Columbo (1971) s01e07 Episode Script

Lady in Waiting

You can pour Mr.
Chadwick's coffee now, Charles.
Yes, ma'am.
Good morning.
Good morning, Charles.
Ah, thank you.
Good morning, Beth.
You are sulking.
What? You are sulking! I'm not sulking.
Of course you are sulking.
And it isn't necessary.
We have had our usual argument and now the matter is settled.
Is it? Beth, now listen to me.
He isn't for you, believe me.
But if you insist upon seeing him I have a right to well, to express my feelings.
You have no right to control my life.
Your life, in this case, is tied in with an employee of the company.
What difference does that make? He's an honest, hardworking Yes, he is.
And he's ambitious, he's intelligent he's a good attorney, and he has a flair for the advertising business.
And he's also smart enough to know a golden opportunity when he sees it.
You're not Father.
No, I'm not your Father.
I'm your brother.
And if your choice of men friends were more mature, believe me I would stay out of your life.
You don't know how to stay out of my life.
I won't let you be used, Beth.
Therefore I've taken the appropriate steps.
Charles, car ready? What do you mean you've "taken the appropriate steps?" Bryce, what have you done? I've written a letter to Peter Hamilton.
He'll receive it when he gets back from Atlanta today.
What? I told him that if he continues to see you, contrary to my wishes his employment with Ellison Chadwick will be terminated.
I don't believe it.
You mean you threatened him with I won't be home for dinner.
Don't wait for me, Beth.
He won't care if you fire him.
No? Well then let me ask you a question, Beth.
If your name weren't Chadwick, and you didn't have all of this do you think that I mean do you really think that Peter Hamilton would give you a second look? Now I'm I'm sorry if I sound cruel, I don't mean to be.
But the sooner you face the facts, the better.
And the cheaper it will be for all of us.
What about the price I've paid? First to father then to you.
Anything I wanted to do own my own, you or he prevented! Beth.
This is hardly the time.
No, it never is.
Charles? Yes, Miss Chadwick? Tomorrow's your day off, isn't it? Yes, ma'am.
Will you be leaving tonight with the rest of the staff? Well I'd planned to, Miss Chadwick.
But, if you'd like me to stay No, no.
That won't be necessary.
As you wish.
May I bring you more coffee? Thank you Charles, no.
That'll be all.
Hello? Yes, operator.
Darling! How are you? I'm going in to wheel and deal in a minute and I thought I'd call you first and say good morning.
You always surprise me.
Well, that's better than being predictable, right? How's Atlanta? Oh, just fine, all of it.
Hey, I miss you.
I miss you too.
When will you be back? Well, later tonight.
I thought I'd come right over from the airport.
Darling? Hello? Darling, let's make it tomorrow.
I mean it'll be I ate, you'll probably be tired.
Well uh No, really.
Tomorrow will be much better.
Gaines will see you now.
All right, Beth.
Gotta go.
I'll call you first thing in the morning.
You do love me, don't you? No, I hate you with a passion.
Goodbye, darling.
Have a safe trip.
Beth? Beth? You awake? Yes.
Who is it? Would you open the front door? I've lost my key.
I'm in bed already.
Come in this way.
Are they unlocked? Yes.
Don't forget to turn off the alarm.
All right.
It's off.
Beth, why didn't you turn off the alarm? I don't understand We found a key ring in the bushes, Miss Chadwick.
Does it belong to your brother? Yes those are those were his keys.
The front light's burned out.
He must've dropped his keys and couldn't find them in the dark.
Probably walked around to your French doors and knocked.
I was asleep.
I had taken sleeping pills and I I didn't hear him.
We figure he broke the glass and opened the door.
I heard the glass and then the alarm go off.
I just woke up and reached for the gun.
I thought it was a burglar.
Obviously a mistake, Miss Chadwick.
A terrible mistake.
I thought it was a burglar.
A terrible mistake mistake mistake mistake That does it.
Bryce! Y'now, the most ridiculous thing happened.
I've lost my key to the front door.
How did you get in? With this.
A spare? Yes, I leave it in the flowerpot by the front door.
Why didn't you answer? I was ringing Beth! Beth! What is it? I shot Bryce.
You what? He came in my room as the alarm went off.
Go and see.
I want to know if he's All right.
All right.
Now you stay here.
Stay right here.
Beth, he's dead.
frequency 15 clear.
Mary 75 Roger.
Now 17 clear.
You guys all finished? Okay, that's it.
You catching up on your reading, Lieutenant? No, no, not really.
Well, I was half asleep because I'd taken a sleeping pill.
And the burglar alarm was on? Well, yes.
There is a switch beside my bed.
How does it work outside? At the front door? Well, if you have a key and use it, then it automatically turns the alarm off.
Do you have any idea why your brother went through your French doors, knowing he'd probably set the alarm off? I guess he lost his keys and he came round the side of the house and tried to get in my window.
What time did you go to bed tonight, Miss Chadwick? About nine thirty.
I didn't feel very well yesterday, so I didn't go out.
Excuse me.
Did I hear you say you stayed home today? Yes, that's what I said.
You didn't go out at all? No.
No, that's what I said.
Thank you.
When you got there he was already dead? Yes, that's correct.
Did Miss Chadwick telephone you after she shot her brother? No.
I was on my way over.
I stopped at the gate when I heard the shots.
How many? Three.
The alarm was going? That's right.
Why did you drop by, Mr.
Hamilton? I came to see Bryce.
I work for him.
Can you account for your whereabouts this evening? I came in from Atlanta, I landed at ten o'clock I took a cab from there, got into my apartment about ten forty-five.
You can check with the doorman.
He can vouch for that.
Why did you turn around and come over here after just getting home? It's a little involved.
Miss Chadwick and I have been seeing each other.
And Bryce objected.
So you came over here to kind of have it out with him? I suppose you could put it that way.
Is this your newspaper? No.
We found these outside in the bushes.
Excuse me.
Miss Chadwick, these your brother's keys? Yes.
Where did you find them? In the bushes, ma'am.
With that front light burned out it's really tough to see.
Gentlemen, you have our statements.
If you don't mind, I think that No, I'd like to go through this just once more, to make sure I got things straight.
Gentlemen, please.
No, Peter.
That's all right.
Go on.
Now, Miss Chadwick, you said you went to bed at nine thirty, right? And you took a sleeping pill before you retired.
That's right.
Well, would you mind telling me what happened after that? Well, it was after eleven and I heard the glass break and the alarm go off, and I woke up.
You thought it was a burglar? Yes.
Yes, I thought it was a burglar.
You see, it was pitch dark, and I was half asleep because I'd taken the sleeping pill, and I heard the glass break and the alarm go off.
And so I reached for the gun.
It was in the drawer beside my bed.
And then I just started shooting.
I didn't know what I was doing.
Gentlemen, I will be available for questioning tomorrow.
Right now I'd like to see that Miss Chadwick gets some rest.
All right fellas, wrap it up.
Thank you very much.
Excuse me.
Were you and your brother the only ones that were living here? Yes.
Well, except for Charles and the maid.
My mother moved to Palm Desert after my father died.
Who is Charles? The butler.
I suppose he's off tonight? Yes.
Great big place, isn't it? Well, goodnight.
Easy, boy.
Easy, fella.
Easy! Easy! Easy now! That's right.
No, no, no.
Not Enrico, darling! Be nice, darling.
Be nice! You there! Pay the cab and bring my luggage.
Come on, dear.
Did she have any luggage? Luggage? Right here.
There's ten-fifty on that meter.
Gee, I've only got eleven dollars.
Well, go ahead.
Keep it all.
You're a sport.
All right, easy, boy.
Now Enrico, come here, come here, come here! Now you stop that, do you hear? I want you to behave yourself.
That's a tough little monkey you got there.
Enrico is not a monkey.
He's a pedigreed silky.
Oh, I can see that, ma'am.
It's just a figure of speech.
Now you stay there.
Where is my daughter? I don't know, ma'am.
She's probably asleep.
Well, where's Charles? It's his day off.
Are you Mrs.
Chadwick? Yes.
And you? My name is Columbo, ma'am.
I'm a Lieutenant from the police.
Just a minute.
Not so quickly.
I'd like to look that over.
Well, I must say, you hardly look the role.
Well, you know how it is.
You you brought my bags in? Yes, ma'am.
The cab fare was ten dollars and fifty cents and was a fifty cent tip, so that's eleven dollars.
I'll see that you're reimbursed, Lieutenant.
Now, tell me.
What happened? Where is she? Here I am, Mother.
Do you feel better now? No.
It was an accident.
I don't care what it was.
You killed my son.
Oh, you were always so impossible, always.
Blundering, making mistakes, causing trouble wherever you were.
He looked after her all of her life.
He protected you and now you've destroyed him.
Mother, you don't understand.
It wasn't my fault! I don't want to hear about it.
I'm sorry Lieutenant.
This must be very embarrassing for you.
No, not really, no.
You see, I come from a very big family, and at dinner time it was like, well you know, Madison Square Garden, and we used to patch it up with coffee.
Is that a hint? Well, I smelled it when I came in.
I sure could use some.
Mother? I should think it would be obvious I am in no mood for coffee.
Ma'am, would you like me to take your bags upstairs? No.
No, thank you.
Beth can attend to them.
He was a special man, Lieutenant.
Very special.
He kept us all together.
I thought you lived in Palm Desert? I mean spiritually.
When my husband died I I couldn't stay in this house any longer.
Well, that's certainly understandable.
Was that when your son took over the business, ma'am? Yes.
And turned it into one of the largest advertising agencies on the West Coast.
Really? Marvelous.
He took over from my husband in many ways including dealing with Beth and her problems.
Oh? Her choice of men, when she had a choice has never been particularly mature.
Oh yeah.
Like that Peter Hamilton? Exactly.
He's an obvious fortune hunter.
Of course, she would have no way of seeing through him, would she? I'm afraid not.
She's something of a child, Lieutenant.
Her decisions are always vague and emotional.
Bryce was far more perceptive.
He never married, did he? Why was that? What are you implying? Oh, no offense, ma'am.
No, he just seems like a very distinctive man and a unique man and I was curious about him.
Well, he was.
But he had far too many responsibilities for marriage.
And I suppose he never met the right woman.
Then there was the business.
I don't know what's going to happen to the company now.
I certainly can't run it.
And I don't want to bring anyone in from outside.
You won't have to.
And what does that mean? It means that I'm an officer of the company.
In name only.
That's because Bryce would never let me participate.
Of course he wouldn't.
You aren't even capable of running your own life.
I've never been allowed to run my own life.
Lieutenant? Won't you sit down? Thank you.
But things are different now, aren't they? There's a change in the status quo.
If you're seriously considering We're not alone, Mother.
I suggest we discuss this later.
All right Lieutenant.
I've kept you waiting long enough.
What can I do for you? Oh, no, no.
That's all right.
No, I only have one problem and that is Cream and sugar? I No, I take it black.
Thank you.
I couldn't sleep last night.
There were a couple of points that were bothering me so I thought I'd come over here and clear 'em up.
What kind of points? That newspaper.
Newspaper? Uh, yes.
The one that I noticed on the table in the foyer.
Now correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't I hear you say that you were home all day yesterday? That's right.
See that's what puzzles me.
How did that newspaper get there? Haven't you ever heard of home delivery? Oh, yeah.
Yeah, I have a newspaper delivered to my house every morning.
There's your answer.
No, that won't answer it.
No, the newspaper on the foyer table, that was a late edition.
I mean, I even saw racetrack results in it.
I'm afraid I don't quite follow you.
Well, if you were home all day who brought home the newspaper? Well, Bryce must have brought it home.
Yes, but Bryce came in through your room, he didn't come in through the front door.
I mean, he was shot on that side of the house.
How did that newspaper get to the other end of the house? Lieutenant, you seem to be cross-examining my daughter.
That's all right, Mother.
Bryce must have brought it in, and in my confusion, I picked it up put it on the foyer table when I went to answer the door.
Yes, that would be an answer, except for one thing.
You left your brother's attache case out there.
Why wouldn't you bring them both in at the same time? I didn't see it.
You didn't see it.
They couldn't have been too far apart.
People are inconsistent when they are in a state of shock, Lieutenant.
It's foolish of you to expect rational behaviour at a time like that.
Well I'm sure you're probably right about this.
Y'now, I only get into it because I try to figure it out in my mind, you understand that.
Well look, I'm sure both of you have a great deal to talk about.
So I'm going to run along.
Thank you for the coffee, ma'am.
Bye bye.
Uh, listen, about that eleven dollars, ma'am, uh If you leave me your card, I'll send you a check.
I'm all out of cards.
Thank you very much.
Thank you, Lieutenant.
Easy now, easy.
The jury's coming in now.
Have you, ladies and gentlemen, concluded your deliberations? Yes sir, we have.
Clerk? Thank you.
What do you think? What? She's home free.
You watch.
Jupiter and Venus are in good aspect with Pluto.
I have before me the verdict of the coroner's jury in the matter of Bryce Chadwick, deceased.
The jury finds that Bryce Chadwick, aged 46 came to his death July 21st at his residence, 2307 Lorraine Drive, death being caused by three.
38 caliber bullet wounds in the upper chest.
The jury also finds, from the evidence submitted that the death of Bryce Chadwick was an accident.
Thank you very much.
Good luck to you.
See? Thank you jury members.
This inquest is now closed.
Nice to be believed, isn't it, huh? Yes.
I want to take the whole jury out for dinner.
That is what is known as bribery after the fact.
Oh, is it? Anyway, it's all over.
Back to normal, huh? Oh no.
That's exactly what I don't want.
What do you mean? Well, I think it's time we made a few changes that I broke a few patterns.
As long as you don't break ours.
How about some lunch to celebrate? Can I take a raincheck? I have a few appointments.
You don't mind, do you, darling? No, no.
That's all right.
Oh, when you get back to the office would you set up a meeting with the heads of the departments? What's the agenda? Reorganization.
Uh, tomorrow at two.
Mother? Morning, Mr.
Oh, Lieutenant.
You remember me? Yes, I've got a very good memory.
I tell you, I envy you that.
I got to the point where I can't remember my telephone number.
What can I do for you, Lieutenant? Well, I couldn't help overhearing that she turned you down for lunch.
You want to grab a bite with me? You want to ask me some questions, is that it? Well, uh listen.
It's my treat.
All right.
Window down, please.
That's it.
I held the whipped cream on the Mighty Malt, that's what you wanted? Uh, right.
Okay, and they were out of onion rings.
You want a substitution? No, that's all right.
No, that's fine.
All right.
Don't forget to let me know before you leave, I need to take the tray.
People are always driving off with our trays.
I'll remember.
Thank you.
You're welcome.
Tell me something.
You and Mrs.
Chadwick, are you going to be married? You don't believe in preliminaries, do you? Well y'now sometimes, you just Yes, were going to be married but we haven't set the date yet.
Mainly because of Bryce.
Oh, I see.
Y'now what I was wondering was the night of the shooting, why did you drive over there so late? Let's say the propulsion was anger.
Huh? What do you mean? Oh, I got back from a business trip and there was a letter waiting for me from Bryce, said to lay off Beth, or else.
Or else? Or else what? Oh well, it's professional discrimination, things like that.
So I got hot and I went over to have it out with him.
Boy, you got there just in time for the commotion.
It's quite a coincidence, isn't it? That's a leading question, Lieutenant.
Do you think that the two of us did Bryce in together? What do you mean? Murder? No, I mean you were at the inquest.
They said it was a accident.
Well, I'm not talking about the inquest, I'm talking about you.
What do you think? Do I think it was a conspiracy? No, oh, no.
No chance of that.
No sir.
It's rather odd that you're still asking the same questions though.
Oh well, y'now, that's well, that's just me.
I mean, nothing official.
It's just that I have this bug about tying up loose ends.
Listen, I want to thank you.
You've been very helpful to me.
Suppose you ask the question that you haven't asked.
Whether or not I'm a fortune hunter.
Well, I never intended I'm not.
I love Beth, with her money, or without her money.
As a matter of fact I was quite prepared to quit the company.
Of course that won't be necessary now.
No, it won't.
But I won't be a hypocrite, Lieutenant.
I'm sorry about poor Bryce being killed, but it has gotten Beth out from under his thumb.
Oh, yeah.
Yeah, way out, huh? What's that supposed to mean? Way out? Well, y'now in the courtroom I overheard her say that she was breaking patterns.
Now, this is a terrible thing to admit, but I think that, in a way, her brother's death is the best thing that ever happened to her.
Hey, mister! You forgot the tray! Sorry.
It's all right.
May I assist you, sir? Oh.
You scared me.
No, I was looking for Miss You're Charles, aren't you? Are we acquainted? Oh, I saw you at the inquest.
No, I'm Lieutenant Columbo.
I'm looking for Miss.
You're a police officer, sir.
Yes, I am.
Uh, is she in? I'm afraid not, sir.
Oh, she isn't.
I see.
Well, do you Do you know where I can get in touch with her? Yes, she's at the beauty parlor.
Uh huh.
Will that be all, sir? Yes, Charles.
Yeah, I think so.
Hey, this smells new.
It is, sir.
Why didn't she take it with her? It was just delivered.
Oh, it was just delivered! I see.
Well, I want to tell you, it's a beauty.
That's a wonderful piece of machinery.
Will that be all, sir? Yeah, Charles.
That'll be all.
I don't want you to worry about me, Charles.
I'm going to go around the side of the house here and I'm going to conduct an experiment.
Is it something I can help you with, sir? No, Charles, it's a kind of do it yourself thing.
Thank you very much.
May I help you, sir? Uh, well, I'm not a customer.
No, I assumed that.
You're looking for someone? Yes, I was looking for a Beth Chadwick.
Miss Chadwick? My name is Lieutenant Columbo.
The police? Well, look now, it's not serious.
I just want to talk to her for a moment.
Well right through that door, Lieutenant.
Cubicle four.
Thank you.
Ah, Lieutenant.
Your cigar? What about it? Uh, well, the fragrance is not uh compatible.
See that's a shame.
I just lit it.
What brings you here, Lieutenant? Well, I stopped by the house.
I talked to Charles.
He told me where you'd be so I thought I'd come by.
There's just one point that I wanted to clear up.
Do you mind? Does it matter? I'm a captive audience.
We can go, Miss.
No, no, no, that's all right.
Go ahead and finish.
I saw your new car, by the way.
Oh, that's some automobile.
Thank you.
Really beautiful.
I suppose you have to order those things weeks in advance, don't you? Yes, that's right.
Yeah, that's right.
Real change of pace for you, isn't it? Well, I felt like something racy, as they say in advertising.
A new image.
Well y'now, I can understand that I'm sorry because it's a natural thing I think, after a death in the family to want to break loose.
That's one way of putting it.
Gee, that's funny though.
What? If you had to order the car some time ago that would mean you knew in advance you were going to change your style.
Finished, Miss Chadwick.
May I see? Yes.
- Looks fabulous.
- Just amazing.
Miss Chadwick, you look sensational.
You really think so? I'd say you were a new woman.
Oh, thank you, Lieutenant.
Goodbye Jean, thank you.
See you next week.
Bye Felicia.
Excuse me.
Why Miss Chadwick, you look lovely.
Thank you.
You're very kind.
The bill, and could I have an appointment next week.
Well, Lieutenant, you haven't asked me your question.
I'll tell you what.
Are you headed home? Yes.
Do you mind if I meet you there? Because it kind of has to do with your house.
Is this really necessary? Well, in a way, it is, yes.
I promise it won't take long.
All right.
I'll meet you there.
Lieutenant? Your cigar.
Oh, Good afternoon, ma'am.
Good afternoon.
Oh, Charles, our Lieutenant requires a stepladder.
Would you be good enough to get one for him? Yes, ma'am.
Another experiment, sir? Uh, well, I guess you could call it that, yeah.
Experiment, Lieutenant? Uh huh.
Like I said, I was out here earlier.
Hey, why don't I show it to you? Now, you figured that your brother had to walk around the side of the house like this.
Is that right? I figure it.
And so did the coroner's jury.
Now you see you had to walk on grass.
Is there some point to this? Yes, ma'am, there is.
You see, now this grass is kind of dry because the sun's been out.
Uh, well, today's Thursday.
And the gardener cuts the grass on Thursday.
Excuse me a minute.
You see? Grass.
Well, that's only natural.
It certainly is.
But you know there was no grass on your brother's shoe? I'm afraid I don't quite understand.
Your brother was shot a week ago.
On Thursday.
And I looked at the photographs of the body, I even had them blown up and for the life of me, I just couldn't see any grass on the soles of his shoe.
And I couldn't figure that out.
Why? It was freshly cut and it was sticky because it was at night and there was dew.
Y'now that's very good.
He must've had particles of grass on his shoes.
But they were probably brushed off on the carpet.
And unfortunately the room's been cleaned.
Yeah, I know.
Well, unless there's something else? Just one more thing.
I guess Charles has the stepladder by now, huh? I would think.
The other morning when I was over here, I noticed these potted plants.
How observant.
And they're very pretty, you know.
But I got to thinking, I says to myself, y'now sometimes people they keep a spare key outside, just in case they forget their own key.
Uh, do you do you see this? What? This imprint here.
What about it? Well that's like a fossil or something.
You see, a spare key must've been hidden in there for a long time.
You see, that's been rained on and everything.
There was a spare key.
Oh? I put it there myself when the alarm system was installed.
Bryce didn't know about it.
I also removed it from there myself recently because I had second thoughts.
What do you mean by second thoughts? Well, if a burglar were in fact on the premises, he might find the key and then what good would the alarm system be? Good point.
Yes, hey yeah.
I was right, wasn't I? Because you found it.
Yeah, I guess I did.
All right, Lieutenant.
I think you've finally overstayed your welcome.
The official verdict is death by accidental means and that should satisfy you.
Look ma'am, I don't mean any offense.
I'm just trying to tie up loose ends.
You see, I'm compulsive that way, it's just, well that's what my wife says about it, just Are you really? No, I mean all I meant by that was that, well you see, if there was a key there, and if Bryce knew about it, well, then of course he would use the key to let himself in through the front door.
But I told the truth the night it happened.
And I told the truth at the inquest.
So whatever your little compulsions may be I'm afraid I must insist you leave me alone.
Oh, goodbye.
I'll take it all.
Well, is that it? No, I haven't finished.
You're not bored, are you? No, no I'm having a wonderful time.
Is there something young and bright? Why don't you try this one? Oh, that's marvelous.
I want to try that on.
Excuse us.
Don't forget to get my hat over by the black bag could you bring it with me? Could you get the zipper? Peter! Yes? Everybody set for this afternoon's meeting? Uh, yes, but I was wondering, Beth.
Huh? Uh, don't you think it's a little premature? Perhaps another week for things to ease up.
It must be today.
All right.
It's up to you.
Well? What do you think? Interesting.
What does that mean? It's wild.
Uh, a little out of your style though, isn't it? No, I don't think it is.
Well, you asked.
It was a courtesy.
I'm perfectly capable of making my own decisions.
Oh, what is that silver dress over there on the rail? This one! This matches it! Uh, Beth? Why don't you finish your wardrobe? I'm going back to the office.
No, no, I want you to wait till I'm ready to go? Do you have trousers that go with the red top? Beth.
I'm not sure what's gotten into you, but I'm not sure I like it.
I'll see you.
If you need me, I'll be back at the office.
Did you want to try this on? Yes.
This one and that blue dress over there, please.
Ladies and gentlemen will you please take your seats.
Well now, we've all been through a period of anxiety and indecision since my brother's death but in a corporate sense we must maintain our continuity.
As you all well know, this is a family owned firm.
Therefore, as of today, I am assuming the presidency.
As my first order of business I would like to announce the elevation of Mr.
Peter Hamilton to executive vice-president in charge of accounts.
As to philosophy, my brother was a traditionalist.
I want to break new ground.
Would you pass these along, please.
I want to streamline.
We're going to cut down marginal accounts and we're going to start promoting ourselves for a change.
It seems to me we've been selling everything but our own product.
Beth, forgive me, but that is our job.
Forgive me, but it's not.
Our job is to grow.
Now when was the last time this agency took on a new account? We have all we can handle.
Nonsense! Now look, Beth, I don't want to be difficult, but I I Fred, I don't mean to interrupt you but this is really not the time for negative thinking.
Now, if you disagree with my approach you're perfectly free to sever your relationship with the firm.
No, Beth, I feel I can accommodate myself to your way of thinking.
Yes, I'm sure you can.
Any questions? Very well.
We'll adjourn.
One more thing.
A happy and personal note.
I'd like to announce my engagement to Mr.
Thank you.
Are those letters for me to sign? Yeah, right.
Thank you.
You must be out of your mind.
What qualifies you to run this company? I had a very good teacher, my brother.
I've been studying his reports for years and asking questions.
Thank you.
We'll finish later.
He may not have known it, but he was grooming me.
Well, don't forget.
I am the majority stockholder.
I will not relinquish control.
Don't be naive, Mother.
Who else can take over and still keep it in the family? Besides, I'm prepared to go to court if necessary.
And you know what that means, publicity, interviews, scandal.
I can't believe you're talking to me like this.
Are you prepared to take over the company? You're getting old, Mother, or hadn't you noticed? Come in.
Am I interrupting something? What do you want, Lieutenant? Well, I just thought that Why, hello there fella, how you doin'? I got a treat for you.
I got a little something for him.
Here you are.
Y'now I've been carrying these things around with me all week.
Come here, boy.
Come on.
Take one of these.
Look at that.
Oh, easy.
I think we have a personality conflict.
Do you need me for anything, Lieutenant? Come here.
Uh, no ma'am.
No, I don't think so.
Then I'll be leaving.
Mother? We'll go into this later.
As you wish.
I'll leave the two of you alone.
No, that's all right Peter.
The Lieutenant is going to be very brief.
Well Columbo, what is it now? We've talked about keys and grass and newspapers.
Oh, thank you.
Well you know how one thing leads to another.
Now when I was thank you When I was over at your house there the other day and I was climbing up and down that ladder I tell you, I had a thought, something else occurred to me that's been keeping me awake at night.
What might that be? Well, I was wondering about that burned out bulb in front of your house.
And I went over there this morning to take a look at it.
And You brought it with you! Oh yeah.
I didn't think you'd mind.
This is a hundred watt bulb.
Hundred watt? Got a life 750-800 hours.
Now, if your house is anything like my house then you'll burn the outside light 8-10 hours a day.
So that means it would last two, two and a half months.
Is that right? I'll concede to your knowledge.
I don't know.
Thank you very much.
Uh, now this is what I got to thinking.
I hate to change bulbs outside my house because no matter how tight I get that up in the lamp you see, they attract a lot of dirt and goop and they're full of dead bugs and I just don't even like to go up there and touch them.
Would you get to the point? Uh, why is that bulb dirt and dust free? That bulb is clean as a whistle.
Now I think that's kind of strange, don't you? Hanging there long enough to burn out, but not hanging there long enough to get dirty.
We're a fastidious family.
If the bulb is clean it's because servants cleaned it.
They cleaned a burned out bulb? They work in the daytime.
So how would they know? All right Lieutenant, I think that'll be enough.
I beg your pardon? I want you to listen to this very carefully.
I don't ever want to see you again.
You'll be refused admittance to my house and to this office.
I have a great deal of work to do and I no longer can indulge your suspicions.
If you think you have a case against me, go to the District Attorney.
Is that clear? Yes.
That's very clear.
I'm warning you.
No more questions.
I wasn't going to ask a question, ma'am.
I just wanted to return your bulb.
What can we do about him? Beth, take it easy.
Calm down.
Oh, stop saying calm down.
You're a lawyer, do something! I mean we can institute some kind of proceedings against him.
There must be somebody in the city government who can do something! Calm down.
Take it easy.
Well is that your professional advice? Beth.
What in the world has gotten into you? We never argued like this before.
We're not arguing.
Something's wrong.
What is it? All right, there is.
Number one: this business of arbitrarily promoting me.
To say the least it smacks of high level nepotism.
It's And I assume there's a number two.
Yes, there is.
You announced our engagement without even letting me know.
I thought it would please you! It did please me.
But don't you think you could've consulted with me? I was just as surprised to hear it as everybody else.
Well, I did it for you.
I mean, we are going to get married, aren't we? That's not the point.
I would have liked to have had a hand in the decision.
Now it's not like you to act this way.
This is way out of character for you.
Well, if I've changed it's because I thought you'd like a more exciting woman.
A change, yes, but a complete metamorphosis? I'm not sure Beth you're the same person.
Maybe I'm not.
Maybe Bryce was right.
About what? About your being the wrong kind of man for me.
What's that, the third? I get paid not to count.
Just keep 'em coming, that's all.
Well, I didn't think you people were supposed to drink on duty.
Oh, Mr.
Drink? Oh no, that's coffee.
No, I don't drink.
No, it's been a very long day.
I can see it's been a long day for you too.
Oh, it shows huh? Y'now, it's quite a coincidence you and I both meeting in the same place like this.
Yes, it is, isn't it? Yeah.
What are you reading? Oh this? This is a transcript of the inquest.
Listen, congratulations.
I understand you're engaged.
Not necessarily.
Oh really? What happened? Let's get back to this.
See I want to ask you something.
Lieutenant, why are you hounding Beth? Hounding? Who me? Oh no, I'm not hounding anybody.
Oh no.
No, what I'm trying to do is get to the bottom of this thing.
Y'now Lieutenant, I like you.
I really do.
But you are devious.
Devious? Your job was finished with the coroner's verdict.
But you're still hanging around.
You're still asking questions.
You even managed to bump into me here.
Now, Lieutenant.
You don't really think that Beth killed her brother in cold blood now, do you? Well, as a matter of fact, I do.
Hamilton, you asked me what I thought.
Now I'm going to tell you.
I think she set it up, I think it was deliberate and I think you can help me prove it.
Now, excuse me.
You're sure that that's coffee you're drinking? Because you're not making any sense.
I was there.
And I know Beth didn't kill anybody.
It was an accident.
Can I tell you about my wife? Y'now my wife, she's got a proverb for every situation.
You know with her, a rolling stone gathers no moss you gotta look before you leap I'm sure that your wife is a very nice woman.
But what has that got to do with the case? To be honest, she solved it for me.
We were having an argument last night, she says to me "You're putting the cart before the horse", and I said, "Right.
" In this case, the horse is before the cart.
And I had the answer.
And what was that? In the transcript you weren't very specific.
I know.
I just read every word of it.
But I think on the night of the murder you said something.
If you can remember that, and you tell me you got a terrific memory then you'll know, you'll know for sure whether or not Beth Chadwick murdered her brother.
All right.
And what do I remember? Who is it? Who's there? Who's there? Hello operator? Get me the police.
Operator? Oh operator, I'm sorry.
Forget it.
Lieutenant Columbo? Is that you? Come on, Lieutenant.
Come in and have a drink.
Lieutenant Columbo? This is the way your brother came in that night, isn't it? How did you get in? Same way your brother did.
With a spare key.
One of my men located your locksmith.
He was very cooperative.
What do you expect to prove by this bit of nonsense? Oh, I don't want to prove anything, ma'am.
I came to arrest you.
Arrest me? Yes, ma'am.
For the murder of your brother.
And I did have a reason for coming in this way.
I wanted to see the look on your face.
Well, I'll consider myself under arrest.
And now I want to see the look on your face when I call my lawyer.
You know what's ironic? I knew it wasn't an accident the first night.
I knew it as soon as I saw that newspaper.
But I didn't have any proof.
I had to wait for the proof.
I had to wait for your fiance to give it to me.
From Peter? Yes, ma'am.
Although I don't think he meant to.
You see, according to your story, you were asleep at night the alarm woke you up, you reached for a gun and you shot what you thought was a burglar.
Which is exactly what happened.
Couldn't be.
Because Mr.
Hamilton, who was driving up outside at the time, he heard both the shots and alarm.
Of course he did.
What difference does that make? Oh, big difference.
He heard the shots first, then the alarm.
That's the cart before the horse.
I mean, how could the alarm wake you if the shots came first? You see, what really happened was your brother came walking in here just the way I did tonight, you shot him and then you set the alarm a few seconds later.
Peter is mistaken.
He's a very good lawyer and he prides himself on his memory.
And he won't like it but he'll testify against you in court if he has to.
Along with the other holes in your story, I think they'll convict you.
No, really, you don't want to do that.
Policemen outside, what would be the point? Besides, you're too classy a woman.
Now would you get dressed, ma'am? Take all the time you need.