The episode opens with scenes of Los Angeles as the sun sets, the city's lights glittering like diamonds on the black landscape. At Steele's apartment, Laura shuffling and displaying her card dealing prowess on a green felt table. She spreads the deck out in an arc then turns them face up with a single card, smiling as Steele watches.
"A bit showy," he tells her. He's wearing a black shirt and jacket.
"Ready?" Laura asks.
He tugs his ear, growing serious. "Go ahead." Laura deals a card face down on the table. Steele studies it for a moment. "Six of diamonds," he tells her. She turns the card up, and it's the six. Another card. "Jack of Spades." Mildred, dressed in a maid's uniform, comes from the kitchen as Laura turns the card up to reveal that he's right again. She places another card face down. "Reminds me of you. Queen of Hearts."
Mildred reaches over to turn the card over and confirm his call. "I still can't get how you do it," she says, laughing and examining the cards.
The door buzzer goes off, and as he heads for the door, Steele tells her, "That's the idea, Mildred." He opens the door to a nervous looking man. "Ah, Everett. Please come in."
Everett moves past him, carrying a briefcase. "Mr. Steele."
"Yes. Come right in," Steele says again, as Everett goes to the table where Laura is sitting.
"This is our assistant, Mildred Krebs," Steele introduces Mildred as Everett places the case on the table. "Everett Blaisdale. Vigilance Insurance."
"How do you do?" Everett says, opening the case to show them the contents. He steps back from the case filled with money. "What to count it?" he asks Steele.
"Oh, Everett, please," Steele insists. "Our relationship is built on trust." He leans toward the case as Laura pulls it toward Mildred..
"Mildred," she says, glancing at Steele Mildred starts counting.
Everett pulls a paper from his pocket. "Mr. Steele, I need you to sign this. You understand."
"Ah, yes, of course. Bureaucracy rears its ugly head." He watches, hand in his jacket, as Mildred finishes her count.
"One hundred fifty thousand," she tells them.
Everett holds the paper out toward Steele, but he points at Laura. "Miss Holt."
Laura looks at the paper, signs it and hands it back to Everett. He takes it. "Well, good luck. To all of us."
"Rest assured, Everett," Steele says, following him to the door, "Murdock's jewels are as good as in your hands."
"I hope so," Everett says, pausing at the door. "If anything should happen-"
"Everett, please," Steele says, interrupting him. "You're talking to Remington Steele, okay?" He shakes the man's hand, opening the door.
Steele opens the door as three men try to enter, pushing past Everett. A heavyset, short man complains, "Hey! Watch it, Bruce! I just had this cleaned!"
"Good night, Everett," Steele says. "Come in, Gentlemen, please."
Everett leaves, the three men come as requested. "Who's the mark?" one of them asks.
"A fellow by the name of Eddie Grogan," Steele informs them. "I got a tip he stole the jewels from Murdock. And you're here to help me get them back."
"Sounds like a sweet hustle, Harry," one says.
Steele lifts a hand. "Reggie," he tells them. "Reggie Whitewood. I am now a dissolute member of the ruling class. Now, stake yourself to twenty-five thousand dollars each and take a grand off the top for your services."
Laura hands them their money. "Who are they?" the heavy one asks, taking his money.
"Laura Holt, Mildred Krebs- Bennie, Sid, Nathan."
"How about some sandwiches and beer, fellas?" Mildred asks with a smile.
"You're sellin'," Sid tells her, "I'm buyin'."
Bennie, the heavy one, asks Laura, "What're you sellin', honey?"
She smiles. "Nothing you can afford, big fella," she tells him, closing the case and putting it on the floor. "Excuse me." She gets up and goes into the kitchen.
Sid smirks at her put down of Bennie as all three men watch her go. "Nice girl," Nathan comments.
"Yeah," Steele agrees. "Sit down, okay?" he tells them.
The three men sit at the felt table.
Laura enters the kitchen as Mildred removes the sandwiches from Styrofoam containers. "Where did the Boss find those shills?" she asks.
Laura goes to the icebox. "I don't think you want to know."
"I don't get it. Why don't we just grab Grogan and choke him until he coughs up the jewels?" she asks.
Carrying bottles of beer over to the counter, Laura explains. "Because we have no proof that he stole them. This way, Mr. Steele busts him at the table, he has to retrieve the jewels to pay off his losses, and we have the thief, jewels, and a hefty finders' fee."
"But how do you know that he'll bet more than he's got with him?" Mildred questions.
"Because, Mildred, he's a compulsive gambler."
Mildred laughs. "You know, sometimes the boss's plans strike me as- poetry."
Laura pauses, thoughtful. "Well, it isn't Keats, but it ain't bad," she agrees with a smile.
In the living room, Steele goes to the door and opens it with a smile. "Edward, old chap. Delighted to see you."
Edward Grogan comes in with a smile. "You're not gonna keep me away from a hot game, I'll tell you that."
"Yes, well, this one will positively sizzle, old bean," Steele promises.
The five men start playing, Laura dealing the cards. Well into the game, they're just about all smoking cigars, and Steele is blowing smoke rings. Sid puts his cards on the table. "Fold," he announces and gets up.
Nathan's the next one to toss his cards down in disgust. "That's it," he declares, standing up and getting his coat.
Later, Mildred brings drinks in. "Who's got the mai tai?" she asks.
"Here," Eddie tells her, smiling at Laura. He looks at his cards, makes a bet.
Bennie gets up. "That's it." He gets his coat. "Next time, I'll mail in my money," he tells Steele with a wink, and heads for the door.
"Well, I guess it's just you and me, Reggie," Eddie tells him. "Whaddaya say we goose the game?" he asks as Mildred brings another drink. "No ceiling?"
Steele blows out a cloud of cigar smoke. "I say. You really are a gambler, aren't you, Edward?" Steele asks, giving him speculative look. "Very well. No limit."
Laura looks at the cards on the table. Eddie has three aces and a Jack. Steele has three Kings and a seven. "Aces," Laura notes, "Facing Kings. Aces bet."
"Some dealer, Reggie," Eddie tells him. "Where'd you get her?"
"She came with the table," Steele says, cigar in his mouth.
Eddie looks at his hold card. It's a four of clubs. "I bet all of it," he tells them, pushing his chips to the center of the table. "Thirty thousand."
Steele carefully puts some chips with the rest, then pushes everything forward. "And I back it," he tells Eddie, who looks a little sick. "Fifty thousand dollars."
"I've gotta go light," Eddie tells him.
"Look, Edward. Don't disappoint me, please. If you can't afford to play the game-"
"Reggie, I've got some very interesting collateral that's worth a hell of a lot more than fifty grand."
"Look, I have a rule, Edward. Cash only on the table."
Laura looks at him, wanting him to agree. Steele sends her a quick look as Eddie says, "Don't you think we're both men of honor? If I lose, I'll take you straight to it, and I'll guarantee- you will NOT be disappointed."
Steele takes another puff from the cigar as he considers this. "Very well."
Eddie smiles. "Okay. I call."
Steele turns over his hold card. It's a fourth ace. Eddie winces. "Sonofagun. I didn't think you had it. I thought maybe a full house-Maybe. But not four Kings."
"I believe there's a time to reap, and a time to sow," Steele gloats. "This- is my time to reap." He starts raking the chips toward him.
Eddie puts a hand on his arm to stop him. "Not yet it ain't," he says and turns over his hold card. It's the fourth Ace.
Steele is stunned, as is Laura. Eddie giggles, delighted with having won. "Some hand, huh? Hell, I must've won-"
"One hundred and fifty thousand dollars," Steele informs him, meeting Laura's worried look. She looks away.
Eddie laughs again. "Where am I gonna put it all?"
Laura looks sick as she brings the money tray up on the table. "I have a suggestion."
Steele puts the case on the table as well. "Why don't you take the case?" he asks. "You've taken everything else."
"Swell," Eddie says, opening it and starting to put the money inside. "Listen, Reg, if you ever have another game, be sure and call me up. This is really, really terrific." He closes the case and looks at Mildred. "And you make a heck of a mai tai," he tells her, grabbing his coat. "Bye." He closes the door behind him.
"Nice work," Laura says to Steele.
Steele comes to his feet. "He cheated. The double dealing swine, he cheated, Laura! I saw his hold card, it was the four of clubs!"
"He must've palmed the Ace," Laura tells him.
"Why didn't you stop him?" Mildred asks.
"Because then he'd know we were cheating," Steele reminds her.
"And we'd lose all chance of recovering the jewels," Laura adds. "Mildred, take my car and follow Grogan."
"You got it," Mildred says, leaving them.
"Why Mildred?" Steele asks.
"Because, we have to figure out how you're going to tell the insurance company that your fool-proof scheme cost them-" she sits back, crossing her arms, "- a hundred and fifty thousand dollars."
"You LOST it?" Everett says, standing in Steele's office the next morning. "All of it?"
"Not lost it, Everett," Steele corrects. "Invested it."
"We could see," Laura says, taking up the explanation, "that Grogan was wary. So, we used the money to buy his confidence."
"And now we have him exactly where we want him," Steele adds in a definite tone.
"Within hours, Mr. Steele will be zeroing in on where he stashed the jewels," Laura tells Everett with a supportive smile.
"You will?" Everett asks.
"Oh, without question," Steele assures the nervous man. "Everything is just falling into place."
Laura places a hand on Everett's shoulder. "Stand tall, Everett. You backed a winning plan." They laugh nervously.
Steele rises from the desk, turning Everett toward the door. "Ah, yes, I can hear the accolades now. Can't you, Miss Holt?" he asks. "Can't you hear those accolade? Everett Blaisdale, Senior Vice President!" Steele says, opening the door and ushering a smiling Everett through it.
Laura shakes his hand. "Bye, Everett. Congratulations!"
"Thank you. Thank you both. I can't believe everything's going so well."
Steele tries to close the door. "Take care, now!"
"My first big case, too," Everett says, still there.
"Thank you," Steele says again, and Everett leaves.
Steele closes the door as his and Laura's laughter dies quickly. The phone rings, and Laura rushes to answer it. "Remington Steele Investigations . . . Mildred? Where are you?"
Mildred, still wearing the maid's uniform, is in a casino. "Las Vegas."
"Grogan drove straight here. He's at the tables now, gambling.
"I gotta go, Miss Holt."
"Has he spotted you?"
"No. And he only stopped once for gas and I never got out of the car because I didn't want to lose him. Now I really gotta go."
"I see. Well, call back."
"One more thing. Can I use the Agency credit card to get a few things to wear? People keep asking me for drinks."
"Go ahead," Laura tells her.
"Okay." She hangs up.
Laura hangs up as well. "What is it?" Steele asks.
"Grogan's in Las Vegas."
"Las Vegas?" Steele repeats. "Well, look on the bright side, Laura. He could have gone to Bakersfield."
At the offices of Vigilance Insurance, Everett is talking to his boss, trying to explain. "And so, Mr. Capstone, both Mr. Steele and I believe he have Grogan exactly where we want him."
Across the room, a bald man, wearing an ill-fitting suit, cigar in hand, laughs in disbelief.
Everett and Capstone turn to look at him. Capstone asks, "Something amuses you, Mr. Keyes?"
"Well, I was just wondering- how're you gonna list the loss of a hundred and fifty thousand dollars on the stock holders' report?" Keyes asks.
Capstone winces at that thought. Everett is angry. "I just finished telling you the money isn't lost! It's merely shifted locations."
Keyes stands up. "Look, come on. This whole thing stinks to high heaven!" he declares, going to stand before the boss's desk. "All of a sudden this- Steele pops up out of nowhere and feeds you a cock and bull story about some cheap grifter name of Eddie Grogan being the mastermind behind a two and a half million burglary, and you fall for it?"
"Remington Steele did not pop out of nowhere," Everett insists. "His reputation is impeccable."
"Grow up, Blaisdale," Keyes says. "At rock bottom, every human being is a greedy, larcenous louse. I just haven't figured Steele's angle. YET."
Capstone asks, "Are you saying that Steele is somehow connected with the theft?"
"I'm saying what I said from the beginning," Keyes reminds him, sitting down again. "This whole thing has the aroma of an inside job." Capstone sits back. "That's the angle I was on when Steele waltzed in here with his dazzling smile, and his four hundred dollar suit and he convinces Mr. Harvard MBA over here that he has all the right answers."
"I see no reason to bring personalities into this, Keyes," Everett insists, removing his glasses as he speaks.
"Don't take this personally, Blaisdale. But in this business, the biggest obstacle to knowledge is a formal education. You know, I don't dress like a fashion plate, and maybe I never went to college, but lemme tell you something. I know my job. And I'm damn good at what I do."
"I assume you have a point here, Keyes," Capstone asks, sounding as if he's heard all of this before.
"I trust this," Keyes says, pointing at his nose. "And it tells me that Steele's involvement in all of this has a very definite- shall we say- fragrance." Capstone looks thoughtful. "You put me back on the job, I'll get to the truth."
Everett turns to his boss. "I realize I haven't a lot of experience, sir, but I have implicit faith in Mr. Steele-I believe he should be allowed to continue on the case."
Keyes grunts doubtfully. "It's your call, Mr. Capstone."
"Yes. So it is. Gentlemen, I've reached a decision. Mr. Steele may proceed. AND- I'm putting you back on the case, Keyes."
"Bold move," Keyes says, turning to leave the room.
Keyes goes to Steele's apartment and picks the lock to get inside after no one answers his knock. Inside, he looks around, finds a note pad beside the phone with the words, "Fl 432 Air Vegas 12:20" written on it. Carefully, he tears the paper free, and goes toward the bedroom.
He goes to the dresser and opens the doors, then removes a drawer, dumping it onto the bed and goes through it. He repeats that with a second drawer. This time, he gets lucky. Steele's passports are there. Keyes picks them up and looks at them, then picks up the phone and calls a number. "Betty . . . honey, put me on the next flight to Vegas. And listen, honey, this is important. Run the following names through the computer. I want every data source tapped. You ready? . . . Michael O'Leary, Ireland. John Morrell, France. Douglas Quintain, England. Paul Fabrini, Italy. And Richard Blaine, Australia . . . Hmm? No, honey, it's all the same guy . . . And I got a feeling his traveling days are over." He hangs up the phone.
A man stands angrily. "This is what you came to tell me?" he asks. "I expect a check You come here empty handed and tell me you're not paying me for my jewels?"
A woman watches as Everett tries to explain. "Mr. Murdock, -"
"Cause it's funny your company expects me to pay my premiums on time. It doesn't work both ways, does it?"
"We a lead-"
"Now, it's my understanding, when insured merchandise is stolen, the insurance company has an obligation to pay off."
The woman says, "Let the man speak, Bradford."
Everett gives her a grateful look. "Thank you, Mrs. Murdock. Our first priority in cases like this is to try to recover the stolen goods. Now, Mr. Murdock, you want your jewels back, don't you?"
Murdock is still angry, but nods his head. "Oh, absolutely," his wife answers verbally. "They have a great sentimental value. To ME at least. Don't mind Mr. Murdock. He's just being a grump because the stock market's down."
"Nonsense. This is a matter of principal," Murdock insists. "As a stock broker, if I ran my company the way you run yours, I'd be sent to jail."
Mrs. Murdock looks at Everett. "Please continue, Mr. Blaisdale."
"We suspect the thief is in Las Vegas. Right now, the best detective in Los Angeles, Remington Steele, is there, tracking him down. With luck, you'll have your jewels back in a day or two."
"That's wonderful," Mrs. Murdock says.
"Right. And the moon is made of green cheese," Murdock says. "Your company just doesn't want to pay off," he accuses. He looks at his wife. "Would you please see him out?" He sits down at the desk.
"I'll get back to you when we have further news," Everett tells him as he stands to leave.
"Right. Sure." Once he's alone, Murdock gets out an address book and finds a number, then picks up the phone. "Yeah, when is your next flight to Las Vegas? . . . Oh, fine. Book me on that, please? . . . Johnson. Charles Johnson . . . Thank you very much." He hangs up and gets a gun out of the desk, checking it for bullets.
Remington, wearing a beige jacket and smoking on a cigar, is behind the wheel of a bright, red Corvette. Laura, her window down, is casually waving the smoke aside with her hand.
"Did you *have* to rent the most expensive car the had?" she asks, obviously upset.
"Image, Laura, image!" he reminds her. "Las Vegas, home of the high roller! And I'm Reggie Whitewood, remember? Profligate wastrel? Hm!"
"The role suits you," she reluctantly admits. " Incidentally, once we *find* Grogan, how do you intend to get him to lead us to the jewels?"
Ignoring her question, he quickly asks, " Have you noticed the way this car hugs the turns?" Then to prove his point, he takes the next corner on 2 screeching wheels.
The Corvette pulls into the Desert Inn. The parking valets open the doors and Steele, wearing his sunglasses, gets out from behind the wheel, cigar in still in his mouth. "Thank you," he tells the man. "Thank you indeed. Here you go. Something for your troubles, my man," eh says, handing the valet a tip. He goes around to where a frowning Laura is waiting. "Lovely day," he says to the second Valet. "There you go, sunshine," he says, handing out another bill. "Have a nice day. Mind the car, please. Mind the car."
Laura's frown deepens. "What are you doing?" she asks.
"Image, Laura," he tells her softly. "Image, image. Com'on." Laura slowly follows him into the hotel. He slaps the desk. "Yes. Good day, young man."
"May I help you sir?" the clerk asks.
"Is the Presidential Suite available?" Steele asks.
"Yes sir," the young man says eagerly.
Laura jumps in front of Steele. "Excuse me. How much is the Presidential Suite?"
"Laura, Laura, Laura," Steele hastens to interrupt. "Please, please. Proceed, good man. The name's Reggie Whitewood. Reggie Whitewood," he repeats, peeling off some money to hand the clerk. "And- here is- something for your trouble."
"Thank you, sir. And- enjoy your stay, sir."
Steele and a stunned Laura turn toward the casino. "Don't mention it. Good day, now," Steele tells him.
His arm is around Laura. "You've gone insane," she declares.
"Laura, when you're a hundred and fifty thousand dollars in the hole, what's another few thousand more or less?" he asks. He's about to put the cigar back into his mouth when he stops, a look of disbelief on his face.
"Dear God," Laura sighs, putting a hand on his chest. "What's that?"
A smiling Mildred, now wearing a white, faux fur stole and matching hat, with rhinestone trimmed sunglasses, approaches them. "Hi, kids!" she says.
"A FEW things, Mildred?" Laura asks, examining the cape.
"Some disguise, huh? It worked like a charm. I've been around Grogan all morning and he hasn't suspected a thing."
"Inconspicuous is what comes to mind, Mildred," Steele comments.
"You like the fur, Chief?" she asks.
"Oh, I love it. Love it."
"Looks real, doesn't it?" she asks.
"You've both gone insane!" Laura declares. "Where's Grogan?"
Mildred turns, points to a crap table. "He was at that crap table just a few minutes ago."
Steele groans. Laura takes a deep breath. "All right. Let's- split up."
They go in three different directions. Mildred finds herself at a slot machine and finds a coin in the drawer. She puts it into the slot and pulls the arm. When it doesn't pay off, she says, "Swindler!" and hits the machine.
Steele moves through the casino, looking around.
Laura is looking as well, until she hears her name called. "Laura Holt?"
"Yes?" She turns to find Keyes there, holding his identification.
"Norman Keyes. Vigilance Insurance. Could I speak to you for a few minutes?"
"Well, I'm rather-"
"It's about your boss," he tells her.
Laura looks at him. "What about him?"
"He's a fraud."
They go to a table in the bar. Keyes is smoking his cigar, blows the smoke in her face. "The smoke bother you?" he asks.
Laura waves her hand. "Not as much as you do," she tells him.
"Well, I have that effect on people," he admits. "I think it's generic. How well do you know Remington Steele?"
"I've been with him since- um, he formed the Agency."
"Did the name Michael O'Leary ever pop up in conversation?"
Laura thinks. "Who's Michael O'Leary?"
"He is. Under that name, he stole a painting called the 'Five Nudes of Cairo'."
Laura laughs. "That's absurd."
"What about Richard Blaine? That ring any bells?"
"It does with the Mexico City police. Under that name, he's wanted in connection with the theft of some jewels called the Marchesa Collection."
"Now where did you GET this stuff?"
"Your boss has more aliases than a phone book. The deeper I dig, the dirtier he gets."
"Not that I believe any of this, but- what made you pick up the shovel in the first place, Keyes?" Laura asks him. "You get your kicks rolling in the mud?"
"Your boss stepped on my toes. Taking the Murdock case away from me was a mistake. Because it made me angry. And that made me think-and the more I thought, the more things didn't add up."
"Now wait a minute. Mr. Steele is trying to recover the Murdock jewels for your company."
"Oh, IS he now?" Keyes wonders.
"So that's what this is about. You think Mr. Steele is in on the robbery."
"Honey, right now, you're so clean, people could eat off you. But longer you stick with him, the grimier you get."
"You're not really interested in Mr. Steele's alleged past, are you? You want the jewels."
"And the thieves," Keyes reminds her.
"And if I can convince you that Mr. Steele had nothing to do with the robbery, if in fact, Mr. Steele can deliver you the goods-"
"I'll walk away a happy man," he tells her.
"Come on, Keyes," she says. "I'm gonna make you so happy, you're gonna hate yourself." She blows his cigar smoke away from her as they get up. Keyes gives a cackling laugh.
Steele is searching when he hears noise from a table and sees a flushed, triumphant Eddie standing there, several piles of chips before him. He picks up the dice. "Okay, baby. Eight straight passes." He holds them out to a red haired woman. "Blow on em, sweetheart."
"Good luck," she says, blowing.
Eddie tosses the dice. The gathered crowd groans. "Three! Craps!" the attendant says.
Steele closes his eyes in dismay. Eddie's lady friend gives him a disgusted look and walks away. He watches as they pull his chips away. "Good bye," he says, and shrugs.
As he moves away, two men stop him. "Having a good time, Eddie?" one of them asks.
"Hi, fellas," Eddie says, looking nervously at them.
Steele sees this take place and follows them. The two men take Eddie out through a rear exit. "What's this all about?" Eddie asks.
"You lied to Mr. Smith," they tell him, throwing him against a stair railing and start pounding him.
Steele comes out. "I say, old chaps, what seems to be the problem, eh?" he asks, causing them to stop.
They tell him to get lost, but Steele throws a punch at one of the men, and Eddie disables the other. They take off running. "What're you doing here?" Eddie asks as they walk quickly down the street.
"Looking for action," Steele tells him.
"I guess you found it, hmm?"
"Who were those fellows?"
"They work for a friend of mine."
"Well, it's actually an acquaintance. Must be some misunderstanding." He looks at a building. "Hey. Let's go in here where the air's a little more unhealthy."
Inside, a man who sound like and looks like an overweight Sinatra is singing onstage. "Uncanny similarity," Steele notes.
"Sonny's got everything but Sinatra's salary," Eddie tells him as they weave through the tables.
"Colourful community, Edward. You come here often?"
"Everytime I have a few bucks."
"I see. Well, in that case, perhaps I could entice you into another game of poker."
"Hey," Eddie says, stopping at a table. "I owe ya."
"Uh-huh." Steele sits down as well.
"But I'm tapped out."
"You- uh- you mean to say the hundred and fifty thousand-"
"Que sera sera," Eddie tells him.
Steele grins tightly. "Lovely sentiment. Yes. Listen, Edward, what about your- collateral?"
"Can't get my hands on it right now," Eddie tells him.
"Look, Edward, old man, I don't mean to appear dense, but last night, you told me you could take me right to it."
"Well, I exaggerated."
"You mean you lied."
"Only if I lost," Eddie says.
Steele grins. "Tell me, Edward, did you ever HAVE any collateral?"
"Are you kidding? The stuff I had was worth a couple of mil at least. But I hocked it."
"You- hocked it," Steele repeats.
"I needed cash for the table. You see, there's this guy in town, he's kinda like a pawn broker. When you run out of legitimate credit, you take whatever you can get your hands on to him, no questions asked. You got ten days to redeem it before he sells it. I got thirty grand for my stuff," he confides.
"You got- thirty grand?" Steele says, covering his face.
"It IS hot," Eddie admits.
Steele leans closer. "Look, Edward, if this- stuff you have-is as valuable as you say it is, I can get a lot more than thirty grand for it."
"Now, of course, we'll have to- redeem it first, you know."
"Well, that'll only take fifty thou."
"Well, the guy's entitled to make a profit, isn't he?"
"Who is this we're talking about, Edward?"
"Name's Seymour Smith. Works out of a suite at the Nugget. Fifty thou for a high roller like you, that isn't a problem is it?"
Steele shrugs. "I spend as much as that a week on tips, you know?" he says with a laugh.
Eddie laughs and holds out his hand. "Put 'er there, partner."
"Yes, well, may we each get exactly what we deserve."
Laura and Keyes are walking around town. "This has been a lovely walking tour of Vegas, Miss Holt, but it appears your boss has put one over on you."
"I told you, Mr. Steele is somewhere on Grogan's trail. He's as bent on finding those jewels as you are," she insists. "I pity Grogan if he holds back on Mr. Steele this time. The Boss will turn him inside out," she declares as they enter a building.
Across the room of the building they enter, Steele and Eddie are sitting, laughing about something. Laura and Keyes see them immediately. "Steele certainly is giving him a hard time, huh?" Keyes observes dryly.
Laura glowers. "Why that treacherous snake," she says. "All right, Keyes. How do we nail him?"
In their suite at the DI, Steele is saying to Laura, "I can't BELIEVE what I'm hearing! You told Keyes that you'd help trap me?!"
"What was I supposed to tell him?" Laura asks. "That you WERE a thief? And you ARE a fraud?"
"Good point. Well, so much for the truth. Time for Plan B."
He stands there, thinking. "Treachery and deceit. The hounds want a fox to chase, we shall provide one. I'll get Keyes out of your hair while you move on to the next phase of our master plan." He's thoughtful again.
"And what's that, she asked with a feeling of impending doom?"
"Raising fifty thousand dollars," he tells her.
Laura looks at him as though he's gone crazy. "Fifty thousand dollars?"
"Ah, well, a mere bagatelle, Laura, considering what it will buy for us. Murdock's jewels, Grogan, a finders' fee- and- AND- our reputations restored."
"We already owe the insurance company one hundred fifty thousand dollars!" she reminds him, moving from the bedroom.
Steele follows her. "I know."
"This suite, your car, and Mildred's outfit put us back another small fortune-"
"I know," he says again, trying to placate her.
"And now you want fifty thousand dollars MORE?"
"Laura, Laura, will you listen for heaven's sake? Grogan gave the jewels to a quasi-pawnbroker. We have to get them out of hock."
"Why don't you steal the damn things back?" Laura asks, looking in her purse.
"I'm absolutely shocked!" he declares. "Actually, I thought about it, but it's a bit too risky. Anyway, I told Grogan I'd meet him tonight at six to reclaim the jewels."
"Six?" Laura asks as Steele sits down. "Couldn't you make it a little later?
"No. He has to go out of town. And besides that, he's got two rather nasty characters after him. Now, I've had Mildred draw up our financial situation." He leans over and calls. "Mildred? Will you come in here, please?"
"Yes, Mr. Steele?" she says, carrying a notepad with her.
"Mildred, will you explain to Miss Holt our financial situation here?"
She smiles. "Total assets of the Agency top out at seventy-two thousand. Or thereabouts."
"See?" Steele says, smiling. "We can swing it."
"And how much can we get our hands on by, say, six o'clock tonight?" Laura asks.
Mildred's smile falters. "Quick current assets? Three thousand four hundred and twenty."
"Not exactly what I'd call bullish," Laura comments. "All right, all right, all right. Everybody, empty your pockets."
"What?" Mildred asks.
"Just do it." Steele digs into his pockets, frowning. "It's time for the old math major to go to work. Mildred, I want you to run down to the newsstand and get me book on casino odds." She takes their money. "I need to refresh my memory."
"Well, I need a coupla bucks."
"Charge it to the room, I need every cent," Laura tells her. Mildred leaves.
"This time, I would rather face the odds than Vigilance Insurance if we don't get these jewels back. Now, if you have any better suggestion, I'd be glad to hear it," she tells him, going toward the bedrooms. Steele sits there, a bit down. Laura turns. "All right. What do we do about Keyes?"
In the lobby, a bellhop calls, "Call for Mr. Norman Keyes. Mr. Norman Keyes. Call for Mr. Keyes-"
Keyes appears. "Here you go. I'm Keyes."
"Okay, sir, you can take your call right here, sir," he says, pointing to a house phone.
Keyes picks up the phone. "Keyes here."
Laura, money in hand, tells him, "Holt."
"What've you got for me?"
"He's on his way down," she tells him. "Called for his car. He wouldn't say where he's going. But I've got a feeling it's important."
Keyes looks around. "All right, I got him. We'll talk later." He hangs up as Steele passes him, and then he follows Steele.
Laura hangs up, smiling. She counts the money as Mildred comes in with some books. "I got you a few," she tells Laura.
Laura hands her the money. "One hundred and eighty six dollars and twenty three cents. It's not much of a stake, but it's better than nothing."
"Are you sure you know what you're doing?" Mildred asks her.
Laura's looking at the books. "Of course not, Mildred, but when has that stopped us before?"
Mildred nods in agreement. "Good point."
Steele gets into into the Vette and speeds off as Keyes jumps into a taxi and tells the driver, "All right. We're trailing that Corvette, only we don't want him to know he's being trailed. Got it?"
"Yes sir," the driver says with a smile and puts the car into gear.
They follow the Vette through town.
In the casino, Laura studies the book once more, then puts it into her pocket. "I think I'm ready."
"Oh, Miss Holt, remember what happened to me in Cannes? Maybe we should-"
"My chips, Mildred," she says. Mildred hands them to her, and Laura sits at the Black Jack table. She looks at her first cards. "Hit." She gets a King. She turns over her two hold cards.
"You hit on sixteen?" Mildred asks.
"You can stay on one condition, Mildred."
"You have to shut up."
Keyes follows Steele through the desert. "What do they call this part of town?" Keyes asks the driver.
"The desert," he replies.
Laura is doing better now. She's winning. "You are the coolest cucumber I've ever seen," Mildred tells her. "You're fantastic."
Laura smiles. "I have a mathematical appreciation for the game, Mildred. I don't understand the emotional component." She checks her watch. "Well, this has been very profitable, but it's moving much too slowly." She gets up. "Collect the chips, Mildred."
Mildred takes one and tosses it toward the dealer. "Here you go, Tim."
Laura catches it in mid air. "Sorry. We need every sou. Catch you later." She wanders off as Mildred picks up the chips.
At Hoover Dam, Steele uses the telescope viewer as Keyes and the cabbie wait.
"We're up to sixty five dollars, sir," the cabbie tells Keyes.
"I can read. And quit calling me sir."
The cabbie rolls his eyes.
Mildred is watching a baccarat game as Laura looks at the book again. "You don't know this game, Miss Holt. I played Baccarat for twelve straight hours in Cannes. Won and lost tens of thousands of dollars, and I STILL don't know the first thing about it."
Laura tells her, "It's very simple, Mildred. You either bet on the player or you bet on the bank. It appears there's all there is to it." She closes the book. "I'm game." She holds out her hand for some chips, and hands Mildred the book. Laura goes down to join the game.
Steele pulls the Vette into the Hoover Dam Gift shop and gets out, checking his watch. He kicks the tires. Inside, he buys something. "That'll be a dollar," the clerk tells him.
Steele gives him the money as Keyes gets out of the taxi. Keyes enters the shop and looks around. Steele's not there. "Is there a back door here?" he asks the clerk.
"Uh, yes, sir. Right through there."
Steele pulls away in the Vette, and the chase is back on. "He drove all the way to Hoover Dam to buy POST CARDS?" Keyes says aloud as he realizes that they're heading back toward Vegas once more.
It's dark when Steele pulls the Vette back in at the DI. He gets out and rushes inside. There, he hears a commotion going on at the crap table, and watches as an excited Laura argues with Mildred. "Mildred! Don't hold me up! Put it back down there!"
"Laura," Steele says, worried, as he starts toward them
"Put everything behind the pass line, Mildred," Laura tells her.
"Oh, Miss Holt! That's thirty thousand dollars!" Mildred says.
"Come on, Mildred, don't hold me up! Put it out there!"
"Laura!" Steele tries again, but she's so caught up that she doesn't hear him over the crowd.
Laura throws the dice. She hits.
"Laura!" Steele calls, and a man stops him.
"Hey! Don't interrupt her now. She's held the dice for fifteen minutes! It's the best streak I've ever seen!"
Steele pushes through the crowd to get beside Laura, grabbing her Laura's raised hand before she can throw the dice again. "Laura. Laura, stop, please!"
"Let me go! What are you doing?" Laura demands, struggling to free herself.
"Just please stop! Mildred, how much are we ahead?" he asks.
"Sixty thousand?" Laura tries to get loose to throw again, but he stops her. "Laura, please! You don't know what you're doing! You can stop! Laura, you don't know what you're doing. You need sleep. You don't understand!"
"Sleep is for cowards!" She yells, biting him on the arm in an attempt to free herself.
"Don't bite me, Laura!" He pries the dice from her fist. "The lady retires!" he tells the attendant. "The lady retires! Good night!" He hoists her over his shoulder, carrying her away. Mildred gathers the chips.
"NO!" Laura keeps yelling as Steele gets her out of the casino and away from temptation.
Later, in a quiet part of the casino, Steele looks around, then sits beside a quiet, subdued Laura. He's got a briefcase with him. "Grogan's late," he comments.
"I owe you an apology," Laura tells him.
"I acted quite unprofessionally a few minutes ago."
"Well, it's only natural, Laura. You were on a fantastic streak."
"I embarrassed myself."
Steele smiles. "You're remarkable. You save our hides by parlaying a pocketful of change into sixty thousand dollars, and then you get upset because you get a little carried away."
"I was willing to risk everything on the next roll," Laura tells him, as if she can't quite believe that she acted that way.
"It just makes you human, Laura. Appealingly human."
Eddie is on his way to meet Steele when Murdock stops him. "Hello, Grogan."
Murdock opens his jacket to reveal a gun and indicates that Grogan should come with him. They go outside, and Murdock shoves Grogan into an alley. "You were supposed to return the jewels, now where are they?"
"Well, you owe me ten grand," Eddie reminds him.
"You're a prize. You double cross me and you still want the rest of your money?" He grabs Eddie's lapels. "Listen to me. You miserable twerp. You're lucky I don't blow your worthless head off! I want the jewels!"
"I haven't got 'em," Eddie says. Murdock pulls the gun and shoves it against Eddie's chest. "But I can get 'em," he says.
Steele is pacing, carrying the briefcase, and looking for Eddie. "Well," he tells Laura. "Perhaps I should visit his pawn broker myself."
Laura sees Keyes in the crowd. "I think the issue just became moot," she tells him, jerking her head in Keyes' direction.
Steele turns, looks at Keyes, and then goes off in one direction while Laura goes another. Keyes follows Laura. "Holt!"
"Mr. Keyes! Where've you been? I thought you-"
"Never mind that. Was that Steele just now?"
"I tried to stall him," Laura says.
"Hey, come on. If we hurry, we can follow him. I can feel the noose tightening." They take off.
In a hotel suite, an overweight man answers the telephone. "Smith."
Grogan is watching Murdock talk on the phone. "Mr. Smith, I'm a blackjack dealer over the DI. Word's out that you're looking for Eddie Grogan."
"Well, I'm eyeballing him right now," Murdock says, straightening Eddie's tie. "And he's spending dough like a crazy man."
"You drop by tomorrow. There'll be something for you," Smith promises.
"Thank you, sir." Murdock hangs up and he and Eddie leave.
Smith turns to his goons. "Grogan's at the DI," he tells them. They leave as he looks at some jewelry in his hands.
The goons leave the hotel, and Murdock and Eddie come out of hiding. They go up to Smith's suite, and Murdock pulls a gun on Smith. "Eddie?" Smith asks, "What's this all about?"
"The jewels," Murdock says.
"The jewels? You're kiddin' Eddie," Smith says, still not talking directly to Murdock. "Come on, this is a gag, huh?"
"Get them," Murdock says.
"Mister, you gotta be crazy. Those jewels are-"
"I know all about them," Murdock tells him. "Get them!"
Smith turns to the safe. "You and your pal are dead, Grogan. You know that, don't you?" He opens the safe, and pulls out a briefcase using it as a weapon to slam Murdock's gun away. Murdock falls, Eddie grabs the briefcase and takes off with it before Smith or Murdock knows what's happened.
As Eddie runs down the hall to the stairs, two shots are heard, and then Murdock follows Eddie down the hallway and through the stairway door- just as the elevator deposits Steele on the floor.
Steele finds the door open. "Mr. Smith?" he calls, and enters, then finds Smith's body on the carpet. He sees that the safe is open, then goes over to the body. He's kneeling beside it when he hears someone else.
"Well, well," Keyes says, holding a gun on Steele, who comes to his knees, hands up. Laura's right beside Keyes.
"This- doesn't look good," Steele agrees.
"Call the police," Keyes tells Laura. She hesitates. "The longer you wait, Miss Holt, the more I'm gonna think you're part of this."
"Yeah," Steele says, looking at the body, obviously trying to come up with an explanation. "Well-"
Laura picks up the phone and moves close to Keyes. She lifts the receiver and clonks Keyes on the head, knocking him out. "I have one piece of advice for you, Mr. Steele."
"RUN!" she says, Steele takes off, and she checks Keyes before following him.
Downstairs, Murdock is looking for Eddie, who's working his way through the casino. Steele sees Eddie first, across a row of slot machines. "Eddie!" he calls. Eddie looks at him, frightened. "Eddie, what happened?" he asks. "Eddie?!"
Murdock hears Steele and sees them. Eddie realizes that Murdock's too close and tosses the briefcase over the machines at Steele. "Here, Reggie, they're all yours!"
"What?" Steele says, holding the case as Eddie takes off. "Damn you! Grogan, come back here! Eddie!"
Murdock puts a gun into Steele's back. "Give it to me!" he says.
"What the hell do you want? Steele asks.
"My case," he says, grabbing one of the briefcases that Steele's holding and then he takes off with it.
Eddie almost runs into Smith's two goons as they're returning from the DI, and heads back toward the casino.
Murdock gets outside and opens the case to inspect the jewelry, and finds that the case contains money instead. "Wrong case!" he says, dropping it to the sidewalk. The wind blows the money everywhere, and passersby start picking it up.
Laura sees Keyes approaching Steele. "Steele! Steele!" he says, grabbing Steele's arm as Smith's men chase Eddie around the corner. "You shouldn't have killed Smith." The men stop, with one of them holding onto Eddie's coat. "Steele, you're goin' away for a long time."
"He killed Seymour?" one of the goons asks Eddie.
"That's right! He shot him!"
The goons forget Eddie and toss Keyes aside to go after Steele. Laura pushes one of them into a black jack table. Eddie grabs the briefcase from a dazed Keyes, and takes off. Keyes follows him. Murdock follows the two of them.
Outside, the money is still being picked up. Laura and Steele come out, and freeze in shock. "Oh my GOD!" she cries. She tries to get some of it back, and as they work through the crowd to find the empty case, Steele picks it up. "Well, easy come, -," Laura says sadly.
They see Keyes chasing Eddie. He makes a flying tackle, sending both men to the tiles. Keyes gets up, grabbing the case. "Okay, Eddie. Looks like these jewels are goin' back where they belong," he says, slapping Eddie as he gets up.
"That's right," Murdock says from behind them, holding the gun. "And with you two finally gone, that'll be the end of it." He starts to fire, but Steele grabs his arm and raises it, foiling his attempted murder of Keyes and Eddie.
Sonny is singing "Come Fly With Me" as Steele, Laura, Mildred and Keyes listen. Mildred's looking at the jewels in the open case, holding a necklace. "They're - really paste?" she asks.
Keyes takes the necklace from her and puts it back into the case. "Absolutely."
"This whole thing was about fake jewels?" Mildred asks.
"It turns out Murdock had been doing some heavy gambling of his own, Mildred," Laura explains. "Speculating in the commodities market."
"And so, to cover his losses," Steele adds, "he sold the original jewelry and replaced it with paste. So that neither his wife nor anyone else would suspect that he was in trouble."
"When things got worse," Laura says, "Murdock hired Grogan to steal the jewels for the insurance money."
"Yeah," Keyes agrees. "But he didn't tell Grogan the jewels were fake. He just gave him instructions on how to pull off the robbery-and told him, just return the stuff the next day."
"But Grogan," Mildred realizes, "thinking that they were real, double crossed Murdock."
"Right," Steele says. "So, he gave them to Smith to hold for thirty thousand dollars, Smith took a closer look at them, and thought that Eddie was trying to double cross him."
"Murdock came to Las Vegas, because he'd be ruined if the fakes were recovered," Laura explains.
"So, Smith lost his life for paste jewelry," Steele notes.
Keyes stands. "I gotta get back to the home office. Incidentally, I spoke to our president Mr. Capstone. He said since you saved us a two and a half million dollar pay out, you can forget the hundred and fifty thousand you owe us.
Laura's relieved and delighted by this news. "Oh," Mildred says. "What about the finder's fee?" she asks.
"Finder's fee? What? On paste?" Keyes pulls a necklace out and hands it to Steele. "A momento." Steele takes it. "Are you a betting man?" he asks Steele.
"Um, Miss Holt's the gambler of the organization," Steele tells him. Laura grins.
"Well, I'll be willin' to lay you odds, I'll be seein' you again, Steele." They shake hands. "Or whoever you are." He leaves, laughing his trademark cackling laugh.
"What did he mean by that?" Mildred asks Steele, who looks warily after Keyes.
"Umm? Oh, every good detective has many faces, Mildred," he explains as Laura smiles. "Many."
Mildred gets up, grabbing her fur and cap. "That's it."
"Where are you going?" Laura asks.
"To cry. We had all that money," she says sadly.
"Well, we still have about- ten thousand dollars left over," Laura tells Steele. "Which should just about cover our Las Vegas expenses. Steele is examining the necklace Keyes left for him.
Sonny starts singing "Street of Dreams".
Steele and Laura listen for a moment. "Colourful community, Miss Holt," Steele tells her. "Shall we?"
They leave the club and start walking in the cool desert breeze. Steele puts a hand into his pocket and comes up with the necklace. "I must say, it looks awfully real, doesn't it?"
"You could probably palm it off on some poor, unsuspecting soul," Laura suggests.
Steele looks at her, then at the necklace before dropping it to the sidewalk. Laura takes his arm as he says, "If I'm not careful, Miss Holt, you could make an honest man of me."
"I'm counting on it, Mr. Steele," she replies, as we fade out on the fake necklace laying on the sidewalk, and in the distance, Steele and Laura, arm-in-arm to the strains of Sonny Averona, singing "Street of Dreams".