- Hounded Steele
- From the original
episode written by:
- Jeff Melvoin
Mildred Krebs arrives
at the run down Sleepy Rest Motel in a cab. Getting out, she
frowns. "Sleepy Rest, huh? Looks about as restful as a split
lip," she comments, taking a paper from her purse.
"Okay, lady," the driver says.
She points at him. "You wait for me, amigo. Capish?"
"Okay, lady," he says again.
Mildred shakes her head and moves toward a bungalow. She knocks
on the door and hears a dog bark. "Oh," she says. When
no one answers, she sneaks around to the side of the building
and looks inside the window. She sees a small dog laying on the
bed, a rope around his neck. He barks when he sees her, and Mildred
puts a finger to her lips to try and silence him. She opens the
window and tries to climb inside, but the window comes down on
her legs. The dog is still barking. Mildred gets inside and goes
to the dog. "Okay. Okay, sweetheart. We got you. Oh goody.
Wait," she says, untying the rope. "Wait, wait, wait,
wait." She picks him up. "Okay. Here we go." She
goes to the window as she hears someone at the front door. Mildred
tosses the dog outside. "Cheese it!" she tells him,
then tries to scramble through as the man, who was carrying a
bag of groceries and has a rather crazed look about him, drops
the bag and pulls a gun. He fires three shots, but Mildred's
out of the window. The cab driver, hearing gunshots, takes off.
Mildred chases him with the dog in her arms.. "I TOLD you
to wait!" she yells. The man comes around the corner. "I'll
have your green card for this!" she says, running away,
chased by the man from the motel.
walks into the office smiling, "Ah, morning Mildred."
He taps the side of her desk as he walks past and then stops
to look around as he realises she is not there. He goes to the
coffee room door and feels the coffee pot for warmth before picking
up a cup and saucer and serving himself. He hesitantly enters
his office, eyes widening as he approaches his desk, placing
a hand on it and patting its' empty surface uttering, "Newspaper."
Steele takes sip of his coffee and nearly chokes. He manages
to clear his throat and walks to Laura's office calling out,
- Laura is on the
telephone in her office as she opens some mail. "No,
I'm afraid I can't help you with that, either."
Off camera, we hear Steele bellow. "Laura!" She lifts
a hand to silence him as he comes in carrying a cup in his hand,
looking inside it uncertainly.
"Sir, SIR, I don't KNOW whether the steno pads we ordered
are a canary yellow or a wintermint green." Steele stands
there, impatient. "Look. You'll just have to call back later
about all this. Yes, well, I'm SORRY. Good bye!" She hangs
Steele shows her the cup. "Have you tried this?"
"I MADE it," Laura tells him. "I don't have to
DRINK it," she says, standing up.
"It's like a hot cup of the Thames," he tells her.
"The question of the hour."
"The newspaper wasn't on my desk, the coffee is toxic, my
morning calm has been shattered, Laura. Utterly shattered."
"Bear up, Mr. Steele. This is the first time Mildred has
been late. I'm sure she'll be here soon to restore order to our
Mildred and the dog are somewhere, still hiding from the man.
Steele is on the telephone, frowning. "Hmm. No answer at
"She must be on her way," Laura says as there's a knock
on the door. "You see?"
"Yoo-hoo," a feminine voice calls, and then the door
is opened. "Is anybody home?" A middle aged, blonde
woman enters. "I have a nine o'clock with Mr. Steele,"
she tells them.
Laura glances at the appointments. "Mrs. Clairborne?"
"That's right," she says, smiling. She's well dressed,
obviously well to do.
Laura smiles, coming around to shake her hand. "I'm Laura
Holt, Mr. Steele's associate." She looks at Steele. "You
remember, Mr. Steele. Mrs. Clairborne," Laura pauses, stumped
for a moment. "Is the lady who asked us to locate her former
classmates for a reunion," she says, relieved.
"Elmhurst Finishing School," Mrs. Clairborne tells
them. "Class of '47."
"Oh, yes, of course," Steele says. "Delighted,
Laura checks the calendar again. "I have you down for ten."
"Oh, yes, I know. I changed it on Friday. Well, surely your
secretary told you."
"We've had a bit of a mix up this morning," Laura explains.
"Would you mind taking a seat out here for a few minutes?"
she asks, showing Mrs. Clairborne into the lobby only to find
a delivery man there with a clip board.
"Uh, I'm looking for a Mildred Krebs?"
"Who isn't?" Laura wonders as the telephone rings.
She answers it. "Hello?- uh, Remington Steele Investigations."
The delivery man wheels in a huge tree.
"Where do you want it, ma'am?"
"I don't know," she tells him. "Anywhere. No.
I was talking to somebody else," she tells the person on
the phone. What were you saying?"
Steele asks Mrs. Clairborne, "Tell me, Mrs. Clairborne,
would an accomplished woman like yourself know how to make a
potable cup of coffee?"
She's stunned. "Oh, well, I sometimes make it on Maria's
day off. And my husband doesn't complain TOO much. Is that what
He smiles. "Excellent. Excellent. Right this way,"
he says, leading her toward the coffee maker.
"Call back this afternoon," Laura tells the person
on the phone. "Ask for a Mildred Krebs." The delivery
man is still delivering plants. "Yes. K-R-E-B---B-S. This
afternoon. I don't know ANYthing about it. Thank you." She
hangs up, turns, and walks into a plant that Steele is hiding
"Planning a nursery, are we?" he asks.
"What ELSE can go wrong this morning?" Laura wonders
as three women come into the office.
"Come on, girls," one of them says.
"You had to ask, didn't you?" Steele questions Laura
as they turn to face the women.
"Is Mildred Krebs in?"
"Not yet. May we help you?" Laura wants to know.
"We're the Dragon Ladies," another woman says.
"Oh," Steele says, without a clue.
"Mildred's bowling team," the third woman says.
"Ah," Steele says.
"Of course," Laura says.
"That's Hazel, Esther, and I'm Rose," Rose says.
"Hi," Laura says. A short young woman comes up behind
them. "And what do you want?" she asks the woman.
"Um. Plant lady," she explains. "Monday and Thursday."
" Oh. Right. Sorry. Go- Go ahead."
Steele turns to the Dragon Ladies. "What can we do for you
"We're looking for Mildred," Rose explains.
"She missed practice last night," Esther tells them.
"She's NEVER done that before," Hazel adds. "And
semi finals are tonight."
Rose tells them, "Now, I tried reaching her until midnight.
But no luck. So," she looks at her friends, "we thought
she might be off on another- hush-hush assignment."
"Mildred?" Steele questions. Laura frowns.
"I told you, girls," Esther says, "they can't
talk about it."
"Talk about what?" Laura wants to know.
"It's okay, honey," Hazel assures her. "We understand."
Steele looks troubled, raises an eyebrow as Rose says, "Mildred's
told us the kind of work that she does."
"The intrigue," Hazel says. "The danger."
"I didn't think you could talk about it if your `top op'
was on a case," Esther tells them.
"Top op?" Steele questions.
Laura's figured it out. "Mr. Steele," she says, indicating
that he follow her.
"Would you excuse us a moment, ladies?" Steele asks.
They go into Laura's office, where the plant lady is tending
the plants. "Regardless of whatever tall stories Mildred
has been spinning, I'm worried."
"Yes," he agrees. "It isn't like her at all, is
"Excuse me," the plant lady says, trying to get to
"Sorry. I have a key Mildred gave me to her apartment in
case of emergency, I think," Laura tells Steele, who's worried
that the plant lady got water on his shoes.
Steele tosses the newspaper onto her desk. "Well, I suggest
we use it."
Laura gets up to leave, and the plant lady blocks her way. They
dance for a second until Laura moves her to the left and goes
to the right, leaving the little woman to tend her plants.
In the lobby, Steele says, "Uh, ladies, I don't think Miss
Krebs is in any sort of trouble, but Miss Holt and I are going
to make sure. If you would like to check back with us, later.
"We can wait," Esther says.
"She's the rock of our team," Hazel tells them. "We
don't stand a chance without her tonight."
"Suit yourselves," Laura tells them, but is prevented
from leaving by Mrs. Clairborne bringing a cup of coffee to Steele.
"Here you are, Mr. Steele," she says.
He takes the cup. "Ah, Mrs. Clairborne. Would you be an
angel and watch the phones for a moment? Miss Holt and I will
be right back." He pulls Laura around the ladies.
"Why, yes, I suppose so," Mrs. Clairborne says, surprised.
"Splendid. Good luck, then," Steele tells them. "Toodle-oo."
Mildred is still on the run. She's clearly exhausted and scared,
but she takes the dog into a phone booth and closes the door,
then puts her money into the slot.
The phone rings, and Mrs. Clairborne answers. "Yes?"
"Who is this?" Mildred asks.
"Susan Clairborne. Who is this?"
Mildred hangs up, gets another dime and places the call again.
"I'm calling Remington Steele Investigations," she
"This is Remington Steele Investigations, Susan Clairborne
"Forty five minutes late and already they've replaced me?"
"Put Mr. Steele on the phone."
"I'm afraid Mr. Steele isn't here."
"Well then, give me Miss Holt."
"She's not here, either," Susan says, as the dog growls,
alerting Mildred. She looks around to see the man who's been
chasing her. Mildred ducks down. "You'll have to speak up,"
Susan tells her.
The man walks to the phone booth, rubbing his eye. Mildred is
huddled in the booth, as Susan calls "Hello? Hello?"
over the phone. Mildred puts down the dog and carefully hangs
up the telephone.
Susan hangs up, angry. "Young people today."
Mildred and the dog sneak past the man and high tail it in the
At Mildred's Laura comes downstairs. "Bed's made,"
she announces to Steele, who's standing by the fireplace. "Everything's
as neat as a pin."
"No question where Mildred feeds her overactive imagination,"
Steele tells her, giving her some paperback books, all murder
mysteries. He takes a photograph from the mantle. "Have
a look at this."
It's a photo of Mildred and the Dragon Ladies with a bowling
trophy. The only other photo is of Steele and Laura. "Besides
us, it seems the Dragon Ladies are all she has."
Steele looks at the photo. "Odd. I've never really thought
about what Mildred does outside the office."
"Neither have I," Laura admits. "Must get pretty
lonely for her. Divorced, no children. Just a sister, living
Steele puts the picture back. "Makes it easy to understand
why she might exaggerate to her friends." He picks up a
trophy as Laura examines a carved fish. "Add a little colour
to her life."
"And theirs, too, obviously. Oh, I hope nothing's happened.
. . ." She looks up to see a man staring into the apartment.
Laura takes off, leaving Steele no choice but to follow. They
lose him in the alley.
Back at the office, Laura and Steele return to find Susan with
a man. "Ah. Mr. Steele. Miss Holt. This is Kevin Masters."
"Hello," Laura says.
Masters shakes their hands as the Dragon Ladies come closer.
"How do you do? I'm just here to get my dog," he explains.
"Excuse me?" Steele asks.
Hazel says, "You must be Shirley's friend."
"That's right," Masters confirms.
"Who's Shirley?" Steele asks.
Before anyone can answer, the dirty, tired little dog enters
the office. Masters smiles, kneeling down. "There he is.
Good boy!" The dog barks, and comes to him.
Mildred appears in the doorway. "Mildred!" Laura says.
"Mr. Steele. Miss Holt. I'm sorry I'm late," she apologizes,
and starts to sway. Laura and Steele barely reach her in time
to stop her from falling, and Steele takes out his handkerchief
and starts fanning her with it.
She's laying on the sofa in Steele's office, as Laura places
cold compresses on her head. "This man was shooting. And
I couldn't get away," she tells them.
"Rest, Mildred," Laura says. "We'll talk later."
Mildred nods, her eyes closing.
In the lobby, Esther asks, "How is she?"
"Fine. She just needs some rest," Laura tells them.
The dog comes up to Steele and barks, wagging his tail. The Dragon
Ladies giggle. "He must like you, Mr. Steele," Hazel
guesses, as the dog grabs Steele's pants leg and starts tugging
Steele tries to ignore it, Laura frowns in confusion, and Masters,
says, "Bad dog." When the dog doesn't stop, he apologizes.
"Sorry, Mr. Steele. I guess he's just excited by all the
"Perfectly understandable," Steele says, but he's not
"Mr. Masters," Laura says, "Do you think you can
fill us in on just what you and your dog are doing here?"
Hazel lifts her hand. "I can explain. Shirley gave me a
jingle, so I rang up Mildred, and Mildred buzzed Shirley."
"Who's Shirley?" Steele asks again.
A woman comes in. "I am. Shirley Melisch is the name."
She sees the dog and smiles. "Ah, look at little fella."
She looks at Masters. "Hello, Mr. Masters. I see you made
it all right. You Steele?" she asks.
"Me Steele," he says.
"Miss Melisch," Laura says, "Do you think we might
have a word with you in my office?"
"Sure," she says, then follows them through the greenery.
"Oh, boy. A jungle."
"Straight through," Steele instructs, "do sit
down, please." Laura closes the door, and Steele sits beside
Shirley. "In matters of this nature, Miss Melisch, I find
it advisable for subjects to focus on the initial stages on their
narrative and then to proceed chronologically."
Shirley looks at Laura. "What'd he say?"
"He means, start at the beginning."
"AH. Got ya. Well, Mr. Masters drops off his pooch on Sunday,
like always. I groom dogs, see. I wash em, clip em, whatever
they need. So, I take care of his dog, and I put him out in the
back, when I hear something. I run out and there's this guy,
making off with the dog. So I chased the creep, but he hops in
this car and he drives off. BUT- not being a dimwit, I copied
down the license plate number. But now I have a problem,"
"Why didn't you simply call the police?" Steele asks.
"Well, you see, Mr. Steele, I run the business out of my
home for the last fifteen years. You know, nice and simple, no
formalities . . ."
"And no business license," Laura says.
"On the nose, honey," Shirley agrees. "So, I don't
think the boys in blue would take too kindly to that."
"I think you're right," Laura says. "But why did
you call Mildred?"
"I didn't call her. I called Hazel. Hazel called Mildred.
Mildred called me." Laura nods, having heard it before.
"So Mildred says no problem. She'll have the dog back at
noon today. And so she does. End of story."
"Thank you, Miss Melisch," Laura says, going to the
"Sure," she says. Steele rises as she does. Shirley
leaves, Laura closes the door behind her.
Steele sits down, putting his feet on Laura's desk. "It
isn't enough that I have to cover for YOU as a detective,"
she says. "Now I have Mildred to worry about."
"I suppose we ought to have a little chat with her about
"YES. Why don't you talk to her about it?" she suggests.
"Being an expert in the subject."
"Oh, come now, Laura. Calm down. After all, she did get
the dog back," he points out.
"You're missing the point. Obviously, she used MY confidential
sources to trace that license plate. Personally, I find that
offensive. And professionally, it's fraudulent. Real detectives
lose their licenses for things like that."
"Perhaps YOU'RE missing the point. Regardless of any improprieties,
it appears that Mildred has had a harrowing time, and - for reasons
presently obscure at best." She nods.
"You're right. First things first. What could be so important
about a dog that somebody would kidnap it, then shoot to keep
it?" She goes to the door and calls the dog.
Steele moves closer. "Laura, let's not be hasty," he
says, as the dog grabs his trouser leg again and starts growling,
nearly pulling Steele off his feet.
In Steele's office, Masters joins Mildred. "I'm Kevin Masters,"
he tells her. "It was my dog you recovered." Mildred
smiles. "I just heard the whole story, and well, I wanted
to say thank you."
"Oh," Mildred says. "It was nothing."
"Well, I better let you get back to sleep," Masters
Mildred puts out a hand. "No, that's okay. You can keep
me up a little longer." Masters laughs.
In Laura's office, Steele is resewing his trouser hem as Laura
holds the dog. "I thought you got along with dogs."
"I do. Dogs love me. I love dogs. THAT, Laura, is obviously
not a dog. It's some other animal masquerading as a dog."
Laura laughs. "I see." She notices something and frowns
as she sees the dog's collar, row after row of jewels. "Wait
a minute. Look at this." Steele puts a hand out, but the
dog snaps and snarls. Steele pulls back as Laura takes the collar
off. "Am I imagining things? Or are these real diamonds?"
The dog snarls again as he takes the collar from her. He examines
it. "Well, they do appear to be authentic enough,"
he says, handing the collar back as the dog snaps again.
Susan knocks on the door and comes in. "Excuse me. There's
a gentleman here to see you."
Laura's looking at the collar. "Tell him to wait outside,
Mrs. Clairborne. We're very busy."
"Well, the gentleman is very insistent. In fact, he has
a GUN!" She runs for cover as the man who was following
Mildred, now wearing a stocking over his head, enters. Steele
starts to rise, stops.
"Give me that," the man says. Laura hands him the collar.
"Not THAT," he says. "THAT!" She gives him
the dog, and he leaves a stunned Laura looking at the collar.
Masters comes from Steele's office. "Hey! That's my dog!"
he yells, and jumps the kidnapper, only to be thrown to the ground.
Laura and Steele come out, sidestepping around Masters. In the
corridor, the man turns and fires a shot at them, causing them
and the others in the hallway to duck. They reach the elevator
as the doors close. Laura runs to the stairs, but Steele shakes
"No, no, no, no, no. Eleven flights, Laura."
"You're right," she agrees. "He'd be in Poughkeepsie
by the time we get down the stairs." They turn back to the
office, where the ladies are helping Masters to his feet.
"Grooming charges are on the house this week, Mr. Masters,"
Shirley tells him.
He sees Laura and Steele returning. "Did you catch him?"
"No," Laura tells him. "May we have a word with
you, Mr. Masters?" she asks.
Steele heads toward his office. "Through here, excuse me"
he says to one of the ladies. Opening his door, he sees Mildred,
who's asleep. "Oops. Uh, this one's taken."
They go to Laura's office. "Would you mind telling me what
makes your dog so popular?" she asks Masters.
"I don't know. I'm as baffled as you are," he assures
"Oh, come now, Mr. Masters," Steele insists. "I
mean, dog-nappings at gunpoint are hardly an every day occurrence,
even in Los Angeles."
Laura pulls the collar from her pocket. "What about this,
"His collar," Masters says.
"Um hmm," Steele says as Masters takes it. "What
are real diamonds doing on a dog collar, Mr. Masters?"
Masters looks at them. "That dog is all I have in the world.
He and I go back a long way. I, uh, don't have anyone to spoil,
so I'm afraid I spoil him."
"But why would somebody take the dog and not the collar?"
"I don't know. But I'll pay you anything to get him back.
Here. Take the collar as collateral." He holds it out. Steele
starts to reach for it, but Laura stops him.
"That won't be necessary," she tells him. "We'll
see what we can do, Mr. Masters."
Mildred is telling them about her morning. "So I took buses,
cabs. ANYthing to get away from the man. I have been to places
the last twenty four hours that I never knew existed," she
tells them. "West Covina. Azusa." Laura smiles. "Do
you know there's a place called `City of Industry'?" Laura
"Go on, Mildred," Steele prods gently.
"There's not much more to tell," she says. "I
thought I finally gave him the slip. But I guess not."
"Perhaps we should start at the place where you found the
dog," Laura suggests.
"The address is in my purse," she tells Laura, who
hands it to her. "I called your friend Al - at the DMV-
to trace the car," she says hesitantly. "And it was
a rental from Johnson Leasing. I called them and got a local
address." Laura takes the paper, frowning. "You're
not mad at me, are you?" Mildred asks.
"We'll talk about it later," Laura assures her.
"For the moment," Steele says, "we're just glad
you're all right, okay?"
"I didn't think it would turn out like this," Mildred
insists. "When Hazel called, it seemed so minor. A stolen
dog, for cryin out loud. And-well, I've been telling them all
for awhile now that-uh-that I'm more than a secretary,"
she said hesitantly again as Steele smiles at her. "I couldn't
"You're very important to us as you are, Mildred,"
"Perhaps you haven't realized this," Steele puts in,
"but, you're very much appreciated around here. Really."
"Well," Mildred says, looking down, "maybe. Sometimes.
But you two. You're so young. You're admired. Your lives are
important. And -I don't even pretend to understand your relationship,"
she says as Laura and Steele look uncomfortable, "but you
do seem to have each other. And sometimes, well, sometimes it's
hard for me. I'm just an old bureaucrat with a busted marriage
and fading memories."
"Mildred," Laura protests.
Steele does more. He pulls Mildred into his arms to hold her.
"Come on. Come on. Here you go, Mildred."
"I mean, sometimes, I don't know- I-I just want to feel
Susan is on the telephone with a friend. "Yes," she
says, wide eyed. "And they've asked me to stay on the rest
of the day. I mean, can you imagine, Carol. ME, working? Actually,
it's not nearly as unpleasant as I'd always imagined it was.
. ." she confides.
The Dragon Ladies are talking to Laura and Steele as Mildred
comes out. "Now, Miss Krebs," Steele tells her. "The
ladies will see you home."
"Do you want me to make that court appearance for you on
the Williamson matter, Miss Krebs?" Laura asks.
The ladies are impressed. "Oh, certainly, Miss Holt,"
Mildred responds. "And extend my apologies to the judge."
"I've just reviewed the Rothenburg dossier, Miss Krebs,"
Steele tells her. "First rate, as always. Anything else
we need to know about in your absence?" he asks.
"I think you've been brought up to date," Mildred decides.
"But, uh, keep me advised of any developments in the Masters
"You got it," Laura assures her as Steele smiles.
"Oh, and Mr. Steele? Don't you think we should do something
about these plants?" she asks.
"Right away," he tells her with a sour expression.
"Good," Mildred says, then takes Rose's hand. "Come
on, girls. Let's take the limo."
"Good bye," everyone says as Steele watches them go.
Laura smiles at his discomfiture. "You know, Laura, I hadn't
realized until this moment just how frustrating it must be for
you to pretend that I'm the head of the agency."
Laura is beaming, feeling vindicated at last. "It's about
He gives her a sideways glance. "I mean, for over a year
now, you've had to put up with countless charades, and indignities
of the sort that I've just experienced for a brief moment,"
he tells her as she rolls her eyes, "and yet found quite
demeaning even at that. It's truly remarkable the way you've
been able to keep your emotions in check while I take the glory
for all your efforts." Laura's not smiling now. She looks
sick. "Truly remarkable. Yes." He pats her on the back
as he turns toward his office. "Keep up the good work."
Laura takes a deep breath and then turns to follow him into the
They take the Rabbit back to the motel. "Number four,"
Steele tells her. "John Smith."
"That's not an alias, you suppose?" Laura wonders.
As they approach the cabin, shots are fired, and they both drop
to the ground, before Steele rushes the door and tries to push
it open as the kidnapper heads for the window with the dog.
The door is blocked by a dead body. The dog, sensing that his
rescuer is Steele, jumps from the man's arms. The man takes off
through the window. Steele and Laura go to the window, in time
to see the man drive away as the dog attacks Steele's pants leg
again. He shakes the dog off, and they run back to the body,
closing the door.
"It's the man from Mildred's apartment," Laura tells
him. They start searching for ID, and Steele finds it.
"Here you go." He opens it, and frowns. "Oh, my."
"What is it?" Laura asks.
He hands it to her. "Jonathan Hemmings. Interpol."
"Oh my," Laura repeats as Steele straightens his tie
Outside the unit
a black hearse is preparing to leave as a police lieutenant walks
to where Steele and Laura, holding the dog, are standing. "I
didn't know you had a dog Laura?"
- "He belongs
to Mr Steele." Steele turns around at her comment as Laura
pats the dog and continues, "Mr Steele just *loves* dogs."
replies Remington looking at her unimpressed. He turns to the
police lieutenant. "You
say you knew this Hemmings, Lt.?" Steele asks.
"He came to the office, that was about it. Said he was trying
to find a former Interpol man. Name of, uh, Anatole Blaylock?"
Steele looks intrigued. "Seems this Blaylock is still going
around using Interpol credentials and contacts."
"Any idea why?" Laura asks. He shakes his head. "Thanks,
Tom," she says, shaking his hand.
"Sure." He moves away.
Once they're alone, Laura tells a thoughtful Steele, "I'll
bet Blaylock is the one we're after. It would explain what Hemmings
was doing at Mildred's apartment. He saw Blaylock chasing Mildred,
picked up on her identity somehow and decided to check her out."
They approach the Rabbit. "Laura," Steele says, "this
case just became extremely interesting." Laura puts the
dog into the back seat. "Several years ago, Interpol put
Anatole Blaylock in charge of apprehending a brilliant thief
known as Le Renard."
"The Fox," Laura translates.
"Um hmm," he confirms. "Blaylock failed utterly.
So, Interpol had him cashiered out. Apparently Blaylock became
unhinged by it all." He's still thoughtful.
Laura gets into the car. "How do you know so much about
Blaylock, anyway?" she asks.
He smiles, gets into the car. "Because, for a while, Interpol
thought I was the Fox."
"Were you?" she asks.
He smiles again. "There were times I wished I was,"
he confesses, putting on his sunglasses.
At Mildred's, Kevin Masters is having some coffee and cookies.
"Good cookies," he tells her.
"They're just chocolate chip," she tells him. "The
recipe's on the package."
"Yeah, but some people put nuts in em," he tells her.
Mildred looks worried. "Right."
"I don't like em with nuts," he tells her, smiling.
"Me either," Mildred says. "That's why I didn't
put them in." They both laugh. "Here I am, prattling
on about myself, and- I don't know anything about you, Kevin."
"Not much to tell, Mildred. I'm retired. Nowadays, I mostly
take walks with my faithful companion."
"My dog," he corrects.
Mildred laughs. "Oh. I love the little guy," she tells
him as the Dragon Ladies knock on her door.
"Yoo-hoo! Millie! It's us!"
Mildred looks nervous, Kevin puts down his cup and stands. "Well,
I should be going," he tells her.
Mildred gets up to walk him to the door. "Well, uh,-"
"Maybe I'll- drop around tomorrow?" he suggests. "IF
you'll be around, that is."
"I'll be here," she assures him, opening the door.
The ladies are floored to find Kevin Masters there. "Good
day, ladies," he says as he leaves.
One of them gives a wolf whistle as they enter the apartment
carrying groceries. Mildred sees them all look at her. "He's
just a friend," she tells them. They give each other a disbelieving
As Masters leaves, Blaylock watches him go, then looks toward
At Steele's apartment, the carpet is littered with newspapers
as Steele reads from a book and orders, "Stay." The
dog ignores him. "Stay." Laura is immersed in another
book. "When I say stay, you bloody well stay, damn you!"
he yells at the dog, who walks away from him.
"Wonderful technique," she comments, laughing.
"I'm on the verge of a break-thru, Laura," he tells
her. "I can sense it." He looks at the dog again. "Laura,
observe." She sighs and looks. "Sit!" he says
in a high, sing song voice. The dog lays down, then gets back
up. Steele looks frustrated. "Stand. Stand." The dog
rolls over. Steele flips some pages, reading, as Laura tries
not to laugh. "Walkies!" he says. The dog looks at
him, then comes over to him. Steele smiles broadly at Laura,
who's laughing now.
"Mr. Steele!" she manages, pointing at the dog, who's
going to the bathroom on Steele's shoe. "It sickens me to
think that you and Old Yeller are members of the same animal
family. Get!" he tells the dog, pushing it way as he tosses
the useless book across the room.
Laura's returned to her reading. "These scrapbooks are amazing."
"Hmm," he mutters, still angry as he sits on the arm
of the chair.
"Sort of a catalogue of classic burglaries in our time."
"Um hmm, well, some children collect comic books,"
he tells her, "others baseball cards." He opens another
"You collected larcenies," she says. "There's
quite a lot here about Le Renard," she says. "Gentleman
thief. Only stole from the very rich, never used weapons, never
caught. He dropped out of sight several years ago," she
Steele hands her the book he's been looking at. "Here you
go," he says.
Laura's eyes widen as she sees the photograph of a diamond necklace
with the headline, Le Renard Strikes Again, Makes off with
Kronesbourgh Necklace "This is the collar that was around
the dog," Laura realizes. "You mean, Kevin Masters?"
"Le Renard?" Steele questions.
"I don't believe it," she says. "We have a master
criminal for a client?"
"Makes for a nice change of pace, eh?" Steele says,
"No, now, let's be serious for a moment," Laura insists.
"Some of these articles mention an alleged accomplice. Dolittle."
The dog barks.
"He was never identified either," Steele tells her.
"Irish, isn't it?" Laura asks. "Dolittle?"
The dog barks again.
"I suppose so," Steele agrees, looking at the dog as
Laura does the same, but for different reasons.
"Listen," she says. "Dolittle." The dog barks.
Steele frowns at the dog. "Will you be quiet, please? I'm
trying to listen!"
Laura shushes him. "No, no, no. Don't you see? Dolittle!"
The dog runs to Steele and lifts his leg.
"Dolittle," Steele mutters, a sour expression on his
Later, they arrive at a trailer house. "I would have thought
a master thief would have grander digs," Laura mentions
as they approach the house with the dog. She rings the doorbell,
and Masters answers the door.
"You found him!" He takes the dog. "Come in, come
in!" He pets the dog. "Hello there, boy. How are you?"
"Dolittle's a good dog, isn't he?" Laura asks.
"Yes, he's a fine . . ." he responds, then stops, looking
uncertain. "Did I tell you his name?" he asks.
"You know," Steele says, "I'm told that one of
the great frustrations of being a master criminal is the inability
to take credit for one's own craft. Take- Le Renard, for instance,
who pulled off such remarkable jobs as the Macedonian Chalice,
the Hapsburg Triptic, the Panther's Eye Ruby of Simba- what restraint
he must have, not to throw open the shutter to the world and
shout, `I did it!'." Masters is still looking at them.
"You must love that dog an awful lot to give him a collar
that could put you away, Mr. Masters," Laura points out.
"Does, uh, Miss Krebs know?" he asks. Laura shakes
her head no. "Please. Come on in. Sit down." They sit
down on the sofa. "Well. What's this all about?" he
"Anatole Blaylock," Steele tells him.
"Uh hmm," Steele confirms.
"Cruel chap. But not too quick, thank God. I thought he'd
quit searching for me years ago. Why are you looking at me like
that, Miss Holt?"
"I'm finding it hard to believe that you're a famous cat
burglar," she says, smiling slightly.
He laughs. "Dog burglar, actually. Never cared for cats,
they're haughty creatures. But Dolittle here, and his forebears,
have been a great help to me." He sits down with the dog.
"Haven't you? You mustn't judge me too harshly, Miss Holt.
I'm a man whose talents put him- outside the law. Actually, I
learned my trade working for Uncle Sam during the war. Undercover
operations in Europe. When the war was over, I stayed on in England."
"What happened to all the money?" Laura wants to know.
"You mean this?" he asks, looking around at the trailer.
"I spent it when I had it. No regrets. This place suits
me fine. Nice neighborhood, pretty quiet. Gardening's my hobby
now. Must be the English influence." He points to Steele.
"You Brits really love your gardens, don't you?" Steele
nods, looking away. "Well, I guess you have to turn me in
now, right?" he asks.
"For what?" Steele asks. "Hmm? The statute of
limitations on the Kronesbourgh Necklace ran out years ago."
"I don't see any evidence of wrong doing in our baliwick,"
Laura tells him.
"Mighty nice of you," Masters tells her.
"Let's just say I have a soft spot for charming men with
mysterious pasts," she says. Steele looks uncomfortable.
"But we do have a problem to solve."
"Blaylock," Masters says.
"What do you think he wanted with Dolittle?" Steele
wants to know.
"I don't know. But whatever he's after, I don't think he'll
Mildred, dressed in her bowling outfit, comes downstairs with
her shoes, whistling. As she puts the shoes into the bag, Blaylock
grabs her from behind. "You are going to make a little call
for me, Miss Krebs," he tells her.
Masters is on the telephone with Blaylock as Laura and Steele
listen. "What makes you think I'll do that, Blaylock?"
he asks. "Hello Mildred?" Laura and Steele listen more
closely. "Are you-Yes, I get the point, Blaylock. Ten o'clock."
He hangs up.
"He has Mildred?" Laura asks.
"What does he want?" Steele wants to know.
"The Jennings diamond. If I don't get it to him by ten,
he'll kill Mildred."
Steele laughs mirthlessly. "So that's what he's after, eh?
He wants you to steal for him."
"And he was using Dolittle as leverage," Laura points
out. "But now he has Mildred instead."
"He must have tailed me," Masters tells them. "Seen
that I'd taken a liking to her."
"Hmm. How did she sound?" Steele asks.
"We'd better call the police," Laura decides, moving
toward the phone.
Steele stops her. "No. Blaylock's already killed once today.
I believe he'll do it again if provoked."
Masters says, "Well, I'd better get ready to come out of
"Uh, with all due respect," Steele says, "not
even you can pull this one off. I mean, even if you DO get into
the Gem Exchange building, the diamond's in a case with a unique
alarm system. Disturb the glass in any way and you'll set the
whole bloody thing off."
"I don't have much choice, do I?" Masters says.
"But it's impossible," Laura tells him.
"I know for a fact it isn't," he says. "I may
not have the tools anymore, folks, but a retiree's gotta keep
his mind active. You see, I spend months working up a tough heist,
all in my head, of course, and when I've solved it, I move onto
another. The Jennings diamond was one of my `assignments.'"
Laura grins, amazed. "Fantastic."
Masters looks at them. "I'll- need some help, though."
Steele looks delighted to make the offer. "Well, it would
be an honor to assist someone as gifted as- Le Renard?"
He sees Laura's slight frown and tempers his enthusiasm.
Atop the building across the street from the Gem Exchange, Laura
and Masters watch as Steele shoots a line from a cross bow across
the space between the buildings. Steele goes first across the
line, then Laura. Masters puts Dolittle onto hooks. "Okay,
boy, we're back in business," he says, then sends the dog
across to Laura and Steele.
Steele thrusts the dog into her arms. "Here you go. You
Masters prepares to come across. "By the way," Laura
asks Steele, "What are we going to do AFTER we steal the
Steele looks as if he's drawn a blank before answering. "Well,
we'll cleverly trap Blaylock into a web of his own devising,
hmm?" he suggests.
"Any idea how?" she asks.
"One thing at a time, Laura. One thing at a time, please."
She rolls her eyes.
Masters starts across. "Once more into the breech,"
he says, rolling across the line. Halfway across, he loses his
grip and nearly falls.
Once he makes it, Laura asks, "Are you all right?"
"Fine," he assures her. "A little- grease on my
glove, that's all." But his look says that he knows his
lie didn't fool Steele. He tried to use a screwdriver to open
an electrical box, but drop the tool.
"May I?" Steele offers.
"Bit chilly," Masters explains to Laura, who nods as
she still holds Dolittle. Steele opens the box. "Pull out
one four two." Steele pulls something from the box. "Punch
up seven six five," he says, and Steele pushes the buttons
on a keypad. Masters hands him a board. "Put this in,"
Blaylock is standing
in Mildred's apartment looking at his watch. "They must
be well into it by now." He walks to the telephone and
starts to dial.
- Mildred, sitting
on her couch demands, "What gives you the right to make
another man steal for you?"
- Blaylock puts down
the telephone and glares at her with a slightly crazed look in
his eyes. "What gives me the right? That man destroyed
my life. Do you know what it's like to have your name dragged
through the mud? Mmhn? Have your colleagues shun you? To be
the butt of newspaper reporters and their stupid *little* columns?
Huh?" He picks up the telephone and dials again. "I
was a good investigator. I deserve better." Mildred starts
to speak but he "ssh's" her. "Yes sergeant. This is Inspector Anatole Blaylock of Interpol.
It might interest you to know I've uncovered a plot to steal
the Jennings diamond." Mildred is confused. "Tonight.
That's right. The Gem Exchange building." Mildred's confusion
turns to shock. "Yes, I thought your department might want
to share credit. I'll meet you there."
Mildred's angry now. "I thought you wanted Kevin to steal
He looks at her. "Do you think money can pay for the humiliation
I've suffered?" he asks. "No. Tonight, when I announce
to the world that Blaylock, the bumbler, the scapegoat, has unmasked
the greatest thief of our time, caught him in the act, as it
were, I shall have what I've lived for these past five years:
"You'll never make it stick, Blaylock," Mildred tells
"Oh, no?" he questions softly.
"No. Kevin will tell the police that you forced him into
"Ah," Blaylock agrees, sitting beside her. "But
he'll need YOU to back him up," he points out.
"And you don't think I'll talk? I will sing a song that
will put you away . . ." she breaks off, realizing what
she's saying. "On the other hand, what business is it of
mine?" she asks. "I-I mean, I hardly know the guy.
Nah, I wouldn't talk. No skin off my nose." Blaylock is
shaking his head. He stands up, pulling out a gun.
"Get your coat."
There's a knock on the door. "Millie, it's us," Rose
"Don't answer it," Blaylock orders quietly.
"I have to. That's my bowling team."
"Get rid of them," he says.
"But. . . ."
"Unless you want your friends to join you," he says
Mildred goes to the door, Blaylock is behind it, holding the
gun. "Well, come on, girl," Esther says.
"You girls run on ahead without me," Mildred tells
them. "A little emergency came up at the office. I'll get
there by myself.."
"But, Mildred . . ." Rose says, confused.
"Do me a favor on the way over, would you? Pick up my bowling
ball. It's at the Claremore Shop on Vermont."
"What? The Claremore Shop?" Rose asks.
"On Vermont," Mildred confirms, then closes the door.
"Get your coat," Blaylock tells her again.
At the Gem Exchange, the trio climbs down at ladder into a vent.
Laura and Steele make it fine, but Master's hand gives out again,
and he falls. "My ankle," he says.
"How bad?" Steele asks.
"Bad enough to keep me here," Masters tells him.
Laura, holding the dog, looks up. "Well, that's it, then."
"No, it isn't. Dolittle's all you need from here,"
Masters tells them.
Steele looks uncertain. "Oh, no. I'm not taking him without
"Tell that to Miss Krebs," Masters reminds him. Steele
looks frustrated. "Look, I've explained the voice commands.
He'll obey you. You're in good hands, believe me."
Steele looks at Dolittle, who shows his teeth and growls. Steele
In the vents, Laura asks, "How are we going to get Master's
OUT of here?"
"One thing at a time, Laura," he reminds her as they
come to a grate that leads out to the room where the diamond
is on display. A guard enters the room, and they hide. He puts
a card into a slot on one side of the room, then goes across
the room to another door and slot. He opens the door and leaves.
Laura removes the grille and she and Steele put on infrared glasses,
which reveal a pattern of beams criss-crossing the room. "Okay,
Dolittle," she tells him. "Fetch. Fetch. Go on."
Dolittle leaps down. "Slide," she orders. "Crawl."
"Jump." They laugh. He gets to the slot and card. "Pick
it up," she orders. He grabs it. "Okay, Dolittle. Home."
He starts back. "Crawl. Jump. Slide!" He gets just
out of reach and stops. "Come on, Dolittle. Bring it back."
"Come on, Dolittle," Steele says.
"Come on, sport, come on."
"Come ON, Dolittle, you bloody twit," Steele mutters.
"Oh, SWELL," Laura sighs.
Steele swings his leg out of the hole as Laura keeps trying.
"Walkies," Steele says. Dolittle comes and lifts his
leg as Steele frowns and Laura laughs.
"You're an inspiration to us all, Mr. Steele," she
tells him as he shakes off his shoe. "Come here," she
tells Dolittle. "Give me the card." He gives it to
her. "All right, good boy." She reaches out and puts
the card into the nearby slot, which turns off the light beams.
Steele and Laura get out of the vent.
On the street below, a man drives up in a car. "Diamond
one to Diamond two," he says into a two way radio. "Report,
In another car, a man responds. "Diamond two to Diamond
one. In position, over."
"Diamond one to Diamond three. Report, over."
"Diamond three to Diamond one. In position. Over."
At the docks, Blaylock forces Mildred out onto a pier. She falls
down in some sand. "Get up," he orders. She does, but
she throws some of the sand into his face, then takes off down
the pier as he shoots at her. At the end of the pier, she falls
into the water. Blaylock looks into the dark water, but doesn't
see anything. So he leaves.
Laura and Steele set up a tripod over the case holding the diamond.
Attaching a suction cup to the tripod and the case, they pull
the base from beneath the case.
On the sidewalk, the Dragon Ladies stand there. "All right,"
Esther tells them. "We're here. The corner of Claremore
and Vermont. All I see is the Gem Exchange. Now what?"
"I still don't get it," Hazel insists.
"It's a clue, Hazel" Rose explains. "Mildred's
a top operative. She wouldn't have sent us here without a reason.
We just have to figure out what it is."
"So what do we do?" Hazel asks.
"Reconnoiter, girls," Rose says. "Reconnoiter."
In one of the cars, a man says into his radio, "Diamond
one, this is Diamond three. We have three female subjects out
front. Middle aged, all wearing what appear to be bowling shirts
with- `Dragon Ladies' written on the back. Please advise. Over."
Diamond One isn't happy. "Damn," he says into his radio.
Upstairs, Steele is using a cutting torch on the bottom of the
jewel case. Laura is at the window, and notices the Dragon Ladies
downstairs with the police. Turning to Steele, she asks, "What
is Mildred's bowling team doing down there?"
"Sorry. Can't talk right now," he says.
Laura watches another few moments as the women move away with
the police. Steele removed the plate from the bottom of the case,
then reaches inside to withdraw the diamond. "What do you
say to that, eh?" he asks Laura.
She frowns. "Put it back," she says, putting on a coat.
"It's a set up," she tells him. He looks upset.
Rose is trying to explain. "You see, officer, there isn't
any Claremore Shop. We interpreted that to mean the corner of
Claremore and Vermont." A police car with sirens approaches.
"Now, the question is, . . ."
"Look, I'm sure you're right, lady, but some other time,"
he says, as the police cars stop before the building and several
uniformed officers get out and head to the door. "Now what?"
He rushes to them, as does his men, asking what's going on. "What
are you doing here?"
As he unlocks the doors, an officer explains, "Some people
got locked in the building accidentally. The old man's got a
sprained ankle." Laura, Steele, and Masters come out, wearing
jackets and looking presentable.
"Okay, everybody," the detective orders. "Up against
"There's a perfectly good explanation for this officers,"
Laura tries to explain.
"I'm SURE there is," the detective says doubtfully.
Blaylock strides up. "Congratulations, officer. You've just
arrested a world famous thief," he says.
Steele turns from the wall. "What have you done with Mildred?"
he asks, only to be pushed back against the wall.
"If you check that man's pockets," Blaylock says, "I'm
certain you'll find the Jennings diamond."
One of the detectives turns around. "They're clean, lieutenant."
"What's this all about?" the lieutenant asks Blaylock.
"He has the diamond! He MUST!"
Steele turns around. "This is the man you want, Lieutenant!
He killed an Interpol agent! Will you listen to me?!"
Mildred, dripping wet, runs up. "Arrest this man!"
Blaylock snaps, pushing Mildred into the crowd gathered around
them, and takes off. Masters grabs the dog and sends him down
the street, yelling, "Dolittle! Tango!" The dog grabs
Blaylock's pants legs, tripping the man. He reaches for his gun,
but Steele kicks it out of his hand and the police grab Blaylock.
"Take him away!" the lieutenant orders.
"Well," Steele says, "I suppose that dog is good
for something after all."
Laura grins. "Uh, Mr. Steele," she points down and
laughs as Steele grimaces.
The next morning, at the office, Masters and Dolittle are with
Laura and Steele. "Well, I think it's safe to say that the
Fox has finally retired," Masters tells them.
"Well, at least you won't have Blaylock to worry about anymore.
According to the police, his failure snapped him for good."
"Umm hmm," Steele agrees. "Just sits in his cell,
repeating, `Le Renard, Le Renard'."
"How can I ever thank you?" Masters asks.
"How about picking up my dry cleaning bill, eh?" Steele
suggests as they shake hands, laughing.
Susan Clairborne comes into the office. "Mrs. Clairborne,"
"Thought you might need a little more help today,"
she says brightly.
"No way, Jose," Mildred answers, entering the office.
The phone rings, and she answers it. "Remington Steele Investigations,
one moment, please." She puts the line on hold. "Good
Masters says, "I thought we might have lunch, Mildred."
"Oh, great. I only get an hour," she tells him, then
pushes the button on the phone. "Yes? No, I'm afraid that
won't do. When we order canary yellow pads, we expect canary
yellow pads." Laura and Steele are watching, and Laura laughs
as Steele smiles. "Let me speak to your supervisor, please."
Masters smiles, watching Mildred at work.
Susan looks at Steele and Laura. "You said she was a very
important part of this agency."
"She is, Mrs. Clairborne," Steele assures her. "She
is." He winks at Mildred.