Steele Crazy After All These Years
Transcribed from the episode written by:
Peggy Goldman, R. J.Stewart, and Andrew Laskos

A college campus at night. A banner is strung across a plaza that reads "Homecoming Class of '73." A man runs for his life.

A woman is in a room, tasting something from a pot as she holds a glass of wine. The man is still running. The woman adds some of the wine to the pot, stirs, then adds more. The man looks behind him, trips, recovers, then falls into a cardboard cutout of the current Homecoming queen, knocking it over.

The woman puts on a gauzy, sixties type shirt, smiling. She takes a denim vest from a box, notes the various peace symbols and such on it, and puts it on as the man continues to run. He gets to a doorway, but it's locked, and he calls out, "Annie!"

Upstairs, the woman hears him as she lights some incense. "Annie!" he cries out again. She starts for the windows, and raises the blind as he calls another time. "Annie!"

She doesn't see anything strange in the plaza.


Murphy is arm wrestling another man. "You'll never get it out of me."

"One of us will," his opponent tells him. "Sooner or later, Murph."

"Come on, Charlie," one of the onlookers begs. "Come on, hold onto him. You can-" Murphy takes Charlie's arm down to the table. "Augh!!!" Annie appears in the doorway, watching and listening.

"Steroids," Charlie says, rubbing his upper arm. "The guy must take steroids."

Murphy grabs his beer. "Who's next? Come on!" Annie stands in the doorway, nervously playing with a bandana.

"Hey, once is enough," Charlie insists. "Besides, I promised my wife no coronaries," he says, as he and the others move away.

"Hey, Charlie, come on!" Murphy pleads.

"Murphy please. I'm trying to stay on good terms with my ego."

He turns to look at them. "Guys, left handed, huh? Whaddaya say?"

"No way, Murph," one of them says as Annie appears and starts mopping Murphy's face with the bandana.

"You still sweat great, don't ya, Murph," she tells him. He looks at her. "I always liked to watch you sweat. Best part of the basketball game for me." Murphy looks her up and down. "Look, I know this isn't a really good time, but Dan didn't show up and I've been everywhere looking him. I mean he SCREAMED- at least I think it was a scream, but he wasn't there. And then I didn't know what to think, and then I remembered reading in the alumni news that you work for a detective named Remington somebody-?"

Murphy's had a little too much to drink. He pushes her shoulders. "Hey wait a minute. Why don't you just slow down and start over," he suggests, trying to push her into a chair.

She stands back up. "Okay, look. I was making dinner for us. You know, nothing heavy, just a little spaghetti, but I know Dan was really looking forward to it because it had been almost like ten years to the day-Then I went to window, and all of a sudden I got this real burning sensation, right between my fifth and sixth shockras, and that's a very negative place for me." Murphy looks confused. "So Murph, just help me look for him, you know? And if you say everything's copasetic, then I'll try to go with it, okay?" She sits down.

"Do uh, Do I know you?" he asks.

"You mean- in the- Biblical sense? Or just like- names?"

She gets him into the hall. "I think Dan's room is down here," she tells him.

"Annie, this Dan-"

"Kowalski. Varsity Track and Swim," she says, looking at the doors. "That is until Sharon Credenza introduced him to mushrooms." She turns and points at him. "You used to go with Sharon for awhile, didn't you?" she asks as they stop at a door.

"Sharon who?"

"I always suspected she was lying about your relationship." She points to the door. "Room 234." As Murphy watches, she opens the door cautiously. "It's not locked. Do you think that means something?"

"Yeah. It means it's not locked."

"Oh." She goes in, and Murphy follows.

"Annie, Dan probably met another old friend on his way over to your place and they went out for a drink or something."

"Nope," she insists. "I checked all our old town hangouts. Uh-uh." She turns to look at him. "Did you know they converted the Rosy Rooster to a disco?"


"Yeah. Now they call it the Cock-a-doodle Doo. I don't know. I guess flashing lights just don't do it for me anymore. So what do you think happened to him?"

"Look, I'm sure he'll turn up real soon. But meanwhile, why don't you let me buy you some coffee or something at the Student Union?"

Annie moves closer to him with a little smile. "Hey. You want us to-make it again? You know, just for old time's sake? I mean, I'm open to it."

Murphy smiles and laughs. "Again? Annie, we never-"

"But you know what? Right now, I'm really worried about Dan. Don't you think we oughta be like looking for clues and stuff?"

"Annie, has it occurred to you that maybe Dan changed his mind and-"

"And what?"

"Stood you up."

"Hey," she says, stepping back, "You know, I know my brain breaks loose from the space time continuum and my mouth gets a mind of its own- coming here after twelve years at St. Amelia's School for Girls will do that to a person. But I heard somebody scream. And I think it was Dan. And scared is scared is any universe you want to pick."

Murphy stands up. "Alright, I'll look around. But I think if you're really concerned, you ought to notify campus security or something, okay?" he tells her, going to the bathroom.

She heads toward the bedroom. "Yeah, I guess, but uniforms always bring out the paranoid in me, you know?" Murphy comes back into the front room. "I'm trying to work it through with my mailman and everything, but even when he wears his summer shorts-" Suddenly she screams in terror.

Murphy runs in and grabs her. "Annie?"

She's looking behind him. "Screaming is the release that happens when the spirit suddenly transcends to a- radically altered reality." Murphy turns and sees what caused her to scream: a man hanging from the flagpole on a building across the way. Annie turns into his arms for comfort.

At Steele's apartment, he's packing a suitcase as Laura waits. "Well, this should be engaging. A few days amidst the groves of academe. Ahh, it's already beginning to evoke painfully sweet memories of Cambridge."

Laura, reading something while she's eating, looks interested. "Cambridge? You went to Cambridge?"

"The ivied halls, robed faculty, punting on the Thames."

"Cambridge is on the River Cam," Laura informs him with a little smile as she returns to work. "Oxford is on the Thames."

"Ahh, Oxford, Cambridge. It's the education one gets that's important," he tells her as he closes the case. "And, I have no doubt, as I throw myself into the challenge of a new case, it will serve me well."

"I wouldn't throw myself in too hard," Laura tells him. "When Murphy called, he didn't exactly request you." She stands up.

"Murphy never requests me. It's not in his nature," he tells her, moving toward the door with her close behind. "But, we've come a long way from those first, rocky days."

She steps into the hall, saying, "Really? I wasn't aware."

"Oh, he may appear gruff and pungent at times," Steele tells her as they head toward the elevator, "But beneath that, there's a growing respect."

Laura presses the button. "No kidding?"

"You watch," he tells her as the doors open and they get into the elevator. "We'll arrive, he'll look at you in that way he does, and bid you welcome and then look across at me in that way he does, and he'll say-"

Murphy looks frazzled as he asks, "What the HELL is he doing here?"

Laura looks into the car, where Steele is just opening the passenger door. "I got the gruff and pungent part," she assures him.

Steele gets out. "You really disappoint me, Murphy. Surely by now I thought that we could work together smoothly as a team of professionals."

"What profession did you have it mind?" Murphy asks.

"That's rather harsh, isn't it, considering you're the one that called for help?"

"I called for HER," Murphy points out. "Not YOU."

"An oversight, no doubt."

Murphy looks at Laura. "I'm serious, Laura. How could you let him come along?"
"What did you expect me to do, Murphy? Throw him out of the car?"

"You've had worse ideas," he replies. "You know he's only going to get in the way!"

Steele looks at them. "I understood there was a death to investigate. Is there no bloody weapon to examine? No hysterical witness to question? No suspicious character to tail?"

"Those of us in the real world know most evidence tends to come from the commonplace, the ordinary, and the mundane," Murphy informs him.

Steele grins. "Such as?"

He takes them to the flagpole. "Hung from a flagpole, eh?" Steele questions. "Can't think of anything more common place than that," he says with a sidelong glance at Murphy.

"I'm gonna hit him, Laura," Murphy says.

"Concentrate on the case, Murph," she tells him.

"Could this Dan Kowalski have hung himself from the flagpole do you think?" Steele wonders.

"Well that's the official version," Murphy confirms. "I mean suicide isn't the greatest way to start off a homecoming, but it sure beats the hell out of murder. They raise a lot of money from these shindigs. Why scare anybody off."

"But I sense you have doubts," Steele notes.

"Well, it just doesn't fit," Murphy explains. "I mean, the guy was supposed to have dinner last night with somebody. About the time he's due to arrive, she hears screaming. An hour later, he's hanging from a flagpole."

Steele turns away. "Ah, definitely more than a suicide. This shouldn't be too hard to crack."

"Will you listen to this guy?"

"You know," Laura tells him, joining Murphy, "you are pushing it just a little bit."

"Don't tell me you're afraid too," Steele says.

"Afraid? Of what?"

"That a novice like myself might show up a more experienced sleuth."

Laura laughs. "You're not serious."

"Then you ARE afraid," he says.

"Laura," Murphy pipes in, "can't we buy him a bus ticket somewhere?"

"Hold on a minute, Murphy." She looks at Steele. "You mean you think you can solve this all by yourself?"

"Why not? After all, I've had one excellent teacher."

Laura's interest is piqued. She leans closer to Murphy. "You know, that could be very interesting to watch."

"Care to make a small wager on the side?" Steele suggests.

"A wager?"

Murphy tries to keep her grounded. "Laura, I'm sure it's some kind of trick." They both ignore him.

"Now, I realize a man's been murdered, but it would all be towards a good cause."

"You know how devious he can be," Murphy warns.

"A wager," Laura repeats. "A wager," she says again, going to stand beside Steele. "And what kind of terms did you have in mind?"

He looks at her. "Well, if I solve the case first, say- a weekend. Just the two of us. In- Paris?"

Murphy's alarmed. "Wouldn't five bucks be more sensible?"

"You're on. And if I win, I want one year of your life." She draws a one on his chest.

"Laura," Steele protests. "Indentured servitude went out with the top hat."

She shakes her head. "No, I'm talking about your mysterious past. I want to know what happened in ONE year. Without exaggeration or embellishment."

Steele is quiet, glances at Laura, then at a smiling Murphy. Finally he turns back to Laura. "You're on," he says, and they shake hands.

"I don't believe it," Murphy laughs along with Laura.

"Well, I've got work to do," Steele tells them. "With a bit of luck, I should be through in say- oh, three hours." He glances at his watch.

"Three hours, huh?" Murphy questions his timetable. "Well, why don't I give you something to start on?"

Steele gives him a pat on the back. "That's sporting of you, Murphy."

"This building was locked tight as a drum last night," he tells them. "No locks were picked, no alarms were set off, and a security guard came by every fifteen minutes. As far as I can tell, it was physically impossible to have gotten that body up there."

Steele looks as if he's beginning to doubt the wisdom of his bet. "Well, uh, perhaps four hours. Just to be on the safe side, eh?" he decides and wanders off, leaving Laura and Murphy laughing.

They are in the corridor of a dorm, passing a poster of Jillian, the homecoming queen, and she tells him, "Of course he maneuvered me into the bet. I let him."

"Are you sure that was such a wise idea?" Murphy wonders. "I mean, what if he actually-"

"Wins?" Laura finishes.

"I know it seems like a longshot. Still-"

"Look, He's out of your hair, and we could get a year of his history to boot. Aren't you thirsting to know what our Mr. Steele was doing in '68? '73? '80?"

"Curious, I'll give you," he admits. "But thirsting? No, no. No way." Laura laughs and knocks on a door.

Annie is crying as she talks to Laura and Murphy. "It's a real kick in the consciousness, if you know what I mean. I mean, DAN. Of all people. But why?" she whines as Laura looks up from the photo album she's examining. Annie flops down next to her. "Oh, Dan. Dan was the poet in my life."

Laura reaches out to comfort her. "I'm sure he was very good."

Annie is near tears again. "No. He was terrible. Always mixing his metaphors and splitting his infinitives. Shards of Styrofoam truth on the belly of a bottled dog," she recites. "But he really tried, you know? Then to see him, hanging- hanging there, looking likelike one of his poems"

"Can you think of any reason why anyone would want him dead?" Laura asks.

"Why they'd hang him from the ROTC building?" Murphy asks.

"No," Annie replies. "No, no. Dan-" Her face clears as she stares at Murphy. "ROTC building?"

"Yeah. That's where they found him," Murphy reminds her.

"Oh, wow," she says, rising to pace the room restlessly. "Oh wow. Déjà vu, déjà vu. Oh, no. This can't be happening," she frets.

"What?" Murphy wants to know.

"Oh wow. Rotsy, rotsy, ROTSY! That's where it happened to Tom ten years ago!"

"Tom?" Laura asks the woman. "Tom who?"

"Tom Donovan. You see?" She finds a picture of Tom and a young girl. "You see? All of us were there with Tom the night that it happened. Look, see, this is Tom Donovan with his sister." She moves to another photo of a group of people around an old van. "And here he is with the group. We were all pretty tight in those days, you know?"

"Tom Donovan? Wait a minute," Murphy says. "He was killed in a lab accident wasn't he?"

Annie glares at him. "Lies for the media. It didn't happen that way. You see, Tom had this idea. Tom was always having ideas. But this time, this one- that night, ten years ago-" As she speaks we see a Volkswagen minibus pull up beside the ROTC building. "We were all supposed to break into the ROTC building, you know? Do this big number for the homecoming. Set off a big fireworks display from the roof. And the six of us were all in on it. Dan was driving. And- next to me was- Lynette Mercer, Tom Donovan- Nat. And Hector Sanchez. We got to the building at midnight. The administration was real uptight about the ROTC, so there was a guard posted out front. My job was just to distract him away from the north side while the others snuck around to scale the wall and break into the third story window." We see a younger Annie, kneeling beside a bicycle while a guard tries to put the chain back on it. "Now, I was supposed to meet Tom at the side door at twelve thirty so he could let me in. But this guard was like all thumbs. It took him a lot longer to fix it than I expected. So I was getting real worried that I might not make it around to the side door in time. When it happened." There is an explosion that causes Annie to turn in her memory.

Back in the present, she tells them, "Something- something went wrong."

Laura watches her. "I'm sorry. Must've been terrible."

Annie's nearly crying at the memory. "Yeah. Tom died in the blast. And now Dan." She cries. "Well, you know, I mean, that was ten years ago. Why?" she asks again.

Murphy tries to reassure her. "If there's a connection, we'll find it. Meanwhile, I want you to stick close to me, okay?"

"The others, Annie," Laura asks. "Where are they now?"

"Well, Hector wrote to say he was gonna come this weekend. Said Lynette was too. And of course I'm sure Nat's still hiding underground."


"Nat Shavers."

"Not THE Nat Shavers," Laura asks.

"Well, he wasn't THE Nat Shavers then," Annie recalls. "The legend sort of- grew after he went naked across the White House lawn on top of a VW Bug. And wrote his book- Mr. Yippee Goes to Washington."

"Right," Laura says, then turns to Murphy. "Come on," she says. "We've got some people to find." They get up.

Later, Steele enters Dan's room and looks around. He notices some books and turns on the light. Most are about ghosts and poltergeists. "Humph," he says, looking through one- until the door slams shut. He tries to open it, but it's locked. The bathroom door slams, and water begins to run. Steele starts to reach for the doorknob, and the lamp blows out. He opens the door quickly, and looks inside to find what appears to be blood flowing into the bathtub. The sink tap is also running, and more blood. Steele glances into the mirror and sees Tom Donovan's ghostly reflection there. He turns to confront the image, and the medicine cabinet blows open, sending things everywhere, startling Steele. He runs from the room in terror.

The Homecoming Queen preens, and asks Laura, "So, you're a student here now?"

"Oh, uh, yeah. Graduate studies," Laura tells her.

"Oh, really? In what course?"

"Uh, Egyptology," Laura answers.

"But we don't have an Egyptology department here, do we?" Jillian says.

"No," Laura confesses. "That's why I'll be transferring soon. It hardly pays to work for a degree at a school that can't offer it, right?" She looks across the room as Steele rushes up.

He shakes the girl's hand. "Delighted to meet you, likewise I'm sure. You will excuse us, won't you? It's a matter of grave importance. Thank you very much. Au revoir," he says, pulling Laura away as the girl laughs at his little speech. "Pack your bags, Laura. You'll love Paris this time of year. There's a small hotel on the Left Bank, and quite frankly, I can't wait 'til we get there."

"You mean you've solved the case already?" she asks.

"Um hm. Um hmm," he says nervously. He hands her the book he found. "Read on." He takes out a handkerchief and mops his face.

"Poltergeist: Fact and Fiction?" she asks.

"The Uninvited," he says. "Ray Milland, Gail Russell, Paramount, 1944."

"You're taking me to the movies again," she sighs, starting to turn away.

He grabs her arm. "The culprit was a ghost. You heard Murphy say that getting Dan's body on that flagpole was a physical impossibility. It all fits."

"Very creative," she tells him. "But it won't work. I'm not big on ghosts." She turns away again.

He follows. "Then take a stroll through Dan's room. There's something in there that's most persuasive on the subject."

"I'm sorry," she tells him, "but the wager's still on. I just don't believe in them."

He follows her again, speaking loudly. "How can you be so nar-" he lowers his voice. "How can you be so narrow minded? Spirits have stalked the earth since time immemorial. There's even a ghost in my own ancestral lineage."

"Phantom of the Cinema?" Laura asks snidely.

"He was a General at the Battle of Ashencourt," he informs her. "1415. Well, he wasn't exactly a General," he confesses. "He was sort of-"

"Pretending?" she suggests.

"Only to lure the French archers away from the English attack. When a wild arrow caught him in the-"


"Back, I'm afraid. Now he's condemned to an eternity in Purgatory. Until a member of my family can perform an act of extraordinary courage."

"And END his tortured wanderings," Laura finishes with a flourish and applause. "Are you applying for the position?"

"Very well, very well. Scoff if you like. But mark my words-"

The Dean interrupts him. "Ahh, Professor Perkins," he says, slapping a name badge onto Steele's lapel. "Good to meet you at last. Percy Whitfield, Dean of Men," he says, as Murphy comes up behind Steele. "Your chum Michaels here has been explaining the-sensitive nature of your research here on campus." Laura breaks into laughter as Steele glares at Murphy.

"Professor Perkins? My CHUM Michaels?" Murphy is warily amused by his reaction.

"I'd be only too glad to assist," Whitfield tells him. "I'm MOST anxious to discuss the project down to the last detail."

"Yes," Steele says. "Well, perhaps later we can have some cucumber sandwiches-" he tries to say as Whitfield leads him away.

"There's no time like the present."

Laura and Murphy watch, smiling. Laura points a scolding finger at him. "When I told the Dean that the great Remington Steele himself was here to solve the case, he was well, more than understanding."

"Was that really necessary?" she asks.

"Well, probably not, but you can never play it too safe with that guy. How's he doing, anyway?"

"Well, he tried to convince me Dan was killed by a ghost."

"A ghost?" They laugh. "I knew when he got desperate he'd start grabbing at straws, but THAT'S what I call desperate."

"So how about us?"

"Steady as she goes."

"I still come up with nothing on Lynette."

"But Annie's found Hector. Come on." They leave and got to the library. Wandering through the stacks, he calls, "Annie? Annie?" There's no answer. "She said she'd meet us down here somewhere," he tells Laura.

"You know, I keep getting the feeling from the way she acts that you and she were-"

"Oh, honestly, Laura. I really don't remember her, okay?"

"It must have been when you were going through one of your wild periods."

"I didn't HAVE any wild periods," he tells her as they see Annie down the way.

She waves them closer. "Hey! Down here," she tells them. "Now listen. Could you kinda- go easy. You know, I mean- Hector's pretty- weird. I mean, he's always been into conspiracies. You know? During Watergate, he was convinced that his mother was aFBI agent. But now it's--worse."

"Where is he?" Laura asks. Annie leads them down a bit and pulls out a book. Hector is across the shelves, watching warily. "Hector," Laura says, "I'm Laura Holt, this is Murphy Michaels." She tries to shake his hand.

Hector backs away. "No. No. You see, that's how the Feds get to you. A friendly handshake-the poisoned needle."

"Hector, we're here to help you. Really. We're both associates of Remington Steele. Surely you can find some assurance in his- reputation."

Hector looks uncertain. "Sure. Why not? IF you can show me his birth certificate- AND fingerprints."

"I like this guy," Murphy tells Laura.

"Hector, we're here to ask you about-"

"Ghosts," Hector finishes.

"Ghosts," Laura repeats.

"Poltergeists. Disembodied spirits. To hell with the nomenclature. The fact is, ten years ago, Donovan's dead, but last night- last night, I saw him."

"Hector," Murphy insists, "There's a logical explanation for everything."

"You call lights exploding logical?" Hector asks. "You call blood from a faucet logical? Phenomenology may not be your bag, man, but I was there."

"Murphy," Laura begins softly, "You don't suppose-"

"Don't even THINK it, Laura," he warns her.

"Right. Right. Hector, maybe you'd better tell us about that night, ten years ago."

"You see, I'm an intellectual," he begins, recalling his part in that night's events. "So what? I'm a climber, too. Socrates said scholars should be athletes. And of course he was the first revolutionary. My job, you see, was to scale the wall, open the third floor window, drop a rope down, and haul the others up. Tom said it was to be an intellectual statement for the revolution. I was up for that. I mean, Aristotle would have LOVED it. We made something happen, man. In space and time. Not just in possibility. The others went up ahead to set up the fireworks." We see a younger Hector spraying graffiti on the walls. "I was gonna spray a few slogan on the walls. You know- Utopia now and that sort of thing. Then something went wrong. Tom sent Lynnette to tell us that the fireworks were duds, that there were guards on the floor above, and that we had to get out of there, fast. We didn't even reach the van."

Suddenly, back in the present, Annie screams at the image of Tom Donovan standing there like an avenging angel. "Laura?" Murphy says.

"I know. I know," she says. "There's a logical explanation!"

Hector talks to himself. "Phenomenology. I gotta think phenomenology."

The image takes off, and Laura and Murphy follow him into a broom closet. "He came in here, Laura," Murphy insists. "He came in here! We SAW him!"

"WHERE?!" she demands to know as Annie calls frantically.

"HECTOR!" They run back to her. Annie's knocking books from the shelves frantically. "Hector!" She looks at Murphy. "I turned my back for one second. Two seconds tops! I look back and-"

"You didn't see anything?" Murphy questions.

"Nothing! Nobody!"

"Murphy." Laura points out a lone shoe lying among the books in the other aisle. "Don't say it," he tells her.

"Who needs to say it?" Annie asks.

In the plaza, Steele and the Dean are walking. "We had some trouble with our ROTC facility a few years back," the Dean tells him. "Most unfortunate. A young man was killed. As a result, security was increased."

"Ahh," Steele comments. "Certainly nothing like that at Cambridge," he says.

The Dean stops. "Oh. So you're a Cambridge man."

"UmMore or less," Steele hedges. "Yes."

"I'm curious. Just-what would you say you got from the experience?"

"In sumthat uh, Cambridge is on the Cam, and Oxford is on the Thames," Steele informs him with a smile.

The Dean is impressed. He laughs. "What aWhat an incredibly succinct way of defining their philosophical differences," he says.

"Yes, wellWho informed you of the murder?"

"Suicide, please."


"The alumni. And it was your associate Mr. Michaels who called. I imagine you must feel very lucky to have Murphy working for you."

"Oh, I'd be lost without him." He bends down to pick up a nametag, and glances at it as the Dean continues to explain.

"Anyway, I was just turning on my electric blanket when I received the call. I grabbed my Mayberry(?), took my flashlight, rushed right over, and there he was"

Steele takes the flashlight. "May I?"

"Certainly. Naturally, I informed the board of governors immediately. And the President, of course." Steele is shining the light on the ROTC building, suddenly stops as he sees a man hanging from the flagpole again. "Then we called an emergency meeting for the next morning---"

"Excuse me," Steele interrupts. "Your people wouldn't have any reason to put the body back would they?"

"Put it back?" the Dean asks, stunned.

"I was afraid so," Steele confirms, shining the light upward to draw his attention there.

"Good God," the Dean sighs. "Who could THAT be?"

Laura rushes up to them, her eyes on the body as Steele looks at her. "It's Hector Sanchez," she tells them.


The next morning, in Annie's room, Murphy is ranting. "I don't believe it! Coming from YOU of all people!" Annie is not happy with their shouting. "I mean, he'll say anything. But you!"

"I merely said we may have to extend our thinking on this case," she insists as they face each other across the room.

"To what? That Dan and Hector were killed by a ghost?"

"Look, the present theory about poltergeists is that they're some kind of freak manifestation of human guilt- the guilt of someone living."

"Laura, please," Murphy sighs.

"And since all of the victims participated in the ROTC break-in ten years ago, maybe something happened then. Something that requires them all getting back together so it can work itself out!"

"But they're not all together. Where's Nat? Where's Lynnette?"

"I don't KNOW!" she yells. "I'm only saying we can't rule out any possibilities."

"Would you PLEASE listen to yourself?!"

Annie sits up and breaks in. "Would you please listen to each OTHER? Talk about channeling your free-floating anxiety into somebody else's space. Face it. You're scared. I'm scared. I mean- a trip like this, it would take areally extended human being not to be."

There is a tap on the door, and Steele enters with a smile. "Ahh, here you all are! Murphy, Laura, and-" he pauses to take her hand and kiss it

"Annie," she supplies.

"Ah, yes, of course. Wonderful news! La guerre et fin!" he tells them.

"The war is over?" Murphy translates.

Annie, entranced by him, asks dreamily, "What war is that?"

Laura looks at Steele. "Are you suggesting-?"

"The airlines be called, the wardrobe selected, because by this time tomorrow, it's croissants on the Concorde."

Murphy isn't buying it. "Don't' tell me. You've solved the case."


Laura looks uncertain. "A ghost?"

"Don't be absurd. The murderer is of mortal flesh." He looks at her. "Speaking of which"

"You wouldn't happen to have any evidence to back that up, would you?" Murphy asks.

"The kind of evidence you slaver for, Murphy. Solid, concrete and irrefutable. I'll leave detailed notes on my modus operandi for you to study while, uh, Laura and I are absent from the office."

"You care to share the details with us?" Laura asks.

"All in good time," he assures her, still on a high. "For the moment, I've informed Dean Whitfield, and the police have put out an APB," he turns to Annie to explain. "That's a law enforcement jargon for an all points bulletin. Soon the culprit shall be safely tucked away in a cell, while we are safely tucked away in-"

Murphy's heard enough, and turns toward the door. "Laura, there IS work to be done, and I DO believe I'm going to be ill." He leaves as Steele waves happily after him. Laura laughs as well. "Not even Murphy's good humor can deprive me of this moment," Steele declares as Annie watches him, a strange look on her face.

"Well," Laura tells him, "enjoy it while you can. Those moments have a habit of running out."

"Not this time," he says, still smiling. "But, we'll see. It's your shoe leather to waste as you see fit."

"Thanks," she says, and leaves.

Annie comes over to him. "You must be Remington Steele."

"Yes. I really believe I am," he tells her, still quite pleased with himself.

"Did you know that you radiate a very powerful energy?"

"One hears rumors."

"Wow," she sighs. "I could really use some of that. Would you mind?"

"Would I mind what?" he asked, uncertain.

"A quick transfer of auras through the total union of our bodies and spirits."

"Well, unfortunately, I have to go to Paris shortly."

"Well, bummer. So, did you really find out who killed Dan and Hector?"

He puts a hand on her arm. "OH, how thoughtless of me. You must be distraught. Let me reassure you." He reaches into his pocket. "I discovered this name tag at the scene of the crime," he tells her, looking through all of his pockets before locating it. "Revealing the name of our killer." He holds it up for her to read.

"Tom Donovan?"

"Um hmm. Tom Donovan."

"He's been dead for ten years," she tells him.

"Dead? Are you sure?" She thinks for a second, then nods. He points toward the door that Laura and Murphy went through. "Do THEY know that?"

Downstairs, Laura comes around a corner and sees a man trying to break into her car. She finds an empty soda bottle in a trash can, and hides, watching as he gets the car open and starts looking through the glove box. She rushes across the street and shoves the bottle into his back. "You so much as breath funny and I'll use this, you understand?"

"Please, don't shoot. Don't-"

"Don't turn around," she tells him. "Put your hands where I can see them."

"Okay, Okay."

"Who are you?" she asks, looking inside his pocket for identification.

"Charles Ryder," he says.

"I want to know why you're breaking into my car, and I want to know now."

"Because before I became Charles Ryder, I was Nat Shavers."

"Nat Shavers," Laura says with a frown. "Not-"

In an outdoor café, he says, "THE Nat Shavers," he tells her, Murphy and Annie.

"But Nat," Annie whines. "All that great hair. What happened?"

"I SOLD it," he tells her. "What do you think happened? Went the way of the sit-in, the peace sign and Janis Joplin." He shakes his head. "Believe me, the life of an underground fugitive may read great, but it's murder on a peptic ulcer," he tells them as he pops an antacid. "By '75, I knew more Federal agents than Hoover did."

"But it was rumored you'd hooked up with the international underground," Laura tells him. "Reports of you in Munich, Belfast, Rome."

"You have any idea what it costs to get to Italy? Even then? And the times I could hook up with some contact, all they wanted me for was to smuggle them stereos and blue jeans. All right, I liked being a legend. Who wouldn't? But come on. You can't eat press clippings, you know?"

"So you changed your name," Murphy tells him, "and dropped back in."

"Hey, it was painfully easy. You want to go unnoticed in this society, you just act productive."

"And- now?" Annie asks.

"I sell time for an ad agency in San Fernando," he tells her, and she looks sad. "My wife makes me write all her PTA speeches. My kids think Hell no, we won't go is what you say at bedtime. I thought it might be fun to ride up here, stay in the background and see what's become of us. But after what happened in Dan's room-"

Laura and Murphy are all attention. "Don't tell me you saw Donovan's ghost too," Murphy asks.

"Hey, I don't know what I saw," Nat tells him. "But whatever it is, it's got me poppin tranquilizers like they were peanuts."

"What do you remember the night you broke into the ROTC building?"

"I remember I planned my moves out very carefully. I went over it again and again in my mind so I could do it almost automatically. Once inside, we split up on the third floor. Tom and Lynnette when up to the roof-and I hustled myself into the ROTC commander's office, looking for some embarrassing documents we could publish in the underground paper. Thought I'd found something- when Tom sent Lynnette down to me. She told me that the bomb was nearly set, but that the campus security was onto us, and were already in the building, so we had to get the hell out of there. I thought Tom'd be right behind us, but-" the building explodes again.

In the present, Nat finishes, "He wasn't."

"A bomb?" Laura questions. "But I thought Tom was using fireworks."

"He just said that to get Annie, Dan, and Hector to go along with it," Nat explains. "The fact is, he wanted to blow the roof right off the building."

"No," Annie protests.

"Sorry, Annie. It wasn't supposed to happen like that. But according to my definition of reality, this shouldn't be happening either."

Murphy gets up, taking his arm. "Nat, come with me."

"Where are we going?"

"You're going to introduce me to this ghost," Murphy tells him.

Later, after dark, Steele enters Dan's apartment again, and this time notices wires running beneath the carpet under the bathroom door. He pushes open the door to find Murphy unscrewing the medicine cabinet from the wall.

"Well, well, well," Murphy says. "I thought you'd be on your way to Paris by now," he taunts.

"Well, the murderer appeared to be more elusive than I first anticipated." He points to the man bending over the tub working. "Who's-?"

"That's Nat Shavers," Murphy informs him.

"THE Nat Shavers?" Nat nods sickly.

"And here's your ghost," Murphy tells Steele, indicating something in the medicine cabinet. "The whole room was rigged. I don't know where it was set off, but there's a master switch somewhere."

Steele examines the hole. "Hmm. I knew I kept you on the payroll for a good reason."

Murphy glances at him. Steele finds something and picks it up. "What's that?"

"A clue, no doubt."

"Let me see-" Murphy begins, but Steele closes his hand over the item.

"Find your own evidence," he warns, and Murphy laughs. "This isn't over yet."

Laura and Annie are having tea. "No," Laura tells her. "I've never been to Nepal."

"I hitch hiked, there," Annie tells her. "From Kansas City."

"But isn't there a- a"

"Ocean," she nods. "I took a freighter. You know, I saw the most amazing tattoos on that trip. Wow."

"You really get around, don't you?"

"Just since college. Not that St. Amelia's School for Girls wasn't a good place to get started. You know, everything that happened to me those four years was trying tell me something. And I listened. Now, I know it was just a phase for most, but I figured, what do I have to loose, really? So I let Lou Andreas introduce me to my body. I gave peace a real chance. I tried everything that looked interesting."

"And?" Laura prompts with a smile.

"And I still haven't run out of things yet." They laugh. "And you?"

"Oh, I was just finishing high school then," she begins, only to stop as they hear a noise in the other room. Laura puts a finger to her lips to signal Annie to be quiet, and then opens the door. A black clad figure rushes out, pushing Laura to the ground, and takes off out the door. Laura and then Annie follow.

Outside, as she passes the cut out of the homecoming queen, Laura sees Steele, Murphy and Nat walking through the plaza. "Stop him!" she yells, and they all give chase. The mystery person vanishes around the kiosk, and they converge there.

"Let's split up," Steele tells them. "Quick." He goes around one side of the kiosk and asks, "Laura, did you get a good look at him?" There's no answer, so he starts around the kiosk again. "Laura?" he calls. "Laura!"

Murphy, Nat and Annie return, with Murphy calling, "Laura! Steele!" He runs his hand through his hair. "I must really be scared."

"Why?" Annie asks.

"I'm actually calling for HIM!" he declares, taking off again and they follow.

Inside the kiosk, Laura is waiting for Steele. "Laura?"

"Keep coming. I'm right below you. Is Murphy behind you?" she asks as he joins her below the street.

"I don't think so."

"I noticed one of the panels on that kiosk was off just a little bit, but it snapped shut after I got in. How'd you find it?"

"The Third Man," he explains. "London Films. 1949. Orson Welles disappeared in the sewers of Vienna through something very much like it." They look up and down the dark tunnel.

"There must be a whole network of them underneath the campus," Laura surmises.

"Yeah. If I was a ghost, it could be rather effective, using these to make a sudden appearance."

"There's probably a passageway that leads up into the ROTC building."

"Yes. No need to tamper with locks, alarms, or even guards." They come upon a crawlway.

"After you," she says.

"You won't regret giving me a head start?"

She smiles. "I'll risk it."

"Yeah. Okay." They start down the passage, suddenly Steele's trousers catch on something. "Oh, damn," he sighs.

"What's wrong?"

"I'm stuck," he tells her.

"Hold still. Hold still, I'll give you a hand," she says. He's on his side, and she slides up beside him. The passageway is barely big enough for the two of them. "Uh, put your arms around me," she says.

"How long I've waited for you to say that," he sighs.

"Just do it." He does, and she reaches behind him to try and free him. In the process, she pulls herself closer to him. "I think I've got it," she tells him.

"So long as we seem to be tete a tete," he remarks, "what say we cancel our bet and simply award one another the prizes?"

"You mean you'd willingly tell me one year of your life?"

"For a weekend with you? Gladly."

She smiles. "An interesting offer. But I've so enjoyed the competition."

"Has it really been one for you?"

"More than I expected," she admits. "You were the first to find the ghost."

"Ah. Well, that alone ought to be worth- something," he decides, giving her a kiss. "What else have I got right?"

"I'm not sure it would be- safe for me to say right now," she tells him kissing him. There's a noise down the way, and Laura looks in that direction, a little out of breath. "There's someone up ahead there."

He looks disappointed. "There's always someone up ahead. I say let them make their own bets," he says, starting to kiss her again.

But Laura says, "Come on," and Steele groans in frustration as they move forward, out of the tunnel. He uses his lighter to see, and someone takes a shot at them. Three shots, actually, and they drop to the floor as their attacker runs off. "I was never crazy about that lighter myself," Laura comments as they get up to follow.

Steele and Laura climb a ladder and find themselves in a small room. A girl opens the curtain over the doorway, revealing a dressing room as she screams and runs back to her friends, covering her scantily clad body. "Did someone come through here?" Steele asks

They shake their heads. "Are you sure?" Laura asks. "We must have taken a wrong turn," Laura tells him, and turns around.

"That's one way of looking at it, I suppose," Steele comments, then turns to follow her, but not before telling the girls, "As you were, ladies. Yes."

Down in the tunnel, they hear someone approaching and hide. The person appears, but gets away, only to fall down. Steele helps the woman up. "Well, well, what have we here?"

Laura looks at her as she puts on her glasses. "Lynnette Mercer."

"Come on."

Back in Annie's room, Lynnette tells her story. "I left the country right after graduation. Trying to get as far away as I could. I finally ended up in a Hindu Kush. Living with the cors coutures (sp). They had a wisdom I'd never encountered before. I thought I'd renewed myself. But it was time for me to come home. To test myself. To see if I could live with the past. I wired some friends for airfare and returned several months ago."

Laura looks frustrated. "Perhaps YOU'D better tell us about what happened that night."

Lynnette begins to remember. "It happened after Nat left us. Tom had the explosives with him. He and I were supposed to go up on the roof and get them ready with an automatic timer. Instead, Tom took me into one of the offices. And I realized he'd brought a lot more explosives than what we had talked about. But before I could even ask, he began telling me what he meant to do. Tom had set them up. Annie, Hector and Nat. He was gonna set off a bomb inside the building and make them martyrs to the revolution. I couldn't believe how stupid I had been. I loved him. I followed him. I trusted him. But I hadn't noticed that he had become more fanatic with each new adventure. I thought about running to warn the others, but they all worshipped him so, I was afraid they wouldn't even believe me." Lynnette picked up a lamp as Tom worked. "And I knew, even if he didn't succeed that night, he would have tried again. Another building, another set of victims to his personal cause." She hit Tom, knocking him unconscious over the explosives. "I reset the timer for five minutes, and ran out of the room. I told the others that campus security was in the building and that Tom wanted all of us out. It was as simple as that."

In the present as Steele accuses, "And so, obsessed with your guilt, you returned to this country and proceeded to terrify and punish the people who caused you to murder the man you loved."

"What are you talking about?" Lynnette asks.

"Dan. Hector. And the apparition you assumed to kill them."

"I didn't kill Dan and Hector," she insists.

"I suppose next you'll be saying you didn't take a shot at Miss Holt and me, either."

"That's right. I didn't."

"Then what were you doing in the tunnels?" he questions.

"Hiding. When I arrived here and heard that Dan had been killed, I thought the killer must really have been after me. Tom told me about the tunnels when he and his kid sister discovered them when she came for a visit. So I went down there, hoping I could find out who it was before they found me."

Steele looks at her. "There's a hole in your story somewhere. There has to be." He looks at Laura. "Miss Holt? If you would kindly do the honors?"

"There's no hole," Laura tells him, causing him to look at her in surprise. "Before now, no one knew what she had done to Tom. So she'd have no motive for killing them."

"Then who's the murderer?" he asks as Murphy grins at his confusion.

"I don't know."

Steele turns away, putting a hand in his pocket. He finds the earring he found in Dan's room, then looks at Lynnette again. "These courish coutures you joined," he says. "Austere people?"

"Very," she confirms. "They live in the mountains of Afghanistan."

"And I suppose you have to give up all worldly possessions. Jewelry, that kind of thing."

"Why would I want to wear ridiculous, sexist ornamentation?" she asks.

"Why indeed. Pity."

"What was that?" Laura asks.

"I said-" he stops and smiles at her. "Paris seems a long way off at the moment."

The next day, Steele is walking through the campus when he hears two French students speaking in that language. He pauses by the cutout of Jillian and studies it as he listens to them talk.

Murphy and Laura are going over Annie's photo album again. Laura's clearly frustrated. "It MUST be here," she insists. "We just can't see it. Someone with a motive, access to everything." Suddenly she says, "Murphy, have a look at this." She points to the photo of Tom and his kid sister.

Steele is still at the cutout and notices something. He pulls the earring out and finds that it's the same one as she's wearing in the cutout. He takes off.

Laura and Murphy get to the dressing room, and find Jillian's. Inside, they find an army jacket. "This is Tom Donovan's jacket," Laura says. She takes the bag from the shelf.

"I don't get it," Murphy tells her.

Inside the bag is the same photo of Tom and his sister that Annie has. "Why would she have the same picture?" She looks deeper and finds a wig and rubber mask of Tom's face. "She's his sister!" Laura tells Murphy.

In the plaza, the Dean is on the stage, along with Jillian and others. "And then I'll make a few remarks, there'll be applause, applause, applause, and then," he says, picking up a tiara, "I will crown our homecoming queen." She stoops so he can put the crown on her head.

Steele gets to the stage area at the same moment as Laura and Murphy. "IT'S HER!" they all yell, and keep running.

Jillian sees them coming and pushes the dean out of the way, and tries to make a run for it. Steele and Laura grab her, and they all fall into the bin of balloons that are to be released. Steele sits up. "The earring," he says.

"His sister," Laura tells him.

"His sister?"

"Not just his sister," Jillian says, in tears, "Tom practically raised me when my parents split up. He was EVERYTHING I had! The world! They murdered him!"

"So you decided to return the favor," Laura suggests.

"I'm sorry I didn't get them all," she says.

"Spoken like a true ghost," Steele says, rising. "Come on."


Before a roaring fire in Steele's apartment, Laura and Steele sit on the floor, having some wine. "You could say she really was his ghost. Tom's original plan was to see them all killed," Laura tells him. "Without knowing it, she was after the same thing."

"Changed her name, went to the same school, and waited for their reunion to have her due. How do you suppose a delicate creature like that managed to drag all those bodies around?" Steele wonders.

"I have no idea. But you know what they say about a woman obsessed."

"Hell hath no fury like," he stops. "No. That's a woman scorned, isn't it?" Laura laughs. "Or a woman defeated, perhaps?" he suggests, glancing at her out of the corner of his eyes.

"Defeated? Surely you're not suggesting-," Laura begins.

"As I reconstruct the events in my mind, I was the first to actually identify the murderer," he reminds her.

"Ah, but we found her at the same time, thus making our little wager-."

"A draw?"

"Fraid so."

"Tsk, tsk, tsk," he says, moving closer. "And I knew you had your heart set on learning a bit of my colourful past. Not to mention a weekend in Paris."

"Some other time, perhaps?"

"Yes. But, we worked so diligently. So tirelessly. Two sleuths, hurling themselves into the unknown, desperately seeking to find the truth behind a baffling mystery-," he's saying, moving closer and closer.

"Are you building up to something?" Laura asks.

"A compromise. Six months of my life- for one night of yours." He moves in, intending to kiss her, but the light behind them blows out, darkening the room.

"Your ancestral ghost?" Laura questions.

Steele looks thoughtful. "If it is," he looks upward and winks, "Good show, old boy." He kisses Laura, who returns the embrace.

The End