Cannon (1971) s01e07 Episode Script

The Girl in the Electric Coffin

Oh, Monsieur Prideau? Well, you can drop the "monsieur.
" I was born in the English part of Canada.
I expect my French is just about as good as yours, Mr.
uh Somers, Harry Somers.
I'm trying to locate a girl named Nicole Alexandre.
She used to live around here.
Well, I know the family, of course.
Everybody does in this town.
But I haven't seen Nicole since she went to the States.
Well, what I'm really interested in are some pictures of her mother.
I thought maybe Mm-hm, mm-hm.
Wait a minute.
Maybe I can help.
I had the honor of photographing Madame Alexandre before she became world famous.
Maybe this will help.
Passport photo.
Anything wrong, Mr.
Somers? You bet there is.
Looks like a ANNOUNCER: Starring William Conrad.
With guest stars: Kim Hunter, Andrew Prine, Frank Aletter, Lynne Marta, and Signe Hasso as Madame Alexandre.
ANNOUNCER: I keep trying to remind myself that I come from good, sturdy peasant stock.
But it just doesn't seem to work, Frank.
I was anything but sturdy when I got the news about Harry.
Can I get you something? Something to eat, maybe? Dear Frank, it should be enough bringing you here without you having to find words of consolation.
The grief is on both of us, Liz.
It just doesn't make any sense.
He said it was a simple job.
Just trying to find some woman's daughter.
Whose daughter, Liz? You've heard of Madame Alexandre's Cosmetics? What's the matter? Madame Alexandre asked me to find her daughter, and I turned her down.
I'm the one who recommended Harry.
Excuse me.
Harry Somers? Yes.
The plane's in.
You stay here, Liz.
Uh, miss, I'm Frank Cannon, I'm a friend of the family.
I'm afraid that signing for her husband's body may be a little more than she can take right now.
One flight up, Mr.
Cannon, Room 104.
Thank you.
Yes, sir? I'd like to see Madame Alexandre, please.
She's busy right now in a photographic session.
If you'd like to make an appoint You can't go in there, sir.
Oh, really? How about that? Security No, no, no, no, no.
She's supposed to be seductive, mysterious, not like the girl next door.
Madame Alexandre, I'd like to talk to you, please.
I'm Frank Cannon.
Susan, uh, try to put your hair up.
I'd like to talk to you, please.
You can see we're busy, can't you? Who are you? I'm a private detective.
I'm here about Harry Somers.
Oh, it's all right, it's all right.
Cannon, I'm so sorry.
Forgive me for not recognizing you.
Forgive me for bursting in, but it's important that I talk to you.
Of course.
Uh, Jess, take over, please.
We can talk better in there, please.
Thank you.
Won't you please sit down? No, thank you, I'd rather stand.
Very well.
Cannon, I want you to know how terrible I feel about all this.
I have made a half a dozen phone calls to Moudon.
The Canadian police don't even have a suspect.
Madame Alexandre, three months ago, I turned down your case because at that time you told me that it concerned nothing more than a mother worrying about her long-lost daughter.
It does.
I'm even more worried about Nicole now.
Well, I recommended a very good man, and he got killed.
He was working on nothing but your case.
I know.
I know.
And I do understand your anger, Mr.
But I promise you, I'll do anything I can to help you.
Extension 129.
This is Mr.
Would you tell my brother I want to see him right away? For four years I hadn't heard anything from my daughter.
Then last year I had quite a serious operation.
Then another one.
Nicole sent a few get-well cards, some flowers, she even made two telephone calls.
Did she say where she was calling from? No, no, no, she wouldn't talk to me.
Only to the head nurse to find out how I was.
I, uh I must assume that there was a fight before she ran away.
Yes, indeed, there was a fight.
Because of him.
Jess Widney.
Well, he is the one most responsible for the success of my company.
Now, when When Nicole was barely 19, she had an affair with him.
This was in Canada? Yes.
Of course I had no idea.
You see, Jess and I were also When Nicole found out, she was so terribly hurt, so humiliated, she simply ran.
It was an awkward time for us, because, you see, Jess had raised the capital for us to go to Los Angeles and take over a small local operation and give it an international scope.
The result is what you see.
Do you still have the get-well cards? No, I gave them to Mr.
What about a photograph of Nicole? I gave everything to Mr.
Oh, except here.
Let me see if I can open it.
Yes, here.
Pretty girl.
Isn't she? She's only 15 here.
I'll find her.
Thank you.
Anything I can help with? Get back! What's happening? You stay here.
Are you all right? Yeah.
Who was he? I don't know.
I caught him going through Harry's office.
Pretty boy type.
About 6'2", maybe 180 pounds.
A good dresser.
He, uh, sound familiar at all? No.
I don't know what he was looking for, but I guarantee you he'd never have found it with this filing system.
It was designed to confuse intruders.
Well, it succeeded because I'm confused.
I'd like to find the file on Madame Alexandre.
That's easy.
Look under E.
E! Of course.
Harry Harry took the last letter of the client's name and filed it under that.
Well, what if the last were the same as the first, like in, uh, Newman, for example? Then he'd use the first letter of the first name.
All right, what if they were the same, like in Nathan Newman, for example? Then he wouldn't take the case.
You nut, you.
Ah, here it is.
I'm sorry, Frank, I thought I'd done all my crying.
Hey, Liz.
Let it all out if you want to.
Hm? I'll be all right.
Don't worry about me.
Hmm, Chicago, Miami, South Bend What are they? These are get-well cards from Nicole.
There's a hospital statement, two long-distance phone calls, one from Detroit and the other one from Albany, New York.
Liz, did Harry find out why she moved around so much? If he did, he never mentioned it.
That won't be much help.
No, it's no better than the one her mother has of her.
Did Harry tell you why he went to Canada? Uh, the girl had gone back there or something? Oh, no, I don't think so.
I-it had something to do with the mother.
Just a hunch, he said.
I gave him this for our sixth wedding anniversary.
Hey, Liz.
Uh, you used to do research for Harry, didn't you? Mm-hm.
How would you like to dig up a few facts on Madame Alexandre for me? That's my specialty.
Well, then that takes care of that.
Now I'm going to indulge in my specialty, and it's this.
I know a restaurant that makes the best chocolate soufflé this side of Paris, and I am going to take you there right now.
Why don't I just remove him? You can't go around removing private detectives every time you feel like it.
That's what I get paid for.
Wrong, you get paid for taking orders.
Don't play the big man with me, Jess.
I got in this because of you.
Remember that.
All I'm saying is use your head.
Now, I've checked.
This Cannon is good.
Why not let him do what you haven't been able to do, find Nikki? Then you can earn your keep.
How's the jigsaw coming? Hm? Oh, uh It It all fits except two pieces, Des Moines and Chicago.
Nicole really moved around.
According to the cards and phone calls, she was in six cities in five months.
How are you coming? Well, there's surprisingly little for a woman as famous as Madame Alexandre.
She was graduated from the University of Hamburg.
Majored in Chemistry, took courses in Cosmetology.
You know, the funny thing is, th There's never any mention of her husband.
Nicole may be what my mother always took great joy in calling a love child.
Maybe I just better dig a little deeper.
Wait a minute.
Wait a minute here.
Seattle, Des Moines, Chicago, Miami, Detroit, and Albany.
It fits! Oh, that's beautiful, it fits.
Uh, Frank, before you go running off somewhere, w-will you tell me what you've been looking for? The Two Cents Fancy.
All right.
All right.
Oh, what's with you people? What do you want, my blood? You're never gonna get it on the way I want it, are you? Maybe if we had a break like the union rules say Okay.
Okay, take five.
Uh, Mr.
Austin? Yeah.
My name's, uh, Frank Cannon.
I'm a private investigator.
I understand you produced an album about a year ago that featured a group called The Two Cents Fancy.
I've been trying to locate 'em.
Haven't had much luck.
Thought maybe you might help.
Well, if you played the album, you'll know why you can't locate 'em.
Uh, yeah, but, uh, this, uh, picture, unfortunately, is about ten years old.
But could that girl have been part of the group? I don't know.
Why? I'm just trying to find her.
Well, I doubt if you'll have much luck.
The Two Cents Fancy folded.
Thank you.
Yeah, they unplugged about seven months ago.
Well, do you know what happened to any of 'em? I heard a couple of 'em are playing in a roadhouse up near Reno.
Which couple? Uh, Harold, I'd like to talk to you a minute.
Come on.
Phil and Nikki.
Latched onto a cat from Frisco.
They call themselves the, um The Electric Coffin.
Nikki who? Uh, Harold, I'm waiting.
Nikki Kent.
Sings, plays pretty good guitar.
Thanks, partner.
Thank you.
You're a charming man.
Harold, you've got a big mouth.
Now, cool it for a few minutes while I make a phone call.
I'm sorry I'm late, Frank.
But I finally got my courage up and started checking through Harry's effects.
Frank, I've got more newspapers piled up than a Boy Scout paper drive.
What was all that hocus pocus with the six cities? A common denominator in all the cards and greetings that Nicole sent her mother.
Well, I matched the cities and dates on the postmarks to The newspapers from the same towns, same dates.
There's a rock group called The Two Cents Fancy.
Now, they just happened to be playing always on all of those dates in all of those cities.
I'm speechless.
This group is in Reno? Well, part of them, anyhow.
They call themselves The Electric Coffin now.
Let's see what we got here.
A picture of Nicole with her school glee club, birth certificate, "Nicole Piragette.
Liz, uh, what was the birth date of Nicole Alexandre? Only there's no record of a birth certificate.
Oh, here's everything I could find on Madame Alexandre.
Apparently she never married.
Flight 7 for Reno, Nevada.
Ah, there I go.
Frank, you're getting close, aren't you? Look, I'm not asking for any details, but I guess I'm remembering a drink in this same room with Harry just before he went to Canada.
Frank, he was getting close too.
I know.
Tell you what.
When I get back, I know a restaurant Go on.
When the sun is down What's it comin' to? Baby, baby, ah, baby Will ya tell me, boy What I'm gonna do? Baby, baby, ah, baby, baby I want your lovin' I love that lovin' You better come by And put an end to my cryin' You know it's true My baby, I love, love, love I love, love, love I love, love, love Love you Yeah.
Ah, that's a lovely song, kids, it really is.
I like it very much.
Unfortunately, I don't run the company, and they want The Two Cents Fancy.
The Two Cents Fancy bombed.
Phil's the only part of it that's left.
Besides, Judy sings better than Nikki any day.
You may think they bombed, but my boss heard The Two Cents Fancy, that's the group he wants.
Look, if you kids could find this other girl, I'll put up the dough for a demo for you, how's that? Hey, she split, man.
I told you that when you came in.
Well, do you have any idea where she went? Who knows where they go when they split? Hey, Judy, do you have any idea where she might be? No.
I'm the little girl that took her place, mister, and that is no way to cement a lasting friendship, is it? But you did know Nikki.
Sure, in a casual kind of way.
Like two jealous chicks fighting over the same guy.
Only in this case it was a job.
Well, after you got it and she split, did she tell you where she was going? Deep-sea fishing.
Come on, Judy, this is important.
I'm not putting you on.
She hooked up with some cat who wanted to take her deep-sea fishing in Hawa Jamaica, that's it.
Come on, hon, let's go.
We're late.
Hey, listen, we're starting a new gig very soon, and I've got a million things to do, so ciao.
Can't I talk to you later? Why, brother? The Electric Coffin is here to stay.
If you don't want to cut a demo with us, who needs you? We'll get packed and meet you outside in five.
Uh, Miss Lorillard? I know you're in a hurry, but could I speak to you for just a minute? I I promise I won't keep you.
There was a man who talked to you earlier this evening when you were rehearsing.
Could I ask you who he said he was? Well, he said he was an A and R man from Westlake Records.
But he isn't.
You know that, then.
Yes, I know that.
Uh, could we sit over here for just a minute, please? Okay, but I don't have much time, I really don't.
Yes, I understand.
Uh, could I ask you how you, uh, knew that he wasn't an A and R man? Was it something he said? Heh.
All right, I won't press.
We've been watching him for quite a while.
We? It's a private investigation.
The DA asked us not to discuss it.
I don't understand.
What is this all about? Okay, okay, I won't press.
Look, if he contacts you again, please be careful.
He won't contact me again because I don't have any answers for him.
About Nikki? I have to go.
You're opening at the, uh, Stein 'n Sirloin tonight? Mm-hm.
Graveyard shift, Mind if I come by? I'd like that.
Love of music Sing, everybody Stay cool, get happy Love of music Sing, everybody Stay cool Get love I'm on a ten-minute break, mister.
Time is short for all of us, Judy, especially the girl I'm looking for.
It's back to Nikki Kent.
I'm gonna level with you.
I'm not in the record business.
Ha! No kidding.
You really had me fooled.
My name is Frank Cannon, I'm a private detective.
Now, there are two reasons why I have to find Nikki.
The first one is that she's in trouble.
Frankly, she didn't strike me as the type.
What's the second reason? Her mother.
Nikki ran away and now her mother wants to see her.
She didn't like her mother, Mr.
That's one of the few things she did tell me.
I suppose there's a third reason.
Another detective, a friend of mine, got murdered while he was trying to find her.
And he left a widow who's not gonna get over it very fast.
Judy, look, if you know anything, anything at all, will you please, please tell me? Hey, I just remembered something.
Nikki told me if she ever got bored with fishing that she might head north.
There's a group working intermissions at the Calgary Stampede.
Why don't you try up there? Now, can I please be alone for a minute? Thanks for that vital piece of information.
I'm sorry I bothered you.
Uh, hello, operator, uh, I'd like to make a call.
The area code is 213, and the number is 495-5123.
You know it's true My baby, I love, love, love I love, love, love I love, love Love Love you Yeah.
Would you like something? Glass of white wine, please.
I'll have another, please.
Hey, did I tell you you were good? Well, you are, not that I thought you wouldn't be.
Thank you.
Um, he was here.
When? Just after the last set.
Same questions? Same pose? No, heh, this time he said he was a private detective.
That's quite a switch from an A and R man.
He even had an ID.
Well a dime will buy you that in any novelty store.
Let's sit down.
Operator, uh, never mind.
I-I'll make the call later.
Thank you very much.
You know, I almost believed him.
I mean, he was really sincere.
If you listen to him for a half-hour, I guarantee you you'll think he was Sir Galahad.
He said something about Nikki being in real trouble, something about a friend of his getting killed trying to find her.
He should know.
We think he was the one who killed him.
Oh, wow.
I wish everybody would stop being so mysterious.
Look, Judy, I'm sorry, but don't you see? He's turned everything around.
He doesn't intend to save Nikki.
When he finds her, he's gonna kill her.
Why? Well, it's just a theory, but we think that she witnessed a murder.
In a way I'm glad you weren't able to tell him anything.
Makes my job a little harder, but it's better for you, especially for Nikki.
Hey, where are you going? I'm gonna find that poor kid before he does.
It was nice meeting you, Judy.
I only wish we had more time.
Wait a minute, wait.
Why, something else about Nikki? I am Nikki.
Why didn't you tell me? Well, I wanted to, but Hey, I've been running for so long, I don't know who to trust any more.
An old friend of mine, a producer in L.
, called me when I got to Reno and said that Cannon had been around asking a lot of questions.
Let's go, hon, they're waiting.
Look, I'm gonna stick around.
I'm not taking any chances of anything happening to you.
As soon as you're packed up here, I'm gonna drive you back to Reno.
I'll be all right with the guys.
No, don't you understand? We're dealing with a professional.
He'll kill them in a minute just to get to you.
Now, please, I know how to handle this.
Trust me.
Let me help you.
All right.
Hello? Liz, I've been trying to get you half the night.
Oh, I'm sorry, Frank, but that booking agent was at three different parties.
I ju I kept missing him every time.
Now, don't tell me it's gonna be a bust.
No, no, I finally nailed him at a coffee shop on the strip.
Well, what did he say? You were right.
Judy Lorillard is doing a single at Mr.
Eddie's on Bourbon Street.
Beautiful, Liz, that's beautiful.
Did you have a chance to confirm? Oh, yes, I called New Orleans, talked to her myself.
Hold up, wait a minute, Liz.
Look, uh, I'll call you later, huh? Bye-bye.
Nicole, I know who you are.
I'm Judy Lorillard.
Listen, Judy Lorillard is in New Orleans.
A friend of mine just talked to her.
Now, will you listen to me? Let go of me! Look, I have to talk to you, dear.
No! Look, I don't know why you're afraid of me.
I'm only trying to help you, really I am.
Keep back.
Please! Keep back! Wait! Keep back! Nicole! Will you listen to me?! There's no sign of him.
Hey, you don't turn here for Reno.
Where are we going? You seem upset, Nikki.
Am I driving too fast? Or would you rather I called you Nicole? Nicole Piragette.
Who are you? A friend of the family.
You remember the family.
You certainly remember Jess Widney.
Let's just say that it all began with the real Madame Alexandre.
And the terrible man who convinced her to move her nice little business to Los Angeles and make it a nice big business.
But his plan fizzled, because at the last minute, Madame Alexandre decided she didn't want Los Angeles.
Didn't want Jess.
What a catastrophe.
Poor Jess.
Couldn't put his hands on those formulas for all those cosmetics.
Then what'd he do? What? He killed her.
Very good.
And your mother was kind enough to replace Madame Alexandre.
Now, why'd she do that? Why, Nikki? She was in love with Jess.
That's right, and that's the best part of the story.
Both of you, mother and daughter.
Stop it.
Why? Heh.
You gonna run away from me like you ran away from Mama? Who are you? I thought you were a bright little girl.
I thought you'd know by now.
I'm the man's brother, Nikki.
The terrible man.
I'm Carl Widney.
You see a brown car go by here a few minutes ago? Yep.
When? Uh, just like you said, just a few minutes ago.
Probably heading up toward Pyramid Lake.
Almost there.
That'd be pretty foolish and very painful.
Do you mind if I smoke? Beautiful country.
Desolate, rugged.
Nobody around for 20 miles.
Nikki? Come on out, now, let's get it over with.
Come on, Nikki! Now, be a good girl.
All right, open the door and get out.
Go on.
You didn't know who he was, huh? I remember Jess mentioning a brother, but I never met him.
Better pull in your stomach, fat man! Look, I want you to get back down there.
Now, when you move, move fast.
All right, go.
Come on, get up, come on.
You really are working for my mother, aren't you? She's been looking for you ever since you started to write.
You know, she thought you ran away because of her affair with Jess Widney.
It wasn't that.
I saw Jess kill Madame Alexandre.
I never went back.
Then when I read in the papers that Madame Alexandre was arriving in L.
and I saw my mother's picture And you thought that she and Jess had planned the whole thing, including the murder, huh? Do you think she'd have hired a detective to look for you if she'd done a thing like that? No, my guess is Jess told a couple of believable lies about Madame Alexandre's death, and your mother agreed to step in and help.
Get down.
It's over.
Not yet.
Not until you go back to Los Angeles.
She needs you, Nikki.
I hate her.
I see.
That's probably why you wrote her all those cards and phoned her at the hospital.
Hm? Let me think about it.
She said she wanted to think about it.
Give her some time.
However, she did sign the papers accusing Widney.
The lieutenant and I talked to him, and he's agreed to waive extradition.
You know, until I saw those papers, I still didn't believe that Jess had killed her.
He told me there had been an automobile accident.
He was frantic with grief.
Even said he'd sent flowers in my name.
God forgive me, but I really did believe it was an accident, Mr.
And all I knew was that Jess had invested all his life savings and would lose everything if the company went under.
We both made mistakes, Mama.
Look at you, you're wearing the same old colors.
Why don't you try orange for a change or something? Oh, I-I'm afraid I gave Mr.
Cannon a rather bad time.
But he has a way of making you think.
I've written down here the address of Mrs.
Harry Somers.
When you, uh, get my statement, if you'd be kind enough to I understand.
Oh, I thank you.
Thank you, Mr.
Hi, Frank.
I've got something to tell you.
-What? I know a restaurant that