Cannon (1971) s01e21 Episode Script

A Flight of Hawks

ANNOUNCER: Starring William Conrad.
With guest starts: Martin Sheen, Joyce Van Patten, Percy Rodrigues.
And special guest star Gerald S.
It was a total, wasn't it? -Smashed and burned.
What about the driver? -We have pictures.
He was Smashed and burned, yeah.
How much was he insured for? -One hundred thousand dollars.
Beneficiaries, wife and child.
You gonna pay 'em? -No.
We allege suicide.
The policy was less than a year old.
There are no death benefits in the event of suicide.
So what you want me to do is to prove that he killed himself so that we can save Westmore Insurance that $100.
right? We'll pay any legitimate claim, Cannon.
But this man, Pete Macklin, he was a drifter.
An ex-fighter pilot, still playing an adventurer.
Taking odd jobs, making a bare living.
Couldn't support his wife and child.
They needed money.
We think Macklin took this way to get it.
What happens if I prove it was an accident? I'll see the check is okayed at once.
That's fair enough.
I suppose I should talk to his widow to start off with.
Let's see, Katherine Macklin.
Hello, Frank.
I'm Kate Macklin.
No, you're not.
You're Kate Warner.
You made my life hell for two weeks.
Come in, Kate, how are you? You You more than repaid the favor, you know.
For a tough cop with a bullet wound you were probably the The worst patient that I ever had.
Oh, I hate to get shot in the stomach.
Well, it looks like you've recovered.
You look fine.
So do you.
Oh, it's good to see you.
Is it, Frank? My name is Macklin now.
My husband, Pete, is dead and your company is trying to cheat me out of a lot of money.
Well, come on, sit down.
Come on.
You know, Kate Westmore Insurance doesn't own me.
They just hired me to dig into the truth.
Will you help me? All right, there's so many things I've got to find out.
First of all, what was your husband doing up in northern California and you were sitting waiting down here? We loved each other but we We didn't always get along.
I mean, we had our problems.
Especially after Pete Jr.
, our son, after he got sick.
He has a kidney infection that That could be fatal, but it is treatable, on a dialysis machine, and it can be, no, it will be cured.
But it costs money.
See, i-it costs a lot of money.
Yes, I know.
Anyway, Pete said that he would get the money.
He just walked out.
Heading where? I don't know.
Anyway, after six weeks he He came back with some wild story about a big venture.
Something very rich and mysterious and risky.
Well, I didn't believe him.
But then Then he showed me this.
Yeah, it's $100.
000 worth of insurance, I know.
Hm, paid up for one year, huh? Twenty-eight hundred dollars.
And I don't know where he got it.
Would you like a brandy? Please.
All I know is he He He He brought me that, and he He kissed me goodbye, and he went away to To wherever it was he was going and And he got killed.
Oh, Frank, do you wanna know something terrible? When I found out the first thing that I thought about was at least my son will have the money that he needs.
Except the insurance company won't pay.
That's absolutely ridiculous.
Pete would never kill himself.
You think it was an accident? Yes.
Well, maybe I can prove that.
Oh, Frank, if you could.
Will you please help me? I'll help you, but only as far as the truth takes me.
Of course.
Here, I have something.
I've got this letter from Pete.
He was working at a small private airfield.
Bittner's Flying School.
Bittner's Flying School is located here, just north of Butte City.
We're about here now, so we should be there in a couple hours.
You know, I may have to stay for a couple of days.
Well, one thing I can spare is time.
I thought you were a very busy flying instructor.
Look, Frank, maybe I can't be a cop anymore with this leg, but I'm still a trained investigator, and we worked together before so you know I can cut Jerry! Keep your eyes on the road.
Oh, come on.
Well, what do you say? Well, I could use an inconspicuous somebody.
who's a very careful listener.
Thank you.
Now, what am I listening for? Anything and everything.
About the life and death of a man named Pete Macklin.
Yeah, he used to work for me.
He was a pretty fair mechanic.
I tried him out as an instructor but it just didn't work out.
Why? Pete was a good pilot, wasn't he? Look, he was a buddy of yours, I don't wanna knock him, but he was still flying fighter planes.
He was impatient.
You know, I've got a couple of old World War II planes for sale.
Well, Pete used to waste his time with them.
He was always dreaming, playing games.
Maybe he was dreaming when he ran off the road and killed himself.
I noticed your friend.
I thought I recognized him from Yuba City.
We're from L.
We're up here trying to find out about a friend of his got killed recently.
Oh, Pete Macklin? Yeah.
You knew him? Some.
Oh, that's very interesting.
Oh, my name's Jerry Warton.
Cody Woodman.
Glad to know you.
Yeah, I knew Pete.
Nice fella.
Drank too much though.
Is that right? Yeah.
Oh, he never drank when he was flying, did he? And I liked Pete too, but you add him up and, uh, he's unreliable.
And the way he used to handle that car of his.
To tell the truth it was no surprise when I heard about the accident.
I understand he ran onto a rockslide.
Yeah, but he was going 90 when he hit it.
Well, I guess that about does it.
I'd better get back to my business.
You know any place around here I can rent a car? Sure, I can tell you.
Come on, follow me.
I'd better find out how long we're gonna be here.
Nice talking to you.
Hey, Frank, wait up.
Listen, this guy was just tellin' me that Macklin was really boozin' it up in a place called the Covered Wagon Bar in Brylan just before he ran his car off the cliff.
Hm, and Bittner said he was a romantic and unreliable.
And a lush.
It all fits, Frank.
You know, you can get some bad bruises jumping to conclusions like that, my boy.
Well, what else am I supposed to do? I tell you what, why don't you stick around.
You've already heard that Pete was a lush.
See what else you can find out about his sense.
Who knows, you may even find out a couple of things about his ventures.
What are you gonna do? Get a drink.
A drink? Yeah.
At the world famous Covered Wagon Bar in Brylan.
I'll pour it.
You want some free lunch? Huh.
Oh, what a lovely layout.
But I just ate, thank you very much.
Uh You know, I was a friend of Pete Macklin.
Who? Pete Macklin, the man who ran off the road and was killed Friday.
I understand that he was in here drinking in the afternoon.
I don't know.
Why don't you check with the fella in the white hat over there at the poker table.
Thank you.
Maybe you noticed him, huh? Ten bucks buys in.
Hey, that's not a bad idea.
Okay, deal me in.
Did you by any chance happen to know Pete personally? Yeah.
Was he here last Friday afternoon? Oh, yeah.
And did he drink? Oh, you call havin' one beer drinkin', yeah, he had somethin' to drink.
I'll stay.
Uh, one beer huh? Give me two.
One more than the other fella had.
I'll take three.
What, uh, other fella? Five bucks.
I said, what man? Why, the fella Pete Macklin was talkin' to for about an hour.
A big black dude.
Never saw him before.
Pair of aces.
Straight to the ten.
You know where I can find this other man? Well, I told you, I never saw him before.
Thank you very much, gentlemen.
Another hand? Uh, no.
I-I don't think so.
Tell you what though, you will buy a drink on me, won't you? Sir.
Over here please.
Now, what have you to do with Pete Macklin? Pete was an old friend of mine.
And who are you? Never mind.
Well, never Hey, how long's it gonna take? Haven't you got a make on him yet? That's up to the chief.
He's talking to him.
Be a while.
Of that I'm sure.
I sure do want to apologize, Mr.
Mistakes can happen.
Quite all right.
Well, that's very good of you.
Uh, if there's anything we can do be sure to let me know.
Would you be kind enough to tell me what's happening, what's going on here? I would like to hear it.
You're gonna hear it.
That fella's a VIP and you nearly got your tail in a sling.
That is Mr.
Robert Valmont, vice counsel of the country of Malareve, and the U.
State Department says he has diplomatic immunity.
And is to be treated very carefully.
So if you bother that gentleman again, Cannon, I'll bust you right down.
You get it? Okay.
I'm gonna stay with you for a little while, if it's all right with you.
Sure, Mom.
Miss Macklin.
You don't know me.
I was a friend of your husband's.
My condolences, ma'am.
Thank you.
That's a fine boy you've got here.
I just ran into an old friend of yours, Jerry Warton.
Warton? Oh, I think there's some mistake.
Nice young fella.
Saw him at Bittner's Flying School with a fat man.
It's a fascinating piece of machinery.
I imagine it's reliable because it's important, isn't it? Uh, why don't we talk over there? Let you rest a little bit, okay? Please.
What do you want? Who's the fat man? His name is Cannon.
He was a friend of my husband's.
I asked him to find out more about how Pete died.
Look, what do you wanna know for? What What do you want? You're just like your late husband, you're stupid.
You tell your fat friend you've changed your mind, you're upset, you don't want to answer any more questions.
What are you afraid that I could say to him? Maybe nothing.
Maybe something you heard from Pete.
It could do a lot of harm.
Will you just please let me alone.
You take this from a friend, for the boy, because if anything went wrong with his treatments, why, he'd die, wouldn't he? So long, Pete.
Take care of your mother.
Yes, I, uh, I'm well aware of your identity, Monsieur Cannon.
I enquired of the police.
You have something to tell me? Yes.
Come in.
Thank you.
How's your head? Fine, thank you.
Yes, I thought it would be nice if we had a little talk.
At least it would help clarify things for each other.
You see, first, Pete Macklin didn't die by accident or suicide.
He was killed.
And second, you know why, but not who.
You see, Macklin claimed to be on a mysterious venture.
With big rewards.
A venture involving your country? You're a very intelligent man, Monsieur Cannon.
Thank you.
Macklin telephoned me.
Said there was a planned attack against Malareve.
He insisted on a personal meeting.
What sort of attack? He told me he was a mercenary, recruited into a group of mercenaries.
That there was a planned coup to overthrow my government.
He wanted $50.
000 to betray the plan.
Did you give him the money? No.
I am not a complete fool, Monsieur Cannon.
I insisted on proof.
He became very angry.
He said he would be back in a few hours with all the evidence necessary.
And he died.
Or was killed.
If there really is a mercenary plot.
Very possible.
Monsieur Cannon, my country is young and not stable, but we are potentially rich.
Copper, iron ore, bauxite and gold.
The wealth of a whole country, that's a heavy motive.
It certainly makes murder more likely.
I cannot go to the authorities here without more information.
My ambassador insists on discretion.
If we made accusations without proof the opposition party would stir up a political whirlwind.
Create serious embarrassment for my government.
However, I am willing to pay you if you can give me that proof.
All right, I was wrong, I admit it.
I talked to some other guys that knew Pete Macklin, they add him up as a pretty solid guy.
Did you know he worked steady as a TV stuntman.
Yeah, it pays pretty good too, doesn't it? It sure does, but he quit to take a nowhere job at Bittner's Flying School.
You know why? Yeah, he was in some kind of mysterious, juicy deal.
He got kidded about it, but he wouldn't talk about it except to one guy.
The guy that got him involved in it in the first place.
An old buddy of his by the name of Johnny Farinetti.
Oh, I'm sorry I'm interrupting you Oh, that's all right, that's all right.
I almost lost it, you know.
You want some? Oh, no, I'm not hungry.
You sure? Uh-huh.
How about a little Chablis? Yeah, please.
There you go.
Excuse me.
Frank, uh, I've come to a decision.
Hm? I'm not going to rip myself in half over Pete's memory anymore.
What? I'm gonna get in touch with the insurance company.
I'm sure that we can reach some kind of settlement.
Well, that, uh, makes it a piece of cake for me.
I'll get the credit for cooling you off.
Well, you deserve it.
All right, Kate.
Who got to you? Nobody.
Please, no.
You're scared.
Is it your boy? Somebody threatening Petey? Who? Look, Kate, your husband was in a plot to overthrow the government of an African nation.
Big risk.
Big money.
But Pete didn't like the deal so he went to the Malareve counsel, a man by the name of Robert Valmont.
So somebody killed him.
W Yeah.
No accident, no suicide.
Now, is that enough reason to tell me who's threatening you? I don't know him.
He knew me.
He He kept smiling at me and And And telling me how vulnerable Petey was.
And then, look, he gave me this.
It's $1.
000 and he said that there would be more if I would cooperate.
Cooperate? I don't know anything.
I can't help you, I can't help anybody.
Maybe you can help me.
I've got a name.
Johnny Farinetti.
Does that mean anything to you? Uh, yes.
Wa They were, uh They were in the war together.
Flying buddies.
Johnny Johnny Farinetti and someone else, Lon or Lucas Palmer, that's it.
Did Pete stay close to them? No, no, but they would get together every once in a while, you know, and have a drink.
They used to go to this place that Johnny and Luke liked.
It was called the, uh The Walkaway Bar.
Luke Palmer? Mm-hm.
I never really liked him.
You like him? Well, I'd like to talk to him.
He's not here.
Hasn't been around for a while but The Colonel.
The Colonel? He'd know.
Big buddy with Palmer.
Thank you very much.
Good girl.
Excuse me.
Johnny says you're a beautiful girl with an extraordinary talent and I should buy you a drink for him.
Johnny who? Farinetti.
That slob? What'd he do? And if he did it to you he's out of his head.
Well, he, uh, ran out on me and I found out he was a liar.
Said he was flat broke, you know? Except he bought himself a B-26, an old bomber, you know, for cash.
Well, what did he do with it? He ran out on me.
He took off.
You know, uh Into the wild blue yonder.
Anyway, how can I help you? I thought you'd never ask.
Innkeeper, can I have a beer, please.
Yes, I knew Lucas Palmer.
Very well.
And I remember our last meeting.
It was exceptional.
In what way, colonel? Well, Palmer was a very tight man with a dollar, but he bought me a great deal of liquor.
Trying to get me drunk.
My curse.
I cannot get drunk.
Then he asked me about old times.
The war? Which war? There's always a war.
After a while you're out of it, and then it's somebody else's war.
But it's all the same thing.
A piece of my war.
I was stationed at a Special Forces training field south of the metropolis of Janisville.
Lost in the desert.
Lost place.
And Palmer was interested in it, huh? Oh, very.
He wanted to know precisely where it was and who was using it.
So I told him, nobody uses it.
An abandoned piece of lost history.
I gave Valmont the location of the airfield and told him if we hadn't contacted him in a couple of days he'd better start screaming for help.
That's comforting for us.
Hi, my name's Frank Cannon, and you've been looking for me.
I've been waiting for you.
He's good, Cody.
Yeah, not bad.
Thank you, friends.
I'm Johnny Farinetti.
Hello, Johnny.
Luke Palmer.
Well, that's the reason I come looking for you guys.
You need an armorer, I'm the best one there is.
So do we get the job? Well, maybe you.
What's he doing here? What good is he? Well, I needed Jerry to fly me up here.
Maybe you need a top-rate pilot too.
Keep 'em company.
Cannon, you come with me.
Jerry Warton.
How are you? Headquarters, huh? That's right.
How did you find me? Well, Pete Macklin said a few things.
Not good enough.
No, uh Pete kept his mouth shut.
But that was a start, so I had a long talk with his widow.
I wondered if you were gonna mention the lady.
I may be greedy, but I'm not stupid.
I figure you are gonna make me a lot of money.
Oh? Yeah, see I've been digging up pieces.
First, Farinetti buys a B-26.
And then Palmer cons the location of this airfield out of his old CO.
Now, those are two big pieces.
And they add up to a huge deal.
Well, this is a big deal, Cannon.
It's not some kind of an amateur game of let's play revolutionary.
I am a professional soldier.
These days that's a despised calling.
Military is a dirty word, unlike, say, militant.
Well, I don't care.
Reality is power and power comes out of the muzzle of a gun.
That, uh saying was made by Hermann Goering, huh? You studied military history.
Well, a little bit.
That's probably why I was able to focus in on your operation, but I must say it's a beautiful piece of strategic planning.
Of course.
You know the target.
But I don't know how you're gonna get there.
You haven't worked everything out.
We take off separately.
Rendezvous in Brazil.
Private airfield.
Put on extra tanks.
All arranged and paid for.
Ha, ha, of course, from Natal to Cape Verde Island, and then across to Africa.
Of course, it's beautiful.
I should've known.
It's beautiful.
A would-be country called Malareve.
Bushmen playing at being a nation, but there's wealth there, and some practical people know what to do with it.
If they can get control, huh? Exactly.
We hit the capital just as they announce a revolution.
One air attack, bombs, followed by a strafing run.
We own a country.
And then what? Money.
A large sum of money.
And that's just for openers.
An entire country in a state of chaos.
That is real opportunity, Cannon.
For a strong man.
A man who can hold and guide and use power.
I can take it all.
With the right men.
You're hired, Cannon.
Beautiful, huh? Yeah.
The army cut the road in here, built this place, and phased the whole thing out.
No way to get out of here except cross-country by air.
Who'd be coming? Nobody even remembers this.
Well, it's certainly a perfect setup for Woodman's operation, isn't it? Ah.
He's a very cautious guy, isn't he? He's nuts.
But that's good.
You need a psycho to put a package like this together.
The money is very real.
Too bad about Pete Macklin.
He didn't get his, huh? Oh, Pete was a good buddy and he needed the bread.
So he bought his farm a little early.
It happens.
The one thing I hate is the way Woodman has all of us checking on each other.
Well, you gotta have security, you know.
What if the government found out? After all, Johnny we're all a bunch of criminals.
Here's the crescent wrench.
Oh, thanks.
And where are the Marines? Good question.
I gotta reach Valmont.
Give him a little shove.
There's a radio in the hangar.
Yeah, but it's always locked up.
And Woodman's always in there.
Well, I'll just have to move Woodman out, won't I? Say, uh, Woodman.
I'm afraid I've got a little problem I'm gonna have to lay on you.
You know the plane that Jerry and I flew up here in? Well, it's rented and it suddenly occurred to me that the owners may be getting a little uptight by now.
What? You didn't tell anybody you were headed here? Oh, no, no, no, no.
But I thought maybe if you would advance Jerry enough money, well, he could fly back and And pay for a week, you know? Uh-huh.
Just to be on the safe side.
Except Jerry won't fly it, I will.
Oh, that's fine.
Hey, hey, hey, big daddy's gone.
Let's all do something wild like having a soda pop before dinner.
It's a good idea, but I think I'll wash these grimy hands first.
Welcome to Palm Springs.
Where did you come from? The headquarters of your next revolution.
Where are the police? I came alone.
You what? I am a servant of my government, Cannon.
My ambassador is a very cautious man.
He ordered me to come here.
To get eyewitness proof before I committed our country officially.
I apologize.
Perhaps at a later time he will.
Oh, that's beautiful.
Well, why don't you go back and inform your cautious ambassador that this is no diplomatic negotiation.
There's a mercenary air force out here ready to blow your capital apart.
So get moving.
Get back there and start screaming for action.
Get down! All right.
Get out of here.
Come on.
Having trouble with your car? What is the meaning of this? I am here exploring the desert and you You are You are Monsieur Robert Elaine Valmont, vice counsel of Malareve working with these two against me.
Three dead men.
Well, if he does you let me know, huh? Mr.
Valmont isn't at the hotel.
I know he's not at the hotel.
I told you he went to find Mr.
At a hidden airfield with a bunch of mercenary pilots, yeah? You got to admit, Mrs.
Macklin, it's a pretty far-out story.
Well, it's the truth.
And my husband was killed trying to stop them and now Mr.
Cannon has gone out there and he may be killed.
Well, I need a little thing called proof.
Uh, evidence.
When Mr.
Valmont gets back to the hotel He may not get back.
Well, let's give him a little more time, okay? Why don't you go back to the hotel, have a nice rest.
If what I'm saying just happens to be true then what are you going to do? I'll take my chances.
Can I use your phone, please? Yeah.
Thank you.
Hello, operator, I want to call person to person to San Francisco.
I want to speak to the counsel of the Republic of Malareve.
Yes, sir.
Oh, I'll get on it right away.
Oh, yes, sir, right away.
I'm sorry.
I-I just didn't know what else to do.
San Francisco, hm.
State Department.
The FBI.
You did quite enough.
Okay, the place is called Special Forces Training Area Blue 7.
Oh, it's east of the mountains, chief.
It's right in the middle of nowhere.
What kind of roads? The map says there aren't any.
Well, we'll go cross-country.
Wake up Dave Hallowell and tell him we'll need his jeep and that pickup truck of his.
All right, get your gear and move.
Or he'll shoot you down.
Cannon! Just like he did Peter Macklin.
What? Murder, that's what.
Nice work, Woodman.
I learned how you did it when I saw you go after the chief.
Woodman? Grow up, Johnny.
Pete was gonna sell us to him.
I saved your neck.
By killing Pete? By killing Pete.
By driving you slobs until you sweat bullets.
By getting it done on time.
By setting it up and making it work.
All right, get your gear, get into your planes, I want us to move out of here at 10-minute intervals.
You all know your routes.
Now get moving.
Come on, get with it! So you send them off and you shoot us down, huh? It won't upset me.
Woodman? That's right, Johnny.
Why don't you think about it? If he killed Macklin.
If he's gonna murder us.
What's gonna stop him from killing the rest of you? Now, who's gonna need you after this game is over? The game is over.
Stop it.
Hey, Woody, two cars full of cops coming cross country.
I wanna get them.
In there.
Ah, come on.
Do we really have to do it? I apologize.
But this will necessarily be a secret.
You deserve much more.
Look, I've already been paid by a very unhappy insurance company.
Right? He's just trying to be cynical, monsieur.
All right.
In the name of the Republic of Malareve, in recognition of heroic and valuable services I hereby award you the Order of the Star.
One word out of you and you've had it, kid.
Thank you.
Thank you.
You used to be a policeman, where were you when I needed you? Ah, well, here we go.
Let's see now.
Ah, beautiful.
There we are.