Steele Threads
Transcribed from the Episode Written by:
George Lee Marshall
This Transcription dedicated to Pat C.
(since she wanted to do it but was unable to)
This one's for you, Pat!
Added Dialogue in RED

The episode opens amid the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles' garment district. On Santee Street, a late middle aged man wanders through the crowds as if he belongs, stopping to buy something from a street vendor before rushing off somewhere.

A green Karman Ghia pulls up before a building. The driver gets out, checks a slip of paper, and then goes inside.

The older man enters what looks to be a showroom, filled with clothes and signs marked "SALE!". He goes to a counter where a woman is busily sewing something.

"Al Grossman called again," she informs him in nasal voice as he opens the cash register. "He's sending Solly over to collect on that three year loan."

The man closes the register. "What's with Grossman? Call him back. Tell him I've been meaning to surprise him."

"MONEY would surprise him," the woman replies, still sewing.

"You got it, Mitzi. A few alterations to the checking account, a nip here, a tuck there in the deposit and withdrawal slips-" Mitzi is staring at him in confusion. "And before the computer digests its mistake, our money will be there to cover."

"What money?" she wants to know.

"From our new summer line, Mitzi! Mitzi, I got a feeling we're gonna have the greatest season yet!" The front bell rings. "I LOVE days like this." The man from the car downstairs comes in. "My good man. And what can a humble tailor do for you?"

"Bulletz Bloustein?"

"Formerly Prince of Pleats," Bulletz says proudly.

The man pushes his glasses up his nose. "Yeah, well, a friend of mine told me you could make me a coat?"

"Just one of our many services. Let me show you a fine rayon tweed-"

"Uh, no, no, no," the man says, opening a case he's carrying to pull out some strips of fabric. "If you don't mind, I'd like you to use this."

Bulletz frowns. "Burlap mufflers?"

"Blazer. 42 Long." He pulls out a roll of money. "I- uh- need it by noon tomorrow." He hands Bulletz two hundred dollar bills.

Bulletz looks at the man. "Forty two long," he repeats.

"It's a birthday present," the man says. "For my father."

Bulletz looks uncertain. "I don't know. Twenty four hours is not enough time-" the man places another hundred in his hand, and he smiles. "But who am I to disappoint a customer?" He takes the bag. "Name and address."

"Pryne. Mark Pryne. 806 Surf Street. Santa Monica."

Bulletz gives Mark the claim check. "Ok. Until tomorrow. You won't be disappointed."

"Thank you."


Mark returns to his house, and notices that the front door is open. "Lila?" he calls out. Cautiously he enters the house. "Lila? That you, babe?" He goes into the kitchen.

A bearded, muscular man comes around the corner. "The claim check. Let's have it."


"The claim check for the coat."

Mark's confused. "How do you know about the coat?"

"Now, what difference does it make?"

"Did Lila tell you-?"

"She said you'd be a good sport. Now don't disappoint me."

Mark grabs the coffee pot and throws the contents into the man's face. He tries to run, but the other man grabs him and slams Mark into the refrigerator. Mark's head hits the top corner, and he slides slowly down to the floor, opening the door on the way.


At the premiere of Julian Barron's new spring fashion line, models walk down the runway as buyers and reps applaud appreciatively. In disguise, Remington Steele is sitting in the back, cigar in hand, whistling and clapping at the models. Julia Barron paces nervously behind him.

Laura appears on the runway with a blonde model. When they return backstage, Laura says, "I hope they put battle ribbons in our pay envelope."

"Your first major?" the blonde asks as they start removing their jewelry.

"Not exactly. But it may be my last." She leans over the table as Steele appears.

Using a nasally voice, he runs a hand over Laura's satin encased hip. "Oooh, wonderful texture. Beautiful sheen. So sleek, so-so touchable."

"Watch it buster," Laura warns him.

Her friend leans clsoer. "Easy honey. The buyer's always right."

"Just testin your material, luv. After all, if I'm gonna buy, I hafta know what I'm buyin."

Laura puts her long evening glove around his neck. "THIS is what you're buying."

"You're buying yourself a short career," the blonde says.

Steele looks the other models over as they gather. "Ah, ladies, ladies. Lovely ladies. If it were up to me, I'd take you all back t'Birmingham and introduce you to the Queen Mum." He pats one of them on the bottom.

The others leave again, and Laura's friend laughs. "Oh, you chaps from England. You're all so friendly," she tells him with a slight English accent.

"Sam St. Cloud, my dear, eh?" he says, handing her a business card. "Marks and Spencer. Do look me up the next time you're on the isle, eh?" he gives her a pat and kiss on the cheek.

"Sure," she says, fanning herself with the card as Laura watches.

"You're not forgetting me are you?" she asks.

Ah. Do I sense the room has warmed, eh?" he asks as she drags him into another room.

"Spare me your pranks. It's enough that I have to slither through that meat line out there."

"Duty first, Laura," he reminds her.

"It's demeaning. It's degrading."

He's looking around at the other models in various states of undress. Laura slips out of her own gown. "Yes, indeed, I'm sure it is." He ogles a blonde.

"Eyes front, St. Cloud."

"Are you two on top of things?" Julian Barron asks. He's a nervous man, constantly smoking, constantly watching over his shoulder.

"Rest assured, Mr. Barron, I have personally checked the credentials of every buyer here," Steele assures him, realizing suddenly that Laura is standing beside him wearing only her teddy. "Um, Miss Holt has also done the same with the models."

"That's not enough. Even as we speak, everyone in this building, all of New York, All of PARIS- is trying to steal my designs." Steele is busy studying Laura as Barron continues to rant. "I am SURE that Halston has tried to bribe my sketch artist. I am convinced that Blass sends flowers to my cleaning lady. And I am POSITIVE that VALENTIN-" he stops, looks around and lowers his voice. "That Valentino has tried to hide hidden cameras in this theatre!"

"Mr. Barron," Laura says, "Your worries are over. The Steele Agency is known for its competence, it's class- and-" Suddenly she points. "STOP THAT MAN!" she yells.

Bulletz has been hiding behind a rack of clothes, taking pictures. He runs, Laura and Steele behind him. In the theatre, Bulletz tells the others, "Big buyer from New York! Unlimited credit!"

As Steele tries to get through the crowd, everyone is trying to get his attention. Suddenly Laura becomes aware of her state of undress and tries to cover herself, telling Steele to go on. "Take him!"

Steele follows Bulletz outside, followed by the other reps. He quickly looses them, and Bulletz as well, since the old man knows the area so much better.

Bulletz heads toward his showroom, unaware that the man who killed Mark is right behind him.

In the showroom, Bulletz finds Mitzi sitting in the cage, Mark's jacket in her lap. He hands her the film. "Mitzi. Sew."

"You want it double stitched?" she asks.

The bell rings, and Bulletz goes out, smiling as the bearded man comes in. "Yes, young man. Can I help you?" He takes the claim ticket from the man. "Pryne. Pryne. With the turtle shell, right?"

"He asked me to pick it up for him."

"He did?"

The man comes closer, his air menacing. "Does that present a problem?" he asks.

"No. That's no problem. That's a pleasure. It's the gabardine with the elbow patches?"

"Yeah. Right."

"Have I got a coat for you." He goes to Mitzi, takes the gabardine out of the checkered bag it was in.

Mitzi frowns at him. "What's Mr. Pryne gonna say when he finds out he's got the wrong coat?" she asks.

"Mitzi, work with me. There's a man out there that wants something does not belong to him."

"That's what I like about you, Bulletz. Always thinking of the other fella."

Bulletz takes the coat out to the young man. "Huh? Huh? Whaddaya think? Quality like that you wouldn't even find on Rodeo Drive!"

Steele stalks into the showroom. "YOU!"

The killer turns. "Me?"

"HIM," Steele says.

"Me?" Bulletz responds.


"I'll just-" the man says as Steele grabs the coat from Bulletz and shoves it into the man's hands.

"Wish decision." He turns to Bulletz. "Remington Steele, Mr. Bloustein." The killer takes off. "Of Remington Steele Investigations."

"A gumshoe? He hired a GUMSHOE?"

"Given the circumstances, I'd say the decision was warranted, wouldn't you?" he asks, following Bulletz into the cage, where Mitzi is just putting the jacket into the checkered bag.

"All right," Bulletz sighs, taking a roll of film from a drawer. "All right. He wins. He always wins. Okay. Take it. And go."

Steele takes the roll of film. "Thank you. I'm sure Mr. Barron will be very grateful."

Bulletz laughs. "Julian Barron wouldn't know grateful if it jumped up and kicked him where he SITS!" he declares. He points to a sign on the wall. "Ah, Pleats. Pleats! Mr. Steele, 25 years ago, THIS was my calling card. The original design was Barron's. But the hope, the vision- the DREAM, that was mine. That filcher stole my dream the day he walked off with the designs. Designs that I paid for! Sent him through school for! Wiped his NOSE for! And now he begrudges me a lousy roll of film?" He spits at Steele's feet.

Steele winces, uncomfortable. "One gets the distinct impression there's more between you and Mr. Barron than mere- acquaintances?"

"Bite your tongue, Mr. Steele. We were brothers. Nothing more." Steele is surprised.


At the office, Julian is displaying a photograph. "Notice the subtle symmetry. The artist's skill full use of subterfuge." He hands it to another man.

"The elusive mystery of- unexposed film," he concludes in an accented voice. He hands it to Laura, who stands behind Steele's desk- the top of which is covered with similar pictures.

"Mr. Barron, Mr. Perriot," she says, "I'm sure that there's a logical explanation here somewhere," she says, handing the picture to Steele along with a questioning look.

"Explanation?" Julian snorts. "Let's fact it. Mr. Steele has been schnorred."

"Schnorred?" Steele questions. "Is that a technical term?"

"Finagled," Perriot explains. "To rob Peter but not QUITE pay Paul."

"The simple truth is," Steele admits, "The man did- schnorrer me. He gave me some cock and bull story about Mr. Barron being his long lost brother."

"He IS my brother," Julian informs them. "That's what worries me! By tomorrow morning, 600 illegal aliens, slaving by candlelight, will have converted my seven thousand dollar originals into seven dollar rags." Perriot looks long suffering at Julian's tirade, as if he's heard it all before. "The women in Beverly Hills, to whom I sell, will be viewing MY greatest collection on the backs of their hired help!"

Perriot grabs Julian's arm. "Julian! Don't upset yourself. You see," he tells Steele, "in the world of fashion, word travels fast. Word of success. Word of failure. I would just hate to think what the other potential clients in the mart would say if the Remington Steele Agency failed to retrieve that film."

"Your meaning cuts me to the quick, Mr. Perriot," Steele says, opening his desk drawer and sliding the evidence of his failure inside it as best he can.

"I hope so, Mr. Steele." Steele slides the last picture onto the floor. "I hope so. Gossip can be SO destructive."


At Bulletz', Steele and Laura enter the showroom, Steele calling out. "All right, Bloustein! Front and center!"

Bulletz slowly rises from inside the cage, holding his head. "Mr. Steele? Is that you?"

Laura goes to Bulletz. "What happened?"

"He hit me from behind, that's what happened."

Steele isn't ready to buy it this time. "Very convincing, Bloustein. But we're not leaving without that film. Every last roll of it."

"In the plaid garment bag. Mitzi sewed it into the lining of the blazer for safekeeping."

Laura and Steele get the bag and open it. "Empty," Laura announces.

"Thieves! Ganiffs! They stole my season!" Bulletz declares.

Laura, Steele, and Bulletz get out of the car in front of Mark Prine's house and walk to the front door.
"If this is one of your tap dances, Mr. Bloustein..." Laura warns.
"Miss Holt, you know me for almost an hour. You still don't trust me?"
"Hardly the home of a man who traffics in high fashion espionage, is it" Steele asks as he knocks on the door. When there's no answer, Steele picks the lock at Mark's to get inside. Laura tells him and Bulletz, "I'll check the bedroom."

"Blazer," Steele reminds her. "Forty two long."


"I'll check the kitchen," Bulletz tells him.

Steele moves toward the living/dining rooms.

Laura finds a photo of Lila in the bedroom, with an inscription to Mark. She joins Steele in the dining room.

"Mr. Pryne left his ID at home. Apparently he works for a company called Overdyne. Whoever they are."

"The moon."

"The old Devil one?"

"Overdyne helped get us there. They're very big on high tech."

"Hmm. Leads one to wonder what the bytes and ROM's have to do with the latest hemlines, doesn't it?"

"Have a look at this. Perhaps Lila can tell us."

"Well, Lela. Yes. Who thought all us English chaps were so friendly. The line to the hemlines grows clearer."

"And who better than a model to infiltrate a showroom?" Laura wonders. "I speak from bitter experience."

In the kitchen, Bulletz is stuffing his pockets with food. He opens the fridge. Mark's body is there.

Laura looks toward the kitchen. "Finding everything we need, are we, Bulletz?" she asks. They join him, find him standing against the fridge, pale.

"Forty regular in there. Not very pretty." He moves away into the living room.

Laura opens the fridge, then closes it quickly as she realizes what's there. She glances at Steele, each take a deep breath, and she opens it again. She cautiously finds Mark's wallet as Steele examines the body. "Mark Warren Pryne. Dammit!"

"Skull fracture," Steele announces. "Crude but effective."

"Then who's the other guy?" Bulletz asks as Steele finds a paper in Mark's pocket. He shows it to Laura, then looks at it as Bulletz keeps talking. "Some shtarker comes to me with the Pryne kid's claim check."

The note has Bulletz' showroom address, and 42L on it. It's written on Julian Barron's memo pad.

"Mitzi had just sewn the film in the lining, so naturally I couldn't give him the right coat."

"Naturally," Laura agrees.

"But he returns," Prods Steele.

"Bops me on the noggin, runs off with the blazer. How did he know the film is in the lining?" he wonders.

"Unless we're dealing with something more than Julian Barron's latest creations," Laura speculates.

"Couldn't be the blazer," Bulletz insists. "The material was lousy."

"It's a good guess that whoever stole that blazer also stuffed Mr. Pryne in the icebox," Laura says.

"And," Steele continues, "he's expecting no one to find him. So for now, we'll close the door-" he closes the fridge.

"And return to the world of sequins and feathers," Laura says.


At the theatre, Julia is telling the models, "Seven thirty tomorrow. Sharp." There's a collective gasp of dismay. "Do you think we can get a little sleep tonight? This means you, Francesca." He moves off, as does everyone except Laura and Lila.

"Funny," Laura sighs. "I thought the streets of LA would be paved with rich men. Must be time for a re-paving." They laugh. "Course, there's that English buyer. St. Clod or Cloud, or-"

"Sam," Lila reminds her. "Sam. From Birmingham. Lotta bucks to press out of that suit. How'd you do?"

meso meso. What about you? Anybody special?"

"I'm what they call a player, honey. Long relationships cramp my style. Oh, well- there is a guy. Treats me pretty good. It's not going anywhere," she sighs. "He's a twenty-eight thousand a year man with an- outside shot at thirty."

"That doesn't sound so bad."

"At your age, nothing sounds bad. You got time. You get hurt, you got time to recover. Time to move on. At my age, you run out of time. So, when luck smiles, and the brass ring comes up a second time, you've gotta grab it and hold onto it with everything you've got." The phone starts to ring. "That's for me! I'll get it!" She looks back at Laura. "I gotta run."

"Will I see you again?"

"I don't know. If I don't- remember what I said, huh?"


Outside, Lila hails a cab. Laura watches, then goes to the limo, where Bulletz is eating. "Where is Mr. Steele?"

"He went up to look for Julian."

"Perfect." She opens the door. "Follow that cab," she tells Fred.

"I love that kinda talk," Bulletz tells her.


Upstairs, Steele has shown Julian the note. "ME? Julia Barron? A murderer? You must be out of your mind, Mr. Steele."

"It IS your memo paper."

Julian studies it again. "Yes, it is my memo paper."

Steele takes it back. "But you don't recall the handwriting."

"My door is open to every Tom, Dick and Murray who traipses into the mart. Any one of them could have scribbled that note."

"Mr. Barron, a man was murdered. If my client was involved, I have a right to know."

"Bulletz put you up to this," Julian accuses.

"Why would Mr Bloustein do something like that?" Steele asks, looking at the clothing on a nearby rack.

"Because he hates me, that's why."

"That two brothers should have a falling out because one of them was a trifle- ungrateful hardly seems to me-"

"Ungrateful? IS that what he told you? Oh, yes, and I'm sure he told you about how he put me through school, too. Well, I paid him back fives times over for that." Steele finds a jacket that's a 42L, and studies Julian. "Churned out my designs, gratis, only to watch him sabotage my reputation by using the cheapest fabrics available. Shortcut after shortcut. Seamstresses who couldn't sew straight. I gave him custody of a world class talent and he tried to ruin me."

"So now Bulletz- schnorrers on Santee Street while his younger brother creates two blocks away."

Julian turns to face Steele. "What happens between my brother and me, Mr. Steele, is just that. Your job is to find the film!"

Steele steps closer. "My job- is to find the murderer."


As Laura and Bulletz watch, Lila leaves the cab, goes around the corner and into a health food store. "Circle the block," she tells Fred. "Then let's park."


Inside the store, Lila takes the jacket from the bearded man. "This time it had better be the right jacket or Mark's gonna catch up with me," she frets.

"Don't' worry about Mark," he tells her. "So, what are we looking for?" he asks.

"I'll let you know when I find it."

"Your client didn't tell you?"

"Don't worry about my client. It's not your territory." She finds something in the lining. "Aha." He hands her some scissors, and she cuts into the lining. "Voila," she says, holding up the film. "Mark must have been taking pictures at Overdyne. Naughty pictures."

"The guy was a spy."

"The least we know about what's on this film, the happier you and I will be." She drops it into her purse.

Laura and Bulletz watch as Lila gets into the cab and leave. Bulletz starts to open his door. "Where do you think you're going?" Laura asks.

"Just think of me as your muscle, Miss Holt. Following people in a limousine, you do very well. But at a hundred and ten pounds, Sam Spade you're not."

"It's a sweet thought, Bulletz," she tells him, giving him a kiss on the cheek, "but trust me. Stay." She gets out and goes into the shop.

She's looking over the counter when the man comes in. "Pretty lady," he comments.

"Hello," Laura says, sounding nervous. "A friend of mine from the mart- Lila? She sent me over. She said to ask for- umm-"


"Carl. Yes. That's it. Do you know where I can find him?"

"You're looking at him."

"Oh. Hello." They shake hands, and Laura winces at his grip. "You're your own best advertisement, there."

"And you're-?"

"Laura Holt. Yeah. Uh, selenium yeast? I always seem to get a rise out of that." They laugh at her terrible joke.

"A can or a box?"

"Um- perhaps a case?"

"A case. Of yeast." Carl shakes his head. "It's your body, baby," he says, going to the back.

Laura finds the blazer in the trash and takes it out. She throws it toward the door. He comes back with the case of yeast. "You know," she tells him, "I think that soy protein insolate would be just the ticket for me."

"Ticket- to what?"

"I'll take a case." Once he's gone again, she grabs the jacket and looks for the film. When he comes back, she drops it at her feet behind the counter. "You can't make the wheat germ smoothies without the wheat germ."

"A case?"

"Make it two." As soon as he's gone, she grabs the jacket and takes off out of the shop. He returns with the cases and carries them outside just in time to see her get into the limo and note the license plate.


At Laura's Bulletz is holding the jacket. "I swear to you, Mr. Steele, the last time I saw that film, Mitzi was sewing it into the lining of this coat!"

"Well, if you don't have it, and we don't have it," Laura says.

"And young Mr. Pryne doesn't have it," Steele finishes.

"Then WHO has it?" Bulletz asks.

"THEY DO!" Steele and Laura say at the same time.


Lila returns to the shop. "The film's worth bumpkis," she tells Carl. "It's the blazer he wants!"

"It's right here," Carl says, going to the trash. He takes some things out, and then Lila upends it on the floor.

"It's gone!" she cries, upset.

"Your friend," Carl remembers. "She's the only one who was near it."

"Friend? What friend?"

"Uh, good looking brunette. Health nut said she knew you from the mart. Laurie. No. Laura. Laura Holt."

"Friend my toe. She's been pumping me for information."

"Well, she's gonna- need all the health food she can get."


Back at the loft,
we hear Steele saying, "Deeply, Laura; from the heart."

"Mmm. You're very good at this you know," Laura says.

"Comes naturally, with the right person."
Laura is laying on her bed as Steele rubs her feet. She sits up. "If Lila has done something desparate, I think I'd understand it. That meat line at Julian's would drive any woman to distraction."

"From sore feet?" Steele asks.

"Sore hearts. Sore souls. Man is seen as many things. Doer, thinker. Woman? Bottom line?" She winces, pulls her foot from Steele's hands. "Flesh." She gets up from the bed. "Nobody told you what to be when you grew up. You're a man. You smoke cigars." She laughs without mirth. "They used to come by the office in droves. 'Steal away with me, Laura.' 'How's Palm Springs sound, Laura?' But handle a case? 'Better let Mr. Steele do that, Laura.'"

Steele watches her, then gets off the bed. "But you didn't, did you, thank the Lord. Or we'd both be scrounging for the rent." He pulls her to him, wrapping his arms around her shoulders. "No one's ever gonna treat you as just flesh. Flesh, yes. But never- JUST flesh." They kiss, and would have continued kissing, but they're interrupted by Bulletz' voice.

"I took a chance, Miss Holt." The move apart as he sees them, and he pauses He's wearing an apron. "Uh, the caviar was goin' bad."

"I see," Steele tells him. "Well, to the conqueror goes the spoils, eh?"

Bulletz holds up a cracker. "To you, Mr. Steele." He moves away again.

Steele looks troubled. "Why can't I find the courage to tell that little man about his brother?"

"Because you'd like to see them back together again," Laura suggests.

"Laura. Makes me sound like a sentimental fool."

Laura smiles. "Never."

"Well, I guess I owe him the truth. Whatever that leads to."

Laura pats his arm for encouragement and he goes down to find Bulletz hitting the little TV on the kitchen counter. "Problem?" he asks.

"Not enough color."

Steele glances at the screen. "The Honeymooners wasn't made in color. Remember? Happens to be the only show I never tire of. Americana around the kitchen table. Jackie Gleason roaring, amiable Art Carney."

"My Muriel, she was so partial to Carney. Something in his eyes, I think."

"You were married?"

"Thirty one years. God rest her. You- you ever lose anybody?"

"Hmm," Steele admits, nodding. "Once. Long time ago."

"I thought so. Your eyes tell more than you know."

Steele looks at him. "You've lost someone twice, though, Bulletz."

"Lost? Save your sympathy. There was a time when I could have connected with Julian Barron again."


"In the beginning, Francois came to me with a proposition. If I stopped calling him a slimy monsel- at least in front of Julian- I had a job for life."

Steele has taken the paper from his pocket. "I gather you refused."

"The Prince of Pleats? Pressing fabric for that bum Perriot? I told him as much. Oh, boy, did I tell him."

"He broke you, didn't he?" Steele questions.

Bulletz laughs. "Yes. Cut ninety percent of my Jersey business. In New York, the reps wouldn't even speak to me. Miami- dried up. Chicago--"

"Did you talk to your brother about it?"

"Don't you think I was entitled to the first call?!" Bulletz demands.

"You know, Bulletz, whatever's wrong between you- I mean- Julian Bloustein is still your brother. Surely there must be some common ground."

"If there is, Stanley AND Livingston couldn't find it!" he declares, and stalks away, leaving Steele to put the paper back into his pocket.


At the theatre, Julian confronts Francois about the note. "Dammit, Francois, it was YOUR handwriting!"

"So what does that prove? That I tried to send your brother a little business?"

"A little business? A little business? A man was KILLED over that business!" Francois frowns. "Didn't you know that? Didn't you?"

"Julian. Do I kill?"

"I don't know everything about you!"

"Do you WANT to know everything?" When Julian doesn't respond, Francois continues. "In 1974, the unfortunate line of miniskirts? Who raised the money for the next season? '77. Tailored look- Nobody wanted. Again, we recovered. Did you ever ask how? Did you ever give it a thought? And the houses. A fortune in houses. The villa in Marakesh. The chalet in San Moritz that you just HAD to have!" Julian is almost in tears. "Oh, Francois. Take care of the details. Don't bother me with your problems."

"I TRUSTED you!"

"Ah, Julian." He places a hand on Julian's shoulder. "You still want the problems to go away, don't you?"

Julian fights his tears.


The next day, Lila is walking through the mart and pauses near Laura, then continues on. Laura, wearing her hat, follows her, alerting Steele, who is again dressed as Sam, and Bulletz.

Lila meets up with Carl, and tells him. "I found her. The hat heading in our direction."

Steele catches up to Laura. "Ah, Holt, wasn't it?" he asks, using his disguise again, kissing her hand. "Ah, what a marvelous surprise." He leans toward her. "Lila just made you."

Laura glances their way as she waves his cigar smoke out of her face. "Ah. The hunk that's with her? That's Carl."

"Hunk? Hulk. Bulletz gave him the first jacket," Steele informs her.

Carl tells Lila, "The young one? He's trouble."

"No problem," Lila insists. "He's a buyer."

"Buyer, huh? That's Remington Steele."

Laura looks at Carl. "Carl's mine," she declares.

"He's big," Steele notes.

"I'll duck," she tells him, slipping away.

Carl tells Lila, "Steele's yours. She's mine." Lila nods, and looks uncertain and thoughtful as she moves off.

Carl meets up with Laura. "Well, what an unexpected surprise," Laura says. Steele and Bulletz move away from where they had been standing.

"Fate," Carl suggests with a smile.

"At least."

"Busy tonight?" he asks.

"Funny you should ask."

Lila is on a payphone, watching. As Steele and Bulletz start toward her, she says into the phone, "Yeah. NoSure, book me. No, I'd love to do it- who's on make up?" When Steele and Bulletz pass her, she says, "No, I'll be there- Sam!" She hangs up. "Sam. From Birmingham."

Steele smiles at her. "Ah, yes," he says, taking her hand. "Let me guess. Let me guess. Don't tell me-"

"Lila. Lila Colbert. We met at Julian's?"

"Ah, yes," he says, about to kiss her hand when Bulletz steals it away to kiss it.

"Bernie Fennerman. From the Chicago Emporium." He traces her hand with his finger, then licks his finger. "Perhaps you would like to joins us this evening?"

Lila laughs, slipping her arm through his. "You guys from Chicago. You're all so FRIENDLY," she insists as they walk away.

Steele follows, shaking his head at Bulletz' actions and alias.

Outside, Lila and Bulletz get into the limo. Steele pauses, waiting as Laura and Carl are getting into a taxi. Laura turns as she opens the door, giving him a salute. Steele nods, then gets into the limo.

Lila looks out the window of the limo and smiles at Carl, who smiles back.


Lila joins Steele and Bulletz at a fancy restaurant. "So, Sam. Your own line of dresses. How exciting."

"You should have seen us thirty years ago," Bulletz muses. "Pleats. What we did with pleats-"

"Yes," Steele agrees tersely. "Who could forget. Tell me, Lela. What would you say to a management position in my new enterprise, eh? Not just another model on the line, mind you, but THE model. Above the line. Time off your feet? People working for you?"

"Oh, where do I sign?" Lila asks dreamily.

"Another bottle of wine, sir?" the waiter asks.

"Champagne, my good man," Bulletz says. "Rothschild if you got em. '32 is the year I remember."

"Yes, sir," the waiter says, leaving.

"Oooh, champagne!" Lila squeals, delighted.

"Excuse me, Lela," Steele says, pulling Bulletz across the table toward him. "Your memory just cost me six hundred bucks, old boy." Bulletz winces, then shrugs.

"Isn't he great?" Lila asks about Bulletz.

"Yes, yes," Steele agrees. "Dining with Bernie is always such an unexpected pleasure."

"Well. About this job- where do I sign?"

"Well, Lela, as it happens, you already have."

She picks up her glass, looking at Bulletz as she answers. "I'm not sure I understand."

Steele takes off his glasses, dropping his altered persona. "I'm not sure who you're working for, Lila, but you may be in deeper than you think." She looks at him, shocked. "At the moment, the authorities will show some leniency-"

"Leniency? For what?"

"Why not start with Mark Pryne's murder then walk our way back from there?"

"Mark? Murdered?" She looks frightened and angry. "You're lying. You're just trying to shake me." She looks at Bulletz, who nods.

"Believe me, Lila," Steele says. "Then, perhaps I'll be able to believe you."


At Carl's, Laura and Carl are dancing. Well, Laura is dancing, Carl is groping. "Oh," he sighs, contented. "A little dancing, a little take out, a couple of cold ones- what more could you ask for?"

"Some ice?" Laura asks. "If you have some?"

For beer?" Carl asks.

"Ah, well, you know how it is," Laura laughs. "Family tradition."

He leaves her to get the ice. Laura keeps a wide smile on her face till he's gone, then rushes to his coat and looks for the film. She's so intent in her search that she doesn't notice Carl coming back. He watches her for a moment, then goes back into the kitchen and laughs before coming out.

As he comes to her, he "trips", sending the cold beer all over her blouse. "I'm sorry," he apologizes. "Uh, the bathroom's right over there."

Laura nods and goes to the other room to dry off, leaving Carl to look in her purse. He finds her drivers license- and smiles.


At Mark's Steele and Bulletz lead a frightened Lila into the kitchen, both are carrying flashlights. "Look," she tells them. "I really don't know if I wanna go through with this. I mean, what am I gonna tell Mark if he walks in on us?"

"If Mark Pryne walks anywhere," Steele tells her, "science will rewrite itself from the top." He points at the fridge. "Go on, Miss Colbert. Open it."

"What?" she asks.

He motions toward the fridge again. She pulls it open, terrified- then starts to laugh. "Is that what you guys dragged me over here to see?" she wants to know, pointing to the contents. "A pot roast?" Mark's body is gone. There's no sign that it was ever there. "Slice it!" Lila suggests, and leaves them.

Steele gives Bulletz a confused, frightened glance. "I saw him too, Mr. Steele."


At Laura's loft, she's dressed for bed, unaware that Carl is on the fire escape outside, watching her. She picks up the jacket and puts it on. As she's looking in the mirror, the door slides open. Carl enters holding a gun.

"The blazer," he says.

Laura looks at him, realization beginning to dawn. "It was never about the film. All this time- it was the jacket everybody wanted."

"No more talk. I want that blazer. NOW."

"Not a chance, Carl," she says defiantly, turning and running toward the steps to her bedroom.

Carl fires the gun, and the bullet hits Laura in the back, sending her onto the stairs to lay still. Carl runs over to her, intending to get the jacket. But Steele appears in the open doorway, and sees Carl. He does a duck and roll to avoid the two shots Carl sends his way before Carl leaves the loft.

Steele rises slowly, his stunned gaze on Laura. From his vantage point, he can see the bullet hole in the jacket. Going to her, he covers her body with his, crying, kissing her hair. "There were so many things I wanted to tell you. So many things I should have told you. I'm sorry," he sobs. Pulling her into his arms, he says, "Oh, come here. Oh-"

"I hate to interrupt while I'm ahead," Laura murmurs dreamily.

Steele freezes, in shock at hearing her voice. "Laura?" He turns her in his arms. "Laura? Oh, babe!" he cries out, delighted, kissing her over and over again.

Laura's slowly getting her bearings, and says, "Wait a minute! I think it's beginning to make sense!"

He pulls her into his arms again. "Oh, nothing makes any sense but the fact that you're alive and well-, and-" He stops. "Laura- WHY are you alive and well?"

Bulletz comes in, concerned. Laura feels the back of the coat as Steele tries to recover from his shock. "This blazer, Mr. Steele," she says. "It's steel."

"What?" he asks, confused.

"This is some fabric!" she declares, almost euphoric.

"Miss Holt?" Bulletz asks, "You okay?"

"Carl and Lila didn't want to get Julian's film," she tells them. "This jacket! They wanted the jacket all the time! That's what Mark was killed for!"

"You mean bullet proof?" Steele asks, finally coming out of it.

She gets up, examining the coat. "Exactly- top of the line, yet light and stylish. And I think I know just the man who can tell us all about it." She marches up the stairs with an air of determination.

Steele smiles proudly at Bulletz. "Oh. Oh, quite a lady. Takes a licking and keeps on ticking, eh?" he asks, taking out his handkerchief to wipe the traces of tears from his cheeks.


At a lab, a man in a white coat is holding the jacket, as he tells them,
"I'm amazed the FBI isn't beating down your door."
"Classified?" Remington asks.
"Silicone conductive Kemlar. One of the top body armors in the world today. Not only lighter than plastic, bit has a flex strength greater than forged steel."

"Stronger than steel?" asks Bulletz.

Laura sort of laughs. "Ah, Milton and I always did see eye-to-eye."
"Would anyone kill for this?" Remington asks.
"Your franchise, not mine," Milton says. "What you DO have here is a special mutation. Something the Russians would give up Vodka to get." He and Laura laugh. "We are talking superconductor. Virtually free of all resistance. Get the formula from this sample, make enough for an airplane skin, the plane could absorb any free currents in the skies."

"Now wait a minute, Milton," Laura says, wanting clarification. She takes the jacket. "You're saying that a radar beam- like this, striking the Kemlar skin- would be gobbled up rather than bounced back to its source?"

"Not only gobbled, Binky," Milton tells her. Steele frowns, looking at Bulletz to repeat the nickname in surprise. "But converted- and returned with a bang."

Laura looks thoughtful as Steele comes over to her. "Binky?" he questions.

Laura smiles. "You have your secrets, I have mine."

"And I'm afraid someone else has got theirs," Steele comments, holding out his hand to Milton. "Milton, old chap. That was most enlightening. Thank you very much."

"Oh, anytime," Milton says, smiling at Laura.

"Thank you, Milton," Laura adds as Milton leaves them.

"Russians," Bulletz says. "FBI. Whoever we're after, they're in big, big trouble."

Steele indicates the stool. "Bulletz, old man, sit down for a second. There's no easy way to tell you this." He pulls out the memo. "We found this on Mark's body."

Bulletz looks at it. "The blazer, Bulletz," Laura confirms. "Whoever hired Mark to steal the Kemlar must've pointed him in your direction."

"Julian," Bulletz guesses.

"The jacket's a very clever way of getting the fabric out of the country," Steele notes. "I took the liberty of observing your brother's jacket size. 42L, I'm afraid."

"Afraid?" Bulletz says. "Let's fit him for a matching noose."


Lila is at the theatre, throwing her things into a bag when Carl grabs it from her. "We're partners," he reminds her. "I want my share of the money."

"Without the blazer, what money? Stop-"

"Back off!" he says, finding her wallet.

"Look, it's my bus ticket," she tells him as he finds some money. "All right?"

He grabs her, shoving her back against the table. "You OWE me!" he declares.

Lila is terrified. "Mark IS dead, isn't he? I hired you to steal a claim check. And you killed him."

"We've got more than one death to worry about," Mark tells her. "And I'm getting out. Even if I have to sell you to the cops to do it." He leaves her, going into the showroom.

Laura, the blazer over her shoulders, appears on the stage. "Going someplace, Carl?" she asks.

He turns, wide eyed and pulls out his gun. Steele tackles him from the other side as Laura ducks. He knocks Carl unconscious with a right cross. Wincing, he stands up, looking at Laura. "You okay?" he asks.

"I'm fine. You?"

"Oh, great."


Francois and Laura meet up in the corridor. "Oh, Mr. Perriot," she says.

"Perhaps you'll do me the kindness of an explanation."

"If you'll just," she begins, trying to pass him.

He stops her. "No, no. I mean a hysterical model, a fight on the showroom floor-"

"In a few moments," Laura insists, trying once more to get past him.

But Perriot lifts the right corner of his jacket to reveal that he has a gun. "No, no, no. Now."


Steele and Bulletz enter Julian's office. "Mr. Steele. It's rather late to be calling, isn't it? Bulletz, what are YOU doing here?"

"As the adage goes," Steele says as Julian looks away, "Better late than never, eh?" Bulletz picks up a bolt of fabric and hits Steele in the head with it, sending him to the floor, unconscious.

Bulletz looks at a shocked Julian. "Schmutz. Nitwit. You got two minutes. Run."


"It wasn't enough to sell over priced dresses- YOU had to sell state secrets. I knew it would come to this with your fancy clothes and fancy friends. Stay Barron. What YOU have done to the name Bloustein-"

Julian grabs his brother's coat. "Bulletz, help me."

"I just did help you. I betrayed the best of men. So forget your top secret, Mr. 42 Long. And run."

"When was *I* a 42 Long?"

Bulletz remembers. "Forty regular."

"Has it been so long, Bulletz?"

"Then- then, who's the forty-two long?" Julian covers his face, crying. "Julian. Julian- THIS time I'll do more than hide your car keys. This time I'll find the dirtiest prison in this country and YOU will call it home!" Julian can't answer. "Francois?" Bulletz guesses. Julian looks at him, distraught, and finally nods.


Bulletz takes off, saying, “Oy gevolt!”
Julian comes around the counter and looks down at Steele. "Oh, wake up, Mr. Steele. It was ONLY taffeta."


Walking through the corridors with Perriot, Laura says, "The perfect cover."


"Your job. Respected international businessman. Travelling to all the fashion centers of the world: Paris, Milan, Hong Kong- for fabrics."

"My employers are very demanding," he tells her.

"I thought you were self employed."

"We all have to report to someone, Miss Holt."

"You set Mark up with Lila, didn't you?" she accuses. "Women's work? Softening him up?"

"May I have the blazer?" he asks. "Please."

"Would a man as elegant as you really carry a gun in that pocket?" she wonders. "It might ruin the drape of the jacket." She starts to run, but he grabs her hair and pulls her back as Bulletz comes around the corner.

Seeing Laura in trouble, he puts his head down and runs into Perriot, sending all three of them to the floor. Perriot keeps his hold in Laura's hair, and grabs the jacket. When he releases her, Laura makes a grab for the jacket, but he pulls it away from her and takes off. Laura scrambles to her feet and follows him.

Julian and Steele find Bulletz still on the floor, unconscious. "Bulletz," Steele says, kneeling.

Julian kneels too. "Bulletz." He looks at Steele. "Go."

"All right. Stay with him. Stay with him," Steele says as he follows Laura and Perriot. "Laura wait."

He catches up with Laura, and they chase the man together.

Perriot comes to a dead end, a locked door with an electric security wire running through the glass. When he sees Laura and Steele come around the corner, he wraps the blazer around his hand and smashes the glass.

The alarm sounds, and the electric current feeds through the Kemlar and electrocutes Perriot as Laura and Steele watch helplessly.


At the office, Laura is lounging on Steele's desk as the two of them examine the slides from the film Bulletz took. "Julian's dresses look terrific," comments Steele. "But I can't find that slender brunette with the knock out legs."

"Oh, you mean I missed my chance at a Vogue cover?" Laura sighs.

"'Fraid so."

"Ah, good," she smiles.

Julian and Bulletz knock on the open door. "Enter," Steele calls out. Laura rolls to her feet, embarrassed, as Steele says, "Ah. Welcome, gentlemen."

Laura gives Bulletz a kiss on the cheek. "Hello."

He hands her a gift wrapped package. "From the Brothers Bloustein," he tells her.

She starts methodically opening it. "Aw, Bulletz, I'm so touched," she says. "Thank you."

Julian hands a similarly wrapped package to Steele. "An original, Mr. Steele."

"But with a touch of tradition," Bulletz points out.

Steele tears the paper from his present and smiles, showing the picture of Bulletz and Julian, smiling and happy. "Oh. Thirty five years, I imagine, eh?"

Laura is still, slowly and carefully trying to get her package open. Steele watches her, then grabs it. "Here you go," he says as she gasps in dismay, watching him rip the paper apart. "Saves the wrapping paper," he tells the brothers as Laura grabs the box from him.

She smiles at them, then opens the box. "Oh." She lifts the present out. "A pleated muffler?"

"My inspiration," Bulletz tells her.

"My creation," Julian adds.

"My idea," Steele tells her.

"Oh, you English chaps," Laura says with a smile. "You're all so FRIENDLY," she declares as she puts the muffler over his mouth.

The End