Cannon (1971) s01e09 Episode Script

A Lonely Place to Die

Hey, you.
Nealy I got a couple of dog lovers living next door to me.
A week ago they brought in some pups, and I haven't had four hours sleep since.
Tonight, for the first time, I finally managed to drop off.
And then at 3:00, your call comes in, dragging me out here 'cause you think you saw three murders.
But it's the truth, sheriff.
I swear it.
What was it tonight, Nealy? Store-bought stuff or some of your homemade stuff, huh? I wasn't drunk.
Only a little wine after dinner.
I don't know what you're going to do, Nealy, but I'm going home.
Try to forget somebody said I was servant of the The people.
No, sheriff, listen.
ANNOUNCER: Starring William Conrad.
With guest stars: Harold Gould, R.
And special guest star, Carol Rossen.
ANNOUNCER: Ah, pardon me.
I'm looking for a Mr.
A Mr.
Frank Cannon.
Uh, would you happen to know where he is? You just found him.
Oh, hi.
I'm Nina Greyson.
Can I talk to you? Sure.
Would you like to come aboard? Thanks.
Watch your step now.
Hope you don't mind if I keep on varnishing.
You know that stuff runs when you don't brush it off.
All right.
Um, sit on the rail.
It's dry.
What can I do for you? Mr.
Cannon, I need your help.
My brother's disappeared.
Have you contacted the police? Yes, but, uh they have procedures.
You know, red tape.
It all takes so much time.
Well, when somebody's lost, it always takes time.
Can you find him for me? Ah, Miss Greyson finding lost brothers isn't my specialty.
And besides, I promised myself a couple of weeks to renew an old friendship with a very expensive toy of mine.
I know you'll forgive me.
I'm willing to pay whatever you want.
No, money isn't the problem.
Uh, you just gotta have patience.
Give the police a chance, huh? I'm afraid they'll never find him.
I clipped this out of the, uh morning paper.
Well, uh would W-would you read it for me? "The sheriff's office has been investigating a report "of multiple murder "which allegedly took place at an abandoned beach house "two miles from Carbon City.
"The witness, a neighbor, said he saw three men "gunned down on the beach as they ran from the house.
" I think my brother was one of those three men.
Let me see that, will you? Thomas was at the beach the same night looking at that same deserted house with several business associates.
He never came home.
"Thomas Greyson, "age 57, weight 160, "hair gray, injured in childhood, uses a cane.
"Real estate business in Philadelphia.
Two associates, unidentified.
" Your job looks easier than mine, Cannon.
Yeah, it could be.
At least you got a legitimate make on somebody.
All I've got are three ghosts.
What about your witness, Nealy Johnson.
He come up with anything else? Well, he said he saw a pickup leave the house on a back road right after the shooting.
Pickup, huh? Yeah, it was light blue no, uh, license number no model or year or Look, Cannon I sent two deputies and a lab man back out there yesterday.
They couldn't find a leaf out of place.
I think I'll go take a look for myself.
House is boarded up.
Property's posted.
Well, I don't suppose you're gonna break any big laws, Cannon.
Thank you for all your help.
You'll check back if you stump your toe on something interesting, huh? Wouldn't have it any other way, sheriff.
Oh, please.
Don't shoot.
Don't kill me.
Who are you? Nealy Johnson.
I'm a neighbor.
I'm just a neighbor.
You're the fellow who said he saw all the murders, huh? I didn't really see nothing.
Oh, you sure caused a big hassle for a man who didn't really see nothing.
No, that was a mistake.
I didn't see nothing.
I called the sheriff and I told him that.
I was drunk.
Uh I was just plain drunk.
Oh, mister, please.
The The gun.
Oh, excuse me.
I keep forgetting how frightening these things are to people.
Hey, that's quite a thing you got there.
What happened, did you have an accident? Uh, no, I fell down.
I-I just fell down.
Yeah, well, I'm sorry to hear that, Mr.
You should take better care of yourself.
Uh, but I, uh, have a feeling you've already kind of done that, huh? Oh, what's that supposed to mean? Well, it's just strange that a man can reverse his story in such a short time.
I'm gonna give up drinking altogether.
Well, at least sit down when you do it.
Then you won't get any more bruises, right? Look, can I go now? Uh, just one more thing.
The sheriff says you saw a pickup truck that night.
No, I didn't see any pickup.
uh, because it was too dark? No, because there wasn't anybody here.
Uh, my name's Frank Cannon, and, uh Uh, if you, uh, get any fresh ideas about, uh, things that didn't happen that night, why, give me a call.
It might mean some money for you.
Okay? Oh, sure.
Yeah, okay.
All right.
Uh, Mr.
Johnson? Uh, uh, that pickup truck was green, wasn't it? No, it was blu I didn't see nothing.
You understand? I didn't see nothing.
I understand.
Thank you.
Good morning.
Something wrong? I seem to be having trouble with my car.
It's being followed.
Now, who sent you? Come on, talk to me, sonny.
Who sent you? Your bird dog dropped this, Troas.
Joseph Antonio, sales representative, Overseas Import Company.
And since I know the president I thought it would be nice if I returned it personally.
Whatever the reason, Frank, it's always good to see you.
Would you like to convince me of that? Hey.
I'll bet that you still like the best, huh? And I'll bet you can still afford the best, huh? You know, it makes me proud to call someone like you a friend.
Successful private investigator big clients, important cases.
It's not like the old days, huh, Frank? Back when you were walking a beat? Ah, if you don't mind, I'd just as soon open the scrapbook later.
I am only interested in why you had somebody tailing me.
There's a lot of water under the bridge for you and me, Frank.
We had better feelings back then.
Younger feelings.
Flexing the muscles, bluffing each other out.
Move, countermove.
Huh? Put Nick Troas behind bars, you could have been captain.
But I never quite made the promotion, did I? Nah.
That was too bad.
Too bad.
You were a good cop, Frank.
But, uh not quite good enough to tap you on the shoulder, right? Frank, what am I gonna do with you? You go around kicking sleeping dogs, you stir up hornets' nests.
You look for trouble where there's no trouble.
I just want to know why you had somebody breathing down my neck? Oh, it was a mistake, Frank.
A stupid mistake by a stupid employee.
He probably thought you were somebody else.
Who? His wife's lover, a bill collector.
I don't know and I don't c Heh.
This is Nina's fault.
Nina? Nina Greyson.
Your client.
An old friend.
And now I'm really glad I dropped by.
She called up yesterday.
Seemed very upset.
Some ridiculous talk about murder.
I suggested she go to the police.
Obviously, she preferred going to you.
You wouldn't like to tell me where you were late last Monday night, would you? No, Frank, I wouldn't like to tell you.
But I will.
I spent the evening at home with friends.
Naturally your friends will verify that, as they always do.
Of course.
You know, Troas.
Uh I really wasn't too interested in this case until I found out that you were part of the package, and now my attitude is showing a marked improvement.
However you keep your bird dog away from me.
If you should be in the neighborhood again, Frank I'll rattle your cage.
I see you have a whole kennel.
You might like that.
Victor, get Antonio.
Antonio, it seems we got a problem.
I'm walking on the edge of a dangerous cliff, and Frank Cannon wants to push me off.
Don't let him do that, Antonio.
Don't let him do that.
Minus $100 for expenses, I am returning your initial payment for my services.
What's wrong? I'll try.
I'll tell you what's wrong.
I don't take cases for clients who refuse to level with me.
That's what's wrong.
I don't know what you're talking about.
Oh, really? Well, the price also includes a bonus of one free drink and about thirty seconds of straight talk if there is any.
Which I doubt.
I told you everything.
Well, then, by all means let's drink to ecology, and motherhood and bad memories.
We might as well cover all the bases, right? You checked the company in Philadelphia where I said my brother worked? It cost me 70 cents to make a telephone call, station to station.
Anything else? Yes, another phone call.
One you made to Troas.
You know the right people.
Did you also check my references? Yes.
Around the edges.
You're 34, you're unmarried, you live with your mother and the rent on this magnificent apartment has been paid in advance for the next ten years.
You're wrong.
I'm 35.
We'll let that be our secret.
Do you think I'm still attractive for a woman of 35, Mr.
Cannon? Well, if it's of any importance you're very attractive, yes.
It's always important to him.
Who? A man, that's all.
Just a man.
I suppose calling it sinful is a little old-fashioned after a 12-year relationship.
Well, good luck to both of you on a long and happy affair.
You see, he's been on a trip.
He was supposed to send for me, but something happened, and he couldn't.
And that's why two days ago, when he finally came home You're right, of course.
I did lie.
No brother.
just a kind, gentle man who walks with a cane.
All right.
We're gonna play this game all over again.
Let's change the rules.
You're gonna tell me everything that's important.
I love him very much.
Well, that fact has already come through.
I have to know whether or not he's dead.
Just for the record, does the man have a name? Couldn't we still use Thomas Greyson? Well, why not? At least it's classier than John Doe.
Thank you.
You're welcome.
This is Nealy Johnson.
You can hear me, can't you? Yeah, I can hear you, Nealy.
Remember that matter we discussed? I-i-if I had any more information? Yeah.
Well, I've got something to tell you.
It's important.
Well, tell me.
No, no.
Not over the phone.
I've got a pickup to make at the junkyard off the Coast Highway.
I-I'll meet you there.
Relax, Nealy.
That was real good.
You won't hurt me, will you? You just do as you're told, Nealy.
it'll be a picnic.
Hey, Nealy.
Get down there, welcome your guest.
Go on.
Cannon? Mr.
Cannon? Mr.
Cannon? Mr.
Cannon? Get in! Hey.
Don't tempt me.
Well, I guess Nealy did see something he wasn't supposed to see that night.
Yeah, it took long enough to convince you, sheriff.
I'm getting easier.
We'll need a full statement, Cannon.
Who, why.
You know the routine.
Yeah, I know the routine.
Well, at least you saved one of 'em for me.
I'm afraid you're still gonna come up empty-handed.
He's from out of town on a contract.
Why you? I don't know.
If I were getting close, it would make more sense.
Well, maybe, uh you're getting closer than you think.
Yeah, I think somebody's getting awfully nervous or frightened.
Ah, you know that pickup truck Nealy mentioned? The blue one? Yeah? Why don't you look into it, see if you can find out how many are in the area and who owns them, huh? Funny, I keep thinking this is my case.
We Well, we could, uh split it right down the middle.
You'd probably give me the wrong end.
This is Frank Cannon.
Have you found out anything? That little junk dealer down at the beach, he got hit this afternoon.
He's dead.
Dead? He was the only witness.
Yeah, and somebody else must have known too.
What are you gonna do? Keep you alive.
You could be on their list of coming attractions.
But why would they want to kill me? Because you stepped on the same rattlesnake I did.
Nicholas Troas? That's right.
Then it's true.
He's dead.
You mean the man with the cane? Mm-hm.
All right, tell me who he is, Nina.
But you stay in your apartment and keep the door locked.
Don't even talk to the paperboy, you understand? I understand.
Are you all right, honey? I'm fine, Ma.
Go to sleep.
Uh, this is Nina Greyson.
Tell Mr.
Troas I want to see him.
I'm looking for a Mr.
That's me.
Yeah? I'm Frank Cannon.
I'm investigating an accident claim for an insurance company.
Can I talk to you for a minute? What about? Well, about this pickup truck, as a matter of fact.
If it's yours.
It's my dad's, but he's out of town.
I'm trying to find a witness who was at the old beach road last Monday night, oh, about, uh, 10:00.
Sheriff already asked me about that.
I told him.
I don't know anything.
You know, then are only seven pickup trucks like this in the county, and I've already talked to four other people.
Well, I guess you have to keep on looking.
I haven't been out to Beach Road for over a month.
Yeah? Excuse me.
Yeah, sure.
Hello? Oh, hi.
Um no I I can't talk now, hon.
I got to get back to work.
No, nothing's wrong.
Uh Mm.
Look, I'll see you later, huh? Okay, yeah.
L-lunch at Benson's.
Me too.
Sorry, mister.
There's nothing more I can tell you.
Well, that's the way things go.
Thanks very much anyway.
So long.
Well how good it is to see you.
You're just in time for breakfast.
I, uh I hope you'll join me.
Please, sit down.
No, thank you.
I hope you'll permit me.
I, uh trust you're well.
Does it matter? Of course it matters.
I worry about all my friends.
Even Theo? Even Theo.
How is he? You heard from him? Three days ago.
An hour before you were to meet him at the beach.
Yes, he never showed up.
I wondered what happened.
Liar! I'm giving a party tonight, Nina.
Just a few close friends.
Why don't you come.
Be good for you.
You killed him.
Troas, you killed Theo.
Now, Nina.
Nina, dear, you're upset.
Put that gun away, and we'll talk.
Nina No.
And we'll sit down and No! All right, Antonio.
Take her to the guest room.
Make her comfortable.
We'll dispose of the problem after the party.
There's been a guy asking questions about what we saw.
Yeah, she knows, Johnny.
Come on, sit down.
I'm sorry if I disturbed your lunch, but I overheard you say Benson's on the phone.
He knows about us.
I told him.
Why? Look, Johnny I have the greatest sympathy for the family problems that you and Terry are having right now but this thing involves murder.
We've got to tell my father sooner or later.
My father isn't exactly a fan of Johnny's.
Just one question.
What happened that night at the beach road.
Johnny, tell him, please.
We just wanted to be alone for a while, that's all.
Married people have a right, you know? I'll drink to that.
And, uh, we were just on the beach near that house.
It was my idea.
I was gonna tell my father I stayed at a girlfriend's.
Go on.
Well, we knew there were people in that house 'cause we saw lights.
But we didn't intend to bother them and we didn't want them bothering us.
Theo, stop.
It was terrible.
But we couldn't tell anyone, because they'd know Johnny and I You're gonna have to tell the sheriff what you're telling me.
We already decided that.
He may have one of the killers in custody.
You could help identify him.
That man, Theo do you know who he was? Yes, I think so.
Theo Koster.
Sounds familiar.
Well, it should.
He was a mob king.
The biggest.
The government deported him five years ago.
Well, Terry, since, uh, I'm such a big spender ha, your malt's on me.
Now, come on, kids.
Let's go see the sheriff.
Come on.
You're made, Cassick.
All tied up with a ribbon.
Troas is gonna toss you to the dogs.
You're wasting your time, Cannon.
Two witnesses place you right in the middle of the action when Theo Koster and his two bodyguards got hit.
Uh, I don't even know the guy.
Why, do you have to have an introduction to put a bullet in somebody's back? Knock it off, Cannon.
Those kids said I was there.
They didn't say I shot anybody.
You know, if you are lucky, you might get off with second degree.
Oh, no, no, no.
I forgot.
You killed the little junk man too, didn't you? I didn't kill him.
I was an innocent bystander.
You know, you must have a very, very good lawyer.
Believe it.
Too bad he'll never get you to trial.
What are you talking about? Well, the way I figure it, you'll get hit stepping out of a police van or walking down the corridor of the courthouse.
Ah, don't try to squeeze me, Cannon.
No, I'm just thinking what Koster's boys are gonna do when they find out that you knocked off their boss.
Well, don't think it hasn't been fun.
Hey, wait a minute.
Okay, we'll make a deal.
No, private investigators don't make deals.
But I might talk to the prosecutor about storing you away in a very safe place if you'll tell me where Koster and his two bodyguards are buried.
I don't know.
Don't say I didn't try.
That's the truth.
I don't know.
We, uh We drove back to Troas' house with the bodies in the car.
But, uh, I got out at the gate.
The others went inside.
Hello? Uh, this is Frank Cannon.
Is Nina there? Oh, no, she's not.
This is her mother, Mr.
As a matter of fact, I was getting worried.
She's been gone all afternoon.
Oh, do you know where she went? Well, I can't be sure, but Well, last night I heard her make an appointment with a Mr.
Thank you, Mrs.
It's a private party, Cannon.
But I think Mr.
Troas will make an exception in your case.
How stupid, Frank.
And how careless.
Well, let's save each other a lot of time, huh? I know where you dumped Koster.
I just don't know why.
Clever, intelligent man gets caught like a common thief, and he still has the guts to ask questions.
Well, you enjoyed the first question so much, I'll ask you another one.
Where's Nina? She's a guest.
Well, I've seen how you treat your guests.
I was just out at the barbecue area.
Well, let's just say that, uh, right now she's in better health than Theo Koster.
You and Koster used to be friends, didn't you? Ah used to be.
The big lesson in that, Frank: find out about your friends.
See, you, I understand.
If I don't put you away, you'll put me away first.
But Theo? Wise, kind, patient Theo.
He was one of my good friends until I found out that he was trying to steal what's become mine.
Well, he just came back to pick up all of his toys, didn't he? I'm willing to negotiate offer him a fair share of the operation.
The operation used to be his.
Five years ago, Frank.
You know, your goons really did a very bad job of trying to clean up your mess.
You think so? Mm-hm.
What a mistake killing Nealy Johnson.
Why didn't you just let it lay? Nobody would ever miss a man who wasn't even supposed to be in the country.
Frank, I thought of that.
Unfortunately, Theo's friends are still insanely loyal.
They knew he came back.
It was necessary to convince them that he disappeared.
That we never even had a meeting.
Hey, Nick.
Come on, we're waiting for you.
Ah! Hey! Hey, hey.
Drop it.
On the floor.
Now dial the operator and ask for the police.
And then get Nina down here.
Your party's getting a little rough.
That's pretty.
Huh? Huh? Pretty.
You think so, huh? Heh-heh.
I'm inclined to agree with you.
How you feeling? Brought some flowers out to the grave today.
Think that's the last time I'll do that.
Well, if it sounds like I'm trying to break your heart, Mr.
Cannon, heh I'm not.
I mean, I had five years to get used to the idea that, uh That I wouldn't see him again.
Listen, here's something you might like to put on the bulkhead.
Oh, God, thy sea is so great, and my boat is so small.
That's very nice, thank you.
You know, Theo used to buy things like that.
Religious things.
I mean, crosses and pictures.
Well, I guess he was trying to buy his way into heaven.
Well, if I ever need a private detective I'm available.
Oh, God, thy sea is so great.