Remington Steele is alone in the limo, looking bored as he
puts on his sunglasses. The limo pulls into the driveway of a
large luxurious stone house. Exiting the limo, he turns to speak
to Fred through the passenger window.
"These client interviews tend to drag on a bit Fred, so I'll call when I'm finished. Okay? I'll see you later." He taps on the limo and Fred pulls away.
Stepping up to the door he rings the bell. The bell chimes a melodious ding dong and he whistles an answering reply. The door opens and Mr. Steele is met by the butler.
"Ah, good afternoon. Remington Steele." He removes his glasses and adds, "I have an appointment with B.J. Sinclair."
Smiling, he moves to enter the house.
"Of course sir." The butler ushers Steele inside.
"Thank you." Steele enters and looks to his right
as an attractive blonde woman approaches.
"Mr. Steele, so glad you could make it."
"You're B.J. Sinclair?" Steele answers with a tone of mild surprise.
Taking her wrap, Steele places it around her shoulders.
"Eh, to the contrary. No, I just thought the founder of B. J. Sinclair Industries, uh - was-"
"-Was a man," she finishes for him. She smiles. "Happens all the time."
"I should have known better Miss Sinclair."
"Billie" she corrects him. "You can make it up to me tonight. Shall we?"
"We're going someplace?"
"Mr. Steele," she purrs, "I make it a point to get acquainted with my business partners before getting into bed with them. So to speak."
"Excellent practice." He swallows slightly.
Linking her arm in his they walk toward the door.
"Now, we could spend the evening talking about my corporate security contracts in this big old house."
"Bit dry." Steele replies.
"Or, we can discuss it while enjoying a night out and getting to know each other as people," she continues.
"Far more- personable."
The butler opens the door and they exit the house. A white Rolls Royce is sitting in the driveway.
"Now you can see why I didn't ask your associate Miss Holt, along."
The driver shuts the car door for B. J. as Steele walks around.
"Yes.... yes," Steele murmurs, looking very impressed by the expensive car and surroundings. He opens the door and slides in the back seat with her.
"I hope she wasn't offended," B. J. explains, "but I thought it might- cramp things a bit"
"Oh completely understandable. I merely suggested she come along to facilitate her on the job training. I'm sure once I explain things to Miss Holt she'll be entirely sympathetic to your point of view."
B. J. has poured two glasses of champagne and hands one to Mr. Steele. She offers a toast. "Well, here's to the start of something- special."
They clink glasses and drink as the white Rolls pulls out of
the driveway and on to the street.
Blankets on a bed start to move and rustle. The blanket is pulled down and we see Mr. Steele, looking groggy and disoriented. He rubs his eyes and face, trying to get his bearings. Suddenly yanking off the covers he gets up, clad only in his briefs. He looks out the window and then moves to the table where he sits and drinks from a cup that is sitting there. Wiping his mouth, he picks up the phone and dials the operator.
"Yes, ah, Mr. Steele in, um, Mr. Steele in, ah." He picks up a key and looks at the room number. "Yes. 1019. A quick question operator. What hotel is this? . . . Ah, the Rexford Palms, of course . . . Yes, a superb hostelry . . . Yes of course. Keep up the good work. Good day. Bye, bye."
He takes another sip from the cup and looks through his wallet. Credit cards and cash are still there. He re-dials the operator. "Ah yes, Steele here again. Another harmless query. Uh, what day is it? . . . Sure? . . . No, no, no, no, nothing's wrong. At these rates I just wanted to be sure you were on your toes, that's all. Tell me operator, just to confirm my records, umm, when did I check in? . . . Two days ago. And ah, do you happen to remember if I was with anyone? . . . Ah! Stumped you at last. Nice try anyway. Yes, good day"
He swallows down the rest of the drink.
A scruffy looking Steele exits the elevator. Buttoning his jacket and adjusting his collar and tie, he heads down the hallway to the Steele Agency. When he reaches the door he stops. New furnishings and décor are to be seen within. Looking stunned, Mr. Steele enters the agency.
"Wha...", is all he has time to say as two men carrying a chair head toward the door from his office.
"Coming through pal," says one of the men.
"Ah, gentlemen there's been a slight misunderstanding," Mr. Steele begins.
"Move it or loose it buddy," is the fast reply.
"Right, OK," Steele moves out of their way.
As Mildred enters he removes his sunglasses.
"Mildred what is this? Gone only one full day and she redecorates without me."
"Oh boss, thank God you're here. It's not true is it?" Looking at him she adds, "Ah, what happened to you?"
"Ahh.." he starts to say.
Mildred jumps in, "You can explain everything. Right?"
"Mildred let's not over-react. I mean we all miss a day of work now and then but this is ridiculous."
"Miss Holt has been frantic but she's got Rueben on it and I'm sure it'll be OK. Right? I mean now that you're here."
Sounding more confused Steele asks, "Rueben Saltzman, our attorney? What's this got to do with him?"
"Oh boss you're not well are you? We're doomed."
"I'm fine Mildred. You're the one not making any sense. Now where's Miss Holt, so we can get all this," he gestures at the office, making a face, "straightened out."
"She's in there, with him."
"Him?" is his bewildered response.
"You know, him? Cranston?" explains Mildred.
"Cranston?" Steele sounds more confused.
Laura enters the outer office holding a file. At the sight of Mr. Steele she rushes forward and embraces him.
"Oh. Miss Holt."
"Mr. Steele, Oh . . . you're all right," Laura says with some relief.
"It's only been one day."
Turning to Mildred, Laura says, "Now we can finally get some answers."
"What?" he asks.
Laura looks at his rumpled appearance and need of a shave. "You're a mess."
"Are you sure you're all right?" Laura questions.
Mr. Steele sounding more exasperated. "Yes, yes, I'm fine but..."
Laura begins, "Now listen I've got Rueben checking the signature. I'm sure it's a phony but when you tell him what happened, we'll get an injunction and then this will be . . ."
"Laura," Steele is beginning to sound frantic. "What are you talking about? I feel like I've come in at the wrong reel of a movie."
Mildred adds more to her prophecy. "We're doomed. We're finished. Finito"
"Mildred this is no time to panic," Laura says to her.
"Well if this isn't, I don't know when is," Mildred dryly replies.
"Will someone kindly tell me what is go . . ." Steele continues.
"Coming through pal." The workman return. This time carrying in to the agency a large painting of a woman.
His anger beginning to bubble Mr. Steele asks once again, "Will someone please tell me what in bloody hell is going on here?"
A smiling man in a business suit comes out of Steele's office. He cautions the workmen. "Easy with that boys, that's a family treasure. I thought I recognized a familiar voice out here. Keeping banker's hours, huh Steele? Just kidding," he laughs. "You go ahead and do whatever it is you do, just so long as we get results. Listen, when you've got a minute I'd like to see you in my office."
"New client?" asks Steele. Laura and Mildred exchange glances.
Mildred's only comment, "We're dead. Dead."
Laura ushers Mr. Steele into her office and asks, "You don't know that man?"
"I never laid eyes on him before in my life. What the blazes is he doing in my office and what the hell's happened to your office? What is going on here, Laura?"
"Thirty six-hours." Laura cryptically replies.
"James Garner, Rod Taylor, MGM 1964, but that doesn't explain . . ."
"Where have you been for the last thirty-six hours?" Laura asks in more detail.
"At the Rexford Palms hotel, apparently flat on my back. Laura, all I remember is that after my Wednesday afternoon appointment with B.J. Sinclair it was suddenly Friday morning."
"Does the Colony Park Club ring any bells?" she asks.
"Should it?" he responds warily.
"Only to this degree. Two nights ago at the Colony Park Club, you got drunk, entered a high stakes poker game and in a hand worth a quarter of a million dollars, put up the Remington Steele Agency as collateral- and lost. To that man, in there, Harry Cranston."
Mr. Steele's response is a very stunned look and an exhale of breath.
In Steele's office, Harry Cranston is talking to six people all wearing neck support collars. " . . .And let me assure you folks that when it comes to investigating the Los Angeles Transit System, Mr. Steele has no peers."
Flinging open the connecting door to his office Steele demands, "Cranston, is it?"
"Steele, I want you to meet the Imala Pindi family from Pakistan. Greatest group whiplash opportunity you've ever seen." Gesturing to the family of six Cranston introduces, "This is Ahmad, Ahmada, Kazala, Mahmtaz, Sahlee..."
Interrupting, Steele says, "Charmed, I'm sure but you and I have more important business to discuss, Cranston."
"Don't be so hasty Steele. When the supermarket tabloids get wind of this, we're talking publicity like this agency has never seen before."
Steele grabs Cranston by the lapels. "I'm talking about business between you and me mate, that's what I'm talking about."
Laura jumps in and squeezes between the two men breaking Steele's hold on Cranston's lapels. "Mr. Steele, this is no way to start off a healthy relationship with our new employer." Then to Cranston she adds as she smoothes out his suit, "He's a bit nervous about the new arrangement."
"Justifiably, I suppose, but he's got to understand who's the boss around here. Now Steele, I warned you....."
Glancing at the people sitting, watching them Laura suggests, "Could we, ah, discuss this outside."
"We'll be back in a minute folks," Cranston informs the family.
Back in the outer office Cranston begins, "Steele I warned you before you signed that note to clear it..."
"Wait a minute pal, wait a minute," Steele interrupts. "What note?"
To Laura, Cranston comments, "Boy, when he ties one on he really doesn't remember a thing, does he?"
Laura looks at Steele and explains, "The promissory note pledging the agency and -all- it's assets."
"I told you to bet with your head, not with your heart but, oh no, you were determined. Now hey, I admire your spirit and I will admit that my straight flush was pretty well hidden. But still..."
"Laura, I don't know this man. I never played cards with this man. I never signed any note."
"You take all the time you need to get over the shock, Steele. I owe you that much before working your tail off."
The phone rings and Mildred answers, "Remington Steele Investigation, a division of Cranston Industries."
"I don't believe this is happening," says Steele almost to himself.
Holding out the phone, Mildred says, "For you Mr. Cranston, Penthouse magazine?"
Laura gasps, "What?"
"Oh don't be so naïve Miss Hall."
"Holt!" she corrects him.
Without noticing Cranston continues, "Dirty linen. That's the name of the investigative game today. You get a hot case and it gets on the news wires and you're going to have clients pounding at the door. Now, I've got a Washington conspiracy case for you to check out that'll make Watergate look like mother goose and these magazine fellas are interested in the exclusive rights to the story." Cranston heads back into Steele's office.
Pointing toward the door Steele comments, "A sleazebag and a liar- but a commendable grasp of marketing."
Cranston says good bye to the family as they leave Steele's office. "Take it easy now folks, and Mr. Steele will be in touch with you."
As the family exits the agency two men enter.
"Ah Rueben, thank heavens," Laura says with a grateful tone.
"Miss Holt, a pleasure to see you again. Mr. Steele," says Rueben. He's wearing glasses and has a meek demeanor.
"Thank you, Rueben, but the joy is wasted on me, old chap." says Steele rather distractedly.
"Did you get the injunction?" asks Laura.
Hesitating, Rueben answers, "Well, not exactly."
In exasperation Steele responds, "What do you mean, not exactly? That man in there is the biggest fraud since Tony Curtis in The Great Imposter."
"Well, yes, but we have to prove it." Rueben explains, "Ah, you see, which is why I brought Mr. Fairbanks here, so that you could hear it from him. You see, at the moment Mr. Steele, everything hinges on proving that the promissory note you allegedly signed is a forgery."
"Rueben, of course it's a forgery," says Steele.
"Yes, well, Mr. Fairbanks," introduces Rueben.
"My name is Kenneth Fairbanks. I'm a handwriting expert whose work has been used in major forgery cases too numerous to mention. References available upon request." When no one asks for any, he clears his throat and continues. "Well, not only have I examined this promissory note, but I've also shared said material and comparison signatures with two other eminent colleagues in my field. References also available, upon request. Our separate conclusions are the same. This signature is undeniably that of Mr. Steele."
"Ah, impossible," states Steele.
"Improbable perhaps but true none the less," answers Fairbanks with a touch of annoyance.
"Eh, so you see I'm a little stuck at the moment," Rueben meekly comments.
"Sh-, shush." Steele interrupts Rueben. "You've got to believe me." Hands pressed together he quietly pleads to Laura. "I didn't sign that note."
"You do?" Sounding surprised that she believes him.
To Rueben she asks, "Rueben there has to be something you can do. A restraining order or something?"
"Well, ah, I'm a little rusty in that whole area," answers Rueben.
"Well, put it into gear buster," Mildred says with authority. "It's about time you started earning your retainer."
Rueben looks nervous.
Laura and Steele are in the Rabbit, the top is down and we see that Steele has changed clothes. Laura is driving.
Laura comments, "You're the obvious victim of a very clever scam to hoodwink us out of the agency."
"You saw that from the start?" he asks her.
"Of course. After all we've been through together, do you really think I'd believe that you would stake Remington Steele Investigations, the major accomplishment of my life, the product of six years of hard work as collateral in a card game? Would I ever think that you would be that reckless, that foolhardy, that stupid?"
"Do I have to answer?"
"Well, while Rueben tries to find a legal means to stop Cranston from turning our office into an adjunct of the scandal sheets, we have to figure out who's behind it, how they did it and why."
"Laura, you're being remarkably calm about all this."
"Mr. Steele, when Cranston entered my life yesterday, I had one of two choices. I could believe in you and know there's a way out of this. Or, I could believe him. In which case, I would have had to hunt you down, tear your heart out and scatter it to the four winds before jumping off the nearest available building myself."
"Good choice, eh?" He smiles at her.
Pulling into the driveway of B. J. Sinclair's house Steele comments, "It had to be a drug in the champagne, Laura."
"Sounds likely," she answers.
"Unless I miss my guess the seductive B. J. Sinclair will be long gone by now."
"How can you be so sure?" Laura asks as she exits the Rabbit and walks around the car to passenger side.
"North by Northwest, Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, MGM 1959. Grant returns to a mansion that was once full of spies only to find it occupied by ordinary inhabitants."
"Let's see." Laura rings the doorbell.
The butler answers, "Yes."
"You remember me, don't you Jeeves? Remington Steele, to see my dear friend B. J. Sinclair."
"I'm afraid Miss Sinclair isn't available."
"Really?" Steele questions dryly.
Laura suggests, "Perhaps if you told Miss Sinclair that it's urgent."
"I'm sorry, you'll have to make an appointment when she returns from her ranch in Wyoming." As he says this, the butler tries to shut the door on them.
"Wyoming is it?" He pushes open the door. "Out
of the way"
Laura follows Steele inside and down the hallway.
"Please!" The butler calls after them, "You have no right. You're not permitted inside."
Looking at the furnishings covered in cloth Steele comments, "I knew it, I knew it. She has flown the coop."
"Rogers, what's all the commotion?"
Apologetically the butler says, "Miss Sinclair I'm terribly sorry."
Coming down the staircase B. J. stops as she sees Steele. "You!"
"So much for old Hitch," Laura comments.
"They barged in I'm sorry." The butler once again
"It's all right Rogers. Take my bags. I'll deal with Mr. Steele." As the butler carries out the luggage B. J. continues, "I'm surprised you had the temerity to show your face."
"Miss Sinclair" Laura introduces herself, "I'm Laura Holt, Mr. Steele's associate and I...."
"You poor dear." B. J. interrupts.
In an irritated tone Mr. Steele says, "Now let's just
dispense with the pleasantries here. I want your explanation and
I want it now." He points at B. J.
"My explanation? I've never been so insulted in my entire life."
"Insulted?" Laura questions.
"Believe me Miss Holt, I understand that some men have to prove their masculinity by drinking beyond their limits-."
"Now wait just a bloody minute here." Mr. Steele starts to defend himself but Laura interrupts him.
"Go on Miss Sinclair. Tell me, what happened."
"There's not much to tell. We went to the club."
Laura asks, "The Colony Park Club?"
"Yes and there's always a card game in the back room.
Mr. Steele, a bit tipsy from
the champagne downed several drinks in quick succession and then abandoned me, his host *and* client, in front of all my friends."
"And entered into the poker game," Laura continues for her.
Steele looks in amazement.
"And when it was over," Laura continues, "you dropped him off at the Rexford Palms hotel."
"Hah, I most certainly did not. I was mortified by his behavior. I ordered my car immediately after Mr. Steele left me and returned home."
"I was playing cards with your friends, was I?" Mr. Steele asks B. J.
"My friends wouldn't play cards with a man in your condition."
"Sounds like quite an evening," Laura comments.
"It was a nightmare, I can assure you."
"Hmmm." Mr. Steele replies.
"Now if you'll excuse me. I have a plane to catch." B. J. leaves them. As they watch her Mr. Steele closes his fist with an air of frustration.
Back in the Rabbit they resume their conversation.
"She's good. She's very good," Laura states.
"Total fabrication Laura, every word."
"But convincingly constructed to hold up in court."
Laura explains, "If we're going to beat these people it has to be as Rueben says, with proof."
"How do we do that?" he asks.
"By following up this fabrication until we find a flaw."
They pull up to the Colony Park Club. "Look familiar?" she asks. A parking attendant opens the car door for Laura.
"Not in the slightest." he answers.
As he opens the door for them the doorman says, "Welcome back Mr. Steele."
"Good to see you." Then to Laura he adds, "It
appears Cranston left no palm
A waiter approaches and shakes Steele's hand. "Mr. Steele, good to see you again and who is the lovely lady this evening?"
"Laura Holt," she tells him.
"A pleasure. The usual sir, Moscow mule iced in a pewter mug with a sprig of mint?"
"Excellent," Steele says with a wary look.
"And for the lady?"
"Scotch, straight up," Laura answers.
"This way please."
"Flaw, you were saying Laura, look for a flaw, remember?"
A woman suddenly embraces him. "Remington! Don't you remember me?" Steele looks annoyed, no sign of recognition on his face. "Delores," she continues, "your good luck charm." To Laura she adds quietly, "He was so cute. He had me blow on his cards before every deal."
"Ah uh." Laura lifts up the woman's arm indicating Mr. Steele's I. D. bracelet. "What a guy, huh?"
"Isn't it beautiful? Remy gave it to me as a tip" Steele pulls it off the woman's wrist. "Hey!" she says as Steele turns and walks away.
Laura taps the woman on her arm with her purse and tells her, "In retrospect I don't think he was that pleased with the service."
They exit off the elevator heading for the agency. "Icy calm Mr. Steele. Remember?"
"Laura, there's a time to be calm and a time to be totally unreasonable. Now is time to be totally unreasonable."
Laura cautions him, "Thus far we haven't been able to disprove any aspect of Cranston's story. We can't afford to get fired from our own agency. Our only chance is to stay close and see what his game is."
Reaching the agency door they stop. Painted on the glass the
sign now reads:
REMINGTON STEELE INVESTIGATIONS
A Division of Cranston Industries
"Icy calm Miss Holt. Icy calm." Laura can only breathe deeply.
A young woman in a tight fitting, low cut, red sweater is sitting at the receptionist's desk, filing her fingernails. "Can I help you?" she asks.
"Who are you?" asks Steele.
"I'm Miss Rabello, the new receptionist. Whom may I say is calling?"
"Where's Mildred?" Laura asks as Cranston emerges from Steele's office.
"Krebs?" Cranston asks. "Just canned her."
"You what?" Steele angrily asks.
"Come on guy. We're in the image business. Nobody wants
to see an old battle-ax
manning the phones."
"You animal!" screams Laura grabbing Cranston by
the shoulders and shaking
him. "I'll kill you."
Steele grabs Laura and tries to pull her off of Cranston. "Icy calm Laura, Icy calm. Remember?"
They all stop as Mildred comes out of one of the offices carrying a plant. She looks at them as if she's about to cry, and then continues out the doors..
"Mildred. Oh Mildred," Laura calls, and runs after her.
Cranston straightens his tie and comments. "Passionate woman. Take a memo."
"Ok." Miss Rabello reaches for her pad.
"Not a bright idea, Harry," Steele tells him in a smooth voice.
"Short tempered though she may be, she's a very valuable asset. Part of the corporate worth. You wouldn't want to just throw that away, would you?"
"All right. She gets a second chance, but- talk to her."
"Good to see you're getting back into the swing of things again, Steele."
"Oh, we're going to get to know each other really well, you know that Harry? I guarantee you mate." As he says this Steele pats Cranston on the back, deftly removing an envelope from his jacket pocket.
Turning to the young woman, Cranston tells her, "Miss Rabello bring your pad."
"Ok," she answers and follows him into Steele's office.
Mr. Steele examines the envelope addressed to:
6117 Highfield Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90019
Laura is talking to Mildred in the hallway. "Mildred this whole mess is only temporary."
"Yeah? How can you be so sure?"
"Because we're going to prove that it's all a scam. That Mr. Steele is innocent of everything they say."
Rueben approaches from the direction of the elevators. "Ah, Miss Holt. Hmmm."
"Any progress Rueben?" Laura asks.
"Well maybe. I have to file some papers with a judge downtown but what I really need is for either you or Mr. Steele to help prepare the documentation before hand."
Joining them Steele says, "Friendly place for a meeting."
"Melvin Belli here is having a little trouble with his paperwork," Mildred notes with sarcasm.
Laura explains to Mr. Steele, "I have to go with Rueben for an hour or so."
"While you were busy being icy calm I got a lead on Cranston." Mr. Steele holds up the envelope for all of them to see. "An address."
"First things, first. I'll call as soon as we're done." Laura turns to leave. "Come on Rueben."
"Ahh . . .," Steele starts to say.
"Boss," Mildred says.
"Ah, yeah, it's my lucky day. Come on Mildred." He
puts his arm around her and they
head toward the elevators.
Steele and Mildred, dressed in black are watching Cranston's apartment. Through binoculars Steele observes Cranston and Miss Rabello dressed in evening clothes heading out for the night. They laugh and kiss. Fred opens the limo door for them, they get in and drive off.
"Ah ha. Remind me to talk to Fred about the distinction between being a good soldier and an outright toady. Come on, Mildred let's go."
Entering Cranston's apartment, Mildred comments, "Nice, but a bit impersonal."
"The trademark of a professional con man," explains Steele. "No signpost leading to your past."
Mildred points her flashlight at him. "I guess you should know."
He "tsks" at her in reply.
Mildred, still looking, says, "Not even a monogrammed handkerchief."
Steele turns on a light on a desk. He opens a drawer looks in and closes it. He looks under the desk and comments, "Cranston's clever but he's not perfect."
Sliding under the desk he sees something taped to the underside of the desk. Mildred slides under the desk with him. Handing Mildred his flashlight. "Here hold this Mildred." He removes the items and we see "Three bogus passports: Albert Nims, Australia; Roy Parcell, England; and Victor Belski, Sweden".
"Holy cow! He's another you." Steele looks at her. "Kind of a - a former you."
"Mildred, why do I get the feeling you're not entirely behind me on this one?"
"I'm behind you."
"Yes, and ready to push at the next cliff it appears."
"Ok chief, here it is. I've seen the kind of trouble you've put Miss Holt through and I have watched her defend you when ninety-nine out of a hundred women wouldn't, and, well... I just hope you're worth it."
"So do I."
Still dressed in black, Steele heads down the hallway to the agency. Stopping at the door he hesitates. The sign on the door, the furnishings, all as they should be. He bends down to unlock the door and hesitates again because it's unlocked. Cautiously he enters the agency, noting Mildred's name plate on "her" desk. He enters his office and there, cut in the floor, is a hole. Looking into it, he sees a desk and clutter in the room below. He climbs down into the hole, onto the desk. Stepping off the desk he is suddenly grabbed by two men.
"Freeze! No sudden moves. You have the right to remain silent. If you give up the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will..."
"Gentlemen, you're making a big mistake."
A strange, but ominously familiar cackling laugh fills the darkness. "Mwa ha ha ha "
The light comes on and we see . . . "Keyes? Norman Keyes?" Steele asks as he recognizes the bald insurance investigator.
"Ah, I'm touched you remember, Steele. Vigilance Insurance."
"Keyes, will you explain to these gentlemen that . . ."
"Explain what? That you didn't know your office was sitting on top of six million bucks in un-set diamonds?" Keyes closes a large metal safe door. The lock has been torched.
"There's plenty of time for chat, Steele. Right now, I think these gentlemen would like a word with you first. Huh?" The police lead Steele out of the room. "Ha ha ha." Keyes laughs as he lights his cigar.
At police headquarters, Steele is sitting at a table being questioned by a detective, while a court stenographer types everything down. A uniformed officer stands guard at the door. Norman Keyes is also in the room.
The detective begins, "You sure you want all this on the record, Steele?"
"Ok, ok. You say this woman Delores was wearing your I. D. bracelet, but you've never set foot in the club before, and you have no idea how she got it."
"Correct. I assume someone took it off me after I'd been drugged."
"Ah," Keyes asks, "was that before or after the six Pakistanis with group whiplash?"
"After. I mean before. Someone took it off me before the Pakistanis but I didn't discover it was missing until after."
Another officer enters the room and hands the detective a file.
Keyes demands, "Come on Steele, it's a great story, but we're all a little tired hearing about poker games and office re-decorations, now where are the goodies, the goodies?"
"Mmmm," is all Steele says in response.
"I'll do what I can for you," Keyes tells him.
"If you really want your bloody diamonds, Keyes, you really should be looking for Harry Cranston and B. J. Sinclair or whoever they really are."
"Steele," the detective begins, "I, ah, have some rather amusing reading here for you based on the reports of my men. There is no waitress named Delores at the Colony Park Club. The doorman doesn't know you. The waiters don't know you. Oh, that Rexford Palms hotel has no record of you ever having stayed there. B. J. Sinclair says she's never met you. The condominium address you gave us for Harry Cranston is vacant, and we can find no trace of a receptionist named Debbie Rabello. Ok. I'm gonna give you the rest of the night to think this over, and then I'm going to get mean."
"Ah come on detective, it's an obvious scam. You really should see North by Northwest, do you realize that?"
Rueben enters the room and Steele says to him, "Reuben for heaven's sake where the hell have you been? Never mind, don't explain, just give them the promissory note will you?"
With a sheepish look on his face Reuben says, "Well you see that's why I was late. My office was broken into, the- the note was stolen."
The detective and the court stenographer leave.
Keyes laughs again as Steele clears his throat. "Ah you're a prize Steele, you really are. You know, you almost had me fooled just now. One thing puzzles me though, why'd you come back? The safe was peeled, the stuff was gone. Were you afraid you'd left some clue behind? You needn't have bothered. Once they alerted me and I saw who's office was above the safe, I knew who pulled that job."
"I'm gonna enjoy rubbing your nose in this some day, Keyes."
"Don't hold your breath glamour boy. This nose of mine has a sense of it's own when it comes to knowing who's a crook and who isn't, and when it first picked up your scent, I knew. You're no private detective, and I'm gonna prove it."
"You're wasting your time."
"Yeah? I'm gonna find those diamonds and then I'm gonna tell a little story about the guy who stole them. A guy with five passports and a mysterioso past- and then it will be good-bye Remington Steele, hello Leavenworth.
Keyes exits leaving Rueben and Steele, except for the guard, alone together. "Rueben, you've been a brick." Steele claps Rueben's cheek.
The door to the jail's visiting room opens and Steele heads for a chair. On the other side of the fence is seated Mildred.
"No offense Mildred, but where's Miss Holt?"
"She got an urgent call from Norman Keyes."
"What could be more urgent than bailing me out?" he starts to ask angrily but hesitates and more calmly continues. "I'm sorry Mildred, I don't mean to take it out on you. Let's just pay the bail and get me out of here, shall we?"
"Uh boss. The diamonds they say you took - which I know you didn't, cause you don't do that sort of thing any more - are worth six million dollars."
"So, they set your bail at five hundred thousand dollars. That's a lot of sheckles."
"Are you saying I'm stuck in here?"
"Just until we can come up with something. I brought you some good books." She holds up several romance novels.
Laura enters Steele's apartment. The detective, Keyes and several uniformed officers are looking around.
"Ah Miss Holt," Keyes greets her. "Glad you
could make it in time for the un-masking
of Remington Steele."
"In other words you haven't found anything yet," Laura replies.
"We will." Keyes turns to the detective and tells him. "Got sent to Paris once, a diamond job. We knew the guy had the stuff stashed in his apartment, couldn't find it. Till finally, I noticed the dining room light wasn't working."
"Check the light fixtures and the switch plates," the detective calls out to the officers.
To Keyes, Laura says, "You wanted to see me, I'm here. Though I thought it would just be the two of us."
"Miss Holt I always thought you were an innocent dupe."
"Back in Vegas, Steele pulled the wool over our eyes, remember?" he winks. "Now things are a bit different."
"He's still my boss," she says emphatically.
"He's also a thief and a liar. What I mean is, you're
too smart a cookie to let him do that to you again."
Keyes again to the detective says, "You know, completely baffled by a guy in New Orleans once, who stole some microchips. Sat down in the middle of his apartment. Got hungry. That was it." He laughs that grating laugh.
"Check the refrigerator."
"You really get a kick out of this, don't you Keyes?" Laura asks.
"It's my job. Now listen honey, Steele is gonna do serious time. When the sentence comes down, you can look good or you can look bad depending on how co-operative you've been. You help me wrap this up and you'll..."
They sit down on the sofa. "Thanks but I'd rather take my chances with the jury."
"Bingo!" the detective yells. Laura sits up. "Hey this guy's a real connoisseur... when it comes to... cheese." The detective sets a block of cheese on the table. Several diamonds can be seen imbedded in it.
"Uh, I wonder what the jury will say about that?" Keyes asks holding up one of the stones.
Back at the office Mildred is watching a workman hammering a wooden board over the hole. The phone rings and Mildred answers with only, "Remington Steele Investigations."
"Mildred," Laura tells her, "we're in trouble and I need your help."
Norman Keyes is sitting at lunch room table doing a crossword puzzle. Mildred enters carrying a tray, locates Keyes and takes a seat at the table behind him.
"Excuse me, may I borrow your sugar?" she asks. Then with surprise she asks him, "Norman Keyes?"
"Do I know you?"
"Mildred Krebs. Las Vegas? The Murdock affair?"
"Oh yea! You, you work, you work for..."
"Right. Remington Steele. I used to, any how. Oh, that fink. Who'd a thought it, huh? Boy, you must be on top of the world. Steele in jail and your picture in all the papers."
"Yeah right." He turns back to his crossword puzzle.
"You mind if I join you?"
As Mildred picks up her tray and moves to Keyes table he comments, "It's a free country."
Mildred toasts with her coffee. "Well, here's to Remington Steele. Long may he swing in the breeze."
"Hmm hmmm," is Keyes only comment.
"You don't seem too happy for a Mountie who just got his man."
"I'm not in the man business, that's a cop's game. I'm in the recovery business."
"I read you got the diamonds, too."
"A few rocks worth a measly two hundred thousand? There's still five point eight million out there."
"Oh well, I'm sure you'll find them in one of the boss' old hiding places."
"What hiding places?"
"Don't know. It's just that he used to say he had a few places around town where he'd stash things for emergencies."
"You think he put the diamonds there?"
"I don't know where else. Why don't you just follow him?" Mildred chuckles. "You can't do that, can you? He's in jail."
"What if he wasn't in jail?"
"Knowing Steele like I do. I'd say the minute he sees daylight, he'll cash out and make a run for it."
"Uh huh, yeah."
"What are we talking about? Miss Holt can't make bail, it's too high."
"But Vigilance Insurance can."
"Anonymously. Then I follow Steele, and when he goes for the diamonds..." Keyes makes a grabbing gesture, "Wham!"
"Oh Keyes, you are some shrewd operator."
"You know something Mildred? For an old broad, you're ok."
Mildred laughs, "You're cute," she says, smiling, then gives him a look that could kill.
Alone, this time Laura returns to B. J. Sinclair's house. A For Sale sign is in the front yard. Laura notices it. She goes to the door and rings the bell.
A butler answers the door, "Yes?"
"You're the butler?" Laura asks. This is not the man who answered the door on her previous visit.
"Yes, and you, Madam?" the butler replies.
With an air of sophistication Laura says, "I'm Mrs. Vanderhusen. I had an appointment to see the house."
"Today?" he asks.
"Well I was sure the agent called. Perhaps if you checked with... "
"Who is it Charles?" a woman's voice asks from inside the house.
"A Mrs. Vanderhusen, to see the house."
An older woman comes to the door, "Hello. I'm sorry dear but I'm really not up to showing the house today. I just got back from Wyoming an hour ago."
"Oh. Ah, I stopped by yesterday." Laura probes, "Perhaps I confused you with your daughter."
"I don't have any children."
"Ahh. Beautiful young woman, tall, blonde, lovely features."
"That sounds like Christy."
"Christy?" Laura echoes.
"Christy McCall from Excelsior Realty. She has the listing on the house. Lovely woman."
Laura adds, "And bright, extremely bright."
Mr. Steele, with Rueben, is exiting City Hall. Steele stretches and says, "Whew! Never realized how much I missed the smog." He puts on his suit jacket.
"You know," Rueben says, "I've never heard of an anonymous bail donor. I just don't get it."
"That seems to be a pattern with you Rueben. I'm sure it's one of my many past clients who have trust in me."
"I think something's fishy here."
"Hmm, try to do something useful Rueben, won't you?"
Laura pulls up in the Rabbit and Rueben walks off. "Let's go," Laura calls to Mr. Steele.
Mr. Steele walks around to the drivers side of the car. "You arranged bail?" he asks.
"It was Mildred actually, by way of Vigilance Insurance. "I'll explain but come on, get in." Instead he reaches over her and turns off the engine.
"What are you doing? she asks.
"I'd like to talk for a moment." He opens the car door for her.
"Considering the situation.... "
"Just a brief walk. Come on, it's ok." Laura exits the car and walks with him.
"I, ah, missed you in jail," Steele begins.
"Well, didn't Mildred explain. I, we were there."
"Are you telling me that Laura Holt, the woman who can talk her way past anyone, couldn't find a way to reach me?"
"Look,- I'm,- the police. You know, once they make up their mind-," she says haltingly.
"You didn't want to see me."
"That isn't true."
"It is true, I can feel it." They stop walking as they reach the side of the building. Steele leans back against the wall. "Something happened when you found out about the robbery, didn't it? Your trust in me wavered, just a little bit perhaps."
She's hesitant to look at him. "No," she replies her voice small.
"Once a thief, always a thief. Isn't that what went through your mind? Hmmm?" He reaches out and with two fingers tilts her chin up so she looks at him. "Laura?"
"I, - I didn't want to think it. It just happened." She looks away and they change places. Now, Laura is leaning against the wall.
"Tell me." He places his hand against the wall, shortening the distance between them.
"Well, I know it's crazy because I know I can trust you."
"Just tell me."
"You must admit, it's the perfect double con. You make me believe you've been set up. I work to get you out of it and then once we prove you're innocent, you split with Cranston and the others and then, - " her voice wavering, she stops.
"And then - What?"
With sadness she finishes, "And then you go away."
Steele exhales, "I thought so. Ah, I know I've put you through a lot. Perhaps I haven't told you often enough how glad I am we're together. Well, I'm telling you now." He wraps his arms around her. "I'm not going anywhere Laura and you better come up with something quick to get me off the hook." Over his shoulder you see Laura's look of happiness. Loosening the embrace he kisses her gently.
As the kiss ends Laura tells him, "I've got a lead."
"I thought you might," he replies. They turn and head back toward the Rabbit arms around each other.
"That B. J. Sinclair you met?"
"Real name Christy McCall. I've got her address."
"Uh huh. You're very good at this. Ever thought of becoming a detective?"
Keyes and Mildred drive up. "You really want me along?" Mildred asks.
"You've earned the privilege Mildred. I want to be sure that you collect your share of the reward money."
The Rabbit pulls away with Keyes right behind.
Laura and Mr. Steele enter Christy McCall's apartment. "You think she skipped town already?" Laura asks.
"No, somehow I don't think so. Uh huh, there you go. Looks like the thought occurred to her, though," he says after noticing some suitcases.
Laura finds a briefcase and picking it up she reads, "H. C., Harry Cranston, the initials on the briefcase. Looks like the gang's all here."
From another room Steele calls, "Laura?"
Laura enters a bedroom to find Steele leaning over Harry Cranston. Two bullet wounds can be seen on his chest.
"Harry just ran out of aces," Steele says as he takes Cranston's pulse.
"And so did you, Steele, and you, too, Miss Holt." Says Keyes pistol in hand as he too enters the room. Mildred is still with him. "Wrong choice honey. Steele, I always thought you were too smart to add murder to your list of crimes. Mildred, call the police. Go ahead honey, it's all right, use the phone."
"You heard the man Mildred." Laura adds with emphasis, "USE the phone."
Mildred picks up the phone and whacks Keyes on the back of the head with the receiver, knocking him cold. She drops the phone and they hurry out of the room.
"Come on let's go. Come on, there we go Mildred. Good
work Mildred," Mr. Steele
"Yeah, terrific, I just became an accessory to murder."
As they head out the toward the door Laura grabs the briefcase.
"All right." Steele says as the exit the apartment.
Sitting in a Thai and Chinese restaurant a plate of food is passed before Mr. Steele's face. "Squid?" he asks making a face.
"You don't want yours chief?"
"Uh uh," he says pushing the plate toward Mildred.
Laura looking at papers from the briefcase says, "The way I figure it, Cranston brought Christy into this scam and then she got a little greedy."
"Hmm," Steele adds, "So she terminates him as they're about to take off to parts unknown with the diamonds." He watches Mildred eat.
"Well how do we track her?" asks Mildred.
Laura flips through the papers and picks out a receipt. She holds it up. "By going to the Marina Park causeway and finding a boat, The Graceful Lady."
Steele tells Mildred, "Forget the squid Mildred. Come on, let's go."
"Wait a minute," Laura warns. Looking out the window she sees two police officers checking out the Rabbit.
"Out the back, out the back. Let's go. Come on," Steele hurries them along.
As Laura picks up the open briefcase the contents spill on to the floor. Laura starts to pick them up. Steele stops her, "Laura, leave it. Leave it. Laura, leave it." Laura drops the case and follows Mr. Steele. "Mildred," he calls to the other woman.
Mildred goes back to the table and drops a handful of money
on it to pay for the meal.
Laura calls after her, "Mildred! Mildred come on. Come on!"
As they hurry past the cashier they each make a comment to her.
Laura, "It was lovely, thank you."
Steele, "Delightful, as usual."
Mildred, "The squid was a little mushy."
The police fill the little restaurant. Also present is Norman Keyes. As he sits down at the table just vacated he notices and picks up a piece of paper. It's the receipt for the Graceful Lady.
On the boat named The Graceful Lady, Laura, Steele and Mildred are looking for something useful. "Wait a minute," Laura says. "Here's something. Travel itinerary for Mr. And Mrs. Harry Cranston. Airplane reservations for two, for the Cayman Islands, leaving at 5:00 pm today."
"That's two hours from now," Mildred notes.
Steele opens a door and out falls Christy. "Ah, Christy McCall."
"First Cranston, now Christy. Who's left?" Mildred asks.
Laura answers, "I don't know but I'll wager whoever it is, is going to be on a plane in two hours."
As they begin to leave, Laura spots Norman Keyes in his car. "Oh no."
Keyes sees them too and hurries to get down the dock. "Hey!"
He calls out as the
Graceful Lady pulls away.
A man in a small motor boat pulls up to the dock and Keyes leaps in to it. To the man he asks, "You want to make a fast fifty? Get me on that boat." The motor boat quickly catches up to the larger boat. Keyes jumps on to the Graceful Lady. Pulling out his gun he enters the cabin, looks around and sees Christy's body. He turns and heads for the bridge, a large white bandage visible on the back of his bald head. Going on deck, he sees the wheel tied so that it stays on course. He looks toward the pier to see Laura, Steele and Mildred waving at him. As they drive off in Keyes car, he throws his cigar down in frustration.
Laura, Steele and Mildred are sitting in one of the terminals at LAX. All three are hiding behind newspapers. In unison they lower them. "Look, look." Laura says as Debbie Rabello walks past them.
"Mildred," says Steele.
"Yes?" she answers.
"Alert airport security, straight away," he tells the woman.
"You got it."
In an amazed voice Laura says, "Debbie Rabello? I don't believe it."
With a gesturing glance Steele says, "You're going to love this one."
Looking in the direction Steele indicated Laura sees a man enter the area.
Seeing Debbie, Rueben smiles and waves to her.
"Hm hm," murmurs Steele.
Running to each other Rueben and Debbie embrace and kiss. "Rueben, it's going to be me and you."
"It's almost a comfort to know the man is not as incompetent as he appears. We better move before they get on the plane," Steele says to Laura as they get up and move in on the unsuspecting couple.
Steele holding Rueben tells him, "Nice try old chap but this is as far as you go."
"Sorry to break in Miss Rabello," Laura says as she restrains the woman.
"Oh, let me go," Rueben cries out. He tries to pull away but Steele has to strong a grip on his suit. In the struggle Rueben's jacket rips apart and diamonds spill out on to the floor.
"Oooh, Rueben," wails Debbie quietly.
Keyes, Mildred, and airport security rush up. "All right," says Keyes, pointing at Mr. Steele, "that's him."
"Excellent work Norman. Congratulations." Steele reaches out and shakes Keyes hand. "You've just broken one of the most brilliant diamond heists of the century, mate."
"What?" asks Keyes.
"Don't worry Norman I intend to give you full credit for tracking down cold-blooded killer," he grabs and pats Rueben for emphasis, "and master jewel thief Rueben Saltzman and his femme fatale, Debbie Rabello. There, sir, are your diamonds, and there, sir, is the man responsible for their absence." Saying this Steele pushes Rueben toward Keyes.
Keyes shoves Rueben back at Steele and replies, "If you think you're going to get away with this you're out . . ."
A flash, as the moment becomes a photo in the newspaper. Laura and Mr. Steele are back in his office.
"-Absolutely right Mr. Steele," continues Laura
"Hmmmm?" Steele asks, buried in a copy of the paper.
"Rueben broke down and confessed to everything. Nice picture of Keyes, wouldn't you say?" asks Laura indicating the picture in the paper that she's holding.
"Outstanding. The curve of his lip really points out the man's inner humanity."
Mildred enters Steele's office also carrying a copy of the paper. "I still can't believe it. Meek little Rueben a chronic gambler?"
"Yes, with a compulsion to bet on anything with four legs and an innate ability to finish dead last," elaborates Laura.
"Ok, Rueben owed Cranston some money, then what?" asks Mildred.
"Read the paper Mildred," Steele tells her. "Rueben also represented the diamond exchange downstairs. He knew when the big deliveries were being made."
Laura continues the story, "So he hatched an elaborate scheme, sold it to Cranston, who knew a little bit about con games. Cranston roped in his girl friend Debbie Rabello and her friend, Christy McCall. Rueben fell head over heels in love with Debbie. Apparently the first girl to take off his glasses and look deep into his briefcase."
"And lust, fueled by greed, led to cross and double cross," finishes Steele with an elaborate gesture.
"Ok, but one thing that wasn't in the papers. How did they forge your signature on the promissory note so that it fooled the experts?" asks Mildred.
Laura looks at him as he sheepishly admits, "It was my signature."
"Wait a minute. Fly that by me again?" Mildred asks.
Steele points to Laura to explain. "Rueben was always in here with documents for Mr. Steele to sign. We figure one of those times he just slipped in the note."
Steele adds, "Who reads those things anyway Mildred?"
"Boy, if you can't trust wimp lawyers anymore, who can you trust?" Mildred comments as she leaves the office.
"Well Laura, now that the agency is ours again what's the first order of business?"
Steele walks toward Laura. Crossing the patched floor it suddenly breaks and he drops through. Laura hurries over and kneels down beside him. There, she looks at him as he's stuck in the floor, patting his heart.