accomplish that ... Now why don't you go back to your Ethics' Committee meeting and let us tend to business huh?" Cole hangs up the telephone.


On the highway, the motor home passes a T-intersection and a car enters the highway. Laura is now driving with Steele by her side. She notices the car following and comments, "Car just pulled onto the road behind us."

Steele checks the car in question, "Wonderfully non-descript isn't it?"

"Why don't they pass us?" asks a nervous Laura.

"Perhaps they're sightseers after a leisurely drive."

"This assignment is turning me into a raging paranoiac."

"Ah, let's face it. We are rather vulnerable in this bouncing billet."

"All anyone has to do is shoot out the tyres and we'd be helpless."

Remington senses her nervousness and tries to reassure her, "You know, when John Ford was directing, `Stagecoach', someone asked him, 'Why don't the Indians shoot the horses?', and he replied, 'Because then we wouldn't have a movie.'" He smiles at Laura to see if was happier at their situation. Before she can respond a gunshot rings out.

"Somebody didn't see the movie!" yells Laura.

Steele calls into the back of the van, "Stay down children. WAY down!"

Outside the van a man is lining up to shoot with a rifle.

"You know one thing I've notice about RVs," says Laura, "They don't have any pick-up."

"Try a little bump and run," says Steele. Laura serves the motorhome into the path of the car causing it to serve as the man fires the rifle. Laura starts to jig-jag across the road.

"How long can we keep this up?" asks Laura as another gunshot is heard.

"Oh, it's only two-hundred more miles to Phoenix." They approach a bend and Laura notices an oncoming truck. As Steele moans, Laura lines up the truck, blocking it from the view of their pursuers. "Don't over-tax your courage Laura," cautions Steele. Laura keeps the truck lined up as it blows its horn. She quickly serves from the truck's path but manages to stay on the road. The car behind is not as lucky and starts to roll, "Hope they're wearing their seat-belts," comment Steele. The car comes to a rest at the bottom causes of an embankment and the engine explodes into flames. "Excellent piece of driving Miss Holt." Steele realises Laura is in shock and waves his hand in front of her face. She doesn't respond at first but she breathes deeply.

"Oh. I suddenly have this overwhelming urge," begins Laura, "to lie low for a while."

Steele massages her shoulders, "Relax a bit," He pats her arms. "You're beginning to lose circulation. Come on." He continues to pat her arms, but then says quickly, “Keep your hands on the wheel, please,” and adjusts her arms.
Laura’s only response is “Aahhh.”


In a caravan park, Laura, Chris and Angel watch as Steele kneels and tries to connect a hose to the now stationary motorhome.

"Try it!," says an annoyed Laura, "How can you know unless you *try* it!"

"This is a sewage line Laura, not a cologne tester," replies Steele.

"Some tour guide. Can't even fix the potty," says Angel.

Steele ignores her and reads the instructions on the side of the van. "Tighten hose firmly to tank. Do not force. Turn lever after hose is secure."

"Oops. I wouldn't do that yet." Steele turns to see a middle-aged woman, wearing a well-worn cardigan and with her hair in rollers. The woman laughs as she puts her cigarette in her mouth and bends down to easily fit the hose.

Steele is pleased with the assistance. "I'm eternally grateful to you madam. You wouldn't happen to be a plumber by trade, hey?"

The woman laughs, "No. Just an old RV nut. Your first time?"

"Most likely our last," says Laura with another sweet smile.

"No, you get used to it," says the woman.

"Not if I can help it," comments Remington.

The woman is joined by the man who has threatened Miss Haines to reveal the children's location. She introduces herself. "Oh. I'm Bonnie Niemeyer and this is my husband, Beau. Laura and Remington shakes hands with the couple.

"Fine looking kids you've got here," says Beau.

Bonnie chastises her husband, "Beau, they're too young to have kids that age."

"We had our children young. All six of them."

"Oh, six hey?" Steele pats Angel on the head.

"You know what I bet these youngsters would like?" says Beau.

Bonnie playfully jabs him in the ribs, "Oh I know what you're thinking."

"My Bonnie is the best baker in these parts. She's just made a couple of pies that I just want to plow into." He smiles at Angel. "Key lime."

Angel smiles, "Key lime?! That's my favourite!"

Stele looks at Laura who says, "Awfully close to dinner."

Angel stamps her foot. "I want pie!"

Chris puts his hands on Angel's shoulders, "Listen to cousin Laura."

"She's not our cousin," replies Angel.

Steele laughs, "Amazing how they disown you hey?"

Beau leans over an places a hand on Angel's shoulder, "You come over after dinner, okay?"

Bonnie also leans down, "I'll save you a nice *big* piece."

The Niemeyers leave. "Bye-bye. Thank you very much. Bye-bye, yup," says Steele.

When the Niemeyers have left Angel looks up at Steele, "Tyrant!" and then marches into the motorhome.

Chris looks at Laura and shrugs, "Kids." He follows Angel into the vehicle.

"How do you read the Niemeyers?" Laura asks Steele.

"Angel's favourite pie? Oh, it could be a co-incidence."

"Key lime? Rather esoteric for a trailer camp. Rather esoteric for a nine-year old."

"Well, if the Niemeyers are working for Greykirk Corporation, how did they find us?"

They walk to a wooden table and start unpacking their provisions. "I don't know but we'd better find a way to keep Angel away from that pie."

"Oh really, how?"

"She's *only* a child."

"Are you sure about that?"

Laura becomes defensive, "This isn't our most demanding assignment."

"I don't remember one where we bickered quite so much as this."

"And what does that tell you?"

"What's it supposed to tell you?" challenges Steele.

"If all goes well, we'll be *off* this case by tomorrow." She scoffs, "But imagine yourself as a full-time father."

"It takes two to bicker, Laura. A daddy-bickerer and a mummy-bickerer."

"I haven't lost *my* temper."

"Ho ho ho. Are you telling me that those kids haven't gotten to you? Who are you trying to fool with all those treacly tones and those kind of frozen smiles, hey?" He gives an example of a frozen smile. "Ask them."

"Treacly tones? Frozen smiles? I'm not competing with you, YOU'RE competing with ME. Ask THEM!" Laura strides to the camper.

"Ask them what?" calls out Steele.

Laura stops and looks around at a loss. "I don't know, it was your idea." She has a sudden look of horror. "Oh my God, I just got the most awful feeling, and it's all your fault."

Remington looks bewildered, "What feeling? What's my fault?"

"Suddenly I want MY mother." She strides into the motorhome and Steele winces.


At the makeshift dinner table Angel is eating ice-cream as Steele and Chris look on. "Mmn, A bit more Angel, hey?" asks Remington with enthusiasm.

Behind them in the kitchen, Laura looks up from her magazine and comments, "Her *fourth* helping?"

"Fifth," corrects Chris.

"Who counts fudge ripple hey?"

"Are you bribing me?" asks Angel.

Steele pauses and then answers, "More or less."

Angel rolls her eyes, "Grown-ups. I'm going to bed." She stands and walks to the back of the motorhome.

"Okay, Goodnight."

When Angel walks past the kitchen, Laura bends down and gives Angel a hug and a smile to Steele. "Sleep tight, sweetheart." Angel continues on her way and Laura picks up a flat cap, puts it on her head and says, "Well, I'm going to get some fresh air."

Remington replies, "Righty-ho."

Chris echoes, "Righty-ho."

"Righty-ho," finishes Laura, glad to leave the motorhome.

Steele picks up the dishes on the table and walks to the kitchen area.

"Question," says Chris.

"Please," replies Steele.

"You do pretty well with women huh?"

"A bit hard to say."

" 'Cos you were pretty impressive today, at least with those clowns anyway."

"Oh, thank you."

"I guess women like heroes huh?"

Steele laughs and repeats, "A bit hard to say."

"What line do you use?"

"Line?" Steele looks unsure. "Ah yes, with the ladies. Well, the best line I've always found is, no line at all. In my, limited, experience."

"How old were you. The first time. Just curious."

Now Steele looks embarrassed. "First time?"

"What, eighteen? Seventeen? Just curious. You were younger?"

"Oh, no, no, no, no, no."

"Well how old were you?"

Steele leans down on the bench to stare directly at Chris. "Actually Chris. It was such a personal experience, we promised to never talk about. Very-" He makes a zipping of the lips motion with his hand and Chris sits back in thought.

Laura is sitting outside thinking. She lets out a deep breath when Steele opens the door and walks to her. "Well," she says, "I hope you've dulled Angel's passion for key lime pie."

"Oh, I expect we have." He looks hesitantly at Laura and then walks around her to sit down beside her. "She's , ah, not completely impossible once you get used to her."

"You could say that about a lot of people."

"I assume your ah, vagueness is intentional."

"Oh. I don't know what's gotten into me with this case. Frankly," She laughs, "I blame it all on the Johanssens.


"They lived next door to us when I was a teenager. They were the *perfect* family. They lived in a house with a *white* picket fence around it. Clean white. They never argued with each other. They never complained about each other. They never even raised their voices."

"How long before the mass murder?"

"As far as I know, they lived happily ever after. I'm sure their kids all live in houses with *white* picket fences, and their kids never raise their voices. The year my father left, I couldn't look at the Johanssens for six months."

Steele moves up beside her. "That's not family life, Laura. Not that I'm much of an expert. Always being bounced around from aunts to cousins and then back again. But even sitting on the outside of things, I've learned that any family that doesn't argue once in a while can't be flesh and blood. And I prefer flesh and blood." Laura smiles at him. "Shall we go inside and check on the little one? She's supposed to be getting ready for bed."

They walk back inside the motorhome, past Chris still sitting at the table and head to the bed section. "I feel like I should be in pipe and slippers," comments Remington causing Laura to 'ssh' him. They peer through the closed curtain, look at each other and then draw the curtains back. The bed is empty and the window open. "Laura," says Steele and they both head outside.

"Chris, Angel's gone," says Laura as they pass him.

Outside, Steele asks, "Which one's the Niemeyer's?"

"I don't know!" replies a worried Laura.

"You take the high road," Steele suggests and points in one direction.

"Yeah, let's go," says Laura to Chris as they follow Steele's direction while he runs in the opposite way.

Steele bangs on the door of a van with sounds of a people laughing. A man dressed only a towel answers the door. He is not happy, "Yeah?"

Steele is at a loss for words and then says, "Terribly sorry, I thought this was a family camp."

Laura and Chris see Beau crouched by a van undoing the sewage hose. "They're leaving," says Laura.

Chris looks at her and says, "I'll handle it," and runs to Beau before she can stop him. Chris grabs Beau in a headlock and asks, "What did you do with my sister?" Beau stands up and uses his weight to slam Chris into the side of the van.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa," says Laura running up to stop Beau hit Chris. "We're terribly sorry. There's been a mis-understanding." She smiles and pats Chris on the shoulder.

"Looks like we've got a full house Beau," says Bonnie, standing in the motorhome door, holding a gun on the two would-be rescuers.

"Get inside," instructs Beau. Chris stands straight and is told, "Go on!"

"Do what he says Chris," says Laura.

Beau grabs Chris by the arm and forces him to the door, "Move!" Beau then grabs Laura who slaps his arm but goes inside the van. Once inside, Laura and Chris sit at the table. Beau goes to start the motorhome and Bonnie sits down opposite the table with her gun pointed.

Laura notices a half-eaten pie covered in cream. "Did you *add* something to the recipe Bonnie?"

Outside, Steele continues to search. He notices the motorhome leaving its site with sparks flying because the wires and hoses have not been disconnected. "LAAURA!" Steele runs and leaps onto the ladder at the back of the motorhome. He climbs on top and works his way to the front of the van leaning over to stare at Beau through the windscreen. Beau is startled to see Steele and brakes. With the motorhome stopped, Beau comes out, with a gun. He starts to circle the motorhome keeping an ye on the roof of the vehicle. He reaches the back and when there is no-one there relaxes slightly before moving back to the door.

From underneath the motorhome Steele grabs Beau by both legs and forces him to the ground. Steele rolls out from under the motorhome and kicks the gun from Beau's hand. He then throws Beau up against the motorhome. Bonnie opens the door and points the gun at Steele. Inside, Laura grabs a frying pan and hauls Bonnie back into the van. She hits Bonnie on the arm causing her to drop the gun. Laura then gives Bonnie a swift left-hook knocking her flat.

Outside Steele fights with Beau. Beau raises his leg to kick Steele and then is stopped when Steele grabs the leg. As Beau hops for balance Steele tells him, "Stay. Smile." He then knocks him out cold.

Laura opens the door. "Nice work, Mr Steele." She throws him Bonnie's gun.

"Likewise Miss Holt, Likewise."

Laura nods and then goes back into the motorhome. "Give you odds that for once is exactly where she should be at this time of night," she says to Chris. She opens the curtains and gently shakes the girl, "Angel." There is no response. "Angel!" Angel slowly awakens and Laura lifts her to lean against her. "Oh, come here. Oh, are you alright?"

"Hi" replies Angel in a soft voice.

Later, a police car arrives and two police officers are lead by an anxious Chris, "Come on. This way."

"Officers," says Laura, now holding Angel. "You've got an attempted kidnapping charge in there."

One of the policemen enters in the motorhome and is greeted by Steele. "This way please. Are you, ah, familiar with these vehicles officer? All the conveniences." Steele opens the bathroom to reveal Beau and Bonnie tied up.


In the New York office, Cole is agitated and speaking into the black telephone. "The children are heading for Phoenix. The Federal Court house is in Phoenix. Now even someone with your limited imagination can make the connection ... WALTER GALLEN is going to TESTIFY in Phoenix ... ALL I'm asking you to do is find out WHEN!" He listens and then laughs. "For the simple reason. That a man with a rifle is standing around for days on end is liable to attract attention ... I realise that's messy Senator ... Do you have an alternative suggestion? ... Hiding your head in the sand is not going to stop the rest of your extremities from getting shot off ... After all, I *do* believe that Gallen intends to name you as *chief* recipient of Greykirk's largess- ... Well won't you at least TRY ... The next time Greykirk buys a senator, I'm going to insist that the purchase price include backbone." Cole slams down the receiver.

Mrs Trout enters the conference room. "The gentlemen you requested are here sir."

"Show them in."

Two henchmen stand while Gallen's two men that kidnapped Mildred enter the room. "Mr Jackson. Mr Ross." Cole indicates that they should sit. Mrs Trout leaves and the doors close leaving Cole with the two men. "We have reason to believe that you accompanied Walter Gallen to Phoenix. Where you no doubt left him with Federal Marshalls." Jackson and Ross exchange a glance. "I'm authorised to pay each one of you one hundred thousand dollars for the exact time Gallen is arriving at that courthouse."

"I don't have any idea," says Ross.

"I think you do."

"Your mistake."

Cole laughs and opens his briefcase.. "Mr Jackson. I want you to pay close attention to the following exchange between myself and Mr Ross." Cole picks up a gun with a silencer and fires two shots, killing Ross. Jackson jumps in his seat. "Do comprehend the significance of that exchange, Mr Jackson?" Jackson swallows.


On the highway the motorhome continues to Phoenix. Steele is at the wheel with Angel sitting on his lap helping him steer. "Okay, steady now," says Steele reaching out to the steering wheel but Angel flicks his hand away. The motorhome loses control and swerves. Steele picks up Angel and stands her next to him. "Whoops. My turn chief. Out you get."

"Coward," responds Angel who then walks to the back of the motorhome past Chris at the table and Laura in the kitchen.


"Whatever happened to that appetite of yours?" Laura asks Chris.

Chris gives her his full plate, "Not hungry." Laura takes the plate. "When are you going to tell me what a jerk I am?"

"When am I supposed to?"

"Really goofed up last night. I *could* have gotten us killed. Have to be really stupid to do something like that."

"Or very brave." Laura sits down next to Chris. "You were trying to save your sister."

Chris briefly smiles, "Yeah. I was trying to impress you too."

"I know."

"You don't think I'm a jerk?" Laura smiles and shakes her head. Chris smiles again. "I really like you."

"I like you too."

"Like?" asks Chris, hopeful again and placing his hand on Laura's shoulder.

"Like a lot," Laura removes his hand and pats it before heading to the front of the motorhome. "The hearing's at ten."

"Mhmn. We're early, " says Steele.

"I'm not so sure. I just had a little talk with Angel. Yesterday at Barbara's she 'phoned her father's secretary."

"That would explain the key lime pie." Laura nods. "*And* how the Niemeyers found us."

"If our trusted Miss Haines knew where we were then she could probably figure out where Mr Gallen is this morning."

"If snatching the kids was the Greykirk Corporation's plan A then I'm sure they have a plan B. We're not early." Steele starts to zig-zag the motorhome fast through the traffic.


A car pulls up outside the Federal Courthouse. The driver exits the car and then opens the passenger door for Gallen what starts to walk up the entrance's stairs.

Nearby, a man with a gun is holding Miss Haines who says, "No-one was supposed to get hurt."

"Do you want to join them Miss Haines? Maybe he'll marry you in the *next* world." The man pushes her out of hiding and she walks towards Gallen.

The motorhome approaches the court and Laura sees Miss Haines, "There's the secretary." She sees the man who has been holding Miss Haines and also notices a man on the roof, "The roof!"

" 'The Gauntlet', Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Warner Brothers 1977."

"Down kids!," calls out Laura, "We're going to the movies."

Gallen reaches the top of the stairs and Miss Haines calls out, "Walter. Walter!"

Gallen sees her, "Shelby."

Gallen starts to walk to her but is stopped by two men who have met him at the top of the stairs. "Mr Gallen!"

Gallen shrugs them off. "It must be important." He continues to walk as the man on the rooftop takes aim.

The motorhome goes up onto the footpath and sends parking meters flying before stopping in front of the Federal Courthouse, blocking the sniper's aim. Laura and the children drop to the floor when the shooting starts. The security men return fire.

Inside the motorhome, Steele is now on the floor beside Laura. He observes, "I knew these things were useful for something."

One of the security men aims true and the sniper falls from the roof.


Later, Gallen leaves the Federal Courthouse after testifying. Reporters are waiting to ask him a barrage of questions. "Do you have a statement Mr Gallen?" "What does this mean for Greykirk? Look this way please." There are sounds of a camera shutter. "How do you feel?"

"How do I feel? Well, I feel about twenty-years lighter -and if I were you I would definitely not invest in Greykirk stock."

Behind him Laura, Steele, Chris and Angel leave the courthouse.

Chris asks Laura, "Now that we'll be living in Los Angeles, do you think we could take in a movie? Hit a couple of clubs."

Laura puts her arm around Chris, "Let's start with a movie Chris." They both laugh.

Angel tugs on Remington's sleeve. "You saved my daddy's life, didn't you?"

He picks her up. "And what if we did?" Angel whispers in his ear. "Are you sure you're only nine?"

"I hear you, Mr Steele," says Laura.