- Memories Are
Made of Steele
By Nancy Eddy
Takes place after the Steeles return from Ireland (Yes, in
this one, the fifth season DID happen. Sorry, guys.)
Laura Holt-Steele entered the Rossmore apartment a step ahead
of her "husband", finding herself looking forward to
a quiet evening after the day's heavy schedule. Since their return
from Ireland, they had been forced to work almost around the
clock to catch up on agency business, not to mention fending
off Estelle Becker's questions about their "marriage".
She contemplated another of Remington's gourmet feasts with relish.
"What's for dinner?" she was asking, when suddenly
her leg hit something hard and immovable in the walkway.
Remington reached out, "Careful," he said, grabbing
her arm to steady her as they looked down at the wooden trunk
that sat on the carpet. It was old, with inlaid wooden squares
forming a soothing pattern in the polished surface. "Good
Lord," he said, releasing her to examine the object.
"Where did it come from?" Laura wondered, as Remington
knelt to run his long fingered hand over the smooth surface,
almost as if welcoming an old friend. "I take it that you've
seen this before?" she asked.
He nodded. "It's Daniel's memory chest," he told her.
- "Daniel's-?" she repeated
as a knock came on the door.
- "Would you get that, please,
Laura?" he asked, his attention still focused on the chest.
She opened the door to find the doorman, Lenny, standing there
uncertainly. "Good evening, Mrs. Steele," he said,
tipping his hat toward her. "I'm sorry I missed you and
Mr. Steele downstairs- guess I was out walking Mrs. Pomeroy's
dachshund when you two came in."
"I suppose so, Lenny. What can I do for you?"
He held out an envelope. "I'm supposed to make sure Mr.
Steele gets this- I let the delivery men in to leave the trunk,"
he said, nodding toward that object with a smile at Remington,
who was now standing beside Laura. "I hope you don't mind."
Laura took the envelope. "No. It was just a surprise, that's
all. We weren't expecting anything from-" she glanced at
the writing on the manila. "Fulbright, Simms and Fiske,
London Solicitors," she informed Remington, who took the
envelope and tore it open.
"Okay. Have a nice evening," he said, tipping his hat
again, his other hand extended in silent expectation.
Seeing that Remington was unaware of the doorman's expectations,
Laura opened her purse and pulled out a dollar bill. Lenny glanced
at the bill, sighed, then smiled at her. "Thanks, Mrs. Steele."
"Thank you, Lenny," Laura returned, closing the door,
fully aware that Remington would have probably tipped the man
with a five. "What's all this about?" she asked, sitting
in the chair beside the trunk to examine the antique.
He lifted the paper. "Daniel's solicitors. He asked them
to send the trunk to me upon his death. Said that everything
I needed would be inside."
Laura took the letter and envelope, glancing at the typewritten
letter, signed by an "Amos Fulbright, Esq." She shook
her head. "I find it hard to believe that a con man like
Daniel would take the time and trouble to keep his important
papers this way."
"Yes, well, this was the only item that Daniel always made
sure was moved whenever we moved," he told her, sitting
on the coffee table in front of the trunk.
"And you've never seen what's inside?"
Remington looked at her. "Laura, I'm shocked. The idea of
prying into Daniel's background was something that never occurred
to me. It never mattered."
Laura placed her hand on his back. "Until now." Now
that he knew Daniel was his father, she wanted to say. She opened
the envelope, shook it. "There's no key," she told
With a sigh, Remington shook his head. "Laura, when are
you going to learn, love?" he asked gently, pulling out
his lock pick kit and withdrawing two files. "Never done
it with pics," he told her. "Hairpins, whatever was
at hand always worked just as well-" he smiled as the lock
gave with a soft "click". Then, he hesitated.
"What's wrong?" she asked, torn between amusement at
the man who always opened every present as quickly as possible
and worry at his look of nervousness.
- "I"ve never actually OPENED
it before," he said. "Daniel used to let me practice
picking the lock, but-"
- "Your birth certificate could
be in there," she reminded him.
Remington nodded, then threw back the lid to reveal a hodgepodge
of envelopes, papers, news papers, and photographs. "Oh,
Daniel," he sighed.
"It's going to take weeks to go through all of this,"
Laura sighed. "Obviously organization wasn't HIS strong
"They do say like father like son, eh?" Remington told
her, picking up the white envelope on the top which bore his
name in Daniel's crisp hand. He opened it easily and pulled out
a piece of paper and a small book.
"What is it?"
Remington opened the book, then laughed. "A bank book. Daniel's
life savings." He stopped, his eyes widening. "Why
Alarmed, Laura came around to peer over his shoulder at the amount.
"He was loaded!" she declared.
"Laura, 'loaded' hardly-"
"A half a million POUNDS?" she said. "That's-
"Given the current rate of exchange, around, say- seven
hundred and fifty thousand American. Give or take a few,"
he admitted. "Quite a bit of change, I'll grant you. No
wonder he had been taking it a bit easier these last years- getting
out of actual cons and into other endeavors."
"But- he took Marissa's money that she paid to help get
her father out of Russia-"
"It's here," he told her, indicating a deposit in the
book. "The exact amount she paid him. In fact, it's the
last deposit he made."
Laura shook her head, picking up a slip of paper as Remington
turned his own attention back to the chest. "Remington-"
He glanced at something, and smiled. "He even kept the one
and only grade card I got when he tried to send me to school,"
he told her, tapping it and laughing softly as he read the instructor's
note. "'Has a penchant for organizing games of chance on
the schoolyard which cannot be tolerated.' Oh, I remember that
old man. Hated kids. Never understood why he became a schoolmaster."
"What's this?" she asked him, holding the paper in
her hand out for him to read.
Remington took it, read it, then lifted his eyes heavenward.
"Why on earth did he keep this, I wonder?" He handed
it back to her.
"It LOOKS like a marriage certificate," Laura commented.
"It IS a marriage license," Remington, his eyes on
"And the names on the license?" Laura pressed.
He didn't have to look at them to answer. "Harry Chalmers
and Jane Eggleston," he recalled easily. Too easily, he
thought as he watched the incredulity grow in Laura's eyes.
"You've been married before?" Laura asked.
Remington considered it a good sign that she considered that
he was married NOW as well, he supposed. But thanks to Daniel,
he had yet another hurdle to jump. "Was. Six months. It
was a mistake, we went our separate ways-" He glanced at
the trunk. "I'm sure there's probably a copy of the annulment
in there as well, somewhere."
"Annulment," Laura repeated slowly. "And just
WHERE is the FORMER Mrs.- Chalmers now?"
Remington shrugged. "Last I heard, she was married to an
Earl or such. Came up in the world."
"I can't believe that you never- not a word! Not one peep.
I mean, you could have told me about it- "
"Why? It was over and done with long before I met you,"
he reminded her. "Look at the date on the license."
She did. Remington sighed deeply. "I was eighteen, Laura.
Too young to know what the hell I was getting myself into. Janie-
we'd known each other for years off and on. First in Brixton,
later on, working with Daniel. We just drifted together- Daniel
tried to talk me out of marrying her-until he found out WHY we
were getting married. Before three months were out, we knew it
was a mistake. Took another three to convince each other of the
fact that the best thing for all concerned was to end it. I've
never lied to you, Laura. I was going to tell you- do you remember
that night at the Devil's Playground?"
She winced. "I said I didn't want to hear if you had a wife
and kiddies stashed away somewhere-," she recalled. "You
don't-?" she asked, suddenly wary.
"No. But I did marry Janie because she THOUGHT that she
was going to have a baby," he admitted. "My baby. Once
she realized it was a false alarm, well-"
"And you haven't seen her since?"
"No. There was no reason to," he told her, picking
up a photograph. "Speak of the devil-" he turned it
for her to see. "Janie and myself on our wedding day."
Laura took the picture and studied it, surprised to find the
plain faced young woman standing beside a somber faced VERY young
Remington. "You look as if you're going to a funeral, not
"Well, when you've practically got a shotgun to your back,
it's rather difficult to smile. Janie's father was still alive
then- when he thought I'd 'ruined' his little girl, he threatened
all kinds of bodily harm if I didn't make an honest woman out
of her. Course, he had no way of knowing that I was willing to
marry her since I thought she WAS going to have my child."
"You didn't want another child to go through what you went
through," Laura guessed softly.
"Something like that," he admitted. "Of course,
as soon as he found out that she WASN'T pregnant, he couldn't
get her away from me fast enough." He picked up one of the
newspapers, a copy of the Times, upon which Remington's smiling
face was plastered for his success in helping the police foil
both the White Chapel murders and the attempted assassination
of the Earl of Claridge.
Laura picked up a packet of envelopes, tied in a green satin
ribbon and looked at the names on the envelope. She fully expected
to find Janie and "Harry's" names on them. But they
were all from a Rose Anne Harrigan, Dublin, Ireland, to Daniel
at Conemarra Prison. "I think you should look at these,"
Laura told Remington, holding them out to him. "The postmarks
are all the year before you think you were born."
Remington took the letters and carefully untied them. "Rose
Anne Harrigan," he read.
"Harry?" Laura suggested softly. "Perhaps that's
why he called you by that name when no one else ever had."
She turned back to the trunk as he pulled the first letter, the
one with the earliest postmark, out. He needed privacy, she realized.
When her hand fell on the picture frame, she paused, then looked
at the photograph in her hands. The woman was smiling at the
camera, her eyes filled with the sheer joy of life, with love.
Laura glanced at the man who sat across from her, reading the
letter that Rose Anne Harrigan had sent to Daniel. He had her
eyes. And her smile. No wonder Daniel had known who Remington
was that day in Brixton. He must have been totally shocked to
find the pickpocket he'd just stopped from lifting his wallet
had Rose's eyes.
Beneath the picture was another envelope, an official looking
one, and Laura frowned as she picked it up. Opening it, she read
the contents. "Remington-"
"Hmm?" he asked, not really listening, as he was caught
up in what Rose had written all those years ago.
"Your troubles with Immigration are over," she informed
"Why?" he asked, his attention refocused with some
She held out the two papers she'd just found. "Daniel's
birth certificate- " she told him. "And yours."
Remington laid Rose's letter aside for the moment and took the
two papers. "Daniel was- an American?"
She nodded. "With these, you should be able to satisfy all
of Estelle Becker's questions- and do whatever you want to do."
She picked up the bank book. "And with Daniel's money, you
really can do whatever you want."
He looked up upon hearing the strained tone of her voice. "And
if I want to stay here, where I am? Continue to be Remington
Steele? Would you object too strenuously?"
"It's your decision," she reminded him. "*I* don't
have any hold on you-" she reminded him.
He took her hand in his and pulled her closer. "But you
do. You have more of a hold on me than anyone has ever had, Laura.
Even Daniel. And I've been a total fool not to have told you
so before now. I love you. I think I loved you from the moment
I first saw you."
"You did?" she asked.
"Yes. I know it's asking a lot, but- would you be willing
to make our marriage completely and totally legal, Miss Holt?
To REALLY become Laura Holt- Steele?"
She looked at the certificate in his hand. "You mean Laura
Holt-Harrigan, don't you?"
He waved the document in the air. "An easy matter to change
the name," he told her. "I already think of myself
as Remington Steele. I think it's time that I put the past aside-
and BECAME the man you envisioned when you created your fictitious
Mr. Steele. Legally. If you still think I'm capable of that feat,
Laura smiled at him. "Mr. Steele, I happen to think that
you're capable of ANYTHING," she assured him, meeting his
lips with her own. "But we still can't give up the charade
of being married," she reminded him. "Even if you're
an American citizen, if they decide that we only married to keep
you here, we could still be charged with falsifying documents-"
"So we continue as we are for the next two years, eh?"
he asked. "And what then?"
"Then, Mr. Steele," Laura said in a business like tone,
"We'll extend the contract, if we're both agreeable."
"Hmm. I love it when you talk that way," he sighed,
pulling her into his arms before leading her toward the bedroom,
the memory chest temporarily forgotten as they became engrossed
in making memories of their own.
- Hame CaseBook
- Original content ©2000
by Nancy Eddy