Blue Blooded Steele
Original Airdate: Oct 30 1984
Transcribed from the episode written by:
John Pashdag and Brady Westwater (story)
John Pashdag and Brady Westwater and John Wirth (teleplay)

Steele is shaving, wearing a silk dressing gown, unaware that someone has used a lock pick to silently enter the apartment. The intruder's entry is masked by the running water as he goes to the fireplace and picks up the poker with his gloved hand, lifting it over his head as he enters the bedroom and goes to the bathroom door.

Steele sees someone in the mirror. "HEY!" he yells, then turns and is stunned to find a smiling Daniel Chalmers there, holding the poker. "Good Lord! Daniel!"

"I hereby pronounce you Reginald, Duke of Rutherford," Daniel says, tapping Steele on each shoulder as he speaks.

Steele smiles, opening his arms. "Ah!"

"How are you, Harry?" Daniel asks.

Steele wipes the lather from his face. "Just shy of a heart attack, but otherwise all right."

"I think a celebration's in order, don't you?" he asks, turning back to the living room to return the poker with Steele close behind. "How long has it been?"

"It must be a good two years," Steele says, looking Daniel over. "You're looking very dapper, I must say. New tailor?"

"Oh, he died, poor chap. Some Hong Kong fellow now," Daniel says, following him as he retrieves a bottle of champagne from the kitchen.

"Here we go. Here's some champers."

Daniel inspects the bottle as Steele gathers some glasses. "Well, I'm glad to see you haven't become a total heathen since I last saw you."

Steele returns, with the glasses, slapping his wristwatch onto his arm, as he says, "Yes well, don't tell me you've traveled seven thousand miles simply to anoint your former pupil with a fireside poker."

"On the contrary," Daniel says. "The Duke is dead. Long live the Duke."

Steele seems to figure out what he's talking out, and backs away. "Now. Now, now, just wait a minute, old man . . ."

"Five years ago, you told me it was the most brilliant scheme we ever concocted."

"Yes, I know. But that was five YEARS ago."

"In two short days, YOU become the new Duke of Rutherford."

Steele shakes his head. "Find yourself another conspirator, Mr. Chalmers."

Daniel's stunned. "Harry, I'm SHOCKED! You anticipated your role as the Duke's long lost son with great relish."

"Yes," Steele agrees. "But the old buzzard lived. I moved on."

"Harry, we are talking about a fifty thousand acre English estate, with land holdings in South Africa, the Caribbean." Steele is faltering slightly. "At least twelve million pounds in the Bank of England . . ." Steele bites his thumbnail, holding a champagne glass as he listens.

"Hmm. Twelve million, is it?"

"It is. Look, if you're worried about the unflappable Miss -What's her Name . . ."

"Holt," Steele supplies.

"Exactly. Bring her along. There's plenty to go around."

"Daniel, Daniel, you know how Laura is about our- inglorious past."

"Merely a suggestion, Harry. Come join me in a toast." He starts opening the champagne. "To Reginald Whitewood, Duke of Rutherford." Suddenly the bottle is shattered by a bullet that comes through the window above the fireplace. Both men drop to the floor.

"What that meant for me or you?" Steele asks.

"I'M not the one about to inherit a fortune," Daniel points out, going to the other side of the room on his hands and knees to turn off the light.

Steele leaps over the couch to turn off another one. "Who else know you were coming to Los Angeles to find the Duke's long lost son?" he asks, crawling back to join Daniel, glancing at the window.

"Just the executor of the estate. And your new cousins, of course."

"Oh. Who, no doubt, will inherit this vast fortune if anything should happen to poor old Reggie."

"No doubt," Daniel agrees.

"Which makes me a sitting duck."

"Duke," Daniel corrects, gaining a frustrated glare from Steele. "Sorry."

Steele gets up. "No, that's it. I'm afraid you'll have to go back and say it was all a big mistake," he says, his statement punctuated by another bullet that ends up in a picture on the wall. "I am NOT the Duke!" he insists as they fall back to the floor.

"How can I do that when I've spent the past three days convincing them that you're the Duke's long lost son?"

"I'm sure you'll find a way," Steele tells him.

"But you can't ask me to impeach my hard earned integrity with those people," Daniel insists.

Steele looks at him. "All right. All right, I'll get you off the hook. I'll go back to London. ALONE."

Daniel pulls something from his pocket. "It just happens, we're both booked on the next flight out," he says. Steele takes the tickets. "You need looking after," Daniel tells him. "Always did."

The doorbell rings, and Steele looks panicked. "Oh Good Lord. Oh, no, it's Laura," he says, glancing at his watch.

"My biggest fan," Daniel sighs as Steele grabs his arm.

"Quickly," he says, leading Daniel toward the bedroom, still on his knees. "Come with me. In here. Just do as I say."

"We've a very important engagement," Daniel stammers.

"Get in here," Steele tells him, closing the door behind him and standing up to look around as the bell goes again. Steele manages to close the shade over the fireplace, hiding the bullet holes. "YES!" he calls out, then sees the bullet hole in the picture and grabs a towel to toss over the frame to hide it. He finally opens the door to reveal a curious Laura. "Hi," he says stiffly.

She comes in. "What's the matter with you? We're late." She looks around. "It's dark in here," she says, turning toward the switch and turning it on. Steele reaches past her as she turns and flips it off.

"Oh, I-I prefer the dark," he tells her when she looks at him.


He looks at her, nearly in tears. "Uh, it's-it's Daniel."

"Daniel? Who's Daniel?"

"Daniel Chalmers? I -I just got the call," he tells her, pointing toward the phone. "He's ill. Gravely ill."

"Oh. Oh, I'm- I'm so sorry," Laura tells him, sympathetically.

"I really should go to him. You know, keep the vigil. You know how excruciatingly lonely those . . ." he pauses to regain control, and Laura puts her hands on his shoulders, trying to comfort him. "Remaining," he pauses again, "hours can be."

"Where is he?" Laura asks.

"Uh, London," Steele tells her.

"I'll book the next flight out," Laura whispers, turning toward the phone, only to jump as Steele almost yells.

"Uh, NO! No, it's okay." He sits on the arm of the sofa. "I've taken care of that. Yes."

She puts her arms on his shoulders again. "Okay. I'll pack while you get ready," she decides, and heads toward the bedroom. "Then we'll swing by my loft and pick up my things on the way to the airport . . ."

Steele stands. "NO!" he says, following her into the bedroom, "No, no, no. Laura, please," he begs, catching up with her as she slides open the closet door. Daniel is there, hiding. Steele turns Laura to face him. "Somehow I feel that this is just between- Daniel and me. You understand?"

She sighs sadly. "He was like a father to you, wasn't he?" Daniel listens carefully. Steele nods. "All right, go. But- don't hesitate to pick up the phone and call."

"Thank you," he says, kissing her forehead as he slides the door closed. He steps back, and she starts to open the closet again, but he stops her, sliding another one open instead. "Ah, uh, all my suits are in here," he tells her in a teary voice.

"And you'll need a tie," she tells him, opening the other one again. "Just-Just in case."

Steele grabs her again, pulling her into his arms, facing away from the closet. "Uh, Laura, let's not even think of it, eh?" Daniel grins at him.

"I know," she says. "You're frightened." He nods. "But, all we can hope for is a quick and full recovery. What time is your flight?"

Steele is stumped. "Uh," he looks toward Daniel, reading his lips. "Eight thirty."

"Eight thirty," Laura repeats, patting him on the back as she holds him.


At Los Angeles International Airport, Laura and Steele are at the gate for his flight. He puts his case on the table. "You've got your ticket?" she asks.


"Your passport?"

"Yes, I've got everything, Laura," he assures her. "Yes."

"Good luck," she tells him, kissing his cheek as he frowns, troubled by the lie he's told her. "Now, remember, call if you need anything."

"Right. Well, goodbye. It won't be too long, okay? I'll be back just as soon as I can, okay?" He backs away from her, looking around.

"All right."

"Thank you for understanding." He goes through the gate and she moves off. They wave to each other, Steele giving her a smile. He picks up his case. "Thank you." He glances over to see Laura still waving, and smiles again.

Laura, suspicious, moves to watch him, and her eyes widen in anger when she sees him meet Daniel in the walkway. "I should've KNOWN!" she hisses, furious. She takes a step toward them, then stops, realizing she can't go any farther.

She goes to the payphone. "Hello, Mildred? This is an emergency.-Laura. Get my passport and meet me at the International terminal. Gate 19." As she hangs up, an announcement comes over the PA.

"Attention. This is your final boarding call for Flight 120 to London. All passengers holding tickets on flight . . ."

Laura runs to the counter and tells the agent, "Hello, I need a ticket for Flight 120 to London."

He shakes his head. "I'm sorry, that flight's full."


"I can put you on standby," he offers.


On the airplane, Daniel and Steele are having some champagne in the lounge. "Once the investiture is over, we'll spend a few months in the South of France, catch our breath," Daniel tells him.

"Thank you" Steele says, as a flight attendant comes up to refill their glasses. "Investiture? Daniel, I am not . . ."

"Hmm? Nothing to worry about, Harry," he assures Steele. "Just a small ceremony, to make your accession to Dukedom- official."

"Daniel, I am going to London to extricate myself from this scheme," Steele reminds him. "Period."

"Just thinking of our future, Harry," Daniel insists.

Steele's not comfortable. "Just think of your own future," Steele tells him as another attendant comes down the stairs.

"Excuse me, if you two gentlemen will return to your seats, we're about to serve dinner," she tells them.

"Thank you," Steele says, then turns to Daniel. "By the way, the name's Steele. Remington Steele." He puts his glass aside as Daniel replies.

"Of course, Harry. Whatever you say." Steele is frustrated, and Daniel smiles as they move toward their seats.

In the tourist section, Laura is trying to get a view of where they've gone. The man sitting beside her is VERY interested, and she backs off, going to the other side to try and look. But the man there asks, "You gonna eat your peanuts?"

She sinks back down. "No," she says, and hands them to the man,
who tears open the peanut packet, tossing the torn piece on the floor.
Laura rolls hers eyes and sighs, suddenly sitting up straight when the bespectacled man places his hand over hers which is resting on the arm-rest and asks, "So ah, you travelling alone?"
Laura pulls her hand from his and folds her arms. "You might say that."
"Thought so." The peanut man slowly turns to look at them staring at Laura who turns back to the interested man who comments, "No wedding ring." He clumsily tries to impersonate Paul Henreid in
'Now Voyager' putting two cigarettes into his mouth but takes a couple of attempts to start the flame on his lighter.
Laura presses the 'hostess' button and then fails in her attempt to release her seat into a reclining position. She blows the smoke from the man's now lighted cigarettes as he offers her one. Laura declines, "No," she coughs, "thank you. Very much." The man extinguishes the unwanted cigarette but continues smoking the remaining one.
A flight attendant arrives and asks, "Would you like something to drink?"
"White wine please," replies Laura.
"Make that two," adds the smoking man.
The peanut man asks her unwanted admirer, "You gonna eat your peanuts?" and is unhappy at the affirmative answer, "Yeah."
The attendant places a drink on Laura's tray. "That will be a dollar-fifty."
Laura starts to reach for her purse as the smoking man offers, "Uh, uh, uh, uh. I've got that. On me."
Laura retrieves her handbag, "Ah, no. I want to pay for my own drink."
"Oh hey, that's cool. I can dig it; you know what I mean. After all, we've got plenty of time pretty lady. What is this? A ten-hour flight." Laura's face has a pained look at the prospect of the flight.
"Would you care for a headset?" ask the attendant.
"No," answers the smoking man as Laura replies at the same time with a definite, "Yes."
Laura reaches for the headset and the hostess informs her, "That will be three dollars." Laura puts on the ear- phones.
"I got it," says the interested man, "please."
The 'peanut' man lifts her left earphone and instructs, "Get another bag of peanuts." Laura looks at him and then turns to the attendant as the smoking man leans in to see what they're discussing.
"How much are the peanuts?" Laura asks.
"They're free," replies the attendant.
The peanut man leans over and again lifts Laura's left earphone, "Get two."
Laura looks at him in disbelief as the smoking man drags on his cigarette.

The plane lands in London.

Daniel and Steele get through customs and Laura approaches the gate, intending to follow. "Passport, madam," the guard says.

Laura stops. "Oh." She looks around, makes a show of looking through her purse. "Ah. Uh, oh, I must have left it on the plane," she says.

"Can't go through without it," he says. "NEXT!"

Laura, disheartened, turns and sees the next person in line, a young student, obviously on a walking tour of England. "Hello," she says.


"How would you like to make a hundred dollars?" she asks him.

He laughs. "Doing what?"

"Following two men," Laura tells him, opening her purse.


The Whitewood estate. The butler shows Steele and Daniel through the handsomely appointed foyer. "Impressive, isn't it?" Daniel comments.

"Hmm. Enough to kill for," Steele agrees.

"All we have to do is keep you alive until the ceremony," Daniel reminds him. "Noon tomorrow."

"What makes you think that whoever's trying to kill me won't try it again tomorrow after the ceremony?"

"Because once you've succeeded the Duke, his will is fulfilled. Killing you won't get anyone a penny unless they're named in YOUR will."

"Oh. Interesting."

"Isn't it?"

The butler shows them into the parlour, and Steele removes his leather coat with a nervous smile, watching the three people in the room beyond.

One of them, a short, nervous little man, says, "Doesn't look much like the Duke, does he, Gwen?" he asks a tall, aristocratic blonde in riding garb.

"Angus, the Duke was ninety six."

"I must say," the third man, a tall, hawknosed man says, "he does appear to have the Whitewood nose. At least from this angle."

"My dear Archie," Angus tells him, "the same claim could be made by at least half the bastard sons of Rutherford County."

Gwen examines them as Steele and Daniel approach. "Quite a decent tailor," she comments.

"Good afternoon, Angus," Daniel says, "Archie, Gwen. May I present Reginald Whitewood."

Steele nods. "Umm, but not THE Reginald Whitewood," he tells them as Daniel's face falls.

Daniel laughs nervously. "What do you mean, not THE Reginald Whitewood?"

"My name indeed IS Reggie Whitewood," Steele tells them. "But, as fate would have it, there are a number of similarities with my own background and that of your long lost beloved cousin." He looks away from the cousins, who are listening in silence to Daniel. "Mr. Chalmers here, brilliant detective that he is, caught scent of me in the states, and naturally he was quite devastated to find that I am actually- another Reggie altogether." Daniel is stunned once again, unable to believe that his old friend is actually doing this. "Never the less, I decided to accompany Mr. Chalmers here and explain everything. Therefore avoiding any future, you know, complications."

"You're really going to do this, aren't you?" Daniel asks in an aside.

Steele ignores him. "I know how upset the three of you must be. But rest assured, I lay no claims whatsoever to the Duke's inheritance. You can have it all. Lock, stock, and barrel," he finishes with a nervous laugh, since none of them have said a word since their entrance.

"He always had an outlandish sense of humor," Gwen says breathlessly.

"Didn't he, though?" Archie agrees.

"I say," Angus joins in with a laugh. "You really had us going there, Reggie, whot?"

Archie shakes Steele's hand. "Welcome home, Reggie," he says, as Gwen presses herself against him.

"But I'm not Reg-," he begins as Gwen gives him a less than cousinly kiss.

"Welcome home, Reggie," she tells him.

Daniel is smiling, and Steele wipes the lipstick from his mouth. He jumps as Angus says, "Long live the Whitewoods," he says, lifting his glass.

"Long live the Duke!" Archie adds.

"Long live the NEW Duke," Gwen says.

Steele turns to Daniel. "Daniel," he says pleadingly.

Daniel shakes his head and bows. "Your Grace."

Steele sits down, dismayed.


Mildred thanks a guard for letting her through the security gate and approaches the chairs that Laura is laying across, asleep. "Miss Holt?" she says. When Laura doesn't respond, she shakes Laura. "Miss Holt?"

"Oh, Mildred," she says, getting up to hug the woman. "Thank God!"

"When I didn't see you at LAX, I knew I'd find you here. What's up, honey?"

"Depends on whom you ask," Laura tells her. She puts her arm through Mildred's. "Let's ask Mr. Steele."



Steele and Daniel are in Steele's bedroom, Daniel lounging in a chair, eating grapes, Steele pacing. "None of this makes sense, Daniel. First they try to kill me and then they embrace me with open arms. Knowing that if I become the prince, they become the paupers."

"Not prince, Harry. Duke. The Duke of Rutherford."

Steele sits down, giving him an angry glare. "Well, this place gives me the willies. I keep feeling my every move is being scrutinized."

"I do think you're over reacting, Harry," Daniel insists.

Unknown to either of them, there is someone watching from the eyes of the painting over the fireplace.

"Perhaps," Steele agrees.

The butler knocks and enters. "The executor will see you, your grace."

"Oh, thank you, Armstrong. Thank you." He looks at Daniel as they rise. As he passes, Daniel bows. "Stop that," he says, leaving Daniel to catch up with him in the hall. "It shouldn't be too difficult to convince the executor I'm not the Duke," he says.

Daniel stops him. "Uh, Harry, there may be one MINOR detail I may've forgotten to mention."

"Yes? What's that?"

"Do you remember that judge that gave Theo Davis twenty years for the pedigree dog swindle?"

"Ah, yes, Penhaligan. Merciless bugger. Whatever happened to him?" Steele asks, then frowns as he sees Daniel's expression. "No. NO. NO. Penhaligan's the executor?" Steele asks, starting to lose it slightly as Daniel nods solemnly. "He catches one whiff of a fraud and he'll lock us up and throw away the key!"

"It is a bother," Daniel agrees as he moves onward, "isn't it?"

Steele takes a deep breath and follows his mentor down the corridor.


Outside, Gwen is leading a tour of the grounds. "Step this way, ladies," she says, showing them to a workman in the garden, using a chipper. "This is Fred Blocks, our groundskeeper." Fred looks at her, then continues working. "An ex military man, Mr. Blocks loves complete order," Gwen says as Laura moves to get a better view of the house itself, "and cannot restrain himself from personally imposing it upon our many gardens here at Rutherford Castle. "Blocks, perhaps you can explain to the ladies," she says as he moves to shut off the machine, "exactly what it is you're doing with this particular plot."

Blocks stands at rest. "Yes, well, this flowers are viola
tricolor, or as we call them in these parts, Sussex Special Butterwort."


Inside, Steele is facing Penhaligan. The man is eighty, at least. "You're a very lucky man, Rutherford," he tells Steele.

"Oh, I am?"

"Yes. Cases such as yours, long lost relatives returning, and so forth, legal verification of identity often drags on for years in the courts. But the documentation provided by Mr. Chalmers here is absolutely the most irrefutable proof of claim I have ever seen."

Daniel smiles, as Steele grins tightly. "That's a comforting thought," he says. "How thorough of you," he tells Daniel.

"The future of the nation-rests with young men such as yourself," Penhaligan tells him. "Uh, the Duke-your father- knew that. He was a great man." Daniel smiles proudly at Steele, who's worrying with the ring on his left hand. "He has tidy shoes to fill. Now, if you'll excuse me, it was a very-dry journey from London. I think I shall go and- REST a bit before dinner."

He leaves, and Steele asks Daniel, "The documentation you so thoughtfully provided- Where is it?"

Daniel points out a painting on the wall. "In the safe. Behind that painting there. Why?"

"Ah, a few minor alterations should be enough get me off the hook. Yes." He starts toward the painting as Daniel frowns.

Gwen and the women are now inside the house. "Our next stop is the library. Here we should see just a very few pieces of the priceless Rutherford art collection." As she opens the doors, she stops. Steele is trying to remove the painting. "Ah, look, everyone. We've had the most marvelous luck. It's the new Duke of Rutherford," she tells the women.

"Good afternoon, your grace," the say in unison, all except for Laura, who sees Steele and ducks to avoid him.

"Yes," Steele says. "Good afternoon. Good afternoon." He releases the portrait and goes back down the ladder, swiping at the portrait with a handkerchief. "Just seeing what time has done to poor Uncle Percy. Chalmers, remind me to get the restorer in first thing in the morning, will you?" Laura frowns, furious.

"Imagine that," Gwen comments. "Only just arrived and already looking after the family's assets, are we?"

"Oh, yes," Steele says with a smile. "Carry on, ladies," he says, leading Daniel to another door. "Shall we?"

They go into the hallway. "Close call," Daniel says.

"Indeed," he agrees. "We'll have to see if we can get in there later."

Laura comes up behind them. "And do WHAT, exactly?" she wants to know.

Daniel and Steele turn to face her.


Later, in the gardens, Laura, Steele, and Daniel are walking rapidly. "You expect me to believe that all you're trying to do is prove to them that you are NOT the Duke of Rutherford?" she asks.

"It does strain credulity, I'll admit, Laura," Steele says. "However . . ."

"Spare me the oblique explanation, Mr. Steele. It's not as if it's the first time you've pulled something like this!"

"If you're referring to my occasional side trips, Laura. I can explain . . ."

"No, no. I understand your having to get away by yourself now and then," she tells him. Daniel's surprised at her understanding. "It's only natural."

"It is?"

"Sure it is, Harry," Daniel agrees.

"Mr. Chalmers," she says between clenched teeth, and pulls Steele away from him. "Please."

"Look, I'll admit, Laura, Cannes was pretty much a mess, and you have every right in the world to blame me for-," he begins, but she stops him.

"No, no. You went to Cannes to help a FRIEND," she reminds him.

"I did?"


"Yes, yes, of course I did. That's right. And you were there to help me. Right." Laura turns and gives Daniel a treacly smile.

"We're a team, Mr. Steele," she reminds him, taking his arm. Daniel looks away. "And teams stick together."

"That's right," he agrees. "Yes, yes." He pauses. "You're being excruciatingly understanding, Laura," he tells her, nibbling on his thumbnail again.

"I know," she agrees, smiling as Steele turns, having heard the sound of a horse approaching.

It's a white horse, ridden by someone in medieval armor. "Oh. How quaint," he says, smiling delightedly. "Our very own knight in shining armour," he says as the knight lowers his lance and kicks the horse into a gallop. Daniel hides, and Laura and Steele leap out of the way. Steele gets up. "Oh," he groans. "You all right, Daniel?" he asks.

Daniel points. "Look out!" he yells.

They turn in time to see the horse and rider returning, lance lowered again. "Watch out!" Steele yells, pushing Laura out of harm's way and standing there, grabbing the lance as the rider passes, throwing the knight off balance as he rides away. Steele tosses the lance aside, straightens his tie as he and Laura move to follow their attacker.

In the stables, they find the knight's helmet, and Steele picks it up. "Obviously," Laura says, examining it, "someone wants Reggie dead."

"Right. And no one will believe that I'M not him," Steele tells her as Daniel comes upon them.

Laura gets a thoughtful look. "Which just might be to our advantage," she tells him.

Steele looks doubtful. "Hmm?"

"As long as you continue to play Reggie, they'll keep trying to kill you."

Steele nods nervously. "THAT'S what concerns me, Laura."

"Harry," Daniel chides, "Don't be such a worry wort."

Laura looks at Steele. "Yes, HARRY." She lifts the plumed helmet toward him and turns to leave. Steele, his jaws tight, follows, not at all happy with her plan.

That evening, Steele and Daniel are in the parlour with the cousins before dinner, having drinks. Gwen slowly straightens his tie and collar. "There. That's better," she says.

"Yes," he agrees, taking a drink as a nasal voice booms through the room.

"Reggie!" they all turn to see Laura, her hair up, chewing on gum, tell Armstrong, "Thanks, I can find my way from here. Cute place, Reggie! Hi, everybody," she says brightly, smiling.

"Who is that?" Gwen asks Steele as the other two watch in disbelief.

"WHAT is that?" Angus asks.

"THAT'S Myrtle Groggins," Steele says looking angry. "My fiancée."

Gwen moves off as Laura comes up to give Steele a kiss on the cheek and tell him quietly, "You know I HATE that name!"

He smiles. "You're supposed to call me `Your Grace', take three steps back, and curtsey."

He takes a drink as she steps back and curtseys. "Your GRACE," she says through clenched teeth.

"Bunny," he says.

Penhaligan's eyes widen. "Bunny?"

"Bunny. Her nickname. Met her at a Playboy Club," he tells them, taking another drink.

Gwen isn't happy. "You never told us you were engaged, Your Grace."

"He didn't?" Laura asks. "Well, Gracie just doesn't like to brag, do ya, honey?" she asks, grabbing his arm again as he wipes his cheek with a handkerchief. "You know," she says, looking around the room, "I think we should get some of that forest glade wallpaper and put it up around here?" The cousins are scandalized. "Make it look a little like," she pauses to kiss his cheek again, "Sherwood Forest. Give it that- Middle Ages mood, you know? Oh, yeah." Steele nods with the look of a man who would rather be anywhere except where he is- until he hears another voice.

"OHH, WOW!" His eyes widen as he sees Mildred, dressed in black velvet, dripping with fake diamonds, enter the room, Armstrong hovering beside her. "What a joint!" She sighs. "You could hide the Spruce Goose in here!" She hits Armstrong with her purse as she spreads her arms. "Oh. What are you? My shadow?"

"Forgive me, Madam," he apologizes.

Mildred laughs, as do Steele and Laura. "Mildred Groggins," he tells the others. "Myrtle's mother," he explains, taking another drink.

Mildred comes further into the room. "Aha, whaddaya say, gang?" she asks.

"Dinner is served!" Armstrong announces.

"Woo!" Mildred says. "Is that timing? Com'on, gang, let's chow down!" she says, turning to lead the way out of the room.

As they enter the dining room, Laura leaves Steele's side to inspect some medieval weapons that are lying on a table. Picking up mace, she says, "Wow. This'd give you a headache and a half. Is this a real McCoy or what?" she asks, swinging the weapon around until Archie angrily grabs it from her.

"My DEAR girl. Each of these weapons is authentic, in perfect condition, and has been in this family for generations." Laura looks unimpressed. "I look after them myself, and would appreciate it if you would leave your hands off them!"

Steele comes between them. "Careful, Arch. That's the future lady of the manor you're talking to."

"Over my dead body," Gwen tells Angus quietly.

Laura goes to a chair. "Here?" she asks Steele.

"Um hmm," he says, holding her chair for her.

"Thank you," Mildred tells Penhaligan as he pulls out her chair. "Ooh," she says, as he pushes it in for her as well. She tucks her napkin under her chin.

"I imagine that you were delighted to discover that your daughter's fiancé was a Duke," he says.

"Duke smuke," Mildred says. "I ain't never butt into my daughter's affairs," she tells him, inspecting the bottom of the china plate. "Tell me something, judge. Just how loaded IS this guy, anyway?"

The judge pauses. "Exceedingly."

She holds up her plate as Armstrong brings a bowl of soup. "Oh, thank you."

"I say, Reggie," Gwen says, "Once the dust is settled, I'd be more than happy to come down and help you with any- redecorating."

"How kind of you, Gwen," he says with a smile. "I can't tell you how fortunate I feel to have you all here to help me through this- turbulent transition."

Armstrong comes up and whispers, "Your nanny is here, sir."

Steele frowns. "What is it, Your Grace?" Daniel asks.

"My- nanny," Steele croaks out.

"His what?" Mildred asks as an elderly woman rushes into the room.

"Where is Reggie?" she asks Armstrong. "I want to see Reggie."

Steele leans down, as does Laura. "What'll I do?" he asks. "I mean, she'll know I'm not Reggie."

"Punt!" she tells him.

Steele stands nervously as Nanny approaches him. "Are you the one who claims to be my Reggie?" she asks him. He smiles at her. "What did you call your favorite teddy bear?" she asks.

Steele is stumped and glances at Laura, who shrugs. "Uh, Pookie?"

Nanny smiles. "The gardener's cat?"

"The gardener's cat," he repeats thoughtfully, as if trying to joggle his memory. "Uh," he smiles. "Pussycakes."

Laura's in shock. "Who was Sparky?" Nanny asks.

"Sparky. Sparky. Now why is that name so familiar?" he wonders.

"Because it was your favorite hobby horse," she answers, laughing.

"Of COURSE!" he says, clapping his hands together. "Yes."

She puts hers together. "Patty cake, Patty cake, six times ten, put an egg in the oven . . ." She pauses for him to finish the rhyme.

"And- bake a little red hen!" he says. Daniel's eyes are wide in shock and relief.

"Oh, REGGIE!" Nanny sighs. "You've come home at last," she says, taking him into her arms. Laura breathes a sigh of relief. Daniel wipes his face.

"Ah, Nanny," Steele says. "Yes."

Later, Daniel's leaving his room as Laura watches from another room. "Psst!" He stops. "Psst!" Turning, he sees her beckoning him to join her. Raising his eyebrows, he turns toward her. "We need to talk," she tells him, closing the door.

"I see. Come to claim your detective, have you?"


"Well, I'm afraid you can't have him," Daniel tells her.

"Why don't you let HIM decide that?"

"He already has. Do you really think he would have let me bring him over here if in his heart he weren't willing to go through with this little scheme?"


"Stop fooling yourself, my dear."

"His days with you are over, Chalmers. He's with me now."

"Miss Holt, Harry is one of a kind. A true- artist. The only reason he hasn't painted himself out of your life is that- the two of you have yet to experience the- umm- ultimate moment."

Laura laughs, sitting down. "There's more to your relationship than you think."

"Is there?" he asks.

"Look, we both know Mr. Steele feels he owes you. But how far are you willing to go to call that marker in?"

"I was about to ask you the same question."

"One thing is clear: we BOTH can't have him."

"I wouldn't be so sure," Daniel tells her. "You've created a world renowned detective out of thin air. That takes a rare and innate talent." Laura sits back, not believing what she's hearing. "Laura, you have resources you haven't BEGUN to tap! I propose to you that-together- the three of us could turn Europe on its ear!"

Laura stands up. "You MUST be joking!"

"Think about it!"

She comes to him. "ONCE this is over, I'm taking Mr. Steele BACK to Los Angeles."

Daniel refuses to let her bully him. "ONCE this is over, Harry and I are going to the South of France!" he declares.


In his room, Steele is pacing, restless. Someone knocks, and he cautiously opens the door to let Laura in. "Come in," he tells her.

"Chalmers bought Nanny off," Laura tells him. "It's the only explanation."

"Yes, very clever of him. I mean, if he hadn't, Penhaligan would've smelled a rat. I must say, Laura, Daniel's always been very quick on his feet. I remember this night in Casablanca . . ."

She frowns. "You certainly seem to be enjoying your role as the new Duke, in spite of the fact that it could get you killed."

"Yes, but I thought we agreed to play along until we got to the bottom of this?"

"Just as long as we understand WHEN the game is over," she tells him. Someone knocks, and she points to the dressing room, then heads that way.

"Reggie? Reggie, dear," Nanny calls.

He opens the door. "Hello, Nanny," he says.

She holds out a jointed teddy bear. "Pookie," she tells him.

"Ah, Pookie."

"I've been saving him all these years. You must go to bed now, Reggie," she tells him, putting the bear on the bed. "You need your rest," she says, patting his cheek. "Nighty night," she wishes, heading for the door.

Steele follows. "Nightie night, Nanny. Nightie night." Laura sneaks out of the other room and picks up the bear. "Uh, Pookie," he tells her.

"She's VERY good," Laura says, referring to Nanny. Another knock, and Laura shoves the bear into Steele's hands and runs for the other room again.

"Yes," Steele says, smiling, the bear in his arms. "Come in!"

The door opens and Archie comes in with a glass on a tray. "Thought you might enjoy a nightcap," he says.

Steele gets up. "Oh, how very thoughtful of you, Archie," he says, taking the tray. "How very thoughtful of you indeed!"

"I suggest you get into bed and sip it."


"The port. And hang onto Pookie. Lucky bear, that one." He leaves, closing the door, and Steele puts the port onto the table.


Laura starts out, only to stop as there's another knock. "What is this?" she asks. "Victoria Station?" She goes back.

"Yes?" Steele asks at the door.

Angus enters with another tray, with another glass. "Ah, there you are, old bean," he whispers. "A single shot of malt," he explains. "I suggest you lie down, pop it back, and the next thing you know, it will be morning."

"I'm sure I won't know what hit me," Steele agrees, taking the tray.

"Night Pookie."

"Night night," Steele says, waving the bear's paw. "Night night." Once the door closes, Steele takes the tray to the table with the other one.

Laura comes back. "That bear has been around." He pushes it toward Laura.

"That only leaves . . ." He lifts his hand as there's another knock.

Laura turns back again. "I feel like a winter coat in Miami," she moans.

Steele opens the door with a smile this time. Gwen, wearing a satin gown and robe, enters, carrying a tray with milk and biscuts. "I thought this might help you sleep," she tells him.

"Hmm. You read my very mind, Gwen," he tells her with a smile, taking the tray. She follows him to the table. "Oh, I see you're limping."

"Oh, yes. Silly me. I was out riding on the commons today, and my horse threw me a good one." He leads her toward the bed.

"Really? Nothing serious, I hope."

"I shouldn't think so," she assures him, as they sit on the side of the bed. "Perhaps you- better have a look at it."

They lean back. "Yes," he agrees, tossing Pookie over his shoulder as Laura watches. "Yes, maybe I should have a look at it."

Laura comes out of the room slightly, having heard the conversation, and motions for Steele to get on with it.

Steele frowns. "Forgive me. Uh, I'm a little bit lagged at the moment." He helps her up and toward the door. "Perhaps-uh, perhaps we'd better take a rain check on this. You know how it is, these things just happen, eh? I think it's seeing Nanny again-Everything. Pookie."

She stands in the doorway, touches his cheek. "I'm looking forward to it," she assures him, then blows him a kiss before moving away.

The door closes, and Laura comes out, is about to speak when she stops. "Do you hear something ticking?"

He pauses, and they both look at the bear. "Stand back, Laura," he warns. "These things are easily defused, if done correctly." He kneels on the bed, examining the bear. "One simply has to know- how to- disconnect-the mechanism," he tells her, wincing as he pulls an eye out of the bear. Laura flinches, stepping back. The ticking continues. Steele frowns, pulls the arm off the bear, then the other eye and arm, and both legs.

Laura glances down and notices that the bed has been moved. She looks up at the heavy metal chandelier on the ceiling, sees it sway slightly. "WATCH OUT!" she yells, jumping across the bed, knocking him to the floor with her as the chandelier falls onto the bed.

They enter the hallway as everyone except for Gwen comes out of their rooms to investigate the ruckus. "Quick!" Steele asks. "Is there an attic above us?"

"Of course!" Archie tells them.

"How do we get there?"

"Down there," Angus says, "At the very, very end of the hall!" Steele and Laura take off running.

Armstrong comes from his room. "A touch of insomnia, your grace?" he asks.

Laura and Steele climb the stairs and enter a room where the mechanism to lower the chandelier is still working. "That's where the ticking is coming from," Laura realizes. "There's got to be another way out of here. Come on," she says, looking around the room that's filled with bric a brac and unused furniture.

Steele finds a small crawl space door behind a screen. "Laura. Laura, here." He opens it. "Hang on." He turns on a light. "Here you go. After you."

The passageway leads to a bedroom. They tiptoe out, and hear someone in the bathroom. Laura pauses, grabbing a candleholder as Steele raises his fists. With Laura standing slightly behind Steele, they move forward, her other hand on his shoulder. He glances down at her, feeling as if she's pushing him into danger.

They go to the doorway, and Steele smiles. "Oh." Gwen is lounging in a tub of bubbles.

"Reggie," she says with a smile.

Steele turns to Laura. "Wait here, Laura," he says. "This could get a bit slippery."

Laura leans in, and Steele covers her eyes. "Lost the soap, have we?" he asks as someone screams. Steele rushes out, and Laura, after a frowning glance at Gwen, follows.

"Reggie?" Gwen calls.

In Steele's room, they find everyone else gathered around Angus, who's laying on the floor. Armstrong stands up. "I'm afraid he'd dead, your grace."


Later, Steele returns to his room as Armstrong holds the chandelier. "I trust you won't be needing this any longer, your grace?"

"Not tonight, Armstrong," Steele tells him.

Mildred, Daniel, and Laura are all there. Mildred comes up to Steele. "Why would Angue poison your whiskey and then drink it himself, boss?" she asks.

Steele's eyes are on the chandelier above them. "Someone else poisoned that drink, Mildred," Laura tells her.

"Yes," Steele agrees. "I'd sleep more comfortably if we knew WHO," he says.

"You should be safe here for the rest of the night," Daniel tells him.

"Oh, well, yes, it's easy for you to say so, Daniel," Steele says, tossing his tie into a chair as Mildred cowers behind him. The watcher in the portrait is back again, listening to their conversation. "Well, Mildred," Steele says, "I'll bit you a fond farewell."

"Goodnight, Boss," she says, joining Daniel at the door.

"Yes, goodnight. Goodnight, Daniel," he says, pulling Laura back into the room as she would have left with them. He closes the doors. Smiling, he takes her hand. The Watcher leaves, putting the painted eyes into place. "Hmm. You know," he tells her, walking her toward the bed, "I really haven't had time to thank you properly for getting me out of the way of that chandelier up there."

"All in a day's," she stops as he picks up a biscut and is about to eat it, but Laura pulls his hand away, and he realizes what he was about to do, and puts it back. "Day's work, Mr. Steele."

"Uh, thank you." They sit on the edge of the bed. "You know, Laura, as we lay there, huddled together, just- millimeters from death, I began to think of all the things I've left undone in my life."

She looks at him. "ALL the things?"

"ONE in particular," he tells her, lowering her back onto the bed with him.

"Let me guess," she says.

"You won't have to," he assures her.

He's about to kiss her as she tells him, "You know, your friend Chalmers says that I've been manipulating you."

Steele pulls back, frowning. "What an odd notion."

"He says the only reason you've stuck with me is that you haven't gotten what you've ALWAYS gotten in the past. Is that true?"

"I haven't gotten what I've always wanted?"

"No. That you're only staying around until you get it."

He smiles. "Don't be absurd, Laura. There are many reasons for my staying around."

"Including devotion to our work?" she asks.

"Oh, absolutely," he agrees, touching his lips to hers.

"That's what I thought," she says, rolling him over so that she's on top of him. Steele starts removing his watch as they kiss.

Finally Laura sits up, and he follows her expectantly. She touches his cheek with a smile. "We've got a safe to crack." She gets up.

Steele frowns, disappointed. "Laura," he says, looking at his watch. "Laura," he says again, holding it up so she can look at the time, then gets up to follow her.


Downstairs, Laura and Steele get into the safe, and while Steele works on the documents, Laura reads the Duke's will. "Listen to this. `If my son Reginald should become deceased before his investiture as Duke, the entire estate shall be divided equally among my surviving relatives, Angus Whitewood, Archie Whitewood, Gwen Whitewood, and the Foundation to Save the Sussex Speckled Blue Butterfly.' Talk about suspects."

"Yes," Steele agrees. "But why is the killer so damned insistent on my being Reggie? I mean, wouldn't it be easier not to deal with me at all?"

"Wait a minute," Laura says, reading further. "There's a codicil. `In the event my son Reginald has not been found at the time of my death, the entire estate shall be placed in a trust to be administered by my executor until he is found, or until- TWENTY years from the date of my death, whichever comes first.'" Steele sits back, stunned. "That means that if Reggie hadn't been found, twenty years would have to pass before the cousins received a nickel."

"And for any of those people to collect," Steele says, "they had to find Reggie and then have Reggie die."

"Which leaves Archie, Gwen, and this- Butterfly Foundation," Laura says with a frown.

Steele picks up the paper he's been working on and turns off the light. "Well, Gwen was limping this evening. And when I asked her about it, she said that she'd taken a nasty spill off her horse," he tells her, sitting beside her to check his work.

"She could have been the knight on horseback," Laura says.

"And when the chandelier came down, the only one who didn't come out of her room immediately was Gwen."

"Because at that time, she was very likely taking the secret staircase to her room, where we found her up to her neck in a bubble bath."

"No doubt fully clothed," Steele agrees, blowing on the document to dry the ink. "There you go. That should do it." Laura nods. They hear someone in the hall, and put the things back into the safe, hanging the portrait again. "Straighten the picture," he tells her.

Laura turns out the light and they leave via the other door, just missing Daniel, who comes in, looking around. He turns on the light and goes to the portrait.


The next morning, Armstrong is serving coffee as Daniel speaks. "Thinking last night's unfortunate incident should be kept within the castle walls, His Grace has asked me to look into the matter." Everyone is there, listening. "And I have concluded that only ONE person could have shot at his grace in Los Angeles, arrange for the chandelier to fall on him in his sleep, poisoned with a nightcap." Laura looks at Steele, confused. "That person is also guilty of murdering Angus."

"For heaven's sake, man," the judge says tiredly, "Get on with it. Who's the culprit?"

Daniel points. "Archie."

Archie is livid. "He's MAD!"

Daniel looks at him. "You're a military man and a marksman."

"Then why didn't I HIT Reggie in Los Angeles?" he asks, furious as he sits at the other end of the table from Steele.

"Yes. Your studies at Sandhurst included extensive courses in chemistry and biology, hence your knowledge of poisons."

"Then why didn't I put the poison in the port I brought him?" Archie asks. "Or better yet, why not in ALL the drinks?!" Mildred looks on, uncertain of where Daniel's going.

Daniel chuckles. "The antique weapons in this room are all genuine, all in perfect working order, looked after by your loving hands. The falling chandelier was one such weapon."

Archie rises. "I shall not be vilified by this- this- nincompoop in the house of my ancestors!" he declares. "I tell you sir, I shall press charges. I shall sue you for," he's beginning to say, when the crossbow behind him fires, sending an arrow into his back. He falls over the table, saying, "Slan-der!" And then he dies.
Steele stands, as does Mildred who utters, "Oh my goodness." Laura goes to the stock of the crossbow.
Steele looks at the arrow in Archie's back, straightens and murmurs to Daniel, "It appears you were mistaken Daniel."
"Possibly," replies a put-out Daniel causing Steele to stare at him.
Laura inspects an arrow stored in the stock and then stands opposite Steele as she says, "If Archie hadn't stepped in front of you, you'd be wearing this." She points to the arrow in Archie's back and then to the chair he was sitting. Steele fiddles with his tie and looks pointedly at Daniel.


Steele, Laura and Daniel go back to Steele's room. "You must admit," Daniel points out, "Archie made an excellent suspect."

"Yes," Steele agrees. "I'm sorry to see him go."

"Why not have Gwen arrested now?" he asks.

"Because the arrow was rigged with a timer," Laura tells him. "And we can't prove Gwen rigged it. Besides, it's quite possible she's innocent."

Steele looks surprised. "Is it?"

"The Foundation to Save the Sussex Speckled Blue Butterfly had as much to gain as anybody by the death of the Duke's heirs."

"Why keep grasping at straws?" Daniel asks. "In less than two hours, Harry becomes the Duke. And your chief suspect is right down the hall." Steele lays back on the sofa as Daniel tells him, "We'll smoke her out, Harry. Just like the old days, huh?"

"Sorry, Daniel," he says, causing Daniel to frown. "The thought of playing decoy to a desperate heiress doesn't appeal to me, somehow." Laura smiles triumphantly.

Daniel stands straighter. "In that case," he announces melodramatically, "I shall have to do it on my own." He leaves the room as Laura watches him with a frown.

Mildred comes in. "How's Nanny?" Steele asks her.

"Oh, she's resting, but- I don't know how much more of this mayhem she can take."

"That goes for all of us, Mildred," Laura says, moving toward the door. "Shall we, Mr. Steele? The Speckled Blue Butterfly."

Steele gets up to follow her. "Excuse me, Mildred."


At the headquarters for the foundation, Laura knocks on the door, but the building is apparently deserted. She pulls out her lock pick as Steele keeps an eye out. They enter the building.


At the castle, Mildred comes into Nanny's room with a tray. "Ah, there, you are, Nanny. I brought you some tea. Now, do you like it straight? Or would you like a little shot in it?"

"Where's my Reggie?" Nanny asks pitifully. "Poor, dear Reggie."

"Ah, now, you just relax, Honey. I told Reggie I wouldn't let anything happen to you." She goes to pour a cup.

"But where IS he?"

"Ah, now, don't worry," Mildred says, not seeing the scuffed toes of two shoes beneath the screen nearby, "everything's gonna be just fine."


At the Foundation, Laura and Steele are looking over the records. "As far as I can tell," Laura says, "the Foundation consisted of the same seventeen people until about three years ago, when someone by the name of Elizabeth Perkins joined." She looks at Steele. "A year and a half later, she became president."

Steele holds out a letter. "This is from the Duke's solicitors in London, notifying the Foundation that they've become beneficiaries to his will."

"When was it written?" Laura asks.

He looks at the date. "Umm-Three years ago."

Laura looks thoughtful. "About the same time Elizabeth Perkins joined the Foundation."

"Perkins," Steele muses. "Perkins. Elizabeth Perkins. Why is that name so familiar?" He recognizes it the same time Laura does.

"Oh, Lord."

"Nanny PERKINS!" they both say.

"Come on," Steele tells her, and they take off.


In the car, he tells Laura, "Nanny may have masterminded this scheme, but somebody has to be doing the dirty work for her."

"Somebody close to the family," Laura says. "Somebody you wouldn't suspect."

"Somebody strong, who knows the castle."

"Somebody who rides horses and can handle tools and weapons."

"The Fuller Brush Man!" Steele exclaims. He looks at Laura. "Red Skelton, Janet Blair, Columbia, 1948. Skelton plays a Fuller Brush salesman, who gets blamed for a society murder, when in actual fact, it was committed by the butler!"

"Our butler is close to eighty," Laura points out. "He probably couldn't even mount a horse, let alone gallop one across a lawn holding a lance."

Steele's enthusiasm is muted. "Well then, who?"


Mildred is finding out the answer to that question. "YOU?!" she asks, as Blocks holds a gun on her.

Nanny tells him, "Take her and the other two down to the potting shed. I want everything in order when REGGIE returns."

Blocks and Nanny take Mildred, Daniel, and Gwen outside. Daniel and Mildred are carrying their cases. "YOU killed Angus, didn't you?" Daniel asks.

"I poisoned Reggie's drink, if that's whot you mean," Blocks admits. "Not my fault if Angus went and drank it."

"Does that go for Archie too?" Mildred asks.

"Well, if the arrow `adn't gotten `im, Nanny and I would `ave taken him out sooner or later."

At the chipper, Nanny takes Mildred's case and tosses it into the machine as a preview of what's going to happen to them. "Now HIM!" she tells Blocks, pointing to Daniel.

"Don't worry," Blocks promises, "you won't feel a thing. And then you'll be mulch."

Daniel steps on a rake, sending it into Block's arm, giving him the time to grab the arm and they begin to struggle. Daniel forces him to drop the gun, and yells "RUN!" but all three women begin digging in the wood chips for the gun.

Block grabs Daniel's legs and shoves him head first into the chipper as Steele and Laura run to the rescue. Steele pulls Block away, then grabs Daniel, pulling him to safety. "You all right? Eh? Speak to me."

Daniel's voice is a few octaves higher than normal. "Thank you." He lowers it. "Thanks old boy." He looks behind Steele. "Uh oh," he says, straightening his tie and ducking as Steele turns and ducks to avoid the enraged Block as he comes at them with a shovel. The shovel goes into the chipper, and Steele grabs Blocks's legs, pulling him to the ground.

At the same time, Nanny finds the gun and holds it on Gwen and Mildred. "Mind your manners, ladies," she warns them. Laura runs up behind a wooden divider, next to Nanny as the woman turns to watch Steele getting the better of Blocks. As Steele hits the man, Laura tosses the end of a cloth hose, wrapping it around Nanny's wrist, and sending the gun to Daniel, who stands up, pointing it at Nanny.

"Relax," he says. Gwen and Mildred are relieved.

Penhaligan arrives, carrying the documents. "See here. What's going on?" he asks, checking his watch. "Why, the ceremony starts in less than ten minutes."

"There isn't going to be any ceremony," Laura tells him.

"Why not?" he asks, confused.

"A closer look at those documents will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am NOT Reginald Whitewood," Steele insists.

"Forgive me, Your Grace, but I don't understand your insistence on denying the obvious. I've spent the past two hours, poring over every word, every nuance of these documents. I assure you, all is in order."

Steele holds out his hand. "Let me have a look at those," he says, his eyes on Daniel. He and Laura look at the papers as Daniel joins them. Finally Steele turns to him. "You changed these, didn't you?" he asks. Daniel gives him a sick smile. Steele looks at Laura, who moves closer to the chipper. He turns to the judge. "Without these papers, there's no way of proving that I am the heir to the Rutherford estate," he says, brushing Daniel's hand from his shoulder as his friend tries to get his attention. "Correct?"

The judge sighs. "Yes, sir, that is correct, but, I . . ."

"Good," Steele says, tossing the papers in the chipper as a horrified Daniel looks on. "Thank you very much."

The judge is in shock. "Oh, Your Grace."

Steele smiles, hitting Daniel on the shoulder. Daniel's in shock.


Daniel is in the hall when Steele enters, carrying something. "Ah, there you are. All packed?"

Steele is hesitant. "Daniel, we have to talk."

"Save it, dear boy. There'll be plenty of time for talk."

Steele glances upstairs. "Daniel, I uh, you know how I feel about you."

"I know I love you like the son I never had. Being with you these few days has been -truly invigorating, Harry. Truly invigorating."

"Which only makes what I have to tell you all the more difficult."

"Tell me what?"

He holds up the airplane ticket. "I can't accept this ticket to Paris. It's tempting, but- the magic has gone."

"Harry," Daniel says, sounding disappointed as he takes the ticket.

"I've found a new life in Los Angeles, Daniel."

"A new life isn't everything."

"No, but it's a start. I mean, Laura and I, we seem to be . . ." He stops as Laura's voice interrupts.

"Excuse me. Our cab is waiting," she tells him, watching Daniel warily.

"Well, you mustn't miss your plane," Daniel says, smiling. They embrace.

Gwen comes down into the room. "I say, Daniel," she says, as Daniel tries to wave her off- unsuccessfully. "Did you get the ticket from him?"

Steele pulls out of the embrace, a bit upset as Daniel wipes a tear from his eye and says, "Yes, dear." He moves toward Gwen. "We're all set." As they move away, Laura smiles and Steele is thoughtful. "How well do you know the south of France?" Daniel asks Gwen.

"Not at all well, I should say."

"Splendid," Daniel tells her. "We'll open up my villa and venture forth from there." Laura is laughing silently, and Steele is amazed. "We must be prepared, Gwen, one never knows where or when one may encounter the REAL Duke of Rutherford."

"I hope it won't take TOO awfully long," she says as he puts on his hat.

"Rest assured, my dear, success is right around the corner." He opens the door for her, then salutes Steele and Laura.

They return the salute, Steele smiling at last. A car horn blows. "That's Mildred," Laura tells him. "Shall we, Mr. Steele?"

"Hmm," he agrees, and the move forward as a catapult tosses a metal ball into the statue behind them, shattering it. They both look back, stunned and frightened.

The End