The Steele Of The Night
from the Episode Written by:
- We open as someone
takes a small caliber revolver from a drawer and loads it. Then
he takes it to another room and places it inside a suitcase,
beneath some clothes before leaving the room and turning out
- Remington Steele
opens a drawer and pulls out a crumpled envelope addressed to
'Remington Steele Investigations'. He turns the envelope over
and sees an invitation. "Havenhurst Detective Agency. Cordially
invited to a reunion." He reads to himself the hand written
note at the bottom of the invitation, "Please invite Mr
Steele. We're all dying to meet him". Remington smiles and
puts the invitation back in the top drawer of his desk.
- He goes out into
the reception area, "Laura? Murphy? Miss Wolf?" He
puts his hands on his hips, looks around, "Anyone?"
Laura and Murphy are in the Rabbit, driving. "You know,
I think they're going to be pretty disappointed when we show
up empty handed."
"Reunions are supposed to be about catching up with old
friends, seeing how everyone is doing- finding out who put on
weight- If they want to meet Remington Steele, let them drop
by the office."
- Murphy asks, "What has it been?
Four years since we left Havenhurst Detective Agency. Boy, it
doesn't seem that long does it?"
- Laura shakes her head and laughs, "Imagine
him, in a room full of detectives. Ha, they'd be waiting all
weekend for him to slip up and when he did, they'd eat him alive."
- They turn into the
gated grounds of a HUGE mansion.
"Oh dear GOD," Murphy groans.
"Sure does look like old Alan is doing well for himself,"
"Oh dear God," Murphy repeats.
Inside the mansion, a man asks, "No Remington Steele?"
"Couldn't be helped," Laura tells him. "Last minute
thing in Marseille?"
"Marseille?" He starts toward her. "Marseille?
Come on, Laura, this is Alan. You remember me? I'm the fella
that YOU to lie like that." She laughs as he kisses her
cheek. "Fess up. He couldn't come because--the little missus
put her foot down, am I right?"
"Actually, there IS no Mrs. Steele."
"You mean- not YET?" he asks, teasingly.
She laughs. "Ohhh."
He puts an arm around her. "So. Tell me how good I look."
"You do. You looked wonderful."
"Oh, I'd kill to lose five."
"Places YOU haven't seen," she tells him.
Murphy, a blonde, and two other men appear. "Well obviously,
the reunion's already begun," he comments.
One of the men is flabbergasted. "Alan. You have an elevator
in your house."
The woman looks Laura over. "Well, Alan. I'm so proud-"
"Did anyone happen to notice my Seville when you pulled
in?" the other man asks. "Just got it." Laura,
Alan and the blonde move off. "Very happy with it, actually.
I recommend them."
Murphy leads him off. "Good, Carl."
The other man is still staring at the now closed elevator doors.
"Alan has an ELEVATOR in his house."
Later, Murphy knocks on Carl's open door. "Carl?"
Carl's in the bath. "Yeah?" he asks, coming out with
shaving creme on his face.
"I- forgot a tie."
"Alan's gonna hate that. He said formal."
"You see all that help in the kitchen? Reunion my aunt Fanny.
You know what this is?"
"The Alan Grievey Show. Check my bag. I brought a couple."
He goes over to pick a tie from the open suitcase as Carl talks
from the bath. "Some things never change. Alan Grievey was
a snake at the Havenhurst Agency, and he's still shedding skin.
You see him all over Laura?"
"Havenhurst was such a zoo. Seventy detectives. I'm glad
we all got out." Murphy puts on a tie. "Everybody was
always tripping over everybody else-" Murphy notices the
gun in the suitcase. "Too big. Guys like me, you, they need
some visability." Murphy frowns.
"Expecting a little trouble over dinner?"
Carl looks out. "Huh?"
"A .38's pretty serious baggage for a weekend in the country,
"I wouldn't know. Never use one." He goes back to his
shaving, closing the door. Murphy is confused.
Later, Murphy and the blonde are coming from the pool, he in
a suit and she wrapped in a towel. "So. How ya doing Murph?"
"Fair to middlin. And you?"
"Okay. I'm married, kids, you know."
"Yeah. Did I ever meet the guy you finally married?"
"Meet him? You introduced us."
"Yeah. You were working at the Agency, I don't know- maybe
a year? You pulled a divorce case. A Mrs. Robin Maxwell? Convinced
her husband was doing the dirty deed outside of marriage. He
WAS guilty, you did catch him."
"Yeah, but what-"
"Anyway, the next day, he came to the office, pleaded with
us not to give our information to his wife. You were working
on- something else, so I took the meeting. I told this guy my
hands were tied. He tried to buy me with dinner that night."
"Yeah? What happened?"
"It worked," she tells him.
"Ah, Sandy." They laugh.
"Love is strange," Sandy says.
Not far away, Laura hears them laugh as she's standing outside.
She glances in that direction, sees them, as Carl asks, "What
do you think they're talking about?"
"It's been a long day, Carl. I'm tired - I don't wanna play
"They're talking about missed opportunities. That's what
reunions are about, right? What if I had worked harder, what
if I had been a little nicer - what if I, what if I, what if
I. Right about now, they're saying 'What if I had noticed you
when we were working together at Havenhurst?'" Laura yawns.
"Fools like that never remember. He never looked at her
because he was always looking at you. And her, she never gave
him the time of day. The only guy she wanted to know about- was
Alan." Laura's still looking toward where Murphy and Sandy
had been. "Say something Holt."
Laura jumps. "Huh?" She's been daydreaming.
"You never talked to me. Never. Not back at Havenhurst,
"You know, we're a lot a like."
"Sure, Alan's got a big house, Sandy's got a rich husband,
but you and me, we got something better: killer instinct."
Later still, Alan pours a brandy as he muses, "Best murder.
A man gets on the elevator on the tenth floor. He's all alone.
It's an express. The elevator doesn't stop again until the third
floor. When the doors open, he's dead. What happened?" he
asks the others.
"It didn't go down to the basement and then back up to the
third floor?" Carl asks.
"There was no one else on the elevator?" Donald asks.
Sandy asks, "It hasn't stopped?"
Murhpy says, "It went from the tenth floor, to the third
floor, no stops, no people,- was he poisoned?"
Laura snaps her fingers. "But he WAS murdered."
"THAT is the name of the game," Alan says, smiling.
There's a knock at the door. "Would someone get that, please?"
Laura gets up and heads toward the door as Sandy says, "Alan,
come on. That's not fair. Now you're supposed to tell us how
the murder was committed."
"A little self control, Sandy. I promise. I won't let you
go home without the answer."
At the front door, Laura opens the screening door and Steele
is there. "Hope I'm not late," he says.
Laura closes the little door, takes a deep breath, then opens
it. "What are you doing here?"
He shows her an invitation. "I was invited." She closes
the little door, opens the big one to let him inside.
"Where did you get that?"
"You're not the only sleuth around here, you know."
"My wastebasket," she mutters, taking his arm.
"Laura, who is it?" Alan calls.
"So you know that trick as well, do you?" he asks,
moving forward as she tried to keep her temper.
In the study, Alan gives him a snifter of brandy. "Mr. Steele.
We were just playing best murder. It would be an honor if you'd
"Alan," Laura said quickly, "Mr. Steele's been
travelling all day-"
"Nonsense, polar flights are second nature to me,"
"Good. Then it's your murder." He goes to sit down,
leaving a worried Laura to gulp her brandy.
"Yes. Yes, well-so many to choose from."
"In the morning," Laura suggests. "When your head
is clear and I've had a chance to brief you on the business of
"Nonsense, dear, nonsense, nonsense," he says, thinking.
"Ah, yes. Here's one," he says, glancing her direction.
"It was a hot day in July. I was called to the house of
a wealthy industrialist by his wife. She met me at the front
door of the residence, escorted me into the study. And there,
lying on the floor, was her husband- quite dead. Shot, actually."
He takes a drink of brandy.
Alan sits slowly. "THAT is your best murder?"
Laura takes another drink. "It certainly is. For, ballistic
tests conducted several days later, proved that the path of the
bullet began INSIDE the industrialist's chest - and travelled
outwards." Murphy and Laura both hide their reaction, but
Alan was curious.
"The bullet travelled from his insidese- out?"
"Precisely. And since it is essential that a suspect be
placed at the scene of the crime, and since it is difficult if
not impossible - to prove that someone fired the fatal shot from
INSIDE the man's chest -" Laura sits heavily.
"I think I've had too much to drink," she says.
"Yes," Steele agrees, "I would call that a best
"I don't think I've had ENOUGH to drink," Murphy decides,
picking up his glass.
"That is incredible," Alan says while Laura smiles
wanly. "That's brilliant. Why that-that- So. What's the
Steele leans on a table. "The answer." Laura and Murphy
both stare at each other, Murphy looks at Steele. "The answer,"
Steele muses. "The answer. Well, it seems to me that a great
murder, like a great wine, should be savored. Take the night,
or the weekend for that matter. Allow it to sink into your thoughts,
invade your dreams. Consider it. Ponder it. And then - if the
answer is not obvious to you -" He sits beside Laura, who's
still terrified that he's going to be unmasked.
Alan smiles. "I'm very glad you came, Mr. Steele. You're
going to add a great deal to this weekend."
Laura sits up. "That's our Mr. Steele. The life of the party."
Steele chuckles, patting her on the back.
"Well," Alan decides, "I, for one, am going to
take Mr. Steele's suggestion. Go to sleep, and let that murder
sink into my dreams. Until the morning, then." He stands,
as does everyone else.
They start upstairs, Steele at Laura's side. Carl and Alan remain
downstairs, talking softly. At the top of the stairs, Murphy
looks back. "Good night, you two," he tells Laura and
"Goodnight," Laura replies, then turns to stop Steele,
pushing him against a pillar. "The bullet travelled from
INSIDE his body OUT?"
"Fascinating, isn't it?"
"What movie is it from?"
"Laura. Do you I'd risk embarrasing you in front of all
your friends by stealing a murder from a movie? What if someone
else had seen it?"
"Uh-huh. Made it up." Laura closes her eyes as they
hear Carl and Alan arguing downstairs. The others join them as
"It's a question of honor, Alan. You made promises. You
didn't keep them!"
"Carl, you were MEANT to be used. You ask for it. You'd
be disappointed if someone like me DIDN'T take advantage of you."
"Four years is a lot of time to wait for restitution, Alan.
A lot of anger builds up. So don't PUSH ME!" Carl heads
for the stairs. Alan looks unaffected by the situation.
The next morning, Laura is awakened by a repetitive noise in
the hallway. After trying to ignore it, she finally pulls on
her robe and goes into the hall. She sees the elevator door,
opening and not closing all the way, then repeating the movement.
Lowering her eyes, she discovers the reason that the door isn't
closing: Alan Grievey is laying in the elevator, his arm extended
out, blocking the door. Laura gasps in shock.
Later, Murphy, Laura, Sandy, Carl, and Donald are all standing
outside the elevator, in shock. "It's a joke, right?"
"His neck was broken," Donald announces.
"How poetic," Carl says.
"Snapped," Laura agrees. "In two."
Sandy sighs. "Well, Laura, I guess that leaves out you and
me. I mean, if we're talking murder."
"We are," Donald tells her. "And it doesn't. Even
a ninety pound weakling can break somebody's neck if they know
"Oh, well, thank you. I stand corrected," Sandy says.
Murphy kneels to the body.
Carl joins him. "What do you think you're doing?"
"I'm moving the body out of the elevator."
"You're tampering with physical evidence," Carl points
"I'm NOT tampering with it. I'm MOVING it."
"Yeah?Well, I wish you wouldn't," Carl tells him.
"Well, we can't very well leave the body where it is, can
"MURPHY," he gets up. "All of you. There's been
a murder commited here. APPARENTLY by one of us. That body just
might be our biggest and best clue. I for one think it's bad
form to have your best peice of evidence moved by a potential
Murphy grabs for Carl, and Donald separates them. "How about
if I move the body?" he suggests.
Carl shakes his head. "Don't you get it, Sherlock? We're
"I think that's for the police to decide, don't you?"
Laura tells them.
Sandy looks worried. "Police?"
"Don't you think you're being a bit precipitous, Laura?"
"Precipitous?" Murphy repeats. "The man's DEAD!"
"No body is arguing that," Donald insists. "But
let's just stop a minute and THINK. You call the police, and
you know what happens? We're all taken in. Suspects in a murder."
"Yes," Laura agrees, "but that's only a problem
if you're guilty."
"Oh, that's a lot of garbage," Donald insists. "Look,
I run a detective agency. You think that people are gonna feel
comfortable coming to me with their problems? Opening up their
private lives if they read that I HAVE been suspected of murder?!
Come on. Is there anyone here who wouldn't be hurt by that?"
Sandy speaks up. "Wait a minute. Robin and the kids don't
know- where I am. I didn't tell them I was coming here. Didn't
want to. It's a marital thing. I really don't want to have to
call them from a police station."
"Laura?" Donald questions. "Murphy?"
"We don't need any bad publicity," Murphy agrees.
Carl says, "Cut to the chase, will ya?"
"What I'd like to propose is that WE investigate the murder.
Give ourselves some sort of time limit- until nightfall-"
Laura shakes her head as Murphy objects. "US investigate
US? That's NEVER gonna work!"
"Murphy's right," Laura agrees. "We can't even
decide who's gonna move the body! How are we going to investigate
a murder with the murderer still running around, probably planting
false clues, destroying evidence?"
"That's crazy," Murphy agrees.
"Now, the only way this would ever work would be if there
was somebody on the outside, somebody with no axe to grind. Didn't
know Alan, somebody we could trust. Somebody-" Murphy puts
a hand on her shoulder to stop her. She realizes she's gone too
far. "Forget that last thought-."
"Please," Murphy begs.
Sandy looks at the others. "Mr. Steele?"
"No," Laura says.
"Do you think he would?" Donald asks.
"Oh, no," Murphy says.
"I guess I'll buy it if everybody else will," Carl
says as Steele comes down the hall with a cheery greeting.
"Morning! Morning, morning, morning." He walks right
up to the open elevator. "My goodness, did I sleep soundly.
Country air, I'll wager. Sound sleep like that always makes me
feel hungry. You know what I could go for? Large country breakfast.
Hot cakes, sausages, um-hmm-" He steps forward, and sees
Alan's body. Turning to the others, he kneels down. Laura joins
"The man has been murdered," she tells him.
He nods, standing. "I think I'll take the stairs,"
he decides, moving away.
Laura grabs his arm. "Mr. Steele." She has to practically
pull him to a stop. "Sir, sir, SIR. May I have a word with
She indicates that they should move away.
In his room later, he's getting a handkercheif for his coat.
"I HATE working on the weekends," he fusses. He shakes
the handkerchief out and stuffs it into his pocket. "But,
if I must, I must."
Laura takes it back out. "I didn't ask you to come UP here!"
she reminds him, putting the handkerchief back.
"They're YOUR friends," he points out.
"Do me a favor and keep that in mind."
"You're absolutely convinced that I'm going to go out there
and make a fool of you."
"Everyone of those people out there is a TRAINED investigator!"
"Laura, I understand your squeamishness, but the fact remains
that they've asked me to oversee this investigation, and oversee
it I must. It's only til nightfall. And I have to believe that
TWO bright people like us can fool even the finest investigators
for that amount of time. Of course we can. Just one question."
She looks at him. "What?"
"Where should I begin?"
"It's a simple question. Where should I begin? A starting
point. Something to get the ball moving. Something to kind of-
keep them busy, impress them with my keen mind."
"Oh. Start with the last person to see the victim alive."
"The basic rule of detection. The last person to see the
last person to see the victim alive is either a superb witness
or an excellent suspect."
"Ohh. I like that."
"You do, huh?" He turns away, and she takes a deep
In the dining room, Steele is eating breakfast as the others
look on, not eating anything. He glances up, seeing them all
staring at him. "Forgive me. Ravenous. Now then. Let's begin
at the beginning. Being dyed in the wool professionals, we all
know that the last person to see the victim alive is either a
superb witness-" Laura's moving her lips as he speaks- "or
an excellent suspect."
Sandy leans toward Laura. "He's very good."
"So then," Steele asks, picking up his cup and saucer,
"the question I put to all of you is quite simple: Who was
the last person to see Alan Grievey alive?"
"The murderer," Carl says, and when everyone looks
at him, he stands up. "What is this? A set up? I know you
all heard me and Alan last night. But I wasn't the last one with
him, and I didn't kill him!"
"You HATED Alan," Sandy declares.
"Well listen to Walter Cronkite here with the latest breaking
news," Carl says. "Sure, I hated Alan. You know how
the Alan Grievey Agency got so big, so fast? Alan had me copy
every phone number, every file, and every client who had ever
done business with Havenhurst. And you know how he thanked me?
He laughed in my face. Said he didn't have any positions for
people who couldn't be trusted. Then, he called good old Donald
over here, made sure HE knew what I'd done. By the time I got
from Alan's to Havenhurst, my name was off my parking space.
Thanks to good old Alan, no one will touch me."
Donald smirks. "Don't anybody get out the violins. Man drove
up in a Cadillac."
"Yeah. Yeah. I repossessed it yesterday afternoon. It goes
back to the dealer on Monday. That's what I do for a living now,
folks. You should always catch me on the weekends, Laura. That's
when I look good. Sure I hated Alan. We ALL hated Alan."
"What about the gun?" Murphy asks.
"The .38 I saw in your bags."
"I didn't BRING a gun!"
"Carl, I SAW it."
"Miss Holt, would you be kind enough to check Carl's room?"
Steele asks. Laura rises.
Carl objects. "No way! She works with Murphy. How do I know
she's not gonna plant something?"
"I'll go," Donald volunteers.
"Then I'll go," Sandy says.
"Not on your life!"
Steele rises. "What if -we all go?" he suggests. There
is a general exodus out of the dining room.
They dash up the stairs, Steele bringing up the rear. In Carl's
room they start tearing it apart as Steele and Laura watch from
"You wanna tell me about that amused smirk on your face?"
Laura asks softly.
"You thought I was gonna embarrass you. These people need
someone to lead them, someone to guide them. Someone to show
them how it's done. And they chose me."
"They don't KNOW you."
"Their loss," he says, moving out of the room. Laura
turns and follows. Around a corner, he asks, "What do we
"Me? YOU'RE asking ME? I thought YOU were going to LEAD
them, GUIDE them, show them how it's done."
"And I am. As soon as you tell me how to do it."
"Oh, come on. Something. Anything. Last person to see the
victim alive? Was wonderful. Sounds so- official." She takes
a deep breath. "Happen to have another one like that?"
"Scene of the crime," she whispers.
"Scene of the crime. The best single source for conclusive
physical evidence is almost always the scene of the crime."
"Thanks," he says, moving toward the room again. Laura
takes another, deeper breath.
In the room, Murphy runs his hands through his hair. "No
The room is a mess. Donald is digging through a flower arrangement.
"Must've stashed it somewhere else in the house."
Steele steps into the center of the room. "The scene of
the crime," he says.
"What?" Sandy questions.
"I have no need to tell you people that the scene of the
crime is often the best single source of conclusive evidence."
Sandy tells Murphy, "Boy, he IS good."
"You mean the elevator?" Carl asks.
"Precisely." Carl, Donald, and Sandy all volunteer.
Steele stops them with a whistle. "We'll ALL check it, hmm?"
They all take off again.
In the elevator, Steele stands outside while five people examine
the lift. Murphy is busy, and Donald asks, "What are you
"Dusting for prints."
Carl frowns. "He's dusting for prints? Why's HE dusting
"'Cause it's MY dusting kit," Murphy explains.
"No arguing with that," Steele says. Carl comes out
of the elevator.
"Mr. Steele? Got a minute?" They walk away.
In the elevator, Donald says, "This is ridiculous."
He looks at Laura. "You want some coffee?" She nods,
and they leave.
Sandy closes the doors behind them. "Hey," Murphy says,
distracted. "Sandy, I need the light."
"Murphy, Murphy, listen. Forget about the dusting for a
minute. I need your help."
"What are you talking about?"
"I didn't kill Alan. But I just know that any time now,
somebody's gonna find something that makes it look like I did."
As they enter the kitchen, Donald tells Laura, "I figured
we'd see some slides of the company picnic, maybe tell stories
about the 78 Christmas party-" They start looking through
"Well, good old Alan, always did have a sense of the theatrical."
"Lots of dog food," Donald says, "But no coffee.
Laura, can I be honest with you? I've been watching that Mr.
Steele of yours, and while it's certainly not my place to say,-
I don't really think he's all he's cracked up to be." Laura's
expression is guarded.
"What do you mean?"
"Well, it's nothing I can put my finger on. It's just a
feeling I get."
"Look, Mr. Steele, all I'm asking for is a chance,"
Carl is saying. "A chance to prove myself. To show you what
I can do. And when's a better chance gonna come along than this?
Hey, nobody's kidding anybody here, right? I'm down on my luck.
You know it, I know it. I mean, the repo business is not exactly
a growth industry."
"Carl, I already have a most able bodied associate in Miss
Holt. And Murphy Michaels is -more than adequate-"
"Steele, Steele, you're looking at a valuable piece of manpower,
here. I know how to crack this case. And I know how to make it
stick." He pulls out a plastic bag with something in it.
"It's right there. The answer to this case- is right there."
Steele takes the bag and starts trying to find the clue he's
Back in the dining room, Donald looks at the bag. "Can I
ask where these came from?"
"I found them," Carl announces. "On Alan's body.
On his NECK to be precise." Sandy takes them and goes to
the window to examine them. "Mr. Steele? With your permission?"
Steele, Laura at his back, lifts his hands. "I have theory
I'd like to share with the others?"
"No," Sandy says. "You'd just like to throw us
off the scent."
"Sandy," Murphy cautions. "Let's hear what he
has to say."
"Those are threads. Peices of fabric. Fabric that must have
unravelled, been strained. Now, we know Alan's neck was broken.
I think whoever broke it used a rope, or a sash, or something
made with those fibers to do it."
"So you're suggesting we look for whatever these threads
came from?" Laura asks.
"Rip the place apart if we have to," Carl suggests.
"But if you find the source of those threads, you've found
Donald confronts him. "Right, Carl, we'll rip the house
apart- and give YOU time to hide the gun."
"Forget the gun! The man died of a broken NECK!"
"Of course!" Donald decides. "You got here, you
realized you couldn't shoot him without everyone hearing it,
so you broke his neck, then you HID the gun."
Laura puts a hand on Steele's shoulders, bends to whisper in
his ear. "Now would be an excellent time to lead them, guide
them, show them how it's done."
"No way. I didn't kill him!"
"You hated Alan," Sandy says.
"What is this? I didn't BRING a gun."
Steele lifts his hand. "People?" They look at him.
"Any thoughts about lunch?" he asks, only to have Laura's
fingers dig into his shoulder. "A little levity," he
tells them. "Gun or no gun, it seems clear to me that- Carl
might be onto something." He turns to Laura. "Does
this mean we all have to run up the stairs again?" he asks
"Might I make a suggestion, sir? Why don't we all take a
break? Murphy needs to fingerprint everyone so he can have something
to compare with the prints he took off the elevator. Those of
you who wish to look for the source of the fibers, can."
She returns to Steele. "And those who wish to have a little
Steele stands. "Splendid suggestion, Miss Holt." He
turns to the others, "We'll all- regroup in an hour."
He and Laura go to the kitchen.
"This is NOT working," she tells him.
"Certainly it is. I think Carl's come up with a solid piece
of evidence. Besides, only five more hours until nightfall. So
long as everyone can stay alive until then-" He starts to
lift the lid on what appears to be a cookie jar as Sandy's scream
echoes through the house.
They take off for the stairs, following Carl and Donald. Halfway
up, Steele pauses, out of breath. "Seems like we've been
doing an awful lot of this today." He continues more slowly.
They rush into Sandy's room to find her in Murphy's arms, sobbing,
a blue robe over her shoulder. "I followed her up,"
Murphy explains. "And I startled her." He hands the
robe to Laura. "Here. Looks like a perfect match to the
fibers. She was trying to get rid of it."
Laura examines it. "Sandy, where's the belt?"
"For what it's worth," Murphy says, "I think she's
"Innocent?" Carl asks. "Innocent? What do you
people want? A smoking gun? All right, forget I said gun."
"Let's just explore what we have here," Steele suggests,
taking the bag from Laura. "A set of fibers. From where?"
"Alan's neck," Carl reminds him.
Sandy looks up. "Says who?"
"Whaddaya mean, says who?" Carl asks.
"Sandy's right," Donald points out. "How do we
know where those fibers came from? How do we know Carl didn't
come up here, take em from the robe, set her up?"
"Donald, I'm not a murderer, but it's never too late to
start," he declares, grabbing Donald and wrestling him to
Steele stands back, telling Laura, "Nothing like getting
a bunch of old chums together, is there?"
Murphy grabs them. "All right, come on, you guys! Carl!"
He pulls Carl off, helps, Donald up. "Now," Steele
says, "Where were we, gentlemen?"
"I don't understand why Donald keeps protecting Sandy,"
"I'm NOT protecting Sandy!" Donald insists. "I'm
only trying to get at the truth. You can plant fibers, Carl.
You can start fights. But there's nobody here with motive to
kill Alan except YOU."
"Oh really? You wanna tell em, Sandy? Or shall I?"
"I don't know what he's talking about," Sandy says,
sitting on the bed.
"I'm talking about a motive for murder. I'm talking about
your husband. And Alan. And about living here."
"Living here?" Laura questions.
"I was the first one here Friday," Carl tells them.
"Wanted to talk to Alan about a loan. A little restitution,
if you know what I mean. But Alan couldn't talk. He wasn't alone.
Sandy was already here. No car out front, no suitcases, an awful
lot of clothes for just a weekend, alright, who're you kidding,
Sandy? You didn't slip away for a reunion. How long have you
Sandy smiles dangerously at him. "Good old Carl. Always
could smell other people's dirt a mile away. Been here for years.
Been here- five days. I don't suppose it's any secret that Alan
and I- But I decided that I wanted to get married. And Alan wanted
no part of marriage. So along comes Robin Maxwell. Wealthy, powerful,
aggressive, everything that Alan was-except Alan." Laura
looks uncomfortable. "Well, three months after the wedding,
I told myself I'd had too much to drink- then I poured myself
another. Some women knit, some women do needlepoint - I did Alan
Grievey. You ready for the good part? I am my husband's second
wife. He's been there before. He SMELLS another man. So, what
does he do, he goes to a detective agency. What agency? Not Havenhurst,
not where he met me, he goes to the Alan Grievey Agency. Tells
Alan he thinks the little woman is- et cetera, et cetera. Alan
always did have a sense of humor. Of course he took the case.
He waited a week to give Robin the good news. Now, you ready
for the punch line? He even sent him a bill."
"Good old Alan," Carl says.
She stands up. "So I had nowhere to go. I came here. I figured
a girl could do a lot worse. But Alan didn't want me around.
Said, 'What's the point in having a mistress if you've got to
come home to her every night?' Told me I had to be out of here
by Monday. Sure, I hated Alan Grievey. But I DIDN'T kill him."
"Of COURSE you didn't," Carl sneers.
Laura exhales. "Well. There are still fingerprints to be
dealt with," she reminds them.
Steele clears his throat. "Miss Holt is quite right. Let's
not jump to any conclusions."
"I'll get my print kit," Murphy says, leaving the room.
"I'm beginning to think we're making a big mistake,"
Donald decides. "Perhaps we SHOULD call the police."
"DONALD," Laura says.
"What are we DOING?" he asks. "Whoever did this
is toying with us. They're doing exactly what you said they would
do. Planting evidence, manipulating us. Well, enough is enough.
I'm going." He passes Laura and Steele to leave the room.
The others follow him to watch as he starts taking clothes from
his closet. "Donald," Laura points out, "don't
you think that YOU'RE being a little precipitous?"
Murphy comes in with his kit. "Hey. Is he leaving?"
"Seems to be flirting with the idea," Steele confirms.
"I, for one, am tired of playing detective for a day,"
Donald says. "I also have problems with playing sitting
duck for a murderer." He pats Murphy on the back as Murphy
opens his kit. "I'll make it a ponit to stop off at the
police on my way home." He turns, grabs his suitcase from
the closet shelf, dislodging the gun that was hidden on it. The
gun falls to the floor, discharging.
Murphy uses a handkerchief to pick it up. "It's a .38. The
one I saw in Carl's room."
Carl glares at Donald. "You slime! YOU set me up!"
Carl accuses, and jumps on Donald again.
Steele tells Laura, "This is getting very boring. Have Murphy
give one of them the gun, and let's be done with it."
Murphy grabs both men, dragging them out of the closet. "Of
COURSE it was you!" Carl says. "You planted a gun in
my suitcase, you let Murphy see it, then you took it back to
"None of you believe that." Donald asks. "You
know I wouldn't kill Alan, don't you?"
"Come on, Donald, everyone knows about you and Alan. How
when you were back at Havenhurst, he used to make you do all
his dirty work for him." Donald sits down. "Took credit
for all your accomplishments. Used to tell jokes about you behind
your back - sometimes to your face."
"Sure, sure, but that was ALAN. I mean, I admired Alan.
And I'll tell you something else. I LIKED being the second guy
through the door- As long as that first guy was Alan. Alan was
very good. Sure, he could ride roughshod over your feelings.
But we were a team. If he were here, he'd tell you that."
"Team huh," Carl snorts. "That's why when he left
Havenhurst, he didn't take you with him. Stole every client your
agency had and left you the king of NOTHING."
"I SAID WE WERE A TEAM!" Donald shouts through clenched
teeth. "Anyway, it was YOU who stole my clients, not him.
As SOON as Alan heard about it, hell, he called me."
Laura speaks calmly. "It's alright, Donald. We still have
to wait for Murphy to look at the fingerprints."
"I couldn't kill Alan," Donald insists. "I counted
Alan Grievey among my closest personal friends. I remember this
one case that we were on together - me doing the legwork, Alan
handling the client relationships- dinner and whatnot. The firm
that hired us said it, 'You two are a hell of a team.'"
After dark, everyone is gathered in the dining room again when
Murphy comes in, a long expression on his face.
"Ah, Murphy," Steele says. "There you are. Did
you make a match? No disputing fingerprints. Finest crime fighting
tool ever invented."
Murphy speaks in a monotone voice. "There were a lot of
partials in the elevator - many were unusable- of the indentifiable
prints, most were Alan's and there were a few I couldn't match
"Murphy," Steele says, "the sun has set. The suspense
is building. Onward."
"There was one very good print on the STOP button. It was
a perfect match."
"Then we have it. Our murderer. Caught in the vise of irrefutable
evidence, no denials, no counter accusations will set this killer
free. A fingerprint is a good as a signed confession." Laura
looks up at him, wondering if he's EVER going to stop. "So.
Please. Murphy. Tell us: Whose print is it?"
Murphy hesitates. "Laura's."
Steele freezes, looks down at Laura. "Laura?"
- Murphy says, "I'm
- Remington's hand
is on Laura's shoulder. She stands up but stays close to Steele,
"I was never in that elevator"
- His arm comes around
her shoulder. He says, "I have only two things to say."
She looks up at him. "I have known Laura Holt .." she
takes a breath as he stops realises what he is about to say,
looks her, "I don't what even to *think* how long I've known
Laura Holt. And I can say, without fear of repudiation that this
woman, is incapable", he tugs at her shoulder, she looks
up, "of any foul play against Alan Grievey", he tugs
at her shoulder again as she gives another look, "or anyone
else". He moves around her, looks down and asks, "Aren't
you?" She glares at him. "Rhetorical question."
He glances back at her before walking past Murphy and out the
door. He stops, takes a step back, looks at Laura, turns to Murphy,
"I also want to say, you're fired" before leaving the
room. Laura looks befuddled. Murphy turns and follows Remington
out the door.
Steele goes upstairs to Alan's room, starts looking around. Murphy
joins him, watches for a minute. "It's staring us in the
face, dammit," Steele insists.
"Do you know what you're looking for?" Murphy asks.
"I've no idea," Steele admits. "Something. Anything
that seems out of place. Alan's room is the only one we haven't
been through. Closet, closet, closet." Murphy points in
the right direction.
Steele opens the doors. "The man had excellent taste,"
he decides, taking two suits and laying them on the bed. "A
little conservative. Someone should have told him that herringbone
is out." Murphy sits down as Laura comes in. "Houndstooth
is au currant. Actually, Murphy, a trained eye can learn a great
deal from a man's clothes. We dress for what we are."
Murphy looks at him. "Or what we pretend to be," he
"Now what we have here is a man who spared no expense on
himself," Steele says, returning to the closet for another
couple of suits. "Silk suits, custom made, and by and large,
always in style. A man who lost a great deal of weight, I would
think. He went from a size 44 to a 38 - with no stops in between.
Laura and Murphy exchange looks. "He's done it again, hasn't
he?" Murphy asks.
"Hmm?" Steele asks, distracted by the suits. "Did
"Of COURSE," Laura says. "We've gone about this
thing all wrong! We've dissected everyone but the one person
we should have been looking at from the start!"
Murphy sits up. "Alan!"
"Alan?" Steele asks. "Don't be absurd. The man's
"The others are calling the police," Laura tells Murphy.
"Getting ready to leave. We have to stop them," she
says, as they both take off.
Steele watches them go, then continues examining the suits. "Ha."
He looks down and holds one of the suits to his body assessing
its fit, "Yes, well, maybe not."
In the study, they find Alan's records. "His business was
off thirty percent," Laura tells them. "He let a lot
of people go." She looks thoughtful. "Murphy, why do
people put an elevator in their homes?"
"Ummm," Murphy begins, not sure of the answer.
Steele is looking at some cards. "'Charles Laughton. Witness
for the Prosecution.' Had a stroke," he explains. "Couldn't
Carl tells Laura, "He's good."
"You know what I think," Laura tells them. "I
think Alan was a very sick man." She turns and walks away.
Laura goes to the elevator, presses the button, and when it arrives,
gets inside as Donald asks, "What are you doing?" The
door closes. Laura presses the UP button, then check the walls,
and then looks at the ceiling grate before staring at the outline
on the floor.
In the living room, Laura is sitting in Alan's chair. "Best
murder. A man gets on an elevator. He's all alone. It makes no
stops, but when the doors open, he's dead. What happened?"
We see Alan press the elevator button. "Sometime during
the day, he must have taken the belt from Sandy's robe."
Alan gets into the elevator, closes the door. "It was already
attached to the elevator cables, and sitting on top of the vent."
Alan produces a hook of some kind. "Now, I don't know what
he used, but he pulled it through the vent,- and he must've transferred
MY fingerprint to the elevator button." Alan makes the transfer.
"And then he hooked it up, into a noose, he put it around
his neck- and then- pressed UP. As the elevator rose, the cable
jerked the belt tight, breaking his neck. Only that wasn't good
enough. Suicide wasn't what he had in mind. So he set it up so
the noose would tear. That way, by the time the elevator reached
the second floor, the cable would have pulled the belt back up
through the vent." We see Alan's body in the elevator again,
the door opening and closing.
"So it just disappeared," Carl said.
"In every way it looked like a murder," Donald said.
"Why, Laura?" Sandy asked. "Why would he do something
"It takes MONTHS to lose 35 pounds. If Alan didn't have
clothes, it was because he was somewhere he didn't need them."
"A hospital," Murphy realizes.
"Remember the dog food?" Laura asks Donald. "Shelves
of it. The only thing missing was-"
"A dog," Donald finished. "We haven't seen one
"When a man knows he won't be able to take care of it, he'd
probably find it another home."
"The threads, the fingerprints. He probably put the gun
in Carl's bag - then in mine," Donald said. "Why would
he DO that to us?"
"Alan was always letting us know he was better than us,"
Carl mused. "He invited us here for one final, joke."
"A last vanity, so to speak. Something to remember him by,"
"Laura," Murphy begins, "they might not have found
out for years. You could have been convicted of murder. That's
"Alan was always true to his word," she reminds them.
"He said if we didn't solve the murder, he'd explain it
to us before we left." She shakes her head, picking up an
appointment book. "The elevator servicemen are coming on
Monday. I'm sure they're checking the cables. It's just like
him. They've have found the belt."
Monday morning, Laura and Steele are in the hallway coming to
the office. "So rewarding," Steele is saying. "So
stimulating. What a brain twister that was. A puzzle to test
the finest minds." He turns to her, placing his hands on
her shoulders. "And you, Miss Holt, shone brilliantly."
He kisses her cheek. She smiles. He walks away, then returns.
"You know, I've been thinking. Perhaps - we should have
a reunion every year," he says, then walks off again. Laura
As they walk into the office, Murphy is talking. "Ballistics
tests conducted several days after PROVED that the path of the
bullet began INSIDE the industrialist's body," Steele shushes
Laura. "And travelled OUT."
Bernice is stunned. "That's AMAZING. But how's it possible?"
"How? You wanna know how? Bernice, a good murder is like
a good wine. It should be savored. So take the evening. Or the
week, for that matter. Allow it to seep into your thoughts, invade
your dreams, consider it and ponder it." He gets up, and
looks over at Steele. "Is that how it's done?"
Laura smiles as Steele says, "That boy's come a long way."
He joins Laura's laughter.