The episode opens with a shot of a Mediterranean town. A blond man with a scar on his cheek is driving a red Triumph sports car. He whizzes around a bend and down a road, narrowly avoiding an oncoming pony and trap directly in his path. A blue Mini driven by Laura is hotly pursuing him; Steele is in the passenger seat.
"Laura!" he cries.
"Courage Mr Steele!" she replies.
"Courage is not the issue here, it's horsepower! He has it, we don't!"
The man in the Triumph suddenly stops his car and jumps out. "I think he just ran out of road!" Laura says. She pulls up behind the Triumph. They get out of the Mini and run after the blond man, down a narrow street.
"Laura, there he goes!" shouts Steele.
"Wait a minute!" She says.
Steele turns back to face her, "Laura! He's getting away!"
She stops, "The man we're chasing is English-"
"So why was he driving on the right side of the road?"
"We can ask when we catch him!" Steele responds.
"I've had a funny feeling about this case even since we left Los Angeles-"
"Could we discuss this later?"
"It's all been too easy! The gambler on Crete, the bartender on Mikynos-" She flaps her arms, "It doesn't-it doesn't fit in somehow!"
Steele's exasperated. "Laura! We've been tracking this fellow for four days halfway across the Mediterranean!"
"Gimme a minute!"
"Oh bloody hell!" Steele bellows in anger, smashing his fist against a `house.' Puzzled, he realises that he's smashed through it! He peers through the hole he's made with a small, "Hello" (as if to say `what's this?'). Laura joins him and looks through too. They see some rocks and the sea.
She begins to tap on the exterior of the `house' and looks around her. "Where have all the people gone?" she asks. They both survey the town. "The entire village is a fake!" Laura exclaims.
Steele unfolds a map. "Absolutely. It looks that way doesn't it? It's not on the map either. No, no."
"I don't think we're in Kansas anymore!" Laura states, sotto voce.
"The Wizard of Oz. Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, MGM-" Steele begins but stops as applause rings out. A panel resembling the exterior of a shack slides open to reveal a group of people clapping.
Laura recognises someone. "The bartender on Mikynos!"
"The gambler on Crete!" Steele adds.
A distinguished European man in a white suit, carrying a cane salutes them, "Well done! Well done! Well done! Although I must confess that I had hoped the game would go on for a day or two longer! I should have known better than to hire a Yank! You can come out now Harold!"
The driver of the red Triumph emerges and takes off his wig, "God! This thing was giving me a headache!" He peels off the scar on his cheek.
The man in the white suit speaks again, "Introductions are in order. I am G W Wainwright."
Onboard Wainwright's yacht, an annoyed Laura says, "I don't care if you're the wealthiest man in England-"
"Oh! Top twenty actually!" he replies.
She continues to rant. "Nothing gives you the right to manipulate people like that!"
"Oh come along Miss Holt! You're making it sound as if I've done something positively nefarious and all I've done is pay you ten thousand dollars in advance to come and play in one of the loveliest corners of the world!"
"Play?" she queries, irked.
Steele jumps in, "I think what's upsetting my associate is your cable which created the unmistakable impression that we were battling the clock in order to save your nephew's life!"
"Yes! I'm afraid the kidnap scenario was just a little melodramatic but I had to make the stakes seem worthwhile otherwise there wouldn't be any sport in it, would there?"
"Sport?" Laura says, incredulous.
"Sport is where you find it Miss Holt and I thought it would be more stimulating to pit my wits against a world class detective than to breed more horses or to go on yet another interminable safari!"
Mildred pipes up. "Oh! You should taste these mussels, ambrosia!"
Wainwright turns to Steele. "You know it was your brilliant work in recovering the Hapsburg dagger that convinced me that you were the man to offer the challenge that I crave. I haven't been disappointed!"
Steele is flattered. "Really? Well I can't say I approve of your methods Wainwright but, ah, your admiration is understandable!"
"Oh dear! Oh dear! I see your colleague is still a little touchy! I say Miss Holt! I did prepare a second game plan in case you solved the first one too quickly, there's another ten thousand in it for you if you care to tackle it!"
She's disgusted. "Absolutely not!"
"All right then, twenty thousand!"
"Perhaps you didn't hear me!"
Steele interrupts, "Excuse me, just a minute please!" Taking Laura's elbow, he pulls her aside, "Laura the man's talking about twenty thousand dollars! That buys an awful lot of paper clips!"
"I refuse to become that man's plaything! There's a principle involved here Mr Steele, our agency cannot be bought!"
"Yes I know that Laura but perhaps-perhaps it could be rented!"
Wainwright sits next to Mildred. "Oh dear! Oh dear! I do hope I haven't caused a rift?"
"Oh no! They always wok things out beautifully." she replies.
"This whole thing is outrageous!" Laura cries.
"Balmy skies, azure seas, twenty thousand dollars!" Steele counters.
"Playing games is not our job!"
"I see, I see!" Steele says, irritated with her.
"The source of your discomfort. It's that staunch God-fearing drudge rearing up at you at the thought of playing a little well-compensated hookey!"
"Don't be ridiculous!"
"Aha! That's it! That's it, isn't it Laura? Come on Laura, this is the perfect time to develop those baser instincts lurking inside you, yearning to be free!"
"I was raised to work Mr Steele. I'm happy when I'm working, I cannot relax and enjoy myself when I know I should be doing something else."
Wainwright joins them, "I say, do forgive me. I couldn't help but overhear. You know perhaps we could arrive at a satisfactory conclusion Mr Steele? I mean, your Miss Holt is in search of some real work-I'm in search of an amusing challenge. Suppose we were to find an actual unsolved case on these islands and I were to wager the ten thousand I've already paid you at three-to-one that you couldn't solve it in, um, forty-eight hours?"
"How do we-how do we select the case?" Steele asks.
"No idea. Ask around, look in the local newspapers?" Wainwright replies.
Mildred jumps in, "Woah! Gimme a minute!" She gets out of her seat to scan a newspaper on a rack.
"The full resources of my yacht would, of course, be at your disposal," Wainwright continues.
"Fascinating proposition, eh Miss Holt?"
Mildred gives Steele a newspaper. "Here! I think I got it!"
"Oh well done Mildred! Well done! Look at this Laura, `English writer still missing.' Yes! `Island police continue to look for Carlton Shepherd, 38, British freelance writer who was reported missing two weeks ago. Anyone who has seen Shepherd is urged to contact authorities.' Ah!"
"Seems perfectly adequate." Wainwright says.
"Does, doesn't it? Laura where are you going?" Steele asks as she walks away.
"Solve it yourself. I'm taking the next plane to Los Angeles."
"Oh! Fine, fine I will!"
"Need I remind you Mr Steele who's the brain behind the brawn in this outfit!"
"I didn't realise it was so unequally divided! You may have the formal training but I have the hard-earned experience and after two years of bailing you out in case after case, I think that's far more important!"
"Bailing me out? You must be joking!"
"In case you didn't know about it, MISSY, this figure-head has a mind of its own!"
"I'm tired of your innuendo. You think you're the better detective? You want to play games? Fine. I'll give you a chance to put your money where your mouth is. I'll bet you that I can find Carlton Shepherd before you!"
"Done! What are the stakes?"
"I think pride is enough. Once this is settled, I don't expect to hear anymore bellyaching from you about who runs this agency and why!"
"You're pretty sure of yourself aren't you?" Steele says as Laura smugly nods, "Well how about this, if you find Shepherd we go straight back to Los Angeles."
"And if you find him?"
"We spend another week on the Mediterranean, even if it kills me!"
"Done." Laura confirms, offering her hand.
"Done." Steele responds, shaking it.
Wainwright yells out, "Ready, steady, go!" and starts his stopwatch.
"Yoo-hoo! I'm ready, whose team am I on?" asks Mildred from the yacht.
Steele and Laura are each in little motorised dinghies, ready to set sail. "We forgot Mildred!" he calls out to her.
Laura is all sweetness and light, "Oh! I wanted you Mildred but Mr Steele insisted!" He does a double-take at her blatant lie.
"Great! How do I get down?" Mildred continues.
"Thanks Laura! Thank you very much!" Steele says sarcastically. "Actually Mildred I need you onboard deck!"
"You don't want me to come along?"
"I tell you what Mildred, here you go!" Steele throws a telescope up to her, "You can be my look out, okay?"
She catches it, "What do I look for?"
"What? Well-errr-anything peculiar! You can never be too diligent Mildred, remember that, okay?"
Laura looks over, "Well Mr Steele, may the best man win! Just to review the ground rules. No co-operation, no communication and no holds barred, right?"
She pulls out a harpoon, aims and fires at his dinghy, deflating it.
"LAURA!" Steele yells but she cheerfully waves at him and sails for the mainland.
"What should I do boss?" Mildred cries as Steele sinks in the sea.
"Throw me a line Mildred! Throw me a line please!" Mildred tosses a rope over the side of the yacht but it turns out to be far too short! Steele curses to himself in the water.
Laura is doing legwork, asking different people about the journalist. Finally she gets back in her dinghy not realising that a moustached man is spying her on.
Steele and Mildred have finally arrived at the very first place Laura investigated. "No?" Steele says. The hotelier shakes his head, "Thank you very much indeed. Thank you very much, good day!" Steele sighs, "This Shepherd fellow's certainly kept a low profile. No-one's heard of him!"
"You've got to have more patience boss! This is only the second hotel we've checked and there are twenty-eight more to go including board and breakfast. Well, you know what Miss Holt always says, `good detecting takes five percent brainwork and ninety five per cent legwork.' "
"How like her! My philosophy Mildred is that nothing in life is worth doing unless it can be accomplished by a shortcut! Oh, she's probably miles ahead of us by now."
"Instead of looking for Shepherd we should be looking for Miss Holt!"
Steele grins ear-to-ear, "I didn't realise you were capable of such devious thinking Mildred! You're a doll! You're a doll!" They run back to the hotelier and Steele asks, "Pardon me sir, pardon me! This morning, you didn't happen to meet a fairly attractive American woman, brunette, late twenties, extremely pleased with herself?"
"Yes, yes, yes!"
Steele hugs him, "What a guy! What a guy!"
Laura rows into a cove and gets out of her dinghy. Some shady looking men are sitting by a fire. "Hi!" She greets them, "I'd like to talk to Angelo please."
"Yes?" Angelo responds.
She pulls a picture from her pocket. "I'm looking for this man, Carlton Shepherd. I understand he came here?"
"You made a mistake."
"I found the hotel where Carlton was staying. The clerk there told me Carlton wanted to buy a boat so he sent him to see a friend of his at the docks and the friend sent Carlton here to see you!"
"Is that so?" A couple of the men stand up and approach Laura.
"Look, I don't know what kind of business you're in and I don't care, I just want to find Carlton. Now if you'll tell me what he wanted, I'll be on my way." There's a pause and then she continues, "He's the only family I have in the world!"
"Look, he wanted a boat, very fast with radar and radio. We occasionally use such boats in our line of work." The men laugh.
"What was he going to do with it?"
"He had the cash, I sold him a boat."
"Does it have a name?"
"It did, once. All I can tell you is that it's red now."
"Thank you." She tries to leave but the men surround her, "Excuse me."
"You didn't expect all that for nothing, did you?" Angelo says.
Laura tries to run away but one of the men grabs her around the waist and pushes her to another man who pushes her to yet another man. They pick her up and hold her aloft in the air before lowering her to the ground and pinning her there. She bites the arm of one of the men holding her captive as Angelo menacingly approaches her.
"Okay! Hold it right there!" Steele shouts, his right hand is in his jacket pocket. It looks like he's pointing a gun at them. "Don't move! Back up! Back up, come on! Come on! Move it! Move it! Back up! That's it! Easy, easy! Very, very slowly! Okay?" Steele and Laura back away but he slips. His hand comes out of his jacket minus a gun.
"Nice try!" Laura cries.
When they realise Steele isn't armed, the men come forward again brandishing weapons. Steele takes his jacket and throws it at them. "Go! Go!" he tells Laura. She runs off and he follows her through the cove as the men give chase.
"We're going to be trapped!" Laura shouts.
"There's always a way out of these things! Don't you ever go to the movies?" Steele yells. They reach a dead end in the cove; the ground disappears under a pool of water.
"The wrong ones apparently!" Laura screams. The men catch up to them and as they advance Laura cries, "This really isn't necessary fellas!"
"Follow me Laura!" Steele yells and they dive into the water as the men laugh.
Steele and Laura reach the surface gasping for air, "You're so lucky!" she moans.
"Luck has nothing to do with it Laura!"
"Tell me you knew that pool led to this place!"
"You're just upset that I had to save you, that's all!"
"Oh, I could have gotten out of that!" she says confidently.
"Well, next time I'll let you!" he counters.
"Good! That doesn't change anything about the bet you know!"
"Oh of course not! I just thought it would be more fun to keep you alive until the end that's all!"
Back at the yacht, Wainwright says, "Six hours gone, forty-two to go from now!" A speedboat containing Steele, Laura and Mildred sails for the mainland.
Laura observes, "Wainwright's enjoying this far too much for my satisfaction!"
"Well, for giving us a shot at thirty thousand dollars, he can do hand-stands on the deck naked as far as I'm concerned! Besides, I'm beginning to savour the challenge of finding this fellow, aren't you?" Steele responds.
"What did Shepherd want with those bums at the grotto Miss Holt?" Mildred asks.
"A fast, sophisticated boat. Why? I don't know!"
Steele laughs as Laura realises she's said too much. She cries out and beats the side in frustration, "Excellent work Mildred, excellent work!" he crows.
They reach the mainland and moor the boat watched by two policemen. "Okay steady Mildred! Steady as she goes! There we go." Steele says.
Laura walks up to Steele. "Well thanks for the lift! I'm glad to see there are no hard feelings about what happened to your raft."
"On the contrary, I'm delighted to see that you've entered into the spirit of things. You've become a regular game-player Laura-" They smile at each other.
"Mr Steele?" One of the policemen says.
He continues, "-of course, you still have one or two things to learn. Yes, here she is gentlemen!"
"Come with us please, you're under arrest!" He holds her elbow.
Laura shrugs him off. "What is
this all about?"
The policeman reads from his pad. "Wilful and malicious destruction to a nautical vessel in island waters!"
"MR STEELE!" Laura cries. "Let go!" She yells as the policemen take her away.
"Shocking disregard for personal property Laura! Shocking!" Steele admonishes.
"But it wasn't even his raft!" She says in vain as they march her up the street.
"Ah, the weed of crime bears bitter fruit!" he comments.
"You're not going to let Miss Holt rot in jail, are you boss?"
"Oh of course not! Those officers are merely going to detain the harpoon-happy Miss Holt for a few hours!" He laughs.
"How can you be sure?"
He puts an arm around her shoulders, "Ah, experience and the fact that while Miss Holt was changing clothes on the yacht, I called the local constabulary and arranged a generous donation to the pension fund."
"Where are we going?"
"Someplace that sells nautical charts. Shepherd bought a boat, it's logical to assume he needed to know where he was going!"
"Amazing. What a mind! You are fantastic boss!"
"Thank you Mildred. Thank you very much!" he grins.
In the shop, the owner looks at the picture of Shepherd, "I remember him. S'pose fisherman. He is missing, ah?" He has a very heavy Mediterranean accent.
"Two weeks." Steele confirms.
"I am not surprised, I s'pose. He didn't know much about fishing. Wanted a chart for Agra bay."
"What's wrong with Agra bay?" Mildred asks.
"No fish there, everyone knows that! It's a long trip for nothing, believe me."
"What is there?" Steele queries.
"Seagulls. And the colonel, that's about it."
Steele continues to probe. "Who's the colonel?"
"English man. Has a big place
all by himself. Lived there ten years maybe. Never leaves his
villa. He's getting married I hear. Local girl."
"Well, ah, I'll take one of those charts for Agra bay myself actually. Okay?" Steele says.
"Suit yourself." The owner responds.
Laura sits then lies on the bed in her cell. Someone had used a newspaper as a pillow and she tosses it to the ground in frustration. It falls a certain way and something she sees catches her attention. She bends down, picks up the newspaper, reads it and emits a small, "What?" Frowning, she reaches into her pocket and pulls out her own newspaper cutting to directly compare the two. The newspaper she threw on the floor has an editorial piece with the headline, `Moscow Warns East Germany Over Relations With Bonn.' The cutting from her pocket has that same headline and story but it also has the editorial piece on Shepherd under the headline, "English Writer Still Missing.' Laura realises that something is afoot. She folds both articles and stuffs them into her pocket. Getting up, she rattles the bars of her cell.
"Let me out of here!" She yells. As she shakes the bars, dust drops down from the ceiling indicating that the cell isn't very secure. She turns to the cell window and places her hands either side of the walls for support. Jumping up, she uses her feet battering ram-style to dislodge the bars. At the third attempt Laura knocks them out of the cell window and escapes through it. She runs away. The two policemen, realise she's escaped and laugh.
Laura runs towards Mildred who's sitting at a table by the harbour, reading a book and having a drink.
"Oh, hi Miss Holt!"
"Where's Mr Steele?" Laura asks frantically.
"Uh-huh! You know the rules of the bet!" Mildred says with a wag of her finger.
"Forget the bet! Where is he? Mildred, we've been had! I need to talk to him!" she exclaims wildly.
"Oh no, no Miss Holt! The boss said you'd try anything to trip him up!"
"I am not joking and I don't have much time. MILDRED!" she yells.
"Okay! He went that way just a few minutes ago." Mildred points in the direction.
"Great!" Laura kisses her and runs off. At that moment Steele passes Mildred in a speedboat heading up-coast. Mildred smiles and waves at him. She's sent Laura the wrong way!
Steele's in the boat, smoking a cigar. He passes a sign which reads, `Private waters. Absolutely no trespassing.' Eventually he spots a red boat and heads towards it but the sound of a helicopter hovering above distracts him. Someone in the helicopter speaks.
"Attention! You are in private waters leave at once!"
Steele pretends his boat isn't working. He waves to them and points to the motor making a slashing gesture at his throat, shrugging and smiling.
They ignore him and fire warning shots near his boat instead, "Leave at once!" a voice from the helicopter orders. Steele realises they're serious and magically gets his boat working again!
Armed guards are patrolling a grand residence. One of them escorts a man inside. The man turns out to be the same moustached one who'd spied on Laura while she was doing her legwork.
A well-spoken Englishman is talking into a Dictaphone. "Sell all shares in Kristen electronics when it reaches forty-two. I may want to buy into that Italian ship concern and check the exchange rates." A beautiful young woman enters. "Anna! Come in, come in!" he kisses her on the forehead.
"I wanted to tell you about the flowers for the wedding," she says in a Mediterranean accent.
"Yes, of course." His guards entering with the moustached man catch his attention. "Can it wait until dinner?"
"Alright," Anna agrees.
"That's a good girl. You look very pretty."
Anna simpers, "Thank you colonel."
He corrects her, "Richard."
One of the men introduces the colonel to the moustached man. "Stefan, from the harbour."
"You've seen something?" the colonel asks.
"Yes colonel. A woman came to the harbour this morning, an American. She was looking for something."
"Who is the woman?"
"Her name is Laura Holt."
"Have any new boats appeared in the harbour recently?"
"Yes one. A big pleasure cruiser, the Queens Gambit Two."
Stefan is pleased. "Thank you colonel." He leaves.
The colonel looks thoughtful. "He's here. After ten years. I thought he might have given up."
A security guard speaks. "I'll double security sir. What do you want done about the prisoner?"
"Leave him. Perhaps he'll finally talk when he sees we know the truth. But first of all, I have a job for you."
Mildred is back onboard Wainwright's yacht. He's drinking champagne and smoking a cigar. "I really don't know what you are talking about!" he says to a very annoyed Laura.
"Don't give me that! This story about Shepherd is phoney and I can prove it! This is just another of your elaborate charades!"
"Miss Holt!" Mildred jumps in.
"The game's over Wainwright! Let's find Mr Steele and settle accounts!"
"I assure you young lady, you are quite mistaken!"
"Miss Holt!" Mildred is still trying to get her attention.
"I'll admit you were clever but the jig is up!"
"MISS HOLT!" she finally yells.
"WHAT MILDRED?" Laura bellows back.
Laura joins Mildred and sees another boat approaching, "More game playing Wainwright?" she asks in exasperation.
"I wasn't told about this!" he says surprised. The next minute, they're being fired at.
"Duck!" Laura orders.
" 'Ere!" Wainwright's distinguished English tone disappears into a broad London cockney accent. He puts a finger in a hole the ammunition has made. "They're real bullets!"
"Who are they?" Laura yells.
"How should I know, I'm just a bloody actor!" He peels off his fake moustache.
"WHAT!" she screams.
The gunfire continues so the crew abandons them. "Come back you swine!" Wainwright calls out.
"Some crew!" Mildred observes.
"Who are you?" Laura finally asks.
"I'm Benjamin Applegate. I'm a p-p-provincial actor and part time electrician. You see all this began-"
Laura interrupts. "Are there any guns onboard?"
"GUNS! Come on!" she grabs him.
"Oh, get orrf!" he says.
"Come here!" Laura orders. The other boat returns and commences firing at them again. They run away as two armed men board Applegate's yacht and begin to search for them.
Applegate leads them below deck to a chest that he opens. Laura grabs a weapon, "This is a flare gun!" she says in disgust.
"We risk our lives for that?" Mildred observes disgustedly.
"Well it's a gun, innit?" Applegate shouts.
"Where did that boat go?" Laura asks. They all look around and run out.
Laura takes the flare gun with her. From the top deck she spots an armed man as he continues to search for them. She jumps down, catches the man off-guard and whacks him across the back. Off-balance, he falls onto the yacht's rail so Laura lifts his legs over the side and he drops into the sea. "Score one for Holt!" she remarks, licking her finger and making a `1' sign in the air.
The other armed man is standing in front of the lifeboats. Mildred lifts up the canvas; Applegate has a bottle in his hand intending to smash it on the man's head. He silently motions to Mildred that he can't do it so she grabs hold of it too. They hit him on the shoulder with the bottle and he turns around, pointing the gun at them.
"HEY!" Laura yells and fires the flare gun. It hits him in the stomach and he screams in agony, jumping into the sea.
Laura and Mildred run below deck again and Laura grabs the controls.
"I didn't know you could work one of these things!" Mildred says.
"I didn't either!" Laura responds, "Throw some switches. Let's see if we can get out of here." The engine starts and the ladies high-five each other ecstatically.
Applegate runs in, " `Ere! `Ere, where are we going?"
"Does it matter?" Laura replies as the yacht sails off.
In the Mediterranean countryside, a goat-herd is walking his goats. He sits down, pulls out a pair of binoculars and takes off his hat: it's Steele. He peers through them, looking at the colonel's villa but something distracts his attention. A goat is rubbing its head on his leg, "Shoo! Shoo! Shoo! Shoo! Go on, scram! Scram! Scram! Go on, go!" Steele says pushing the goat away. He continues to look through his binoculars and sees a man walking towards an armed guard with a tray of food. They greet each other then the armed guard unlocks a door for the man with the tray. Steele feels something on his leg again. "Shoo! Shoo! Go! Go on, go!" He reaches a hand down to push the goat away but it isn't a goat. He feels around and realises it's a gun.
The man holding the gun speaks, "Up! Up!"
Steele raises his hands but out-of-the-blue, a man with a rock in his hand appears and strikes the armed guard with it. He falls to the ground, winded.
"Better get out of here! They'll be missing him soon," Steele's rescuer says. His accent is British.
"Much obliged," Steele replies.
"Don't mention it. Michael Banks." He offers his hand.
"Remington Steele." Steele shakes it.
"Hell of a name for a goat-herd!"
"Private investigator. I'm looking for a fellow named Carlton Shepherd."
"Are you now? So am I. He's me cousin."
"Really?" Steele is surprised.
"Aye." They walk off together. "The family's been worried sick. Why are you looking for him?" Banks asks.
"Well, let's just call it professional challenge. It appears he's being held in the villa."
"He is. I'll stake me life on it. And I told him not to get involved in this story!"
"What story's that?"
"Well, Calton's a journalist, freelance y'know. Always after the rough and tumble type of piece wars, murders, that kind of tripe. Well, while back he gets this tip in Johannesburg about this fellow called the colonel-"
Steele interrupts, "The man who owns the villa?"
"Aye, the same. Real name's Richard Moreland. He was a mercenary soldier in one of those African wars about ten years ago. Thought he'd get rich quick so he kills two payroll guards on his own side and lit out of the swamp with a payroll of four hundred thousand pounds and vanished! Poof!" He snaps his fingers.
"Huh! Charming," Steele comments.
"Yeah, Carlton heard he was living around here like some kind of lord of the manor, got all excited about exposing the fellow."
"But Moreland caught onto him first."
"Well, we'd better get the authorities."
"Try again laddie. I've been to the authorities they're in Moreland's pocket. Had quite a bust-up trying to get away from them. No, the only way to spring him is to do the job meself. Trouble is, I've been looking at the place, it's like a fortress!"
"Uh-huh. That might be the key!" Steele grins.
"Well, Moreland's designed his defences to hold off a battalion but two men at the right point, at the right time, could slip in unnoticed."
"I like your spirit lad!" Banks shakes Steele's hand. The detective grins broadly.
Back at the harbour - Laura, Mildred and Applegate are seated at a table. Applegate is moaning, "I could've been playing Falstaff in Stoke-on-Trent or rewiring me mum's kitchen!"
"So why did you impersonate Wainwright?" Mildred asks.
"Well, for the money of course! Why else?"
Laura jumps in. "Your agent sent you to see this man in London who said he represented Wainwright?"
"Correct. You see you Yanks wouldn't know that Wainwright is a very private person. I mean, nobody knows what he looks like so all this bloke in London wanted was someone who could do a very good public school accent and take direction. Now that is my strong point right, you see the-" He breaks off as he spots Laura looking bored. "Yeah, well, the whole point was to get you and Mr Steele to go after Shepherd."
"But why? Who is Shepherd?" Laura waves her arms exasperatedly.
"I haven't got a clue! But, if-if you found him, I was to leave a message at a certain address."
"You still have it?" she inquires.
"Yeah, yeah," he digs into his pockets and hands a piece of paper to Laura.
"Come on Mildred." Laura stands up.
"Shouldn't we be looking for the boss?"
"Don't worry about Mr Steele. I'm sure he's somewhere safely barking up the wrong tree!" Laura comments sardonically.
"Yeah, well, I'm coming with ya!" Applegate states.
"I thought you told me you were a confirmed coward!" Mildred says.
"I am!" Applegate cries. "But I ain't been paid yet, have I?" he ends sheepishly.
At the colonel's villa, an enormous chessboard takes up a huge amount of space in the grounds. A game is taking place between the colonel and Anna. They are sitting on long tennis umpire-like chairs to give them a good view of the game. A servant physically wheels the gigantic pieces from one square to the other.
"Are you sure you want to do that?" the colonel asks Anna. She nods.
"Queen takes rook," he orders. Two servants wheel the gigantic piece to the desired square. "Check mate!" the colonel says and climbs down from his chair. He goes over to help Anna off of hers. "You're learning. It's a difficult game "
The colonel spots his head of security. "Why don't you get ready for dinner?"
"You won't be late again, will you?" Anna asks.
"I hope not," he responds as she goes into the villa.
The head of security finally reaches the colonel. "Now obviously, this woman Holt is someone to contend with so this is what we're going to do," the colonel tells him.
Laura, Mildred and Applegate walk towards a house. Laura rings the bell.
"Well that's it! There's no one at home!" Applegate says and turns to go but Mildred and Laura grab him. Laura pulls a lock pick from her pocket.
"Where did you get that?" Mildred asks.
"From Mr Steele's pant's pocket. I lifted it while I was changing clothes on the yacht. I thought it might come in handy."
"Oh, that's a dirty trick!" Mildred tuts.
"Yes it is! Here we are." Laura opens the door and they all enter. The room has computer terminals and surveillance equipment.
"What is this?" Mildred queries, amazed.
"I'm not sure" Laura responds. She goes over to a table and picks up a folder named, `Benjamin Applegate.'
"Let's have a look!" Applegate chirps up.
Laura hands him the folder with his name on it and flicks through the others. One says, `Remington Steele Past Cases' and another, `Laura Holt, Psychological Profile.' She opens it and reads the findings aloud. " `Extremely dedicated, purposeful, unlikely to accept game format. Find acceptable alternatives.' " She frowns, puzzled.
"Expendable!" Applegate goes over to Mildred. " `Ere! `Ere, look! Look at that! After opening game subject is expendable.' " He is appalled.
Laura picks up a silver frame with a picture of a dark-haired young woman.
"Oh, look at this Miss Holt. It looks like some kind of a journal." Mildred hands it to Laura who reads extracts from it aloud.
" `Shepherd reportedly closing in on M-Shepherd missing one week now-Time running short, find Shepherd to find M-' "
"Who's `M'?" Applegate asks.
Laura continues reading. " `-Steele onto something.' That's the last entry."
"I got goose bumps!" Mildred says.
"I don't blame you! Apparently the real Wainwight has set all these wheels in motion to find `M' who judging from the assault on the yacht, obviously doesn't want to be found. This thing is like a chess match."
She walks over to the chessboard and picks up a rook. "Opening game, Wainwright tricks us into looking for Shepherd. Middle game, we point Wainwright toward `M' and fool `M' into looking for Applegate. End game, what's the end game? Mildred, do you remember where Mr Steele went?"
"I think so."
"We're going to get him."
"Oh, well that is definitely it. I'm off, goodbye!" Applegate retreats but the ladies grab him again.
"Ooh, wait!" Mildred calls out to him.
"We could use your talents Applegate!" Laura tells him.
"Well, to quote someone, errr, a living dog is better than a dead liar!"
"But you haven't been paid yet!" Mildred reminds him.
"That is painfully true my darling but I've stashed enough money away on that yacht to get me back to London, alright?"
They hear an explosion and all three dash to a window and look out. They see the yacht in question blown up before their eyes.
Applegate grimaces. "Oooh! When do we start?" Laura pats him on his shoulder.
Steele, complete with rope around his body, is preparing to pole-vault over a wall. He lands on the other side and throws the rope back over the same wall for Banks who ties one end to a tree and climbs over. They tip toe to the place where they believe Shepherd is being kept captive. An armed guard stands outside the door. He hears the distinct sound of a twig snapping and goes to investigate. Banks pulls him into a doorway and knocks him out.
He and Steele go to the same door where the guard was standing. Steele feels around in his pockets for his lock pick.
"What's the matter?" Banks asks.
"Errrr I must have lost my lock pick somewhere. Have you got a pen?" he asks Banks who pulls one out of his pocket and hands it to Steele.
"Cheers. Good man." Steele says and picks the lock.
Inside, a man looking a bit worse for wear is lying on the bed. He hears footsteps and sits up.
"Come on! On your feet!" Steele says.
"Who are you?" the prisoner demands.
"We've come to get you out of here. Your cousin Michael and I. Come on!"
"My cousin Michael?" the prisoner repeats.
"Yes come on he's standing-" Steele looks behind him and realises that Banks is pointing a gun at him.
"Allow me to introduce myself gentlemen." He removes his hat and peels off his beard and moustache. "G W Wainwright," he says.
In the compound an armed guard is patrolling the grounds. Steele, Wainwright and the prisoner descend the steps. Steele goes to a fuse-box and pulls some wires out.
Wainwright gives the prisoner a gun, "Here. Keep a lookout," he orders.
The prisoner looks at the gun and at Wainwright who quickly says, "Don't even consider it Shepherd. If Moreland catches you know you're a dead man, we all are."
At that, Steele stops what he's doing and turns around to look at Wainwright who continues to address Shepherd, "The only way you can get out of this place alive is to do exactly what I say." Shepherd complies and retreats.
Steele clears his throat. "Not to be indelicate but if I'm going to die I'd like to know the reason why."
"Understandable. There were in fact two mercenaries involved in the payroll robbery, Moreland and myself. Moreland panicked and killed the two guards and later he stole my share and lift me for dead."
"And you've been looking for Moreland ever since." Steele supplies.
"He's been living in fear of me. Covered his tracks well. Ever since I made my first million, I've had soldiers of fortune like Shepherd scouring the planet for him."
"So, when Shepherd, ah, disappeared-"
"I figured he must have got close to Moreland so I arranged for one of the best detectives in the world to land where Shepherd disappeared and to track him from there. I was never more than one stop behind you."
Steele points to the fuse-box. "Done."
"Excellent. I must say I've had my money's worth from Remington Steele investigations."
Steele gestures to Wainwright's gun, "Don't I get a weapon?"
"I think not. My research indicates you're a man of principle Mr Steele, despite my warning about Moreland. I think you might just about be reckless enough to spoil my plans. Shall we continue?"
"Sure." Steele agrees as they walk away together.
A speedboat driven by Laura containing Applegate and Mildred slowly approaches.
"Oh, I don't like this! I don't like this at all!" Applegate groans.
"Shhhh!" Laura admonishes.
He continues moaning, "It's dark, it's gloomy - I never cared for the water. I mean, even when I was a kid my mum used to say to me-"
"Would you be quiet!" Laura orders.
"I'm sorry darlin' but I'm always like this when I'm scared to death!"
"Mildred, did you hear something?" Laura asks.
"Uh-uh," Mildred responds negatively.
"Uh-huh," Mildred confirms.
The very next second, a bright light from a boat is beamed onto them, "Steer to and prepare to be boarded," a voice orders.
"I knew it! I knew it! We're dead! We're all dead! I knew it! We're dead!" Applegate cowers.
"Come on Applegate! This is where I need you!" Laura cries.
"Oh no!" he buries his head in his knees.
The boat draws closer. There are armed men onboard. Applegate stands up and makes his way along the speedboat, donning his confident, distinguished English accent.
"Hello! Hello! Good evening chaps! Worthy Cunningham here, British admiralty. Out on holiday in your lovely islands but having the most frightfully bad time with the navigation equipment. I-I say, I wonder, do you think you chaps might, ah, possibly lend a hand, what?"
The armed men are escorting him, Laura and Mildred through a house.
Applegate speaks in his cockney London brogue. "You know, I thought they were really going for that until I got port and starboard mixed up."
"The intruders colonel!" a man says.
"What am I to make of you, Miss Holt?" the colonel asks.
"If the colonel's last name begins with `M,' I'm here to tell you that Wainwright was not killed onboard his yacht today. In fact, he's probably somewhere very close right now," she states matter-of-fact.
"Hmm. Odd that you should be warning me when you helped to track me down."
"What's with you and Wainwright anyway? Why do you want to kill him?" Mildred demands.
"He's the killer, he's the one that has to be stopped!" the colonel insists.
Laura laughs mirthlessly. "Funny, I get the impression he feels the same way about you! Look, we're here to help. The least you can do is tell us what this is all about!"
"Well, like all enemies, Wainwright and I began as the best of friends. Chess partners in the African jungle, mercenaries in the same unit-"
"Which war?" Laura interrupts.
"Does it matter? Corrupt, horrible mob. We decided to take an unauthorised leave with the army payroll but Wainwright shot two guards and suddenly we had a battalion on our tail. And to make matters worse, he brought a South African girl with him."
"Girlfriend?" Laura asks.
"Well, he said he was going to marry her. We were ambushed, she was killed. The two of us barely escaped. Wainwright blamed me for the girl's death, swore revenge as soon as we fought our way out of there. I should have killed him right there!"
Laura probes, "Instead?"
"Well, I got away one night with my share of the money. Now I know you don't believe that I didn't take all of it but we went through a lot together and I figured that if either of us got out alive, we deserved a fair stake."
"Apparently fate played a funny hand," Laura comments.
Anna enters. "Sorry colonel, I did not-" she stops when she sees strangers.
"It's nothing my dear!" the colonel smoothly says to her.
An armed guard runs into the room shouting, "The alarm system is out! The prisoner has escaped!"
"He's what!" the colonel exclaims as the lights dim and go out. "Don't panic!" he continues, "the emergency generator will come on!"
As he finishes his statement, the lights come back on again and a shot rings out. The colonel points at Anna and issues an order to a guard, "Paulo, get her out of here!"
He opens his drawer and reaches for his gun. Holding it aloft he declares, "I have no intention of letting Wainwright stalk me, I intend to find him first. But not without a shield!" He grabs Laura and points the gun at her, "He always had a soft spot for women!"
"You can't do that!" Mildred cries.
"No?" the colonel says imperiously leading Laura away.
Mildred turns to Applegate, "How can you just stand there?"
He shakes his head. "I don't do reality darlin'!"
Steele, Shepherd and Wainwright are walking together as a shot rings out.
"Shepherd, check it out!" Wainwright orders. Shepherd complies and leaves. Two more shots are heard.
"Well, aren't we going to help him?" Steele asks.
"We're going this way Mr Steele!" Wainwright indicates with his gun.
The colonel, the armed guard and Laura descend the steps. They also hear gunfire. The colonel sends the guard to investigate.
"Well I think we'll stop right here, Miss Holt! With a little luck, Wainwright's already dead!" Another shot rings out distracting the colonel. Laura shoves him into some bushes and runs away, dodging bullets.
Steele and Wainwright are crouching down by a wall.
"I've one final job for you Mr Steele. If you'll be so kind as to stand up and draw my fire for me and run off down there! Come now Mr Steele, don't tarnish your performance now!" he says prodding Steele with the gun.
"I hope you can return the favour someday!" Steele observes wryly.
"Just hope this is your lucky day! Now! Mr Steele!" Wainwright orders. Steele gets up and runs, dodging bullets on his way.
Laura stops to pick up a branch. She continues and runs directly into Steele. They both cry out from a mixture of shock and surprise.
"Long time-!" she observes.
They look behind them and see the armed men in pursuit. "Come on!" Laura cries. They run to the gigantic chessboard and take cover behind the huge pieces as the men shoot at them. Steele kicks a pawn at them and he and Laura separate. They continue to dodge bullets by hiding behind the chess pieces. Steele pushes a knight towards an armed man, distracting him as Laura strikes from behind with the branch, knocking him out cold. The colonel joins the chessboard and Laura throws the branch over to Steele. The colonel is within reach so Steele tries to hit him over the head but misses. However, Laura fells him with the king. She walks over to Steele, dusting off her hands.
"Checkmate!" announces Steele with a grin. She nods at him and they duck as more shots are fired.
Mildred appears with Applegate. He's holding a machine gun. "How are you supposed to stop these things?" he asks.
"Is it safe?" Mildred enquires.
"I think so." Laura answers.
"Shepherd, are you alright?" Steele asks.
"Yeah," he responds.
"Good. Now we're only missing one person. Wainwright." Steele says.
Laura picks up the colonel's gun. "Queen's Gambit! Of course!"
She's ready to run off but Steele stops her. "Pardon me! But for those of us who are not fluent in, ah, chess-"
"A gambit is a ploy used to set up a surprise attack." Laura explains.
"Oh yes, go on!"
"Wainwright could have killed the colonel but he didn't. Instead he's used this confusion to go after the colonel's woman!"
"Well why are we standing here talking? Come one, let's go!" he beckons Laura, "Excuse me!" he says to the others as they leave.
Wainwright is climbing stairs in the
house with a cord in his hands, ready to garrotte his intended
victim. He steps past Anna who is hiding with a shawl pulled over
her. Wainwright hears a noise and hurries back down the stairs.
He approaches the shawl and the woman underneath gets up and points
a gun at him. It's Laura.
"Stop right there!" she orders.
Steele enters and takes the cord and a gun off Wainwright. He presses the gun into Wainwright's back. "I guess this was my lucky day, eh?"
"I see now my only mistake was in hiring detectives who were too good!"
"I don't understand. I thought you were after Moreland?" Steele asks.
"I was. But then before Shepherd was captured he left word that Moreland was getting married. My plans changed. Fortune was allowing me to do to Moreland what he had done to me."
"He blames Moreland for the death of the woman he loved." Laura supplies.
"He killed her by neglect. I was out reconnoitring when the ambush hit. He should have kept her from it!"
"Still living in the past aren't you Wainwright?" the colonel jeers. He's armed. "You may drop your guns" he orders. Steele and Laura comply.
"That was always your problem G W. Too sentimental. You honestly thought killing Anna would affect me the way you were destroyed when Kathleen was killed? You poor, misguided fellow! Didn't I tell you that emotion should never be overruled by judgement? But you didn't listen! The very idea of dragging a woman across a hundred miles of jungle? Utter folly! We would never have made it!"
"You actually killed her!" Wainwright exclaims.
"Well, it had to be done! At least I left you your share of the money didn't I?"
Wainwright lunges at the colonel and places his hands around his neck. The colonel fires a shot but Wainwright's momentum takes them both out of the open window and they smash on the ground below.
"This game is over," Steele observes.
A picturesque view of a beautiful
Mediterranean city. There are gondolas everywhere. Steele and
Laura are lying side by side in one. Her head is on his shoulder.
She emits a dreamy sigh. "Mmm! I think I'm finally learning to enjoy laziness!"
"Hmm," he observes.
Laura looks at him, "Something troubling you?"
"Oh, I was just wondering if we could have done something more somehow."
"I know. At least we saved Anna. And Shepherd too."
Steele continues. "I suppose there was no way we could have stopped Wainwright and Moreland from destroying each other."
"You're right. Still we would have gotten to the bottom of this case a lot earlier if we hadn't split up," Laura concedes.
"I mean, we're a team!"
"And teams stick together!" she pats his shoulder.
"All for one and one for all!"
"Right!" she agrees. "So what if I have more expertise? We're partners!"
"Who cares if I have the superior skills? I'm happy to lend them to the common good!" he responds.
She raises her head. "Superior skills?"
"What's mine is yours!" he continues.
"Wait a minute! Wait! Who cracked this case?" she argues.
"Oh come Laura! Don't quibble! I'm not going to lord it over your head that I found Shepherd first!" he says smugly.
She laughs. "Under the circumstances you don't think that proves anything do you?
Steele won't let it go, "That isn't-that-"
The music increases in volume as the debate continues.