from the Episode written by:
- Richard Collins
- The episode opens
with the sight of an eagle soaring in the sky, then drops into
the forests below, where someone is being drowned in a stream.
The killer searches though the dead man's knapsack, but evidently
doesn't find what he or she is looking for.
Cut to Los Angeles at night. A woman is driving a car through
the streets. At an empty cross street, she turns off her headlights,
and turns, continuing on to park before a garage. She gets out
of the car and goes to a bungalow, presses the doorbell. When
there's no response, she peers inside, then goes to a hanging
basket, withdrawing a key which she uses to gain access to the
house. Inside, she turns on a light to reveal stuffed birds as
the decor. She goes to the desk and looks around, rifling through
files as we see a diploma from Columbia University, granting
one Amos Maxwell a doctorate in ornithology. She sits down, upset
that she hasn't found anything, when she sees the name "Remington
Steele" and the number, 555-9458, on the calendar. Curious,
she picks up the telephone and dials the number.
"Remington Steele Detective Agency," a feminine voice
answers. "Please hold."
Frightened, the woman hangs up, turns out the lights and leaves.
Laura is on the telephone the next day. "Yes, Mrs. Stanton.
Tuesday at nine. Mr. Steele will be delighted." She laughs.
"Absolutely delighted. Yes." She hangs up. "And
so will I," she says to herself.
Tuesday morning, Laura and Murphy are in Steele's apartment.
Laura is banging on the closed bedroom door as Murphy lounges
on the sofa, reading a book. "Come out of there!" Laura
calls. "You're going to be late!" She glances at her
watch. "You ARE late!"
"Want me to kick it in?" Murphy asks, not moving.
"Not yet." She turns back to the door. "You gave
your word. And everyone knows that Remington Steele's word is
The door opens, and Steele comes out, carrying his jacket. "Laura,
that's a most unfair tactic."
"Not if it worked," Laura points out, fastening his
"I don't want to be the honorary chairman of the committe
to save the bald eagle."
"It's good PR for the agency," she tells him, holding
out his jacket for him.
"What? A gaggle of blue haired women, prattling on about
saving the bald eagle while they wear their chincilla coats and
"All you have to do is shake a few hands, show your pearly
whites, and get your picture taken," she reminds him, turning
him toward the door.
Murphy, still reading the book, which is entitled *Vanishing
Eagles*, "You usually like that part," he says, then
jumps up. "HEY! Don't forget your book!"
Steele takes it. "What's that for?"
"Makes it look as if you're interested in the committee's
work," Laura tells him as Murphy opens the door.
He steps into the hall. "I realize that the bald eagle is
your national symbol, but I must confess, I HATE birds. Especially
"Remember. Interested, sincere,-" Murphy gives him
a "thumbs up" that Steele returns only half heartedly.
"Concerned." Steele leaves as Laura and Murphy smile
at each other.
At the meeting, Steele arrives as a woman is saying, "I
want to give you all a preview of our coming attractions."
Steele is pointed to the table from where the woman is speaking,
and makes his way in that direction. "For our raffle, Mr.
William Collins has contributed a week for two in Hawaii, all
expenses paid, at the King Kame-ah-"
Steele sits beside the woman from the house. He starts to make
conversation while the speaker continues to list up the prizes
of the raffle. "Sorry I'm late," he apologizes quietly.
"Are you on the committee?" she asks, not looking at
"Honorary chairman," he admits, smiling blandly.
She looks at him. "Oh." The woman at the podium is
still talking, and he yawns slightly. "You don't find this
interesting?" the woman asks.
Steele looks pained. "A bit techincal for my tastes."
"Millicent is a bit bore, but she's TERRIBLY dedicated."
He smiles at her, sizing her up. "That why you're here?
"They appealed to my sense of civic duty," she tells
"Which one's Mrs. Grace Stanton?" he asks. "The
birdlike lady with the twitch?"
"Uh-uh," she says.
"The blue haired lady with the twitch?" he asks.
"Tell me something: Why do all these women twitch?"
"Obviously you haven't seen their husbands," she comments.
"You don't twitch," he says.
"I'm a widow, Mr. Steele."
"You seem to have me at a disadvantage. You know my name,
but I don't know yours."
"And now-" the lady at the podium says, "Mrs.
The woman turns to Steele. "Now you do." He looks a
bit embarrassed as he applauds. She rises. "Friends. I have
some bad news and some good news. The bad news is that Dr. Amos
Maxwell was scheduled to give his report today on the Lake Solitude
project-" Steele glances at Grace's legs as she continues,
"and its ecological aspects pertaining to the bald eagle-
Well, as you can see, he was unable to attend. But he WILL give
his report day after tomorrow at the finance committee meeting.
My good news is that I have with us today our honorary chairman,
the reknowned, if somewhat elusive, Mr. Remington Steele."
The group applauds, and Grace steps back as Steele rises. She
"Thank you, thank you," Steele says, going to the podium,
holding the book in his arm.. "Ever since I was priviledged
to come to your wonderful country, I've been fascinated by your
bird. Nary a day goes by that I don't ponder the archane reasons
that could have driven your founding fathers to select something
as-" he glances at the book cover, trying to find the words
he wanted. "As uh- Well, as you can see, words fail me when
I contemplate the bald eagle." Grace leads the applause,
giving Steele the chance to leave the podium and sit down again
as she takes back over.
"Thank you, Mr. Steele. Thank you. I can see that we're
going to have many fascinating insights from our honorary chairman.
Now, we are going to have a twenty minute intermission for refreshments."
As the others begin to mull about, Grace leans down to Steele.
"Now that that's overwith, I'll make our excuses and we'll
get the hell out of here." She picks up her notebook.
"I just arrived," Steele points out.
"Wait for me in the hall," she says. "People will
try to keep you here. Don't let them."
Steele smiles as she leaves, then frowns as he gets up and heads
across the room, threading his way through the crowd, only to
be stopped by a man with a western accent. "Now hold on,
pardner," he says. "Sit a spell. Let's jaw."
Steele looks behind him at the doors. So close, yet so far. "Men's
room. Have to get to the men's room."
"Congressman Bishop," the man says, introducing him.
"YOU can call me Orrin."
"I'll be delighted to call you a great many things,"
Steele assures him, as Grace gets to the door, waving him toward
her. "Just as soon as I get back."
"What are you doin' here, Steele?"
"I'm the honorary chairmain of this committee." Grace
puts on her coat.
"I know that, but- I mean, what are you REALLY doin' here?"
"Trying to get to the men's room."
Bishop refuses to give up. "I have a vested interest in
this committee, so if there's something here that requires your-
professional expertise," he says as Grace beckons again,
"I got a right to know what it is."
"I'm sorry to disappoint you, Congressman, but the only
reason I'm here is to give your bird a fighting chance."
He steps away. "If you'll excuse me." He moves off,
"What did he want?"
"He wanted to know what I was doing here."
"Did you tell him?" she asks.
"Apparently I don't know."
"Time enough for that," she says, taking his arm and
turning him toward the door. "We've got to get out of here."
The scene opens with a shot of a limo coming down the street.
Inside, Steele is pouring a glass of champagne. Grace tells Steele,
"I have to apologize for this whole cloak and dagger stuff,
but if the committee knew that Amos Maxwell was missing, it would
jeopardize the whole project."
"When did you last hear from him?" he asks.
"A week ago. He called from Lake Solitude. He was making
his final inspection of the eagle sanctuary. Did he get in touch
in with you after that?" she asks.
Steele shakes his head negatively. "I never spoke to Dr.
"Then, did he send you something? Some material about our
committee?" she asks, sipping her champagne.
"Not that I'm aware of."
"Perhaps it was mislaid."
"My staff's very good about those things. If Dr. Maxwell
sent me something, I'm sure I would have seen it." Grace's
attention is focused outside.
"What do you think happened to him?"
"I don't know. It would take something horrendous to keep
him from giving his report. His whole life is dedicated to the
protection of those poor creatures."
"May I ask you an impertinent question, Mrs. Stanton?"
She turns to him, smiling. "What is MY life dedicated to?"
He laughs. "While finding an appropriate home for the bald
eagle is certainly a noble endevour, I find it difficult to believe
it occupies your every waking hour."
"I know what you're thinking, Mr. Steele: spoiled, pampered,
incredibly wealthy young woman dabbles in good deeds to fill
the time between shopping sprees, world tours, and endless parties.
That's not what it's like at all," she insists. "The
money Willis left me has been a burden more than a blessing.
I was Willis's third wife. Twenty five years his junior. It was
a brief marriage, he was not a well man." Steele lifts his
glass to his lips. "And I awoke one morning to discover
that I was worth- conservatively- a hundred and forty million
dollars." Steele chokes on his drink. She laughs. "A
lot of bubbles in a hundred and forty million, huh?" she
says, enjoying his reaction.
"Quite a few," he admits, wiping his mouth with his
"You'd be surprised how quickly a proposal of marriage usually
follows that information, Mr. Steele," she tells him. Steele
is surprised. "You've no idea how lonely that can make a
woman," she says softly. "How terribly lonely."
"You poor thing," Steele says.
The limo pulls into the garage area of Amos Maxwell's bungalow,
the same bungalow at which we first saw Grace Stanton. Fred opens
the door for them. "Thank you," Grace says. Steele
follows her, smiling at Fred as the chauffer takes up his positon
beside the car.
Grace leads Steele around to the bungalow. Steele rings the doorbell.
"There's a key in the flowerpot," Grace tells him.
Steele begins to look for it. "In certain circles, this
could be construed as breaking and entering."
"Amos and I are old friends," she says. "How do
you think I know where the key is?"
"No key," Steele tells her, moving back, wiping his
"There HAS to be," she insists, looking for herself.
"It's always there." She turns to him. "Well,
I suppose we'll have to find another way in.
"That's definately breaking and entering," Steele points
"He could be so ill he can't even answer the door,"
Grace worries as Steele places his hand on the doorknob.
"Do you have a credit card?"
"My name is my credit card, Mr. Steele," she says.
Steele smiles, then points to a diamond brooch she's wearing.
"May I?" He takes it, opening the pin out, and picks
the lock with it.
Grace laughs. "It's so reassuring to have you by my side,"
she says as he hands the brooch back to her and he opens the
door. They enter the house, and find that it's been searched.
Papers are all over the place. "See, I was right. Something
Steele comes farther into the room, going into the bedroom as
Grace looks at the desk again. "Mrs. Stanton?" he calls.
"What does Amos look like?"
"Brown hair, with a touch of grey."
Steele is sitting on the edge of a bathtub full of water in which
a man rests. He takes out his handkerchief. "Yes?"
"And a scraggly mustache," she adds as Steele comes
from the bath.
"I think we just found Dr. Maxwell," he tells her.
"In the tub. Soaking," he says, looking back into the
At the office, Laura is sitting at her desk, reading the paper,
and sees a photo of Steele and Grace, with Steele pointing at
the camera. The headline reads: "IT'S MURDER", SAYS
STEELE. Angry, Laura closes the paper and gets up to go out into
the reception area, where Bernice is reading and shaking her
head over the same article. "Where is he?" she asks.
"Hasn't come in yet," Bernice responds, still reading.
Laura hits the paper in her own hand. "That IDIOT! How DARE
he say Amos Maxwell's death was murder when the police, the coroner,
and Mrs. Stanton herself all agree it was an accident."
Orrin Bishop stalks in. "Where IS he?!"
"If you mean Mr. Steele," Bernice begins, but Bishop
He slams his newspaper onto the desk. "That IDIOT! How DARE
he say that Amos Maxwell's death was murder?"
Laura quickly hides her paper behind her. "Remington Steele
has one of the finest criminal minds-" she pauses, realizing
what she's saying. "One of the finest minds in criminology,"
she amends. "If he claims he was murdered, then he's-"
"He put his foot in it again, didn't he?" Murphy asks,
coming from his office with a paper.
"Uh, Murphy," Laura begins, "This gentleman is
here to see Mr. Steele-"
"Congressman Bishop," Murphy says, coming forward to
shake Bishop's hand. "I'm a great admirer of your work,
sir." He turns to Laura. "You know, Congressman Bishop
is one of the great environmentalists in the country."
"Normally, I'd be delighted to hear from a satisfied constituant,
but right now, I have more pressin' priorities."
"Perhaps," Laura suggests, "We could discuss them
in Mr. Steele's office?" She extends an arm in that direction.
"Right this way, sir," Murphy agrees, leading them
toward the door.
Laura turns back to Bernice, dumping the crumpled paper on the
desk. "Find him. FAST."
In the office, Bishop asks Murphy, "Doesn't Steele know
what an honory chairman does?" Laura joins them, closing
the door. "Shakes a few hands, smiles a lot, and gets his
picture taken." He glares at them. "He doesn't stick
his nose in committee business- OR people's bathtubs." Laura
and Murphy let him rant. "Now, if Amos Maxwell wanted to
get pie eyed and deep six himself, well, that's his prerogative."
"Did he have a history of drinking?" Laura asks.
"How the hell should I know?" Bishop says. "He
was hired to determine if my land was hospitable for the bald
eagle." He looks at Murphy. "Now, you say you admire
"Very much," Murphy says.
"Then you know I'm ripe for all sorts of pot shots from
the polluters, right? The strip miners, the wood choppers. They're
just waitin for me to slip up."
Laura approaches again. "What does this have to do with
Amos Maxwell's death?" she wants to know.
"I have agreed to sell my land as a sanctuary for the bald
eagle," he informs them. "Considerably below market
value, I might add. Now, if Amos Maxwell was murdered the day
before he was to report his findings, well, that casts a cloud
over the entire project. So unless Steele has some tangible evidence-
some solid proof that he WAS murdered, I want a public retraction."
Laura is looking a bit green around the gills. "At LEAST
as prominent as his accusation," he says, slapping the paper
into her hands before leaving. He crosses the lobby, and starts
out, as Grace Stanton comes in. He turns and follows her back
"Is Mr. Steele in?" Grace asks Bernice.
Bishop grabs her arm. "What are you doin here?"
Laura and Murphy come from the office. "I imagine the same
thing you are," she informs him, pulling away.
"Well, you hired this Maxwell. Is there any truth to these
charges that Steele's slingin around?"
"None whatsoever," Grace assures him.
"Then you better see to it that they're put to rest. Or
you can find yourself another piece of property for your damn
"Don't threaten me, you side saddle Thoreau. And stop effecting
that silly accent." She looks at Bernice. "Thinks it
makes him sound like a man of the soil. Actually he went to Harvard
"You can be as amusing as you wish, Mrs. Stanton. But just
you remember. You got a whole lot more to lose than I have."
He turns and leaves.
Grace turns back to Bernice. "Is Mr. Steele in?"
"Not yet," Bernice says.
Laura approaches. "I'm his associate, Laura Holt."
The two women shake hands. "This is Murphy Michaels, Bernice
Fox. Perhaps I can help you," she says.
"I hope so," Grace says, turning toward the office
with Laura. Laura turns, letting her go ahead.
"There's no answer at his apartment," Bernice tells
them. "The limo's in the garage, and I'm running out of
numbers to call."
"We're detectives, for heavens sake," Laura frets.
"The least we can do is find the head of our own agency."
She turns toward the office.
Grace is about to open a desk drawer when Laura comes in. "What
a wonderfully neat desk," she points out. "My late
husband often said that the mark of a truly great executive is
a totally clean desk. They never leave until every last scrap
had been cleared away."
Laura laughs nervously. "Yes. Yes, Mr. Steele to a T. First
one to arrive, last one to leave. In fact, sometimes he's so
diligent, we don't even see him."
"Has he shared his thoughts with you about Dr. Maxwell's
"Not as- fully as - as I'd like," Laura confesses.
"First he said it was a tragic accident," Grace says.
"What changed his mind?"
"I've no idea. After the press arrived, he began saying
all sorts of strange things."
"Murder Most Foul, Margaret Rutherford, MGM, 1964."
Laura frowns. "Do you know what ANY of this means, Miss
"Mr. Steele often speaks in- a code," she tries to
"Who is this Margaret Rutherford?" Grace asks, sitting
down. "Is she a suspect?"
"We'd best wait for Mr. Steele to clarify that," Laura
"I just hate to have any of this negative publicity undermine
the committee's work," she frets.
"If Mr. Steele is correct, and Dr. Maxwell's death wasn't
an accident,- could it be related to what he was doing for your
"I can't see how. It was very cut and dried. But then, you
already know that."
"He said he was going to send some material to Mr. Steele.
About our aims, our objectives- his findings."
"We never recieved anything," Laura tells her.
"Perhaps he sent it directly to Mr. Steele's home,"
"Probably wasn't anything important," Grace decides,
rising. "Just- routine literature."
"If anything turns up," Laura agrees, "I'll let
"Thank you. Mr. Steele is very fortunate to have someone
like you," Grace says, and leaves Laura standing there,
We see the outside of Steele's apartment building at night. We
can hear Murphy pounding on Steele's door and shouting "Come
on, open up, open up!" Laura and Murphy are standing outside
of Steele's door. Murphy leans on the buzzer and rings it several
times. Digging in her purse, Laura takes out a lock pick and
hands it to Murphy. Taking it, he says, "You know, for once
I'd like to kick the door in, see the wood splinter into a thousand
different pieces." He starts to work the lock.
- "We'd only
wind up paying for the damage," she chides.
- "I know,"
Murphy concedes. "It really burns me when you have to stand
up for that guy, you know?" he says.
"What else do you expect me to DO?" she asks. "Admit
to Bishop and Mrs. Stanton, that, yes, he's a fraud and that
no, Margaret Rutherford isn't a suspect, she's an old English
Murphy laughs, opening the door. They stand in the doorway, seeing
the apartment torn apart, furniture overturned, lamps akilter.
"This is as hard for me to say as it is for you to hear,"
Laura says as they come farther inside, "But- do you think
our Mr. Steele has actually stumbled onto something here?"
"Either that," Murphy says, "or his cleaning lady's
mad at him."
Murphy goes to check the bedroom as Laura looks for a place to
start searching. "I think it's time we stopped apologizing
for him and started taking him seriously."
Murphy returns. "You're right. I'll get a copy of Maxwell's
autopsy report right away."
"And dig up everything you can on Grace Stanton," Laura
tells him. Laura pauses. "Murphy, you don't think he's in
any kind of- danger, do you?"
Murphy grins. "No. There's one thing I learned about him.
He can take care of himself."
Steele takes a fist to the stomach, bending double. The man who
hit him drags him from beside the car and toward a house. Inside,
a man rises, bowing slightly as the man holds a gun on Steele.
"I hope Vernon wasn't too exuberant in requesting your presence."
"He managed to drive the point home," Steele says.
The man holds up a bottle of champagne. "Chateau Lafitte
Rothschild, 1945." He indicates a chair. "Please, Mr.
Steele sits down. "Shall I pretend I don't know who you
are, or doesn't it really matter?" he asks as the man pours
"Instant recognition. That's the price one pays for having
his picture in so many places," he says, touching his glass
"Most men would be delighted to make the cover of TIME,
"Not as the world's number one swindler, Mr. Steele. Although
I do think the authorities were rather harsh on me. It wasn't
completely my fault that my conglomerate collapsed. I simply
borrowed more than I could repay."
"And kept it for yourself," Steele points out.
"Three years in prison more than compensated for that slight
lapse," Swan returns. "I sing a mournful tune, Mr.
"Back taxes, as I remember," Steele says.
"Quite a bundle. I'm currently negotiating payment at fifty
cents on the dollar. But unless you can help me, I won't be able
to raise the needed funds."
"You didn't bring me here to ask for a contribution."
"No. I'm in the market for something. A certain item I'm
convinced you possess."
"I know you're involved with Grace Stanton. Tell me, have
you succumbed to her - considerable charms? Or are you still
your own man?"
"Always my own man, Mr. Swan. Always."
Swan takes something from his pocket. "What would you say
this is? A worthless blob? A lump of clay?"
"I would say it was an uncut, unpolished, diamond,"
Steele indentifies, loosening his tie and collar.
"By gad, sir! That is REMARKABLE. There aren't two men in
fifty THOUSAND who would know that. I have been robbed in half
the cities of the world, and no one looked at this twice."
"Does this have anything to do with Grace Stanton?"
"It does, sir. This represents what she was when I first
met her. A dull, lumpish teenager with a bad complexion and dirty
hair. Well, sir, I discerned the diamond in that lump. I cut
it, polished it, made it possible for her to one day become Mrs.
Willis Stanton. But some where in her journey toward that exalted
position, she acquired other- less lustrous traits. She became
an accomplished liar. A scheming, treacherous woman, not to be
Steele shrugs, pours himself more wine. "About the item-"
"I'm prepared to pay ten thousand dollars for its return,
no questions asked. Or answered." Steele starts to get up.
"Uh, cautiously, Mr. Steele. Vernon enjoys a moving target.
Brings out the sportman in him."
"Would this item have anything to do with Dr. Amos Maxwell's
"Since I don't know the gentleman, I'll dispense with the
customary insincereity over his passing."
"Someone was very interested in the contents of his house.
Turned it upside down, searching for something."
"Are you saying you don't have it?" Swan asks.
"Not at all, no," Steele says. "I was just wondering
who else was interested in it."
"Don't be too clever for your own good, sir. Cleverness
will get you nothing. Honest greed will bring you- TWENTY thousand."
Steele pauses, smiling. "Make it twenty five."
"I like doing business with a man who likes doing business,"
Swan says. He rises, as does Steele. "Tomorrow, Mr. Steele.
I shall need it by tomorrow. Vernon will be in touch. My apologies.
One final indignity."
Steele starts to turn toward Vernon, only to be hit on the head
by the butt of Vernon's gun and falls the floor, unconcious.
The next morning, Steele enters his apartment, looking around
at the mess. He moves toward the bedroom, kicking a book and
picking it up to place it on the table behind the sofa before
he sees Laura asleep there. He glances into the bedroom, then
leans over to tuck her in, waking her. "Where have you BEEN?"
she asks, sitting up and putting her shoes.
He touches the back of his head. "Laura, I've had the most
"So have I, calling the hospital every fifteen minutes,
"Laura, I'm touched by your concern," he says, uncertain
about her reaction.
She comes to place her hands on his arms. "Why shouldn't
I be concerned? You're a very valuable investment." He backs
away a bit. "Don't think I've spent all this time transforming
you into Remington Steele only to lose you." She notices
the bruise on his forehead. "What happened to your head??"
He turns away to straighten the "Cassablanca" movie
poster. "I got sapped by some weasel named Vernon,"
"Sapped?" she asks.
"Uh, forties jargon for slugged. Hit. Bashed about."
"Where WERE you?" she asks.
"In a scene right out of the "Maltese Falcon".
There I was, confronting the very incarnation of Caspar Guttman,"
he tells her as she steers him into the bedroom. "I, of
course, was Sam Spade, the slighty shady shamus." She steers
him toward the bath. "And, we were actually dinkering for
the dinkus, only HE called it an ITEM." She gets a washrag
and wets it.
"WHO called WHAT an item?"
"Harry Swan, a fugitive from the IRS. Attempting to buy
his way into the country by paying off his back taxes."
Laura looks thoughtful. "Apparently Mr. Swan isn't the only
one looking for something," she tells him, pressing the
cloth to his brow. "Grace Stanton came to the office, ostensibly
to see you, but she was really after some material Amos Maxwell
Steele snaps his fingers. "SHE'S our Bridgette O'Shaunessy.
And whatever Maxwell sent is the ITEM."
"NOW all we have to do is figure out WHAT the item is, and
who sent it."
"This is shaping into a first rate case, Laura," he
tells her as she watches him carefully. "And I must say,
it's much more fun being Sam Spade than Remington Steele."
"Oh?" Laura asks, dabbing at his forehead again.
"Steele is so boringly honest, such a paragon of integrity.
Spade on the other hand, is far more interesting. A hard, shifty
man, able to take care of himself in any situation."
"Well," Laura says, putting the rag aside, "You
certainly emulated Mr. Spade in that respect." She checks
the spot on the back of his head.
"Ouch!" he says as the phone rings. He answers it (YES,
IN THE BATHROOM!) "Steele here."
Bernice says, "Finally turned up, ey?"
"Thank you, Miss Wolfe."
"I can tell by your tone that you're genuinely worried."
Bernice frowns. "Yeah, sure. Is Laura there?"
Steele holds out the phone. "Miss Wolfe. She's beside herself
with joy at my return." He goes to the mirror to look at
"I think you'd better get over here. I'm sitting on something
"On my way," Laura tells her, hanging up. "Get
some rest," she tells Steele.
He follows her to the door. "Aren't we gonna talk about
the case?" he asks. "Formulate a plan? Ferret out the
"Later. Put something on that so you don't get infected,"
she suggests, turning away.
Steele grabs her arm, preventing her from leaving. "Laura-
You look lovely in the morning," he tells her. She laughs
softly and leaves him to practice Bogart's mannerisms.
Laura enters the offices and comes to a stop as she sees Bernice
sitting in the middle of a mess. The place has been thorougly
searched. "The rest of the place is worse," Bernice
informs her. "It'll take days before we know what they were
"I think I KNOW what they were after," Laura says,
a sour expression on her face.
"What item?" Bernice asks as Laura starts trying to
make a stab at cleaning up.
"The one they killed Amos Maxwell for."
Bernice bends down to help her right the chair. "You mean
Remington Steele actually knew what he was talking about?"
"Scary, isn't it?" Laura agrees.
We see a tall highrise building and then watch as a butler lets
Steele into Grace's apartment where the committee is holding
a meeting. We overhear a debate as we watch Steele, with a small
white bandage on his forehead, walk across the room.
- "I'm not meanin'
to stampede you fine folks, but I'm due back in Washington next
week," Bishop is saying.
- "I move we
purchase the Lake Solitude property for the price we agreed upon,"
Grace says. Steele stands off to the side listening.
- "Grace, dear,
I don't see how we can. We have not seen Dr. Maxwell's report,"
- We then see the
committee as Grace is telling the others, "I spoke to him
the day before his accident. He told me he found Congressman
Bishop's land IDEAL for an eagle sancutary."
Millicent says, "But if we are considering an expenditure
of WELL over a million dollars, we should proceed with the UTMOST
caution," she insists.
"This is unfair to Congressman Bishop," Grace says.
"He deserves an answer. And now." They look at Bishop.
"Move the question?" he says.
"Well," Millicent says reluctantly, "all right.
All those in favor of purchasing Congressman Bishop's land at
Lake Solitude please signify by raising your hand-"
Steele, a bandage on his forehead, sitting across the room at
a bar, interrupts. "As your honorary chairman, could I have
your indulgence for a few words?"
Millicent beams. "We'd be DELIGHTED, Mr. Steele."
"This meeting reminds me of the legend of the apes of Gibraltar,"
Bishop frowns, frustrated. "What? Madame Chairlady, is he
speaking to the question?"
"The legend states," Steele continues, "that if
the apes were ever to leave Gibraltar, it would mark the end
of British sovereignty. I suggest to you, that the disappearance
of the American Eagle, could well mark the end of this great
nation. Without that majestic creature, what would happen to
our sense of direction?" Millicent is in awe, listening
open mouthed. "Our Feeling of pride," he says, "our
committment to duty? And what will we tell our children, when
they ask, with bright, innocent eyes," He moves to Millicent's
chair, directing his words to her, "What's a bald eagle,
There is a general groan all around the table at his question.
But Millicent is still enraptured.
"In order to give us time to find the answer," Steele
suggests, "I move we adjourn."
Bishop is furious as Millicent quickly says, "A motion to
adjourn takes precedence, and cannot be debated. The meeting
"We have a motion on the floor!" Grace reminds her
as Millicent rises.
- "I'm helpless,
Grace, dear. Robert's Rules of Order and all that."
"Millicent," she says, "you don't understand."
"Grace, you're-" They move away from the table.
Except for Bishop, who follows Steele. "I know a filibuster
when I hear one. What in the HELL are you up to?" he demands
"I wonder whatever happened to Dr. Maxwell's report?"
"Maybe it got lost in the mail," Bishop suggests. "MAYBE-
maybe he never finished it."
Grace has seen everyone out, and Steele asks, "What would
you do if I told you I had the item?" Steele scratches his
"Maxwell's report? I'd say it was your duty to turn it over
to Mrs. Stanton, so the committee could make its decision."
"I've already had an offer of twenty five thousand dollars
for it. Wouldn't care to get in on the bidding, would you, Congressman?"
Bishop folds his arms across his chest. "I'd always heard
that Remington Steele was a man of integrity. But this sounds
like a cheap shake down to me."
"There's nothing cheap about twenty five thousand dollars."
"Enjoy your last days as a private investigator, Mr. Steele,"
Bishop warns. "Because I'm gonna have your license lifted."
He turns toward the door where Grace is waiting. "You got
until Tuesday," he tells her. "Unless this situation
is resolved before then, it's off. Everything's OFF!" He
Grace turns to Steele. "Congradulations," she says.
"In a few minutes, you've managed to destroy what it's taken
months to achieve." He is unconcerned. She turns toward
the door. "GET OUT!"
He rushes to close the door again. "Not so fast, sister.
You've been pulling me along after you from the very beginning."
She turns away, moving back into the room. "You arranged
for me to be on this committee, you arranged for me to find Maxwell's
body. Only I crossed you up," he says, following her. "I
didn't say it was an accident."
"It WAS an accident," she insists.
"Then why was my apartment turned inside out?" he asks
as she opens a notebook to read it. "Why was I snatched
at gunpoint? My skull creased by some cheap gunsel?"
"May I ask you a question?" she asks, tossing the notebook
"WHY are you talking like that?"
"Because I'm angry, angel. I won't play the sap for you."
"This is hopeless," she decides, moving away.
Steele grabs her arm, keeping her there. "I want to know
why Dr. Maxwell's report was worth twenty five thousand dollars."
"WHO offered you twenty five thousand?"
"Harry Swan." Grace is stunned.
"Hmm. That's an attractive colour you're wearing, Mrs. Stanton.
Ashen, I believe."
"How do you know Harry Swan?"
Steele's back in his Bogey mode again. "We're drinking buddies,"
he informs her.
"What did he tell you?"
"First, he told me that you were an accomplished liar. A
treacherous, scheming woman, not to be trusted. Then he said
he'd known you since you were a teenager."
Grace places her hands on his chest. "Mr. Steele, help me.
I'm so frightened. So terribly frightened."
"You don't know him like I do," she says. "It's
true. I- lived with him from the time I was sixteen until I was
nineteen. It's not an interlude I'm proud of. But now that Willis
is gone, he wants to come back into my life. I don't want him.
I'm repulsed by him."
"What's that got to do with Maxwell's report?"
"He knows how important it is to me. How desparately I need
it. Another survey would take months. We'd lose Bishop's land,
have to start all over again. Perhaps even return the funds we've
already collected. But if Swan has the report, he knows I'll
have to come to him. He'll have me exactly where he wants me.
In his debt. Oh, Mr. Steele. For all his polish, he's a hideously
brutal man. If it's the money you want, I'll out bid Swan. But
I have so much more to offer," she tells him, kissing him.
- Breaking the kiss,
Steele says in his Sam Spade voice. "That you do, Mrs. Stanton,
that you do."
In the limo, Steele, now wearing a trenchcoat a la Sam Spade,
is trying to roll his own cigarette, and failing miserably. "I
don't know how he did it."
Laura, looking on with a smirk, asks, "WHO?"
"Bogart. He rolled his own cigarettes in "The Maltese
"Don't you think you're carrying this Sam Spade thing a
bit far?" she asks.
"It worked splendidly with Grace Stanton. A few moments
with that tough, devious dick, and now she wants to purchase
"With what?" Laura wants to know.
"She's WORTH a hundred and forty million dollars, conservatively
"Murphy found out it's all tied up in trust funds. She has
to get permission before she can spend five hundred dollars on
He frowns, trying to roll another cigarette. "That's why
she was so accomodating."
"I guess I owe you an apology."
"Really? Laura, this is a seminal turn in our relationship.
Usually apologies run the other way."
"Well, Maxwell WAS murdered, only not in his bathtub. The
autopsy revealed stream water in his lungs containing small traces
"He was doing an ecological survey up at that eagle sanctuary."
"Maybe he was killed up there," Laura suggests.
"Then we should be going to Lake Solitude."
"We are," she says.
"Oh. Good thinking, Laura." He's about ready to seal
the paper on the cigarette, when Fred turns around.
"What should I do about the car that's following us?"
"What car?" Laura and Steele both ask, then turn around.
"The blue Ford. It's been with us since we left the Agency."
"Shake it, Fred," Steele says, lifting the cigarette
as the limo rounds a corner. He gets tobacco all over Laura,
and frowns, tossing the paper aside.
About nineteen miles from Lake Solitude, Steele looks behind
them. "It seems we've lost our tail. Excellent work, Fred,"
he says, twirling the bag of tobacco.
"Actually, he turned into a gas station about two miles
Steele responds "Still, you handled this baby beautifully."
- Laura takes the
tobacco pouch from Steele and says, "You're not going to
try this again, are you?"
- He replies, "Nah,
smoking's bad for you anyway." Then taking a toothpick from
his pocket, he says, "But I was wondering....what do you
think I'd look like in a fedora?"
- She gives him one
of those 'oh, please' kind of looks as he sticks the toothpick
in his mouth.
The limo continues down the road, going over some glass that's
been strewn across it. Steele frowns. "What is it, Fred?"
As Fred pulls the car over, Steele tosses the toothpick toward
the window. At the same time, Laura tosses the pouch back to
him, but he's not looking and he misses it. They give each other
looks of exasperation as the scene ends.
Steele and Laura are walking toward a garage. As they approach,
Laura calls, "Is anybody there?"
They find a man in the garage. "Excuse me," Steele
says, "Our car seems to have developed a few flats. Could
you send someone to fix it?"
"Not for- three, four hours."
"Is there anything we could borrow?" Laura asks.
"Nope," the man tells them.
"Rent?" Steele asks.
"Got an old jeep. Wouldn't know what to charge for it."
"Well, what about-" Laura begins, when he speaks again.
"Thirty bucks a day, fifteen cents a mile, you pay the gas
and any damage to the vehicle."
Laura grimaces as Steele pulls out some money. "There's
a great deal of glass on the road back there. Perhaps someone
should clean it up."
"I'll lend you a broom," the man offers.
They take the jeep, and Steele enthuses, "Isn't this invigorating?
Crisp mountain air, clear blue skies, and God's green earth below
"You're going a little fast," Laura worries.
"Obviously I've never told you about my Grand Prix days."
The brakes are out in the jeep, and the vehicle is headed down
an incline. "Pump the brakes!" Laura says.
"I'm pumping! I'm pumping!" Steele assures her, trying
"Pump it!" When that doesn't work, she says, "DOWNSHIFT!
"Stop shrieking, Laura! You're affecting my concentration."
"The edge! You're getting to close to the edge! Jump!"
"Are you crazy? We could be killed!" They jump as the
jeep goes over the edge.
Laura gets up. "Are you all right?" She asks, kneeling
over Steele. "Say something. If you can't talk, groan."
Steele's head comes up. "'The Big Sleep'. Humphrey Bogart,
Lauren Bacall, Warner Brothers, 1946."
"Good God, you're babbling."
"Tacks are dilerately strewn across the road, giving Bogart
two flat tires, and sending them to Art Huck's Garage, where
Canino is lying in wait."
"Must be a concussion."
"Laura, that glass was placed on the road so we'd be forced
to rent that death trap from Friendly Fritz."
Laura pulls him to his feet. "Come on." They get to
the jeep, and she pulls the hood pins.
"Someone doesn't want us to reach Lake Solitude," Steele
tells her, lifting the hood.
Laura checks the underside of the master cylinder. "Small
puncture in the brake fluid container," she tells him. "That's
why whoever followed us in that Ford turned into that gas station.
To call ahead and set the whole thing up."
Steele closes the hood. "Come on. We'll hitch hike our way
to Lake Solitude." No one stops to pick them up, and Steele
tells her, "We're in luck."
"How do you figure that?"
"It's all downhill." They start walking.
In a small town, we see Laura holding onto Remington's arm for
support as they slowly walk toward the Sumit County building,
stopping occasionally to shake the stones from their shoes.
- They enter a records
office, both looking a little worse for wear. "Closing in
eight minutes, folks," the clerk tells them.
Steele looks at his watch as Laura asks, "We'd like the
plat book for the southeastern valley?" Laura turns to the
middle aged woman at the counter. "Excuse me."
The clerk gets the book out, sets it on a table and opens the
gate for them to enter. "Index in the front, listed by section."
They open the book, and Steele turns to the page, or what's left
of it. "'Chinatown'," Laura says, and when Steele gives
her a surprised look, says, "I, too, attend an occassional
movie." She turns to the clerk. "Do you have another
book like this one?"
"Of course not."
"A page has been torn out," Steele tells him.
He comes over to inspect it. "Never happened before that
"Do you remember a gentleman in his early fifties, brown
hair, slightly grey, brown eyes, scraggly mustache?"
"How about a woman, early thirties, tall, blonde, hazel
eyes, some might call moderately attractive?"
"Jackpot. She asked for the same platbook you folks did."
Laura smiles at Steele.
At Grace's apartment, Laura and Steele ring the bell. "Leave
everything to me, precious," Steele tells her, back in his
Bogey mode again. "By the time I'm through, I'll have that
little twit singing like a canary."
- Laura lifts a hand
to warn him, but the door opens and she gives up as they are
shown inside by the butler. Grace greets them. "Miss Holt.
Mr. Steele. So pleased to see you."
He doesn't take her hand. "When was the last time you were
in Lake Solitude?" he asks.
"Well, I don't know. Years ago."
"You seem to have a lot of trouble with dates. You told
me you hadn't heard from Dr. Maxwell for over a week, but you
told the finance committee you spoke to him the day before he
died. Now you tell us you haven't been to Lake Solitude in years.
Only the clerk in the hall of records says you were there only
three days ago." Grace is upset, tries to turn away, but
Steele stops her. "Talk, sister. I want answers, and I want
"I don't have to tell you ANYTHING," she says, defiantly.
"So in the parlance of the street- SHOVE IT!" Steele
looks at Laura, realizing it's not working.
Laura takes Grace's arm. "I apologize for Mr. Steele,"
she says. "Sometimes he forgets who he is."
"I don't know what he's accusing me of or why," Grace
"We're really here to help you, Mrs. Stanton. I'm sure you
had a compelling reason for tearing that page out of the plat
book. You're going to have answer sooner or later. I doubt the
police will be as understanding as we are."
Grace is thoughtful. "It was Swan. Harry Swan. He told you
I lived with him," she says to Steele. "Well, he left
out the best part: I was married to the bum."
"You were Mrs. Harry Swan?" Steele asks.
"I still am. When I left him, he promised to get a divorce.
Only now he says he never got around to it. Slipped his mind."
"Then you were never legally married to Willis Stanton-"
Grace shakes her head.
"No marriage, no hundred and forty million," Steele
"Swan was willing to keep silent, in exchange for the money
he needed to pay off his back taxes. He was going to get it from
the sale of the land as an eagle sanctuary."
"But I thought Bishop owned that land."
"I sold it to him," she admits.
"And your name was in the plat book as the previous owner,"
"How would it look if I sold the committee my own land?"
"Why would Bishop front for Swan?" Laura wonders.
"I don't know."
"But you DO know why Dr. Maxwell was murdered," Laura
"He discovered that I sold the land to Bishop, threatened
to dig deeper - expose the entire charity as a fraud."
"And you killed him," Steele says.
"Of COURSE not! It was Swan. He'd never get back into the
country without the money!"
"Then why is everyone so anxious to get their hands on the
"The committee won't purchase the land without it,"
Grace tells them.
"Then I take it you're still interested in it," Laura
"Do you have it?" Grace asks.
"No," Laura tells her. "But I know where I can
put my hands on it." Steele looks at her, curious.
Steele and Laura enter Maxwell's bungalow. "What do you
mean you can put your hands on Maxwell's report?" Steele
"He sent it to you," Laura reminds him.
"Don't you remember? Grace told us both he sent you some
material." She puts up her lock picks. "Obviously,
it was his report."
"But we never recieved it."
She pulls an envelope out of her purse. "Didn't we?"
Steele points to it. "Maxwell's report?"
"Actually my cleaning bill," she admits to him, putting
"You'd better hope Vernon has the day off when they find
"If we do it right, they won't."
"You're good. You're very good," he tells her, imitating
"Thank you. But when this is over, I would like Sam Spade
retired. PERMANENTLY." She looks around.
"But he's so colourful. The dialogue just seems to flow
right out of me."
"Well, if you can't eliminate the flow, the least you can
do is cut it down to a trickle." She picks up some mail,
and a key falls to the floor.
Steele picks it up. "The front door key. The murderer must
have put it down there and forgot to return it to the flowerpot."
Laura frowns disapprovingly. "Swell piece of work, Sam."
"You just managed to smug any worthwhile prints."
"Oh," he says, tossing the key onto the table and pulling
out his kerchief. "Excuse me."
Later, Steele, envelope in hand, says, "I believe the last
bid was for twenty five thousand," as Swan, Bishop, and
Grace look on- watched over by Vernon. "From Mr. Swan. Do
I hear thirty?"
"I have no intention of bidding for somethin that rightfully
belongs to the committee," Bishop informs him.
"That envelope contains more than Dr. Maxwell's report,"
Laura reminds them. "It holds the motive for his murder."
"Which was?" Grace asks.
"He found something very damaging at Lake Solitude,"
"And if the committee didn't purchase that particular peice
of property," Steele continues, "then there was no
way Grace could help YOU buy your way back into the country,"
he tells Swan.
"And if Swan wasn't paid off," Laura says to Grace,
"he would certainly tell about your marriage."
Steele looks at Bishop. "You're the only odd player in this
mix, Congressman. Why would a man of such lofty ideals want to
become a front for someone as distasteful as Harry Swan? Uh,
no offense, Mr. Swan. I personally find you quite charming."
"I was only looking for a refuge for those birds,"
Biship insists. "Now, how we got it was of little moment."
"Well," Steele muses, "someone's gonna have to
take the fall for Maxwell's death."
Swan frowns. "Is that necessary, sir?"
"Fraid so. The cops get awfully finicky when it comes to
murder. They won't stop digging until they come up with someone."
He looks at Vernon. "Let's give them the gunsel."
"Vernon?" Swan questions.
"Why? He's made for it. Attractive car you have there, Vernon.
Noticed it when you drove up. Blue always looks good on a Ford.
He tailed us up to Lake Solitude, probably on your orders. Tried
to get Precious and me knocked off with the help of Friendly
Fritz from the garage. That's attempted murder right there. It's
only a short hop to the real thing."
"Out of the question, sir," Swan says.
"Why? He's perfect."
"Perhaps," Swan admits. "But Vernon has the only
gun in the room." Vernon smiles. So does Laura.
Steele smiles. "No offense, Vernon. It's all meant as a
compliment. Well, if it wasn't my good friend Vernon, there,
who shall it be?"
"May I throw something into the pot, sir?" Swan asks.
"Be my guest."
"The uh- Congressman was secretly representing me to the
IRS, in exchange for a- generous campaign contribution. He's
planning to run for the Senate."
"There's nothin illegal about that," Bishop says. "It's
done every day. And the people that I'm tryin to stop happen
to be the BIGGEST contributors to political campaigns. I gotta
take my money where I can get it."
"Whoever killed Dr. Maxwell did it at Lake Solitude. The
autopsy disclosed stream water in his lungs, accompanied with
minute traces of DDT."
Steele's eyes open wide. "DDT. That's it."
"What?" Grace asks.
"The reason Maxwell was killed."
"DDT?" Swan repeats.
"That book you gave me, Laura. It said that one of the major
reasons for the bald eagle dying out was the indiscrimate use
of DDT. It weakens the egg shell so they can't hatch properly.
And you thought I never did my homework." Laura laughs.
"Tell me, Congressman. How many votes do you think that
would get you? A leading conservationist selling chemically infested
land for a wildlife preserve?"
Bishop shakes his head. "You got a lotta bark, Lady, but
"The killer drove the body back here, entered the house
using the key Maxwell always kept in the flowerpot outside. And
since there are no scuff marks on the carpet, that effectively
clears Grace. Obviously she couldn't carry Dr. Maxwell. Especially
a water logged Dr. Maxwell."
"It also exonerates Mr. Swan and my old pal Vernon. They
weren't acquainted with Dr. Maxwell and his idiosyncracies well
enough to know that he kept his front door key in a flowerpot."
He grins at Laura.
"Tell me, Congressman," she says, "Would you care
to bet your life that this key," she holds up a plastic
bag containing the key, "holds your fingerprints?"
Bishop remains still for a second, then stands and pushes Laura
away trying to get to the door. But Steele is between there and
where he is, and decks Bishop with a right to the jaw.
Swan comes over to Steele. "A head start, sir, say, enough
time to reach the Mexican border?" Steele smiles. "In
that case, the shortest farewells are the best." He looks
at Grace. "Adieu, Mrs. Stanton." Grace isn't smiling.
"Come, Vernon. Let's burn rubber." Steele opens the
door for them, and they leave.
Grace says, "If they catch him, he'll tell them we're still
married," she reminds Steele.
"It's not so bad being poor, Grace," he says, joining
Laura. "They say it builds character." He looks at
Laura. "Doesn't it?" he asks. She smiles and puts her
arm through his.
- At Steele's apartment,
Laura is going through Steele's personal mail. "Here it
is! Amos Maxwell's report," Laura says as she gives it to
- "Return to
Post Office; ZIP code incorrect. Don't they know where I live
by now?" he wonders aloud, indignantly. He tosses it aside.
- Laura smiles while
giving him a second letter. "Here's one from Grace Stanton
marked 'personal'." She sniffs it. "Mmm, nice..."
- Steele takes it,
rips it open, and removes the contents. "A check for twenty
five thousand dollars," he tells Laura. "Postdated
five years hence."
"A way to insure our silence?" Laura suggests.
Steele goes back to Bogey. "What would Sam Spade do in a
situation like this?" he muses.
"Back to that again, are we? You know, you're disturbingly
convincing as a slightly shady shamus."
"A role I was born to play," Steele declares, "but
I suppose it's time to put the trappings of artifice aside."
He tears up the check. "And return to the real me. Remington
Steele. Adieu, Sam," he says, tossing the peices of paper
into the air like confetti.