Elementary Steele
Transcribed from the episode written by:
Michael Gleason
Added dialogue in RED
Thanks, Debra and Yuliya

The well-known shadow of Sherlock Holmes is seen against a wall. He moves into sight and makes a move with his head, indicating that somebody behind him should follow him. Holmes moves on and instead the shadow of a short, corpulent man appears. Dr. Watson enters the scene.

The two fictional characters, evidently alive, cautiously enter an apartment building and climb the stairs. Holmes knocks on a door, and then picks the lock. As the duo enters the apartment, a dark haired woman, clad only in a towel, enters from another doorway. She shrieks.

"Grab her Watson!" Holmes orders.

The woman tosses a lamp in their direction and runs out the door.

"After her!" Holmes declares. "The game's afoot!"

"Right!" Watson agrees, and they take off, reaching the curb in time to see the woman race away on her motorcycle. The two men run to a vintage Rolls Royce, and the chase is on.

The woman sees two motorcycle officers talking to some hookers, and calls out. "Hey! HEY, officers!" They ignore her, so she does a U-turn and drives past again. "Officers!" she yells, standing on the seat, balancing on one foot with the other leg straight out behind her. The car behind the cycle crashes, getting the officers' attention.

"Alright, let's go," one says, and they take off.

The woman stops her bike and gets off, standing there, hands on hips as the two officers approach her. "What TOOK you so long?" she demands.

The officers look at each other in confusion.


Floral deliverymen bearing tons of flowers enter the Steele reception area and stop at Mildred's desk.

"Flowers for Miss Holt," says one of them.

Mildred, looking less than pleased, says, "No kidding."

"Where do you want us to put them?"

"Don't tempt me," Mildred says, rising and walking to Laura's office.

She knocks once and then opens the door, revealing Laura behind her desk, virtually hidden among the dozens of flowers all around her desk and office.

"Another load has arrived," Mildred informs her.

Laura is in a wonderful mood. "Really?" she says, practically singing her answer. "Where *shall* I put them?"

"We've been through that."

She rises from her desk and Mildred follows her into the reception area, where they stop at Mildred's desk and Laura makes a big deal out of smelling the new flowers.

"My office simply won't hold another bud," Laura declares happily. "What about Mr. Steele's?"

"I don't think he's too fond of flowers these days."

"Nonsense, Mildred. Everyone loves flowers," Laura says with a giggle. Motioning to the deliverymen, she says cheerily, "Follow me."

They all follow her into Steele's office.

Steele's reading the paper, feet propped on his desk, when Laura and Mildred lead the group of delivery men in. Their arms are filled with flowers. Laura points to the desk. "Over there," she instructs as Steele stares angrily at the display before him. Laura is beside herself. "Aren't they lovely?" she asks.

"Overwhelming," Steele agrees darkly as Mildred examines the flowers. He gets up from his chair. "How many tons does that make now, hmm?"

"I've lost count," Laura informs him airily.

Laura plucks the cards from the flowers as Mildred asks, "Any signature this time?"

"Same as before," Laura tells her. "Your secret admirer."

"Humph," Steele grunts. "If there's anything I can't stand it's someone who doesn't reveal his true identity. What's it say?"

Laura's eyes widen as she reads the card, and she looks up at him. "I'm afraid I can't tell you. It's FAR too intimate." He grabs it from her. "Mr. Steele!"

Steele reads the card, scowling. "This is close to pornography."

"Pervert," Mildred comments, glowering at the flowers.

"One man's pornography is another man's poetry," Laura tells them.

"This is hardly 'Leaves of Grass'," Steele points out.

Laura grabs it away from him and turns toward her office. "If you'll excuse me, I think I'll read these in the privacy of my off." She fans herself with the cards, smiling as she opens the door, through which we can see still MORE flowers in that room. She closes the door.

"You can't take this lying down, Chief," Mildred insists. "You gotta fight fire with fire."

"What do you want me to do, Mildred? Send her a redwood?" He moves around to the other side of the desk, scowling at the flowers as the phone rings.

Mildred grabs it. "Remington Steele Investigations.--Uh, I'll see if he's here." She turns to Steele. "A- Rocky Sullivan for you."

"Take a message, Mildred. At the moment, I'm not in the mood for someone named Rocky."

"It's a her," Mildred tells him.

Steele smiles and pushes past the flowers to take the telephone. "Steele here."


Rocky, the motorcycle woman, says, "You gotta get me outa this place!"

Laura and Steele stand beside her bed, where we see that she's wearing a straight jacket and the windows of the room are barred. "What made you call Mr. Steele?" Laura asks.

"Are you kidding? His picture's in the paper more than Paul Newman's," Rocky declares, at which Steele smiles and Laura rolls her eyes.

The occupant of the other bed calls out. "Yoo-hoo!"

"Hello," Steele tells her. "Nice to meet you." He looks at Laura. "This is terribly embarrassing, Laura. I can't go anywhere without being recognized."

"To the matter at hand, Mr. Steele," Laura reminds him.


Steele waggles his fingers at the woman and turns his attention back to their prospective client. "You said on the telephone that you were in danger, Miss Sullivan."

"You better believe it!"

"Who's threatening you?" Laura asks.

Rocky takes a deep breath as if she's been through this before and knows what the reaction will be. "Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson."


Seeing their reaction, Rocky insists, "I know how it sounds, but it's true! They busted into my apartment and chased me down Hollywood Boulevard in a big old car with the steering wheel on the wrong side!"

"Oh," Steele says as Laura tries to hide her smile. "Do you- uh, - do you have any idea why- uh- uh, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson would want to harm you?"

"How should I know? I don't even go to their movies!"


"That's for you, Laura," Steele says.

"How are you today?" Laura asks the "yoo-hoo" lady.


"Do you want us to investigate, Miss Sullivan? Is that it?" she asks, rubbing her forehead.

"Yeah, sure! But first get me outa here! I got a gig singing in this club in Reseta and it's the first job I've had in 3 months! If I don't show up, they'll can me!"

Steele and Laura back toward the door. "Oh, well, we'll certainly look into the matter," he says.

"And report back as soon as we have something concrete," Laura adds.

"In the meantime, try to get some rest- and stay off Hollywood Boulevard."

They leave a frustrated Rocky as the other woman calls again. "Yoo-hoo!"

"Easy for you to say!" Rocky says.


As they leave the hospital, Steele comments, "Tragic, the told modern civilization takes on one. I mean, surrounded by a cruel, impersonal world of word processors, automated tellers, cars that talk to you- it's a wonder we don't all go bonkers." They approach the limo. "I mean, obviously in conjuring up Holmes and Watson that poor woman was trying to return to a simpler-" he stops as Laura takes his arm.

"Would that be a Rolls Royce?" she asks, pointing to the car Holmes and Watson were driving the night before. "Late twenties, early thirties vintage?" They cross to inspect the car. "It certainly is old," Laura comments.

"And big." They peer inside the drivers compartment.

"And the steering wheel's on the wrong side."

"Only for some, Laura," Steele reminds her.

She looks at him. "Shall we?" They turn back toward the hospital.


Holmes is talking into a telephone, with Watson close by. "Holmes here. It is precisely 10:27 AM. She's led us a merry chase, but we have tracked Miss Sullivan to the County Hospital- no doubt as a ploy to escape us. But I guarantee she'll be ours before the day is out." He hangs up, nods for Watson to follow him.


Inside, Laura and Steele confront a male nurse who's reading a romance novel. "Uh, excuse me," Steele asks, "have you seen Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson?"

"Are you visiting or checking in?" the man counters.

"What he means is, did two men DRESSED like Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson come through?" Laura clarifies.

The man smiles. "Oh, well, why didn't you say so?"

"You've seen them?" Steele asks hopefully.


"We'd like to speak to the Chief of your psychiatric department," Laura informs him.

"I bet you would."


He picks up the phone.


"I hope they fit all right," Laura tells Rocky as they leave the hospital. "I had to grab the first thing off the rack."

Rocky's now dressed in jeans and a tight blue sweater. "Believe me, it's a hell of a lot more comfortable than that straight jacket. Hey, how'd you guys manage to spring me, anyway?"

"We simply vouched for your veracity," Steele says.

"Is that legal?" Rocky questions.

Laura and Steele are occasionally glancing across the street. "We told the doctors your story was true, and pulled a string here, called in a favor there-"

"But I thought you didn't believe me."

"We didn't," Laura admits.

"So what changed your mind?"

Steele nods to the Rolls. "That." Holmes and Watson are now in the car, waiting. "Uh uh," Steele warns, don't gape." Laura opens the limo door for them. "It's bad form to let the hunter know he's become the hunted." They get inside. "Where to, Miss Holt?"

"How about a nice, leisurely drive down a blind alley?" she suggests.

"But first I wanna go get my hog," Rocky tells him.

"Sorry, we have no facilities for pets."

Laura looks at him. "She means her motorcycle."

"Oh. Colourful language, American. Okay, Fred. Take it away."

As the limo pulls away, the Rolls follows.


At the impound lot, they get out, and Laura tells Steele, "You help Rocky reclaim her hog, I'll double back- catch our company in a pincher." She gets back in and the limo drives off.

Steele and Rocky reclaim the bike, and with Steele on the back, start down the road. At a stoplight, Rocky says happily, “Don’t you just love it, the wind on your face, five hundred cc’s throbbing between your legs!”

Steele is not happy. He straightens his tie and says, “Yes, well, quite frankly, Miss Sullivan, I prefer my hogs in the form of bacon. For God's sake, slow down, will you? This isn't Death Race 2000." Rocky laughs, as two men in a pickup truck glance over and start laughing at the sight of Steele sitting behind Rocky on that huge machine. Embarrassed, Steele says loudly, "Now remember, that's the brake, and that's the clutch." Rocky glances at him. "Let it out smooth and easy." He smiles conspiratorially at the two men. "Yes. Been begging me to teach her how to drive my hog!"

Rocky frowns and lets out the clutch as the light changes. She accelerates hard, almost throwing Steele from the bike. The Rolls and the limo are close behind.

"Down the alley," he tells her. "Down the alley."

Rocky turns the bike into an alley which is blocked at the other end by a large truck. The Rolls turns in behind them. Steele gets off the bike and starts toward the car. The limo pulls in behind them, and Laura gets out. "All right, Sherlock. Out you get."

Holmes gets out, as does Watson. "Stay back," Holmes says. "I warn you."

Laura approaches. "What do you want with Miss Sullivan?"

"Watson!" Watson pulls a revolver from his pocket and fires twice directly at Steele, who falls to the ground.

Laura grabs for the gun, getting it as Steele rises, realizing that he's not hurt. He looks at Laura, who takes the gun and fires it at the car. "Blanks!" she declares.

"What the hell is going on here?!" Steele demands.

Holmes smiles nervously. "It's a game."


At the office, Steele asks Holmes, "What do you mean- game?"

"We're on a Magical Mystery Tour," Holmes explains. "I'm Howard Eps. I teach Creative writing at UC Santa Barbara." He points to his partner. "My brother in law, George Hoffman."

"I'm in industrial dies," George informs them.

"For five hundred dollars," Holmes continues, "we get to impersonate our favorite fictional detective- AND pursue a case."

Rocky's shocked. "You mean you PAID someone for dressing up like that?"

"Oh, we've got a fun group this trip," Holmes tells them. "There's Mr. Moto, Miss Marple, Philip Marlowe-"

"Where does Miss Sullivan fit into all this?" Laura asks.

"We thought she was part of the game."

"You see, we each have a suspect to locate," Watson tells them. "Ours was a Miss Sullivan."

"We were given a description and an address," Holmes added.

"Had the devil's own, finding her," Watson says. "She's made more move than Bekins." He and Holmes laugh at the joke.

Holmes tells the others, "Naturally, when we saw you two storming down the alley, we thought you were part of the game, too. I mean, after all, for five hundred dollars, one does expect a LITTLE excitement."

Watson nods as Laura and Steele sit down. "This- CASE you're working on-"

"Ah, it's completely invented," Holmes assures her. "But nonetheless wonderful. It's filled with sex, blackmail, suicide-"

Laura smiles and looks at Rocky. "All the things that make life worth living."

Holmes continues. "Now, you see, in this one, a respected banker has embezzled $750,000."

"And two days before the bank examiners are due, he kills himself," Watson finishes.

"Doesn't sound like much of a case to me," Steele comments.

"Ah, but the money was never recovered," Holmes informs them. "You see, according to our scenario, he was being blackmailed because of an involvement with a - third rate actress."

"Watch it, Sherlock," Rocky warns.

"Oh, Miss Sullivan, you must remember that that was the profile of our fictional suspect."

"Enacted," Watson recalls, "We thought, by you."

"Well, I AM an actress," Rocky informs them in an affronted manner, "and I've got my screen extras card to prove it."

Steele looks at Rocky, then says, "Yes, well, there seems to be a monumental mix up here."

Holmes nods. "And we were so hoping that you'd lead us to Eddie Lucas."

Rocky drops her coffee cup onto the carpet. "Eddie Lucas?" she squeaks.

"Do you know him?" Laura asks her.

A nervous Rocky starts talking a mile a minute as she backs toward the door. "No. How could I? You heard Sherlock. He's a made up person. Sorry about the rug. These glasses do tend to get slippery. Listen, I gotta get ready for him show-I wanna thank you all for your help. You've really been a brick. Just send me the bill- I'm sure I can't pay for it, but what the hell, I'll give it my best shot." She opens the door and takes off.

Laura frowns and asks Holmes, "Just what part does Eddie Lucas play in your scenario?"

"Ah, he's the Moriarity of the piece. The brains behind the blackmail scheme. Whoever finds him first wins the game."

"And the trophy, Holmes," Watson reminds him. "Don't forget the trophy."

"Well, we'd better phone in and admit our mistake," Holmes says as he and Watson rise. "Sorry to involve you in our little folly, Mr. Steele, Miss Holt."

"No harm done," Laura assures him.

"Who do you call?" Steele asks.

"The mystery hotline," Watson says. "Each player has to report in whenever he locates a suspect, noting the precise time."

"Do you mind if I have their number?" Steele asks, drawing a curious look from Laura.

"I'll leave it with your secretary," Holmes tells him.

"Well, cheerio, old chaps," Steele says, walking them toward the door. "Good bye."

"Goodbye," Laura says.

He closes the door, a thoughtful expression his face.

"Just what do you think you're doing?" Laura asks.

"Oh, just getting the first lead in our case."

"WHAT case?"

"Didn't Miss Sullivan's reaction to a supposedly fictitious character strike you as a little- odd?"

"Miss Sullivan strikes me as rather odd," Laura points out.

"Yes, well, I'm convinced there's something more here than a Magical Mystery Tour going on."

"Need I remind you that no one here has hired us to investigate ANY of this?"

"Well, aren't you intrigued by grown gentlemen playing at detective?"

"Not in the least," she assures him, smiling at him. "You forget, I live with that every day." She turns toward her office.

"Oh, well, then. I suppose once Mildred traces that phone number, I'll just have to go it alone," Steele decides.

Laura turns and glares at him.


As they walk down a hallway, Steele says, "Delighted you decided to join me, Miss Holt."

"Of course," Laura muses. "Barry."

"Hmm? Barry? Who's Barry?" Steele questions.

"An attorney. He just joined Feinstein and Feinstein on ten. I've shared an occasional elevator with him."

Steele points to the door they're looking for. "Oh. You think he might be your secret admirer?" He checks the lock.

"A distinct possibility. He's terribly persistent," she says with a smile.

Steele opens the lock easily. "Umm," is his only comment.

Inside, office is rather austere. "Definitely a no frills operation," he declares as Laura sets about inspecting empty file cabinets. He checks the desk drawers. "Sparse," he says as the only thing on the desk, a telephone rings. The answering machine picks it up, and someone is checking messages.

"This is Marlowe," a man's voice identifies in a Bogart like voice. "It's 1:35 in the afternoon. It cost me a sawbuck, but this cabby with a busted beak put me onto Vince Pappas." Steele sits down, Laura slides onto the desk to listen. "Last he heard, Pappas was chauffeuring for a General Abram somewhere in Santa Monica. I'll check it out and get back to you later."

Laura is thoughtful. "Then again, it might be Rick."

"Who's Rick?"

"The neurologist on six."

"What've you been doing?" Steele asks. "Canvassing the building?" Another message plays.

"The Honorable Mr. Moto at your service. It is exactly 3:17 PM." Laura laughs. "I am most pleased to report that I have located Bernard Geiger. He runs a photography studio at 9625 Santa Monica Boulevard under the name Bernard Grayson. I am on my inscrutable way there now."

Steele glances at his watch. "Three seventeen. Ten minutes ago. If we hurry, we might be able to catch the honorable Mr. Moto." He gets up and starts for the door, but Laura slides down and blocks his way.

"Now, now, this has gone far enough."

"Laura, where's your sense of adventure? Your taste for mystery? Your desire to-to find the truth?"

"Back at the office," she reminds him with a smile.

"Don't worry," Steele assures her, opening the door, "I'm sure you secret admirer isn't going anywhere."

She smiles at him as she goes out. "Well, I just want to find him before he's too old to do anything but admire."

Steele frowns and follows her out.


Driving an ancient Packard, Mr. Moto, wearing the traditional white suit, enters the photography studio. The walls are covered with revealing photos of women.

"See anything you like?" a man asks. "It's twenty five bucks for a half hour, equipment's ten dollars extra, and anything that you and the voluptuous model work out in the privacy of your own air conditioned cubicle is strictly your business." He puts a camera on the counter. "Like that equipment? Course, I don't have to tell YOU about cameras, do I?"

"I've had a most difficult time tracing you, Mr.- Geiger."

"Name's Grayson."

Mr. Moto takes something out of his pocket. "The lab that processed this photograph was gracious enough to supply me with your last known address. This is-quite a long way from the portrait studio you opened two years ago- no doubt with your share of the blackmail money."

"I don't know what you're talking about!"

"Perhaps this will refresh your memory?" Moto suggests, opening the paper to reveal that it's a photo of Rocky and a much older man, in various stages of undress.

"Where'd you get that?" Geiger asks, trying to grab it.

Moto puts it back into his pocket. "That would be a meaningless revelation, Mr. Geiger. Now, all that is left for you to do is to tell me the whereabouts of Eddie Lucas."

"HEY! Get outa here! Who do you think you are, coming in here like this?" Geiger comes around the counter and grabs Moto. "Get outa here! Get outa here!"

"Hey, not so rough, buddy!" Mr. Moto says, moving away.

Geiger goes inside to the phone and dials a number. "Eddie?--Geiger--Yeah, I know. I'm not supposed to call. But-listen-they know about the scam. They even have a picture of Rocky and the mark.-Hey, I don't know. Some little Oriental guy, dressed like he's out of an old movie! He wanted me to tell him where to find you-of course I- Whaddaya take me for?!--Listen, Eddy, this town's gone sour for me. I was thinking that now is as good a time as any for my to try my luck somewhere else, only, I could use a little stake.--Well, I was thinking five grand. Or maybe ten if you're feeling generous---Well, it ain't fair that you make out so well and I lose my shirt on that lousy portrait studio! How do you think you'd feel if people suddenly found out who you really are?---No. No. Nothing like that. No, they'd never find anything from me. I was just- talkin out loud.---McArthur Park.-Alvarado Entrance.--Eight o'clock."

Outside, a smiling Mr. Moto listens to Geiger's end of the conversation and runs across to the payphone as Steele and Laura drive up.

"Mr. Moto, I presume," Laura comments.

"Um hmm," Steele agrees, making himself comfortable. "Well, let's wait and see what he's up to."


At 25 til 8, they are still sitting there. Laura yawns. "This is ridiculous! Let's go home!"

"Mr. Moto is apparently in no hurry to move."

"He's playing a game," Laura points out. "But then, so are you."

Steele looks at her. "Oh?"

"Don't think I don't know why you're so anxious to pursue this non-existent case. You just want to keep me occupied so I won't discover who's sending me those beautiful flowers."

"You're sure you're not playing a game of your own?" he returns. "Pitting your phantom lover against me?"

"Are you suggesting that *I*'m trying to make YOU jealous?"

"Well, aren't you?"

"Absolutely not!"

"Oh." He sighs. "Pity. Because it's working."

Laura turns to face him in the small car. "I don't know that I can handle all this honesty in one sitting."

Steele moves closer, putting an arm around the back of her seat. "Laura, this- this poet of the obscene might be a blessing in disguise." He placed a hand around the back of her neck. "He's made me understand how very much you mean to me. Come here." He pulls her to him for a long kiss.

Laura pulls back after the kiss. "Would it be in bad taste to raise a toast to my secret admirer?"

He smiles. "Only if I'm not there to share it with you,"
Steele says and then whispers "Come here." Another kiss.

While they are kissing, Geiger comes from his shop and gets into his car. Mr. Moto starts his car and follows as Steele breaks the kiss and laughs delightedly. He sees Laura's uncertain look. "Well, it's up to you."

She starts the car. "What the hay. In for a penny, in for a pound."

She follows the others.


At the park, Geiger gets out of his car and enters the park. Mr. Moto arrives and follows him,- as do Laura and Steele.

Geiger finds a car sitting, waiting for him. "Eddie?" he asks. "Eddie?"

The dark tinted window is rolled down, and moonlight reflects off a dark barrel as two shots are fired and Geiger hits the ground.

As Mr. Moto hears the gun shot he starts running towards where he saw Geiger head for. Steele and Laura follow Mr. Moto, running.
When Mr. Moto comes up to Geiger lying on the ground, he sees the car leave. Then Mr. Moto leans over the body, which has a bullet hole in the upper chest, and excitingly tells Geiger, unaware that Geiger really has been shot, "You make hell of a corpse, Geiger!" and then he runs off.
Steele and Laura come up to Geiger and Steele picks up one of Geiger's arms, checking for a pulse. "He's dead for real." Steele says shocked.
"I don't think that comes with the tour," Laura says with a frown.


Laura and Steele enter the club where Rocky is working, clearing the glasses from the bar onto a tray. "Hey, neat! You guys come to hear me sing?"

"In a manner of speaking," Steele tells her.

"I'm not really a waitress," Rocky tells them. "I just do this for kicks."

"I think it's time you told us the truth about Eddie Lucas," Laura says.

Rocky nearly drops the tray. "You seem to have a disturbing habit of doing that everytime his name is mentioned," Steele remarks.

Rocky smiles. "Just naturally nervous."

"Oh? And what does the name Bernard Geiger do to your equilibrium?" Steele asks.

"Or Vince Pappas?"

"I told you, I don't know any of those people," Rocky insists. "I lead a very sheltered life. Now, I gotta change for my number."

Steele takes Laura's arm. "Shall we sit down?"

As they move toward a table, Holmes and Watson enter, joined by two other people. "Mr. Steele. Miss Holt," Holmes says.

"Hello," Steele greets them.

"We received your message, and as you can see, we're all here- well, almost all. Mr. Moto seems to be a trifle tardy." They all sit down. "May I present my colleagues? Miss Marple?"

The middle aged, heavyset, white haired woman rises, smiling. "Actually Ruth Gompers from Modesto. My husband allows me these little flights of fantasy."

"And Philip Marlowe."

"Whaddaya say, pal?" he asks in character, then laughs. "John Wiggins. You know what I love about Marlowe? He don't take shineola from nobody. You see, that's the trouble with selling shoes. You can't tell people what you really think of em."

"I'm curious," Laura wonders. "Doesn't your attire attract a lot of attention?"

"Oh," Dr. Watson tells her, "that's the wonderful thing about Los Angeles. Nobody looks twice."

"Must be the movies," Miss Marple suggests. "They just assume we're filing something."

Mr. Moto rushes in. "Hi guys. Sorry I'm late."

"Remington Steele, Laura Holt, May I present-"

"Winston Sakata," he says, shaking Steele's hand.

"My pleasure," Steele says.

"Winston?" Laura asks.

"My parents want to be as American as possible. They couldn't do anything with the last name, but they hung Winston on me. Guys, guys, you should have seen the show they put on for me tonight! It was awesome. Truly awesome. First, I muscled Geiger in my most inscrutable way. Well, he panics, he calls up Eddie Lucas, and sets up a meeting. I followed him to McArthur Park- and BLAM! BLAM! Geiger's bumped off and Lucas speeds off in a car. Well, naturally I hop into my trusty Packard and take off after him. I- uh lost him on the freeway interchange," he admits. "But I DID manage to get the license number."

The other applaud him. "Bravo, Moto!" "Good show!"

"Winston," Laura says, "Mr. Steele and I ARE investigators.”
“REAL investigators." Supplies Steele with a gentle smile.

"You were at the park," he recalls.

"The man you called Bernard Geiger was really shot," she tells him.

Winston laughs nervously. "Oh, come on."

"He's dead, Winston," Steele informs the man.

"You were chasing a REAL murderer," Laura says.

"My God."

"We'll need that license number to trace the killer," Steele says.

"Why, of course. It was 6-9. No, no, let me see. 9-6. I think- 9-"

"Relax, Winston," Laura says gently. "It'll come to you."

"Boy. All this reality is really rattling me," Winston tells them. "But I wrote it down."

"Where is it?" Laura asks.

He frowns. "Back at the house. I stopped to change shirts."

"Well, yes, don't worry," Steele says. "We'll go with you later and pick it up."

"How did you all get hooked into this little game?" Laura asks.

"Well," Marlowe answer, "There was this ad in Mystery Buff Magazine."

"It sounded like a hoot!" Miss Marple declares.

"We sent in our money and a week or so later, a packet arrived with the scenario and the suspect we were to find," Holmes tells them.

The band plays a couple of bars, and the house lights go down a bit as an announcer says, "And now, ladies and gentlemen, direct from six smash weeks at the West Covina Hilton- your singing songstress, Miss Sandy Stevens!"

Rocky pulls the curtains back, and sets off into a rollicking and TERRIBLE rendition of "Who's Sorry Now?"

Laura and Steele exchange a horrified glance.

Suddenly Rocky stops singing as she sees a HUGE bearded man enter the club. She starts singing again as the man stares malevolently at her. Rocky backs away, ending up under the piano as the song ends, then takes off. The man pushes several people aside to follow her.

Laura tells Steele, "Looks as if another player just joined the game!" and they take off in the same direction.

Rocky runs into her dressing room, locking the door, but the giant of a man breaks it open and grabs her.

As Steele and Laura round the corner, he says, "I hope we live to regret this!" before Laura jumps on the man's back. Steele manages to free Rocky, and hits the man twice with no effect before the man tosses Steele against the door and shakes Laura off to return to Rocky.

Laura breaks a lamp over the man's head, and Steele slams him with a wooden coat rack, stunning him enough that Steele's able to knock him into a corner. The others arrive.

"Stand back!" Winston warns as the man regains his senses. Winston tries karate, but the man grabs Winston and shoves him into Laura, then pushes through the others, who are hitting him, escaping.

"Thank you, thank you one and all," Steele effuses as he sits down. "A most heroic and timely intervention."

"Who was the blighter, Steele?" Holmes asks.

"Miss Holt and I are about to find out. So I suggest you all go back to your table- or better yet, run along home. You, of course, Winston, shall stay behind. We professionals must work it out from here." Winston beams as the others leave the room.

Laura helps Rocky up as Steele checks his joints. "I trust you ladies are relatively free of any broken bones or internal bleeding?"

"Was that Eddie Lucas?" Laura asks Rocky.

"Uh uh. That was Vince."

"Vince Pappas?" Laura asks.

"My ex," Rocky admits.

"YOU were married to THAT?" Steele questions.

"Scary, ain't it?" Rocky says.

Winston snaps his fingers. "That's her!"

"Who?" Steele asks, sounding lost.

"The girl in the picture!" he takes it out and gives it to Laura.

"Where did you get this?" she asks as Steele nicks it from her fingers and Rocky looks at it too.

"It was my clue to finding Geiger."

"Why that lousy, conniving creep!" Rocky yells.

"WHO?" Steele asks.


Laura takes the picture. "Is this Eddie Lucas?"

"Nah. He's a guy who used to come into a club I sued to work a coupla years ago. Called himself Arthur Brown. Used to buy me drinks after the show. Once in awhile, I'd fix him breakfast at my place." Steele gives her a knowing look. "Oh, no. Nothing like that. I mean, he was kinda old- I didn't want him to die on me or anything. Eddie came to me one day, said Mr. Brown was really Arthur Fowler, who ran a bank in Redwood City. Said he was a- valuable source of capital." Steele looks at the picture again. "Eddie liked to talk fancy like that. He wanted me to get Arthur in the sack so he could- you know- take pictures."

"Apparently you obliged," Steele notes.

"I told him no way!" Laura takes the picture back. "He was too nice a guy to do that to. He was always a gentleman. Never made a move on me. I liked that."

"Then perhaps it was Eddie who doctored this photograph," Laura suggests.

"Well," Winston agrees, "It can be done. And Geiger was just the guy to do it."

"What' the relationship between Vince Pappas and Eddie Lucas?" Steele asks Rocky.

"He drove for him. Ran errands. And probably a lot worse."

"Maybe you'd better stay at my place, Rocky," Laura decides. "If Pappas found you once, he can do it again."

"Okay. But first I gotta get some clothes." She takes the picture from Steele. "Anything for a buck Eddie. When you run with swine, you begin to resemble a pork chop."


Winston brings the Packard to a stop before his house, and he and Steele get out and start inside. Steele says, "Excellent work, Winston, in getting that license number."

Winston pauses. "You really think so?"

"Oh, yeah. First rate. First rate. It'll certainly go a long way to catching our killer."

"You know, maybe I ought to stop fooling around with this make believe detective stuff and become a real-"

He doesn't finish the sentence as two gunshots sound. Both men hit the ground. Steele vault's over Winston to approach the white car that's sitting in the driveway, but it nearly runs him over as it speeds away. Steele returns to Winston, finding him laying in a pool of blood, having tried to write something in the dirt and blood before dying.


Laura is awakened by someone pounding angrily on her loft door. She rushes to open it, admonishing whoever it is to "Shh!" over and over again.

Steele bursts in. "Where is she?" he asks. "Where is she?" he grabs Rocky as she's sleeping on the sofa. "Get up. Get up. Come on." Rocky screams. "Where will I find Vince Pappas?" he demands.

"I don't know!"

"You were married to him, for crying out loud!"

"That was years ago!"

He pushes her onto the sofa, a hand at her throat. "Stop it!" Laura yells, but he ignores her.

"Pappas is connected to Eddie Lucas. I want Eddie Lucas. You're the only link I have!"

Laura grabs him. "Let her go!"

He releases Rocky and moves away, frowning.

"What happened?" Laura asks as Rocky watches him warily.

"A nice little man is talking about becoming a detective. A REAL detective. Only he never finishes the sentence. Because somebody-" he hits his fist into his palm twice. "pumps him with two bullets."

"Winston?" Laura asks.

"He died trying to write the license number in his own blood," Steele tells Rocky.

"Oh, God," Laura sighs.

"I swear," Rocky says, "If I knew where Vince was, I'd tell you!"

"What about Eddie Lucas?"

"I haven't seen him in two years!"

Laura pulls Steele toward the door. "Look. Go home. Get some sleep- if you can. We'll hit this thing full bore in the morning."

Rocky gets off the couch to tell them, "If you do find Eddie, be careful. He likes to hurt people just for the fun of it."


The next morning, Steele comes from the bathroom off his office, fastening his shirt, to find Laura sitting at the desk, writing, and her expression thoughtful. Mildred comes in. "Jackpot! Arthur Fowler, President of Redwood City National Bank, committed suicide just over two years ago. Federal Bank examiners found that seventy five thousand dollars had been siphoned from various corporate accounts over a period of several months." She glances at Steele. "Now do you have a better opinion of computers, Boss?"

Laura takes the report. "Obviously, somebody is using our Mystery Buffs to ferret out the people who blackmailed Fowler into embezzling the money. Did he have any family, Mildred?"

"A daughter. Agnes."

"See if you can't track her down."

"You got it. You push the right button and there is NOTHING that computer won't cough up."

As she leaves, the other detectives enter. "We came as soon as we heard," Holmes says.

"We assure you all that Mr. Steele will do everything in his power to find the person responsible," Laura tells them as Steele stands silently at the window.

Watson nudges Holmes. "Go on, Howard, tell him."

"We realize- unfortunately too late for Winston- that we're in over our heads," Holmes says.

"We've come to ask you not to pursue this any further," Miss Marple adds. "We don't want anymore blood on our collective conscience."

Steele looks at them for a long moment. "Then that's it? We all go back to our normal routines? Perhaps shed a tear whenever there's a Mr. Moto movie on the late show? Somehow I think Winston deserves better than that. Don't you?"

They look shamefaced. Laura clears her throat and looks at Marlowe. "You were the one assigned to find Vince Pappas, weren't you?"

"Yeah. And I almost had him, too."

"Oh?" Steele prompts.

"Yeah, you see, he used to work as a chauffeur for some retired General out in Santa Monica. Well, I went to see him- but the old guy died of pneumonia five months ago."

"End of trail?" Laura asks.

"No, no. You see, his wife let me thumb through his papers. I came across this letter the General had written for Pappas two years ago. It seems Pappas wanted to open up his own limousine service. But on account of his police record he was having trouble being bonded. So the General whipped off one of those 'He was as honest as the day is long when he worked for me' letters."

"You remember the name of the limousine service?" Steele asks.

Marlowe gets a blank look, then sees Watson's bowler hat. "Yeah. Dome. Dome Limousine Service."

"No bad, Marlowe," Steele comments, causing the man to smile. "Not bad at all." He turns and leaves the room.

Laura watches him. "Excuse me." She follows him. "Mr. Steele!"


In the limousine, she tells him, "if you go up against Pappas with nothing more than your anger, then I'll be making the same speech about you that you just made about Winston Sakata."

"Any suggestions, Miss Holt?"

She picks up the telephone. "Yes, I'd like to engage one of your limousines?--Oh, and I'd like to request a driver- Vince Pappas--When did he leave?--Do you have an address?--Well, maybe it was my husband who called---Yes, yes, that's us. My little sweetie must've beaten me to it.- Oh, yes. Thank you, very much." She hangs up. "Someone else just requested Pappas," she tells Steele. "1250 Eucliff, Fred. And don't worry about conserving energy."


They pull up behind a white limo that has a license plate that reads "Dome 3". Vince is at the wheel. Laura and Steele get out and cautiously approach the car, opening the doors on both sides at the same time.

Vince falls over, and Steele frowns. "Pappas," he confirms. "Bullet hole in the base of the skull." He slams the door. "Dammit!"

"The killer obviously sat directly behind him and calmly shot him in the back of the head. It appears Lucas is eliminating everyone who could link him to the embezzlement."

"We're always one step behind him!" Steele frets. "One step! It's as though he knew what we were gonna do before we actually DO it!"

"Astute observation, Mr. Steele," Laura points out. "Maybe somebody saw who got out of the car. Let's start checking the neighborhood."

"I'll leave that in your capable hands," Steele tells her, walking off.

"Where are you going NOW?!" Laura asks, but he doesn't answer.


Steele searches Vince's room, finds a note paper with "Edwin Lawton, Investments" printed on it. He picks up the telephone.

Laura is listening to the tapes of the detectives reporting in when the intercom buzzer forces her to turn it off. "Yes, Mildred?" Her eyes widen and she presses another button. "Where are you?"

"I may've found the elusive Mr. Lucas," he tells her, looking at the paper.

"I may've found something too," she replies.

"I'll let you know if it leads anywhere."

"Just don't do anything rash."

"Is that - professional advice, Miss Holt?"

"Along with a dash of personal concern, Mr. Steele."

"I assure you, I'll be the soul of discretion."


Steele in his Johnny Todd persona- greasy hair, rings, leather jacket and earring,- is on a payphone. "Be a luv and page im, will you? That's my girl. Thank you." He hangs up and joins Rocky, who looks surprised.

"What are we doing here? And why are you dressed like that?"

"Well, everyone else on this bloody case has more than one identity. I didn't want to feel left out. And we're also here because his office said he was enjoying a nice round of golf."


"That's what you're going to tell me, I hope."

Over the PA system comes the announcement, "Edwin Lawton, telephone, please." Nearby, a man stops playing and sighs. "Edwin Lawton. Telephone please." The man starts toward the clubhouse.

Rocky's eyes widen. "Oh my God!"

"Eddie Lucas?" Steele asks.

"See ya round," she says, trying to get away.

Steele keeps his arm tightly around her. "Stay, girl. I want him to get a good look at you."

"Are you crazy? He just killed Vince and I'm probably next."

"Yes, well, he's not gonna do anything here."

"Don't be too sure. Crowds never bothered Eddie."

"Yeah, well, once he's seen you, go back to the loft, lock the door and swallow the key, all right?" He lets her go and moves to intercept Eddie at the payphone, grasping his hand. "Eddie, old sport, ow's it goin, mate?"

Eddie looks shocked. "Don't tell me I KNOW you?"

"Yeah, but I know you. And that's whot counts. Got an earful from my bird-"

"Your BIRD?"

"Oh, yeah. She sings a sweet song about you." Eddie sees Rocky, who runs away, terrified. "All about you and Geiger and Pappas puttin the squeeze on that old banker geezer-whot was is name now? Fowler. That's it. Arthur Fowler."

Eddie grabs Steele's jacket and shoves him up against a tree. "Who are you?"

"Todd's the name. Johnny Todd."

"I don't' know what you're talking about Mr. Todd."

"Edwin Lawton, Investments has a real nice ring to it- but, I mean, Eddie Lucas, Blackmailer, might strike a sour note with some of your rich friends around here, eh?"

"Someone like you might have a tough time selling that one."

"Stroll on, my son, stroll on. I mean, never done a stretch of time in nick [?] I mean, anyone who can run a check on your fingerprints and not come up with your real name-" Eddie releases him. "Banks close at three o'clock. So I'll give you til four, okay? Rocky's apartment. Come up with fifty big ones. 1620 North Campbell Drive. We'll ave a pot of tea, maybe some of those nice little fairy cakes- alright, Eddie?" His smile fades. "Four o'clock."


At three thirty, Steele is trying to make himself comfortable in Rocky's apartment. When someone knocks, he lifts the agency gun and hides behind the door. It opens, and he pulls it farther open, raising the gun when he realizes it's Laura.

"What are you doing here?" he asks.

She inspects his leather jacket. "Same thing you are. Waiting for our killer."

"He'll come. He'll come." They sit down. "And he'll bring the gun that he used on the others. Then we'll have him."

"Don't EVER do that to me again."


"Take off like that. If we're going to be partners, let's ACT like partners."

Steele smiles as he glances at the door every now and then. "Why, Laura. That's a seminal admission on your part. Conceding that we're equals."

"I didn't say we're equals. Just partners."

"Some partners are more equal than others, are they?" he asks as someone turns the doorknob. Steele hides behind the door again, Laura remains where she is as Miss Marple enters. Steele lowers the gun again. "Oh. Miss Marple. You shouldn't be here."

"Miss Holt let a message that Eddie Lucas was supposed to be apprehended," the woman tells him.

"Come early for a good seat?" Laura asks as Steele sits down again.

"We all have a certain stake in seeing him pay for his crimes," Miss Marple points out.

"And how do you want him to pay?" Laura asks. "Like the others? With a bullet?"

Steele winces. "Laura, that's a bit harsh, isn't it?"

Laura gets up and moves toward the woman. "Do you think it's harsh, Miss Marple? Or would you prefer that I call you Ruth? Ruth Gompers from Modesto, wasn't it?" Suddenly she twists the woman's' arm behind her back.

Steele rises. "Steady, Laura. Steady." His objections fade as Laura reaches around the peels away the latex mask and wig to reveal a much younger woman.

"Meet Agnes Fowler," Laura tells Steele.

"Arthur Fowler's daughter?"

Agnes pulls a gun from her pocket as Laura moves away from her. "Yours on the floor, Mr. Steele. Kick it over here. Gently."

He does as she tells him, then asks, "Is this our killer or merely another twist in an already dizzying case?"

"Sometimes good old-fashioned detective work pays off, Mr. Steele," Laura tells him. "A young woman was seen leaving Pappas' limousine. That started me thinking, and I played the tapes of the mystery buffs calling in their progress-I realized Miss Marple wasn't on any of them. I began to wonder why, and came to the conclusion that it was because she was picking UP the messages."

"That's why the killer was waiting for Geiger in the park. I mean, Winston was dutifully calling in the times and places of the meetings-"

"And Pappas," Laura agreed. "She was in the office when we learned that he operated the Dome Limousine Service. What did you do? Ask Mildred if you could use the phone in private? Then ask the limo service to deliver him?"

Agnes smiles. "He didn't suspect a think when a sweet young lady sat behind him."

"But why Winston?" Steele wonders. "Why kill him?"

"Lord knows I didn't want to. But even though I destroyed that license number he'd written down, I couldn't take the chance that he'd eventually remember it. No one was going to stop me in what HAD to be done. Now, all that's left is Eddie Lucas. Then my father can rest in peace."

"Your father was never sexually involved with Rocky Sullivan," Laura tells her. "That picture was faked."

"Oh, he told me that. But in the end, it didn't matter. My father was a very proud man, Miss Holt. Proud of his position in the community. Proud of all that he'd accomplished. The thought of being held up to that kind of public debasement was just too much for him."

The telephone begins to ring. "That could be Eddie Lucas," Steele tells Agnes.

"Answer it."

Cautiously, Steele picks it up. "Yeah? 'ello? Johnny Todd."

Eddie is on the street at a payphone. "I got the money. But I'm a little tied up at m office. Listen, why don't you and Rocky swing by here? You know where it is, don't you?"

"Yeah. Yeah. That I do."

"I'll see you when I see you."

"Alright, mate. TA TA." He hangs up.

Eddie enters the building, pausing on the stairs to get out his gun.

Steele looks thoughtful. "The Big Sleep."

"What?" Agnes asks.

"The killer sets a trap for Bogart. Whoever walks through the door is shot first. Only- Bogart knows it's a trap, so he forced the killer out and he's gunned down by his own men. I'll wager that Mr. Lucas is waiting outside that door right now."

"I'm calling the police," Laura decides, taking a step toward the phone.

"No," Agnes tells her.

Eddie waits, growing impatient.

Laura and Steele are sitting down. "How long do you think we can sit here?" Laura asks.

"It's almost over, Miss Holt," Agnes tells her, backing toward the door.

"Where are you going?" Steele asks.

"There's been nothing much to my life since my father died. You can have Eddie Lucas," she declares, dropping the gun and opening the door. "For murder!"

Eddie fires two shots, and Agnes falls to the floor.

Steele retrieves a gun, handing it to Laura. "Cover me!" he tells her.


"And do your level best not to hit me." He opens the door. She takes a shot at Lucas as he rolls into the corner at the top of the stairs. He stands, waits a beat, and then leaps down the stairs into Lucas, sending them both sprawling onto the floor below. He grabs Lucas and hits him, knocking him unconscious.

Laura kneels beside Agnes, then stands to go to the railing and look down at Steele. Her face tells him that Agnes is dead.


In Steele's office, Marlowe says, "She was a real dizzy dame, wasn't she? Cooking up that whole Mystery Tour just to avenge her father's death."

"Quite imaginative, though," Holmes adds, "using us to find the people she held responsible."

"And now she'll rest beside her beloved father," Watson said sadly.

"Umm. A sad end to an even sadder life, eh, gentlemen?" Steele asks, then smiles. "Oh."

Rocky comes into the room, wearing a skin tight evening dress. "Well, how do you like, it, boys?" she asks.

"Absolutely stunning," Holmes decrees.

"Evocative," Watson agrees. "HIGHLY evocative, Miss Sullivan."

"Yeah," Marlowe tells Steele, "we've invited Rocky to perform at the next Mystery Buff's Ball."

"I'm gonna give em a sample of my act- since they didn't get to see it the other night."

"We're prepared to have our socks knocked off, Miss Sullivan," Watson assures her, as she takes his arm and then Holmes'. Marlowe follows.

"Good day to you all," Steele calls after them. "Good day." Alone, he sits back down, putting his feet up as Laura enters from her office, a piece of paper in her hands. "Ah, Miss Holt. Any progress on unmasking your secret admirer?" He rises to join her in front of the desk.

"I had Mildred and her trusty computer check out some of the better florists in the city," She tells him.

"Oh, yes. Oh, yes. And what did they come up with, eh?"

"A bill."


"For three thousand dollars."


"Charged to the Agency-" she puts the paper before him. "Signed by you."

He looks at it. "Really, Laura. I mean, why would I do that?"

Laura's angry. "So that you could become jealous and fight for me. So you could 'realize' how much I mean to you- I mean what BETTER way to have your cake and eat it too?!"

"Aren't you the least bit flattered that I care for you so much to create such an elaborate ruse?"

"Not THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS worth!" she says, pointing to the paper.

"Okay. Oh-" he says, as Mildred comes in with another bouquet.

"These just came for you, Miss Holt," she says. "There's bushels more outside." Steele begins to look concerned.

Laura shoves the flowers at him. "Really! Hasn't your gambit gone far enough?!"

Steele looks at the flowers, glances at Mildred, then leans toward Laura. "Laura, I swear to you, I DIDN'T send these to you."

Laura's expression changes from anger to delight as she touches the flowers and smiles at Steele.

The End.