Sting of Steele
Transcribed from the episode written by:
Gary Kott

In a private gaming house in London, the floorwalker inspects the tables, keeping an eye out. At the roulette wheel, the dealer speaks in French to the players, a middle aged, balding man; an elderly gentleman with a hearing aid; and a woman.

"Eh?" the older man asks as the dealer speaks.

"Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets," the dealer repeats in English.

The old man places some chips on Red 16, as the other man bets more on Black 22. The dealer speaks in French once again, and the old man is frustrated. "Eh?!" He pulls out his hearing aid, tapping it. "Confounded batteries again. Bloody well teach *me* to buy American, eh?"

The dealer spins the wheel and drops the ball as the old man fidgets with the hearing aid. The dealer pushes a button concealed beneath the table. The ball drops into Red 36, then jumps out to fall into Black 22. The balding man laughs.

"Black 22," the dealer announces, glancing at the floorwalker who moves closer to watch with interest.

The balding man says, "I think I'll stand fast where I am."

"Certain, sir?" the dealer asks.

The winner laughs. "It's only plastic."

The old man scowls. "I say, what's he laughing at?"

The ball is released once again, the button pushed, and the winner looks surrepticiously at the old man as he continues to try and get his hearing aid to work. This time the ball jumps from Red 5 to Black 22.

The floorwalker, nervous, mops his brow as he enters the office. "Excuse me, Mr. 'oskins, but someone at the roulette table -is cheating."

Hoskins turns around. "How can that be? Customers don't cheat us. *We* cheat *them*."


Back in the casino, the old man gets up. "Some blokes have all the luck."

The other man smiles. "Well, I think I'll chuck it in, too."

As the old man goes to retrieve his coat at the cloak room counter, the winner takes a bag of chips to the window. "Good evening. Would you cash these, please?" He takes the bag she hands him and joins the old man, with whom he switches bags. The old man leaves, and the winner puts on his coat, heading for the door.

There, it opens to reveal the floorwalker. "Mr. 'oskins would like to congradulate you. On your- extraordinary luck."


In Hoskins' office, that man dumps the winner's sack on his desk, surprisng the floor walker when it turns out to be note pads. "It *should* have 200 thousand pounds in there-"

Hoskins turns to the man. "Who's your partner, Mate?"

"I-I don't have one."

"Sure you do. You needed one to pull the switch and work the wheel."

"No," the man insists, sweating profusely.

Hoskins picks up a gun, affixing a silencer to it. "You give me his name, and you can walk out of here with no more than my admiration for a piece of work well done."

The floorwalker is shocked. "You're just gonna let 'im go?"

"He's just the shill. I want the little darling who thought up this gem. On the count of three," he tells the winner, holding up the gun. "One. Two-"

"Chalmers," the winner says quickly. "Daniel Chalmers." He looks toward the floorwalker. "You know, the chap with the silver hair and the hearing aid."

"Of *course*. He kept fiddlin' with it. And every time 'e did, the ball seemed to jump into this bloke's number."

Hoskins motions the man to the door. He rises, greatful. "Thank you, Mr. Hoskins. Thank you. I promise you won't catch me around here any longer." He turns toward the door. Hoskins fires the gun.


In Los Angeles, Hoskins is in Laura's office, yelling. "I ain't come seven thousand miles t'be palmed off on some- secretary!"

Laura is trying to control her temper. "I am Mr. Steele's- associate," she tells him. "He was called away unexpectedly on another case and asked me to handle the preliminary interview." She gets up, goes to door to open it. "Now, if that isn't satisfactory- I'd be delighted to recommend another agency-"

Hoskins sits there. "You Americans can be very gruff. Here I am a stranger in your country, and Remington Steele's the only name I know. And all you seem to want to do is turn me away."

"What brought you to- Mr. Steele in the first place" Laura wanted to know, turning back to him.

"He was touted by a London solicitor. They told me he was a man what always got his man."

"Are you looking for someone, Mr. Hoskins?"

"Fella named Daniel Chalmers. You see, I run a private gaming club in London. This fella Chalmers had a big win- only I didn't have enough cash on hand tocover it. He's going around telling everyone I'm a welsher.. Now, I can't have anyone walking around calling me a welsher. So I've got to see he gets what's coming to him."

"What makes you think he's in Los Angeles?"

"In my kind of business, you have to have contacts. Those contacts told me that he was heading this way."

"Can you give me a description?"

"Early sixties, silver hair- wears a hearing aid. Likes to live high off the hog, he does. You know, fine restarants, best hotels, turf club at the track-" The intercom buzzes, and Laura turns toward it.

"Excuse me." She picks up. "Yes, Bernice?"

Benice whispers into the phone. "I've got some good news and some bad news. Which do you want first?"

"The former."

"The venerable Mr. Steele just called. He's home sick with the flu."

"And the last?"

"Your *mother's* here."

Laura is stunned. "I'll be right back," she tells Hoskins, going to out to have Bernice point in the direction of the waiting area. "Mother?" Laura asks, approaching a grim faced Abigail Holt.

She's sitting there, dressed in a purple suit. "You're angry withe me, aren't you? You're wondering why the old battle axe didn't call first and warn me she was coming."

At a loss, Laura looks at Bernice. "Mother it's always- wonderful to see you, no matter how- uh- unexpected."

"Oh, Laura. You make me the happiest mother in the world," Abigail announces before bursting into loud sobbing.

Laura sits, an arm around her. "Mother. Please."

She gets up. "Maybe you can collect yourself in Mr. Steele's office," she says, leading her mother there. "I'll be right in," she promises, closing the door. Abigail is still sobbing loudly. Laura gives Bernice an uncertain glance as Hoskins comes from *her* office.

"What's that?"

Laura grabs his arm, rushing him toward the doors. "A- client. Here to thank Mr. Steele for his help."

"Happy, is she?"

"Overjoyed," Laura says darkly. "We'll begin with the better hotels in town, give you a progress report as soon as we can."

"One thing," Hoskins says, hesitating in the doorway. "Don't tell Danny boy I'm here. I wanna see the look on his face when I pay him off."

Laura nods, sighing in momentary relief as she turns back to Bernice's desk, her mother's sobs still coming from the other office.

Bernice looks concerned. "Any idea what's wrong with Mom?" she asks.

"No," Laura says, "but I'm sure I'll find out. In copious detail. Stop it, Laura! She's your *mother*!" She picks up something from the desk to play with it. "I'll admit- there are times when she sets my teeth on edge. But still- she's *obviously* in great emotional pain. And I should devote all my time and energy to seeing her through this difficult period. I mean, nothing's pressing, the work load's fairly light-"

"Skeezix is out with a cold, which should lighten it even more."

"Maybe I should call him-"

"You're just trying to postpone going in there," Bernice accused.

"Bernice. How can you say that? She's my mother, for heaven's sake." She nodded. "Get him on the phone."

Bernice gives her a look, but dials and hands the phone to Laura. "Steele here."

"You sound *awful*."

Steele is outside, talking on the car phone, fingers pinching his nose. "Beastly cold. Beastly."

"What's that noise?" she asks, suspicious.


"It *sounds* like an airplane," she says, glancing at Bernice.

"I'm watching a movie," he lies. "'Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo'." A private jet is landing behind him. "Heroic stuff. Makes me proud to be in your brave country. Well, I have to go now, Laura. Time for my medication- and *please* Laura, don't, under any circumstances come to my apartment. One of us *has* to stay healthy." He tosses the phone back into the car, removing his fingers. "Wonderful invention, that call forwarding." He turns to watch the jet taxi to a stop nearby.

Moving toward the plane, he watches as the hatch opens, and dapper, sophisticated gentleman emerges with another man. "How was the flight, sir?" he asks the first man.

"Bumpy," the man says shortly.

"Ah." They move off, joined by the other man carrying a suitcase.

"We- uh, ran into some gale force winds over Utah," he explains, nervous.

"Noisy," the man says.

"Mr. Sinclair, that plane takes off at only 78 decibels."

Remington, in his best officious tone, informs him, "Mr. Sinclair's a very quiet man. He can't abide a raucous plane."

Sinclair turns to him. "Benton, do you think the Board of Directors would approve my buying a plane?"

"Mr. Sinclair- you *are* the board," 'Benton' reminds him.

"That's true," Sinclair agrees, stopping as they reach the limo. Turning to the salesman, he says, "Give your card to Benton here. I'll firm up my decision by the end of the week." He moves off as Fred takes his suitcase from the salesman.

The man turns to 'Benton'. "You don't think that he's kidding, do you? I mean, about buying the airplane. We have been flying for five *days*. The fuel costs *alone* are astronomical."

'Benton' reads the card. "Would Mr. Sinclair have spent all this time talking with you if he wasn't serious?" he asks.

The saleman blinks. "I don't know."

"I do," 'Benton' says. "Good day." He gets into the limo where Sinclair is pouring two glasses of champagne. They both laugh as 'Benton' tears up the card, then takes his glass. "There we go." He lifts the glass. "The Chairman of the Board."

"And his faithful aide," Sinclair returns, taking a drink.

"How long will you be here?" Steele asks.

"Just until I'm dead," Sinclair tells him, causing Steele to choke on the champagne.


In Mr. Steele's office, Abigail stands by Steele's desk with a handkerchief in her hand as Laura walks up. "Mother, won't you *please* tell me what's wrong?"
Abigail shakes her head. "I don't want to burden you."
"It's more of a burden not knowing."
"Ohh, well, if you insist". She moves to the couch. "You know, I haven't really been involved with anyone ... Not since your father - took off like that. Until Harvey came into my life."

Laura sits, shocked. "Harvey?"

"Dr. Harvey Fennerman," Abigail informs her.

"A doctor? That's *wonderful*!"

"Actually, he's a dentist. Children's orthodontia." She sighs. "Such meaningful work, straightening all those crooked little teeth. We met at a seminar on plaque- you know how I like to keep current. We saw a great deal of each other. I,- uh, I don't want to shock you, dear, but- Harvey and I were planning a weekend together. Oh, I felt so *daring*. I bought a whole new wardrobe in Harvey's favorite color. And then he- uh, made his his proposal." She pauses dramatically. "He felt it was wrong of us to go off together if we didn't-" Laura moves nearer, excited.

"Get married? He proposed marriage?" Laura asks. Abigail starts sobbing again. "He *didn't* propose marriage." Abigail shakes her head. "Mother, I'm on the edge of my seat here. What in God's name did Harvey Fennerman propose?!"

Abigail's tears stop as she says quickly, "That he bring his wife along. That the three of us get to know one another."

"His *wife*? He's *married*?"

"I just *couldn't* be a good sport about it," Abigail insisted. "Now, they're at the Ramada Inn- and I'm here--" she pauses again, starts crying. "With a suitcase- full of- *purple* clothes!!!"

At a loss, Laura stands up. "Mother, I have to take care of some business. We'll talk more later."

Abigail grabs her arm. "You're *not* going to leave me here alone."


As they cross a hotel lobby, Laura tells her mother, "Now, Mother, I'm on a case. And I'm supposed to be undercover-"

"Don't worry. I won't fink."

They approach the desk clerk. "Hello," Laura says, "my name is Myrtle Groggins, Society for the Preservation of Train Travel. I believe I spoke with you earlier about one of your guests? Daniel Chalmers?"


"He's been selected International Traveller of the Month," Laura announces.

The clerk is *not* impressed. "Quite an- honor."

"Well, it entitles him to a free train trip to any city west of Chicago. Will you be good enough to announce me?"

The clerk looks behind him. "He isn't in."

Abigail chimes in. "How do you know that?"

"His key is still in the box. Who's she?" he asks Laura.

"Female Traveller of the Month."

"I'm supposed to be at the Ramada Inn in Oxnard," Abigail informs him.

Laura continues. "Will you tell me - do you know if he recieved my message?"

He goes to the message board, touches a lit button for room 3173, then returns. "Hasn't picked it up yet."

Laura gives him a card. "Have him call me at this number. We're really anxious for him to ride our rails." She turns to Abigail. "Come along, Miss- Foxe."

In the elevator, Laura says, "You know, Mother, I'm really very flattered that you came to me instead of Frances."

"Oh, I could never tell your sister any of this. She and Donald are so incredibly happy together- she could never relate to a loser in love."

"But *I* could."

"Well, darling, you're not exactly besieged with suitors," Abigail points out.

"There, Mother, you see? We *do* have something in common," Laura says sourly.

"Yeah," Abigail sighs. "Emptiness."

Laura's teeth are on edge. "Well, it's a start."


Abigail watches the hall as Laura picks the lock on Room 3173. They enter, and Laura starts looking around. Abigail, speaking in a normal voice, asks, "What are we looking for?"

"Shh! A sign that someone's actually *staying* here."

Abigail wanders over to the table with the telephone. "What's this?"

Laura joins her, picking up a notepad with several phone numbers and some drawings on it. "Mother, you're doing very well."

"I would have done better in Oxnard," Abigail points out.


At Steele's apartment, Sinclair is walking around, glass of champagne in hand, as Steele eats a snack. "You've come a long way, my boy."

"Thanks in no small part to your excellent tuteledge."

"No, I think this is another instance of the student surpassing the teacher. You, a reknowned private investigator. It's mind boggling."

"Actually, I find it rather novel, helping people."

Sinclair sighs. "I'm glad you're in practice."

Steele pauses, looks at him. "How bad is it?"

"You remember the Major?"

"Hmm- oh, yes, of course. How is he?"

"Dead. Very dead. I thought I was getting a bit long in the tooth to be bouncing around the continent, relieveing greedy people of their ill-gotten gain. So, I decided to finance my retirement. I selected a particularly loathesome character by the name of Hoskins. He runs probably the crookedest casino in London. The Major and I took him for two hundred thousand pounds." Steeles laughs. "The fox gets wiser- but he also gets slower. The Major missed getting out the door by a step." He sits beside Steele. "Not that I blame him, but- he gave Hoskins my name."

"Ah. And now he's after you."

"And with your help, he'll find me."

Steele nods. "Well, I engaged a suite at the Bonaventure in your name- left a slew of phone numbers- to be traced."

"Then the rest is up to your associate."

Steele frowns. "Miss Holt?"

"A lawyer in London owed me a favor to two- I called them in by having him recommend the Remington Steele Agency to Hoskins. We *must* keep this in the family."

"Why not have Remington Steele locate you?" Steele asks, confused.

"I need you for a far more important role. Just make sure Hoskins never sees you as Remington Steele." The door buzzer goes off.

Steele pauses. "Who is it?" he asks.

"Laura!". He gets up, indicates that Sinclair should pick up the evidence of the snack and the champagne.

"And Abigail!"

"Oh, God," Steele says. "Quick, quick," he urges, Sinclair, then coughs. "Yes, yes, coming!" he says as Laura rings the buzzer again. "Just getting dressed!" He goes to retrieve a robe and box of tissues as Daniel picks up the tray. "Coming!" He coughs again.

"Where do I go?" Sinclair asks softly.

"Quick, through here," he watches Sinclair to the kitchen, then goes to the door, still coughing, as Laura breezes past.

"Oh, Mr. Steele, you look- " she pauses, turns. "Pretty *damn* good for someone with the flu."

"Wonder drugs. Should be up in a matter of weeks- or two."

"This wasn't my idea," Laura begins. "But Mother-"

Abigail lifts a pan she's carrying, heading toward the kitchen. "Laura has spent all day making you this chicken soup-"

Steele chases after her. "Abigail! Don't go into the kitchen!-" He's too late, as Abigail screams, dropping the pan and runs back out.

"There's a man! Lurking behind the refrigerator!"

Sinclair comes out. "So sorry to have startled you, my dear. I was just brewing a spot of tea for my sick friend."

Laura gives Steele the "look", and he smiles weakly.

Sinclair takes Abigail's hand, bringing it to his lips. "Col. Reginald Frobish, Tenth Royal Hussars." Abigail is smitten. "Reggie" smiles. "The leftenant and I were - reliving old campaigns."

Laura looks at Steele. "*You* were in the Royal Hussars?"

He grins nervously. "Ah, yes. The Fighting Tenth."

Abigail is dreamy eyed. "How romantic."

"Once we washed down the dust of the Punjab, it had its moments."

Laura moved to his side. "I can't wait to hear all about your days in the Punjab with Mr. Steele," she says.

Steele coughs. "Laura, I beseeched you not to come here. I'm still terribly infectious."

"When do you think you'll be back in the office?" she asks.

"Medical coverage run out, has it?"

"We have a new client who *insists* on meeting you."


"Man by the name of Albert Hoskins," Laura informs him, missing the look Reggie sends Steele's way. Steele coughs loudly.


At an English style pub, Steele and Reggie are watching Hoskins and another man playing darts. Steele is wearing a black suit, gold chain, his hair slicked back.

"Hoskins is the one throwing the darts. Hates Americans. Fanatic about soccer, especially Manchester. Never gambles except an occassional bet on darts."

"And the other fellow?"

"He's one of ours. Bailey. Do your stuff, kid."

Steele clears his throat, and moves to grab Bailey. "Bailey, my old son. It's collection day." Reggie sits down.

Bailey is nervous. "Hello, mate. Look, I'm a bit light on this week-"

Steele holds him against the wall. "No wonder. I mean, anyone who'd take Leeds over Man United deserves t'be bust, eh?"

Hoskins turns. "You a Manchester man?"

Steele doesn't release Bailey. "Runs in the fam'ly. My uncle used t'play for them."

"What's your uncle's name?" Hoskins asks.

"Jack Todd," Steele says, still menacing Bailey.

"Jack Todd? Lord. He was the greatest goal keeper in the first division."

Reggie, sounding bored, says, "Let's move it, Johnny. You know how these Limey's give me the creeps."

Hoskins frowns at the brash American. "Wait your turn, mate. We're discussing a Manchester team."

Steele drags Bailey to Reggie, taking the darts he'd been holding. "Mr. Tucker, I'll bring the money round in the mornin'. First thing."

Reggie- now Tucker, still watching Hoskins, says, "I'll be waitin'." Bailey leaves. Tucker gets up, and 'Johnny' gives him the darts. "I got a theory about why all you Limey's are so batty about soccer. Gives you a chance to watch all those young boys in short pants."

Hoskins looks at Johnny. "Who the *hell* is that?"

"My boss, Jake Tucker."

"You got an ugly mouth, Mr. Tucker."

Tucker throws the darts, three bulls eyes. "No wonder you lost your empire. You Limeys are born losers." He sits down as Johnny retrieves his darts and brings them to him.

Hoskins throws the same. "Lemme know when you get bored, Yank."

"A thousand says you cna't make it four in a row," Tucker challenges.

"Gambling's for silly sods like Bailey."

Tucker turns to Johnny. "That's the English for you. The minute they gotta back up their bluster, they hide under the sheets." He laughs, so does Johnny.

Hoskins is angry. "A thousand it is."

"Get the darts, Johnny."

"Yes, sir," Johnny says, going to get Hoskins' darts, placing a plastic circle in the bulls eye. He hands the darts to Hoskins. "There ya go, Mr. 'oskins."

Hoskins throws the first dart, only to have it fall to the floor.

Tucker chuckles. "Sorry about that, Limey."

"I ain't got enough scratch on me."

Tucker rises. "I'll send Johnny around in the morning to get it. Oh, and make sure it's in good old American green." He and Johnny laugh.

"See ya, Mr. 'oskins."


The next morning, Hoskins is doing pushups in his hotel room as Laura is giving him a report on the case. "Daniel Chalmers is a very elusive fellow. His hotel room hasn't been lived in, even though he registered a week ago. No body has seen him come or go. And he's placed a dozen calls- eight to yacht brokers, three to gambling equipment houses, and one to an upolsterer in Torrance."

"That don't mean nothin'." He gets up. "What I want is Chalmers."

"That's going to take a bit longer than I anticipated."

"Listen, lady, ya got nice legs and a pretty face, but that ain't why I hired ya. And I ain't spendin' anymore time in this wretched city than I have to. So why don't you get that high powered boss of yours on this thing?"

Laura is angry, and shows it. "Mr. Steele is - finalizing a case. And just as soon as-"

"*Now!* The next person I expect to see in this room is Remington Steele." He goes into the bedroom, and Laura leaves, frustrated.

As the doors close on her elevator, the other one opens to deposit Steele, as "Johnny Todd", on the floor. He goes to Hoskins' door, and knocks.

"Who's there?" Hoskins calls out.

"Johnny Todd."

Hoskins opens the door, shoves an envelope into his hand. "A thousand green," he says, starting to close the door.

"Uh, uh, uh, uh!" Johnny insists, pushes on the door. "There's somethin you oughta know about last night, Mr. 'oskins."


"Tucker cheated you."

Hoskins pulls him into the room by his shirt, pushing him against a wall. "Why tell me that?"

"Because I think you'd like t'take 'im down a peg or two. And so would I."

"Yeah? Why?"

"It's a long story, but the short of it is that I made the mistake of placing a bet w' 'im. A bet I couldn't afford t'lose. So, now, I'm workin' it off bein' 'is collector. Only now, it's time t'wipe the debt clean and walk away with a few bob in my own pocket."

"I can't stand people who try to make their problems mine," Hoskins sneers, releasing Johnny, and moving toward the couch.

"Tucker runs an international sports book. Takes best on any sportin' event anywhere in the world." Hoskins sits, listening. "I mean, tennis matches in France, auto races in Germany, soccer games in England. I've found a way t'get the results before 'e does. That means that I know the winner when I make th'bet. Only, I need someone t'place the bet for me."

"How much are *you* puttin' in?"

"Two thousand dollars." Hoskins laughs. "Two thousand dollars? At twenty to one? That's forty thousand dollars, enough to make a fresh start."

"Show me how it works."

"Then you're in?"

"No, mate. Just curious as to what your game is."


Abigail is rearranging Mr. Steele's office, humming to herself, almost aglow with happiness. Laura comes in, and is confused at the change. "Mother, what are you doing?"

"Oh, don't you think it looks better this way? So much roomier."

"Well, I had no idea that rearranging furniture had this effect on you-"

Abigail smiles widely, leading her to the desk. "Come on." She stops before a vase filled with red roses. "What do you think of the roses?"

"Well, it'sa nice touch, but- it really isn't Mr. Steele's image-"

"They're not his. They're mine."

"Somebody sent you two dozen roses?" Laura asks.

"Laura, don't look so shocked." The intercom buzzes, and Laura picks it up.

"Yes, Bernice?" she frowns, holds out the phone to her mother. "It's for you."

Abigail takes the phone. "Hello?" She laughs softly. "Don't be so wicked." She notices Laura watching, listening, and puts her hand over the reciever. "Laura, do you mind?"

Laura backs away. "No. Of course not." She leaves.

Abigail returns to her call. "Yes?"

In the outer office, Laura asks Bernice, "Who's on the phone with my mother?"

"Col. Reginald Something or other, Tenth Royal Hussars."

Laura's frown deepens, and she turns, yelling, "*Murphy*!!!!!!!"


Johnny drives Hoskins to a barn with a huge satellite dish out front. As they get out of the jeep, a bespeckled little nerdy man comes out. Johnny is all smiles.

"Leon Penske, say 'ello to Mr. 'oskins -"

"Never mind the formalities," Hoskins says. "Get on with it."

Leon points to the dish. "There it is. The key to untold riches."

"A *video* dish?"

"That's not just *any* video dish. That's a Penske original. I can punch in any broadcast satellite in the whole world with it."

Johnny stuffs a peice of gum into his mouth. "Which means, we can monitor any sporting event in the world- live. And, the minute it's over- Leon can call us with the outcome. Leon, my son, give us a guided tour. Mr. 'oskins-?"

They go into the barn, where there's an array of video screens and a control panel. Leon sits, punches some keys on the keypad, then looks up. "Pick a city. Any city."

"Liverpool," Hoskins says, not expecting anything. The screen lights, and there's a soccer game on. "That's Liverpool and Newcastle."

Johnny talks as Hoskins watches the game. "Sportsbooks gets its results from the UPI out of Paris. There's a two minute, sixteen second delay before it reaches here."

Hoskins is into the game. "Corner! Corner!"

"Plenty of time for Leon to deliver the information we need to make a sure bet-" Johnny continues.

"I'll take half your winnings for my time and trouble," Hoskins announces.

Johnny frowns. "'alf? But Leon's already in for a third."

"That's *your* problem, not mine," Hoskins tells him, walking out.

Once he's gone, Leon turns off the system, and comes over to Steele. "He's hooked!" he says quietly. "All you gotta do is reel him in."

Steele nods. "Quite." He starts to leave, then stops. "Leon? Beautiful." He joins Hoskins at the jeep. "All right, mate. 'alf it is."

Hoskins grabs him in a head lock, pulling out a gun. "If this is anything more or less than you say it is, your brain will be the first thing to leave your body."

"Relax, mate. There's not a thing that can go wrong."


Laura picks the lock on Steele's apartment, entering, with a concerned Murphy right behind. "Laura, wait a minute. Now, you know I want this guy out of our lives more than anything, but - I feel a little slimy, breaking into his apartment."

"We're not breaking in," she returns in a whisper, moving toward the bedroom. "We're just saving him the trouble of answering the door."

"Then why are we whispering?" he asks.

"In case he's napping," she answers, turning to the bedroom. Murphy hides his face as she opens the door. "He's not napping," she whispers, then turns to the couch, with its remains of a bed. Her voice returns to normal pitch. "In fact, he's not even here." She sees the suitcase and slips the locks, beginning to go through it.

"Laura, Laura, Laura," Murphy sighs. "I've never seen you this obsessed."

"I want to know everything I can about anyone who comes on to my mother. She's just been through a very unhappy romantic experience. I don't want to see her get hurt again." She finds four passports, and begins to read the names. "Leighton Sinclair, Britain. Eric Gunnar, Sweden. Col. Reginald Frobish, Hong Kong. Daniel Chalmers, Canada." She hands them to Murphy.

"Chalmers? Isn't that the guy Hoskins is looking for?" Laura opens the next pocket and finds a wig and hearing aid. Murphy is angry. "What do you want to do about it, Laura?"

"Blow the lid off whatever scam Mr. Steele and his friend are pulling," she tells him.

A yacht is moored in a harbour. Inside, Daniel is watching workers install the cashier windows as other workers set up props in the background. He turns around as Steele walks in.
"Ahh, wonderful. It should make quite an impression on our Mr Hoskins."
"How is our fish doing?" inquires Daniel.
"Oh, he's not only swallowed the bait, he's practically tried to throw himself into the boat."
Daniel laughs as Steele looks around and breathes deeply. "Nothing titillates the senses more than a first rate sting."
"Rather miss it?" They sit at the bar.
"Oooh, I have the occasional wistful longing, a pang or two of regret."
"What do you do about it?"
"Cheat at solitaire until the feeling passes." Steele says, eating peanuts.
Daniel says, "Ah, Miss Holt is quite a bundle isn't she?"
"Hmm, yes, yes."
"Intelligent, independent, scrupulously honest. In short *everything* you ordinarily *loathe* in a woman."
"Yes." Steele looks uncomfortable. "Uhmm. But she does have a certain, ahh .."
Daniel nods, "You know for someone who could never stay tied to one place or *one* of anything for very long, you sound almost domesticated."
"Does that sadden you Daniel?"
"It intrigues me."
Daniel opens a case on the bar and pulls out gun.
Steele nods. "Will that be necessary?" not looking impressed.
"I'm afraid so" says Daniel as he loads the gun.
"Hmm. Dreadful things."

Laura is sitting in the office when Steele, wearing an overcoat and scarf, enters. "Laura, I sincerely hope you didn't drag a man in my condition all the way down here simply to show me a-" he coughs, "new floor plan?"

"Still under the weather, are we?" she asks.

"Raging fever, rampant chills." He coughs. "Wretched cough." Laura nods sympathetically. "I'll simply take one or two aspirin and ring you in the morning," he tells her, going to the door. He gets it open and is almost through when she speaks.

"On your way out, if you could ask Bernice to get Albert Hoskins on the phone. I want to tell him I've located Daniel Chalmers." Steele stops, waiting for the other shoe to drop. "He's masquerading as a colonel in the Royal Hussars."

Steele comes back in, closing the door. He looks at her. "I realize that trust is not something bestowed, but earned. And, on the face of it, I've done nothing to earn yours-"

"Notice how I'm not jumping in to argue with you?"

"The truth is that Daniel relieved Hoskins of two hundred thousand pounds, beating him at his own crooked game. A valued associate lost his life in the process. Now, Hoskins is using you as a Judas goat to lead Daniel to the slaughter."

"Hoskins isn't the *only* one who's using me," she accuses.

"Daniel arranged for your involvement without my knowledge."

"And what does this counterfeit colonel have in mind for my mother? Sending her roses, making her giggle like a school girl-"

"Perhaps - he *likes* her," Steele suggests sincerely.


Steele looks at her. "Laura, just because a man makes his living on the shady side of the street doesn't mean that he's beyond human emotions- that he can't care very deeply- and very passionately for someone. And he even might- attempt to make a change." He pauses. "He's an old friend in trouble. I'm merely trying to keep him alive until he can retire. Will you help me?"

Laura looks at him.


Daniel answers the buzzer in Steele's apartment, finding Laura there. "Ah, Miss Holt. What an- unexpected, yet delightful intrusion." She comes inside as Abigail appears from the kitchen.

"Who is it, Reggie?"



"I thought you were going to a Garbo retrospective," Laura says, glancing accusingly at Daniel.

"I'd seen it already," Abigail tells her.

Daniel, sensing Laura's distress, says hesitantly, "I took the liberty of asking your mother to have dinner with me."

Laura nods, unbuttoning her coat as Abigail says, "The Colonel is teaching me how to make his souffle rise. Don't take off your coat, dear," she says, pulling the coat back up around Laura's shoulders. "I know you can't stay." She turns to Daniel. "My daughter is a private eye. She works around the clock- is probably on her way to a stake out right now."

Daniel smiles. "I'm sure your daughter and I can find *something* to chat about while you baste the rabbit-" Laura smiles tightly, patting Abigail in the shoulder.

Abigail smiles too. "Oh. Well, I guess it *would* be a good idea if you got to know one another." Laura takes off her coat, as Abigail flutters. "I'll baste the rabbit."

Daniel looks at Laura. "A pity to waste the music, isn't it?"

Laura's smile is gone. "I think I've been waltzed around enough." She starts to turn away, but Daniel takes her arm, drawing her into a waltz. They move gracefully into the dining room. "I'm aware of your predicament, Mr. Chalmers."

"I see. And are you going to join the fray?"

"First, I want to know everything about the man I euphemistically call Remington Steele. And I don't mean the Punjab."

"Well, let's see. When I found him, he was an uneducated, unsophisticated - un*wanted* young man. Filled with hostility and violence. I know it's difficult to believe we're talking about the same person, but, there he was, on the streets of London, hustling for a quid."

"So you took him under your wing," Laura suggests.

"Perhaps as the son I never had," Daniel says.

"And like any good father, you taught him how to be a consummate con man. A charming cheat-"

Abigail returns from the kitchen. "The rabbit's basting," she announces, " and the souffle's rising- and I don't think we ought to detain Laura any longer."

"I'll be leaving in a minute, Mother," Laura assures her.

"Well, don't rush off on my account," she says, returning to the kitchen with a final glare at her daughter.

The music stops, and Laura says to Daniel, "Go on."

"Well, the years were good to us. Then, Harry-"

Laura is frozen. "Harry? His name's Harry?"

"That's what I finally wound up calling him in self defense. He had a bag full of names. I doubt if even he knew which was the real and which were the product of his fertile imagination. But eventually he became gripped with wanderlust and moved on. We kept in touch as best we could. Our paths crossed occassionally- and I marvelled at the elan he'd acquired along the way."

Abigail returns. "Would you care to sample the souffle, dear?" she asks Laura.

"If I'm not intruding," Laura says.

"How can you say that?" Abigail asks, departing again.

Daniel looks at Laura. "Have I met your requirements?"

"One more thing: I want you to say goodbye to my mother. Gently but firmly."

"But- she's such a charming woman -"

"No offense, but you're not exactly Mr. Stability, and she's on the emotional edge as it is. Another disastrous encounter, and there's not telling what might happen to her."

Daniel shrugs. "If I must-"

Abigail returns with a plastic bag of souffle. "Here's your souffle, dear." She takes Laura's hand, dragging her to the living room, picking up her coat. "Now, I've put a little plastic spoon in here so you can eat it before it gets cold."


Abigail pushes her out the door. "Ta Ta!" Turning back to Daniel, she smiles. "Children. They can be such a bother." They begin to waltz.


On a yacht, Steele, Daniel and others are all waiting. A red light comes on over the door, and Daniel calls, "All right, everyone! Showtime!" The room becomes a noisy place, bustling with activity, the sound overlaid by an annoucer reading off sports scores.

Hoskins enters, and Johnny greets him. "Shaving it a bit close, aren't you? I mean, Penske's already called with the results." He hands Hoskins an envelope. "Manchester 5, Arsenal 4." He points to the bet window. Hoskins passes Tucker's table, glaring at him.

Suddenly Laura's voice can be heard outside. "I'm goin' in there and you can't stop me!" She bursts into the room, a man right behind her, ready to grab her.

Johnny says, "I'm sorry, miss, admittance only by invitation," he waves the guard off, and the doors close.

"Step aside, buster, or I'll blow the whistle on this barge." Hoskins watches her. "In case word hasn't reached you yet, gambling is illegal in this state."

Tucker says, "Let the lady in, Johnny." He rised to come to her. "I'm Jake Tucker. I own this barge. What can I do for you?"

"I'm lookin for someone." She glances at "Johnny." "And Englishman. By the name of Daniel Chalmers. Heard he likes to frequent places like this." Hoskins steps to a place where he can't be seen.

"What do you want with this Chalmers?" Tucker asks.

"Client. Owes him some money."

"That's a switch."

"Hired me to find him."

"Be my guest," Tucker says, watching as she moves away to inspect the room.

Johnny goes to Hoskins. "Did you make the bet?"

"There's a fella here, I don't want to see me, before I see him," he tells Johnny.

Abigail bursts in, furiously confronting Daniel. "You brute! You sent me a *note*! A lousy note! After all we meant to one another!" Laura hides behind a screen.

Daniel frowns at Abigail. "But we've only known each other a few hours," he reminds her.

"It's not the quantity, it's the quality!" she insists.

Laura starts out, but Steele comes over to her. "Where are you going?"

"To stop her! Before she spills everything!"

"You can't have Hoskins know that she's your mother. He'll smell a set up."

Laura nods. "Then *you* do something."

"I'm Johnny Todd, remember?" he says as she inspects the heavy gold chain and medallion he's wearing. "She catches one glimpse of me as Remington Steele, she'll be shoutin it all over the place."

Laura nods again as she looks back to Abigail, who's listening to Daniel.

"To everything there is a season," he's telling her, "and a time to every purpose under heaven."

"What?" she asks, as the bouncer picks her up to carry her out. "You didn't even spell my name right! It's Abigail with an I!!!!!!!!!!" The doors close.

Johnny returns to Hoskins as the announcer gives the Manchester score. "Nice goin, Mate."

Hoskins gives him the money. "There's always tomorrow, mate."

Daniel's staring at the closed doors as Laura comes up. "Whatever happened to firm but gentle?" she asks quietly.

"I'm afraid your mother just doesn't take rejection well," he says. "I only hope she doesn't go off the deep end."

Laura looks worried, as does Daniel.


The next morning, Johnny arrives at Hoskins' hotel room to discover that the man is checking out. "Where you goin?" he asks.

"Something came up," Hoskins tells him.

"What about my bet?"

"Sorry, mate, it ain't gonna happen."

"Sorry? I mean, you flub it last night, and ndow y'say you're leavin? And all you can say is sorry?"

"A fella what I've been lookin for with a vengeance has just been found- and I've gotta pay him my last respects." He starts to turn away.

"'ang on a second. What about my chance to cut loose from Tucker?"

Hoskins sneers. "Why don't you just put a bullet in his ear?" he suggests, and leaves Johnny standing there.


Laura lets Hoskins into Steele's office. "Come in." She leads him to the desk. "Albert Hoskins, may I present Remington Steele."

Murphy is sitting behind the desk, wearing a dress shirt, tie, hair slicked, smoking a cigar. He turns, smiling. "Hey, Hoskins. How are ya?"

"Mr. Steele." They shake hands.

"You want a belt?" Murphy offers.

"It's a little early for me."

Murphy tells Laura, "All right. Build me a bourbon, sweetie." She frowns only slightly, then turns to the bar nearby.

Hoskins says, "Lady tells me you found Chalmers."

"Well, he was right under her nose, only she was too dumb to see it. These broads, they make me laugh. Thinkin' they can compete with us men? Especially in a business as tough as this one."

"I had my doubts about her right along, Mr. Steele," Hoskins confides.

"She's alright in the traditional stuff," Murphy says. "You know, running errands, making coffee-" he gets up, taking his drink and reaching behind Laura. "Looking beautiful."

Laura jumps. "Oooo."

"Thank you, baby. Now park it and listen to a pro operate." She goes to sit down in the conference area. "Those phone calls Chalmers made from the hotel: yacht brokers, gambling equipment houses, an upholsterer in Torrance- the led me right to him. He leased a yacht in the marina, ordered dice tables, a roulette wheel- had the entire main salon redone. So I busted into the joint. Tell me what Chalmers is supposed to look like."

"Early sixties, silver hair, wears a hearing aid -"

Murphy goes to the desk and pulls the wig and hearing aid from the drawer. "Albert Hoskins, meet Daniel Chalmers."

Laura made an attempt to add her two cents. "Apparently Chalmers was wearing a disguise when-"

"Hey, hey, hey, sweetheart," Murphy says. "I told you to park it. I can run Mr. Hoskins through this, thank you very much. Apparently Chalmers *was* wearing a disguise when you first met him. For what reason, I don't know."

"But do you know what name he goes by *now*?" Hoskins asked.

"He runs an illegal sportsbook under the name Jake Tucker," Murphy tells him.

Hoskins is stunned by the news.


Steele is playing a game of solitaire on the yacht, and pulls a card from the pile, cheating. "That's a danger signal," Daniel tells him.

Steele looks at him. "What?"

"You're cheating at solitaire." Steele grimaces, embarrassed at being caught. Daniel sits down. "It'll soon be over and I'll be on my way. Care to join me? One final romp across the continent? A- last hurrah, as it were?"

"Yes, well, there's a part of me that's tempted-"

"Which part?" Daniel asks. "The part that acts or the part that dreams?"

Steele is saved from answering the question by the telephone. He answers. "Yes?"

"Hello. Johnny?" Hoskins asks, calling from a payphone.

"I thought you blasted off."

"Can you get me a score on the Manchester-Burnley match? I'll lay an extra thousand on for you."

"Be 'ere by eight tonight." He hangs up, then dials another number. "Hoskins bought it," he tells Laura.

She laughs. "I knew he would. Murphy *and* I were nothing short of brilliant."

"The next part's still the tricky one."

"Don't worry. I can handle that. I just wish I could tell my mother what's going on."

"We'll explain everything this evening, okay?" He hangs up, sits down with Daniel again, tapping the deck of cards on the table. "We're on," he tells Daniel.

"Next stop: a modest villa in the South of France where I can spend my declining years watching bikini bottoms frolic across the Mediteranean."

Steele looks at him. "Things- uh, my get a little swift tonight. So I'd better say something I've always wanted to say - but- never had the courage."

"What's that?"

"Thank you."

"Ahhh." They shake hands.


Laura and Hoskins are having some brandy while sitting in Steele's office. Hoskins looks at her. "All right, then. We're havin' a sociable drink. What's on your mind?"

"Mr. Steele didn't tell you everything that was discovered about Daniel Chalmers."

"Why not?"

"Because Mr. Steele didn't find him. I *did*. I do the work, he takes the bows. Why he wouldn't exist without me, I practically *invented* the guy."

"So? You don't like your boss. What's it to me?"

"I need every cent I can get my hands on to start my own agency. So, if you want to make a contribution, I'll be happy to tell you what *else* I found."

"How much?"

"Five thousand."

"Let's hear it."

"Let's *see* it," she insists. He takes some money out of his briefcase and hands it to her. She looks at it, puts it in her lap. "Chalmers has a complete dossier on you."


"He thinks you killed a friend of his in London. Somebody called The Major. He's waiting for you to walk on that ship. When you do, he's gonna even the score."

"You're lyin'. How did he know I was comin' back?"

"Don't you think he's missed the wig and hearing aid by now?" she asks.

Hoskins is thoughtful.


When the limo arrives at the marina, Hoskins starts to get out, but Laura stops him. "You'll never get past the front door carrying that peice. And they'll know you're onto them."

Hoskins looks at her. "It don't bother you that I may've killed somebody?" he asks.

"I don't care what happened in London. I only care what happens to me."

"You ain't very principled, are you?"

"Can't afford to be on what Steele pays me," she tells him.

He takes out his gun. "Then you hold it for me."

She opens her purse. "That'll cost extra," she tells him.

He opens the door again. "Come on." He grabs her arm.

"I can't go in there!" she insists.

"Listen lady, you're packin' the only protection I got. I ain't lettin' you out of my sight."

When they enter the salon, Tucker tells Johnny, "Do the honors, Johnny."

Johnny turns to Hoskins. "Sorry, Mr. 'oskins," he says, patting the man down as Laura pats her purse as a signal. "He's clean," he announces. He and Hoskins move off, with Hoskins and Tucker staring daggers at each other when he passes. "Bad news. Burnley trounced Manchester. Six nothing."

"It's only a game, Johnny," Hoskins says, then taps his briefcase. "*This* is real life."

"How much are you bettin?"

"Fifty thousand dollars."

Johnny frowns. "That's too much to bet against Manchester. He'll smell something. Might sniff it right back to me."

"Listen, bucko, your boss took me for two hundred thousand quid, then set himself up in business with my money. I figure the only way I'm going to get it back is through that window." He and Johnny move to the betting window, and Hoskins opens the case. Johnny looks at the money. "English soccer," he tells the girl. "Fifty thousand on Burnley."

Abigail bursts into the room, outraged. "First my husband! Then Harvey Fennerman! And now you! Well, I'm sick of it!" She pulls a gun from her coat pocket.

Laura is terrified. "MO--------!" Daniel knocks her down as Abigail pulls the trigger, and Daniel grabs his chest, falling to the floor. Abigail starts randomly shooting. Sirens are heard, and someone yells.


Hoskins makes a grab for his case, but Johnny pulls him to the floor and urges him out the back way. Once they are gone, Laura scrambles to her feet and grabs the gun from her mother.


Abigail smiles sweetly. "Hello, dear."


Outside, there are police cars everywhere, as Hoskins and Johnny move toward the limo. "He's got my money in there," Hoskins complains.

"You wanna go back in there, do ya?"

"Nah. It was almost worth fifty thousand to see Chalmers dead and gone!" he laughs.

Johnny opens the limo door, telling the driver, "Airport."

Hoskins pauses. "Thanks, Johnny. You know, mate, you're the only honest person I've met in this bum country." He gets in and closes the door as Steele smiles at the irony of his comment. He taps the roof of the car twice, then waves at it leaves.

Back inside, Steele announces, "He's on his way to the airport."

Abigail kneels near Daniel's body, crooking a finger. "Rise and shine, dear," she says, and Daniel gets up. Everyone except a stunned Laura laughs and applauds the performance. Abigail taps the side of her nose, and Steele returns the gesture, laughing as he places an arm around Laura, who looks like she might just pass out from shock.


Later, in Steele's apartment, Laura removes the cork from a bottle of champagne as Abigail, Steele, and Daniel look on.

"Oh, wonderful!" Abigail says as she succeeds.

"Bravo! Bravo!" Steele says. "Well, Hoskins' gun is on its way to England, and should prove to be the one that killed the Major."

"And with Hoskins thinking I'm dead," Daniel adds, "I won't have to spend the rest of my life looking over my shoulder."

Laura looked at them. "Why didn't you tell me?"

"Would you have allowed your mother to participate in our little drama?" Steele asks her.

"Of coursen not."

"Oh, honey, I am no stranger to theatrics," Abigail reminds her. "After all, I had the lead in our high school production of "The Corn Is Green"."

"Mother- Mother, those were real bullets that were flying across the room."

"Not the ones I directed at Daniel," Abigail assures her.

Laura turns her gaze on Steele and Daniel. "You gave my mother *live* ammunition?" she asks.

"Well," Steele says, "we had to make it appear as realistic as possible."

Daniel smiles. "To all of you, in gratitude and appreciation, I extend an open invitation to visit me in the South of France."

Abigail sighs. "Well. As a matter, of fact, I *was* thinking of going to Europe this summer." She smiles, but Laura looks less than sanguine about the idea. Abigail lifts her glass. "To Harvey Fennerman: Eat your heart out."

Even Laura smiles and drinks to that.