Tempered Steele
From the episode written by:
Michael Gleason

We see someone signing a credit card ticket with the name "Remington Steele" as the episode opens, then cut to a mailman delivering the mail to Remington Steele Investigations.

Bernice waves at him. "Thanks!"

She takes the mail in to Laura, who is working on the computer. "Thanks," she says as Bernice returns to the front office just in time to see Murphy enter carrying two Styrofoam plates.

She takes one and opens it, as Murphy does the same and says, "Avocado on 7 grain with alfalfa sprouts -MMM, must be yours."

"Corned beef and pastrami on a kaiser roll with horseradish and sauerkraut. MMMMM, must you YOURS."

They exchange plates when they hear Laura. "OOOOHHH!"

They both run to her office to find her looking at a pile of credit card receipts. "You all right?" Murphy asks.
"What is it?"

"HIM! LOOK at those bills!" she says, tossing them into the air before picking one up again. "One round trip charted jet to Las Vegas- $2000. One evening gown by Louie of Beverly Hills- $6000. You know he's bought her enough flowers to open a botanical garden?!"

"Who?" Murphy asks.

"HER!!" She stalks over to a bulletin board on the wall, pointing to the photo of a woman with her mouth open. "NADINE! The peroxide piranha!"

Bernice looks confused. "But I thought that was his assignment: Keep her out of the way until you settled the Randall case."

Murphy nods. "I hate to admit it, but he seems to be doing an excellent job. I mean, we haven't seen Nadine in-- weeks."

"We haven't seen MR. STEELE, either. And the case has been CLOSED for three days!"

Bernice starts picking up the tickets. "I guess he got a little carried away."

"We may NEVER see him. Unless his CREDIT or his STAMINA runs out!"

Bernice looks at a ticket. "Well, we know he was in San Francisco two days ago."

"How do we know?" Laura asks, still angry.

She holds up the ticket. "We just got a bill from Ernie's."


Murphy tries to calm her. "Hold it, Laura. Calm down, huh?"

"We've GOT to do something to get his attention!" she declares. She picks up a dart from the desk and tosses it at the picture of Nadine, hitting her squarely in the open mouth.

That same mouth is about to munch down on caviar on cracker as we hear Steele admonish-
"Uh -uh, Nadine. Never bite. Always nibble." She takes a small bite. "More champagne?" He asks.
She shakes her head. "Anything?"

"Just a cozy place to do some serious nibbling," she tells him.

Steele smiles, raises his hand to call the waiter.

"Yes, Mr. Steele?"

"Check, please."

The waiter puts the check down, but grabs the pen before Steele can get it. "Sorry, Mr. Steele. But I'm afraid your account has been closed-"


"Yes sir." Steele gives him an angry look, hands him a credit card. "Thank you, sir." He leaves again.
Steele takes Nadine's hand. "You have made this evening so- extraordinarily special. I'm going to do something I've never done before-"

Nadine smiles. "OH, I HOPE so."

He picks up the brass name plate from the table, hands it to her. "A forget-me-not."

"Oh, Remington," she breathes.

The waiter returns, obviously uncomfortable. "I'm sorry, Mr. Steele, but- I have orders to confiscate your credit card."


"I don't know anything about it, sir. All THEY said was that I had to confiscate the card."

"Then how am I supposed to settle this?"

"You COULD try cash, sir."

"Cash? I ever carry cash. It's so bulky-"

Nadine picks up her purse. "I have some money-" She looks at the check. "WOW."

Steele glares at the poor waiter. "Now you've upset the lady-"

"Terribly sorry-"

"If I weren't so annoyed, I'd be embarrassed." He puts Nadine's wrap on her shoulders. "Allow me to repay you over breakfast, my dear."

The waiter is even more embarrassed, takes the money and leaves.

Steele and Nadine start for the door, only to see the maitre'd approaching. Steele takes her arm. "Uh- Claude will have to be taken care of, too," he tells her softly.

She pulls a bill from her purse. "Is this all right?" she asks.

"More than adequate," he assures her.

She slips the money to Claude, who smiles. "Thank you, Mr. Steele."

Outside, as they wait in the rain, the valet goes to get the car. Nadine looks up at Steele. "Should I-?"

"Just a few dollars," he tells her.

She slips the man the money as she gets into the limo. "Thank you, Mr. Steele," he said. Steele nods, angry and embarrassed.

The next morning, Steele enters the office. There are several people there, and Bernice is terrified when she sees him. "Mr. Steele."

He starts looking through the messages. "Miss Wolfe."

"Foxe!" she hisses.

He turns toward Laura's office as a man approaches. "Mr. Steele. It's a pleasure, sir." At Steele's blank expression, he prompts, "I'm Leibowitz. You know-" he lowers his voice. "The Morton matter."

Steele nods, trying to look professional. "Yes. A very- complex situation."

"But it's been resolved," Liebowitz tells him.

Steele glances at Bernice, who nods. "Complex, but easily resolved." He goes into Laura's office, Bernice right behind. "Miss Wolfe-"


"What?" He looks in Murphy's office.

"I'm a Foxe, not a Wolfe. Bernice Foxe. You call me Wolfe one more time and I'll tell Laura you're hanging around the office." She follows him into his office.

"Where is she?"


"I can see that. Where?"

"That's not for publication," she tells him in a haughty voice.

"You don't seem to grasp the gravity of the situation. She has CLOSED my checking account. I am on the brink of financial, not to mention PHYSICAL oblivion."

"I'll give her the message."

He starts for the door. "Very well, Miss Whatever. How would you like me to handle EACH and EVERY one of the those cases out there?"


He turns. "Where is she?"

"At a motel on Pico," she tells him.

At the motel, Laura is with a scarcely clad man in a room. She giggles, removing her jacket. "This is a first for me," she tells him in with a country accented voice.

"Well, you're going to learn to love it," he tells her.

"If my husband ever found out about this, he'd kill us both."

"Well, I won't tell him if you won't."

In another room, Murphy is listening to them, making notes. "Smooth talking creep," he mutters as the man with him, Roger Dillon, comes over.

"What is he saying?" he asks, getting Murphy's attention. "Look, we already know he's behind it. Why can't we just call the police?"

"He's gotta ASK her to steal the information from your company. The minute he does, we'll grab him."

Laura slips out of the jeans. "Maybe I'll just take the rest of the days off."

"No, baby," he says, standing up. "Because your job is gonna make us both a LOT of money." He kisses her.

Murphy smiles and gives Dillon the "thumbs up" sign.

The man picks Laura up. "What do you mean?" She asks him as he sits down on the bed.

"Well, you see, it's like this. You get me some material-"

Suddenly Steele bursts into the room. The man jumps toward the corner, fumbling for his clothes as Steele says to a stunned Laura, "You've got a lot of explaining to do!"

"What are YOU doing here?"

"You her husband, fella?"

"You CLOSED my checking account!"

She tries to push him toward the door, but he doesn't budge. "We'll -talk - about it -LATER!"

"Wait, wait a minute!" the man says. "I KNOW that guy!"

"No. No, you don't," Laura insists, hoping to salvage the case.

"Yeah, I do, that's Remington Steele!"

"Remington Steele? No-"

He looks at her. "It's a set up!"

Dillon sees the expression on Murphy's face. "What's going on in there?"

Murphy takes off the headset and rushes toward the door. "Don't ask!"

He gets outside the room as the man rushes out, still trying to get dressed. He's followed by Laura, clad only in her blouse and panties- and Steele. "Grab him, Murphy!" she yells. Murphy chases the man, as does Dillon, who runs into a car and hurts his leg.

Behind Laura, Steele says, "I'm not finished-"

The man gets away, only to be chased by Murphy. Laura stands there, furious, as Dillon asks, "Would somebody PLEASE tell me what's happening?!"

"Slight change in plans, Mr. Dillon. Why don't you go back to you office and I will give you complete update in about an hour."

Dillon looks at Steele. "Well, at least it's reassuring that Mr. Steele's personally involved." He limps away.

Laura fumes. "Three weeks of playing secretary for NOTHING!" she says, hitting him on the arm as she turns back toward the room.

"Well, if you'd tell me what cases I'm supposed to be working on, I wouldn't have found myself in this embarrassing situation!"

"You're not working on ANY cases- anymore!"

"Apparently gratitude's not one of your strong suits, Laura," says, following her into the room. "After all I've done for you, THIS is how you repay me? Cutting off my credit? Closing my checking account?"

Laura puts on her jeans. "You spent $22,000 dollars in a single month. A month that doesn't even have 31 days in it."

"You asked me to keep Nadine occupied," he reminded her.

"Long stemmed roses," Laura said. "$200 an ounce perfume. Designer gowns!"

"Perhaps I DID go a bit overboard, BUT it's for the good of the agency-"

"Well, for the good of the Agency, from now on, we discuss all expenditures in ADVANCE!"

"Fine. But I've written checks to people who don't even TAKE checks. They have names like Bruno and Guido, and they do some of their best work in cement."

Laura looks at him. "What kind of shady enterprise are you involved in this time?"

"Danny's Dessert," he tells her. She kneels beside the bed to find her other shoe. "Some of the finest horseflesh ever to grace a quarter mile track."

"SPARE me!"

He kneels on the other side of the bed, reaching beneath it. "The horse comes up lame, Bruno and his boys want to unload him," he finds her shoe, taps her arm with it. "So I put together a group of investors to turn him out to stud."

She puts on her shoe. "Thank you." He helps her put on her jacket. "I'll try to convince Mr. Dillon that your barging in here was another brilliant Remington Steele tactic-" She starts for the door.

"What about Danny's Dessert?" he asks.

"Buy him some Ben Gay," she suggests, leaving.

In his office later, Steele is watching the light flashing on his telephone, not really wanting to answer the call. He finally picks it up. "Bruno," he says nervously. "Just as I suspected. Bookkeeping boggle-"

Bernice follows a man into the room. He holds out his hand to Steele. "Good to see you, Mr. Steele. I'm-"

"Interrupting," Steele says, then turns his attention back to Bruno.

Bernice says, "I told him that you -" Steele points toward the door, and she flounces out.

Rising, Steele says into the phone, "Do I detect a note of disbelief in your voice? Stiff? In what context are you using that word, Bruno?" he asks, then laughs really nervously. "Ah, that context."
The man goes to the wall across the room, looking at the photos of Steele, smiling as Steele continues. "Noon tomorrow? I'm not sure that my bank can transfer the funds by then-" he frowns as the line goes dead and hangs up.

The man crosses back to him, hand extended. "Jim Meecham. Meecham Exploration and Development. Let's huddle."

Steele doesn't look up. "See Miss Holt. She huddles." He's checking various notes.

"I never stoop to a second stringer," he says as he sits down. My play book looks like this. I'm in oil and natural gas, based out of Oklahoma City, and my accountant says to diversify, so I bought into Dillon Electronics. But it seems ever since I've been on that team, it's been third and long. SOMEbody's been red dogging us."

"We don't handle animal cases."

"You're already handling this one. Dillon Jr. hired you folks to find out who's stealing our research. You were just about to sack the guy in a motel when some air head busted up the play."

Steele smiles. "Competent help is hard to find in any profession."

"That's why I want you quarterbacking this operation, Mr. Steele. It's time to stop pussyfootin' around motels and get to the bottom of this."

Steele picks up the phone. "I never involve myself directly in a case. I function best in an advisory capacity," he tells Meecham, then turns the chair away.

Meecham stands. "I subscribe to the George Steinbrenner philosophy of life. If you want a piece of talent, you buy it." He holds out a piece of paper. "Twenty five thousand dollar cashier's check. Made payable to YOU."

Steele turns, smiles and presses a button. "Miss Wolfe- hold my calls. I'll be in conference. Thank you."

Laura arrives, only to have Bernice thrust a steno pad into her hands and say, "Mayday."

Eyes wide, Laura goes to Steele's office door, giving Bernice a perky look before entering to find Steele and Meecham sitting in the conference area, drinking and laughing like old pals. "Excuse me, Mr. Steele."

"Ah, come in, Miss Holt! Come in. Meech was just telling me about the time he wildcatted up Alaska way." He stands, as does Meecham. "Jim Meecham, Laura Holt."

Meecham shakes her hand. "The tanglefoot from the motel-"

"Now, Meech, let's not blitz her buns. Miss Holt is one of my finest operatives."

Laura smiles sweetly. TOO sweetly. "You're TOO kind, Mr. Steele." They sit down as Laura says, "We're watching the young man's apartment in case he shows up."

"That's fine for the taxi squad. But the coach here had just convinced me that the ONLY way to stop all these thefts is to install a complete security system."

Laura looks at Steele, who takes another drink and smiles. "We start first thing in the morning."

"May I RESPECTFULLY remind you, Mr. Steele, that your ENORMOUS responsibilities preclude any personal involvement-"

Meecham interrupts her. "Now, little lady, when I buy seats on the fifty yard line, I expect to see the FIRST team play. Now, you let the coach do what he does best, and you- well, you just do whatever it is you do around here." He grabs the bottle. "I'll just doggie bag this. See you later, Steele." He leaves.

Knowing that Laura's angry, Steele gets up.

"Are you CRAZY?" She asks.

"He insisted I handle the case."

"Security system my foot! You couldn't even install a light bulb!"

"Piece of cake."

"You know, you are beginning to believe your own publicity. You are NOT Remington Steele. I invented Remington Steele. He's a figment of MY imagination!"

Bernice moves to the door to listen to them as Steele says, "It's my face on your figment. Do you have any idea how draining it is to BE Remington Steele?"

"Oh, this is AGONY, living out a part I've only seen in the movies-!"

"We make such a winning combination-"

"We have a deal-"

"Let's enjoy our success-"

"I do the work, and you take the bows-"

"Let our passions erupt into something outrageously fulfilling-"

Laura goes still. "You mean hop in the sack?"

"Little crude, but- to the point."

"Love to."

"Well then?"

"But I can't." She runs a finger around her collar as if it's suddenly too tight - or the room is too warm.
"Why not?"
"It's tough enough pulling off this kind of charade without THAT kind of complication." She gives him his sunglasses. "As long as we're IN business, let's keep it business-like. Tell OLD Meech that the press of other commitments forces you to turn Dillon Electronics over to Murphy and me."

"Love to, but I can't," he says, using her words against her.

"Why not?"

He picks up his glass. "I gave him my word. And everyone knows that Remington Steele's word is his bond." He finishes his drink and turns for the door, leaving Laura fuming.

Bernice scurries to a corner, pretends interest in a file as he comes out. "Carry on, Miss Wolfe." She glowers after him.

The limo delivers Steele to the Lost and Found Mission on Main. It's immediately surrounded by winos and addicts looking to make a quick buck by washing the car. He enters the building to watch a man as he talks to those sitting before him. "And that's the worst part of it, feeling sorry ourselves. Nobody loves me, nobody cares about me, except my bottle or my needle. Oh, yeah, I know what I'm talking about, because, I know it's gonna be hard to believe, but I used to be just like you. Shootin up all day and pukin up all night. Then I got the message. There IS and WAS somebody who cared about me. The Big C. Jesus Christ himself. I mean, you're looking at a living, breathing testimony to the powers of the Big Fella. I mean to tell you, if He can keep ME straight for three years, he sure as hell can do the same for you bunch of bums." He sees Steele there, smiling, nodding. "Why don't you all get yourself something eat?" He approaches Steele, smiling widely. "Well. It it ain't my old friend-"

"Shh," Steele warns, pulling out a card.

"Remington Steele Detective Agency? How did YOU end up detecting?"

"I had the face for it."

"Sure not like the old days, huh, J-" Steele clears his throat, taps card. "Uh, Remington. Sorry. What a moniker."

"I am in desperate need of your services, Wallace."

"I'm not in that line of endeavor anymore. The Big Guy frowns on it. I-"

"Nothing REMOTELY tainted, I assure you. Since you've circumvented so many burglar alarms, I thought you'd be just the chap to install one- sort of -poetic justice."

"I don't know. If I'm not around here, this place turns into a shooting gallery-"

"A few days work for say- ten thousand dollars?"

"Ten THOUSAND? What I could do for these bums with ten grand."

Steele writes on a card. "My tailor. Have him whip you up something conservative, yet - dernier cri. Charge it to my account."

Wallace smiles. "New name or not, you're still the same old high flyer."

Steele shakes his hand twice before leaving.

Laura is looking at a photo of Steele when Bernice returns, carrying several files and something to eat. "I'm back! Home work!" she says. "Surveillance on Marlene York, Insurance description of the Regatsi jewelry, the wrap up on the Morton case -" Laura puts the photo down. "Don't you get enough of the real thing?" Bernice asks, handing her a plate.

"What?" Bernice glances at the photo. "Oh, I happened to come across it on my desk."

"Hey, this is ME, remember? The Belle of the Ball? The life of the party? I've seen that look before. I've even had it a time or two myself."

Laura picks up the photo again. "Who is he? What was he before he was Remington Steele?"

"Who cares? He's here, you're here, go for it."

"And then what?"

Bernice shrugs. "Depends on what you're looking for. Me? I'm all partied out. What I want is slightly dull, filthy rich husband. But I were in the market for a heart stopping, teeth rattling, eye rolling fling-" she takes aim at the picture. "Pew!"

Laura smiles. "You know, it's not just the free ride that keeps this clown around. It's the challenge. I'm probably the only woman he's ever met who didn't tumble right into bed with him."

"Not a bad way to break the ice," Bernice points out.

"Yeah," Laura agreed, her eyes bright. "But I can barely keep him in line now. Can you imagine what he'd be like if we turned THAT corner?"

"Might be fun finding out."

"I've worked too hard to risk everything just to get my teeth rattled."

"So where does that leave you?"

Laura considers the question, then smiles. "Itchy."

The next morning, Dillon Electronics vans deliver material to the Dillon house as the security system is being installed. Murphy watches the men work, then finds Wallace. "Your men are very efficient."

"Best in the business."

"Right. Tell me, Wallace, where did you first meet Mr. Steele?"

"Diplomatic Corps."

"Excuse me?"

"Paris, it was," he says, going to the window. "Spring of '77. Or was it '78? No, no, it was '79. That was a good year."

"Are you sure it wasn't Dennamora or Leavenworth?"

Wallace looks at him. "Rats."


"They've got rats in the Seine -big as Volkswagens," he says, then moves away, leaving a confused Murphy.


Laura approaches Steele as he's looking over various plans. "Are you SURE they know what they're doing?"

"Between them they've over 75 years of experience."

Laura looks at him. "Who are you? Where did you come from?"

Steele smiles slightly. "Humphrey Bogart to Ingrid Bergman, 'Casablanca', Warner Brothers, 1942."

"This is no time to be quoting old movies."

"Then stop asking old questions." He moves away as Anna Dillon comes up with a tea tray.

"Tea time. You want some of this, honey?" she asks Laura.

"Thank you, Mrs. Dillon."

"ANNA. What a mess. Packy's probably doin' a three-sixty in his grave."


"My late husband, Patrick Joseph." She pours the tea. "We started Dillon Electronics forty years ago making gyroscopes for the Navy from our basement." Laura drinks, almost chokes as Mrs. Dillon laughs. "Tastes like raw crude, don't it? Packy had it special blended. Couldn't stand it myself while he was alive- but now, it kinda keeps me close to him."

Laura glances to where Roger is laughing with a young woman. "Well, your son seems to be carrying on the family tradition."

"Roger? He's- carryin' on, alright."

Steele and Meecham are coming downstairs as Meecham asks, "Why the hell are we cartin' all this stuff up here?"

"Stop and smell the flowers, Meech. Santa Barbara's lovely this time of year."

"It seems foolish to keep the research in the house."

"Dillon's orders."

"Well, he may run the company, but the old lady still runs him. She thinks it's too risky at the plant."

"Now, Meech, I am PERSONALLY supervising this entire operation. What could POSSIBLY go wrong?"

Night falls, and three masked burglars break into the house, heading for the library where the plans are stored. They get that far, but when they pick up the research, alarms sound, iron grills block the windows, lights flash, an grilled doors clang shut at the entrance.

Steele and the others come from the drawing room. He opens the door, pulls the key from his pocket. "The key!" he announces, putting it into the control panel with a flourish, turning it. The alarms silence, the doors open, the lights come on. "Gentlemen?" Steele smiles at the three men, indicating that they should remove their masks. It's Wallace and his friends, and Steele joins them. "If the men who installed the system cannot breech it, then I'd have to say it's foolproof."

Laura mutters to Murphy as the others congratulate Steele, "You gotta admit, he pulled it off."

Late that night, Steele is awakened by a knocking at his door. Opening it, he finds Roger there. "Guess what?"

He follows Roger down to the library, only to find the metal doors half closed, and the research gone. "Oh, my."

That morning, everyone is pacing the room, when Meecham speaks up. "Well, don't everyone stand around like it's a time out- call the police."

Roger freaks. "NO. If this gets out, we'll lose our government contracts."

Meecham glares at Laura and Steele. "You install fifty thousand dollars worth of equipment, somebody just turns off the main switch and walks out the front door."

Roger says, "You think this was an inside job?"

"You're all-pro material, Dillon," Meecham sneers.

Murphy comes in. "Wallace is gone."

Steele looks at him. "Where?"


Laura tries to clear things up. "Let me assure you, Mr. Meecham-"

"I'm going to sue your agency till it comes up as dry as my last oil well."

Steele speaks up. "It seems to me-" he pauses, realizing that everyone is looking at him. "We all got off on the wrong foot this morning." He smiles.

Later, Steele is in the limo, watching "The Thin Man" on the TV there. He places a phone call to Laura, who's checking Wallace out on the computer. "Hello?"

"Steele here."

She frowns. "What do YOU want?"

"You alone?"

"No. Wallace and I are sitting here making paper airplanes out of the research he stole."

"That's what I love about you, Laura. No matter how bleak the situation, you never lose your sense of humor." He turns off the TV.

"Does ONE of us have a reason that I'm talking to you?"

"I think I'm onto something that could change the entire complexion of the case."

"You're leaving town."

"My car will be at your apartment in forty-five minutes. Does that give you enough time?"

"To do what?"

"Make yourself presentable. We're having dinner." He hangs up.

"Oh, no we're not having-" She hangs up, frustrated. Turning off the computer, she goes to the mirror and looks at her reflection, finally smiles.

The limo delivers her to the restaurant, dressed to kill. She is met by Claude. "Mr. Steele's table, please."

"Oh yes. This way, please." He leads her to Steele, who rises to remove her coat.

"Thank you." She slides into the booth, looks at him. "All right. I'm here. What startling news do you have for me?"

"I'm paying for dinner?"

"You said you had something to tell me about the Dillon case."

"I have." He pours some champagne for each of them.


"Wallace didn't do it."

"How do you know that?"

"He's of the old school- where there's still honor among thieves. He would never rip off a fellow miscreant."

"Then where is he?"

"He'll turn up."

"That's it?" He nods. "Your foolproof security system lasts exactly 3 hours and 15 minutes, the Agency is looking at a ten million dollar lawsuit," her voice is rising as is she. "I haven't got a CLUE to where that missing file is, and you drag me halfway across town to tell me he'll TURN UP?!"

"SIT DOWN!" Steele orders. She does. "There's something I want you to know, Laura. You're good. This Dillon thing is merely a temporary setback. I don't want your for one moment to lose heart or confidence. You're a skilled, resourceful and often brilliant investigator. I have had the opportunity to observe your talents firsthand and," she takes a drink, "I am terribly impressed. You're practical yet intuitive. You can see the large canvas without missing the small detail-" She takes another drink, and he frowns. "Have I said something wrong?"

"I HATE it when you're nice to me," she tells him miserably. He smiles. "What do I call you when we're alone?"

"Well, I'm quite used to the name that you came up with."

"It's from a typewriter and a football team."

"Then pick one. I've probably used it."

Laura laughs, relaxing at last. "You know, Murphy thinks you're an international swindler. Or at the very least an ax murderer." They both laugh as Claude approaches.

"Excuse moi, Miss Holt. Telephone call for you. In the foyer, please."

Steele rises, gives her a hand to her feet, getting a smile in the exchange. He and Claude watch her walk away. "Would you permit me an observation, Mr. Steele?"

"Certainly, Claude."

"This young lady is by far the finest of a staggering array."

"You have exquisite taste, Claude."

"Does monsieur intend to bestow a name plate on her?"


"They're solid brass, you know." Steele turns to look at him. "And I'm afraid your largess is beginning to run into big bucks."

Steele smiles, looking back to a returning Laura. "Well, if I do, I could very well be the last one I dispense."

Laura returns, her earlier gaiety gone. "Wallace turned up."

Steele's smile vanishes as he looks at her.

At the morgue, the attendant pulls out a sheet covered body as Laura asks, "Where did they find him?"

"Where they find most of 'em. Main Street, needle still in his arm, five grand in his sock." He covers the face, then covers it again. "Must've been celebrating his good fortune."

Steele examines Wallace's right arm. "He wasn't an addict."

"Take a look at those arms. You could run the Southern Pacific on those tracks."

"They're old. At least 3 years."

Laura spoke. "When is the autopsy?"

Returning the body to its slot, the attendant says, "Haven't you heard of Proposition 13? We don't have the budget to cut up every junkie that pigs out on smack." He closes the door. "You want an autopsy? Get the stiff to your own pathologist."

Steele grabs the man and pushes him against the wall. "That STIFF once made 27 straight passes in a crap game, he had a daughter he put through college, he liked to fish off King's Point, and he read the 'Wizard of Id'. That STIFF was my friend." He releases the frightened man and walks away, as Laura looks thoughtful.

In the limo, Steele is visibly upset. Laura looks at him. "Harry. Harry. Tonight, you look like a Harry."

"He didn't want to do this job. I soaped him into it."

"It wasn't your fault-"

"Someone planted the money on him to make it appear he sold the papers. Then killed him. I'm gonna find that someone."

She puts a comforting hand on his shoulder. "We'll do it together."

He looks at her, covers her hand with his.

The limo stops before the Mission, and is immediately surrounded by the locals trying to earn a few bucks by cleaning the windows and chrome. Steele looks out. "What are we doing here?" he asks.

"The minute anything happens down here, everybody knows it. Let's see what they know about Wallace's death."

They get out of the limo, and Steele says, "See? I told you."


"You're good."

She points to some winos gathered around a fire pot. "Might as well start with them." She lets him go and enters the building.

Steele pushes his way into the ring. "How's it goin'?" he asks.

Inside, Laura looks around, sees a man sleeping and goes over to him. "Excuse me-" He moans. "Excuse me?" He turns away, and she looks farther.

Steele warms his hands. "Pity about Wallace." There's no reaction. "Wallace? The fella who ran the mission? Dead, you know." Someone passes him a bottle of cheap wine. He barely swallows it, then notices a black Porsche parked in the alleyway and abandons the fire pot to investigate.

Laura sees a light in Wallace's office, hears noises. "Hello?"

Steele looks at the car's license plate, then starts looking for a pencil.

Laura goes closer, knocks on the door and enters. She's grabbed from behind as someone puts a rope or phone cord around her neck, trying to choke her.

Steele's pen won't work, and he goes into the back door of the mission, only to see a struggle taking place and runs to help Laura. He and the man struggle before Steele is hit. The attacker runs away, and Steele goes to Laura. "Laura? You alright?"

She nods, coughs. "Car-"

Steele takes off, calling out, "FRED! BLOCK THE ALLEY!"

But Fred is blocked by winos. Steele runs onto the sidewalk, toward the alley. "Block the alley!" he says again, narrowly missing being hit by the car as it speeds out of the alley, knocking over the fire pot. Steele is frustrated, returns to the limo as Laura comes out.

"Did you get the license number?" she asks.

He points to his head. "Right here."

He opens the door for her, and she pauses. "How did you know I was in trouble?"

"Actually," he admits, "I was looking for a pencil." She looks confused, and when she gets into the limo, he smiles before joining her.

Steele is sitting in a hotel lobby, a GQ magazine before his face. He looks over it at Laura, who gives him a sign. Meecham enters, goes to join Laura. Steele leaves.

"Thank you for coming, Mr. Meecham," she says, shaking his hand.

"This better be good, Miss Holt."

Steele enters the bungalow, kneels to examine the combination lock on the door. He's just starting to listen for tumblers when an elderly couple comes from another room. He smiles, slowly rising to his feet as he says through the door, "No, no. It's all right. I'll wait for you here." He smiles at the couple as they pass him on their way out. "Takes her forever to get dressed." Once they're gone, he kneels again.

Meecham tells Laura, "Without the research, all you got's a dead thief." He stands to leave.

"Or a murder victim," Laura points out. He sits back down. "We're waiting for the autopsy report."

Steele gets the door open, starts searching the room.

Meecham sits back. "Six-two and even, Dillon's the one stealing our research."

"Why do you say that?"

"Only reason I got my cleats into that company is because he ran it into the ground. He's a rookie, with a penchant for polo ponies, black jack tables and little pieces of fluff who collect expensive jewelry."

Steele finds a briefcase hidden under the bed, and tries to open the combination locks, but decides instead to slip them. Inside he finds that it's filled with plans and starts to study them.

Meecham stands. "Been nice talkin' to you, Laura."

She rises. "Wait- We haven't finished yet."

He grins. "I got my lawyer coming by with some papers in my suit against your agency." He leaves.

Steele's still looking at the plans when the telephone rings. He nearly picks it up, stops himself at the last minute.

Laura is on the phone. "Answer the phone," she says.

Steele hears something, closes the briefcase, hides behind the door as Meecham rushes inside to pick up the phone. Steele slips out.

"Hello?" Meecham says.

Laura frowns, deepens her voice. "Who's this?"

"Well, who's this?"

Laura hangs up.

Entering the office with Laura, Steele says, "Good afternoon, Miss Wolfe."

She frowns at him. "Getting to be a regular fixture around here, aren't you?"

He stares at her.

Laura asks, "Any word on that license plate?"

"They're still running it through the DMV computer, but Murphy's on the phone with the pathologist-" She stops as she realizes that Steele is still looking at her. He turns to follow Laura into Murphy's office.

He's on the telephone. "Yeah. Spell that for me." He writes something down. "Thanks, doc. Call me when you're finished, okay?" He hangs up. "Well, what do you know?" He looks up at Steele. "He was right." Steele smiles, gloating a bit. "Wallace didn't OD on junk. He was LITERALLY relaxed to death." He hands Laura a paper. "Injected with a form of orphenadrine citrate. A muscle relaxant. The kind used on horses."

Steele looks thoughtful. Laura says, "Dillon's into polo-"

Murphy nods. "And there are stables in back of the house." He gets up and goes to get a cup of coffee.

"Anything else?"

"They're going over the contents of Wallace's stomach now. It should be done by the end of the day." They've both ignored Steele, and both turn when he finally speaks.

"Ah ha. Not only do we know HOW and WHERE the murder took place, - but who committed it."

Laura smiled. "We do?"'

"Oh yeah?" Murphy asked.

"Absolutely. Meech. His briefcase is bulging with plans to tear down Dillon Electronics and build an industrial park. Not a bad incentive to bankrupt a company by stealing it's own research-"

Laura looked at Murphy. "Don't forget Roger Dillon."

"I think I'm getting the hang of this," Steele says.

"According to Meecham, he needed a lot of cash to float his lifestyle."

"Remember Mrs. Dillon. Insisting that everything be moved to the house- it made it a hell of a lot easier to steal."

Steele speaks again. "My money's on Meecham. Let's nab him." He turns toward his office as Laura mouths his last words to Murphy, who looks worried.

She moves to meet Steele as he returns, telling him, "We need a little thing called evidence. Which means that SOMEbody is going to have to get BACK into that house."

Steele has changed out of his leather jacket and tied a sweater around his shoulders. "Leave everything to me," he declares, leaving the room.

Murphy rises to his feet. "THAT is a LOT more frightening than "Let's nab him'."

Laura rolls her eyes and follows Steele.

Meecham tells Steele, "Hope you got major medical." He mounts a polo pony with Dillon in the background.

"Now, Meech. Polo is a contest where gentlemen exhibit the finest qualities of horsemanship and fair play-" Laura is approaching, leading Steele's mount.

Meech isn't in a good mood. "Blow it out your ear," he tells Steele.

Dillon frowns, turning to follow the man. "Meecham," he says in warning.

Steele puts on his helmet. Laura says, "I didn't know you played polo."

He hands her his mallet to hold while he mounts. "Charles and I used to have a go at it whenever I was in London."


He gets onto the horse. "Of course, now that he's married, we don't play as often as we'd like to."
He takes the mallet, kicks the horse into a walk. "Happy snooping."

Mrs. Dillon appears, smiling as she watches him. "I LIKE your boss. Has the same kind of flair that Packy had. Little reckless, maybe, but full of sauce." They start walking toward the arena.

"Why do you say that?"

"Roger's a world class player."

"Well, it's only a game."

"Not for twenty five thousand bucks it ain't."

Laura stops, stunned. "Twenty five thousand bucks?"

"That's what he bet Roger and Meecham-"

"Twenty five THOUSAND?"


Laura is in shock.

The game gets underway, and Laura strolls to the stables to snoop.

Meecham hits the ball, narrowing missing Steele, who turns to look at him. "Sorry, Steele! Didn't mean to MISS you!"

Laura gets into the tack room, looks at the paper Murphy gave her, and finds a bottle of the medicine. She puts it into her bag. Looking in the trash can, she finds a hypodermic needle, puts it with the medicine. Then she spots something else, picks it up, smells it once, twice, trying to identify the aroma. Putting it with the other items, she leaves the room.

As she's leaving the stable, she sees the Porsche that was at the mission. She looks at it and then joins Mrs. Dillon to watch the match. An oriental man and the man who attacked Laura at the mission appear at the other end of the fence. Mrs. Dillon nods in their direction, frowning.

"Friends of yours?" Laura asks.

"Roger's new partners."

"In the electronics company?"

"No. Some joint venture."

"You don't sound too pleased about it."

"Roger calls the shots now," she says with a shrug.

Steele and Meecham get locked up trying for the ball, and seeing Dillon riding rapidly toward them, Steele pulls off at the last minute, sending Dillon's horse into Meecham's. Meecham is knocked to the ground in some pain and Dillon dismounts to see if he's all right. Steele, mallet over shoulder, asks, "Shall we count this as a time out, gentlemen?" then rides off as the two men stare after him.

At Steele's apartment, Laura is helping him set the table for a dinner party. "I'm not even going to ask if you know what you're doing."

Steele puts out place cards. "I know PRECISELY what I'm doing. William Powell did exactly the same thing in "The Thin Man." He invited all the suspects to a dinner party, reconstructed the crime, and exposed the murderer." Laura helps him with his dinner jacket. "And may I say that you make a splendid Myrna Loy?"

She brushes the jacket off. "Don't be so cocky. You're just lucky Dillon and Meecham had to forfeit the match." She came around to straighten his lapels. "Where did you think you'd get fifty thousand dollars if you'd lost?"

He looks at her. "I had no intention of losing," he tells her as he goes to the door. Murphy comes in, handing his coat to Steele, and is wearing considerably more casual clothes than they are.

He has a file in his hand and gives it to Laura. "The completed autopsy report. Take a peek at page five."

Laura opens the file as Steele says, "Couldn't you have worn something slightly more appropriate?"

"I didn't have time to change," Murphy tells him.

Laura smiles, closing the file. "Okay. Let's get this show on the road." She and Murphy move off.

"Well, I'm glad to see that you're finally into the spirit of the evening," he tells her, then realizes he's still holding Murphy's jacket and goes to put it up.

At dinner, Steele rises. "To our guests. May the conversation be as interesting as their company."
They all drink. Later, over the meal, he begins trying to recreate the crime. "Wallace obviously discovered the killer removing the research from the library. There was a fierce struggle, the killer- hit Wallace repeatedly-"

Laura speaks up. "What Mr. Steele means to say is that it COULD have happened that way, but it didn't, since the autopsy found no bruises or abrasions on Wallace's body."

"The point is, the killer dragged-"

"Lured," she corrects him again.

"Wallace to the stable where he was injected with a massive overdose of muscle relaxant."

Laura takes up the narrative. "The same type found in this vial- using a needle exactly like this one. Both of which were found in your stable, Mr. Dillon."

Steele finishes. "The killer transported Wallace's unconscious body to Main Street, hoping that it would appear that he died of an overdose."

Dillon laughs. "Your food is wonderful, but your theory's absurd. None of us has any reason to steal from ourseves."

"Wrong. One of you had the strongest possible reason: Money. Enormous amounts of the stuff. Isn't that right, Meecham?"

"Then, of course, as you pointed out, Mr. Steele, Roger Dillon had an equally strong motive."

Steele frowns. "I don't remember pointing that out."

"Of course you do, sir, when you learned of his association with those gentlemen at the polo match."

Dillon frowns. "Those gentlemen have nothing to do with Dillon Electronics."

Laura kept going. "Then why was one of them searching Wallace's room?" she asks, glancing at Murphy.

He stands. "Excuse me," he says, and goes to the kitchen.

Steele is determined to prove that Meecham is the killer. "Tell me, Meech, when Dillon Electronics went under, did you plan to buy out the rest of the company?"

"You're damn right."

Dillon glares at Meecham. "You'll never get your hands on my company, Meecham."

Murphy brings Mrs. Dillon some tea. "Try this, Mrs. Dillon." She takes a drink, freezes.

"It's only a matter of time until you have to punt, Dillon. And I'm gonna run with the ball."

Laura doesn't look at Mrs. Dillon as she asks, "How's the tea, Mrs. Dillon?"

"Tastes like the kind I drink."

"It IS the kind you drink."

"I didn't know anyone else had that recipe."

Steele is frustrated that things seem to be getting away from his purpose. "Ladies, could we shelve the tea talk and get back to business?" He turns to Meecham. "You wanted that land for an industrial park, didn't you?"

"You got it."

"Then you admit it."

"I admit I was gonna build an industrial park-"

Mrs. Dillon looks at Laura. "Where did you get the recipe?"

"But you knew that, didn't you, Steele?"

Laura finally looks at the woman beside her. "You brewed Wallace a cup-"

"Because you went through my hotel room-" Meecham accuses.

"Right before you KILLED him.-"

"That's called breaking and entering -" Meecham rises, as does Mrs. Dillon, gun in hand.

Steele stands to face Meecham. "Sit down."

Laura cries out when she sees the gun, Murphy grabs for Mrs. Dillon's hand as the gun goes off- at the same moment that Steele's right fist connects with Meecham's jaw, sending the man to the floor as a mirror behind him shatters.

"Easy now, Mrs. Dillon," Murphy says, holding her.

Meecham peers over the table before rising. "What the HELL's going on here?"

Mrs. Dillon looks at her son. "You little wimp. Tell them what business your new partners are in-"

"For God's sake, Mother, shut up!" Steele watches, confused and amazed.

"They peddle classified American technology to the highest bidder," Mrs. Dillon tells everyone. "Did you think I was going to let you sell them our discoveries? I'd rather see the company go under than have it run by a traitor."

Dillon looked frightened. "You're getting us both hung."

Steele is still shocked and surprised, puts hand to his chin. Mrs. Dillon looks at him. "I didn't want to hurt that poor man. But he just couldn't understand what I was trying to do."

Meecham smiled at Steele. "You saved my life, Steele. And I thought you were gonna accuse ME of the murder."

"You? Don't be absurd."

Meecham puts his arm across Steele's shoulders. "Awful quick thinkin', buddy."

"Well, what else do you expect from Remington Steele?" He asks, returning Laura's sideways smile with an "I knew it all along" look.

In the limo the next day, Steele is looking at the newspaper as Laura sits beside him. "Really, Laura. This is shocking. If I were you, I'd have a word with the press. Do you realize that not one of these articles mentions your name?"

She smiles. "One learns to live with it. That was nice, donating the money you won in that polo match to Wallace's mission."

Steele smiles as well, folding the paper. "He was a nice man. And a hell of a burglar. I think the entire staff can be rather proud of this one."

Laura smiles again. "The entire staff thanks you."

"However, there is one small thing that puzzles me. How did I know it was Mrs. Dillon and not her son?"

"Or Meecham, remember?" she teases.

"Or Meecham."

"She was the only one who drank that tea. And when it turned up in the stable and Wallace's stomach-" she snaps her fingers.

Steele smiles, putting on his sunglasses. "God, I'm good."

Laura grins up at him.