Columbo (1971) s05e04 Episode Script

A Matter of Honor

I will kill him like in the old days with you assisting me.
That is crazy.
That sounds like blackmail.
Lieutenant, would I do such a thing to a fellow police officer? You're in no condition to fight a bull.
Maybe it was homicide.
No man could have ripped Rangel open in such a way.
No, the bull was the murder weapon, sir.
Like a gun.
Curro! Curro! Hello.
Dr.
Leon.
Dr.
Leon, this is Luis Montoya.
Fine, thank you.
Tell me, how is Curro doing? That's good news.
I'll tell his father.
Then the bull did get him.
It's a minor wound? Well, that's a relief.
When he reawakens, will you tell him that I called? And tell him that I'm going to San Diego this evening with his father, but in the morning, on the way back, I'll stop by.
Thank you, Doctor.
Goodbye.
Enter.
Matador? Excuse me, but do you wish the convertible washed and waxed? No, I'll be using the hardtop.
Have Carlos get it ready.
The men were asking me about Curro.
How is he? Oh, he regained consciousness.
I just talked to the doctor.
Yes, he'll be all right.
Hector told us what you did, Matador.
It was a brave thing.
Yes? These young ones, so foolish to try to cape a bull like Marinaro.
When Carlos is finished, give him the rest of the day off.
Tell all the men to take the rest of the day off.
But Yes, I know, I know it's Friday and it's early.
But yesterday, we nearly had a tragedy and tomorrow, the bulls must be sent off early to the bullring and I think everyone could use a little time off.
Matador, who do you want to stay behind? Let them all go.
Miguel can play caretaker for the evening.
Miguel! I saw some cows roaming outside the south pasture.
There must be a fence down.
I will take a ride, señor, and find out.
Good.
Miguel! To keep you company.
Good mescal, señor.
You touched the heart of an old vaquero.
I was hoping you'd change your mind about leaving.
No.
You were right.
Everything is different now.
I must leave.
What do you want me to tell the men? Tell them whatever you want to.
You know, I can't send Marinaro to the ring with the other bulls.
He has seen your son's cape.
He has sentido now.
I know.
He is spoiled.
He knows too much.
I'm going to kill him.
But why? He will make a very good seed bull.
When Curro leaves the hospital, you know he'll want to face Marinaro again.
How do you know that? Dr.
Leon told me that Curro is determined to do it.
Perhaps, but I don't think my son is that crazy.
I won't take that chance.
That bull would kill Curro this time.
Luis, I do appreciate your concern.
I know it is not easy to destroy such a valuable bull.
But you don't have to There are no "buts".
I'm going to kill Marinaro today in the ring, face to face.
Luis, you don't have to do that.
I will kill him like in the old days with you assisting me.
That is crazy.
And you know it! Look, we're both out of shape.
That bull would take at least five picks.
Besides, your leg, it has been giving you a lot of trouble lately.
If you won't help me, my friend, I'll have to do it alone.
Curro is a son to me also.
Oh, my God! Luis! Luis, I don't Help me, Luis.
Luis, help me.
I don't I don't know what's wrong.
I Something's wrong.
Luis, I was stung.
No, Luis.
Luis, what are you doing? Help me.
I can't see straight.
Luis, please.
Luis, no.
I have insurance, I have insurance that'll pay for everything.
Wait a minute.
Wait a minute.
Does anybody speak English? Speak English? You speak English? Do you speak English? Just a minute now.
What did she say? What is he saying? Broken neck.
Broke the neck.
He broke the neck? How'd he broke the neck? We were going Tell him, tell him, we were going five miles an hour.
Five.
Sir, your identification, please.
My identification.
Here.
She said all your fault, you hit her car.
Insurance, insurance.
Where is the man who speaks English? Come over here.
Come over here.
Just a minute.
Where's that man that speaks Just a minute, darling.
Señor, I have insurance.
You don't have to take the car.
There is nothing wrong with the car.
Señor, there is just a dent in the fender.
All right.
One minute.
One minute.
I have to get back to Los Angeles.
I need my car.
My wife is here.
Yes, but what am I gonna do, walk? Is your name Columbo? Yes.
Lieutenant Columbo? That's right.
Los Angeles Police Department? That's right.
I'm Comandante Emilio Sanchez.
Pleased to meet you, Lieutenant.
I'm at your service.
Listen, nothing happened.
That fellow wasn't hurt.
I mean, the bumpers just touched.
They took my car.
I gotta get back.
I'm sorry, Lieutenant.
You may go.
But the car has to stay.
It's a matter of insurance.
Oh, I got plenty of insurance I'm afraid it's not valid here in Mexico.
You should have bought the coverage when you drove over the border.
Listen, my wife and I, we gotta get back to LA.
I'm sorry, Lieutenant.
I'm sorry.
I would like to extend to you a professional courtesy, as a police officer to a police officer, but the law is very specific about it.
Maybe you can go in a bus to Los Angeles and come back on Monday.
Oh, I couldn't do that.
I need the car.
It's very special You are very special.
What do you mean? We had it in all the newspapers here in Mexico.
That murder on the cruise ship.
By the time you landed in Mexico, you had unmasked the killer.
Oh, you heard about that.
Yeah.
Oh, that was a hell of a thing.
Gee That was a You know the first night out the fellow murdered the girl, an entertainer? She went down to change her clothes and she never came back.
It was a cruise.
My wife bought a raffle ticket, we won a cruise for nothing and got on, and I was seasick.
Oh, I'll never forget that.
Yeah, I would like to hear more about it.
Now that you're gonna remain in the city for the weekend, maybe we could get together.
I would be honored if you could join my wife and me for dinner tonight.
I thought I was gonna be arrested.
Just a moment.
I must go, Lieutenant.
There's been a terrible accident at the Montoya ranch.
Maybe you'd like to accompany me.
We could talk on the way over.
My wife is waiting at the hotel.
All right.
I understand.
You know, I was thinking that maybe we could speed up the paperwork on your accident.
But of course, you have to go to your wife.
That's it.
That sounds like blackmail.
Lieutenant, would I do such a thing to a fellow police officer? My house is your house, Lieutenant.
Thank you very much.
I can't tell you what a relief it is that you speak English.
Don Luis is the owner of the ranch.
He is a ganadero.
Ganadero? At one time, I was paid handsomely to fight bulls.
Now I pay handsomely to raise them.
An expensive hobby, my friend.
The dead man worked for Don Luis for many years at the ranch and before that, as his assistant.
A true friend, loyal, faithful, forgotten virtues these days.
Just be a moment.
Now Luis, tell me what happened.
The shipping box broke and Marinaro bolted into the ring and then Curro Rangel, with muleta and sword, jumped in.
That was Thursday, right? Thursday.
As soon as the boy eyed the bull, I know the feeling from my own youth, he could not resist.
He did surprisingly well for a novice but then he comes from good stock.
He's a brave boy.
But the bull got him.
Yes.
A momentary lapse of concentration, a sudden gust of wind that caught the muleta, who can say? Hector managed to drag Curro to safety while I held the bull at bay, momentarily, of course.
With this leg of mine, I would not like to take on that brute in earnest.
You're too modest, Don Luis.
Yeah.
Anyway, I could not guess that Hector would climb into the ring alone yesterday after everyone was gone.
Well, why would he do a thing like that, sir? For his son, Lieutenant.
Hector knew that Curro would leave the hospital to fight the bull again.
Now, you gave all the men the day off, right? Mmm-hmm.
All but Miguel.
I myself had to leave for a speaking engagement in San Diego at the Aficionado Club.
And Hector was supposed to come along with me, but at the last minute, he asked permission to stay behind to work on the books.
It appears now he had a He had other plans in mind.
Excuse me, sir.
Is that Señor Hector driving your car? Hector Rangel.
So, Hector Rangel must have gotten into the ring right after you left at He would have waited until I was well on my way, walked to the ring, I'd say he faced the bull at 5:00, perhaps 5:30.
All right.
I would like to take a look at the body.
Would you care to join me? As you wish.
Lieutenant? Comandante, how much is a bull like that worth? Fighting bull? How much is it worth? I don't know.
But they're expensive.
How much? It all depends on the bull.
Ask him.
Who, Luis? Yes.
Don Luis, a bull like Marinaro, how much he worth? $8,000.
More with inflation.
Seems like a valuable piece of property to destroy without permission.
I'm sorry.
I don't follow you.
No, it just occurred to me that Is there something I can help you with? No, we were just commenting on the fact that the man that was killed, Hector Rangel, that he was planning to destroy a valuable piece of your property without permission.
He's dead.
How can you judge the behavior of a man who almost lost his only son? Shall we, Luis? Lieutenant? No, gracias.
I see enough bodies when I'm working.
Thank you.
I'll just look around.
Okay.
Oh, no.
I speak English, señor.
I am Jaime Delgado, the foreman.
What can I do for you? I was wondering Could you answer a question for me? I already told the Comandante all I know, señor.
I was in town when Rangel was killed.
It was a very sad thing that happened.
Oh, yes, it was.
Oh, no, no.
This is about bullfighting.
I was wondering, could you tell me, do you think it's kind of late in the afternoon to be fighting a bull at 5:00, 5:30? I mean, because of the sun, it's already down.
No, señor.
It is the time that all bullfights take place.
You see, it's to the bullfighter's advantage.
And there's more than enough light at this time of year.
It shows you I don't know much about bullfighting.
Yes.
Is that all, señor? You know, I think my wife is right.
Something wrong with me.
Supposed to be on vacation and right away, I'm thinking like a cop.
It's called occupational hazard.
"Occupational hazard?" What is that? That's when wherever you go, you take your work with you.
Oh, I see.
We call that "loco".
Excuse me.
Good afternoon, sir.
Good afternoon, sir.
This is a wonderful car.
I always wanted a car like this for myself.
How long has Señor Montoya had this car? Oh, for many years.
I take the best care of it.
Could I sit in? Sure.
Go ahead.
Oh, boy.
This is a workout driving this car.
No power gadgets on that one, sir.
If you want power, you gotta do it yourself.
You know, it must be difficult for Señor Montoya, I mean, with his bad leg.
He'll never drive it.
Hector will always do it for him.
Hector.
Yes.
I remember the pictures on the wall.
Yeah, now that Hector's not here, probably he'll ask me to drive it for him.
So I guess Señor Montoya used this car to go to San Diego in? Pretty smart, mister.
That one is clean, this one is dirty, huh? Me, I like a motorcycle, except that I crashed it up last Monday, now they want to fix it, They must be crazy.
They must think I own the place.
When was the last time this car was waxed? Oh That must have been Yeah, it was yesterday.
The foreman of the ranch asked me to wash it and wax it for him.
He said that the patrón was gonna drive it up to San Diego.
But I thought the workers, they were let off early yesterday.
What time was that? It must have been around 12:00.
What are you asking me all these questions for? Oh, I'm a policeman, always ask questions.
Thank you very much.
Yeah.
Wait a minute! Comandante Sanchez? May I see the body? Go ahead.
I didn't expect that.
It's not a pretty sight, Lieutenant.
But as you say, you have seen many bodies.
You don't realize what a bull can do.
The doctor said that the wound inside his thigh must have been the fatal one.
It severed the femoral artery.
Well, that would kill a man pretty quick, wouldn't it? Oh, yes.
That's the one the bullfighter fears the most.
Is that the one? Hmm? Yes.
Marinaro.
I don't know how you fight those things to make a living.
It's more than a living, Lieutenant.
It's a way of life.
I'll tell you the truth, sir.
I don't think I would enjoy watching a man kill an animal like that, as big and as mean as he is.
Perhaps you do enjoy the spectacle of two men in the prize ring beating each other senseless.
Or murdering an innocent deer with a rifle.
Or catching a fish with another one which is still alive.
Our culture is different than yours, Lieutenant.
No better or worse, perhaps, but different.
Excuse me.
Señor Montoya, this doesn't look like it's been used.
I mean, it should be ripped or something.
Not if Marinaro got him quickly.
He would start with this to test the bull's tendencies and then he would cut him short to break him down.
Then You see, Lieutenant, a few little passes like those leave no tears or crease marks on the muleta, as you can see.
I see you are a thorough man, Lieutenant.
But the bull did kill Rangel.
Yes, I can see that.
But it's important to be thorough, especially when a man dies alone.
Excuse me, I wanna go look at the bull.
Go ahead.
Excuse me.
Mr.
Rangel himself would have to open the gate, wouldn't he? Obviously.
Well, when he opened the gate, the bull would charge out, wouldn't he? Then Rangel closed the gate and challenged the bull.
But after he closed the gate, he would be standing right over here, wouldn't he? Wouldn't the bull then turn around and attack him? As soon as he moved, yes.
But the body was found over at the other side of the ring.
Lieutenant Columbo, a bull that weighs 2,000 pounds is capable of throwing a man and a horse all over this place.
That explains it.
Why is he tied up? The oxen that are needed to keep him calm are being used somewhere else in the ranch.
So until they can get them here, he has to be left tied up.
Otherwise, he would destroy that gate.
He's a big fellow, isn't he? Mmm-hmm.
Thank you, sir.
I hope you understand, Luis, that the Lieutenant here is merely as my guest.
He has no official status.
So inquisitive.
I find him amusing.
Have you seen this? Some kind of a skid mark with a hole at the end.
That looks like a pick mark.
You see, this ring is used to test the cows for bravery.
When is the last time that you tested cows in this ring, sir? A couple of weeks ago.
I don't remember.
Because this looks very fresh to me.
Well, maybe it was made yesterday, or the day before yesterday when you saved Curro's life.
What's this? Let me see.
Yes, this is part of the pick.
Probably splintered by one of the cows.
You see, my cows are very aggressive, Lieutenant.
That's why they breed such brave bulls.
Gee, this looks awfully fresh to me.
Yeah, and if Rangel used it yesterday to fight Marinaro, there must be more around it.
If you'll excuse me, gentlemen.
My daughter is arriving tomorrow and there's much to prepare for.
She's driving down from Arizona to attend Hector's funeral.
With your permission.
I'm sorry we couldn't get the car released today, Lieutenant.
And I'm sorry your wife couldn't have stayed.
Well, she's sorry, too, ma'am.
It's my cousin Vito's anniversary tomorrow, so I put her on a bus to Los Angeles.
Eleven years.
She's very sentimental about these things.
Well, home, church, that's what counts these days.
Well, I can't argue with you there.
They're bored! But I'll take care of them.
Well, now that we're alone, I would like to hear more about that murder on the cruise ship.
I'd like to talk about the death of Hector Rangel.
If that's the way you investigate an accident, you must be a bull when it comes to homicide.
I know this is none of my business and I'm sticking my nose in where it doesn't belong, and you certainly know much more about these things than I do.
Is it possible that there was something wrong with Hector Rangel? Perhaps he knew he was gonna die and he wanted to bring it to an end before Well, you know, in some kind of a machismo way.
Machismo.
No, no, no, that's impossible.
Rangel would not finish his life in such a way, especially not in a practice ring.
Maybe it was homicide.
Lieutenant, you saw the body.
No man could have ripped Rangel open in such a way.
No, the bull was the murder weapon, sir.
Like a gun.
Somebody could've turned the bull on Rangel.
Who would do a thing like that? Montoya, maybe.
Montoya? That's ridiculous.
It's unbelievable, Lieutenant.
It's like saying that the Pope did it.
Anything's possible.
Lieutenant, you're too good a policeman to suggest such a thing without proof.
Certain things don't fit.
Why does a faithful assistant, an obedient man, somebody who's used to taking orders, suddenly take it upon himself to destroy a valuable piece of property without permission? You heard Montoya's answer.
I didn't believe it.
Well, what happens is that you don't understand the temperament of a matador.
You see, they must be proud, brave, they must have honor.
It's called puro honor.
Without it, you're nothing.
Sí.
I understand puro honor.
Hector knew that his son might climb off the bed in the hospital to fight the bull himself, mano a mano.
That's one against one.
Hector could not accept that, regardless the risk.
The value of the bull had nothing to do with it.
Is Montoya a vain man? Oh, yes.
Is he concerned with his public image? Absolutely.
Is it important to him to be seen in a chauffeur-driven Well, that's the way he drives around.
On the day that Hector died, when he was a guest speaker in a foreign country, why did he decide to drive himself in an ordinary hardtop? Lieutenant, he didn't choose it.
Hector asked him to stay behind so he could work on the books.
What time was that? I'm going to give you a statement of a man who takes care of Montoya's cars.
The ranch foreman told him to wash and wax the hardtop.
The patrón was gonna drive it to San Diego.
"I finished the job at 12:00.
" The question is, how did Montoya know in the morning that at 4:30 p.
m.
Hector was going to say, "I can't go with you.
I have to stay behind and work on the books"? Is that your answer? There is no answer.
There is no answer.
I wouldn't close off this case.
I don't wanna be presumptuous.
I realize I have no position here.
No, I understand.
If there is a crime here, I want to get to the bottom of it.
Better yet, I would like you to get to the bottom of it.
Me? You see, you're a foreigner.
But I live here.
I don't know if you realize what will happen to me if I was to start an investigation that would lead to nothing.
Montoya is that important? He's a legend in Mexico.
He's known throughout the country as the bravest of the brave, and this man likes the glory that surrounds him.
And you want me to take the blame.
Exactly.
But there's one thing.
Montoya must have a motive.
Yes, every man has a motive.
I don't know what the motive is.
Hector was keeping his books.
Maybe Hector was stealing from him.
Maybe it had something to do with his daughter and Curro.
They were attracted to one another.
I don't know.
Let's start with small things.
Let's finish our coffee.
Maria.
Papa! I don't understand.
How could this happen? Hector was always so quiet, so careful.
Why? He was a father, sweetheart.
And Curro, how is he taking it? I don't know.
He's still in the hospital recovering from the goring.
I don't know.
I must go to him.
Oh, of course.
But first, you must freshen up and have something to eat, huh? Come on, sweetheart.
Come on.
What is it? Nothing, nothing.
Just a visitor.
Come.
That scared the hell out of me.
He is just a little baby, señor.
That's some baby.
I'm Lieutenant Columbo.
I'm from Los Angeles.
I understand you're here because of Señor Rangel's unfortunate death, no? I'm assisting Comandante Sanchez.
Asking questions.
Oh, I see.
Have some.
It will help you.
Oh, thank you.
I am thirsty.
Thank you very much.
I thought that was water.
I am sorry, señor.
What is that stuff? Mescal, señor.
Mescal.
Yes, sir.
I understand, sir, that you were the only one on the ranch at the time of the murder.
Yes, sir.
You're right.
But I was not near the ring where he fight the bull.
Otherwise, he would have never died.
You know, my name is Miguel Hernandez.
Very well known to everybody.
Even to the bulls.
But the patrón said, "Go to the south pasture," and that's what happened.
What time was that? I have no watch, señor.
It was afternoon, early.
The men had just gone into town.
Now where is the south pasture? South pasture? That way, señor.
Now, that's in the opposite direction from the bullring.
That's right.
When you got back, did you see anybody around? No, señor.
It was almost 6:00.
It was getting dark.
And the patrón, he had gone across to your country.
I thought Señor Rangel had gone with him.
And you were down there the whole time? Yes, sir.
No one was around.
But the patrón was kind enough to give me a bottle of mescal.
And I had a very pleasant afternoon.
But today, I have a headache, señor.
Now, you must excuse me.
I must go to the tack room.
I have to gather things that belonged to Señor Rangel.
They must go to his son now.
Would you mind if I came along? Why should I mind? I'm sorry.
I just couldn't eat.
Of course, darling.
Of course.
I understand.
Tell Curro our prayers are with him, hmm? And drive carefully.
Drive carefully.
You should've seen it come down in town Friday.
I thought the place was gonna wash away.
You know, it is funny, señor, in a desert like this, sometimes you see the rain.
But only over there in the mountains.
It never gets here.
What's this? That's Señor Rangel's luggage.
They told me to clean out his locker.
Then I have to go to his room and get his clothes out.
It's already packed.
Well, who packed it? I don't know.
Well, who brought the luggage down here? I don't know.
Maybe the housekeeper.
Do these belong to a bull or an ox? From a bull, señor.
And these are picks? Yes.
This is the inside of the wood? And this is the outside of the wood? This is lighter in color than this.
Yes.
And this is heavier in weight.
That is not from a pick, señor.
That is from a lance.
Well, what's the difference? The picks they used in the ring, they have metal tips to wound the bull, lower his head.
And the lance? They are used in the fields by the vaqueros for herding.
They are made of pine, not so strong.
Well, now I'm puzzled.
Señor Montoya said that this came from a pick.
Perhaps I was mistaken.
No, Jaime is right.
It looked the same to me at a glance.
Well, what difference does it make? Oh, none, I guess.
But if this is from a lance, then it wasn't used to test the cows for bravery, so what was it doing in the ring? Lieutenant Columbo, a lance on a bull ranch is the same as as a rope on a cattle ranch.
The vaquero, the cowboy, must carry it with him at all times so he can herd and round up the bulls when he has to.
And I assume Hector would have a lance.
Of course.
A fascinating world.
And this is Hector's pick? Yes.
And those are the lances? Those are the lances.
I notice that Hector's lance is missing.
No, he probably misplaced it or broke it out in the fields somewhere.
Well, as you said, it probably doesn't make any difference.
May I ask you a personal question, sir? Oh, by all means.
Did you injure your leg in the bullring? In the Plaza de Toros, Mexico.
It was the wound that ended my career.
And, ironically, it wasn't even the bull I was supposed to fight.
You see, I was appearing mano a mano with a young matador who froze, and the bull gored him.
I jumped to his rescue and I, too, was gored.
Badly.
Here.
They tried to take me to the infirmary, along with the young matador, but I refused to go.
Despite the blood flowing from my wound, I stayed in the ring, and I did one of the best faenas of my career.
I killed the bull with one thrust.
The people loved it.
They stood up and gave me an electrifying ovation.
Two ears and a tail.
That was my last fight.
Well, that must've taken a lot of courage, sir.
Well, it would be a difficult thing to do now, with this leg.
Well, thank you very much for the time.
I have to get back to the city.
Oh, and then, on home, to the United States? Yes, sir.
Actually, I thought if I got the chance, I'd like to come out here one more time before I left.
I'm fascinated by everything out here, but I don't want to be a pest.
Oh, not at all, Lieutenant.
You're welcome here any time.
Well, thank you very much, sir.
I've been fascinated by everything I've seen out here and I still think there's a lot to learn.
I don't understand this medical report.
What don't you understand? Well This is Hector Rangel's name.
Right.
Well, I don't understand anything after his name.
Well, it says what we already know.
Hector Rangel died of shock and severe loss of blood due to wounds inflicted on him by a bull.
Dorso is the back? Yes.
Yes.
What is this "pinchazo in the glodio"? Glúteo, that's a puncture in the buttocks.
Well, did the bull get him there, too? Let me see.
No.
It's a It's a small needle mark that the doctor found.
Probably from a previous inoculation.
Well, was Hector Rangel under treatment for anything with a doctor? No, according to his doctor, he was in perfect health.
I hope you don't mind my saying so, Comandante, but I think you ought to order an autopsy on Rangel's body.
An autopsy because of a needle mark? I can see the newspapers.
"Don Luis Montoya," "the idol of Mexico, a murder suspect?" That's your problem.
I'm just a tourist here.
Yeah, that's my problem.
You know, a policeman who jeopardizes his pension, he must be loco, right? I think I'm gonna speak to Curro Rangel.
For a man who's on a holiday, you're certainly keeping busy.
Well, I have the feeling if I wasn't, you wouldn't let me leave the country.
Oh, that's right, my friend.
I got your picture posted in all the border stations.
There's one other thing.
You remember how hard it rained in town the day that Rangel got killed? Yes, it rained cats and dogs, as you say.
Now, according to Miguel, it did not rain at the Montoya ranch.
An old bullfighter like Hector Rangel would never fight a bull in the rain.
Yeah.
However, old Miguel, he could be so bombed on that mascara Mescal, mescal.
Mescal.
Rightthat he wouldn't know whether it was raining or whether it wasn't raining.
Yeah.
I'll check the weather bureau, I'll check the other ranches in the area.
That's a good idea.
Here, Lieutenant.
Thank you.
Here's to your pension.
That's my problem.
The air will do you good.
Nothing will do me good.
Oh, Curro, please.
You cannot blame yourself for your father's death.
Yes, I can.
If I'd killed that bull, my father'd be alive right now.
Curro.
There he is, sir.
Right over there.
Thank you.
Gracias.
Curro Rangel? Yes.
I'm sorry to intrude like this.
No, it's all right.
I'm leaving.
Keep your spirits up.
I'll be out of here tomorrow, Nina.
Good.
I'll see you at home.
Oh, that's a pretty girl.
Who are you? My name is Columbo.
I'm a policeman from the United States.
What do you want? Your father's death hasn't been officially certified as an accident.
Not yet, anyhow.
So, I'm just getting a few facts for the local police.
Well, I'm sorry.
I don't think I can help you.
I was asleep on that bed when it happened.
No.
I want to know about your fight with the bull.
The day before.
Would you tell me about that? Well, there's nothing to tell.
The bull broke out of a shipping box, got into the ring.
I went in, tried to cape him, he caught me on the leg.
Not seriously.
But you were knocked unconscious.
Yes.
And my father and Señor Montoya dragged me from the ring.
Well now, actually, Señor Montoya diverted the bull and your father dragged you from the ring.
Yes, that's right.
Did you use a lance when you fought the bull? A what? I found this in the practice ring.
It's part of a lance.
No.
No one uses a lance in the ring.
Did your father have his lance with him the day you fought the bull? Yes.
I think so.
He and Señor Montoya were riding out to the range to check on the herd.
He would always have his lance with him.
I'll tell you why it's funny.
Because in the tack room now, his lance is missing.
Well, maybe, when he came to drag me, in his desperation, he brought the lance into the ring.
But when he went to drag you out while Montoya was diverting the bull, why would he bring his lance? I don't know.
Where's the rest of the lance? I haven't been able to find it.
Where was your father going? What do you mean? His bags were packed.
That doesn't make any sense.
He never went anywhere.
Was he due to go on vacation? No.
He didn't take vacations.
Then who packed his bags and why was he leaving? If he quit or was fired, but neither one of those things would ever happen.
Thank you very much.
You've been very helpful.
Lieutenant, I have good news for you.
My car? It's parked outside, no charge.
Oh, what a relief.
Thank you very much.
It's all right.
Learning anything? Oh, I have to learn something, since I didn't know anything to start with.
Did you know that these bulls are very near-sighted? Yes, I know that.
That's why the matador uses the cape to attract the bull toward him.
Actually, what happens is that the bull goes towards the movement of the cape.
That's right.
I made a note on that.
Is that the autopsy? That's the weather report.
It's in Spanish.
Yes, I know that.
The people at the weather bureau speak it very well.
It says there was no rain in the area of the Montoya ranch the day Rangel died.
It was cloudy, overcast, high winds.
So, old Miguel was right.
Rangel must have fought the bull between 5:00 and 5:30 as Montoya said.
Well.
It was worth a try.
I was wrong, that's all.
But that's all right.
I've been wrong before.
Don't shake my confidence in you, Lieutenant.
The newspapers know about the autopsy already, so I hope you found out something.
I'll tell you the truth, I got a crazy notion I know why Rangel was killed.
What? Trouble is, I don't think anybody's gonna believe me.
Señor Montoya, could I see him? Lieutenant Columbo.
I came back.
So I see.
Just a few things to clear up, sir.
I hope you don't think I'm Do I understand that Comandante Sanchez has obtained a court order and an autopsy is going to be performed on my good friend, Hector Rangel, God rest his soul? Yes, sir, that is right, sir.
You see, there was a mark on the body that we couldn't quite understand.
What kind of mark? A pin hole, señor.
Maybe a needle mark.
What can that possibly have to do with Hector Rangel being killed by a bull? Well, sir, you see, we think, that is, Comandante Sanchez and I, believe that Hector might have been drugged, then killed by the bull.
You are calling Hector's death a murder.
No, sir, not yet.
But we are interested in whether or not you keep any drugs here on the ranch, especially tranquilizers.
Well, yes.
We keep such drugs on the ranch.
All ranches must have these drugs to tranquilize and treat sick animals.
Yes.
Well, there you are, sir.
You see, I'm not as dumb about these things as I thought.
I had an idea you might have those drugs.
Do you think I could see them? And any records you might keep as to their purchase and use? Chloral hydrate.
I'll tell you, I don't know much about drugs, but that's the stuff they put in a Mickey Finn.
I'm sorry Oh, of course.
That's an American expression.
Knockout drops.
They're used and they work about the same way as a tranquilizer does on a bull.
They knock a man out, or they make him real dizzy, if you give him a small enough shot.
May I take this, sir, just to get a small analysis down at the lab? Take all you want.
You know I just thought of something, something I saw on a television show.
How do you get close enough to those bulls to make an injection? On this show they had an An air gun with hypodermic darts.
Yes, we have one just for that purpose.
I thought you might have.
The gun.
A dart.
Is there anything else, Lieutenant? Yes, sir.
I'd like to see your books.
What for? We don't keep any records on the use of these drugs.
But you do keep a record of their purchase? Yes.
If you don't mind, sir.
Help yourself.
You won't find the drug purchases there.
They're in a separate section, in the front.
Yes, sir, I noticed that.
Just a moment, Lieutenant.
My financial records are a private matter.
If you wish them examined, you'll have to get a court order.
No, sir, that won't be necessary.
No, I just had a thought.
Those entries that I just saw, they were made by Hector.
That is his handwriting.
That is correct.
May I see something? Would you open the book? Then this is your signature, made after each month's entry.
That's right.
January, February, March, April, May, June, July Just turn the page for a moment.
So this is the last entry.
This is the one that Hector said he was working on the day he said he had to stay behind while you went to San Diego.
That's funny.
The date is funny, sir.
What about it? He finished the books three days before he was killed.
So? Well, you signed and dated it, sir.
Just what are you trying to establish, Lieutenant? Well, sir, you must see what I'm driving at.
If Hector finished the books three days before he was killed, then why didn't you question him when he said he wanted to stay behind to work on the books? You must have known he had no intention of working on the books.
I don't appreciate this little war of nerves you are conducting, Columbo.
I am Luis Montoya.
And you are in my country! Sir, I'm just trying to put together the pieces If you understood the first thing about bullfighting, you would not question Hector's death! He walked into the ring to spare his son further injury, and he lost his life.
Now that's all there was to it! Who packed his bags? That's right, sir.
It was packed.
Miguel didn't do it.
He thought the housekeeper did, but I asked her and she said no.
I don't know anything about that.
Well, but the fact is, sir, it was packed.
Where was he going? Ah, yes, yes, yes.
He talked about moving into the main house.
Maybe that's what he was doing.
Gee, it's curious that no one had any previous information about that, neither the housekeeper, nor the servants.
I'm sorry, Lieutenant.
I have tried to be gracious.
I have answered all your questions.
My courtesy has been rewarded with accusation.
I must ask you to leave my house and not return.
I can find my way out.
I probably won't be back, sir.
I got to be in Los Angeles on Monday.
But someday, somebody's gonna come to your door.
Comandante Sanchez, maybe somebody else, but somebody.
Bullfighting, baseball.
What else do children have to think about? I guess I'll be headed back to the United States.
Leaving me to finish your unfinished business, huh? I gotta be home Tuesday morning.
Listen, I'd like to stay.
Montoya's your man.
You can nail him if you keep after him.
There is something.
I don't know what, a key.
I can't find it.
Well, if it means anything, I will continue the investigation.
If it goes badly and I can't find the key, you'll have to get me a job with the Los Angeles Police Department.
What're they doing with that jug of water? Well, it's the wind.
It's strong.
Pepe's imitating the professional matadors at the Plaza.
What are you talking about? Well, in the high wind, the muleta will blow unpredictably.
Since the bull goes toward the movement of the muleta, if it were to blow towards the matador, well, that's it.
Oh, so if the cape is wet, it won't blow in the wind.
That's right.
You Chinese are very clever.
Is that in this book? I don't know.
Oh, well, that's your book.
Where you going? I don't think I'll be leaving just yet.
I want to check something out.
I'll call you later.
Curro! Curro! Where you going in such a hurry? To Señor Montoya's ranch.
You're in no condition to fight a bull.
Nothing wrong with my condition.
I'm fine.
You think you have to prove how brave you are? The longer a matador delays facing the bulls after a goring, the harder it becomes.
Señor Montoya killed your father.
What? Señor Montoya killed your father, Curro.
He set it up to look like an accident as if your father had gone in the ring to kill a bull, but it was murder all the way.
You don't know what you're saying.
I think I do.
I have a lot of evidence all of which I'll show you.
Señor Montoya was on his way to San Diego when my father was killed.
No, he was in the bullring with him, he tricked him there, and then he shot him with a tranquilizer gun.
You can see the needle mark on the body.
Why would he do such a thing? That's what I'm not certain of.
That's where I'm gonna need your help.
Will you trust me? That man is no longer welcome here.
We're here on official business, Don Luis.
Both of us.
Your investigation has gone too far already! The autopsy of Hector Rangel has cast a shadow on my name.
And yet, I am told you found nothing! That's true.
There were no discernible traces.
And yet you persist? I will call the Governor.
I'll have your job for this.
Well, actually, sir, we didn't expect to find any chloral hydrate.
In fact, we would have been surprised if Hector had been given enough drugs to show up on a test.
Either the man was drugged or he wasn't drugged.
Well, I've been doing a little checking, just the rudiments of bullfighting and the fact is, a bull reacts to movement.
If Hector had been totally unconscious, if he had been immobile, the bull might never have charged.
So, he was only given a little bit.
Enough to make him woozy, an easy, moving target.
This is slander, Columbo.
You have no proof.
No proof whatsoever.
Matador! Matador! Curro Rangel is out at the practice ring.
He means to kill Marinaro.
Father, you must stop him.
First, I will attend to this young fool.
And then I will talk to my lawyer in regard to the two of you.
Curro! Stop! I said stop! Come here! Come here.
You didn't learn anything.
You want to go back to the hospital? Is that it? Huh? Curro! Curro! Montoya's frozen.
Papa! Papa! I'm sorry.
It was the only way.
But the way Montoya froze just now, that's exactly the way he froze the other day when he and Hector entered the ring in order to save Curro from the bull.
He froze that day, too, and Hector saw the fear.
That's why Montoya had to kill Hector.
You see, he didn't save Curro from the bull.
Hector did.
That's how Hector's lance got broken.
Holding off the bull.
Don Luis Montoya, unable to live with the knowledge that another man had seen his fear.
Incredible.
Your kids.
They solved the crime.
My kids? Your kids.
Only after watching them play, one pretending to be a matador and the other pretending to be a bull, only then did I know without qualification that Montoya was lying.
This is the official weather report for the day that Hector was killed.
Heavy winds came up in this area between 5:00 and 6:00.
Now, that was the time that Montoya said that Hector was preparing to kill the bull.
Heavy winds.
Now, do you remember the first day? Do you remember how closely we looked at this muleta to see that it wasn't ripped? Yes.
Well, it wasn't something else.
Water stains.
No water stains on the muleta.
And no water jug in the ring.
Now, the winds died down after 6:00, but by then, it was too late.
So, Hector entered the ring earlier before the winds came up and when Señor Montoya was still with him.