A dark, bearded man is searching what looks to be Steele's apartment, leaving no stone (or dish) unturned in his quest. Downstairs, a limo pulls up to the curb and deposits Steele and a fur clad woman. As the limo drives away and they approach the building, Steele pauses to point something out to his companion.
In the apartment, the man is still turning things upside down. Hearing laughter in the hallway, he ducks through the patio doors and vanishes. Steele, laughing as well, opens the door and turns on the light. He and the woman both stop, stunned. Steele tosses his coat aside as he surveys the damage.
"Did they take anything?" she asks.
"How can you tell?" he replies, looking around cautiously, as if fearing the ransacker might suddenly appear. She follows him to a painting that's lying on the floor, the backing torn. He picks it up and winces.
"We mustn't let this put a damper on the evening," she says. He goes toward the balcony. "Why don't we- check the bedroom? See if anything's missing in there?" she suggests eagerly, following him. He looks out of the doorway as she joins him, to see a man standing by the lamppost below, waving to him. "I can see that all this has made you a little tense," she continues as Steele ignores her to watch the man who seems agitated. "Actually, I'm a little tense myself." She reaches out to steer him to the doorway, and he turns in that direction. "Why don't we both un-tense one another?" she asks. Suddenly Steele takes off for the door. "Then, when we're all nice and relaxed, we can deal with this in a calm, and rational-" Steele returns to shove the painting into her hands and lifts a finger to her before rushing out of the apartment. "Way."
The would-be thief climbs down the fire escape, and the man beside the lamp takes off upon seeing him. The bearded man runs away as Steele rushes from his apartment building. He stares at the now solitary lamppost, then goes back inside.
The next day, Steele enters the office, as Bernice checks the mail, only to find himself surrounded by prospective clients as he asks the secretary, "Is Miss Holt in her office-?" He turns to them. "Yes, yes, yes, absolutely. Absolutely. If you'll all just make yourself comfortable in my office, I shall be with you momentarily." He leads them to the door and herds them inside. "This way. Thank you. Thank you very much." He smiles at a man with a cowboy hat. "Love the hat. Thank you very much." He closes the door behind them, and tells Bernice, "Wait five minutes, then tell them I was summoned to an urgent meeting with the- police commissioner." He turns to Laura's office door.
She's on the phone. "No, no, no. Buddy Shapiro disappeared two days ago." Steele listens. "He left no forwarding address." She sighs with frustration. "But he hasn't tried to contact me-"
Steele slams the door as he says, "Someone broke into my apartment-" but she waves him to silence as she turns around with a frown.
"No, stay where you are, Murphy. What have you come up with so far?" she asks as Steele begins to whistle. "Sounds promising. What I can hear of it. Yeah, I have a lead on where he might be staying. I'm gonna follow it up as soon as I can get rid of some of the clutter in the office," she says, looking pointedly at Steele, who keeps whistling. "Thanks."
"My apartment was ransacked last night."
"As far as I can tell, nothing was taken. And I have a very fine collection of Pre-Columbian art, not to mention an extensive collection of impressionist paintings, in addition to-"
"We can skip the inventory," Laura says, obviously unconcerned.
"The intruder was obviously searching for a piece of information he thinks I have."
"You don't HAVE any information," Laura points out as she moves toward the file cabinet.
"HE doesn't know that. Perhaps the files will give us a clue to what he was after." He starts rummaging through the files.
"We're not working on anything that requires ransacking," Laura informs him and closes the drawer and picks up her hat and puts it on as she locks the cabinet.
"The sanctity of my home has been violated. Some pervert pranced through my personal possessions."
She picks up her coat. "Probably someone from your sordid past. Or a jealous husband, perhaps. If you'll excuse me, I have to meet a client." She leaves.
Steele stands there, thoughtful, then enters his own office via the connecting door, only to pause in panic as he realizes the clients are still there, waiting for him. He smiles nervously. "Ah. My apologies," he says as Bernice comes in. "But I've just been summoned to an urgent meeting with- uh-"
"The police commissioner," Bernice supplies.
Steele smiled widely. "Ah. Miss Wolfe will attend to your needs until I return," he says, shaking their hands as Bernice herds them back out the door and closes it.
"Fox," she tells him.
"Do you by any chance happen to have a spare key to Laura's file cabinet? I seem to have misplaced mine," he says as he heads toward his desk.
"That's because you never HAD one," Bernice points out. He smiles. "There's a call for you on six."
"Get a name and number."
"He won't leave a name and number. He's been calling every day for the past two weeks- refuses to speak to anyone but you. Not that you care, but he's driving me bananas." Steele picks up the telephone, starts to answer, and then pauses.
"Thank you, Miss Wolfe. You've done your usual bang up job." She frowns and starts toward the door as Steele puts the phone to his ear. "Steele here."
In a dark, dirty corridor, the man from the lamppost is on a payphone. "Oh, thank God I reached you."
"Who is this?"
"Waldo Church," the man says.
"The man from last night."
"Are you the one who went through my apartment?"
"No, of course not. That was Rubio."
"He was after the bill of sale. But I still have it. I can prove Shapiro's innocent."
"WHO?!" Steele questions.
"He's trying to kill me, Mr. Steele."
"Rubio." Steele takes the phone from his ear in frustration.
"Where are you?"
"I'm in Eagle Rock. The Hotel Saracen."
Steele glanced around. "Just a minute," he says, then sets the phone down to look for something. "Hold on," he tells Waldo. He pushes the intercom. "Miss Wolfe, do I have any pencils?" She comes in, ignores his outstretched hand and slams it on the desk. "Thank you," he says, picking it up as she storms out again. He starts looking for something to write ON. "Where?" he asks Waldo, writing on a metal box of some kind.
Laura enters a hotel lobby and goes to the desk. "Mr. Shapiro's room, please," she tells the desk clerk.
He smiles benignly. "I'm sorry, but it's against hotel policy to divulge the room numbers of our guests."
"Then could you get him on the phone?"
"I'm sorry, Mr. Shapiro's not accepting any calls." Laura takes out a business card and hands it to him.
"I represent the Remington Steele Detective Agency-"
"I'm glad to see you're keeping busy," he says, returning the card to her.
Laura laughs slightly. "Mr. Shapiro is a client. I need to speak to him." She hands the card back.
"Please feel free to leave a message of any duration," he responds, giving the card back to her once more. "I'll see that he receives it."
Laura smiles and goes to the hotel flower shop. She tells the woman behind the counter, "I would like to send some flowers to one of your guests, please. Mr. Buddy Shapiro."
Once the flowers are ready, Laura follows the delivery boy out of the hotel to a bungalow. The young man knocks as Laura hides nearby. "Who is it?" Shapiro calls out.
"Florist shop," the man answers. The door opens, and a confused Buddy Shapiro comes out. "Here you go. Sign here, please," he says.
Buddy signs as Laura says, "I hope you like them, Mr. Shapiro. They cost the agency forty five dollars."
He looks at her as the boy leaves. "How'd you find me here?" he asks.
"That's what I do for a living, remember?" she says, entering the room ahead of him, where a tall, well dressed man is on the telephone.
"Yes. Would you hold on a minute, please?" He turns as Laura approaches with the flowers and Buddy closes the door.
"Miss Holt." He looks at Buddy. "Flight leaves for Rio at eight fifteen."
Buddy takes the phone eagerly, as Laura looks shocked. "Rio?"
"I am NOT waiting around 'til they throw me in the slammer," he tells her.
Laura goes to Phillips. "You're his lawyer. Can't you talk some sense into him?"
"They may revoke his parole," Phillips points out.
"I just spent eighteen months in prison," Buddy reminds her. "That's enough to last a lifetime, thank you very much."
"Well, I hope you pack some track shoes," Laura tells him. "Because once you start running, you'll never be able to stop."
Buddy isn't moved. "You think I want to spend the rest of my life in Brazil? I got season tickets to the Dodgers."
"Then why go?" she asks.
Buddy's back on the phone. "Yeah. Good. Thanks." He hangs up. "Honey, I'm an ex con. No matter how rehabilitated I am, when you boil away the chicken fat, that's what's left. The cops, the DA, the press, even the guy on the street, cause once I was guilty, they think I'm guilty." He tosses some clothes into a suitcase. "You know what blitzes me the most? That anybody would think that I'd be stupid enough to deal in hot coins after being sent away for stock manipulation."
Laura tries again. "You bought those coins from James Rubio. Once we smoke him out, you're in the clear."
"Are you any closer to finding him than you were three weeks ago?"
"We think he's in San Francisco."
"Wonderful. If he shows up, give me a jingle- in Brazil."
Fred stops the limo in a run down area, before a seedy little hotel. Steele rolls down the window to stare uncertainly around. "There IS an Eagle Rock. Interesting ambiance," he comments as he opens the door. Inside the hotel, Steele pauses at the desk. "Hello?" There's no response, and he heads down the corridor to the stairs.
Unknown to him, the man who broke into his apartment, James Rubio, is right behind him. Waldo Church watches them both.
Steele stops at a door that's partially open. "Mr. Church!" he calls out. Pushing the door open, he enters, finds a cigarette still burning in an ashtray. "Mr. Church, it's me, Steele." Moving farther into the room, he is peering into the bathroom, when someone hits him over the head, knocking him out.
Murphy brings his cases into his office. "Laura!" he says. "I'm back!"
She enters. "Welcome home," she says. "Any luck?"
"Somebody wanted us chasing Rubio in San Francisco," he tells her. "If you ask me, he was never even up there."
Laura sighs. "Sometimes this is a VERY discouraging business."
"How ever, I did come up with one piece of information that might prove interesting. And I don't think I was supposed to find it." He shows her a photograph of Rubio and blonde woman.
"Who's the woman with Rubio?"
"The ex-Mrs. Buddy Shapiro. That was taken on a cruise to Acapulco. Find her, we might find Rubio."
"Well, we have plenty of time," Laura points out. "Shapiro's plane doesn't leave for another five hours."
In the lobby, a disheveled and dirty Steele enters and leans heavily on the desk. "Mr. Steele," Bernice says, sounding concerned. "Are you alright?"
"Hanging by a thread, Miss Wolfe."
"Can I get you anything?"
"My tailor," he tells her, moving away toward Laura's office. Seeing that it's empty. He goes to his office, then back to Murphy's door.
Murphy and Laura's jaws drop in shock at his appearance. "What happened to you?" Murphy asks.
"I was on the wrong end of a lamp," he tells them.
"Sordid past or jealous husband?" Laura asks smugly.
Steele laughs mirthlessly. "Current case," he tells them, leading them toward the bath in his office. "I was lured to some god forsaken place called Eagle Rock where I was promptly bashed over the head." He touches his head.
"Let me see," Laura offers as Murphy looks on. "I can't find-"
"There it is. Lie down on the couch while I soak a washcloth." He turns to leave, and Murphy follows.
"Do I know someone named Shapiro?" Steele asks.
"Yes," Murphy answers shortly. Laura rushes to join them.
"Is he a client?" Steele asks.
"Yes," she responds.
"Has he been accused of stealing something?" he wants to know.
"Yeah," Murphy admits.
Steele sits down as Laura returns with the cloth. "I don't mean to appear brusque, but I'm in no condition to play twenty questions. Now please tell me, simply and directly, who the HELL is Shapiro?" He turns to give Laura access to his wound.
"He's been accused of stealing an antique coin collection valued at over two hundred thousand dollars," she explains.
"But he claims he bought it from a guy named Rubio."
"And YOU are trying to find Rubio," Laura tells him.
"Where does Waldo Church fit into this?"
"He notarized the transaction," Murphy tells him.
"Um hum. DOA. Edmund O'Brien, Pamela Britton, United Artists--19-49."
Murphy goes to take the cloth back to the bath as Laura takes the antiseptic and frowns. "DOA?"
"Um hmm. It means dead on arrival."
"I KNOW what it means. What does it MEAN?"
"Edmund O'Brien notarized a bill of sale that would prove a man's innocence, then was murdered to prevent-"
"Never MIND Edmund O'Brien! What about Waldo Church?"
"Well, apparently Mr. Church is in much the same predicament. This fellow Rubio is trying to kill him before he can produce that bill of sale."
"How do you know that?" Murphy asks.
"Hmm? Waldo rang me up. Wanted to hand over the bill of sale."
"Where is it?" Laura asks.
"I'm afraid my only souvenir from Eagle Rock is a slight concussion."
"Where in Eagle Rock?" Laura questions.
"Hotel Saracen," he tells her.
"I'm on my way," Murphy announces, leaving.
Laura pulls Steele to his feet. "You're going to tell Buddy Shapiro exactly what you just told us."
"I thought I never involved myself directly in a case?"
He starts toward her office, she steers him toward the other door. "You're making an exception this time. Come on. We'll rehearse in the car."
He pulls away. I have to change."
"No TIME!" she insists.
He stops in the bathroom doorway. "Remington Steele never shows up wrinkled," he tells her.
Laura sighs in frustration.
They're approaching Buddy's room when Laura sees his cases on a luggage cart. They enter the room to find Buddy counting some cash, and Phillips hovering about. "Mr. Shapiro," Laura says, "May I present Remington Steele."
Buddy makes a comment that shocks Laura. "Gornisht nit helf."
"Is that a technical term?" Steele asks Laura.
Phillips comes over. "It means nothing will help," he explains, then moves off as Steele watches him.
"Waldo Church contacted Mr. Steele. Isn't that right, sir?"
"You got a bill of sale?" Buddy asks.
"Then give me one good reason why I shouldn't hit the road to Rio."
Steele looks thoughtful. "Go on, sir," Laura pushes. "Tell Mr. Shapiro why you urge him not to go to Brazil."
"Well, for one, the language barrier."
"I'll stop off in Berlitz," he says.
"A stagnant economy. Double digit inflation."
"So long as they can't extradite me, I'll make do."
"Not worth the price," Steele decides.
"Mr. Steele makes sense," Laura says, then frowns as he continues.
"ON the other hand, a place like the Bahamas seems ideally suited for your needs." Laura covers her face with her hand. "They speak the Queen's English, there are a myriad of tax shelters, all sorts of dummy corporations." He notices Laura's discomfort. "On the other hand, you'd be admitting your guilt. You'd be a fugitive for the rest of your life. Of course, in the Bahamas, even a fugitive can live quite comfortably-" Laura clears her throat.
Phillips passes by. "Your BOSS seems a little ambivalent."
"What Mr. Steele MEANS," Laura tries to clarify, "is that no matter how well you live, you can never be truly free. Excellent point, sir."
"Yes, wasn't it?"
Buddy lifts his hands. "I don't know. I don't know!" he moves away, and Laura pushes Steele to follow.
Phillips approaches Laura. "Whether he stays or not, we'd better plan OUR next move. Why don't we- regroup over dinner?"
"I make it a rule never to go out with clients."
Laura smiles. "I'm not a client. My client's a client."
"An office seems more appropriate."
"Afraid you'll have a smidgen of pleasure along with business?" Phillips says.
"When I'm in the market for pleasure, Mr. Phillips, I want a lot more than a smidgen."
Phillips smiles as Buddy and Steele return. "Look, maybe your agency's too high class for this job," Buddy is saying. "I'm beginning to think I need someone- closer to the streets. More like myself. You look like the trust fund type."
"Beg pardon?" Steele questions.
"You know, bedwarmers, nannies? Summers in the Alps?"
"Ever hear of a section of London called Brixton?"
Buddy pauses. "Yeah. The worst." Phillips is attentive.
"Three quid gets you a nights lodging or your throat cut. No jobs, no prospects, no hopes. Only two ways out: Get sent to the nick or snuff it." Buddy puts on his coat, Phillips is listening, and Laura is amazed. "Give us a few days to produce that bill of sale. If we fail, I will personally assist you in fleeing to the Bahamas."
Buddy smiles, shakes Steele's hand. "I think I could love this man," he tells Laura.
"We all have special feelings for Mr. Steele," Laura says, as Steele smiles at her, pleased with himself.
"Come on," Buddy tells Steele, "I'll buy you a drink." They leave.
Phillips comes to Laura, who's still in shock. "That stuff about Brixton. Is it true?"
"I wish I could tell you," Laura tells him, then follows them out.
Laura is in Waldo's room at the Hotel, looking at a photo of Waldo and his family when Murphy comes in. "Desk clerk's a big help. He didn't even know the room was rented."
She hands him the photo. "Well, at least Buddy didn't take off for Brazil." She laughs. "You should have seen him today, Murph. The quintessential Remington Steele. Charming, persuasive, reassuring-"
"You know, for once, I'd like us to have a conversation where his name didn't come up."
"He performs a very valuable service for all of us," she reminds him.
"I know we need him professionally. That's not what I'm talking about," he says as she searches through a case. "He's not gonna change, Laura."
"A return bus ticket to Bakersfield," she comments.
"The longer you wait around for him to shape up, the more you shut yourself off from the people that really care about you."
Laura glances at the photo. "I wonder if he got in touch with his wife?" She opens the door and goes out into the hallway to the payphone.
Murphy isn't ready to give up. "What you need is somebody with the same feelings, the same values. Somebody you can share things with." She looks up a number. "You're never gonna find that someone until you allow yourself a chance to look. Laura, I know the bill of sale's important, but have you heard anything I've said to you?"
She takes the ticket out of her mouth and smiles at him. "Every word," she assures him, giving him a kiss on the chin. "And you're absolutely right." Into the phone, she says, "Mr. Phillips, please. Laura Holt calling." Murphy smiles- until he hears her next words. "Is that dinner invitation still open? Seven thirty's fine." She hangs up and taps Murphy on the arm. "Thanks, Murph," she says before leaving a very confused Murphy standing there wondering where he went wrong.
"Don't mention it."
Laura is playing an arcade game, and laughs as she loses. Turning to Creighton Phillips, who's holding some cotton candy, she says, "This isn't at all what I expected."
"Pleasantly off balance," she clarifies. "I had visions of a sedate French restaurant, an informative stroll through an art gallery, maybe a Kirosawa retrospective-"
"That's what I have planned for tomorrow night," he tells her. She holds out her hand for another quarter when she finds another game.
"Well, let's get though THIS evening, first."
"Is that what you're doing? Getting THROUGH an evening?" Creighton questions.
Laura is embarrassed. "No, I didn't- no." She turns her attention to the game.
"Do you have something going with your boss?"
Laura looks at him. "What makes you ask that?"
"They way you look at him. The way you hang on his every word. The way he looks at you."
"Oh," she says. "How does he look at me?"
"Erotically," Creighton tells her. "VERY erotically."
"Really?" Laura replies, obviously surprised and a bit uncertain.
"You hadn't noticed?"
"Ours is purely a professional relationship," she tells him. He nods.
"I'm glad. And NOT for the obvious reason. I don't trust your Mr. Steele."
She looks at him again. "Why not?"
"I don't know. There's something- shifty about him. A feeling that he's not QUITE what he appears to be?"
"That's ridiculous. He-He's Remington Steele," she insists, as if that says it all.
"Maybe there's more to your Mr. Steele than meets the eye," he suggests.
Laura looks at him. "Creighton, are we going to spend our first evening together talking about him?"
"You're right. Let's forget about him for tonight. There's always tomorrow," he says. He looks at the game. "Ah, tough luck. The monster just ate your last man."
Steele and his lady friend return to his now spotless apartment. She enters, wearing ANOTHER mink, surveying the apartment with a smile. "Oh, Remington. Everything's so-tidy." He tosses his coat over the couch, she drops her purse on the chair. "You've no idea how neatness stimulates me." She shrugs her coat into his arms. "If the rest of the place looks anything like this, it could take all night to calm me down." They kiss, and he shows her to the bedroom door. He drops her coat on the couch, then lights the fire.
She comes from the bedroom, a dazed look on her face. "Calm already?" he asks.
"It's a little crowded in there," she tells him.
He goes into the bedroom, flipping on the light. Waldo Church is lying on the bed, and Steele checks his pulse.
She watches as he searches Waldo's pockets. "Do you know him?"
"We had a passing acquaintance," he confirms.
"First the apartment, now this. I never dreamed there were so many unique ways to end an evening." Steele gently ushers her out of the room.
She's drinking what looks to be scotch, Steele at her side, when the doorbell rings. He gets up and opens it. Laura comes in. "Where is he?"
"The bedroom," he tells her, and starts to close the door, only to have it pushed back at him. He opens it to reveal Creighton. "Sorry," he says as Creighton follows Laura. Steele pauses by his date.
"Everything was so tidy," she comments.
Steele joins Laura and Creighton in the bedroom, where Laura is looking beneath the fur coat at the dead man. "Waldo Church, alright."
"His pockets were stripped bare," he tells them. Laura looks a bit dazed herself.
Creighton puts an arm around her. "Are we through in here?"
"Uhm hmm," Steele confirms. They go back out.
Creighton turns to Laura. "Anything I can do?"
"No, we'll handle it." He kisses her cheek.
"I'll call you in the morning," he tells her, as Steele kisses his shell shocked date and tells her the same thing.
He takes the glass from her. "Would you be kind enough to see Miss Taplinger home?" he asks Creighton.
She staggers around the couch. "I'll just leave my coat where it is," she tells them. Steele shows them out, then rejoins Laura.
He takes off his tuxedo jacket. "Sorry I was forced to interrupt your evening."
Laura is pacing. "Have you called the police?"
"Rubio obviously found that bill of sale."
"No doubt you two were discussing the case," Steele says, pouring a drink and unfastening his tie.
"He's probably destroyed it by now."
"I know how these business meetings can drag on." They pace together.
"He sold Buddy those coins wanting him to get caught."
"I called the office, you weren't there."
"Why? What's the motive? What could he possibly gain by having Buddy sent back to prison-"
"You weren't at your apartment, either. I left a distraught message on the damned answering machine of yours. You really should think about getting one of those little beepers, Laura!" They stop talking and face each other. "Where were you all evening?"
"At an amusement park," she says tightly.
"Ah. It was a social liaison."
"It's called a DATE. Happens quite a lot between men and women."
"I didn't know you went in for that sort of thing."
"I like cotton candy," she tells him in a little girl voice. Steele moves closer, and she steps away. "Let's call the police." She picks up the phone as Steele watches her.
A jail cell door closes before Buddy. "So what went wrong?" he asks Creighton as Laura and Steele stand nearby.
"Somebody tipped the DA's office that you tried to leave the country. Now that there's a murder involved, they want to make sure you stick around."
"Terrific," Buddy sighs as he looks at Steele. "If I hadn't listened to you, I'd be in Brazil now."
"I guarantee your exoneration on ALL charges, Buddy- or my name isn't Remington Steele."
Later, as he and Laura walk down the corridor to the office, she reminds him, "Your name ISN'T Remington Steele."
"A mere technicality," he insists.
They enter the office. "Did Murphy call?" Laura asks Bernice on her way to her office.
"The minute he does, shoot him through." They each enter their offices. Laura removes her jacket and hat, and takes out the photo of Rubio and the ex Mrs. Shapiro. She's looking at it when she hears the connecting door open and Steele enters, also in shirtsleeves.
"Is this our quarry?"
She grabs the photo from him. "From here on out, let the pros handle things."
"A man expired in my bedroom. Don't you think that gives me a vested interest in what happens?" he asks as she tried to bury herself in a file cabinet. "Besides, I've grown rather fond of Buddy." He turns and goes back to his office, leaving the door open. "Which is more than I can say for your Mr. Phillips."
"MY Mr. Phillips?" Laura questions, leaning in the doorway.
"I don't trust him."
She approaches. "That's exactly what he said about you," she tells him as she goes through his messages, tossing each away after reading them.
"Takes one to know one," Steele comments.
"He's a extraordinary human being. Warm caring-" Steele takes off a shoe. "Committed. Did you know that he's turning down a partnership in a law firm so that he can help those people who can't afford those fat legal fees?"
"Does he also run a home for unwed mothers?" Steele asks sarcastically as he examines his shoe and heads toward the couch. "Or perhaps an orphanage where he personally bathes grimy little tykes?"
Laura laughs. "You're wonderfully twisted," she says as she leans against his desk. "Magnificently bent. Just because you think that the shortest distance between two points is an angle doesn't mean that everybody operates that way."
"Sounds like you've developed an overpowering lust for cotton candy," he comments.
Laura comes off the desk. "Well, you certainly don't expect me to sit at home while you-"
"While I what?"
"My apologies. Whom you choose to become involved with is none of my business. I have no claim on your personal life."
She turns to look at him. "I didn't think you were interested in one."
"Well, it's your rule, never mix business with-"
"Pleasure," she finishes.
"Well, yes, I suppose."
Well, it's not a hard and fast rule," Laura tells him.
Bernice comes in. "Creighton Phillips on one," she tells Laura.
Laura crosses to sit beside Steele, picking up the phone. "Thank you."
Bernice finishes. "For HIM."
Laura is shocked, and Steele takes the phone. "Steele here."
Steele walks through the police station, nodding at various people, smiling obviously a well-known face. He joins Creighton. "My firm has 125 lawyers, half of them pulling strings- and you get Buddy released in YOUR custody."
"The name Remington Steele has a certain standing in the law enforcement community."
"You ever want a job fixing traffic tickets, I can make us a fortune."
"I was under the impression material gain held no attraction for you."
"Where did you hear that?"
"Miss Holt. She's quite taken with your selflessness."
"Well I'm quite taken with everything about her."
"What ARE your intentions toward her?"
"What are YOUR intentions in asking?" Creighton returns.
"Oh, professional curiosity. Speaking as her boss, I wouldn't want to see her hurt. Unhappiness tends to reduce efficiency."
"I wouldn't dream of doing anything to reduce her efficiency," Creighton tells him.
"Good. Because speaking as her friend, I'd take serious exception to anyone who brought her pain."
"Is that a threat?"
"It's a word to the wise, Mr. Phillips. I sincerely hope you fall into that category." He smiles as Buddy approaches.
"Steele," he says, shaking hands. "You're a man of your word."
"Mr. Phillips and I were just discussing that."
Buddy turns to Creighton. "Let's get out of here."
They leave, with Steele giving Creighton a smiling, yet determined look.
Outside of a boutique on Rodeo Drive, Murphy is watching people putting boxes into a Rolls Royce. The limo pulls up, and he tells Laura and Steele, "Well, she's practically bought out the entire street. She's in there right now. Let's go."
Mrs. Shapiro is trying on a scarf as Steele and Laura enter. "I'll handle this," he tells Laura, who stands back doubtfully. "Mrs. Shapiro?"
"Hmm?" she asks, looking at him in the mirror that she's in front of.
"I'm Remington Steele," he says, "Perhaps you've heard of the Remington Steele Detective Agency?" She swings her oversize purse, hitting him in the face. She hits him several times before Laura and the saleswoman drag her away.
"Please! Please!" the woman says. "You're on Rodeo Drive!" She rushes away.
"It's alright, Mrs. Shapiro," Laura says, clearing her throat. "No one wants to hurt you."
"I know you work for Buddy," she says. "So you just go back and tell him to LEAVE US ALONE!"
"We're trying to locate James Rubio," Laura tells her softly.
"James is innocent. But Buddy would do anything to ruin my life. Even accuse poor James of some dumb crime. All right, look, maybe he had a little bit of trouble in the past, but that's all behind him now. We're in LOVE! And that schmutz Buddy can't stand the thought that I could be happy without him. Well I CAN. And AM!"
"Well, the police are after James, too, Mrs. Shapiro. If they find him first, he'll probably be charged with murder. So if he's innocent, let us help prove it."
She takes a deep breath, and turns to a stand of dresses. "Can I ask you a question?"
"I want you to be honest."
"Which one do you like better? The red or the pink?" she shoves them at Laura and leaves the store, passing Steele, who's being attended to by the shop owner and a clerk.
"Nice chatting with you," he says as she passes.
Laura joins him. "We'll just have to stick with her. Eventually, she's got to lead us to Rubio." They hear a woman screaming outside and rush out to find Mrs. Shapiro standing at the open trunk of her Rolls Royce, screaming at the sight of James Rubio's dead body.
"We were goin' to Vegas," she's saying. "We were gonna get married! I was gonna wear taffeta! James!" They move her away, and Murphy and Steele close in to look at the scene.
Murphy examines the single bullet wound to the chest, while Steele notices Rubio's arm hanging out. "Look at his hand," Steele comments.
"What's wrong with it?" Murphy asks.
"It's clenched in a fist." He kneels and begins trying to pry the fist open.
"What are you doing?" Laura demands to know.
"The victim always clenches a piece of evidence that ultimately traps the murderer," he tells them. "Hmm."
"What is it?" Laura asks.
"He had a very long lifeline," he announces, which causes Laura and Murphy to exchange a look.
Buddy is back in jail, angrily telling Steele, "Why do I keep listening to you? Before I was only looking at five years. Now, it's murder."
"Buddy," Creighton tells him, "the gun that killed Rubio belonged to you."
"I kept that around for protection. I haven't seen it in weeks!" Buddy insists.
Laura looks apologetic. "Unfortunately, yours were the only fingerprints found on it."
"I can see where all this might be somewhat disquieting," Steele tells him. "But I assure you that I will do everything in my power-"
"Please!" Buddy begs, "no more help. I don't think I can survive it."
The three of them turn and leave.
Later that night, Murphy cautiously enters Steele's office, knocking on the open door.
Steele is at his desk, looking over some papers. He gets up to meet the other man. "I appreciate your timely response, Murphy."
"Your asking me for help is worth a couple of red lights," Murphy tells him.
Steele pours coffee for them. "I realize we haven't exactly been best of chums since I arrived on the scene. You've been rather mistrustful of me. Perhaps with some justification. I'll admit that my past is a little obscure- and there have been times when I've taken advantage of my situation here, overspent some of the agency's funds on occasion, intruded in areas where I didn't belong on others." Murphy sits down, as does Steele, who puts his feet up. "Is that a-fair recital of my deficiencies?"
"Couldn't have said it better myself. Though I've-tried a few times."
Steele smiles. "However, we do have one small patch of common ground."
"Laura. We both care very deeply for her."
"She's a very special lady," Murphy tells him seriously.
"And neither one of us wants to see her hurt or misused."
"You're the only one I worry about on that score."
"Are you aware that she's involved with Creighton Phillips?"
"Am I ever."
"What's your assessment of him?"
"He seems like an alright guy."
"I took the liberty of doing some checking on Mr. Phillips. Did you know that he and James Rubio were classmates at Harvard- until Rubio was expelled for cheating?" Murphy's surprised. "And that rather than turning down a partnership in his law firm he was passed over for one?"
"Maybe that's why he's starting his own practice."
"In a suite of offices that go for twenty four dollars a square foot? Which runs out to-- two hundred and forty thousand a year in rent alone?" He shakes his head. "That hardly jives with a young idealist so determined to aid the oppressed and impoverished."
Murphy laughs. "So he's not what he appears to be." He stirs his coffee, and looks at Steele. "I'm familiar with the type. Now what does this have to do with Laura getting hurt?"
"Whoever set Buddy up with those stolen coins wanted him returned to prison badly enough to kill the two people that could prove he was innocent."
"Why would Phillips want him put away again?"
"The motive eludes me at the moment. But the thought of Laura cheek to jowl with a possible murderer gives me the chills."
"No motive, no witnesses, no hard evidence. You've got a hell of a case."
"I have a plan," Steele tells him, and Murphy's expression is filled with terror.
"Now I'VE got the chills."
Steele and Murphy are at a telephone switch box as Steele works. "You seem to know an awful lot about jumping telephone lines," Murphy points out.
"Um hmm," Steele agrees. "Picked it up from the cinema. Terrible influence, you know."
"Just because we're working together on this does NOT mean I'll stop trying to send you packing," Murphy warns him.
"Wouldn't have it any other way, Murphy. Keeps us both on our toes." He puts on a headset, then says, "You're on." Murphy dials the phone he's holding.
In a nearby guard shack, a telephone rings. "Gate. Reynolds speaking."
"This is Creighton Phillips," Murphy says in a deeper voice.
"Yes, Mr. Phillips."
"I'm expecting a guest this evening. Mr. Remington Steele."
"I'll put him on the list," Reynolds assures him.
Murphy and Steele hang up, and Steele cleans up the lines. "Shall we?" he asks.
At the gate, Reynolds comes out as Murphy, dressed as a chauffeur, rolls down a window. "Remington Steele for Mr. Phillips."
"Yes, sir. You've been cleared. Follow the drive all the way to the top, it's the first townhouse on your right." He moves away to open the gate.
Steele smiles. "Nicely done," he tells Murphy. "As a matter of fact, that outfit rather becomes you."
"Don't push it," Murphy warns as Steele dons black gloves.
They reach Phillips' house, and get out.
Murphy comes to the wall and gives Steele a leg, whispering "One, two, three".
Laura and Creighton are in the living room, discussing the case. "First, I'll move to dismiss for failure to establish a prima facie case," he tells her.
"Umm hmm," Laura agrees. Neither of them sees Steele outside the window. "You know, it seems to me that there's more here than legal maneuvers, Creighton," she's saying as Steele climbs the side of the building. "We should be concentrating on the killer."
"Any candidates?" he asks.
"Well, I'm working on it," She tells him.
"Well, then, I still have to put on a defense for Buddy. More coffee?"
"NO, thank you."
Steele enters Creighton's bedroom, and closes the door quietly before turning to search the room. He trips over a cat, which yowls in pain.
Downstairs, Laura and Creighton both look up. "What was that?" she asks.
"Sounds like Gomie," he says, getting up.
Laura follows. Steele slides under the bed as the opens the door- only to find that the cat is there as well. He's growling angrily at Steele.
"Gomie?" Creighton calls. "Gomie, where are you?"
"Kitty, kitty, kitty," Laura calls.
Creighton kneels beside the bed. "Gomie, are you under there?"
Steele thinks quickly and tosses the cat out from other the bed. He takes off out the door.
"There you are," Creighton says.
"What's the matter with him?" Laura wonders.
"Maybe he didn't like it up here," he suggests, standing in the doorway. "But then, he didn't have you to keep him company." He switches off the light.
"Uh, let's get back to work now," Laura says, and Steele turns on his side, waiting.
"Let's take a break," Creighton suggests.
"We've been at it for hours," he reminds her. "Don't you think we deserve a little rest?" He flops onto the bed, almost hitting Steele in the head.
Laura comes into the room. "You know, we're here to help Buddy," she reminds him.
"Yeah, I know. But I am so tired," he tells her, grabbing her arm and pulling her to join him on the bed. Steele is NOT happy. "I have been trying to think of a way to get you up here all night. I KNEW there was a reason I kept that cat around."
"Creighton, now, stop. Now cut it out!"
"Do you know what it's like trying NOT to smell your perfume?" Laura struggles. "Alright. Okay. Business it is." They leave the room, Creighton giving the bed one final, regretful glance.
Steele slides out again, and closes the door once more. He takes some hair from the hairbrush, putting it into a plastic bag, then leaves the room.
The next day, everyone, including Buddy, is in Steele's office as Creighton says, "If that motion fails, I'll move for a change of venue."
Steele comes in. "Sorry I'm late. No one informed me of the meeting. An oversight, no doubt," he says to Laura, who smiles at him.
"We were just going over the strategy for the preliminary hearing," Creighton tells him.
"Ah. Seems to me we should be trying to come up with the guilty party," Steele says as Bernice comes in.
Laura tells him, "We're pursuing that, sir, but first we have to-" he takes the pad and pen from Bernice and hands them to Laura.
"Would you be good enough to jot down some thoughts, Miss Holt?"
"Mr. Steele, we realize your desire for justice," she starts to say, but he shoves the note pad at her again.
She takes the pad and pencil. "Yes, sir." Bernice frowns and flounces from the room.
"Now. The first requisite for our killer is, of course, a relationship with James Rubio."
Creighton says, "Ivy Shapiro certainly qualifies there."
"Are you saying Ivy killed Rubio?" Buddy asks.
"She was planning to marry him," Laura points out. "That's hardly an ideal motive for murder, SIR."
"Maybe they had a falling out," Creighton suggests.
"No, no help," Steele says. "We need someone who knew Rubio a long time ago. So there was no- visible connection. An old college classmate, for instance."
Creighton tenses. "Well, what about the murder weapon? It's Buddy's."
"That only means our killer was somebody Buddy trusted. Someone with unquestioned entrée to his home." HE glances at Laura. "Not going too fast for you, am I, Miss Holt?"
"Well, you could slow down JUST a bit, sir. Wouldn't want you to get lost," she replies with a smile.
"Buddy's fingerprints were the only ones found on the gun," Creighton reminds them.
"Plastic gloves would have taken care of that," Murphy tells him.
"What is this- mythical killer's motive?" Creighton asks.
"Money's usually at the bottom of these things. Unless it's a crime of passion, in the case of extreme, unendurable jealousy brought on by an unfaithful partner," he says.
Laura gives him a look. "I think we can rule that out, SIR."
"I certainly hope so," he tells her.
"You know, Ivy Shapiro stood to lose a great deal of alimony money when she married Rubio," Creighton tells them.
Buddy is angry. "Would you stop trying to pin this on my ex wife? She's a little flaky, maybe. Rotten taste in men, but- she really wasn't a bad broad."
"And definitely not a killer," Steele agrees.
"Then who's left?" Buddy asks.
"A very frustrated and disappointed fellow," Steele tells them. "You see, he counted on being made a partner in his law firm." Laura glances at Creighton, then back to Steele. "When that didn't come to pass, he decided to strike out on his own. But where would he get the capital to lease offices, hire a staff, purchase a suitable residence in which to impress potential clients?"
Creighton looks at Steele as Buddy says, "Wait a minute. I gave him my power of attorney," he says of Creighton. "Before I was sent up." Buddy stands up. "You were stealing me blind, weren't you? You-" He starts to hit Creighton, but Murphy stops him, holding him back. "You thought I'd serve the whole five years, didn't you? But I only did eighteen months. And you didn't want me to look at my books. Is that why you were so hot to get me back inside? Huh?"
Laura looks at Creighton. "Creighton."
"Won't wash, Steele," he says, ignoring her. "Nothing ties me to those murders."
"You know one of the first things I noticed about you, Creighton? May I call you Creighton?"
"Your hair. Thick, lustrous, incredibly healthy." He pulls the plastic bag out of his pocket. "I'm sure the lab will have no problem matching these strands with your own." Laura sits forward, in shock.
"Where did you get those?" Creighton asks.
Steele returns the bag to his pocket with a smile. "The victim will often clutch a piece of evidence that ultimately traps the murderer."
Creighton turns, as if he's going to say something to the others, then suddenly swings back around, fist heading toward Steele. Steele ducks, and comes up with a right that knocks Creighton off his feet.
Steele straightens his tie. "That was most rewarding. Except for one thing."
Laura, standing across the room, where Creighton landed, asks, "What?"
"I think I broke my hand." He and Laura both wince.
Laura and Steele are waiting by the limo, Steele's arm is in a sling, his hand wrapped tightly. "I'm beginning to see why you chose this line of work, Laura. Exhilarating experience, helping the innocent, and apprehending the guilty."
"Except for the way you did it," she points out. "James Rubio wasn't clutching anything in his hand."
"Well, he should have been," Steele insists. "How else are we supposed to catch the bad guys if they don't leave any clues?"
"Tell me something. And I want you to be honest. As honest as you can ever be. If I hadn't been involved with Creighton Phillips, would you have gone after him?"
"A good investigator never allows his personal feelings to get in the way of a case," Steele told her. "However, it did distress me to find you fooling around on the bed with a murderer."
Laura is furious. "How did YOU know I was-?"
"Steele!" Buddy calls out, saving Steele just in time. They turn to see Buddy and Ivy coming from the courthouse. "They reinstated my parole, thanks to you, you son of a gun!"
"All part of the job, Buddy," Stelle assures him.
"Something else good came out of this," Ivy says. "Our travail has brought us closer together." Buddy kisses her.
"Excellent," Steele says as they turn toward the limo.
"We're gonna give it another whack," Buddy tells them as Steele closes the limo door for them.
"Safe journey," Steele wishes, then taps the top of the car to signal Fred.
They both smile as the limo leaves. "Where are the going?" Laura asks.
"Las Vegas. Ivy has a brand new trousseau, reservations in the honeymoon suite, and ringside for Sinatra. What better way to renew a relationship?"
"How are we supposed to get back to the office?" Laura asks him.
He points. "I purchased Ivy's car. At a substantial savings." He holds out the keys. "For you."
She eyes the Rolls Royce with a delighted smile. "For me? That?"
"You deserve it," he tells her.
She points to the trunk. "What about-?"
"Oh, I'm having the entire trunk recarpeted."
Laura takes the keys. "Well-"
"Ivy would appreciate a check as soon as possible," he tells her.