A rider on a white horse is seen cantering through the woods. The man leads the horse by the stables and then, dismounted, into the stalls, "Good boy," he tells the horse.
"Dr Ridley?" asks a moustached man.
"For being selected one of the five most *eligible* bachelors in Los Angeles."
"How did you hear about that? It's not meant to be announced until this afternoon." The rider turns to his horse and the moustached man raises a hooked blade and stabs the man in the back of the neck several times.
Remington and Laura arrive in the Auburn at a gate to a country estate.
"Remington Steele, Laura Holt," announces Remington.
The guard looks at his list. "Remington Steele ... and guest". Laura is not impressed as the guard continues, "The clubhouse is up the hill, and to your left."
"And guest," says Laura as they continue up the drive, "Well, that certainly is an improvement usually when I'm with you, its 'unidentified woman' ".
"Ah now Laura, petulance is uncalled for. After all, you created Remington Steele to stand in the limelight, while you worked behind the scenes in mole-like anonymity." He parks the car.
"And I succeeded admirably. Especially in the `mole-like anonymity' department." A young woman in a short skirt and blouse opens Remington's car door but not Laura's.
Laura opens her door and follows Remington who is ahead on the path. He turns to hurry her along, "Come on, Miss Holt," as he stops and cleans his shoes on the back of his trouser leg. They enter a pool area surrounded by bikini-clad young women. "Ah, here we are, eh?"
"I wish you'd stop being so damned effusive."
"Oh Laura, this wasn't my idea. I mean, can I help it if I'm chosen as one of the five most eligible bachelors in Los Angeles?" He takes a takes a glass of champagne from a passing waiter, "Thank you so much."
"Quite an accomplishment. Honoured for being unable to make a commitment."
"Oh, I'm only going through with this to generate some publicity for the agency. I mean, do you think I enjoy this shallow adulation, being flung into the world of hot tubs and saunas, surrounded by women, subjected to casual, meaningless sex?" He turns from surveying the pool area back to Laura. "How do I look, hey?"
Laura doesn't answer but gives him a 'look' and continues walking.
Inside an auditorium, a banner reading, "Upbeat Magazine welcomes LA's five most eligible bachelors", above the podium.
An attractive woman sees Remington and introduces herself, "Mr Steele, Mariah Taylor, editor of 'Upbeat' magazine. It was my delightful duty to personally select all the finalists." Laura is unimpressed with the woman's attention to Remington, who is lapping it up.
"Ah Miss Taylor, I'm flattered and humbled by this, this unique honour."
"Your pictures don't do you justice."
"Oh," Remington holds his drink up and sounds suitably embarrassed.
"Mr Steele always looks better under fluorescent," says Laura., still not warming to the occasion.
"May I present my associate, Laura Holt."
"A distinct pleasure," says Mariah, before taking Remington by the arm and in a husky voice, looking up to him, "I need you."
Remington gladly walks with Mariah but calls back to Laura, "Don't go away, Miss Holt."
"I'm rooted to the spot, Mr Steele," replies Laura.
Mariah leads Steele to a curtain, behind which three other men stand. "Would you be so kind to nestle behind these curtains. I want to give them all the full impact of your introduction."
"Oh certainly, yes," he gives an air-kiss to her retreating figure.
Mariah walks to the podium and calls out, "Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention please," she brushes past Laura, bumping her out the way. "Could you please all find a seat. Thank you."
Laura is jostled but finds her way to a seat but a woman pushes past and sits down. She is forced to stand at the back of the hall as Mariah continues.
"Now that you've all sampled the appetizers I think it's time that you *feasted* on the main course. Ladies, feel free to drool, and men, don't be ashamed of feeling inadequate. Bachelor number one, Chip Carstairs." A confident young man in a three piece suit saunters down to the podium, "A stockbroker, Chip enjoys volleyball on the beach and long walks in the rain. He lists his favorite books as 'The Money Game' and 'The Prophet'."
Bachelor number two. Arnold Baskins." A confidant, casually dressed man walks to the podium. "An attorney, Arnold loves sushi for two and Ingmar Bergman films. Arnold's favourite books are 'Winning through intimidation' and 'The Prophet'."
And now we have bachelor number three, Butch Moran." A very confident man walks to the podium acknowledging the cheers from the crowd. "I'm sure we're all familiar with Butch, the star forward of our LA Owls hockey team. Besides his rugged good looks, Butch is gifted with a fine sense of humour. His favourite reading material is 'Sports Illustrated' and 'The Prophet'."
And now if you will, please welcome bachelor number four, Remington Steele. A private investigator, Remington tells us he loves old movies, especially those concerned with murder, mystery and mayhem. The ideal lady for him is one that he can work with as well as play with," Remington looks to Laura with a wry smile who acknowledges him with a coy look as she grabs her nose. "He's never read 'The Prophet' but he's promised to run out and buy a copy. Don't bother Remington. I have one, right beside my bed."
Our fifth bachelor, Dr Harold Ridley, noted plastic surgeon is unable to join us at this time. No doubt dispatched on an urgent medical matter. And there you have it ladies and gentlemen, the most eligible bachelors in Los Angeles courtesy of 'Upbeat' magazine." Everyone stands and Laura is knocked by one of the waitresses.
The moustached man who killed Dr Ridley is seen reconnecting wires in the fuse box for the "spa". As he connects the last wire it sparks.
Back in the auditorium, Mariah calls for order. "Alright boys and girls, that's enough for now. You'll get plenty of opportunities as the day wears on because we've planned an action packed agenda crammed with tennis, golf, swimming, sauna and hot tub. But these activities wouldn't be very meaningful without someone to share them with," Mariah turns to the bachelors, "and 'Upbeat' magazine wants this to be one of the most meaningful days of your lives." She turns back to the crowd. "So we've taken the liberty of selecting companions for our fortunate four. Each of them chosen for their unique gifts of beauty, poise and intelligence. And each, incidentally, members of the famous LA Owls' cheerleaders - the Owlets! Ladies!"
Laura bows her head in her hand as four young women 'bounce' down the aisle. Mariah instructs, "Grab your guys girls and let's get to it."
A young blonde woman wearing a tennis skirt and pink top grabs an appreciative looking Remington, "Hi, I'm Millicent Fairbush."
"Hmm. Of course you are," replies Remington and back down the aisle. They meet Laura who is standing, being bumped by the crowd, waiting for him. Steele walks past her muttering, "Dreadful bore" as Laura continues to be bumped.
By the pool, the four bachelors are lead by their cheerleader escorts through a swarm of reporters and photographers.
Laura is on the sidelines and is asked by the moustached man, "Aren't you joining the hedonistic horde?"
"I'm sure they won't miss me," replies Laura.
"You don't seem to be in the spirit of these festivities."
"Well, watching grown men act like a bunch of adolescent schoolboys isn't my idea of a stimulating afternoon."
"Although I'm sure it sells magazines. All of us liberated ladies fighting for a copy so we can ogle the bachelors and dream about entrapping one of them."
"Don't you have those fantasies?"
Laura laughs and reluctantly admits, "Sometimes." They walk through the crowd as she asks, "Are you connected with any of this?"
"In a way, yes."
"Work for 'Upbeat' magazine?"
"Not really." They find two chairs by the spa and sit down. "Unfortunately, I publish it." He holds out his hand, "Victor Janoff."
Laura takes his hand. "Laura Holt. If the foot protruding from my mouth is a size six, it's mine."
"If it's any consolation to you Miss Holt, I totally agree. This entire bachelor campaign is merely a tawdry excuse to promote sales."
Laura smiles politely and goes to dip her toe in the bubbling spa.
Janoff appears nervous as he stops her, "Ah, I wouldn't do that if I were you. The water reaches over a hundred degrees. If you're not prepared for it, it can give you quite a - jolt."
She smiles and removes her toe from danger, "Thanks for the warning."
Janoff stands and then takes Laura's hand, "I'm sure our paths will cross again." He kisses her hand.
On a tennis court Millicent is returning a number of shots. We then see a bored Remington standing, now wearing a tracksuit, and holding a glass of champagne by an automatic tennis ball shooter. Mariah walks onto the court with a group of reporters and photographers, "Could we get one of *you* hitting the ball Mr Steele?"
"Oh yes, of course. Yes" He hands Mariah the glass and jumps the net to take the racquet from Millicent. Mariah feeds the tennis balls into the machine and calls out encouragement to Steele, "Magnificent form Mr Steele." She stops the machine and he stands with his arm around Millicent. "Okay Millicent, he's just whipped Jimmy Connors six-love. Give him a great, big victory kiss."
Millicent doesn't need to be told twice and Remington appears to enjoy the kiss. When it ends he tells her, "Such enthusiasm is to be commended Miss Fairbush. Perhaps, ah, even rewarded."
Mariah calls out, "Okay everyone, onto the hot-tub."
Mariah is standing by the diving board calling out to Butch, "Butch, please,". He ignores her and leaps off the diving-board and bombs into the swimming pool before he swims the length as Mariah calls out, "You're supposed to be in the hot-tub! We mustn't keep the photographers waiting!"
Laura is settled in a deck-lounge by the pool watching Butch's antics. She is sipping champagne as she asks Arnold Baskins, bachelor number two, "Is that the fine sense of humour Miss Taylor was talking about?" She now seems to be enjoying the day with an amused air.
"It's just the way he plays hockey. All brawn, no brains," replies Arnold before moving off with his bikini'd escort.
Remington walks up, apparently in bathers but covered by a dressing gown. Laura is amused at his discomfort, "Oh Mr Steele, what a hairy chest you have. So macho, so manly."
"Laura, I find this as distasteful and degrading as you do."
Millicent appears wearing a bikini, "Yoo hoo, Mr Steele."
"Hello, Millicent," he seems reluctant to talk to her.
"Are you ready to try the hot tub experience?"
Laura looks at him, "I know. It's a dirty job, but somebody's got to do it." She holds out her empty champagne glass in a toasting motion.
Mariah has now walked around from the other side of the pool to be near them, and Butch, she says, "Last call Butch."
"Ah Miss Taylor, I'd be happy to take Mr Moran's place. In fact, I'd consider it a blessing. Anything to speed this up." He walks away from Laura towards the spa.
Mariah is pleased and calls out to Butch, "You have lost your turn Butch."
Butch is not happy, "No!" He jumps out of the pool, leaping over Laura in the lounge, spraying her with water. He pushes past Steele and jumps into the spa, "Last one in is a rotten egg!" He lands in the pool and is electrocuted.
Laura rushes up to Steele who turns to look at her and then at Butch.
In Steele's office, Remington is seating behind his desk and Laura is standing in front of it as Mariah talks. "It's so senseless. So tragic. Nothing like this has ever happened to 'Upbeat' magazine."
"When did you first learn of Dr Ridley's death Miss Taylor?" asks Remington.
"Shortly before the ceremonies. His office called, said he'd been involved in a riding accident. Kicked to death by his horse. Then they called back and said, "No". All signs pointed to murder."
"Why didn't you say something?"
"I didn't want to dampen the festivities. Besides, there was nothing any of us could do for poor Dr Ridley. Or now Butch."
"You said you personally selected the finalists Miss Taylor, was there any connection between them?" asks Laura.
"Well, their paths crossed occasionally. These type of men tend to travel in the same circles. All that is except for Mr Steele. The circles he travels in are quite obscure." Laura looks wary. "Frankly, that's one of the reasons why I picked you," continues Mariah, looking at Remington, "That element of mystery was quite alluring."
Laura is guarded, "Yes, the mystery of Mr Steele has intrigued a great many ... people."
Remington isn't sure of the direction of the conversation, "Ladies, can we get back to the case?"
"You might be the case."
"Are you saying that someone killed these men because they're bachelors. Is that it?"
"At the moment it's the only link have."
"Dear Lord. What will that do to our photo session," Laura rolls her eyes at Mariah's misplaced sense of concern, "You're supposed to be cooking dinner for your companion tonight. 'Canard van rouge' as I recall.
"Well, under the circumstance I think that's out of the question," replies Steele, not looking too upset.
"On the contrary," says Laura, "If you're the target then you'll be 'Johnny-on-the-spot'."
Remington isn't impressed, "Oh really, and what will you be doing while I'm playing clay pigeon over my dead duck, hey?"
"Checking out the two remaining bachelors. Perhaps they can provide us with a more tangible motive than *misogamy*."
"Mr Steele," Mariah takes his arm, "You're so very, very brave. Now could we go over some of the details." They turn to leave the office and an unimpressed Laura, who follows them. "For instance, what colour are your walls, I wouldn't want Millicent that would make her blend into the background."
"Well, I'm sure Millicent would stand out in anything she wore." Remington turns back to Laura, "Call me if something turns up will you?" and then proceeds to be lead from the office by a caring, concerned Mariah.
Laura tells him with intent in her voice, "You'll here from me Mr Steele. *Count* on it."
Mildred walks from her desk carrying a bowl of flowers and calls out, "Goodnight Mr Steele."
The reception door closes can Mildred puts the flowers down, points to the empty doorway and says to Laura, "That's a barracuda."
"Looking for a hot lunch," agrees Laura.
"Aren't you doing anything about it?"
"Unfortunately, there's a case to pursue."
"Not for me." Mildred walks to her desk and picks up her jacket and handbag.
"Where are you going?"
"I think Mr Steele needs a little help with his 'Canard van rouge'."
Mildred is on a mission, "Don't worry Miss Holt. The only thing that gets sampled tonight is the duck."
Janoff is waiting in a car outside an apartment block. Inside one of the units the door bell chimes and Chip Carstairs answers the door. It is Laura.
"Hello there," says Chip.
"I'm Laura Holt, Mr Carstairs," she holds out her hand to shake his but he puts his arm around her shoulders.
"Call me Chip. Have you eaten?"
"Neither have I."
They walk into a dining area with the low-set table laid out. "Am I interrupting anything?" asks Laura.
"Oh, this is for the picture session you know. 'Upbeat' magazine. Have a look at this." He lifts the lid from a cooking tray. "Lemon chicken. I'll just ah," he ignites a cigarette lighter, " warm it up a little."
"I'm beginning to see why they chose you for 'Upbeat' magazine."
"Women are attracted to me Laura because," he takes her hand, "I understand them." He raises her hand to his lips but Laura snatches her hand from his before he kisses it
"Did you know Dr. Ridley, or Butch Moran?" She pointedly places her other hand over the one Chip tried to kiss.
"Terrible about Butch huh? What a way to go" He walks to the stereo and turns on and Vivaldi's 'Spring allegro' from the 'The four seasons' starts. "The guy who really has to be in mourning is Victor Janoff." Chip dims the lights and Laura rolls her eyes.
"The publisher of 'Upbeat' magazine?"
"Let's have some wine. It's bottled in small quantities by a private vintner in Napa." He puts his arm around Laura's waist and walks her to the low-set table. "I only open it on ... very ... special ... occasions."
He kneels by the table and, with his hand on Laura's arm, she follows suit but as he leans in to kiss her she folds arms and asks, "Why would Butch Moran's death affect Victor Janoff?"
Chip knows he struck out until he answers her questions. He sighs and pours the wine, "Janoff owns the LA Owls."
"Listen. What do you hear?" he hands her a glass of wine.
"Spring. Rebirth. The newness of life. The Earth. Thawing. And blossoming." He places his hand on her hair and gently cups the side of her face. "You're a very beautiful woman Laura." He starts to lean in again for a kiss.
"I'm here on a case Mr Carstairs."
"Call me ... Chip."
His face is just inches away from Laura's. She brings up her glass and drinks, forcing him to move back. "Talk to me about Victor Janoff."
Chip stands and walks to the cooking tray, "A brokerage firm I worked for handled his stock when he went public. Do ah, do you like capers?" he asks picking up a small plate."
"Neither do I," Chip places the small plate back down again.
"Are you able to talk and cook at the same time?"
He ignores Laura's barb and starts to sprinkle condiments onto his lemon chicken dish, "I got a peak at Janoff's financial report. No matter what you've read, he's skating on thin ice. Some little, ah, cracked pepper?"
"Butch Moran was the only real asset he had. He *was* the franchise. Without him, it's over and out." Chip brings the serving dish to the low-set table.
"Hardly a motive for murder."
"Who said it was?" He picks up a pair of chopsticks and picks up a piece of food. "Here, wrap your tongue around this. It'll tingle your taste buds."
"I'm not particularly interested in having my taste buds tingled. Thank you."
"After all the trouble I've gone to? Believe me. One bite, and you're in heaven."
Chip slowly places the strip of food in his mouth and starts to chew. His face suddenly contorts and he starts to choke. Laura pats him on the back but to no avail.
"Oh goodness, are you alright? You know-" Laura starts but stops as Chip falls face first into the serving dish.
Laura feels for a pulse but there is none and she looks in horror at the food.
At Remington's apartment, he enters the dining area from his kitchen carrying a tray of food. He is closely followed by Mildred.
"Ah voila. There we go," he says as he places the tray in front of Millicent who is seated at the table. Mariah and a photographer are standing by the table.
"Oh wonderful. Shoot the flames Jimmy," instructs Mariah as Millicent starts to eat. "Ah, you don't have to eat it Millicent. People don't look good with food in their mouth." She then instructs Steele, "Just make like you're feeding her please."
"Do you know how the tradition of the host taking the first sip of wine came about? It began with the Borgias."
"Oh, I've eaten there," Millicent comments causing Mildred to laugh into her drink.
"Ah, these Borgias lived in the fifteenth century," informs Mariah.
"Oh," Millicent seems disappointed.
"They poisoned anybody who stood in their way. So that whenever anybody shared a meal with them they insisted that one of the Borgias take the first sip or the first bite, to ah, prove that it wasn't poisoned. And in their honor." Steele takes a bite of the food. "Mmhn."
"Well?" asks Millicent.
Steele pats his mouth with his napkin, "I'll think I'll live."
Millicent laughs and claps as Mariah says to Jimmy, "Alright, let's pack it in. We still have Arnold Baskin to shoot."
Mildred quite happily responds, "Oh good, I'll let you out."
Mariah stops on her way out, "Oh, call me sometime. I'll read you selected passages from 'The Prophet'". She blows Remington a kiss, and glares at Mildred who is imitating the kiss.
Meanwhile, Millicent tells Steele, "I hope you don't think I'm piggy, but I would love to devour your duck."
Steele looks unsure but before he can respond Mildred walks back in, "Here's your wrap, honey," she places Millicent's coat around her shoulders and the strap of her bag around her neck before tugging on it to make Millicent stand, "Sorry you have to rush."
Millicent resists and starts to choke, "But I haven't eaten yet."
"I'll pack you a doggy bag," says a no-nonsense Mildred picking up Millicent's place and walking into the kitchen.
"Mildred please. Miss Fairbush is our guest," Remington is not happy.
"Maybe a glass of wine?" asks Millicent.
Mildred starts to respond but Remington stands and pulls out her chair from the table and pointedly says, "Ah, perhaps the living room will be *less* crowded. This way Millicent." Mildred glares and taps the doorway before walking into the kitchen.
"Does she live in?" asks Millicent, rubbing her throat.
"Seems that way doesn't it?" replies Steele seating Millicent on the couch next to him.
Mildred walks into the living room and hands Millicent a container, "Okay, here you go honey. Take it home with you."
"Thank you Mildred. You have an extraordinary sense of presence. You can leave now with a sense of achievement," Steele says pointedly.
"I have dishes to do," counters Mildred.
"They can wait until morning."
"They might attract bugs." She glares at Millicent, "And I never leave anything around that can cause problems."
Mildred slowly walks into the kitchen as Steele undoes his tie, "Tragic turn of events today, wouldn't you say?"
"Oh, you mean Butchie getting fried?" asks Millicent.
"I suppose that's as concise a way of putting it as any."
"Poor Butchie. He had some great moves. And he wasn't a bad hockey player either."
"I take it you were acquainted with Mr Moran."
"Oh sure, I was acquainted with the whole starting line-up. That's one of the great things about being an Owlet."
"A cheerleader for the Owls' hockey team."
"I see. Then you weren't acquainted with the other bachelors were you?"
"Not yet. But there's one I'd like to get to know better," she wiggles and moves in close to Remington."
Just then Mildred enters the living room and sits on the edge of the armchair. "So, don't you feel a little like a slut parading around in skimpy costumes in front of all those people?"
"Mildred!" says Remington standing.
"Just trying to make conversation, boss," says Mildred, all innocent.
Mildred starts to sit on the space that Steele has left vacant on the couch but he grabs her hand and pulls hr back up. "Would you excuse us for a moment. Miss Krebs and I have to confer on dessert. Miss Krebs!" He drags her by the hand into the kitchen. "Mince meat pie wasn't it?" In the kitchen he demands, "Just what do you think you're doing?"
"I have just two words for you boss."
"I hope they're 'good night'."
"Ah, so that's it."
"She cares for you."
"And I care for her."
"Then what are you cavorting around with that *bimbo* for?"
"Oh, so, you're trying to protect me from betraying her are you?. Well let me tell you about my relationship with Miss Holt. On second thought, let me not tell you."
"I know all I need to know."
"Oh really? Well, did you know that Miss Holt and I are merely friends?"
"Friends?" Mildred doesn't believe him.
"Well, more than friends."
"How much more?"
"Not that much."
"Well, what kind of relationship is it?"
"The kind that's- filled with promise but otherwise unfulfilled."
Mildred softens, "I love you Mr Steele. And I love Miss Holt. I just don't want to see either one of you get hurt."
Steele softens too but he's still annoyed. "An admirable intent Mildred but standing guard over me isn't the way to accomplish that. Whatever course our relationship takes must be set by Laura and me." He taps the kitchen bench to emphasis his point.
"Should I apologizes to the bimbo?"
"Finish the dishes. Don't want to attract bugs, do we?" He gives her a quick kiss on the cheek and she smiles as he leaves.
In the living room Steele sees Millicent preparing to leave. "Leaving so soon?" he asks.
"Well it's getting late and I have pom-pom practice tomorrow."
"Oh. Well at least let me drive you home."
"I was counting on it."
"Good." She giggles as he takes her to the door, calling out, "Be back shortly Mildred. I'll leave a light on in the window."
Steele draws the Auburn to a stop and then gets out to open Millicent's passenger door. Victor Janoff sits up from a resting position in his car parked nearby.
Steele stops outside Millicent's house. "Well Millicent, ah-" he stops when she kisses him to which he slowly responds before looking at his watch and breaking the kiss. He seems at a loss before muttering, "Yeah, well, okay," and walking back to the Auburn.
Millicent stops him, "Next time I'll fix you a meal."
"Hopefully breakfast. Here."
Steele stops and smiles before walking to the car. He stops when Janoff starts his car with the headlights on full beam. Remington sees the car fast approaching and jumps into a pile of garbage bins. He stands up and kicks on of the bins in frustration. The action hurts his leg and he winces. "Where are the keys come on." He starts to look for his car keys. Janoff had driven off but has now returned and slowly drives down the lane, this time with the headlights off. Steele wanders into the middle of the lane and finds his keys. He throws them into the air and Janoff floors the accelerator, turns on the headlights and runs Steele down. The impact throws Steele onto the bonnet and into the bushes by the footpath where he lies motionless.
Laura rushes into a hospital ward and up to a nurse on the telephone. She grabs the 'phone from the nurse's ear and asks, "Excuse me, you have a patient. Remington Steele?"
The nurse looks at some paperwork. "Ah, he's in emergency," and points down the hall.
Laura starts to walk down the wall and stops when she sees a covered body being wheeled on a trolley past her. She continues down the hall and into a ward where Steele is moaning. His right leg is in plaster and his torso bandaged. She rushes up to him and the doctor tending to his face. "Doctor." She sees Steele is alive, "Oh thank God!".
She goes to put her arms around his chest but stops when she sees he is in pain at her touch. Laura gives an apologetic wince and asks the doctor, "How is he?"
"Lucky. No internal bleeding. No apparent concussion." The doctor continues to pluck debris gravel from Steele's bloodied face. "What you see is what you got. A broken leg, three broken ribs and lots of cuts and abrasions. I've spent the last twenty minutes picking glass out of him."
"Well, I was certainly 'Johnny-on-the-spot, hey?" says Steele.
"What happened?" asks a concerned Laura.
"I was engaged in the game of 'follow the bouncing ball. I played the part of the ball."
"Did you see who it was?"
"It's very difficult to see anything when you're running for your life."
"Can he go home?" Laura asks the doctor.
"Yeah," replies the doctor. "I'll prescribe some pain pills but I do want whoever is staying with him to wake him every couple of hours. Just to make sure he's alright."
Laura looks at Remington and smiles, "I'll call Mildred. We can take turns."
Just then Millicent walks in with a cup in her hand. She walks up in front of Laura and forces her back as she props Steele's head up to take a sip from the cup. "Here's your tea. I didn't know how you want it so I put in a little lemon and a little sugar," Steele sips the tea and grimaces, "And a lot of milk."
"Thank you Millicent," says Steele, indicating with his hand he doesn't want any more.
"You're going to stay with Mr Steele," asks a wary Laura.
"Well it happened on my doorstep. I kinda feel responsible."
Laura smiles a little too sweetly, "Why is that?"
"Well it wouldn't have happened if I'd accepted Remy's invitation to spend the night."
Steele looks at Laura who is unimpressed but forces a smile that fades quickly.
Laura and Millicent wheel Remington, who is in wheel chair with his leg propped up, into his unit. "Millicent would you be kind enough to make a cup of tea?"
"Whatever you want."
"This time don't put anything in it. Ouch." Laura continues to wheel him into his bedroom with him moaning all the way. "Oh steady Laura, please. Oh my poor leg.
"That way," asks Laura wheel him backwards by the bed.
"Oh yes. Here you go. You, here you take this," he hands her his shirt and a shoe.
Laura throws back the sheets and takes the items from Remington, "Certainly." She is being very efficient.
He stands and starts moaning as he tries to maneuver into bed.
"Easy. Watch the leg," Laura helps lift his leg as he moves into bed. "Don't jostle the ribs. Careful."
Steele gratefully lies back in his bed, "Mind my shoes. It's a very expensive shoe. Laura, I did not invite that woman to spend the night."
"Please. We have more important things to talk about." She tucks his sheets in.
"There's nothing more important than ahh-"he stops as he tries to sit up.
Laura hands him the vial of pills. "Do you want a pill?"
He waggles a finger to indicate no. "I need to talk to you."
"Look, you're a grown man, I'm a grown woman."
"Then why are we acting like two children?"
"Will you listen to me? Somebody poisoned Chip Carstairs' lemon chicken." She pours him a glass of water. "That's three out of five dead. Now this." She hands him the glass of water. "Obviously something is emerging here, a pattern. Somebody is going around killing bachelors."
"In that case, will you marry me, Laura?"
She looks down at him and then starts to pace, her mind on the case, "It doesn't make sense."
"Perhaps it's not *supposed* to make sense."
"What does that mean?"
" 'The ABC Murders'."
She smiles, "I think I saw that one. William Powell and Myrna Loy, right?"
"I'm afraid it was never made into a movie. It's an Agatha Christie novel in which A wants to kill C but kills B first to divert suspicion."
"Because he has no motive to kill B?"
"Precisely. The police attempt to solve the two deaths-"
"And A gets away with murder," finishes Laura. "If your theory is correct we still have to figure out what would make one of these men a victim. Oh my God," Laura reaches for the telephone.
"The fifth bachelor, Arnold Baskin. I was supposed to see him after I saw Carstairs. Only I had to talk to the police and then the hospital called." She dials the number and hears a busy signal. She slams down the telephone, "Busy."
"Well at least you know that he is at home."
"He may be next on the list. I've got to warn him. I'll be back as soon as I can." She gives a quick wave and starts to leave.
"Just try to stay away from lemon chicken."
Laura stops and turns around to look at Remington. She goes back to the bed and bends to kiss his forehead. Before she can leave he places his hand on the back of neck and looks at her, "I never invited Millicent to spend the night."
"We'll talk about it later," she gives him a brief smile.
Laura leaves the bedroom and meets Millicent approaching with a cup of tea. Laura tells Millicent, "I have to go out for a while. The pain pills are on the stand next to the bed. If he falls asleep, make sure you wake him every few hours. If you can't, call an ambulance."
Millicent tries to process the instructions, "Oh, that's a lot to remember."
"I'm sure you can handle it. Stay close to him." She starts to leave but then stops and warns, "But not too close," before she leaves.
Millicent smiles as she walks to Remington's bedroom.
Arnold Baskin is sound asleep in his bed when Victor Janoff appears in his bedroom. Victor walks to the bed and, with gloved hands, is about to place a pillow on Arnold's face when the doorbell rings. Janoff drops the pillow and moves behind a screen in the bedroom. The doorbell rings again and Arnold wakes, puts on his bedside light, then his glasses and reads the time. The doorbell rings again and he outs on his dressing gown. The doorbell sounds several more times as he approaches the door. "Alright, alright."
Laura enters the unit, "Sorry to disturb so late Mr Baskin."
"Call me Arnold," says Baskin putting the charm as he folds his glasses away inside his dressing gown.
"I don't mean to shock you," Arnold puts his arm around Laura, "but three of your fellow bachelors have been murdered. You could be next."
Arnold stops and ponders, "That kind of news calls for a drink." He shuts the door and leads Laura into the lounge. "Join me?"
"No, no thanks." She sits in an armchair while he pours a drink. "Is there any connection, no matter how vague, how prosaic, with the other bachelors?"
"Well my law firm has a department that specializes in sports' figures." He finishes pouring his drink and turns on his stereo, and once again Laura is listening to the 'Spring allegro' from Vivaldi's' 'The four seasons'. Arnold continues, "Contract negotiations, commercial endorsements, that sort of thing." He dims the lights.
Laura looks heavenwards and then closes her eyes before asking, "Was Butch Moran a client?"
"Oh yes. He was going to pay off handsomely too." Arnold sits on the same armchair as Laura. "Are you sure you don't want to join me?" He wafts the glass of wine under Laura's nose, "It's bottled in small quantities by a private vintner in Mendocino?"
Laura takes the glass of wine and places it on the table beside her. "How was Butch going to pay off?"
"Janoff didn't have bucks to pay Butch so he was going to go the free agency route anyway." Janoff, who has been listening, leaves. In the lounge, Arnold is running a finger along Laura's lips, "He even gave Janoff a letter of intent."
"What is the significance of that?"
"I read once that when the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, the shadows of people who were vapourised were etched permanently into the concrete sides of the buildings. You can still see them now." He stands and returns to his bedroom as Laura looks on wondering at the turn of conversation.
In his bedroom, Arnold pulls a breath freshener from his dressing gown pocket and gives himself a couple of squirts as Laura comes up behind him, "I'm trying to keep you alive Mr Baskin."
"Call me Arnold."
He puts his arm around her as they walk into the bedroom. "Won't you give me a sporting chance, Arnold?" grits out Laura.
Arnold smiles, "The letter meant that Butch had officially taken the first step in making a deal elsewhere." He puts his hands on Laura's shoulders and sits her on the bed.
"Leaving Mr Janoff without a star attraction for his team."
Arnold puts his arm around Laura, 'Don't you see the implications?"
"I'm beginning to."
"If nuclear war comes, and it could come at any time, imagine the two of us *locked* together in those final moments. Our death, bittersweet, but the image of us intertwined, living for all eternity." Slowly Arnold pulls Laura to lie on the bed next to him.
Laura is puzzled, "On a wall? Like graffiti?"
"Think of it."
He moves to kiss her and she rolls away from him to stand by the bed. 'I'd rather think of Janoff's motive. With Butch dead, he still has nothing."
Arnold leans on the bed, "Well, if you call five million dollars nothing."
Laura sits down on the bed and looks down at him, "Five million?"
Arnold looks up at her, "Hmm. The insurance policy he had on Butch's life." He runs a hand up her arm, "It's common when you have a piece of merchandise that valuable to insure it."
"So that's the motive."
"Well, maybe that's the motive for killing Butch but what about the other two? Or me?" Arnold is now rubbing the back of Laura's neck.
"It's as simple as A-B-C Mr Baskin." He moves to kiss her but she turns her head and points, "Lock your windows."
Laura then leaves the bedroom as Arnold calls out, "Where are you going? Hey, we were just getting into the significance of nuclear love!"
The door slams shut. Arnold notices his bedroom window is open. He looks out the window and then closes and locks it.
Laura enters Steele's apartment and turns on the light and shuts the door. She starts for the bedroom but stops with widened eyes when she hears the sounds of sighs and moans coming from the bedroom. She's unsure what to do and slowly backs to the door before turning off the light and quietly leaving. A few moments later she opens the door and enters with purpose before stopping again. She slams the door shut and puts her hands on her hips. The sounds are still coming from the bedroom but she walks to the door and opens it ready for a confrontation. Instead, she sees a black and white movie on the television with a couple embracing. Steele is sound asleep on his bed. Laura walks up to the bed looking from him to the television and back to Remington. She laughs to herself and picks up the remote and turns the television off.
Steele wakes suddenly, "Ah, who's that?"
"Go back to sleep," instructs Laura.
"Oh Laura. I took one of those pain pills. I hate pills."
"Where's Miss Fairbush," asks Laura reluctantly.
"I sent her home. Couldn't make tea worth a damn." He looks at Laura. "Where have you been?"
"Getting the goods on the murderer."
"Oh. Congratulations Laura. Whodunit?"
"Oh, excellent work, excellent work Laura. What proof did you come up with?"
Laura sits on the bed beside Remington. "Butch Moran sent something called a 'letter of intent' to Janoff. If we can find it, it will go a long way to establishing a motive.
"Laura, if the man's clever enough to conceive of a plan like this, he would've destroyed that letter by now."
"Because without it, we can't prove he's the killer."
Remington thinks. " 'Rear Window'."
"I know *that* was made into a movie."
"James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Paramount 1954."
"All I can remember is Stewart had a broken leg."
"And he passes the time watching his neighbors. Slowly he begins to believe one of them is a killer and the killer realizes that Stewart knows he tries to kill him."
Laura looks at him, "You want Janoff to try to kill you?"
"It would certainly prove his guilt. Would you hand me over that directory there please?" Laura hands him the directory and he thumbs through it. "I'll tell him that I've located a witness. Someone who said he saw him kill Dr Ridley at the stables. Someone who saw him rig that, that, that hot tub at the country club and someone who saw him run me down." He finds Janoff's listing. "Okay. Here we go, here we go." He picks up the telephone and dials the number. "We've located three witnesses already and we haven't even left the apartment. Ouch," he flinches slightly when he puts the telephone to his grazed face. "Ah, Mr Janoff?"
"Yes," replies Janoff, preparing for bed at his home.
"Ah, Remington Steele."
Janoff is unsure what to make of the telephone call, "Really."
"You surprised to hear from me?"
"I'd be surprised to hear from anyone at this hour. Do you know what time it is?"
"Yes, well ah, I couldn't sleep either. Perhaps we both had the same thing on our mind." Laura indicates for him to get on with the purpose of the call.
"How's the leg?"
"And the ribs?"
"Shouldn't you be trying to get as much rest as possible?"
"What would you say if I told you that I saw a witness who saw you kill Dr Harold Ridley the other day?"
Janoff pauses, "I'd say, you hadn't the vaguest idea what you're talking about Mr Steele. And I suspect that neither do you." Janoff then ends the call.
"Ah-huh," says Steele, putting down the telephone.
"Well?" asks Laura.
"Well, um, he was shaken but ah determine to bluff it off."
Laura puts the directory back in its place. "Well it's time to launch plan B."
"I sneak into Janoff's apartment and try and find the letter."
"Laura, I just woke the man up. He's wide awake."
"He has to sleep sometime."
Laura enters Janoff's apartment and starts to search with a torch. She shines it on a hand and discovers Janoff's body is slumped on his desk, holding a gun and with bullet wound in his temple.
Steele is in his kitchen, in the wheelchair, using a broom handle to edge champagne glasses from their resting place in an open kitchen cupboard. He is only successful in dislodging the glasses and dropping them onto the floor. Laura walks in.
"Ah Laura. Just in time. I was beginning to run out of glasses."
"What *are* you doing?" She steps gingerly through the broken glass to stand next to him.
"I admit, it's a little early for champagne but this is a special occasion. Not every day we solve a case by 'phone call."
Laura reaches up and removes two champagne glasses. "You mean Janoff's *suicide*?" She doesn't sound convinced.
"Obviously the thought that the great Remington Steele had unearthed a witness pushed him over the edge." He takes the two glasses from Laura.
"I'm having a tough time swallowing that one," says Laura.
"Well, wash it down with this." He pours a glass of champagne.
"He doesn't even ask who the witness is. Where *you* found him or her. *Why* this person hasn't come forward before? He just says to himself, 'He has a witness. Oh hell, guess I'll kill myself'?"
"The *man* is found with a gun in his hand and a bullet-hole in his head. It hardly qualifies as one the century's puzzling mysteries."
"There's something missing here I *just* don't have a bead on it."
"Laura, I don't mean to be overly critical but you have an exasperating habit of not letting go. Sort of like the 'bulldog terrier' syndrome."
Laura starts to drink her champagne and then stops, "Wait a minute. If Janoff is beneficiary to a five million dollar policy, then who's his beneficiary?"
"I've been asking myself the same question."
Lara hands him the broom and leaves, tickling his injured foot on the way out, causing him to call out in response to her touch.
Laura enters Janoff's apartment to find Mariah going through papers in front of an open safe. "Doing a little house-cleaning Miss Taylor?"
"Oh. What are you doing here?"
"Probably looking for the same thing you are."
"I doubt that."
"You and Victor Janoff were *more* than editor and publisher weren't you?"
"I suppose there's no harm in admitting that now."
"Why did you keep your relationship secret?"
"Victor didn't want it to look as if he was starting a magazine for his girlfriend. But a soon as it was successful we were going to be married. Now all I've got is Victor's promise that if ever anything happened to him I'd be taken care of. Just looking for confirmation."
"Then you were the beneficiary, so to speak."
"Victor didn't have any family. I as the closest person to him. Why shouldn't I get everything?"
"Including a five million dollar life insurance policy?"
Mariah looks at a document in the file, "Oh my God. Why that rotten, two-faced, son-of-a-"
"Is that a marriage license?" ask Laura taking the document from Mariah. "Victor Janoff and Millicent Fairbush?"
"He strings me along for eight years and then runs off and marries that *pom-pom* girl! What the hell am I supposed to do now? I'm thirty-six years old!" she corrects herself, "Thirty-two."
"You didn't happen to see an insurance policy on Butch Moran anywhere did you?"
"I invested the best, most fertile years of my life in that creep!"
"Miss Taylor. The insurance policy that Victor took out on Butch Moran, where can I find it?"
"If it had anything to do with the hockey team he kept it the office at the arena. Without Victor's backing, the magazine will fold and I'll be walking the streets. I'll kill him."
"Sorry Mariah. Millicent beat you to that too."
At the stadium Laura enters Janoff's office. She starts searching the desk and then tries to open the filing cabinets. She stops when she hears the door opening. She rushes and hides behind an office plant. Arnold Baskin enters the office and opens one of the filing cabinets with a key. He starts searching through the files and pulls out a manila folder. He sees Laura in the mirror and grabs her before she can escape out the door. "If you don't stop running away from me Miss Holt I'm going to get the feeling you don't enjoy my company."
"I just didn't want to interrupt whatever it is you're doing."
"You're so accommodating. And I've always found women accommodating." He forces into the chair at Janoff's desk.
"Including the ever popular Miss Fairbush? Were you two engaged in a little nuclear love?"
"A delightful girl don't you think? So energetic."
"And the only one way to get close enough to shoot Janoff at point-blank range. Who'd ever suspect a *ditzy* cheerleader of murder?"
"Well, Millicent's deficiencies do have their advantages."
"I should have realised that she needed someone to plan this."
"Actually, I think it's quite a wonderful plan. You see all the evidence, albeit circumstantial, points to Janoff as the killer. Thanks in great part to your boss' *expert* sleuthing. *Hounded* by the relentless Mr Steele he commits suicide."
"Leaving the grieving widow to collect on his estate, along with a five million dollar life insurance policy."
"As soon as I rectify one, slight technicality. As you're already pointed out, Millicent is not the brightest lady in the world." Arnold takes a piece of paper from the file. "She mistakenly signed a pre-nuptial agreement limiting the amount of money she could get from Janoff." He screws up the pre-nuptial paper and puts it in his inner jacket pocket. "Once that's destroyed, I'll be what I've always wanted to be - a mogul. Get your boss on the 'phone."
"He doesn't know anything about Millicent. Or you."
Arnold laughs. "You expect me to believe you're aware of something the great Remington Steele isn't? You're obviously just an errand girl. Dial!"
Laura takes the telephone and calls Remington. Inside his apartment, Steele is trying to flick playing cards into a hat on the floor, in a similar fashion to Stewart in 'Rear Window', when the telephone rings. He maneuvers the wheelchair to answer the telephone, "Yes, Steele her."
"Laura Holt, Mr Steele." She is now standing and Arnold's arm is around her neck, holding the telephone for her. "I've come across something that I think you might find very interesting."
"Fine. Bring it over."
"I'm not able to do that sir. Ah, perhaps you could come down to the arena."
"Laura, perhaps you haven't noticed but I'm somewhat incapacitated at the moment."
"It can't be helped *Sir*." Laura picks up a letter-opener from the desk.
"Laura, you should very formal. Is someone there?"
"No. I'm alone." She stabs the letter-opener into the arm that Arnold has around her neck. She then runs from the office with Arnold giving chase, clutching his arm.
"Laura?" Steele is left hanging on the line. "Laura!" He hangs up the telephone and struggles around the apartment, crashing into furniture. He passes the bureau and then backtracks to pick up the keys. He wheels into the plant and hits it calling out, "Damn, damn." He then opens the door onto his broken leg before turning the wheelchair around to back out the door, "Open that door."
Millicent appears in the open doorway, "Hi Remy."
"Oh Miss Fairbush. Oh, you're a God-send. Please get me to the car quickly. Quick. Thank you. Thank you so much. Quick. Ah."
At the stadium, Arnold runs down past the food counter. Laura waits until he passes and then leaves her hiding spot running in the opposite direction. Arnold sees her and starts following her. Laura runs into the arena area. She throws her handbag down the aisle and the contents scatter down the stairs. She then runs up to the upper seating section and out the back entrance. Arnold stops running to try and find her. He notices her handbag and rushes down the stairs and continues down into the arena.
Outside, Millicent drives the Auburn with Steele's plastered leg hanging over the car door.
Inside, Laura runs along the roof scaffolding. She looks down and sees Arnold running back up the stairs looking for her.
Millicent is pushing Remington along in the wheelchair, inside the stadium as he says, "You know Millicent. A few things have been nagging me all the way over here. For instance, the car that ran me down."
"What about it?," asks a guarded Millicent.
"It didn't follow us. It was parked at the curb when we arrived, as though it were waiting for us."
Millicent leads Steele into the arena and Laura looks down on them as he continues his postulating. "And then when I spoke to Janoff and he enquired about my injuries I mean, it never *dawned* on me at the time but I wonder how he knew so *precisely* that I'd broken my ribs and broken my leg. For instance, there were only four people that were aware of that. Myself of course, the doctor, Miss Holt," he stops as he realises, "And you Miss Fairbush." Millicent positions Remington so the wheelchair is facing down an aisle of stairs. Meanwhile, Laura has stepped over the scaffolding rail.
Millicent looks at him in amazement, "Boy, you really are smart, Remy."
"Well, it's not the most eloquent confession I've heard, but under the circumstances, I'll have to accept it."
"So much for lasting relationships." Millicent moves behind Steele getting ready to push him down the stairs. "Bye-bye Remy."
She leads him to the brink as Laura screams out ,"NO!" and slides down one of the banner ropes. With her feet extended she kicks Millicent to the floor and lands in a pile of boxes.
Steele shouts his encouragement. "Ah, that's my girl Laura! Get up girl! Please! Come on Laura, that's it." Millicent bends and picks up Laura. Arnold, having heard the commotion, starts running up the stairs towards Steele. Millicent pushes Laura towards Steele. Laura can't balance and falls backwards, pushing Steele down the stairs towards Arnold. Remington crashes into Arnold and they both land amongst the seats. Steele is hit by a folding seat springing into his head and is in pain.
Laura winces when she realises she's pushed Steele before turning back to Millicent, kicking her in the midriff and then knocking her out with a left hook before running down to Steele.
Back in his bed, now with two broken legs, Steele is flexing his toes. He looks extremely bored when Laura walks in with gifts.
"Here we are. Fresh reading material, " handing him magazines, "Something to satisfy the sweet tooth," she hands him a box of chocolates, "And something to brighten the surroundings." She places a bouquet of flowers in a vase on his dressing table. "I'm really sorry about your other leg."
"Oh, you saved my life but broke my limb."
"Some might call it poetic justice, the way you carried on with Millicent *and* Mariah."
"That's all behind me now. All I want to do is stay at home with that *special* someone," he smiles at Laura.
She returns the smile, "When you find her, give her my best." Laura heads for the bedroom door.
"Where are you going?"
"Mariah's chosen another set of bachelors. She wants me to check them out, see if they deserve the honour."
"Don't wait up." She blows him a kiss and smiles before leaving.
Remington stares down the bed at his plaster-cast legs and starts wiggling his toes.