On a dark London street, a tall, brunette woman wearing a fur coat is running, being chased by someone.
Suddenly a weaselly looking man comes out of a doorway, blocking her path. She comes up short and turns to retrace her steps, but finds that way blocked by the man who was chasing her, who grabs her arm and twists it behind her back.
"Ain't polite t'run off in the middle of a conversation, luv," the first man tells her. "'E wants 'is money."
"I told you, he'll get it," the woman insists.
"A week. Two at the most."
"And 'oo's goin' t'give you all that green, eh?"
"My husband." She gasps as the man behind her twists her arm.
"One of us got a bum mem'ry, luv. You ain't married."
"That's merely a formality," she says, pulling her arm free. "You greasy little ape." She steps closer to the man she's been talking to. "Now, you run back to your master and you tell him, he'll get every penny I owe him- just as soon as I become Mrs. Remington Steele."
In Los Angeles, Steele, Laura and Mildred, and Fred carry their cases out of the terminal and to the limo waiting at the curb. "Ah, home sweet home," Steele comments.
"Even the smog smells good," Laura tells him as he lifts the hood of the trunk.
"You two have a nice honeymoon?" Fred asks, putting the cases into the car.
"Truly an unforgettable experience, Fred," Steele assures him.
Laura touches Steele's arm. "What Mr. Steele means is that the honeymoon is just beginning," she says, moving closer for a kiss.
Fred sticks an envelope between them, ending the kiss as he says, "Uh, this came for you special delivery this morning."
Steele, his arm still around Laura looks put out to be interrupted. "Thank you," he says, letting Laura go to open the envelope.
"Immigration?" Laura questions, reading it with him.
He reads aloud as Mildred peers at the letter as well. "Dear Mr. Steele, Given the circumstances surrounding the demise of Norman Keyes, we shall be forced to continued our investigation into the Holt-Steele marriage. Forms enclosed. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera . . . Yours sincerely, - Gladys Lynch?"
"Gladys Lynch?" Laura repeats.
"What happened to Estelle Becker?" Mildred wonders.
"It seems she's been supplanted," Steele muses.
Mildred's angry. "When are these bureaucrats gonna leave us alone?" she wonders aloud.
"Miss Lynch wants proof?" Laura says, taking the letter from Steele, "Fine. We'll give her proof. "Fred, the office," she says, going around to the side of the limo.
Mildred goes around to the other side, as Steele questions, "The office?"
He gets into the back with Laura as Mildred sits in the front seat. "First," Laura says, "we're going to take care of the paperwork. Then we're going to invite Gladys Lynch to a very special dinner."
"Arsenic and Old Lace?" Steele asks.
"Come again, Chief?"
"Cary Grant, Josephine Hull, Warner Brothers, 1944. Two little old ladies invite elderly gentlemen to sip elderberry wine and poison them."
"A little extreme," Laura tells him. "Seeing is believing, right? Step one, Mildred, develop the pictures. Proof of a honeymoon. Step two, I move my clothes in, proof of cohabitation. Step three, you cook up one of your fabulous gourmet feasts,-"
"Indisputable proof of wedded domesticity," Steele agrees, finally sitting back next to Laura.
"Hold the huzzahs," Mildred says. "We have a problem. You lovebirds only took one picture, remember?"
Laura mulls that one over, but Steele tells Mildred, "Make ten copies."
Laura nods. "By the time dessert is served, we'll have Miss Lynch eating out of the palm of our hand."
"Um hmm." Steele looks at her. "And after dessert?"
"I'm open for suggestions."
Steele puts on his sunglasses. "The office, Fred. And don't spare the rubber."
The three of them turn the corner that leads to the office, and stop as they see a group of people waiting outside of the glass doors, waiting for them to arrive.
"Who are all those people, Mildred?" Steele asks.
"Well, I figured you two would be rarin' to go once you got back," she explains.
One of the clients, notices them, and says, "Steele?" as he leads the others toward them. The man who noticed them grabs Steele's hand as Steele and Mildred push through the crowd. Laura manages to catch up with them, pushing in front of a client.
"Wait your turn, huh, lady?" he tells her angrily.
She stares at him, then follows Steele and Mildred into the office, followed by the clients. Laura and Steele move away to stand side by side as the clients keeps talking. Suddenly Mildred whistles shrilly to get their attention. They fall silent.
"That's better," she says. "Where's nine o'clock?"
The blonde man who shook Steele's hand steps forward. "That's me."
"Nine fifteen," a tall red haired, middle aged woman says.
A couple steps forward. "Nine-thirty."
"Nine-forty-five," another man says.
The last man peers over the woman's shoulder. "Eleven-thirty?"
"You're early," Mildred tells him in her no-nonsense tone.
"I'm desperate," he says.
"Given our sizable back-log, Laura, I suggest we divide and conquer," Steele tells Laura.
She looks uncertain. "Don't we do better as a team?"
"This mob is rabid, Laura," he reminds her. "Nine o'clock?" he asks. "Nine-fifteen?" The blonde man and the woman move toward him. Steele points the man toward his office. "Right, madam," he tells the woman, "This way." He shows her toward Laura's office. Just park it in there. There you go, sweetheart." He follows the man in to his office.
Laura starts after him, and then turns to Mildred. "Wait a minute," she says.
Mildred comes over to her. "In and out, honey, just run 'em through." She practically pushes Laura into her own office, and then turns back to the other waiting clients.
Laura enters her office and closes the door, placing her purse on a file cabinet. "I'm sorry for the mix-up," she tells the woman. "Mrs.-"
"McCormick," the woman supplies, sitting down.
"But Mr. Steele -my husband and I just got back from our honeymoon."
"Don't apologize to me. Believe me, I know how it is. I was a secretary who married the boss, too," she says grimly.
Laura glares at her as she goes through the papers on her desk. "I was *never* a secretary."
"Don't be embarrassed. It happens all the time. You're the shoulder he cries on. The one who caters to his every whim. So why shouldn't he dump the old crow at home and marry you?"
"Mr. Steele and are different."
"That's what I said about Hubert," Mrs. McCormick tells her sadly as she begins to cry. "Only now, the louse is cheating on me. With his new secretary." She lifts a handkerchief to her nose.
"I'm very sorry to hear that," Laura tells her, sounding unsympathetic.
"I don't want pity," the woman says. Suddenly the tears are gone. "I want proof. I want pictures. That no good dirt-bag's gonna think twice before he takes another dip in the steno-pool."
Laura gets up. "I understand how upsetting all this must be, Mrs. McCormick, but-" She helps the woman to her feet. "Unfortunately, the Remington Steele Agency isn't equipped to handle matters of such a-" she opens the door, "delicate nature. Perhaps you should consult the yellow pages." She pats the woman on the shoulder, and starts to close the door behind her.
Mrs. McCormick does a u-turn and pushes the door open again. "Take a little advice. Keep on the shorthand."
Laura slams the door behind the woman. She turns and studies the door to Steele's office before moving in that direction. Opening it, she finds Steele and the man laughing over cups of coffee, sitting on the edge of Steele's desk.
"Oh, so, this is the little woman," the man says. "That is quite some catch. You sly dog!" Steele laughs, looking very nervous.
Laura approaches the man, her hand out. "Laura Holt. Steele. Holt-Steele. Laura Holt-Steele," she finally manages, shaking the man's hand.
Steele looks at her. "Very good, Laura. You're getting the hang of it."
"I bet she does a lot more than just type and file," the client says.
"Oh, my wife's a woman of many talents, yes," Steele agrees.
"Perhaps you'd like to fill me in on the case, Mr. Steele," she suggests with a polite smile.
"Mr. Steele?" the client questions with another laugh. "That's a bit formal, isn't it, cutie?"
"Company policy," Steele tells him. "It's Mr. Steele around the office. No exceptions for the little wom-er trouper." Laura is glaring at him, and he finally stands up.
"You run a tight ship, Steele," the client says approvingly. "I like that, Steele!"
"May we please get down to business?" Laura asks.
"Of course," the man says, then grabs Steele's arm and drags him away from Laura before he says, "I own a yacht brokerage down at the marina." Laura watches in disbelief as he ignores her.
"Um?" Steele nods.
"Lately some of our ships have been disappearing right out their slips. Now we're-" As Laura moves closer, he stops and hands her his cup. "Could you top this off for me, cutie?" He pinches her cheek. "Thank ya." Turning to Steele, he looks at Steele's cup. "How're you fixed, big guy?"
Steele looks at his cup, and then holds it out to Laura as well. "Uh, yes, I could do with a spot more tea." He gives Laura a gentle "tap" on the chin, and then laughs with the client.
Laura is silently fuming as she stands there holding the cups.
"You want some advice from an old salt?" the client tells Steele, "Don't bring the little woman around the office." Steele shakes his head as Laura starts for her office door. "Cramps your style, if you know what I mean," he says with a laugh, which Steele joins in once more.
At her door, Laura turns to Steele with one of her patented smiles. "Might I see you for a moment- big guy?" she asks.
"We have a client here, Miss Holt. Steele. Holt-Steele."
The client clamps a hand on Steele's shoulder. "Take your time. You sly dog." He laughs again, and Steele's laughter continues as he joins Laura.
In her office, she says, "Will you stop encouraging that *boor*?"
"I'm merely maintaining our cover, Laura," he tells her.
"Then stop enjoying it so much!"
"I was used to unidentified woman. I could even swallow unnamed associate. I am not used to having people assume that I *slept* my way into my job!"
Steele leans on the connecting door. "I realize how humiliating this is for you, Laura, but it's the end result that counts. By tonight, we'll be rid of Gladys Lynch and the whole rotten bunch of them at immigration, and it'll just be the two of us." He smiles. "Hmm?" Her expression is unchanged. "Alone? In my apartment?" He pulls her into his arms. "And you can practice sleeping your way to the top? I mean, who knows what a night of love-making could bring? Your own parking space?" He gives her a tiny kiss. "Unlimited expense account?" Another kiss. "The key to the executive washroom?" Another kiss.
"Throw in a desk chair, and you've got yourself a deal," Laura tells him. They kiss again, deeper this time.
Suddenly the door opens and the kiss ends. The client says, "Hey, little lady-" He laughs knowingly. "Make that decaf, will you?" He slaps Steele on the back and closes the door again, saying, "Son of a gun!"
All Steele's hard work has just gone up in smoke. She hands Steele the empty cups and goes to her office door. Opening it, she yells, "Next!"
At the Federal Building, we see a severely dressed middle aged woman carrying a file folder coming down a hallway. As she approaches a door, another woman answers the telephone. "Department of Immigration and Naturalization."
The severe woman taps once on the door before entering the office beyond. With a sour expression on her face, she approaches a desk, where Tony Roselli is standing with a file in his hands. "Gladys Lynch?" he asks.
He comes around the desk and holds out his hand. "Anthony Roselli."
Lynch doesn't shake his hand. "I just took over the Remington Steele case from Estelle Becker. Why am I suddenly reporting to you?" she wants to know.
"Ask Washington," he tells her, then goes back to his chair.
"Some gobbledy-gook about a fresh perspective."
"Is that the file I asked for?"
"What qualifies you for this assignment?"
"I got friendly with Steele and Laura Holt in Mexico," he tells her. "They think I'm an archeologist. That way, they won't be suspicious."
"Who are you?" she asks, moving closer to his desk.
. "Until Washington says different," he says as he smiles and reaches over to take the file from her, "I'm your boss."
"I did some checking on you, Mr. Roselli," Lynch says.
"Are you always so interest in your co-workers?" he asks.
"I am when they pop out of nowhere. And that's exactly where you came from. There's no record of you being with Immigration."
He's looking at the file she brought. "I've been in Latin America for the past few years. My records probably haven't caught up with me."
She leans forward on the desk. "Why not? Haven't you heard of computers? Instant access?"
Tony sits down. "Gladys, I'm not gonna hog the spotlight, if that's what you're worried about. All I want to do is prove Steele's marriage is phony. Help me, and you can take all the bows."
She turns and heads for the door. "There's something going on here that I don't understand." As she opens the door, she pauses, "But that doesn't mean I won't before it's over."
Tony sits forward. "Gladys-" She turns to look at him. "Fight me on this, and you'll be stamping passports in Palmdale." She leaves, closing the door sharply. "Have a nice day," Tony wishes her, and then his smile vanishes.
Coming from the kitchen in his apartment, Steele puts on his suit jacket as he goes to answer the doorbell, obviously expecting Laura. He's shocked when the woman from London, still wearing the black fur coat, throws her arms around his neck and gives him a kiss. Steele pulls away. "Shannon!?"
She smiles. "I was in the neighborhood and thought I'd pop 'round," she tells him. Still smiling, she looks around the room as she drops the fur coat on the sofa.
"The last time I saw you was in Hong Kong. And that was five years ago."
"Well? Aren't you glad to see me?" she asks, turning to look at him expectantly.
"Beside myself with joy," he tells her, looking at his watch. "Unfortunately, I'm expecting guests."
"Oh, I've missed you so much, Douglas," she tells him, going back to kiss him again.
They're still kissing when the doorbell rings and Steele jumps nervously. "The bedroom," he tells her.
"Oh, I love it when you take charge," she purrs.
He grabs her and pulls her toward the other room. "You can't be found here. Not tonight!'
"If I am as quiet as a mouse then,- do I get a reward? A big reward?"
He shoves her into the bedroom and starts toward the door- "Coming!" He does a quick about face, picks up the fur, and stuffs it under the sofa. "Coming, coming, coming!" he tells whoever's at the door. At the door, he grabs his handkerchief out of his pocket and wipes Shannon's lipstick from his mouth, then waves the air, trying to dispel her perfume. Then he opens the door. "Hi."
Laura is there, holding an armful of clothing on hangers, suitcases behind her. "What took you so long?" she asks.
"The- duck. I had to put the duck in the oven."
"Isn't it a little late to be starting dinner?" she questions, re-positioning the clothes.
"Instant duck," he assures her. "Comes in a pouch."
Laura looks confused, and then starts forward. "I'll put these away," she says.
"Uh, no, no, no, no, no, no," he tells her quickly, grabbing the clothes from her. "I'll take care of it. Why don't you- uh-" he casts about for something. "You just open the champagne, Laura. That's a good idea."
She watches him go out into the hallway and try to pick up the suitcases. "Are you sure you can handle it?" she asks.
He picks them up with a grunt. "It's okay. I can do it," he assures her, sidling through the doorway. "Child's play. It's okay." He carries the things toward the bedroom, and has to shift them a bit to open the door. Smiling nervously at Laura, he says, "It's okay, it's okay. Don't worry."
She watches him, and then heads toward the dining room.
Steele enters the bedroom, kicking the door closed. Shannon follows him to the closet. "Don't you wonder where I've been?" she asks as he opens the closet and begins trying to put Laura's things on the rod. "How I've been?" He finally shoves them into the bottom of the closet. "How I got there?"
"No!" he tells her, angry and frustrated.
"Need some help?" Laura calls from the other room.
"No!!" he says again, and then turns to the door to make sure she's not coming in. He mollifies his tone. "No."
Shannon rests against the closet door. "It started in Paris, I remember. It was raining," she recalls. "It always rains in Paris in the spring."
Steele grabs her and stuffs her into the closet as well. "Save that thought," he tells her, and closes the door on her, managing to catch his fingers and yelps as Laura comes into the room. He turns with the mirrored door just slightly open, and straightens his clothing to assure Laura with a smile, "There, you see? All tidied."
"How did you fit everything in there?" she asks, curious, and starts for the closet to see for herself.
"Oh, let's not talk about shelf space at a time like this," he says, grabbing her on the fly and turning her away from the closet to give her a kiss, watching as Shannon peeks out, smiling.
"What's gotten into you?" Laura asks him.
He grabs her and kisses her again, pulling her onto the bed. Shannon blows him a kiss. "You haven't forgotten Mexico, have you?" he asks Laura when he stops kissing her. "Let the chips fall where they may? Up periscope?" He kisses her again.
Laura rolls them over so that she's on top of him and breaks the kiss to ask, "What about Gladys Lynch?"
Steele looks nervously toward the closet, then answers, "Well, she said she wanted proof," he reminds her, rolling them back over.
Laura repeats the move to say, "I don't think this is the proof she had in mind."
Steele rolls them over yet again and renews his kisses. Shannon waves from the closet. "Let's live dangerously, eh?" he suggests, then kisses her again.
Laura begins to respond. "Why not?" she asks, and they roll over again- this time off of the bed onto the floor away from the closet.
The doorbell rings, and Steele looks up. "Company," he says, getting to his feet, pulling her with him.
"Wait!" Laura says, letting him pull her from the room behind him. "What happened to your periscope?" she asks.
"It's retractable," he tells her as they approach the door.
"Wait," she says again, and turns him around to straighten his jacket.
"Okay. Fine. Am I okay?" he asks.
"Fine. Smile." She pastes a smile on her own face as he opens the door.
An unsmiling Gladys is standing there, arms crossed. 'Gladys Lynch," she tells them, making no move to take the hand Steele is holding out.
"Pleasure to meet you, Miss Lynch. I'm Remington Steele. And this is my bride, Laura Holt. Steele. Holt-Steele. Laura Holt-Steele," he finishes nervously as Laura smiles at him.
"Yes, please, come in," Laura says, drawing the woman into the apartment.
"Yes, please do," Steele agrees, stepping back. "Come on in."
Lynch enters the apartment, still wearing the same sour expression.
Steele closes the door as she and Laura move toward the couch. "May I take your wrap, Miss Lynch?" Steele asks. She lowers her arms and lets him lift it from her shoulders. He puts it onto the table as Laura sits on the end of the sofa.
"Whatever happened to Estelle Becker?" Laura asks Lynch. "She was such a booster of our marriage."
"That's *exactly* what happened to Estelle Becker," Lynch informs them.
Laura places an arm around Steele's waist as he puts his around her shoulders. "Is there some sort of - problem that we don't know about?" Laura asks innocently.
"Problem?" Lynch repeats as Steele sits beside Laura. "Just because a man named Norman Keyes died trying to prove that your marriage was a fraud? Can't imagine why that would raise any eyebrows."
Steele stands up again, but remains close to Laura. "Miss Lynch, we understand that the Immigration Department has to scrutinize all marriages between U.S. citizens, and-" he laughs slightly, placing a hand to his chest, "aliens, and-" he becomes serious again as Laura places her hand on his chest, "we want you to know that we're willing to cooperate in every way we possibly can to clear up the slightest doubt." Laura hugs him, smiling, the picture of domestic bliss.
"Would you like a tour of our happy home?" Laura asks, and stands up to steer Lynch toward the bedroom.
Steele stands in their way, saying, "Uh, why don't you start in the kitchen?"
"The kitchen?" Laura asks.
"Show Miss Lynch your pots and pans, darling," he tells her nervously. "She's so proud of her pots and pans." Lynch turns in that direction, but Laura lingers for a second. "Run along," he tells her, smiling. "Run along." He fluffs a sofa cushion til they're out of sight, and then runs for the bedroom. He slides open the closet door and pulls Shannon to her feet, pulling one of Laura's nightgowns on a hanger that's caught in the back of her dress out as well.
"Where was I?" she asks him.
"In Paris, being rained on, perhaps," he refreshes her memory as he tries to free the hanger and gown while standing in front of her, pushing her slowly toward the bedroom balcony doors.
"That's where I met him," she says, a hand on his face. "I was foolish to think that could ever forget you, but what was I to do?" she asks
"Duck," he tells her, pushing her out of the room as Laura and Lynch enter.
"What about the duck?" Laura asks.
"It's almost ready," he says.
Laura smiles at Lynch. "Take a peek at this," she says, then crosses to the closet and opens the door. Steele stands close by, a worried expression on his face. Laura doesn't see her things hanging up, and looks down to find them on the floor. She turns to look at him accusingly.
Suddenly Steele sniffs the air. "In fact, I think it's burning." He takes off for the kitchen.
Laura tries to put on a brave front. "Men. *Never* let them unpack," she tells Lynch. She turns back to the closet and pushes Steele's things aside to clear the bar.
Steele leaves the bedroom, and hears Shannon tapping at the balcony window outside of the living room. As he watches, she breathes on the glass, then starts drawing a heart in the steam. Steele opens the door and pulls her inside. "Come in here," he tells her, wiping at the heart. "Shannon, I think it's time you knew. I've just returned from my honeymoon."
She slides her arms around his neck. "Perfect. The wife's always the last to know."
"What?" he asks, continuously glancing toward the closed bedroom door. "As much as I admire your respect for tradition, I'm afraid it's adieu," he says, pulling her toward the front door."
She stops him. "Oh, Douglas! I've flown six thousand miles to- to throw myself at your feet!"
"And I appreciate the gesture," he tells her, still worried about Laura and Lynch coming out. "There's no one prettier prostrate than you, but I'm afraid that all we're left with are our memories." They're at the door.
She takes his hands in hers. "Well, if that's the way you feel, then, it really is adieu."
"That's what I've always liked about you. You've always been a good sport." He opens the door, and sees Mildred there. She doesn't see Shannon, since the woman is standing behind the door. "Ah! Mildred!"
"I'm not late, am I?" she asks.
"Actually- uh, you're early," he tells her, and closes the door before grabbing Shannon's arm. "To the kitchen," he says, pushing her along. "Through here. That's it, my girl. That's it." He takes her to island in the kitchen. "Hunker down. Hunker down." They kneel and he tells her, "As soon as the coast is clear, make a beeline for the door, okay?"
"If you're sure it will make you happy," she agrees.
"Ecstatic," he tells her between clenched teeth. He gets up and leaves the kitchen, wiping sweat form his brow. "Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy," he sighs. Going to the door, he opens it with a smile of welcome for Mildred. "Ah, Mildred. Now you're on time. He sees what she's holding in her hand. "Ah, splendid the pictures." He takes them from her. "Let's not keep Miss Lynch waiting," he says, ushering her in. She watches him, wondering what's going on. "Step lively," he tells her. "Step lively. Come on, this way. Let's go into the BEDROOM!" he says, ending loudly as a signal to Shannon.
Mildred gives him another strange look as he practically forces her through the living room and into the bedroom
Laura is just finishing hanging her clothes in the closet as they enter. "There-" she says, struggling to find room for the last hangers, "we go." She turns, beaming that she did it, and suddenly the strain is too much on the rod, and it breaks.
"Oh, don't worry about the pole," Steele says. "We'll get a new one. Anything for my bride. A pole- Anything."
"Thank you, dear," Laura says, looking at him strangely too.
Mildred smiles. "Anyone wanna see the honeymoon pictures?" she asks.
"Good idea," Laura agrees, reaching past Lynch for them before leading the other two women out into the living room.
Steele hangs back, saying, "Ladies, I think the light's a lot better in here, don't you-" when he realizes they're not listening, he takes off after them.
Laura holds the photos as she tells Lynch, "Of course, we took so many, we wouldn't want to bore you with all of them-" Lynch grabs them from her.
Trying to keep ahead of them and head off disaster, Steele leaps over the back of the couch and over it- going into the kitchen. Laura watches him.
Steele enters the kitchen and doesn't see Shannon. "Shannon?" he calls in a soft whisper. When there's no response, he grins in relief and returns to the other room, grabbing the champagne from the ice bucket on his way. He laughs, delighted. "I think this happy gathering calls for some champagne, eh?" he asks, getting the attention of the women, who have been looking at the "honeymoon pictures".
Something breaks in the bedroom, drawing their attention in that direction. "What was that?" Lynch asks.
"The neighbors," Steele tells her, terrified. "Walls are paper thin."
They all run into the bedroom. Laura gasps to see the broken vase on the floor- and Shannon in the turned down bed, wearing only her black teddy and a smile. "Clumsy me," she says.
"Where did *she* come from?" Lynch asks.
"Paris," Steele says.
"The bathroom," Laura says at the same time.
Laura gives Steele a furious look.
"She came from a bathroom in Paris?" Mildred questions.
"She just flew in from Paris," Steele clarifies. "And she was freshening up in the bathroom."
Lynch doesn't look like she's buying any of it. "I see. Now I got a biggie for you."
"Uh huh?" Steele asks.
"Who is she?"
"Mr. Steele's sister," Laura bursts out before Steele can make more than a couple of sounds. She moves to the bed.
Shannon looks at her. "Could I trouble you for a glass of brandy? Travel can be so unsettling."
Laura pulls a pillow down and pushes Shannon backwards. "Now, now, sister Steele," she says, pulling the covers over the woman. "I'm sure rest is the very best thing for you." She pats Shannon's stomach comfortingly. "She will join us after she's up to it," Laura tells the others, pushing Mildred and Lynch out of the room.
"Yes," Steele agrees, still holding the champagne. "Yes, yes." He glares at Shannon as Laura closes the door behind them and glares at Steele, her arms folded in anger. "Quick thinking, Laura," he praises, tapping her shoulder.
She taps him back- harder. "Thank you. Who is she?"
"Hmm? Oh, I'm sorry. Forgive my manners. Shannon Wayne, may I introduce my wife. Laura Holt. Steele. Holt-Steele. Laura Holt-Steele." He sounds desperate.
Shannon is sitting up again, and extends her hand. "Charmed, I'm sure."
Laura looks at her, unmoving, as Steele explains, "Shannon and I are old, old, *old* friends."
"They can be *such* a comfort," Laura tells him.
"Yes," he sighs, frowning at Shannon as Laura turns him around and opens the door for them to leave the room. Outside the door, Steele looks at her. "You seem to be taking this in stride."
"It's very simple," she explains in a whisper. "We blow this marriage charade, and it's all over."
"They fine me within an inch of my life, the agency goes in the dumpster, my hard work, my dreams, up in smoke. So as long as immigration thinks we're the happiest married couple in America, I don't care *what* you do, you miserable swine. So smile, lambchop," she tells him, and stomps on his foot, causing him to wince in pain. She moves away to join Mildred and Lynch as he tries to smile through the pain.
"These pictures are all the same," Lynch tells Mildred.
"We liked it so much that we wanted to give it to all of our friends," Laura tells her, joining them as Steele hobbles closer, leaning on the back of the sofa.
"Why don't you take one for your scrapbook?" Steele suggests, sitting on the arm of the sofa, champagne still in hand.
"I'd like to see the rest," Lynch says.
"Well, if you've seen one, you've seen them all," Mildred tells her, laughing.
The door buzzer goes off, and Laura goes to answer it. Tony is there, smiling. "Tony!" she says, and with a glance at Steele, she presses the surprised man against the door and gives him a long kiss. Tony manages a look at the others, and Steele, Mildred and Lynch watch, dumbfounded. Laura smiles once the kiss ends. "Gladys, I'd like you to meet my brother.
Tony holds out his hand. "How're you doing?" he asks the still silent- and surprised- Lynch.
"As you can see," Steele comments to Lynch, "we're just one big happy family." He stares daggers at Tony.
"Real close," Mildred adds, sounding threatening.
"We'd better be running along," Laura tells Tony, still plastered against him.
"Where are you going?" Lynch wants to know.
"The airport," Laura tells them.
"The airport?" Steele questions.
"Didn't I tell you, dear? Mother's flying in for the weekend. But don't hold dinner. She could be circling up there for hours." She turns Tony toward the door. "Come along."
Steele stares into space, stunned at the turn of events. "Sounds like your goose is cooked," Mildred tells him.
"Thank you, Mildred," he says. "Thank you so much." He stands up, putting a brave face on it. "Ah, well, ladies, why don't we sit down and- " he slaps the bottle of champagne, "eh?"
"I think I'll be running along," Lynch says, giving the pictures to Mildred.
"Ah, so soon?" Steele asks.
"I need time to absorb the evening," she says, then grabs her wrap and lets herself out.
From the bedroom comes the sound of the other vase breaking. Steele and Mildred look in that direction. He looks at Mildred. "I suppose you heard that."
She nods silently, and he takes off for the bedroom. Mildred sighs and shakes her head in disbelief.
Shannon is shooting something at the remains of the vase on a table. "What are you doing?" he asks.
"Oh, I was trying to get your attention," she tells him as Mildred follows him into the room. "Oh, it's lonely in here, Dougie," she whines, grabbing his hands.
Mildred picks up her dress and shoves it into her arms. "Here. It looks like sis is well enough to travel," she declares, pulling Shannon behind her as she leaves the room.
"What about my coat?" Shannon asks as Mildred drags her to the door.
"We'll send it to ya parcel post!"
"Careful! Hey!" she says as Mildred slams the door on her.
Mildred goes back into the living room, arms folded, waiting, her disappointed and expectant gaze on the bedroom door. Steele finally pokes his head out. He smiles when he realizes that she's gotten rid of Shannon, then looks downcast, like a little boy caught doing something naughty by his mother.
"This better be good," she tells him.
He smiles again. "It all started in Paris," he tells her.
On the shore, Laura and Tony are walking along the water. "Okay," Tony tells her. "You've steamed, you've stewed, and you've digested. You've done everything but talk."
She looks away for a moment as they keep walking. "Domestic tiff."
"Dangerous game, trying to make your husband jealous."
"I know I shouldn't have kissed you that way. I'm sorry," she apologizes.
"I'm not," he tells her.
She looks at him. "The last time I saw you, we were saying goodbye to each other in a Mexican airport."
"I have a standing offer from UCLA," he tells her with a smile. "I thought I'd take it."
"Well, why didn't you say anything about it while we were in Mexico?"
He laughs. "I didn't want you to think I was following you. After all, you were a happily married woman on her honeymoon." He stops and looks at her. "You are a happily married woman, aren't you?"
"Some days are happier than others," she admits.
"You never told me why that Keyes guy thought your marriage was phony."
"It doesn't matter what Keyes thought," Laura tells him.
"Because he's dead?"
"Because he was wrong," she says and starts walking away.
"What would you do if another Keyes came along?" he asks.
Laura stops and looks at him. "He never proved anything," she tells him.
Tony comes closer. "Well, if someone could prove you weren't really married, I'd be the happiest man in the world. I did follow you here," he confesses.
"Good bye, Tony," She tells him, and turns to walk away from him as he watches her go.
The next morning, Laura enters the office, smiling. Mildred's at her desk. A strange little man sits waiting. "Good morning, Mildred," Laura says.
"Morning," Mildred replies without looking up.
Laura goes to the man. "Hello. I'm Laura Holt-Steele," she tells him.
He gets up and shakes her hand. "Norman Metzger," he tells her nervously.
"Where's the boss?" Mildred asks Laura.
"Sleeping in," she answers, then turns her attention back to the client.
But Mildred is having none of her evasions. "Uh huh." She grabs Laura's shoulder. "Excuse us," she tells Metzger. "Coffee break." She pulls Laura away and into her office as Metzger looks troubled. "Okay, little Mary Sunshine, spill."
Laura picks up a steno pad. "I don't know what you're talking about, Mildred."
"You two have been married for less than a week, and you're fooling around already? Oh ho ho, I have heard about modern marriages, but this takes the cake."
"Why don't you ask Mr. Steele how his sister is doing this morning?"
"His sister is history," Mildred tells her.
"Good. Then you can send in the client."
She stops Laura before she gets to the door. "Whoa. Speaking about lost relatives, just what's going on between you and the Italian Stallion?"
"He's a friend," Laura insists. "That's all."
"Don't you think that it's a little too friendly that he shows up on your doorstep?"
"He's an archeologist at UCLA," Laura says.
Mildred moves closer. "I didn't ask what he *did*. I asked what he's *doing*."
"Mildred, send in the client," Laura tells her again, and then goes into Steele's office.
Mildred goes back out to Metzger, and shows him into Steele's office. "Please sit down, Mr. Metzger," Laura says, then to Mildred, who starts to follow the man into the conference area, "that will be all, Miss Krebs." Mildred leaves them, and Laura closes the door behind her. "Shall we begin?" she asks Metzger.
"Shouldn't we wait for Mr. Steele?" he asks.
"With the demands on his precious time," Laura tells him as they sit down, "I'm afraid Mr. Steele's schedule is rather unpredictable. Now. What seems to be the problem?"
He looks very worried. "This," he says, showing her a photograph. "Boy with Flute."
Laura's eyes widen. "That's quite a flute," she comments.
"You're holding it upside down," he tells her. Laura turns the photo right side up, hiding her embarrassment. "It belongs to the Levinson estate," Metzger tells her. "I was supposed to sell it. I'm the executor, but- I think it's been stolen."
"But you're not sure?"
"The Lindstrom Gallery agreed to accept it on consignment, but I hadn't heard from Eric Lindstrom for a couple of weeks, so I phoned. He never returned any of my calls. I went down there, but the place is locked up tight."
"So, you're afraid Lindstrom may have disappeared with the painting," Laura speculates.
"Afraid isn't the word," he says, standing up and taking off his glasses. "Mrs. Steele, I'm just an accountant. My stock in trade is client trust. Now, if Lindstrom absconded with that painting, the estate is out two and a half million dollars, and my reputation is ruined."
Laura stands up. "Then let's get cracking."
"What about *Mr.* Steele?" he asks.
Laura and Metzger get onto the elevator. "You're sure we shouldn't wait for your husb-" he begins.
"Positive," Laura cuts him off.
As the doors close, the other elevator opens and Steele gets out. He enters the office with his usual, "Morning. Morning, morning, morning," and heads straight toward Laura's office.
"She's not in," Mildred tells him as she sits at her desk working on the computer.
Steele smiles and looks at her. "Left her sleeping like a baby," he says.
"Liar," Mildred comments, staring at the computer screen.
Steele looks put out as he crosses toward her. "Really, Mildred. No need to get nasty."
"Oh, no, not you, Boss. It's that Tony character," she explains, pointing to the computer. "I've been doing some checking up on that alleged gravedigger," she says as the printer works.
"Alleged?" he asks.
"He's supposedly in town on UCLA's invitation," she says, tearing off the print out. "But-UCLA doesn't even know he exists." She shows him the paper.
The door opens behind them and Tony says, "Steele."
"Speaking of snakes," Mildred mutters.
"That's speak of the devil, Mildred," Steele reminds her, and they turn toward Tony. "Always confusing her clichés," Steele tells him.
"Can I talk to you?" Tony asks. "In private," he says, eyeing Mildred.
"Yes, absolutely, Antony. Yes, mi casa es su casa," he says, moving toward the office. "Come in." As Tony passes them, Steele stops Mildred. "Three's a crowd, Mildred. That's another cliché. In this case, accurate." He turns to join Tony.
Steele closes the door. "Business must be good," Tony comments, looking at the wall of photos.
"It's been a banner year for crime," Steele confirms, going toward his desk, where he sits down on the desk, the paper still in hand.
"I suppose you're wondering what I was doing at your apartment last night."
"Nonsense. I thought what you were doing was perfectly clear. Kissing my wife wasn't it?"
Tony looks at him. "I won't lie and say I didn't enjoy it."
"So, you're an honest man, Antony. I like that in a person. So does my wife."
"You should know that I find your wife very attractive," Tony tells him.
"I'm sure she'll be delighted to hear that."
"But I'm not the kind of guy who'd go after a -married woman."
"Now it's my turn to be delighted."
"Unless- Unless she wasn't really married," Tony finishes. "Hypothetically speaking, of course."
"Because if a married woman wasn't really married, she'd be fair game. Wouldn't she?"
"Hypothetically speaking, of course."
"Of course," Tony agrees.
Steele glances at the paper in his hand. "Then again, if this married woman was being pursued by a - oh, say an, archeologist who was on the staff at- well, pick any school- say UCLA, and she found out he was a bald-faced liar, she'd be fairly upset with this archeologist, don't you think?"
Tony looks alarmed. "Hypothetically speaking," he nods.
Steele hands him the print out. "A shame this isn't in hieroglyphics," he says. "But then perhaps you can decipher it's full meaning anyway." Tony looks it over, and then looks at Steele again. "It's a good thing we're dealing in the abstract, eh, Antony?"
"Good thing," Tony agrees.
"And if you want to keep it that way, I suggest you find someplace else to dig in the dirt."
Tony looks at the paper again. "I'm leaving for England in a few days."
Steele takes the paper out of his hands. "Give my best to Big Ben." He walks over to the door and opens it for Tony.
Mildred is pacing the reception and stops when the door opens to watch as Tony and Steele come out.
"Well, Antony," Steele says, "It's a pity we won't be seeing you again."
"You never can tell," Tony replies, smiling as he leaves the office.
Steele's smile fades as Tony disappears. "Drop everything, Mildred," he tells the receptionist. "I want to know all there is to know about that slippery wife-stealer, and I mean pronto." He stays there, looking out of the door as the telephone rings.
"Remington Steele Investigations," Mildred answers. She frowns. "Yes. I will give him the message." She hangs up as Steele, who was heading for his office, stops and turns around. "Speaking of slippery," she says, "Your sister has apparently collapsed in her hotel room."
"You have any other sisters I should know about?" she asks.
"Where is she?" he asks.
"Wiltshire Marquis," Mildred tells him, then points a finger at him. "That tart is trouble, Boss."
"I'll handle the tart, Mildred," he assures her. "You keep digging for skeletons."
Mildred watches him go with a frustrated expression.
At the Wiltshire Marquis, the man who threatened Shannon in London lets Steele into the suite. "In 'ere," he says, pointing.
Steele follows him into the bedroom where a surprisingly healthy looking Shannon lies in bed. "Douglas?" she asks weakly. "What are you doing here?" she asks, reaching out toward him.
Steele stops well short of the bed to say, "I believe you wanted to see me."
Shannon looks at the other man. "I told you not to say anything."
"I didn't know 'ow long you'd last," he says.
"That'll be all, doctor," Shannon says dismissively.
The man looks at Steele as he leaves. "So," Steele asks, moving closer. "What seems to be the problem?" Shannon lays back, a hand on her chest.
"I suppose you have a right to know."
"Hm hmm," he grunts, waiting.
"It's my heart," she tells him. "I have some sort of a condition. A multi-syllable word that only the doctors can pronounce. But, but when you boil it down,- time is of the essence." She reaches over and picks up a snifter from the bedside table.
"Prescription brandy?" he asks.
"Oh, doctor's orders," she assures him. "It stimulates the circulation." She takes a drink.
"I'll bet it does," he says, watching her warily.
"I'll admit," she says, putting the snifter down, "there have been other men in my life." She smiles. "Well, a few other men, quite a few other men-"
"We're not going back to Paris, are we?" he asks.
"But they all paled in comparison to you," she says, reaching out a hand toward him again." Which is why I-I hoped we could spend what little time there's left together."
"I'm a married man," he tells her.
"Well, I'll forget that if you will."
"I'm afraid I can't."
"You think it'll last?" she asks.
He thinks for a quick second, frowning. "It has to," he tells her.
She grabs his arms. "Oh, give me these last few months and I promise you won't regret it," she says, grabbing him and giving him a kiss.
Steele frowns, pushing her away. "I don't think my wife would like that," he tells her, turning away to wipe his mouth with a handkerchief.
"Oh, stop being such a loyal twit!" she tells him, getting out of bed to follow him. "Forget Lulu. It's you I need! Desperately."
He turns to look at her. "Steady, darling, remember the ticker?" he asks, pointing at her chest. She draws her robe together. He turns to leave again.
"Oh, how can you let a little thing like a-a wife stand in the way of a dying woman's last request?" she calls after him. She hears the door close behind him and rushes to pick up her brandy.
Laura and Metzger are standing on the steps outside the Lindstrom Gallery and see the CLOSED sign on the door.
After looking around, he says, "I think we should call your husband."
Laura gives him a defiant look and pulls her lock picks out of her purse. Checking the surroundings the entire time, she works her magic and the door opens. "After you," she said, triumphantly.
"Not bad," he tells her as he enters.
She follows him in and closes the door. They go in different directions as they search for the painting. Finally, Laura sees an empty space on the wall. Coughing to get Metzger's attention, she crooks her index finger at him and motions for me to join her.
"'Boy with Flute'", she says, reading the nameplate on the wall as she points to the blank wall space beside it.
"I knew it!" he declares.
"Since the painting appears to be missing, our next step is to find Eric Lindstrom," she tells him.
"No, I'll tell you what our next step is! We're going to find Remington Steele - that's who we're going to find! It's time to call in the big guns, little lady!"
Metzger storms off. Laura takes a deep breath, trying her best to keep her temper.
At the office, Mildred removes her earring as the telephone rings again. "Remington Steele Investigations . . . Oh, hello, Mr. Metzger," she says with a smile. "No, Mr. Steele's not in . . .Oh, hi, hon. Sounds like we got a bad connection."
Laura is on a pay phone as an anxious Metzger stands nearby. "Yes, Mildred, I think I've cleared up the problem. Did Mr. Steele leave a number?" she asks, looking in her purse for a note pad and pen as Mr. Metzger's expression grows glummer by the moment. "Just a minute." When she can't find a pen, Metzger hands one to her. SHE takes it with a grimace and writes. "Yes . . . Okay . . . Thanks." She hangs up the phone and turns to the client, his pen in hand. "This really isn't necessary," she tells him.
"Are you going to call, or am I?" he asks, not backing down.
Laura opens the note pad and consults the number taking the dime he's holding.
The telephone in Shannon's suite rings. She puts down her brandy and answers. "Hello?"
Laura's surprised. "Hello?"
"Yes?" Shannon says.
"Remington Steele, please. Mrs. Steele calling."
Shannon smiles. "I'm afraid he's indisposed at the moment," she informs Laura, then listens. "Three twenty four Laurel Vista. I'll tell him *just* as soon as he gets dressed. Ciao, darling." She hangs up quickly.
Laura hangs up as well, and hits the telephone. She turns to Metzger.
Shannon picks up her glass as the weaselly little man from London enters the room. "*You* never said anything about a Mrs. Steele," he accuses.
She gets up to confront him. "Nasty habit, listening on extensions."
"It's the way I find out things."
"Don't worry about her."
"I'm paid t'worry. And the fella whot pays me ain't gonna like it."
"So don't tell him. Because nothing's changed. I'm still going to be Mrs. Remington Steele," she declares.
"What about 'er?" he asks, pointing to the phone.
Shannon lifts her glass and tells him, "As good as gone."
After dark, Laura and Metzger enter a Victorian house using her lock picks. Metzger hangs back, uncertain. "I wish Steele were here," he says.
"I told you," Laura whispers back. "He's in conference with a client. He'll catch up with us as soon as he's free."
They move toward the living area. The telephone rings, and a light comes on in the study. Laura puts a finger to her lips to warn Metzger to be quiet, then to follow her.
"Hello?" a voice comes from the study. "Eric Lindstrom here. So good to hear your voice." Laura and Metzger reach the doorway and pause, getting ready to burst into the room. "Wish I could talk, but I'm not in." Laura releases the breath she's been holding. "Do leave your name and number after the tone. Thank you." A high pitched tone sounds.
As Laura and Metzger enter the study, the caller says. "Hi, Mr. Lindstrom. This is Tina at the LA Tribune. We haven't received your subscription payment yet. Could you please mail it right away? Thanks."
Laura puts her purse on the desk and goes around to the window, bending to inspect a box on the wall. "Timers," she tells Metzger. "The lights come on automatically."
"If Lindstrom isn't here, then where is he?"
Laura starts toward him, only to throw herself at him as several bullets fly through the window behind her, hitting the lamp on the desk. They fall to the floor. Once the bullets stop, Metzger looks at her. "Next time, I'm waiting for Steele!"
Laura gives him an angry look.
Steele cautiously enters the house via the still open front door. He pauses, then starts into the study. The moment he enters, Laura jumps at him with something in her hands. Steele grabs her and pushes her onto the couch, then raises his fist, only to stop as Metzger turns on a light. "Conducting the investigation with your usual decorum, eh, Laura?" Steele asks her.
"I thought you were someone else," she tells him, sitting up.
"Mr. Steele," Metzger says with relief. "Am I glad to see you."
"I'm afraid I get held up in traffic," he explains, looking down at Laura.
She straightens her clothes. "I'll bet it was bumper to bumper," she comments snidely.
"Yes," Steele agrees. "Especially near the beach. But since the two of you have plunged ahead, why don't you fill me in?"
"While you were out blowing your horn, someone was using us for target practice," she informs him.
He frowns in alarm as Metzger says, "I'm just an accountant. I've never been shot at before."
Steele looks at him. "It's okay, Mr. Metzger," he admonishes. "Calm down, don't panic." He moves toward the desk and window, then the desk.
"At least we know we're hot on Lindstrom's trail," Laura tells the client.
Metzger moves toward her. "Oh, listen, lady, you may be a good detective, but from now on, the head honcho calls the shots!"
Steele glances at Lindstrom's desk and finds a paper with information about a trip written on it. It's for a flight from LAX to Heathrow on Pan Am. Steele surreptitiously folds the paper as Metzger looks at him.
"So. What's the plan, Steele?" he asks.
Steele puts the paper into his pocket and looks at the client. "The plan. Ah, yes. The plan is that we continue to proceed according to the usual detective procedure." Metzger's hero-worship starts to fade. "Keep me posted," he tells Laura, and starts toward the door.
"Where are you going?" she asks.
"There is a pressing matter that has arisen which demands my immediate attention," he tells her, patting her on the shoulder.
"Mr. Steele, you just got here," Metzger protests.
Steele shakes his hand. "Mr. Metzger. I'm sure my associate here has explained to you that I function best in an advisory capacity. I assure you, sir, that I shall keep my eye on your case every step of the way." Laura has a decidedly sour expression on her face as she listens to him. "You have my word," Steele finishes with sincerity.
"Thank you," Metzger says.
Steele releases his hand, and touches Laura's shoulder. "Carry on, Mrs. Steele," he says, and then leaves.
Laura's upper lip curls as she asks Metzger. "Well, was he worth waiting for?"
Metzger looks toward the door, his expression uncertain.
Shannon enters the suite and turns on the light, only to find her arm held tightly by an angry Steele, who forces her across the room. "Out rather late for a woman in your delicate condition," he says, tossing her onto the sofa.
"Careful, darling, you're hurting me!" she tells him.
"Where have you been?" he asks.
"Out for a late night stroll. It does wonders for the heart."
"And does your constitutional involve taking pot-shots at Laura?"
"What are you babbling about?" she asks, rubbing her arm.
"The only other person with reason with a motive left town two days ago," he tells her, showing her the information from Lindstrom's study.
Shannon tries to laugh. "Come on, darling, there's much more effective means of eliminating your blushing bride."
Steele straightens. "Do you really care for me as much as you say you do?"
She slowly rises from the sofa. "Oh, darling. Let me count the ways-"
Steele grabs her hands. "If anything happens to Laura before I become a legal resident, I am gonna be kicked out on my ear!"
"You always did enjoy traveling," she points out.
"I'm also looking at five years in prison," he adds.
Shannon looks upset. "I don't understand."
Steele studies her in silence, trying to make up his mind how much to tell her. Finally, he says, "Immigration found out about my phony passport. The only way to avoid being deported was to marry an American citizen."
"Little Lulu to the rescue," Shannon says.
"Only we didn't have time for a proper marriage, so I- manufactured the appropriate documents."
"So you're not legally married," she says, hopeful again.
"And there's a bunch of bureaucrats out there eager to prove it! If they succeed, I am gonna spend the next five years of my life in the pokey." He points a finger at her. "Now. do you understand?"
She smiles, putting her hands behind his head. "Oh, perfectly."
"Then stay away from Laura," he tells her.
She pulls him into her arms. "Oh, I wouldn't do anything to hurt you," she assures him."
Shannon, wearing a different outfit, with a big hat, says, "Remington Steele's marriage is a complete and total fraud."
Lynch closes the office door and asks, "Care to elaborate, Miss Wayne?" as she moves toward the desk, where Tony is sitting.
"What more is there to say?" Shannon asks. "He told me that it was merely a ploy to keep him from being deported."
"I knew it," Lynch declares.
"Why did he confide in you?" Tony asks.
"We were-" she pauses, and smiles, pretending embarrassment. "Well, how shall I put this? We were in the throes of ecstasy when it just- slipped out."
"Nice image," Tony tells her. "So what do you get outa blowing the whistle on him?"
She sits down in a chair. "Our children deserve a name, Mr. Roselli," she tells him.
Tony sits forward. "You and Steele have children?"
She smiles. "Derrick- a darling little tow-head, and Bettina-" she manages, beginning to cry and pulling out a handkerchief. "A sad-eyed beauty. She misses her father so much."
"Yeah, well, she'll be missing him another next five years, at least," Lynch tells her.
Shannon looks alarmed as Tony tells her, "We'll need your statement in writing."
"Whatever does she mean another five years?" Shannon asks.
"Mandatory prison term," Lynch informs her.
Shannon stands up. "Oh no. Oh, no, no, no, I could never do that. What would I tell the wee ones?" Tony looks at her. "Unless- you would waive that minor little detail and- simply deport him. Hmm?"
Tony mulls the idea over. "It could be arranged," he says.
Lynch looks surprised by his response.
Shannon asks, "In writing?"
Lynch moves closer to Tony. "Mr. Roselli, need I remind you that Chapter 38, Paragraph 17 of the Immunization and Naturalization Code clearly states that-"
"Gladys," Tony tells her, "take a walk. Lower your blood pressure." He waves her away.
Lynch leaves the room as Shannon smiles at Tony and asks, "Where do I sign? Hmm?"
Shannon leaves the elevator in the parking garage, passing a pest control man wearing a gas mask and protective clothing as he sprays the area. Ignoring him, she heads straight to her car, which is parked beside the pest control company's van.
As she unlocks the door, one of the pest control men approaches her and sprays her in the face. She begins choking and coughing, then passes out. The other man grabs her and they put her into the van.
Removing their masks, they get into the van and drive away.
Steele enters the office, a slip of paper in hand. "Is Laura in?" he asks Mildred.
"Oh, hold it, Boss, we gotta huddle!"
"Quickly, Mildred," he tells her. "I've just come up with a fascinating new development on the Metzger matter," he holds up the paper from Lindstrom's desk.
"Okay. You remember the time you told me to check on Tony the Tiger?"
"Nada. Goose egg." His expression shows that he doesn't understand. "Don't you get it? He's not an archeologist. There's no record that he was *ever* in Mexico! In matter fact, there's no record that he exists at all!" She gasps, putting a hand to her mouth as she gets an idea. "You think the little woman made him up, too?"
"Highly unlikely," he tells her. "However, let's not burden her with this information, okay?" he asks as his office door opens and he blows her a couple quick kisses as he turns toward them.
"Okay," Mildred agrees.
Laura follows Metzger out of the office and says, "Mildred, book Mr. Steele and me on the first flight to London." She keeps going toward the outer doors as Metzger stops.
Steele, following Laura, asks, "London?"
"A friend of Mr. Metzger's ran into Mr. Lindstrom at the Thames Gardens hotel," she informs him.
"He had the nerve to invite him up to the Presidential Suite for tea," Metzger tells Steele.
"Why says crime doesn't pay?" Mildred asks.
Steele nods as Laura tells him, "I confirmed it with the airline. Mr. Lindstrom landed two days ago." Steele tosses the paper away. She notices and frowns.
"That's what I love about you, Laura," he tells her. "You're always one step ahead of the game, aren't you?"
"Piccadilly Circus here we come," Mildred declares, delighted.
"We?" Laura questions.
"Aw, come on. I was a big help in Mexico!"
"And you'll be an ever bigger help right here," Laura says as she and Steele turn toward the doors.
"Wait a minute!" Mildred says, stopping them. "If Lindstrom's flown the coop, then who shot at you two last night?"
Laura looks at Metzger, and Steele tells her, "We're detectives, Mildred. Everybody shoots at us. You know that." He backs Laura toward the doors.
"Obviously, Lindstrom has an accomplice," Laura surmises.
"Of course," Steele agrees. "Who else could it be? Time to start packing," he tells her, glancing at his watch as he opens the door. "Tally-ho. Time to get your galoshes out, turtlenecks-" he blows Mildred a kiss as they leave.
Mildred looks upset and a glance at Metzger's face doesn't help.
The pest control van pulls into a hangar at an airport. The two men get out and wait as another man joins them. It's Tony. "How'd it go?" he asks them.
"She's out like a light," one of the men answers. "Who is she?"
"A loose end," Tony says.
"Oh, come on, Tony, give us a clue. You went outside channels on this one and we can all get burned."
"I got somethin' heavy goin' down," Tony tells them. "She got in the way."
"What do you want us to do with her?"
"Put her on a plane to Singapore," Tony tells them, and one of them snorts in disbelief. "There won't be any questions with this," he adds, handing him a leather wallet.
The man looks at it. "Diplomatic passport," he tells his friend.
"From the look of her, she's got a healthy pair of lungs," the other one warns.
"Shame about the accident," Tony says. "Had to bandage the whole face."
"That oughta keep her quiet," the guy agrees.
"I pull this off, I'm back in business," Tony tells them, and shakes their hands. "I won't forget you guys." Once they turn back to the van, he leaves.
Shannon is waking up, moaning, a hand to her head. She sees one of the men when he opens the rear door of the van and puts a hand to her chest. "Please don't hurt me. I have a weak heart."
"Will you relax, lady, nobody's gonna hurt ya."
"My pills," she says, gasping for breath. "I need my pills. They're in my purse." She points to a spot close to him.
"Oh, all right," he says, and picks up her purse to look for the pills. Shannon uses the moment to grab the sprayer and sprays him in the face, knocking him out. When his partner comes around, she sprays him as well. Once they're down, Shannon grabs her purse and takes off.
Metzger dials a number from a payphone and tells the person on the other end, "Yeah. It worked. Steele's on his way to London."
The person he was calling hangs up the telephone. Tony sits back, smiling.