Cannon (1971) s01e13 Episode Script

The Nowhere Man

Another busy night, huh, Leo? Yeah.
Almost over.
ANNOUNCER: Starring William Conrad.
With guest stars: Fritz Weaver, Lynn Carlin, Richard O'Brien, Robert Webber.
ANNOUNCER: Hello, Charlie, how are you? It's good to see you.
It's been a long time.
Seven years.
I was afraid you wouldn't remember me.
What, my favorite desk sergeant? You gotta be out of your mind.
You know, I don't think anybody ever found out who buried that phony complaint against me.
Is it, uh, time for me to return the favor? Oh, I don't know if I can even afford your fee.
That's one of the beautiful things about being on your own, my boy.
You, uh, can set your own rates anytime you want.
Well, this is it, Frank.
I deliver the payroll from the bank to the plant manager.
What do you make here? Well, we make We make chemical fertilizer.
Yeah? Seems to me you got an awful lot of fancy security for fertilizer.
Oh, that's where we keep the explosive chemicals.
Anyway, on my last trip, I wanted to get away early.
One of my kids has got rheumatic fever and, uh Yeah.
Leo Kern, he's a bookkeeper and, uh, he offered to hold the money till the manager got back and And the bookkeeper and the payroll disappeared at the same time, huh? Oh, come on, Charlie, you don't need a private detective.
You need the police department.
If this leaks out, I'm gonna get canned.
I'm 51 years of age, I I got a sick kid, car payments, the mortgage.
Where can I find another job? Who will hire me? I got three days to To find Leo or $16.
I borrowed his personnel file.
It might as well be a blank.
He left his apartment the same day that he took the money.
Okay, Charlie, I'll see what I can do.
He bought it, huh? Mr.
McMillan, I I don't like using him this way.
It's the only way to handle it.
Besides, Charlie, you've got as much to lose as anyone.
What's your problem? Mrs.
Barberio? Yep.
My name is Frank Cannon.
Leo Kern asked me to stop by and pick up his things.
No kidding? No kidding.
Can you let me into his room? Um, to pick up his things.
To pick up his things.
Well, somebody beat you to it.
Oh, do you know who? Why don't you ask your friend, Leo? Mrs.
Barberio You know, I just love them game shows on TV.
Like, um, hm, you wanna play before I call the cops? You like that one.
What makes you think I'm not a cop? Well, not unless you're on the take.
I mean, my late husband was in the garment business, and, uh, well, your suit cost you 3, 4 bills? Mrs.
Barberio, I ought to have you on my staff.
Your perspicacity amazes me.
Hm? Perspicacity.
Oh, yeah.
Are you a cop? Private.
Prove it.
That's a rather nice likeness, don't you think? Yeah.
Hey, by golly, you really are, aren't you? Come on.
Thank you.
What you want with Leo? Who picked up his things? Some woman.
Personally, I didn't think old Leo had it in him.
Even though she was as plain as a blanket.
No, it's true.
She really was.
Barberio, I would like very, very, much to, uh, take you into my confidence.
Listen, you can trust me with anything.
I'm sure.
You know that, right? Fifteen years in this building, I've seen things that would embarrass the dead.
I can imagine.
Right? Okay.
But not a word, not one word to anyone.
That's the kind of person I am.
You know that.
Tell me about Leo.
What kind of a person was he? What kind of tenant was he? -Well, um he had this problem, see? When everyone was asleep, he'd start screaming.
Hm, nightmares, huh? Good thought.
But you know, the last few weeks you You could have set your clock by him.
Uh, but Yeah, I mean, he was just beginning to drive everyone around here bananas.
What is it? -Fish scales.
-Fish scales? Well, it'll take a month to get this crud off of here.
Oh Yes, I realize that, Mr.
Robin, and it won't go any further.
Now, how much was the policy for? And the beneficiary? What was that name? Mrs.
Kern? Mrs.
Helen Kern? Yes? Uh, I'm with the Armin Insurance Agency.
Oh, thank you, I don't I don't need any.
Well, it It It's about a policy your husband took out.
Is he here? Um, n-no, he's away on business.
Oh, uh, you know where I might get in touch with him? Uh, why don't you just leave your card and I can have him call you when he gets back? Well, Mrs.
Kern, uh this is kind of embarrassing for me to have to admit, but I I've only been with the company just a little less than a week, and, uh, you know, if I'm not able to bring back a few facts, uh, I don't know what they're liable to think of me, but thank you.
Thank you very much.
Sit down, please.
How long have you been married? A week.
You know, uh, nobody at the place where he worked even knew that he'd, uh, gotten married.
Well, I I suppose that he felt that they might not be interested.
Kern, I'm not gonna put you on any longer.
I'm not an insurance man.
I'm a private detective.
And you don't wanna see anything happen to your husband, do you? Of course not.
Well, the day that he disappeared, the $16.
000 payroll turned up missing.
And you think that Leo took it? It certainly seems like it.
No, you're You're wasting your time.
Leo loves figures, but not what they represent.
If it weren't for me, he He wouldn't have a dime.
I made him open this, uh This account.
Who would? Who would take $16,000 and? And leave 6.
400 in the bank? Mrs.
Kern, I'd like to ask you just one more question, if I may.
If your husband is innocent, why is he hiding? Get out.
Leo, it's Helen.
I know, but I've got to see you.
And while the cost of this new equipment may seem enormously expensive, I Would you get Mr.
Klausen for me, please? Gentlemen, this note is from Leo Kern, one of our bookkeepers.
He is demanding $250.
000 for the return of one canister of K-I6.
He wants it by 6:00 tonight.
I realize this is the first any of you have heard that a canister is missing.
I take responsibility for that.
I felt under the circumstances, it was best no one be told.
When did it happen? A few days ago.
When Mr.
Klausen discovered the canister was missing, he reported it directly to me.
Have you told the Army? Well, of course not.
If the government feels our security is full of holes, we'll never get another contract.
So I had Mr.
Klausen hire one of the top private detectives in the country to locate Leo Kern.
I told him that Kern had made off with the company payroll.
But now we have an opportunity to get the canister back in complete secrecy.
Two hundred and fifty thousand dollars? That's a lot of money.
But if we don't pay it, we could have a major tragedy on our hands.
Well, if anyone objects to payment, I'd like to hear his reasons.
I take it then I have authorization.
Gentlemen, please, relax.
I wasn't about to steal any of your fertilizer.
Heh-heh! Really.
It's all right.
It's all right.
Frank, I'm sorry I brought you in on this.
What do I owe you? The truth.
Frank, please Oh, come on.
Leo Kern didn't steal any $16.
He didn't steal any fertilizer, either.
What did he steal, Charlie? Chemicals? Gas? Your visitors should be a little more careful.
The colonel who was here, he left his coat in the car.
And it bore the insignia of a chemical warfare unit.
Let it be, Frank.
You know, if I don't get some straight answers, I'm gonna make so much noise they'll hear me all the way to Washington.
All right.
The company does make chemical fertilizer.
The real money comes from something called K-16.
That's the code name for stuff we make for the Army.
Nerve gas.
Oh, no.
Is that what Leo's got? Enough to take out Who knows how many people.
If he'd only waited a few days.
What? You remember the publicity when the Army's nerve gas started to leak? Well, I I guess they got kinda scared.
Two weeks ago they canceled our contract.
All very quiet.
Only the top guys knew.
All right.
I want you to make a call to Army intelligence and then one to Inspector Daniels at police headquarters.
But it's all right, Frank.
For 250.
Leo is going to give us back the canister.
McMillan's already gone for the money.
Any man who's done what Leo has done can't be counted on to do the expected.
Now, get on that phone.
Where's Leo? I don't know.
Kern, your husband's crossed over the line from thief to potential murderer.
He's stolen a canister of nerve gas.
I don't believe you.
Look, Helen, the police and the Army are involved in this thing now, and they're not about to protect Leo.
It's a choice between saving his life and hundreds of others.
I have a few hours' jump on them.
If you help me, maybe I can help him.
Where? Into prison? The charge is still only theft.
But if any of that gas leaks Stop it.
I don't wanna hear about it.
You know I'm telling you the truth.
I need him.
And he needs me.
And now you want me to destroy him.
No, not destroy him, to help him before he destroys himself.
All right.
My number's on this card if, uh If you change your mind.
Operator, uh, this is mobile unit 963-J.
I would like KL5-8621.
Village Motor Hotel.
May I help you? Yes, who is it? It's me.
Leo, we won.
They've stopped production of the gas.
Here's the cancellation order.
Look at the date.
I told Washington what you were going to do.
When I convinced them that you were serious, they caved in.
We've won.
Now, if you'll just give me the canister, I'll take it back to the plant.
Uh, th-then what? Oh, that goes along with all the rest.
For burial at sea.
And no more.
And they will stop for good.
We won.
I'll need the, uh, keys and the security card.
Oh, yeah.
The card and the keys.
This is for you, Leo.
What? Mexico City? Well, you can't go back to the plant.
And here's $5.
That should tide you over till you connect with another job.
Oh, no, I I didn't expect anything like this.
Leo, Leo, you earned it.
Without you, this wouldn't have been possible.
Take care, Leo.
Is it heavy, Leo? How much does a quarter of a million dollars weigh? Who are you? Friend of the family.
I have no family.
Your wife is gonna be a little annoyed if she hears that.
You talk in circles.
All right, where is it, Leo? You're a fast spender, aren't you? McMillan brought you $250.
000 for the canister.
Two hundred fifty? What are you talking about? You gave him the canister and he kept the money for himself.
And we're both left holding the bag.
All for nothing.
All the hopes, the fears, the risks, all for nothing.
For filling his pockets.
It was never meant to succeed.
Not for you, Leo.
You You lied to me.
You lied to me! Lied to me.
I'm not saying anything until my attorney arrives.
When you helped Leo steal that canister, you automatically became an accessory to everything he does, up to and including murder.
Well, it wasn't supposed to go this far.
Why did he do it in the first place? I convinced him it was the only way to make them stop producing the stuff.
But they'd already stopped.
Well, that was the problem.
Just before the Army terminated their contract, I had re-outfitted the whole plant with new gear to produce the stuff.
Without the steady supply of government money coming in I had no way of paying back the loan I'd taken.
I would have been forced into bankruptcy.
So if somebody steals a canister, you borrow money from the company to buy it back, huh? Why did you drag me into it? Well, it was the only way I could stop Charlie from going to the police.
I didn't expect him to find the canister was missing until after I'd gotten the money.
That brings us back to Leo, right? I gave him $5.
000 and an airline ticket to Mexico City.
Flight number? TOA-57.
It leaves tomorrow night.
I'll see you downtown, lieutenant.
Frank? Frank, I didn't know about McMillan's plan.
When I found the canister missing, I wanted to go to the police, but McMillan talked me out of it.
I guess I I wanted to keep my job.
You sure picked a lousy way to do it, Charlie.
Yeah, I realize that.
Let me know the second anything turns up, huh? Thank you.
Inspector Daniels? Captain Holland, this is Frank Cannon.
He's the one who blew the whistle.
How are you? Mr.
Captain Holland's with Army intelligence.
Captain, can you, uh, tell us exactly what we're dealing with? It's colorless, almost odorless.
It's able to kill or incapacitate a human being within seconds.
It affects the nervous system, and causes the body to poison itself.
There's no antidote.
I suppose evacuation's out of the question.
Can you imagine what the freeways would look like? And we won't tell the press about Kern, at least until we've run out of time.
You were right about them killing Leo to get the canister.
You talked to Captain Holland.
Yes, but I still don't know where Leo is.
You know, according to his personnel file, the only thing I found out was that he was born in Hamburg.
You're gonna have to fill me in as much as you can.
What do you know about him? Well, he was He was never really happy.
During the days when he was less unhappy, he used to talk to me about times before the war came.
His father was a fisherman.
Leo used to go out on the boats with him.
Sometimes they'd just sit for hours on the docks and talk while they mended the nets.
They were very close and very happy.
Before the Nazis came, huh? Yes, then it was just one long nightmare.
And they're still chasing him? He had one two or three days before he disappeared.
It was terrible.
Just ran out like his soul was on fire.
He was gone for two or three hours.
When he came back he was calm, almost serene.
Did he take anything with him, or bring anything back? No.
Is there any other thing, anything at all, that you can remember, that was unusual about the incident? Anything.
Well, he did take a long time washing up before he came to bed.
Were there small white flecks on the sink the next morning? Yes, there were.
Fish scales.
Try it now, Phil.
Okay, Phil.
That's got it.
Lock her up.
What are you doing? Oh, I was I wanted to see the first prize.
Well, no one's allowed back here.
I'm sorry, I didn't know that.
Well, let's go.
Hello, Leo.
Thank you very much.
No matter where I hide, you always seem to find me.
Where is it, Leo? In a much safer hiding place than you found me.
What's that on your hand, Leo? Deck paint.
Do you know what that gas can do? Thousands of people will lose their lives.
Yeah, I don't enjoy thinking about that.
Then call it off.
The Army has already stopped production of K-16, Leo.
You know, Mr.
McMillan showed me that order already.
Only with a different date.
That's the correct date.
Almost two weeks ago.
Where is it? You will know in four hours.
That'll be 7:00.
Are you getting careless, Leo? No, I want you all to join me, Mr.
Counting the hours, and then the minutes, and finally the seconds.
You had no right.
Leo, please.
Tell them where it is.
I didn't force her to come.
I wanted to come.
Helen, please.
You You You mustn't stay here.
But, Leo, I want so much for us to have a life together.
Helen, don't.
I thought that you wanted that too.
I do.
Well, then why are you throwing it away? Helen, please try to understand.
Leo, I tried and I can't.
I'm sorry.
This is This is too important.
More important than us? Yes.
What's all that, Frank? These are the bus transfers Leo had on him.
It gives us a fairly accurate picture of his movements.
Uh, let me ask you something.
How long would it take to get a list of all the buildings in this area? It's no problem.
Searching them is something else.
He's crazy.
He believes what he's doing is right.
Do you agree with him? Not his methods.
Well, you win, Leo.
You still have 40 minutes.
And hundreds of buildings to search.
You're the mathematician.
What are the odds against us? Not even I can figure that high.
I was 15 when my parents, my grandmother, my aunt, my two sisters And all my life, I've I wondered, why? Why was I spared? And I always felt guilty because I I never could find the reason.
Until now.
You, uh You think all those people are going to appreciate what you're doing? If something like this had happened in Germany, then all those good, decent people would have been forced to share the guilt, instead of hiding behind their friendly smiles and their Their steins of beer.
What are we hiding behind, Leo? Pleasures.
Fun and games.
Anything to To make us laugh, to bring excitement.
Any amusement, just so long as it makes you forget.
Everybody is so busy having a good time, they don't see what is really going on.
You may have a point there.
It's the people who can't see beyond their little games, they're the ones that need shaking up, I guess.
And they will be at 7:00.
They will all know what it feels like.
But where are you going? You're right, Leo, there's a little time left.
Well? I don't know.
I just tried to run a bluff on him, and I don't think it worked.
DeAura Hotel, ventilating system.
Well, aren't you going to join the victory parade? Only when there's something to celebrate.
You know, I don't understand you at all.
I'm convinced you think what you're doing is right, and yet you're indulging in the same thing that you're going to kill thousands of people for.
Playing games, having fun.
This is a great game.
I just wanna ask you one question.
Are you having fun? "Southern California Exposition.
Drawing 7.
" Ladies and gentlemen, the drawing for our grand prize will take place in five minutes at 7:00 in the main exhibit hall.
The drawing for our grand prize at 7:00 in our main exhibit hall.
All set, Pete? Hey, what are you doing? That's mine, give me it.
What did you get for his keys? That's mine, I said.
I don't care.
You can have it.
Just tell me where you found it.
Under the platform.
What are you doing? There's a show going on.
Hey, Pete.
I'll go get the security guards.
You found it.
So it's business as usual.
No, Leo, it isn't business as usual.
Now, look, I want you to get something straight.
The government isn't as cynical as you think.
They stopped production of the gas because the people wanted it stopped.
Somehow all of those people took enough time away from their toys and their games to let the government know how they felt.
You understand? And now I think maybe the doctors are gonna try to help you get rid of those nightmares.
They've been with you much too long.
Then we can be together, Leo.