- Dreams of Steele
from the episode written by:
- Brian Alan
- A well to do gathering late on a
Los Angeles evening. Photographers take photos of the well-dressed
men and women as they enter a building.
Inside a hotel banquet room, a spectacular dinner is taking place.
A banner hung across the room proclaims" The Society for
American Heroes Honor . . . Remington Steele". Flowers are
everywhere, and on the stage behind the podium is a full size
cardboard cut out of Steele in a tux.
As the dinner ends, Laura, wearing an evening dress, turns to
Remington as he looks at the slips of paper he's just pulled
from his pocket. A man is heading toward the podium.
"Looks like you're about to go up, Mr. Steele," Laura
tells him. "Have your remarks ready?"
He smiled. "Indeed, Miss Holt. I thought I might talk about
how I handled the Andreas affair. You know, a cuckolded husband,
a mysterious woman in a wet suit, death by cattle prod . . ."
Laura looks furious. "The Andreas affair?! You actually
intend to go up there and take credit for the fact that I had
to climb fifteen stories up and elevator shaft to find the murder
weapon while you were out dining on a yacht at a part thrown
in YOUR honor?!"
"You wouldn't say that if you'd been on that yacht, Laura,"
he tells her. "Some of the worst veal marsala I've ever
The man gets everyone's attention. "Ladies and gentlemen,
it gives me the greatest of pleasure to introduce to you our
newest American Hero- Remington Steele!"
The crowd rises, applauding, as Steele comes up to the microphone.
He lifts his hands for them to be seated, and the room falls
silent. "Thank you. Thank you so much indeed. Rather than
bore you with my tired anecdotes, I thought I might field a question
or two . . ." A woman, dripping with gems, lifts her hand,
and Steele points to her. "Yes, Madame?"
"Mr. Steele, in one of your early cases, you were hired
to protect the rarest gems in the world - - -," she begins.
"Ah, yes. You refer to the stones of South African Royal
Lavulite. Stones so blue, it is said that they were once pieces
of the sky . . ." Steele recalls.
"Whatever happened to that assistant of yours? The one who
nearly bungled the job? Miss- Bolt, wasn't it? Nora Bolt?"
Laura is beginning to fume. "I trust you encouraged her
to find another line of work . . ."
"Alas, she still works for me, Madame," Steele informs
the woman. "Because, there, but for the grace of God, go
The audience begins to applaud, but Laura has had MORE than enough
as she leaps to her feet. "That's IT! I've heard more than
enough!" She elbows Steele aside. "You see this man?
This- so-called "Remington Steele"?" Steele tries
to grab the mike from her, but she angrily slaps his hand away,
leaving him to look worriedly at the two policemen on either
side of him. "Well, take your LAST look at him. Because
he's a paper hero!" She turns to the cut out and pokes her
fist through the face, knocking it out. "The man's a fraud!
A common thief, a scoundrel who stepped into our lives two years
ago with the sole intent of STEALING the Royal Lavulite that
I had been hired to PROTECT!" She motions to the two officers.
"Cuff him!" she orders.
The woman asks, "But, then, where's the REAL Remington Steele?"
Laura turns the cut out around, revealing a life-sized cut out
of Laura, the hole in the top above her head. "You're LOOKIN'
at her! "Remington Steele" was a name I invented to
make the public think that they'd hired a big, strong MAN to
handle their cases." She looks at the cops again. "Take
They lead him away, as he frowns in her direction. The crowd
rises to its feet, applauding and cheering Laura as we see newspaper
"LAURA HOLT DISARMS TERRORIST BOMB."
"HOLT FOILS ASSASSINATION PLOT".
"HOLT RECOVERS MONA LISA."
A well dressed, obviously successful Laura makes her way through
a crowd of fans, signing autographs, posing for photos, laughing
as she waves and walks off down the street. As she turns a corner,
she finds herself on a nearly deserted, dirty side street.
A dirty, disheveled bum slumps on the curb, bottle of wine hidden
in a brown paper bag, a cigarette butt between his fingers. As
Laura moves past, he looks up, smiling, revealing gaps in his
once perfect teeth. It's Steele, but not the dapper, well-dressed
Steele we know. This man is a pitiful wreck. "Miss Holt,
Miss Holt, Miss Holt." he asks, holding out his hand. "A
quarter for old times' sake, eh?" He's slumping, subservient.
Feeling generous, Laura pulls a quarter from her pocket and flips
it into the air, toward her former "partner". But it
misses the mark, ending up in the storm drain beside Steele.
Laura shrugs and laughs as Steele drops to his knees beside the
drain, trying to retrieve the coin. She slaps his bottom playfully,
then continues on, still laughing delightedly- almost cruelly.
Laura is sleeping on Steele's sofa in his apartment. It's nighttime.
She wakes suddenly, and sees Steele sitting nearby, working on
something inside of a briefcase. He looks up as he realizes she's
awake. "Decided to rejoin us, have you?"
She sits up, still trying to regain her bearings. "How long
was I . . . away?" she asks.
"About an hour. What was so funny?" he questions, taking
a drink of coffee. "You were laughing in your sleep."
Laura frowns as she sits near him. "I was dreaming about
this case," she tells him, coming closer. "Don't you
find it funny that I've put you in charge of protecting the very
jewels you originally came here to steal two years ago?"
His response is less than amused. "Positively side splitting,"
he tells her, returning his attention to the briefcase.
Laura examines it. "You're sure this is gonna be sufficient?"
Steele closes the case. "This briefcase is absolutely impregnable,"
he assures her, thumping it. "Bullet proof, acid proof,
flame proof. The only way in is to use these two latches,"
he tells her, pointing to them. "Each of which has been
set by me to a combination known only TO me."
"And if something were to happen?" she questions.
"Ah," he says, taking another drink. "Anyone attempting
to open the case without the correct combination shall find himself
the recipient of a particularly nasty burst of DC current. About
a thousand volts to be precise . . ."
"Charming. I knew I could count on you, Mr. Steele,"
she says, her arm around him.
"Trust. It's all I've ever wanted, Laura," he tells
her sincerely. "Well, trust - and a new suit every now and
"Then tell me, as your precious Royal Lavulite comes back
into our lives, - Who are you really?"
He looks uncomfortable. "Does that really matter?"
"It matters only that you won't tell me," she says,
rising to pick up her jacket from the back of the sofa. "See
you in the morning."
Steele nods, and sighs in frustration.
The next day, Steele and Laura are with a crowd of people on
the grounds of a lovely mansion. A press conference is taking
place. An elderly, gentleman and an attractive blonde are with
Laura and Steele, as are two security guards. "And now,
ladies and gentlemen," the man says, "my fabulous stones
of "Royal Lavulite"." The crowd oohs and aahs
over the six blue stones as they lay in a small steel box.
Laura gazes at them. "I'd forgotten how beautiful they were,"
she tells Steele.
He's frowning slightly. "I hadn't," he tells her.
A reporter asks the blonde, "Miss Custer, is Constellation
Insurance satisfied with Mr. Steele's security arrangements for
Clarissa Custer answers with a smile. "If we weren't, would
we be insuring them to the tune of three point six million dollars?"
Steele takes the box, posing for a photo, then takes one of the
stones out and views it through a jeweler's loupe. "Like
pieces of the sky," he pronounces. Returning the stone to
the case, he closes it, then watches at Clarissa places a seal
on the latch. Laura hands him the case, and he places it inside,
into the cutout for the box.
He closes the case with a smile as their host tells the reporters,
"That's it. Thank you all so much for coming here to Santa
Barbara. Hope to see you this evening at my "El Diego Hotel"
in Los Angeles, where the stones will go on permanent display."
He looks at Steele. "You take good care of them, now."
Clarissa asks, "Mr. Steele, how are you going to transport
the stones to L.A.?"
Laura jumps in with the answer. "Mr. Steele has the situation
well in hand. To confuse any would be thieves, we've made reservations
on every plane, train, bus and boat leaving this town in the
next three hours."
Mr. Holmes, their host, nods. "Well, good luck, Mr. Steele.
Steele is at the Rabbit when Laura joins him. "So. How ARE
we getting back to L.A.?" she asks. "Airplane?"
He indicates the Rabbit. "Why fly when you can drive? It's
so much closer to the ground."
She's incredulous. "Drive? All the way there? THAT'S your
clever plan? To be sitting ducks on the open road for a hundred
He puts the briefcase into the car. "You coming?" he
asks, getting in as well.
Laura sighs, still uncertain, but goes around to climb in on
the passenger side.
On the highway, Laura has fallen asleep, facing Steele, her head
near the case. She wakes suddenly. "Guess I must have dozed
off," she apologizes, sitting up and stretching.
"It's becoming a habit." He sniffs. "Is that a
new perfume?" he asks.
Laura laughs. "I thought it was you." She sniffs as
well, near the case. "It's on this. It's- kind of nice.
Sort of - musky." Glancing at the mirror, she notices something.
"Those cars been behind us all this time?"
He glances as well. "Not to worry," he assures her,
then floors the pedal, shooting the little car forward- until
he turns off into a construction area that takes them up to the
top of a hill, where road machinery is sitting idle. It looks
like the beginnings of an overpass. Steele parks the Rabbit on
the edge, with a good view of the road below- and the route they
took up there.
Laura gets out of the car, as does Steele. "Nice move,"
Steele lifts a picnic basket from the back seat. "Lunch,
"Indeed, Mr. Steele. I'm famished."
He sets the basket on the hood of the car, opening it. "The
simple plans are always the best. If anyone follows us up here,
we'll know it's a tail. In which case, I've come fully prepared,"
he tells her, showing her the agency gun tucked into his waistband
as he opens a bottle of wine. "And if someone's waiting
up ahead for us, knowing that we're driving the Rabbit, then
he's got a long wait. Because, after lunch, we're going to swap
cars at the car rental agency over there. Of course, I've taken
the liberty of reserving an unassuming domestic sedan in the
name of, uh, Benjamin Pearson." Laura smiles as he hands
her a glass. "Viola. Chin Chin," he toasts. She lifts
"Splendid vintage," she agrees, her eye caught by a
car slowing on the road, possibly heading toward their vantage
point. "Looks like we may have company," she warns.
They both move away from the Rabbit to get a better look at the
green car. Their attention is caught by the sound of heavy machinery,
and they look around to see a bulldozer heading toward the Rabbit.
Steele jumps toward the car, trying to get the briefcase, but
he realizes he can't, and the bulldozer's first hit on the car
sends him rolling off, down the hill. Laura follows him, dragging
them both aside as the Rabbit flips down the hillside to land
upside down, scattering items all over the place.
As soon as she can, Laura grabs Steele's right arm, pulling it
over her shoulder. "Come on. Lean on me," she tells
him, taking him closer to the car, then leaving him to sit down
on the ground as a helicopter rises from behind another hill.
Laura gets onto her hands and knees, searching the wreckage of
her car. "The briefcase isn't HERE!" she tells him.
"It must have been thrown from the car!"
Steele sits, in pain, fretting as she begins searching the area.
"Well, it wasn't out of our sight long enough for someone
to be waiting here to run away with it. Besides, we would have
seen him!" he insists.
She finds it. "Right as usual, Mr. Steele!" she declares,
taking it to him.
"Wonderful. Wonderful," he says, nervous. "What's
the combination?" he asks, drawing a blank.
"I don't know."
"Ah," he says, recalling it and opening the latches.
"Come on, come on, that's it." The box is there, and
as he starts to open the case further, Laura slaps her hand on
"Ah-," she warns.
"Just to be sure," he tells her, taking the steel box
out and inspecting it. "Sealed. Tight." He puts it
back as Laura glances at the car.
She finds a narrow black box with a small antenna on it. Ripping
it from the car's under carriage, she tells Steele, "This
is how they knew where we were. A homing device." She gazes
at the car and at Steele. "I not sure which of you is in
"I am," he declares. "Because I don't understand
why anyone would go to all the trouble to ambush us and then
NOT take the jewels."
"They obviously goofed. They didn't mean to knock the Rabbit
down the hill here."
Remington gets to his feet, finding a sandwich from their lunch.
He takes a bite. "Let's be on our way before they decide
to come back, eh?"
Laura grabs an umbrella from the car and hands it to him. "This
might come in handy," she says.
Steele nods, taking another bite of the sandwich. "I don't
know about you, but violence and destruction gives me a hunger."
Laura and Steele arrive at Holmes' hotel, Steele carrying the
briefcase, and limping, using the umbrella as a cane. Evidently
they're late, and the reporters greet them, as do a worried Holmes
and Clarissa, who has another man with her as well as they wait
on the edge of a lagoon with swans in it.
"Nice of you to show up, Steele," Holmes says snidely.
Clarissa notices Steele's injured forehead and limp. "Are
you two all right?" she asks.
"Flat tire on highway five," Laura explains. "Rolled
right into a ditch," she tells them as Steele opens the
"Just the same, we have a delivery to make, eh, Mr. Holmes?"
"Would you give the stones to Mr. Doke?" Clarissa asks,
indicating the other man. "He's Constellation's jewel appraiser.
He'll authenticate the Royal Lavulite. Just a formality, you
A smiling Steele hands the box to Doke. "I believe you'll
find everything in order," he says, smiling at the reporters.
Doke takes it, examines it. "Seal- intact," he declares,
cutting it off. "Miss Custer, if you please?" Clarissa
unlocks the padlock. He opens the box. "Thank you. There
we are." He picks up the six stones and begins to examine
them using his loupe. He smiles nervously at Steele. "Yes.
Good work, Mr. Steele."
Steele is still posing for the cameras. "Thank you so much.
"Some of the best fakes I've ever seen," Doke says.
"But now, where are the real stones?" Steele doesn't
understand what's being intimated at first. But Laura's eyes
widen. "Mr. Steele," Doke says again, "may I have
the real stones? Your joke's gone far enough."
The words finally sink in. "What are you talking about?
Those ARE the real stones. I checked them myself."
"I've been in this business for forty years, Mr. Steele,"
Doke insists. "I certainly know the difference between Royal
Lavulite and pieces of colored glass."
Holmes is furious. "What are you trying to pull here, Steele?"
"What are YOU trying to pull, Doke?" Steele demands
to know. "Those are the real stones. I'll stake my reputation
"They're garbage and you're a crook," Doke says in
a deadpan voice.
The crowd gasps as Steele grabs for the gems. "Let me see
those," he says. Doke closes his hand, trying to keep the
gems from Steele. They scuffle, and the gems are tossed into
the lagoon behind them.
"What's going on here, Steele?" Holmes demands.
Laura dives into the lagoon, Doke climbs into the water as well,
and both begin diving, trying to retrieve the gems.
"He's lying, Laura," Steele insists.
Clarissa frowns. "Well, there's one sure way to get to the
bottom of this."
Steele glances at her, worried.
Later that night, the lagoon is being drained, and Clarissa is
with Laura, who's now covered with a blanket, and Steele. "I'm
sorry," she tells them. "I'm beginning to feel responsible
for all this."
"How's that?" Steele questions.
"For hiring you. I really thought it would a piece of cake.
Good fee, good PR for your agency. Well, let's just hope there's
been a terrible mistake . . ."
"No mistake," Remington declares. "Doke is doing
"But why?" Clarissa wonders. "What would he hope
to gain? Archie's been with the company for forty years. He's
as loyal as the day is long, and he's a recognized expert in
"So is Mr. Steele," Laura points out.
"I know, but- isn't there any way the stones could have
been switched while you were in transit? Weren't they EVER out
of your sight?"
"Never," Laura and Steele both respond.
"Those ARE the real stones," Steele tells her. "I
promise you that."
A searcher comes out of the lagoon and gives something to Doke,
who's been waiting at the edge. "Miss Custer," he calls.
Clarissa, Laura, and Steele join him. "Would you like to
examine them again?" she asks Doke.
"No need," he says.
Steele grabs his loupe. "May I?" he asks. Clarissa
hands the stones to Steele, who examines them. "Well, Mr.
Doke, it's about time we proved you for the charlatan you are.
As I said, Royal Lavulite, so blue, they're like- pieces- of-the-
. . . " He pauses, swallowing heavily, looking sick.
"Well, Mr. Steele?" Clarissa asks.
He turns to Laura. "Laura, these are fakes," he tells
In a well-appointed back room of a casino, Steele, wearing a
white dinner jacket, is holding the gems. A heavyset Frenchman
says, "So, Remington, they are finally yours."
"And now they're yours, Jacques," he says, but he seems
Jacques examines one of the stones. "Bien. The price- as
we agreed?" Steele nods. "But tell me. All that time
you were in America. I have never known you to take so long to
achieve your objective."
Steele sighs. "There was a woman, Jacques. I was prepared
to forget about the jewels if I could have had her instead. But
a man can only wait so long . . ."
Jacques smiles. "Better the jewels," he says. "They
are always there when you want them. The jewels, they will never
break your heart."
Jacques puts the gems into a black bag and leaves him with a
handshake. Later, Steele is in the casino, watching an attractive
blonde woman deal chemin de fer. So intent is he on her he misses
Laura entering the room. She takes a cigarette from her purse
and comes to lean on his shoulder. "Light?" she asks
He looks at her, lighting the cigarette. She's not the Laura
we know at all. She's wearing a red beret, LOTS of makeup, a
tight striped sweater, black skirt slit to her hip, fishnet stocking
and high heels- and rhinestones. "Long way from home, aren't
you, Miss Bolt? Nora Bolt, isn't it?"
"I've searched the world for you, Mr. Steele," she
tells him, running her hand over his chest. "Venice, Cairo,
Mozambique. But I was always a step behind."
He seems unmoved by her appearance. "Some things never change,
do they?" he asks, returning his attention to the blonde.
Laura breaks down, collapsing to grab his trouser leg, begging.
"Please, Mr. Steele! Please! You're leaving forced me to
re-evaluate my life!" she tells him sobbing. "I realized
that perhaps I was ready to make emotional commitments after
He looks down at her. "And how you?"
"Many times," she confesses, looking at him. "Three
in the last hour, as a matter of fact. But YOU'RE the one I want-
YOU'RE the one I need! Please take me back, Mr. Steele! Take
me back!" She whimpers pathetically.
"There, there, Miss Bolt," he says, handing her his
handkerchief, looking at the blonde again. "Your rhinestones
are getting damp." She rises to her feet, as does the blonde.
Steele puts his arm around the blonde.
Laura wipes her face. "Sorry, Mr. Steele. I don't know what
came over me." She puts the handkerchief back in his pocket.
"I realize now that I'm not worthy of a man like you."
She gives him a kiss. "Please. Accept my apologies."
He wipes his mouth with the handkerchief.
She starts past him, but he stops her. "For old times' sake,
eh, Nora?" he says, placing a quarter into her hand. She
smiles, glances at the blonde, and moves on.
Steele takes the blonde's arm and they move toward the door,
but he pauses and glances back to find Laura laying across a
table in the arms of a sailor, obviously enjoying herself. The
blonde takes his arm and turns him toward the door with a smile
as Laura and her "friend" knocks a bottle from the
table. It crashes to the floor . . .
. . . As Remington hits several garbage cans as he drives the
sedan down a residential street. His head is now bandaged, and
he tries to regain his bearings.
"Are you all right?" Laura asks, concerned.
"Sorry, sorry," he mutters. "Daydreaming."
He gives her a second look, recalling something from his dream.
"About Archie Doke?" she asks.
Steele looks at her again, then concentrates on the problem.
"We know there was no time for the stones to be switched
when we were ambushed," he recalls. "So, somehow, Doke
did it right under our eyes."
"Then why the ambush?"
"Why not? If the ambush succeeds, he gets the stones there
and then. If it fails it becomes a very clever slight of hand
that makes us think we lost the stones there. Ah, but we're a
step ahead of Mr. Doke."
"3906," Laura tells him, and he turns the car into
She gets out of the car, waiting for Steele, who's a bit slower,
thanks to his cane and limp.
They both knock, and when there's no answer, they enter the house.
"Mr. Doke?" Laura calls. "Anybody home?"
She starts looking around, as does Steele.
"I suppose it'd be too much to ask for him to have left
the Lavulite lyin' around," Remington comments.
Laura finds a photograph on the mantle. "Look at this."
It's of Doke and another man sitting beside a pool. "His
son, do you think? Same features."
Steele hands it back to her. "Yes. What say we just wait
for him to come home, and then- wring a confession out of him?"
Laura smiles as she puts the picture back.
They go into the bath, both sniffing. "Do you smell what
I smell?" He asks her.
"The odor that was coming from the briefcase." She
opens the medicine cabinet and locates the bottle with the strange
cologne. Opening it, she winces. "Ugh! No WAY this is a
commercial cologne!" She smells it again.
"Smells like insect repellent."
"We'll have it analyzed," she decides, but before she
can get the lid back on it and into her purse, Steele moves,
knocking her hand, causing her to spill some of it on him. He
frowns at her, as she looks apologetic.
"Nice catch," she comments.
"Easy for you to say."
She puts the cap on the bottle and stuffs it into her purse.
"In spite of the way you smell, at least you can have the
satisfaction of knowing that you were right: our bookworm Mr.
Doke is definitely involved in the disappearance of the jewels."
She heads back toward the living room. "Laura, I repeat,
I still think our best move is to wait until he gets home and
then wring a confession out of him."
Laura opens another door, and freezes. Steele looks inside to
see Archie, dead on the floor, a bottle of pills on the floor
beside him. "Somebody may have already done the wringing
Laura lets Clarissa into Steele's apartment. "Clarissa.
Come on in." Clarissa looks uncertain.
"Thank you. I'm glad I caught you. Your Miss Krebs said
I might find you here."
"I'm glad you came by," Laura begins. "As a matter
of fact-," she's saying as Steele comes from the bedroom,
zipping his pants.
"Ah, Miss Custer."
"Oh. Sorry," Clarissa says, embarrassed. "I hope
I'm not intruding on anything."
"Merely freshening up after a run in with a bottle of toilet
water." He puts on his belt. "Actually, we were just
on our way to see you. Why don't you sit down?"
Clarissa sits, tells them, "I wanted to be face to face
with you-to tell you that, umm, the agency is going to hold up
your fee while they investigate the loss of the jewels,"
she finishes quickly. "And I am truly sorry." Steele
and Laura look at each other. "What did you want to see
"Well, we're convinced that Archie Doke is behind the jewels'
disappearance," Laura tells her.
Clarissa looks upset. "Oh, you haven't heard. The paramedics
received a phone call, an anonymous phone call, a few hours ago.
And they found Archie dead of a heart attack, with an empty bottle
of nitroglycerin pills in his hand. And no sign of the jewels."
Steele looks uncomfortable now.
"Tell us about Archie," Laura asks. "Did he have
"Well, his family WERE his friends. His wife, Evvie, died
about eight months ago. They were married for forty years. And
then there's a son-Todd. A marine biologist. He works at the
"Is there anything on the street about the stones being
moved?" Steele asks her.
"Not so far. We've contacted all the fences that deal in
that kind of merchandise."
"We'll recover the jewels, Clarissa," Laura promises.
"I promise you."
"Well you'd better find the jewels AND the thief, Laura,
or they're going to say that you stole them and then chickened
out and decided to give them back."
Laura and Steele go to the Hayden Institute. There, among the
many fish tanks and buildings, a man is feeding something in
a tank. "Help you?" he asks.
"We're looking for Todd Doke," Laura tells him."
"You may have just missed him," the man says as Steele
looks into the tank. "I saw him about an hour ago. He was
packing up to take a leave of absence. His father just passed
away. Todd's taking the ashes back home to Rhode Island. He expecting
Steele answers as he looks at the sea snakes in the tank. "I'm
sure it must have slipped his mind."
"Yeah. Poor guy. He was so devoted to his dad. His lab's
in there-," he says, pointing toward a building. "He
may still be in."
Steele glances at the tank again. "Attractive creatures,"
he comments. "Reminds me of a woman I used to know in Nice."
Laura glances at him, curious. "Of course, she was blonde."
The man closes the metal grate on the top of the tank. "Well,
I don't know about your woman in Nice, but- one bite from these
guys, and you'd be dead before you can say 'Ouch!'." The
tag on the tank read: SEA SNAKES Hydrophis Cyanocinctus and Enhydrina
As he moves off, Laura asks Steele, "A blonde in Nice?"
"Yes. World class player of chemin de fer."
"And yet you prefer to remain here?" she asks as they
near the building he pointed out.
"Well, like the man says, it's a question of bark versus
"Lest you be fooled, Mr. Steele, I have been known to nip."
He pulls on the door. "One can only hope, Miss Holt."
The door is locked, so Laura keeps watch while he picks the lock.
While she's keeping watch, she sees a helicopter.
"Well, well, well." He joins her. "Why don't you
check out that whirlybird while I see what's in there."
Steele nods. "Won't be a moment," he promises, hobbling
Laura goes down into the building, entering Todd's office. She
finds something in a wastebasket, recognizes the scent, and takes
out her bottle of "cologne" to compare them. There's
a name on the vial from the trash, and after looking at it, she
returns it to the trashcan. She puts the bottle back into her
purse, then leaves it on the desk as she goes to the aquarium
window that looks out into the sea snakes lair. "Ever play
chemin de fer?" she asks them. Looking closer, she spies
a locked box on the bottom of the tank. The fish occasionally
strike at it. Laura smiles, and takes off, leaving her purse
on the desk.
Steele checks out the helicopter, finding it equipped for a search
mission, as Laura goes to the tank. Lifting the grate, she bends
over the tank, taking a net and trying to scoop up the box.
She doesn't see Todd Doke come from another building and push
her into the tank, closing the grate and latching it before taking
off. Laura can't get out of the tank, and starts calling for
Steele enters the lab, looking around. "Laura?" he
calls. He glances at the aquarium, turns his back on it to look
around the room, missing Laura as she grabs the box. She reappears,
but he's looking into the trashcan. When he does glance back
at the window, she's gone again, probably getting air. She bangs
on the glass, but it's too thick to make noise. Steele returns
the vial to the trash, and sits down at the desk to wait for
her to return, putting his injured leg up on the desk, making
himself comfortable. Steele looks at a book, then notices Laura's
purse on the desk. He picks it up, then turns and glances at
the window. Seeing Laura, he jumps up and grabs an axe that is
on the wall, smashing the glass with it.
The room is flooded with water, sea snakes, and Laura, who is
shrieking. Steele rushes to her, leading her out of the room.
In the hall, he says, "Calm down! Are you all right?"
"Oh," she shrieks. "It wasn't a fair fight! They
have more TEETH than I do!"
He takes out his handkerchief, trying to dab her dry. "Well,
I'd say you- you more than held your own, Miss Holt!"
"Better than your blonde in Nice?" she asks.
"What? Oh, this isn't a competition, Laura."
She shoves the box into his hands. "Just open this!"
"Okay," he says, using the end of his cane to break
the latch. Inside, they find a fish head, but no gems.
"I had this great idea that the Royal Lavulite was hidden
"Perhaps it was," he suggests. "In the meantime,
that chopper up there has a tracking device that could have been
used to home in on the Rabbit." He drops the box and they
At the office, Mildred is manning the phones as a deliveryman
waits for her signature. "No problem. I'm sure they'll understand,"
she says into the phone. "Goodbye. Hold please." Steele
and Laura come in, both dripping wet. "Oh, Miss Holt. Miss
Steele. Any luck?" she asks, following them into the office.
"Indeed, Mildred. All of it bad."
"Well, Mr. Apted called and said he'd decided not to hire
private detectives after all, and Mr. Nestor called and said
that maybe it would better for him to hire private detectives
who were less newsworthy. And all the calls holding out there
are pretty much the same. What do I tell them?"
Steele holds up a glass. "Drink, Mildred?"
"Oh, give me a snort of whatever you got. Oh, and this telegram
just came," she starts, holding it toward Steele, but Laura
grabs it out of her hand, so Steele puts a drink into that hand.
Laura opens the telegram. "Well, I didn't think it was possible
for things to get any worse, but- this is from the State Bureau
of Investigative Service. They've suspended our license pending
an inquiry into the loss of the Royal Lavulite." Steele
takes the telegram as Laura opens her purse, pouring water out
of it as she removes the bottle. "Mildred, do me a favor
and run this over the lab, will you? Tell them it's a rush."
Mildred takes the bottle. "You got it," she says, then
Laura uses a wet handkerchief to wipe her wet hair, sighing heavily.
"Laura?" Steele asks. "You all right?"
"I think it's time for showers and a change of clothes.
We have an image to uphold." He nods, finishes his drink
and they leave.
Steele in the shower at his apartment, relaxing under the hot
spray, when another dream begins. The doorbell rings, and he
throws on a plaid robe and puts a towel over his head, making
his way to the front door, kicking things out of his way. He
opens the door, saying "Yes?", and revealing the white
boxers with hearts on them beneath the robe. A VERY pregnant
Laura is there, her hair in curlers, a Fedora atop them, carrying
two bags of groceries as she rings the doorbell with her toe.
"Hi," she tells him. "Forgot my key." He
takes the bags from her.
"Pretzels?" he asks, looking through the bags. "Did
you get pretzels?"
Laura comes up to him, running her hands over him. "I interrupt
"Hmm?" he asks, not paying attention. "Oh, no
problem." He finds a bag of pretzels.
"Wanna take up where you left off? Only with some company?"
she asks, kissing his neck as he moves away toward a lounge chair,
glancing at his watch. ""I can't Nora. The ball game's
starting. Excuse me." He breaks away and sits down before
the big screen TV. He sits on a child's squeeze toy as we see
the playpen and baby bed in the cluttered room. "Wanna get
me a beer, Nora?"
"Sure, Hon," she says, digging in a sack.
"All right, Deacon! Way to hit!" Steele says to the
TV. "That's my boy!" Laura brings the beer over, rubbing
his hair. "Sack him! Sack him! Rubbish! That's terrible!"
"Who's playing?" Laura asks, handing him the beer.
"Thank you," he says. "Move out! Move-" Laura
drops into his lap, and he cries out in pain. "Oh, Nora!
Nora, you're sittin' on my-," he says, reaching beneath
her to get the remote.
She nuzzles his neck. "Whaddaya say, lover? When it comes
to ball games, you wanna be an observer or a participant?"
she asks, showering him with kisses.
Steele is frustrated. "Don't' you ever get enough?"
Laura takes the remote and turns the TV off. "I'll heat
up the jar of "emotion potion". Whaddaya say?"
"I say heat me up a twenty year old blonde and we may have
"OOH! You're so MEAN to me!"
He turns the TV back on. "Dammit, Nora, you made me miss
the touchdown!" He puts the remote on her stomach. "You
know," he says, putting his arms around her, pulling her
close, "This game reminds me of the time that I was pretending
to be a Mercenary in Malaysia so that I could smuggle out the
Imperial art treasures."
Laura yawns. "Please. I've heard that story a thousand times.
Your past was so much more exciting when I didn't know what is
was and I could imagine all sorts of kinky things," she
tells him, kissing him before getting up.
"Yes," Steele says, slapping her bottom, "But
what about the time I crept into the Palace at Versailles and
replaced all the mirrors with one-way glass so that I could-"
Laura is picking up toys.
"Bor-ring!" she proclaims, going toward the bedroom
as he belches.
The doorbell rings, and Laura reappears, this time carrying two
babies, one in each arm. "Just a minute! Coming!" She
opens the door, and Mildred is there, her arms filled with presents
and wearing an expensive gown.
"I'll just be a minute, Count," she tells someone out
of sight, then smiles at Laura. "Laura, Darling!" she
says, giving Laura a kiss on the cheek, then turns to the babies.
"Oh, and Little Laura, and Little Remington!"
"Honey," Laura says, "Auntie Mildred's here."
Mildred comes inside, goes over to Steele.
"Ah, Auntie Mildred. Good to see you again, Angel."
They kiss. "How's everything at the Agency, going, eh?"
"Oh, it is just great," Mildred declares as Laura puts
the babies into Steele's lap. "It's a big year, my darling!
It seems that everyone has a reason for hiring a private detective!"
"Ah, really?" Steele asks.
"How's work at the auto plant?" Mildred asks him.
"Best thing that ever happened to us, Mildred, losing our
PI license, wouldn't you say, Nora?"
"Oh, yes," she agrees.
"No more late night stake outs, no more dodging bullets
at ever turn. Now, once that whistle blows at five,-" he
whistles, looks at the babies. "Sorry, kids. It's straight
home to Nora and the kiddies!"
"How quaint," Mildred says.
"And how about you, Mildred?" Laura asks. "When
are you and the Count going to settle down and start a family?"
"Oh, darling. Me? A housewife?" Mildred admonishes.
"Over my dead body . . .body . . .body."
In the shower, Steele's dream ends abruptly. "Dead body.
That's it! I know where the jewels are hidden!" He turns
off the shower.
At night, we see Laura and Steele peering over a hedge at a funeral
home. Both are wearing dark outfits, Steele is still carrying
his cane. "Eee-yo eleven," Steele sings. When Laura
looks at him, he explains. "Ocean's Eleven. Frank
Sinatra, Richard Conte, and the rat pack. Warner Brothers, umm-1960.
Sinatra plays a former army man who recruits his old platoon
to rob some Las Vegas casinos on New Years' Eve. But after they
rob the casinos, Richard Conte dies of a heart attack, and his
buddies decide to hide the money in his coffin so they can get
it out of town without the police finding it."
"Clever," Laura says.
Steele nods. "Until Richard Conte's wife has him cremated."
Laura smiles. "But cremation wouldn't hurt Royal Lavulite."
"Uh-uh," Steele agrees, and they both duck as the mortuary
door opens and Todd Doke comes out, shaking hands with the mortician
before leaving. Steele and Laura go over the wall, and Steele
picks the lock on the door, and they go inside. Laura's uncomfortable
with the set up as they pass through a corridor and room filled
They find a room containing boxes of ashes, and Steele looks
at the names. "Smyth, Tim. Simpson, Sam. Myers, Don. Doke,
Archibald." He takes the box.
"We're going to go hell for this, I'm sure of it."
"Ah, no, no, no, no," he assures her, opening the box
and going through the ashes. "No jewels," he tells
her, coughing as he puts the box back. They hear the doors opening,
and take off to find a hiding place. Laura leads him to an oversize
coffin, getting in, and pulling him in after her. Unseen by Laura
or Steele, someone approaches the coffin they're in, closes the
hasp and places a pin in it to seal it closed, then takes the
name plate off of another coffin that's waiting for cremation
and puts it on that coffin before leaving.
Laura tells Steele, "This is just GREAT. Four years of college,
two years of apprenticeship, three years of building up the agency,
and poof, my license is suspended, and I'm stuck in a coffin
"So now we're down to it, eh?"
"You're DAMN right, we're down to it. I should never have
put you in charge of protecting those jewels."
"And what would YOU have done differently, Detective Holt?"
"The problem is not YOUR competence. The problem is that
I stupidly went ahead and did what I'd sworn I'd never do: put
my fate in someone else's hands."
"Maybe its about time you realized we're none of us ever
in complete control of our fates."
"Then why do I feel embarrassed? Why do I feel guilty? I
didn't steal the damn jewels."
"Do you ever have dreams, Laura? About us? About our lives?"
She looks at him. "I suppose. Sometimes."
"I have had some dreams recently . . . troubling at first,
but now I realize they've helped put some things in perspective."
"And, I finally understand that I've stayed around not for
the promise of what our relationship MIGHT be- but for the reality
of what it is." She looks at him, and they are about to
kiss- when something shakes the coffin, and they realize it's
The attendants take it to the burner, and put it inside, they
turn up the flames.
"HELP!" Laura yells. "HELP! We're alive in here!"
The attendants go across the room and get some coffee.
Steele turns to Laura. "Laura, hold me tight."
She glares at him, terrified. "This is hardly the time-!"
"And start rocking!" She finally understands, and they
start rocking the coffin, sending it closer and closer to the
gate on the burner. As the amazed attendants watch, the coffin
flies out of the burner and onto the ground, where it bursts
open to free Laura and Steele. They stand up, coughing. Steele
looks at them. "You know, you ought to think about using
microwaves. Far more fuel efficient," he says, then takes
Laura's arm and leads her out.
Steele and Laura come out of the office elevator as Steele says,
"Someone's tried to kill us twice in the same day. We must
be on the right track."
"Try this," Laura suggests. "Todd and his father
steal the jewels, and Todd plans on hiding them in the fish tank.
Then, his father dies, and Todd decides to secrete the jewels
in his ashes."
"Yes," Steele agrees as they enter the office, "But,
if he's got the jewels, and we keep spoiling his hiding places,
why doesn't he just run?"
"Perhaps he doesn't have the jewels yet."
"Oh," he says, following Laura into his office, where
they find Mildred, sitting at his desk, her legs up, reading.
"Ah, Mildred!" The cologne bottle is on the desk. "Sit
down," he tells her, taking one of the other chairs. "The
way things are going, that chair could be yours sooner than you
She stands anyway. "Well, I just thought with the both of
you in so much trouble, the least I could do is burn a little
"How's it burning?" Laura asks.
"Lotta smoke," Mildred says, sliding a file folder
across. "This lab report came in, and I can't make any sense
Laura reads. "Spartina essence and methyltricholocyline."
Steele takes the paper. "The scent of an underwater plant,
mixed with a chemical binder," he says in plain English.
"So that the scent would stick to solid objects," Laura
realizes. "Like Royal Lavulite." She's beginning to
"Why would anyone want the jewels to smell like underwater
grass?" Mildred wonders. But Steele and Laura have figured
out that answer to that question.
At the lagoon, they sneak around. "This must be where the
swans were penned while the lagoon was being drained."
"Right you are, Miss Holt," Steele agrees.
"Over there a bit," she says. "Right there!"
he takes a tissue and picks out a gemstone. "There's another
one," she tells him.
He winces. "Ah, these swans must have a wonderful digestive
"Although they probably wondered what hit them when they
smelled their favorite underwater flora but tasted Royal Lavulite
instead." She pulls a business card from her pocket.
"What's that for? What're you doing?"
"When Todd Doke finds his jewels missing, we'll want him
to know where to find them."
Back at Steele's apartment, Steele finishes cleaning the last
of the gems with alcohol, dropping it into a glass with the others.
Laura glances at her watch. "I wish he'd get here already.
"If he doesn't show up, and we can't return the jewels without
being accused of having stolen them in the first place,- well,
I'd love to teach you chemin de fer, eh?" he offers, sitting
The doorbell rings. "Saved by the bell," Laura sighs.
"It's open!" she calls.
Steele stands up slowly as he enters, gun in hand. "The
"Oh, what's your rush, mate?" Steele questions. "The
funeral home won't open for a few hours yet. You WERE planning
to hide the stones in your father's ashes, weren't you?"
"That's the irony of it," Todd says sadly. "I
got involved with this as a favor to my father. He wanted to
lead the high life before his heart gave out on him. But- you
know what they say about the best laid plans."
"And it was a brilliant plan he had. Putting the fake stones
in the lagoon long before we ever got there, then making us that
that the real ones were fake ones, angering Mr. Steele so that
he'd grab for the stones and they could fall into the lagoon."
"Where the swans would gobble them up," Steele finished.
Todd edges over to the table, taking the glass with the stones
and getting them into his hand. "My father's legacy. Thank
you very much," he says, "I'll show myself out."
Mildred rushes from the kitchen, a gun in one hand and a tape
recorder in the other. "Drop it! Buster!" Todd drops
the gun. "I got it all, Chief!" Mildred tells Steele.
"Not quite all," Clarissa says. They turn to find her,
dressed in black, holding a gun on them.
"It had to be you, eh, Clarissa?" Steele says. "Who
else could convince a boring old bookworm like Archie Doke that
he was missing out on the finer things in life, eh?"
She smiles. "He was a nice little man, but so short sighted.
So lost when his wife died. He came to treasure our friendship.
Todd, bring me the jewels."
"Mildred, if he moves, shoot him," Steele orders.
"Don't kid a kidder, Mr. Steele," Clarissa says. "Miss
Krebs wouldn't harm a fly."
Todd moves toward Clarissa, and Mildred finally lowers the gun,
near to tears. "I'm sorry. I can't."
"It's all right, Mildred," he assures her quietly.
"Don't worry about it."
Clarissa takes the gems from Todd. "If it's any consolation,
Laura, you and Mr. Steele did a bang up job. Unfortunately, so
good that I'm going to have to kill you. I can't afford any loose
"It was Todd at the tank," Laura realizes. "But
it was YOU who locked us in that coffin, wasn't it?"
"It was getting risky, following you around, and then I
had the thought that if you were missing and the jewels were
missing, it would be case closed. But now, I'm just going to
have to be a little messier . . ." She points the gun at
Steele sees his chance and grabs the edge of the rug that Clarissa's
on and pulls, pulling her and Todd's feet out from under them.
Steele tackles Todd, Laura goes after Clarissa. Laura and Clarissa
get onto the balcony first, and Laura pulls Clarissa back from
the rope she used to climb up as Todd rushes toward it. Steele
stops him, but he's so concerned with his own battle that, except
for the one time he and Laura bump into each other, he doesn't
think about her.
Until he hears both women scream as they fall over the edge of
the balcony. Steele runs to the ledge. "Laura!!!" he
At a cemetery, Steele and Mildred at standing beside a coffin
covered with flowers as a minister says, "Although I never
knew- Nora Bolt, I'm told she was a kindly soul, who was concerned
only for her friends and family-." Steele is wearing his
sunglasses, holding flowers. Mildred is in tears, carrying a
wreath. The minister picks up a handful of dirt. "Nora,
we bid you- goodbye." The minister pulls off his collar,
Steele places the flowers on the coffin, Mildred lays the wreath
down. "If only her mother could have been here," she
"It was her bridge day," Steele comments, taking her
arm and leading her away.
"Or her sister Frances."
"Right in the middle of redoing her den. Death can be so
inconvenient at time. But I'm sure Laura would understand."
Mildred sobs. Steele hands her his handkerchief. She blows her
nose and hands it back.
"Life is so unfair! Clarissa survives the fall from your
balcony, and now she and that Todd will be out of jail in just
a few years, ready to renew their lives, but- our poor Miss Holt
. . . "
He gives her a comforting hug. "Oh, there, there, Mildred.
"Oh, Mr. Steele. You're the one who must be devastated.
How ever will you get along without her?"
"I'll get by," he tells her, giving her a kiss on the
cheek. He turns, seemingly upset, and pulls down his sunglasses
to look at the blonde from Nice, who's sitting in the limo, glass
of champagne in hand. He opens the door, taking the glass, only
to freeze as Laura's scream rends the air.
"HEY!" He turns to see Laura, looking very much alive
and unhurt, standing in her coffin, pointing at him. "Don't
think you can get rid of me that easily, Mr. Steele!"
Steele smiles. "Dinner and a movie, Miss Holt?"
She joins him as the blonde gets out of the limo and takes off
angrily. "Why not?" she asks. He hands her the glass
of champagne. "Chin chin," she says.
He nods. "Bottoms up."
In the hospital, Laura is lying in bed, her head bandaged, a
smile on her face. "Lucky girl," the doctor is telling
Steele and Mildred. "That hedge breaking her fall. She'll
be fine. But we should let her get some sleep." He turns
toward the door, and Mildred follows.
Steele lingers for a moment. "Sweet dreams, Miss Holt,"
"You too, Mr. Steele," she replies, one eye opened,
then closed as she continues to smile.