- Cast in Steele
Original Airdate: Dec 4 1984
from the Episode written by:
- Jeff Melvoin
Restored scenes and dialogue
Two people hurriedly roll a gurney down a hospital corridor.
A nurse walks by, past Mildred Krebs, who's holding a spray of flowers. "Excuse
me, could you-?" she asks the nurse, but the woman ignores
her. Mildred turns a corner and sees a doctor. "Oh. Pardon
me, could you tell me where I could find-"
"Go to the admissions desk," he tells her without looking
up from the chart he's reading. "And don't bother the medical
- Mildred frowns.
"There's no one AT the admissions desk."
- She wanders around,
stopping before and peeking in through a small glass window in
a door to an operating room, then finds someone who answers her
question. She goes to a door and hears Steele saying, "I
assure you, Laura, if I'd heard you, I wouldn't have gone into
- "I'll bet,"
Laura replies. "When have you ever listened to me before?"
- Mildred enters,
and her jaw drops in shock. "Mr. Steele! Miss Holt! What
- Steele is laying
on a bed, his right arm in a cast, suspended. His left leg is
broken and he's in traction. Laura is sitting on the edge of
his bed, a collar around her neck, right arm wrapped, crutches
at her side.
Steele responds, "it's a long story."
Mildred?" Laura asks.
- Steele presses the
call button. " Yes, Mr. Steele?" a nurse is
- "Yes, could
you get me another beaker for our friend here, please? Thank
- "I thought
you two were just going to some award ceremony this weekend,"
Mildred says, still in shock at their appearance.
- "That was the
first mistake," Laura says with a sour expression.
- "Oh, come now,
Laura. You can't say it wasn't all worthwhile, now, can you?"
- "Can you get
back to me when the ligaments heal?" she asks.
- "Will somebody
tell me what happened?"
- As we see limousines
delivering people to a gala, Laura says, "Mr. Steele
and I had been invited to the opening ceremonies of the Hollywood
Archives. An organization for the preservation and study of the
- An announcer speaks
into a microphone as a limo comes to a stop before the red carpet.
Photographers gather. "It's a beautiful night for our gala,
ladies and gentlemen. We may even see some of the more reclusive
stars." A valet helps a woman from the limo. A man joins
her. "Wait a minute. Who's this? Why, it's Dorothy Lamour
and Lloyd Nolan. Oh, my, doesn't she look radiant? And Mr. Nolan
appears as dapper as when.."
- Laura says, "Some
of the stars had helped the Archives, and were going to be recognized
that evening with plaques of appreciation."
- Another limo pulls
up. "Hold on, who's this?" the emcee asks. "Wait
a minute. I think it's- Yes, it is. Ladies and gentlemen, Virginia
Mayo." The woman stands there, waves. "Oh, remember
her as the voluptuous, slightly cross eyed blonde in the Technicolor
spectacles of the 40's?" Another limo pulls up. "What
a thrill, ladies and gentlemen. And it's only just begun. Oh.
- Laura, dressed in
an elegant, black cocktail dress and, to be Laura, an unusually
sizable necklace with stones filling the deep v-line , and Steele,
in a tuxedo , get out of the limo, smiling. Laura, still in voice
over, says, "Due to- diligent PR efforts on my part,"
the crowd of photographers and reporters disburses, "Mr.
Steele had been selected as a presenter." Laura takes
Steele's arm and they walk down the carpet- unnoticed.
- Inside, Steele is
at the dais, giving his presentation speech. "And so we
so come to the triumph of "White Heat", in which Miss
Mayo further displayed her versatility opposite James Cagney.
As Verna Jarrett, she firmly established herself in the annals
of film noire." The audience is slightly bored. "It
is my great honor now to present this plaque of appreciation
to a radiant star. Miss Virginia Mayo."
- She comes out to
an ovation, giving Steele a kiss on the cheek before going to
the microphone. "I didn't know I was so prolific,"
she comments, smiling. Steele is star struck as he holds her
plaque. Thank you, Mr. Steele for those kind words. And thank
you, everyone. Well, here's hoping the Archives is a big success.
Thank you very much."
- Steele hands her
the plaque and escorts her off stage as he tells Mildred, "Needless
to say, Mildred, my speech was a resounding triumph."
- Backstage, he poses
with the actress for photographers, smiling broadly. Virginia
sees an old friend and moves away to greet her, so Steele takes
the plaque and holds it, smiling for the camera again. Steele
wanders off, plaque still under his arm.
- In the auditorium,
another presenter is finishing. "know who I'm talking about.
Ladies and gentlemen, it's my great pleasure to present Miss
Dorothy Lamour." The camera focuses on Ms. Lamour in the
audience, getting up .
- Realizing that he's
got the plaque, Steele knocks on a door marked "Private",
then opens it. Inside, a man turns to look at him. In his arms
is a blonde woman who looks like she's either asleep or passed
out. "Oh, terribly sorry. I didn't see the sign. Sorry."
He closes the door, and turns to find Lloyd Nolan close by. "Oh.
Excuse me, Mr. Nolan."
- "Steele, right?"
Nolan asks shortly.
- "Yes. You didn't
happen to see Virginia Mayo, did you? I have her plaque."
- "Yes. She's
out in the alley there, trying to catch her breath after all
that hot air." Steele pauses, looks at Nolan uncertainly.
Nolan laughs. "Only kidding, Steele. You know, you've got
style, but- stick with the detective work."
- "Thank you,"
Steele says, moving off.
- Steele walks out
through the back door as Virginia is heard talking with another
friend in the alley. "I'm so glad I saw you. Maybe we can
get together next week for lunch, okay? I'll call you. Bye bye."
The two women part after kissing each other on the cheek .
- Steele comes up
to her. "Miss Mayo? I'm so sorry to disturb you, but-you
forgot your plaque."
- She smiles at him.
"Do I have to hear your speech all over again to get it
back?" she asks.
- He laughs softly.
"No, not at all. You know, you still look as lovely as you
did in `The Secret Life of Walter Mitty', Danny Kaye, Boris Karloff,
- "You flatter
me," Virginia tells him, preventing him from continuing.
- "Well, there
you go, anyway." He hands her the plaque. "Listen,
I don't mean to sound personal, but- what was it like, working
with Boris Karloff?"
she begins as headlights illuminate them. A car is heading toward
them, and after he pushes Virginia toward the doors, Steele leaps
into a dumpster.
- Once the car is
gone, Virginia runs to the dumpster and peers inside. "Mr.
Steele? Mr. Steele?"
- He moans.
- "So that's
how you broke your arm and your leg, huh, Boss," Mildred
asks, as we watch Virginia and Laura standing watch as a doctor
tends to Steele backstage at the gala. Laura is using her handbag
to fan Steele.
- "Not exactly,
Mildred," Steele answers.
- The doctor moves
off to reveal a bandage on Steele's left index finger. "You're
a lucky man, Mr. Steele. Other than that scratch on your finger,
I can't find anything that requires treatment." Steele sits
- "Reflexes like
a cat," he comments.
- "I'm sure,"
the doctor agrees. "Landing on that pile of discarded newspapers
probably helped." They all laugh. The doctor's beeper goes
off. "Oh, damn. I thought being the house doctor tonight
that I'd have a relaxing evening. I told my service to call me
only for an emergency. I'm afraid I'm gonna have to run along.
Oh, by the way, Mr. Steele, do you have a personal physician?"
- Steele hesitates,
glances at Laura, who shakes her head. "No. I don't."
- "Why don't
you call me tomorrow," the doctor says, handing him a card.
"If you have any discomfort."
- "Good night,"
the doctor says, and the others echo his sentiments as Steele
places the card in his pocket.
doctor, thank you."
- Laura turns to Virginia.
"Miss Mayo, are you certain no one you know is trying to
harm you? No recent arguments with friends, creditors, that sort
of thing? Nothing unusual?"
- "Well, there
has been something strange, come to think of it. A few weeks
ago, I got a letter from someone saying he was soon going to
put my name in the headlines in a most unusual way. Since then,
I've gotten a letter from him every few days, saying- the deadline
is approaching- or, something like that."
- Steele is retying
his bow-tie. "The Fan."
- "Lauren Bacall,
James Garner. Paramount, 1981. A deranged fan, feeling personally
rejected by Bacall attempts to kill her." Laura sags in
disbelief as Virginia is concerned.
- "Tries to murder
- "What Mr. Steele
is saying in his highly original way," Laura says, "is
that perhaps this correspondent is responsible for tonight's
- "Oh, what an
- "And a bit
far-fetched, I assure you. Nevertheless, perhaps we should take
you home and have a look at those letters."
- Virginia asks Steele,
"Uh, in that movie you mentioned, Mr. Steele- they stop
the killer, don't they?"
- "Uh, yes, I
think they do," he says. "Let me see now." He
totally misses Laura's attempt to get him to just say YES. "The
fan brutally slashes Maureen Stapleton, um-" he finally
notices Laura's expression and backs off, seeing Virginia's pale
- At Virginia's, Steele
is examining the photos on her mantle as the actress gives an
envelope to Laura. "I'm afraid this is it," she apologizes.
- "Well, one
letter is better than none. Postmarked four days ago. No return
address." She removes
- the letter. "Next
week is almost here," she reads from the typewritten
letter. "A week you'll never forget, the week I come
into your life. G. E. M."
- "He signed
all of his letters like that," Virginia tells them. "Just
"Obviously the furtive type," Steele says. "I
get this image- this image of the character Peter Lorre played
in "The Maltese Falcon"."
- "Wasn't he
some sort of a psychopath?" Virginia asks.
- Laura tries to smile
reassuringly. "Excuse me a moment, will you?" She goes
to Steele and hisses, "Mr. Steele, as a rule, we try to
avoid scaring our clients to death. Now, I know your cinematic
references are just meant for- inspiration, but Miss Mayo doesn't.
Now she thinks she's being stalked by a creepy little man with
buggy eyes and a nervous giggle."
- Steele looks at
Virginia. "Hmm. I see your point. Perhaps I should have
mentioned Sidney Greenstreet instead, eh?" he asks a defeated
- Laura shakes her
head and returns to her chair. "Miss Mayo, can you think
of anything else that might help? Any possible lead?"
- "Well, you
know, it's funny, but I was chatting with Lloyd Nolan this evening,
and he mentioned some strange fan letters he'd been getting lately."
Steele pulls a chair over and sits down. At the time, I didn't
give it a second thought, but- maybe there's a connection."
- "We'll check
it out tomorrow," Laura tells her. "If it would make
you feel more comfortable, I'd be glad to stay awhile longer."
- "Oh, thanks,"
Virginia says. "I think I'd feel better."
Steele says. "Virginia Mayo, Lloyd Nolan. This is the best
case we've ever worked on."
Laura smiles at his enthusiasm.
- "IS that
when you got hurt, Miss Holt?" Mildred asks. "Protecting
- We see the Auburn
pull up to a Swiss Chalet type house as Laura tells Mildred,
"No, Mildred, the night was uneventful. Though Miss Mayo
and I had a wonderful time talking about the golden age of Hollywood."
- "I, on the
other hand, didn't have time for such trivia, Mildred,"
Steele informs her sternly. "I got an early start the
next morning. Lloyd Nolan had greatly admired my little talk
the evening before, so we had no trouble getting on."
- Steele gets out
of the Auburn and rings the doorbell. Inside, Nolan says, "I
put out some lines after you called me, Steele."
- "Uh huh?"
- "Dorothy Lamour
has also heard from that punk." He carries some letters
- "You're kidding!"
- "Dorothy Lamour?
Road to Singapore? Moon over Burma? Typhoon?"
His enthusiasm fades. "Oh, how dreadful. I'd better see
her about this thing as well, hadn't I?" he sits forward
to look at the letters.
- "Here they
are. I only saved two."
- Steele takes them.
"You don't know me now," he reads, "but
in two weeks you will. G.E.M." He looks at the second
one. "One week until your life changes forever. G.E.M."
He holds them up. "And you have no idea who this G.E.M.
- "Okay, well,
I'll get my associate onto it straightaway. Oh, and-one more
question, Mr. Nolan."
- "I went to
a revival house where they were showing "Somewhere in the
Night", but, they- lost the last reel. Now, John Hodiak
realizes that he's not George Taylor anymore, but he's really
Larry Crevett. Now, I'm dying to know what happened at the end,
- Nolan laughs. "You
know, you're really a strange bird for a dick, Steele. Well,
let's see. I played Lt. Donald Kendall in that one. Somehow I
rarely rose above lieutenant in those pictures. And Richard Conte
was the bad guy." He sees someone pass the window. "That's
- Steele rises as
well. "What's wrong? Something the matter?"
- "Now, that's
odd. The postman just passed through the yard, but- I got the
mail an hour ago."
Steele looks thoughtful.
Nolan says, sitting down again. "What were we talking about?"
- "Three Days
of the Condor," Steele muses sitting back down.
- "No. I wasn't
- "No, an assassin
in Three Days of the Condor tries to kill Robert Redford
but he's disguised as a mailman."
- "Robert Redford?"
- "The assassin."
- "You have lost
me," Nolan announces.
- "Get down!"
Steele grabs him and pulls him to the floor as bullets begin
to fill the air.
- When the bullets
stop, Steele looks up, but Nolan tells him, "Stay down,
Steele! The postman always rings twice!"
- Sure enough, there's
another hail of bullets. Once they stop again, Steele and Nolan
look up, both covered with pieces of white plaster from the many
holes in the walls. Steele takes off outside. He rounds the corner
of the building, and is shot at by someone wearing a postman's
uniform and a mask. "Three times?" Steele questions
as he takes shelter behind a brick column . He makes a run for
it, bullets following close in his footsteps, and dives into
the pool. The gunman vanishes as Nolan comes around the corner.
- Nolan calls out,
"Steele?" and stands beside the pool. "I keep
meaning to have that refilled," he says.
- Mildred says to
Steele, "Oh, that must have been a *fright*, Boss! A mailman
trying to drill you with a tommy gun!"
"Let's just say it gives new meaning to the words 'Special
Delivery,'" Steele responds.
- Laura adds, "Unfortunately,
it didn't affect his sense of humor."
"*That's* how you broke your arm and leg, right?" Mildred
asks Steele, who smiles and takes another drink of champagne.
"Diving into that empty pool."
"Not exactly, Mildred. No."
Back to Nolan's house, Nolan asks, "Are you okay, Steele?"
Steele, floating on a partially deflated airmattress in about
two foot of water, looks up , his hair all messed up. "A
little damp. But otherwise tip top." He stands and straightens
his tie as Nolan tries to fight a smile. Steele looks around
for a way out.
Laura tells Mildred, "While Mr. Steele was having fun
mingling with the stars, somebody had to get on with the nuts
and bolts of the investigation." We see her park the
Rabbit before the "Hollywood Center Building.
"Having fun?" Steele questions incredulously.
"The fan letters were our only lead, Mildred,"
Laura continues. "Even without a return address and signed
only with initials, they had a story to tell, if you knew how
to read it."
Laura and a middle aged man are poring over the letters. "What
do you think, Morris?" she asks him.
"Think? About the typewriter, I don't have to think. It's
an Underwood 5. Good old reliable machine. This one has seen
its share of service. The right beak of the capital T is dented.
The left serif for the small y is gone. There are other distinguishing
characteristics, but-those should be enough to identify the actual
"When we find it."
"That's your problem," he says with a smile, and Laura
laughs. "As to the actual stationary itself, you're in luck.
It's very unusual. Heavy bond of Japanese manufacture. Very handsome.
Very expensive. Only a few high class stores in town would handle
it." He picks up a pen. "I'll make you a list."
"The brown ink used for the initials is also distinctive.
An English brand. Yeah. You find the store that handles both
the paper and the ink-you'll be closing in on your man."
"Oh, you're terrific, Morris." She takes the list and
letter. "Hey listen, just put this on our tab, okay?"
she gives him a kiss on the cheek and starts to go.
"Uh, tell me something, Laura." She turns. "Does
your boss EVER do any legwork?"
She thinks for a suitable answer. "Mr. Steele's skills are
hard to define at times, Morris. Very hard." She goes to
the door, then turns again. "Sometimes downright impossible."
She waves. "See ya 'round."
"The third store on Morris' list paid off,"
Laura tells Mildred as we see Laura leaving a stationary store.
"The credit records produced a name: George Edward Mulch.
The case was coming together."
"At the time, Mildred, I was engaged in an utterly charming
conversation with Dorothy Lamour," Steele says as we
see him tap the top of the limo to dismiss it then approach the
front door, pausing to shine his shoes on the back of his pants
before ringing the bell. "I had come, of course, to discuss
her fan letters- but we quickly moved on to other subjects."
Steele hears someone say, "Who is it?"
He looks up the front of the building, then steps out to see
her in a window on the first floor . "Oh. Miss Lamour. It's-
"I'm the private detective Lloyd Nolan called you about."
"Oh. I expected somebody more like Tom Selleck," she
comments, causing Steele to pause for a moment and his smile
to falter. "The letters are right over there by the door."
Steele jogs over to get them. "Don't go away, Miss Lamour,
just a moment, please." He returns to his position. "If
uh, if I might just as you a few questions, please. You know,
get some background information-"
- "Uh, perhaps,
uh, I might- go inside? You know, have a cup of tea?"
- "I can hear
you fine from here."
- He looks at her.
"Is it my imagination, Miss Lamour, or are you very nervous
- "Well, I am
a little concerned about my life," she admits.
- "I see. Of
course. The attempts on Miss Mayo, and Mr. Nolan. Well, you're
perfectly safe with me, rest assured."
- "Is that what
you told Lloyd and Virginia?" she asks with a smirk.
- "Miss Lamour,
if I could just talk to you a bit, it might help bring this culprit
- "Well, what
are we doing now? Playing Trivial Pursuit?"
- Steele grins. "Ah,
that marvelously saucy delivery of yours. No wonder Bing and
Bob thought you were the perfect comedic counterpart. But, you
know, I think the critics overlooked your importance as a dramatic
- "You do?"
- "Oh, indeed.
Take "Manhandled". Dan Dureya, Sterling Hayden,
Paramount, 1949. I mean, who could forget your performance as
Merle Kramer? The sweet but unknowing secretary who gets involved
in a plot of twisted murder and deceit. Ah. Of such things are
movie memories made, Miss Lamour."
"I'll be right down," Dorothy tells him.
- Steele smiles, heads
toward the door as Laura honks her horn and joins him. "Mr.
Steele!" She gets out of the car. "Mr. Steele."
- "I see, couldn't
resist meeting our lady of the sarong, eh, Laura?"
- "Some other
time," she insists. "I think I've located the fan."
- His delighted smile
- "Oh. Excellent
work." The door opens. "Miss Lamour. This is my associate,
- "How do you
do?" Dorothy asks, shaking Laura's hand.
- "It's a pleasure,"
Laura assures her.
- "My colleague
here, busy little worker bee that she is, has just unearthed
another clue which demands my immediate attention, so I'll have
to postpone our little tête-a-tête -" A car
- outside the fence.
Laura notices it, then notices the rifle with a scope that's
pointed toward them as Steele continues "Shall we say later?
Around cocktail hour? Seven o'clock, my place?"
- Laura grabs him.
"Get down!" The gunman fires two shots and then the
car speeds off.
- As the car speeds
off, Steele and Laura look up, Steele with an angry, frustrated
look on his face.
- Laura and Steele
are riding in the Rabbit with the top down. Laura is driving.
- "I'm concerned
about what happends when we confront our murderous Mr. Mulch,"
- "So am I,"
Laura agrees. "That's why I decided to stop by the office
before I came by to get you."
- "Check the
glove compartment," she tells him.
- He opens it and
cautiously and relunctantly pulls out the Agency gun and checks
- Laura tells Mildred, "The
address I had written down for George Edward Mulch was an office
building in the heart of old Hollywood. We headed there immediately."
As Laura is driving
down the road in the Rabbit, Steele is reading some papers. As
he finishes he tells Laura, "We're dealing with a very highly
disturbed personality here, Laura."
"This syndrome has become entirely too common. Someone usually
suffering from schizophrenic or paranoid tendencies decides to
become famous by killing someone famous." Laura explains.
"Yes, I wonder what happens when we meet our murderous Mr.
Mulch." Steele ponders.
"So am I. That's why I decided to stop by the office before
I came to get you." Laura responds.
"Why?" Steele wonders.
"Check out the glove compartment." Laura replies, raising
her eyebrows and smacking her lips, as if something unpleasant
will be revealed.
Frowning, Steele opens the glove compartment and hesitantly takes
out the agency gun and carefully checks it out for rounds.
The rabbit can be seen parked outside an office building and
the windows a couple of stories up come into focus.
Steele is carrying the agency gun as they approach the office.
He knocks on the door, then gives the gun to Laura to hold at
ready as he picks the locks. Entering the office, she hands the
gun back to Steele upon realizing that they're alone. Laura goes
to the desk. "Ah. An Underwood 5," she tells him. "Just
as Morris said."
Steele opens some file cabinets, and in the third one he finds
a box with the stationary. "Laura, come here and have a
look." Steele takes out some sheets.
She walks over to the other side of the file cabinet and takes
out some stationary as well. "We have our man, Mr. Steele."
The door opens, and Mulch, a heavy set balding man, comes in,
sees them, then takes off. Laura and Steele follow him down to
the Hollywood Walk of Fame, then across to Mann's Chinese Theatre,
where someone who LOOKS like Burt Reynolds is putting his handprints
in cement. Mulch runs through the wet concrete, followed by Steele
and Laura, Steele yelling, "Mind your backs, ladies, mind
They chase him back into the street. Mulch gets across, Steele
manages, but Laura trips and falls to the ground. She lays there,
stunned. Steele stops. "Laura!" he yells as a car comes
Back at the hospital,
Mildred gets up from a chair, saying "So that when you got
your injuries. You were hit by a car on Hollywood Boulevard tracing
that crazy man?" as she walks around Steele's bed.
"Not exactly, Mildred.
The car stopped just in time,"
Laura informs Mildred.
"Laura?" Steele calls, running to her and helping her
up. "You all right? You all right? Excellent reflexes,"
he tells the driver. "Wonderful." The y look to the
side of the street, where Mulch is standing at the corner of
a building, watching them. He sees them and takes off again.
"Come on," Steele says.
They chase him into an alley, where he starts tiring. Steele
grabs him and pushes him up against a garage door, and Laura
catches up. "Let me go!" Mulch yells. "Let me
go! What'd I do- You got no right!"
"We'll see about that!" Laura tells him. All of them
are out of breath.
"Maybe you caught me," he says, "But if you think
I'm gonna tell you anything, you got another thing comin'."
Steele glares. "Alright, tough guy. The three of us are
gonna take a little walk back to your office. You can either
go awake, or asleep. The choice is yours."
Back in Mulch's office, Mulch is sitting behind his desk while
Steele and Laura are leaning against the sideboard next to it.
Mulch listens, as Laura says, "We know where you bought
the stationary, Mr. Mulch."
"So I bought some paper. Big deal."
"We can prove you wrote those letters on your typewriter,"
Steele informs him.
"I don't know nothin' about any letters," Mulch insists
"Virginia Mayo, Lloyd Nolan, Dorothy Lamour? Ring any bells,
"Oh, come on, Georgie, we wouldn't come here if we didn't
have any proof," Steele tells him, taking the credit card
receipt out of his pocket to show to Mulch. "Look. Umm?"
- Mulch slams it down,
then looks dejected. "Alright, I admit it. I wrote 'em.
I didn't think anybody would catch on."
- "Let's go,
Mulch," Laura says.
- Getting up from
behind his desk, he says "Wait a minute. Wait a minute.
Maybe we could strike a bargain. A trade off, one on one. Like
uh- I'll give you-the Marilyn Monroe Modern Magic Slicer. I'll
keep the mayonnaise recipe."
- Steele and Laura
look confused. "We're talking about murder, Laura, and this
man's talking about mayonnaise."
- "Mr. Mulch,"
Laura says, "I don't think you recognize the gravity of
this situation. Three counts of attempted murder, not to mention-"
- "What murder?
What are you talkin' about?"
- "We're private
investigators, my name's Remington Steele, this is Laura- uh-"
- "Private investigators?"
Mulch questions. "Then you're not with like- General Foods
or Rand McNally? Or Popeil?"
- "We're tracking
a killer," Laura informs him.
- "That's wonderful,"
Mulch sighs. "I thought you were trying to steal my idea."
Steele gives Laura a look that says he's not sure Mulch has both
oars in the water. Mulch sits on the desk. "So. Who's dead?"
- Laura looks at Steele.
"No one yet. But in the last two days, someone has made
attempts on the stars we mentioned."
- "Oh, that's
terrible. That's very bad. That could throw off my whole campaign."
- "What campaign?"
- "You two SURE
you don't work for General Foods?"
- "Okay, okay,"
Mulch says. "Look, I knocked around the film biz for a long
time, see. But recently, I've been funneling all of my energies
into G.E.M. Productions, Incorporated. I like to think of it
as a free flowing idea company."
- "In other words,
you haven't produced anything yet," Steele says.
- "Right. BUT
about a month ago, I got this dynamite idea! I don't know how
they come to me, they just DO. Now listen, here it is. A whole
new national line of products based on Hollywood Stars. For example,
you wanna make a sandwich. You reach for that bright, shiny bottle
of- Virginia Mayo."
- Steele looks worried.
"Of course," he agrees. Laura looks stunned.
- "This is a
great one. You're gonna love this. Let's say you wanna go visit
your Aunt Bernice in Chula Vista. But you don't have a map. Where
can you turn? The Dorothy Lamour Road to the United States Highway
Directory and Restaurant Guide. You get it? Dorothy Lamour was
in all the road pictures with Hope and Crosby." Steele nods.
"The ROAD to the United States. We'll have it for the whole
- "Mr. Mulch,"
Steele begins, "why didn't you identify yourself in the
- "And why the
expensive stationary?" Laura continues.
- "These people-
they get offers every day. I try to create a little mystery.
A little allure. You see, the stationary tells them that this
is a class act. They mysteriousness lets them know that they're
dealing with a master of hype. Next week, I was gonna reveal
- "Mr. Mulch,"
Laura asks, "Can you pinpoint your whereabouts for the last
- "Two hours?
Of course, I was at my usual stool at Musso and Frank's. I can
account for my whereabouts every day for the last two years."
- "Well, Mr.
Steele, if George Edward Mulch isn't behind the attempted murders,
then who is?"
Dorothy Lamour says as she and her two friends sit in chairs
in front of Steele's desk, "that's why we're paying YOU,
Mr. Steele, to find out."
"We're paying HIM?" Nolan asks in surprise.
- "It's news
to me," Virginia agrees.
- Steele paces to
stand beside his desk where Laura is sitting. "Ladies and
Gentleman, I assure you, our services are on the house. It's
a privilege to serve such- honored clientele."
- "And we're
very touched, Mr. Steele," Nolan says. "But just- How
do you plan to stop this psycho?"
- Steele motions to
Laura to take over as he sits in the window ledge. "Well,
we've eliminated the fan letters as a clue, so- we have to come
up with another common denominator linking the three of you."
- "That's good
thinking, Steele," Nolan says.
- "Its all part
of the deductive process which has- made this agency what it
is," Steele assures them as Laura sits and smiles. "Yes.
Please, Miss Holt, carry on with my thesis, will you?"
- She smiles and laughs
slightly. "Well, uh, the link could be- anything. For example,
did any of you appear in a picture together?"
Dorothy says, "Lloyd and I did "St. Louis Blues."
Laura almost flinches as Steele says, "William Frawley and
Maddie Malnack and his Orchestra, Paramount, 1939. Yes-"
Laura turns to look at him, and his smile fades.
- "Don't forget
"Johnny Apollo", Dotty," Lloyd says.
- "Tyrone Power,
Edward Arnold, Twentieth Century Fox, 19- uh, hm, 40." He's
like a kid in a candy store. "Sorry," he tells a frustrated