Columbo (1971) s06e02 Episode Script

Old Fashioned Murder

What is this, sir? Well, I don't exactly know.
Is it old? Beats me.
That's a battle-ax.
It was used by William the Conqueror in 1066.
If you want to know more about artifacts, there's a tape recorder with earphones available right over there.
Thank you.
Thank you.
Janie, may I see you for a moment, please? Now, the only chore I asked you to do this month was to hire a guard.
And I hired one, didn't I? You certainly did.
The brother of the man you're keeping company with.
He doesn't seem to have any other qualifications.
Aunt Ruth, he was in the Army.
He can handle a gun and he's the only one who was willing to work for that salary.
If, as you've told me, his brother has been Getting him out of trouble since he was 13, I would think he'd be willing to work for any salary.
You haven't said anything to Uncle Edward? Oh, don't be foolish.
Do you think he'd be allowed to set foot in here if I had? Aunt Ruth, he is not a bad person.
Tim says that gambling is a disease, just like alcohol.
Nevertheless, I would not have hired an alcoholic to guard the museum if I had known he was one when I hired him.
I'm sorry.
I should have told you before.
But he is working out and he is the only one I could get for that money.
Yes, that is a point.
When Edward makes the next cut in the budget, I'll be running the museum all by myself.
Aunt Ruth, I think that you should do something else.
I think you should get out more.
Aunt Ruth, how'd you like me to get you a date? I'm not your age, Janie.
I don't date.
I didn't spend my time dating when I was your age.
I was expected to be here then, too.
Mother dated.
She wasn't expected to be here.
How did she get off? She was lovely.
Lovely women are always the exception.
I think you're lovely, Aunt Ruth.
I think you're old-fashioned, without being old.
I wish you were my mother.
No, you don't.
I just saw Janie racing down the corridor like an escaped convict.
Janie at least knocks on doors.
I don't have much time for old-fashioned manners.
There, you've just said it, too.
Janie was trying to pay me a compliment.
She called me old-fashioned.
And you just seconded it.
Is that a compliment? It's better than nothing.
"A compliment is something like a kiss through a veil.
" Yeah.
Oscar Wilde? Victor Hugo.
Well, that's close enough.
Whers Janie coming back? She isn't.
Did you give her the weekend off? Edward, she can't spend all of her time here.
She'll wind up like me.
The books have to be closed out and the inventory finished by next week.
Well, I'll be here till past midnight again for two nights.
Hire a secretary.
With what? This museum is a losing concern, and you know it.
Museums are not a money-making proposition.
Oh, please.
Not that again.
I'm the curator, Edward.
And I am the trustee.
Kindly keep in mind that I have to manage all the funds Mother left and that I have what I consider to be a sacred duty to the family.
It's up to me to make a profit.
Why do people always speak of money as sacred? Maybe because it is.
And the way the museum is going, there is no choice.
I'll have to kill it.
What did you say? Oh, now, let's not be shocked.
And let's not make me the villain.
You've known what this inventory would mean.
You've been keeping me from it for months.
We can't go on pouring money into this place.
We'd be several million dollars richer, I mean, all of us, if we just got rid of this silly place, finally, and sold the contents.
That is a family decision, I presume.
A majority family decision.
Two out of three.
And I'm going to broach the subject to Sister tonight.
And it's my guess she'll cast her vote my way.
She's beginning to check the grocery bills.
And I'm counting pennies.
You always did.
Is that what you came to talk to me about, Edward? No.
I came in to see if you had any idea yet who's pilfering the inventory.
I've found three Renaissance artifacts missing so far that are on the list.
Fortunately, they're not very expensive ones.
And I would appreciate your attending to what is missing instead of what can be bought.
I'll attend to it right away.
Oh! Ruth! I'm sorry, it's habit.
I do everything I can, Edward, to save money.
I really do.
I run this place like a miser in every area I can.
I know.
I know, Ruth.
I'm sorry I shouted.
You're a good sport.
You always were.
"Nowadays we are so hard up" "that the only pleasant things to pay are compliments.
" Victor Hugo? Oscar Wilde.
Pick it up, please, Mr.
Miss Lytton? The butt.
It's still burning.
Pick it up and put it out.
And then I'd like to see you in the garden.
May I die, I wouldn't steal from you.
None of that is true.
Who told you? Mr.
Shaeffer, you were hired for this job because my niece believes that she is in love with your brother.
Your brother thinks that he is in love with my niece.
He therefore confides everything in her.
She, in turn, confides in me.
Among the three of us, you have no secrets.
Miss Lytton, my brother doesn't know anything about any new gambling debts.
The other night, two men were here looking for you.
You told them I worked here? No.
But they will find out.
Just as my brother will find out about the things that you've stolen from us.
Why didn't you tell them I worked here? Why didn't you tell your brother what you think I did? Why did you let me keep on working here if you knew? Because I need you.
You What for? To arrange a robbery, for which I'll pay you $100,000 in cash.
Are you tape-recording this? I'm not dumb, you know.
No matter what my brother thinks Mr.
Shaeffer, I'm not trying to trap you.
Why should I? You and I can help each other.
Everything in the museum is insured for a great deal of money.
Surely, you must know how short we are of funds.
Oh, I get it.
Of course you do.
The robbery must be carried out at 2:00 a.
We'll go over the details of how you are to break in.
Tonight? I will give you a list of the items, of the things that I want you to take.
Tonight? That's tonight? Yes, that's right, tonight.
We have no time to waste.
You may be run over on another sidewalk any minute now.
Tomorrow morning I want you out of the country.
Miss Lytton, I don't even have a passport.
I've had one made for you.
It's in the name of George Balonsky.
Now, I will meet you at 3:00 a.
Tonight, after the robbery, on Sandhill Road.
At that time, you will bring me the items that you have stolen.
I will give you the passport and the money.
And your brother will report the robbery, and they'll be on the lookout for me in every airport Be quiet! Just listen.
Here is $3,000 in advance.
You take it.
You buy anything you need.
The best part, Mr.
Shaeffer, is that I have found a way for you to disappear so that no one will look for you.
No one will associate you with the robbery.
You'll have $100,000 and you'll be safe.
You can start a new life, new name, new luck.
There is no way nobody's gonna associate me with the robbery.
Are you kidding? I'd have to be dead.
It will have to look that way.
It's my wife.
Come on, we better get out of here.
This is Dr.
Tim Shaeffer speaking.
I'm not on call this weekend.
However, if you wish to leave a personal message for me you have 30 seconds in which to do so.
Kindly wait for the beep.
Tim, it's Milton.
I'm calling from a phone booth.
I haven't got another dime.
Tim, can you get here by 9:30? I can't wait but 20 minutes.
Tim, I'm in trouble.
I'm in real Hey! Hey, don't, don't Please, or I'll Why would she call to warn you? Because she always gives me a warning.
She wants to interrupt me, not to catch me.
Then she'd have to give me a divorce.
Janie? Yes, Mother? It is considered good manners to say hello to your mother when you come into the house and goodbye when you go out.
I'm sorry, Mother.
Hello, Aunt Ruth.
Your Uncle Edward was furious at your leaving this evening.
You know how much he depended upon you to help him tonight with the inventory! I'm sorry, Mother.
It's my fault, Phyllis.
I told Janie she could go out tonight.
I forgot what needed to be done.
Ruth, you needrt always be making excuses for her.
The day you forget an inventory, I'll forget a cocktail party.
I thought you had one at the Franksons'.
Oh, I see! You had a quarrel tonight with your date and came home early hoping to have one of your quiet little tête-à-têtes with Ruth about life and loneliness and heartbreak.
So sorry to have intruded.
I don't know what you're talking about, Mother.
It's not early.
It's 11:00.
Janie, 11:00 on a Saturday night is usually the time you're going out.
Well, then, I guess it was an early night for both of us, Mother.
Oh, for heavers sake, stop feeling sorry for yourself.
You have no reason to avoid me when you're going out in the evenings.
I don't begrudge you a social life.
Why do you act as though I do? Of course, when I was your age, I wouldn't leave a room unless it was on a mars arm.
You didn't have to.
There was always an arm to support you.
There still is.
That's why I left the Franksons' early.
Bill Sitwell was leaving.
There is a mars arm to support any woman who wants one.
Not any woman.
Eleventh-century silver plate.
Small wooden dish, Justinian book, Miss Lytton! What are you doing here? I have the passport and the money with me.
I won't be able to meet you later.
Take the briefcase over to the phone booth.
Hello? Anyone down there? Edward, I just knocked everything over.
Ruth? But it's almost What are you doing here? Oh, I do wish everyone would stop asking me that.
Tim, can you get here by 9:30? I can't wait but 20 minutes.
Tim, I'm in trouble.
I'm in real Hey! Hey, don't, don't Please, or I'll I heard it ringing and I didn't answer, and now he's dead.
Or dying.
It doesn't sound like you'd have had much time to do anything if you did answer, Dr.
He had no luck.
He always said it.
I always laughed.
I told him he was lucky he was still alive.
What time did you pick up your messages this morning, sir? I don't know exactly.
About an hour ago.
It's 7:30.
Well, I couldn't sleep, and I was expecting a call from my wife.
Lieutenant, we called the Lytton house.
I spoke to a Miss Ruth Lytton.
She said her brother fired Milton Shaeffer.
Yesterday morning at about 11:30.
You talk to the brother? She won't wake him up, sir.
She says he was taking an inventory last night and was probably up until Did you know that your brother had been fired, Dr.
Shaeffer? No.
But it figures.
He always is.
God, I I shouldn't say that now.
We checked out the Shaeffer apartment.
The landlady says she didn't see him all day yesterday.
And nothing was taken.
We inventoried the place.
Well, lock it up, and I'll go to the Lyttors and then check it out.
Yes, sir.
Should you be up? It's not a cold.
It's an allergy.
Every spring.
From what you told me about your brother, sir, it seems surprising that he would be hired for this sort of work.
It surprised me, too.
But people like the Lyttons are often surprising.
Eccentric, I think is the term, above a certain income.
Do you know the Lyttons, sir? By reputation.
Who doesn't? Me, sir, for instance.
My wife reads the society columns the way some people read the Bible.
There's some mention of Phyllis Lytton Brandt every week.
Yes, sir, I know what you mean.
My wife is the same way about Ann Landers' Advice to the Lovelorn.
Well, I better be going.
Would you like an antihistamine to dry you up, there? Oh, no, sir, thank you.
Just makes me sleepy.
And at 7:30 in the morning that's very dangerous.
Yes? Oh, sorry.
Lieutenant Columbo, madam.
Homicide department.
Forgive me for waking you up.
Very nice.
Very nice little things you have standing around.
Very nice.
Well, thank you, Lieutenant.
Are you interested in figurines, or has there been a homicide? Oh, I'm sorry, madam.
Yes and no.
What I mean is, that's what I'm trying to find out.
You know, when I say "Homicide department," most women, they act a little upset.
So I try and calm them with a little chit-chat.
I've been doing that for so long that I forgot to notice that you werert upset.
Forgive me for wandering off.
I've disappointed you.
My sister won't.
You needrt even bother saying "Homicide.
" "Foul play" will do it.
She faints.
Oh, I hope not, madam.
That's the last thing I want.
What do you want, Lieutenant? Perhaps if you told me.
Oh, I've wandered off again, didn't I? I'm afraid I let you.
Won't you sit down? Thank you very much, madam.
It has to do with the new guard at the museum.
I gathered that.
A Sergeant Miller called to inquire about him at 7:00 this morning.
Yes, madam.
I'm sorry to have gotten you up so early on a Sunday morning.
But, you see, we got a call earlier I'm sorry, madam.
Forgive me.
Oh, no.
Not at all.
Pollen, I should say.
Chamomile tea is the best cure for that.
I detest modern medicine.
Don't you? Yes, madam? Cathy, would you bring the lieutenant a cup of chamomile tea? Yes, madam.
You got a report? That Mr.
Shaeffer had disappeared.
He called his brother last night about 9:00 and he left a message on the answering machine asking for help.
Then we heard a noise, which we're pretty sure was a gunshot.
Good heavens.
We don't know where the call came from, so we're trying to track him down.
Well, that's strange.
And awkward, too.
It leaves the museum unprotected.
I shall have to ask my brother to hire someone immediately.
He's the one who fired Mr.
Is he also the one who hired him? Yes.
No, wait a minute.
I believe my niece hired him.
It's kind of a delicate question, madam, but, I mean, considering the way you live and all, and considering what I found out about Mr.
Shaeffer this morning What did you find out, Lieutenant? Excuse me.
Aunt Ruth? Arert you coming to breakfast? This is my niece, Jane.
This is Lieutenant Columbo.
Oh, how do you do, madam? Your aunt was telling me that you hired a Mr.
How did you happen to choose him for the job? Madam? Did you hire Mr.
Shaeffer? How did you happen to choose him? Aunt Ruth? It's all right, dear.
You can tell him.
Shaeffer is missing and the lieutenant is trying to find him.
Why, I just put an ad in the paper, and he applied, and he Good morning.
Come in, Phyllis, dear.
This is Lieutenant Columbo of Homicide.
You see? What you will do is continue the inventory.
Alone? What about Uncle Edward? Let him sleep, dear.
Let him sleep.
He was probably up half the night.
Sometimes, we must be considerate.
Even to those we're not in love with.
You know, somehow I keep forgetting that.
Aunt Ruth? Aunt Ruth? Aunt Ruth? Sorry about the car.
It's all right, sir.
You got the dent.
Miller! What's happening? Sergeant Miller! I can't see.
Yes, sir.
The light is off in the hall.
Why is that, Sergeant? Because, sir, you said to leave everything just as it was.
And the hallway is adjacent to the murder room, and one of the bodies fell almost in the doorway.
Sergeant Miller! Sergeant Oh, hi, Lieutenant.
Say, Philips has to use a flashlight to outline the bodies.
We've dusted the light switch here and in the hall.
Now, can't we turn the lights on? Not until the Lieutenant says so.
Thank you very much, Sergeant Miller.
This is just the way we found it, sir.
Oh, very good, Sergeant.
Well, I think if we've dusted the light switch, you can turn on the lights.
Yes, sir.
The contents of his pockets are on the case here, Lieutenant.
He obviously entered here after cutting the alarm and breaking into the basement.
He then broke into the cases Excuse me, Sergeant.
You done? Almost.
Removed the objects, and placed them in the briefcase.
And then he went back down to his car, saw the tire was flat, and panicked.
Came back up here and tried to call his brother.
Lytton surprised him while he was on the phone.
He fired, and Lytton fired at the same time.
And there you have it.
Well, we know where Shaeffer is.
Call his brother.
We'll get a positive identification from him when he gets to the morgue.
Yes, sir.
What's this? The contents of his pocket, sir.
No, I know that, Sergeant.
I mean this.
That's probably from the case, sir.
It's old.
I know something about relics, sir.
My wife and I Yes, mine, too.
He had it in his pocket? Overcoat pocket.
Yes, sir.
And everything else is in there? Yes, sir.
Nothing in the briefcase has been touched.
Very good, Sergeant.
Big briefcase.
Plenty of room still in there.
Yes, sir.
Wonder why he put this in his pocket.
Excuse me, Lieutenant.
We need a shot of these articles.
Oh, very sorry.
You done? Not yet.
He knew what he was doing, sir.
Muffled his footsteps.
Isn't that something? He broke in here in new shoes.
Well, he wore rubbers, sir.
No, what I mean is, Sergeant, it takes a lot of footwork to break into a place like this.
Why wear rubbers? Why not wear sneakers, or crepe soles? These shoes are new.
They're stiff as a board.
I don't think you could bend your foot in them.
Did you check to see if there are any other stolen items on the body? Not yet, sir.
I didn't want to change the position of the body.
Sergeant, is this paper part of his contents? Yes, sir.
It is.
"Turn twice right after midnight.
" Look at that shirt! "Turn twice right after midnight.
" Open his coat, Can'ter.
Isn't that clever? It's an outfit.
Is he wearing an undershirt? Yes, sir, he is.
Does it have a laundry mark? Not that I can see, sir.
George, shoot your flashlight in here, will you? Label is new.
It's stiff.
His hair was falling out, sir.
The hairs are too even for that.
Looks like he just got a haircut.
And a manicure with it.
Hmm, that's some watch.
See something, sir? Yeah, his watch is wrong.
My watch cost $30.
His must've cost a couple of hundred, and it's wrong.
It says May 1st.
It goes to show you money doesn't buy quality.
Lieutenant, it is May 1st.
Your watch is wrong.
His watch is right.
Well, what do you expect for $30? That looks like an insect bite, sir.
No, Sergeant.
It's not an insect bite.
Excuse me, George.
Did you go through his car? Yes, sir, I did.
There's nothing in it.
Not even a spare tire.
And this is all there was in his pockets.
That's very peculiar, isn't it, Sergeant? I have to be honest with you, sir.
Everything seems perfectly normal to me.
Why does it look peculiar to you? Because I think that every stitch that Shaeffer is wearing is brand-new.
And tropical.
I think he was dressed to go on a vacation.
You mean with the haircut and the manicure and all? Yes.
But he had no luggage and no cash.
That's what's peculiar.
And no passport.
Passport? Oh, sir, this guy's not dressed for Europe.
More for Vegas.
If he was going anywhere.
Oh, he was going somewhere, Sergeant.
He was going somewhere.
I was afraid of that.
There are so many flowers around.
Oh, you shouldn't have bothered with that, Miss Lytton, at a time like this.
You've been here for quite some time, Lieutenant.
Yes, madam.
It can cast a spell over you, this room.
It's a fascinating room, isn't it? I used to come here often as a girl.
I came here to be alone.
When things happened.
I came here when my mother died, and my father, too.
And before that.
I'm very sorry about your brother, madam.
Thank you.
Is that your mother as a girl? She's got a nice face.
It's a happy face.
My mother was dead when that was painted.
That's a portrait of me.
After I became engaged to Peter Brandt.
It is a happy face, isn't it? Oh, I thought you were An old maid, yes? That term refers to a woman who has never been married, not necessarily to someone who's never been engaged.
Did something happen to him, madam, or did you just decide that you didn't wanna marry him? I didn't decide that.
My sister makes most of the family decisions.
She did even then.
She just didn't like this fella, huh? No, I don't think she did like him.
I thought she liked him then, though.
So did she.
She married him.
I'm so sorry, Lieutenant.
I thought you knew.
Everyone else does.
She is Mrs.
Peter Brandt.
It was in all the papers.
They eloped.
Oh, then your niece, Janie Is the daughter that I might have had.
I suppose that's why I feel about her the way that I do.
Lieutenant, tell me something.
Aside from being under a spell, what have you really been thinking about all this time? To tell you the truth, Miss Lytton, I've been thinking about the way Mr.
Shaeffer was dressed.
Oh? You know, it's a funny way to dress for a robbery.
Even Sergeant Shaw whistled, and Sergeant Shaw has been known to wear fluorescent ties.
Everything new, including a haircut.
And then there was the note.
What note? He had it in his pocket.
Bear with me, madam.
Oh, he had this in his pocket, too.
Everything else he stole he put in the briefcase, except this.
It's funny, isn't it? And the note.
"Turn twice right after midnight.
" And what do you conclude from that, Lieutenant? I think that Mr.
Shaeffer was leaving the country right after the robbery.
That he was going some place tropical, that he had made an appointment to meet somebody in order to get rid of the stolen articles before he left, "tonight.
" And he held out one item because he wanted it for himself.
And you know what else, Miss Lytton? What? I think that whoever he was going to meet, he was going to meet right here on the museum grounds.
That's fascinating.
Why do you think that, Lieutenant? Because this note is a set of directions and there's only one reason that there's no streets and no addresses on it.
Because it is a place that has no streets, and he was already at the address.
That's exactly what I thought.
You would make a very good detective, Miss Lytton.
Thank you.
You seem to have it all figured out.
Yes, it all fits, except for one thing.
Where's his luggage? And where's his passport? They're not in his apartment.
So who took them, and when? If the hypothesis doesn't fit the premise, isn't it more reasonable to question the hypothesis? What hypothesis? That Mr.
Shaeffer was going to leave the country right away.
Oh, that's not a hypothesis, about Mr.
Shaeffer leaving the country, madam.
That's a fact.
Because he had new clothes and a haircut? No, because of the insect bite that Sergeant Miller thought Mr.
Shaeffer had on his arm.
You see, it wasn't an insect bite.
Last year, my wife and I, we went on a vacation to the islands and I had a mark just like that on my arm.
And you know what it was, Miss Lytton? It was a vaccination.
I see.
All right, Lieutenant, you proved your point, that Mr.
Shaeffer was going to leave the country.
However, it doesn't mean that he was going to leave the country tonight.
Now, don't forget that, after the robbery, he would be a wanted man.
I would think that it would be difficult for a wanted man to shop, to get a vaccination.
He would do everything first.
And I think he would wear the new clothes that he bought if he liked them.
Shaeffer couldn't have waited.
He was, in many ways, a child-like man.
I'm sure his brother has told you that already.
And so he had his luggage and his passport stashed wherever he was going to hole up and wait.
Yeah, that would account for everything, I guess.
Well, maybe it's the atmosphere.
Maybe I'm trying to make something mysterious out of something that's open and shut just to sort of fit in with this room.
Shall we leave, Lieutenant? It's getting dark now.
We might as well.
Otherwise, I'd sit here forever.
I'll walk you home, Miss Lytton.
That's it.
I beg your pardon? What you just said.
I didn't say anything.
You said it was getting dark.
It's nearly 7:00.
That's what I mean, madam.
By 8:00 it will be dark.
Completely dark.
That means it was dark last night when When it happened.
Of course.
But nothing in this room had been touched, madam.
Nothing had been touched.
Don't you understand? Nothing.
Don't you see? Miller wouldn't even let anyone touch the light switch because I told him to leave everything just the way it was.
That means the lights were off last night.
Only they couldn't have been.
It would be impossible for two men to shoot and kill each other in a dark room.
Where is the light switch, Miss Lytton? Right over here.
That's it.
That's what he did.
He? Whoever murdered your brother and Mr.
I'm afraid I don't quite understand, Lieutenant.
Why couldn't one of them have turned the lights on? They could have.
But after they were dead, Miss Lytton, who turned them off? Do you have a Darryl here? Yes.
Around the corner and to the right.
And with all these things, you can just comb it with the hands, like that.
You see? You don't need to comb.
No, just with your fingers, that's all.
Just keep it casual.
Excuse me.
Darryl? Here you are.
And I'll see you in the next month, okay? Okay.
Excuse me, Darryl? Yes.
A challenge, but I'll do my best.
Sit, please, please.
Actually, I just wanted to ask you a few questions.
Oh, don't sue.
Just wear a hat, and never let him cut it again.
No, sir Is it that bad? Mmm-hmm, yes.
And that's all the questions I have time for.
Next! Cheryl, will you see what I have in the book, please? Oh, sir.
Excuse me just one moment, sir.
Check it again.
Yes? Yes? Just one moment, sir.
My name is Lieutenant Columbo.
Columbo? Mmm-hmm.
I'm from Homicide.
And I would like, if possible, to ask you a few questions about a Are you joking, Lieutenant? This is the middle of a working day.
Well, sir, if you don't answer the questions here, I'm afraid I'll have to take you down to the Police Department.
You see, this is a murder case, sir.
Arrest me.
I'd be disappointed in the police if they didn't do that.
If I don't lose a fortune, cancel the day, offend my customers, you're gonna take me to the police headquarters.
Well, go right ahead.
Arrest me.
Do you have the handcuffs with you? Why don't you handcuff me? I'm surprised you don't beat me unconscious so you can carry me out so I don't cause trouble.
Now, sir Isn't that correct? No.
How about just a haircut? Haircut? Yes.
That can be arranged.
Sergeant? Yes, Lieutenant? Sergeant, would you take my wallet out of my back pocket? She told me not to touch anything until the polish hardens.
On the left, there.
Sergeant, I've only got $5.
If you could loan me $20, and I think they'll expect a tip, so give them 50 cents.
Apiece? I'll leave that to your own judgment, Sergeant.
In the meantime, I'll be in the car.
He came in just before closing time on Saturday and bought the watch.
Very similar to yours.
Works the same.
Only the case is different.
Well, my watch I was just wondering if you knew about this.
My watch lost a day yesterday.
I was wondering, do you No.
It didn't lose a day.
All calendar watches are adjusted to have a 31-day month.
Now, last month had 30 days.
Does your watch say the first instead of the second? Yes, the first.
Give it to me.
You see, in a 30-day month, you have to turn your watch or else it'll say the 31st instead of the first.
You have to pass the 12 twice.
This stem is very tight, isn't it? Oh, yes.
You know, I was afraid to turn it at all.
You see, I figured anything that tight wasn't supposed to move.
Thank you very much for trying to do that.
Oh, that's all right.
I do it all day long.
Showed Mr.
Shaeffer how to do it for 20 minutes.
It took me another 20 minutes to explain it to him, with the manager leaning on the door.
Finally, I told him I'd be glad to turn it a day ahead for him then.
But he said, "No, if you're gonna have a calendar watch, you might as well have the right day.
" There you go, Lieutenant.
All set.
Oh, thank you.
And thank you very much for your cooperation.
Not at all.
Oh, incidentally, I like your hair.
Darryl? Uh, yes.
Thought so.
Hi, Miss Lytton.
You look in high spirits.
Oh, I am, Miss Lytton.
I am.
It turns out we may be right after all.
Shaeffer told everybody that he was leaving for the islands the next day.
Is it part of your job to trip people up? Or to see if you can? Trip people up? Trip people up.
We never thought that Mr.
Shaeffer was leaving the next day.
You may recall I thought exactly the opposite.
Gee, I forgot about that.
I get confused sometimes, you know? I mean, just trying to keep all the facts straight in my head.
Lieutenant, you must never underestimate me.
Nor I you.
I don't in the least mind you playing tricks, but you're going to have to be a little cleverer, aren't you? I knew yesterday that you were going to have to interrogate us, all of us, because we are, all of us, of course, under suspicion.
You have to be suspicious.
That's part of your job.
Well, I have to ask questions, if that's what you mean.
I wouldn't say that I was suspicious.
Your delicacy does you credit.
You'd best save it for my sister.
I'm afraid you're going to need it.
She won't faint again, will she? I know it's I know it's a very bad time for you, Mrs.
No, go ahead.
It's all right.
I can take it.
God help me.
Well, nothing that bad.
I mean, I'm just gonna ask a few questions.
Oh, God! It was all so awful.
Maybe I should come back another time.
I can't give in like this.
I can't.
I'm not what I seem to be, Lieutenant.
I'm not made of lace.
Never was.
When I was a girl, people used to say I got my own way about everything because I was lovely-looking.
Perhaps so, but that wasn't the only reason.
I had strength then.
I have it still.
I must be strong now.
'Cause that's the way he would have wanted it.
All right, Lieutenant.
Examine me.
No, no, look, Mrs.
Brandt, it's a very tragic thing.
If you ever feel faint while I'm asking you questions, you'll let me know.
I mean, the last thing I wanna do is upset you.
Oh! Oh! I'm sorry, I'm sorry.
Well, thank you, Mrs.
That's all the questions for today.
Thank you.
Yes? Are you all right? Sure.
Are you? Fine, considering.
You better put a robe on or something.
Lieutenant Columbo is here to ask some questions.
Hell of a thing.
Makes you grow up kind of fast.
Death does do that.
My father's didn't.
I don't remember very much about his death.
No reason you should.
You were very small.
I wonder why Mother never remarried.
You know, this is the first time I ever wondered that? She didn't fall in love, I expect.
Love? Mother? You protect her when you're talking to me, the same way you protect me when you're talking to her.
You protect everybody.
Excuse me, I don't mean to intrude or anything.
You're not intruding, Lieutenant.
Come in.
I just dropped by on the way to my room to see if Janie was all right.
Excuse me.
I wonder if I could just ask you a couple of things, Miss Janie? Janie will do.
Sure, why not? Nothing personal or anything.
I mean, it's just routine, you know.
I'm supposed to ask questions.
You want to know where I was at the time of the murder, right? Yes.
I was with a lover and I won't give his name unless it becomes absolutely necessary.
Well, then, thank you.
Excuse me.
Gee, I'm sorry.
I knocked twice.
I really did.
I was in the kitchen the whole time.
Ask anybody.
Oh, boy! Thanks.
Well, you've got some family, Miss Lytton.
Everybody thinks I'm getting ready to arrest them.
Everybody but me.
Yes, it's a relief, talking to you.
I was beginning to feel like a policeman.
You are a policeman, and a good one.
You say a thing when you're ready to say it and not before.
You know how to keep a secret.
What kind of secret? I just know that you have one.
I know the look.
My brother-in-law had that look the day he died.
Does Janie know that you and her father were once engaged? Of course.
I have no secrets from Janie.
None? Only one.
I gather that you've been reading old society columns and birth certificates.
I became curious when you told me about Peter Brandt.
Lieutenant, that is a part of my life that I don't discuss with anyone, and I don't feel that I know you well enough to discuss it with you now.
None of my business.
I'm sorry.
Oh, by the way, I do have one little problem, Miss Lytton.
It's about the alibis.
Arert you satisfied that we were all telling the truth about where we were at the time of the murders? The problem is, the murders didn't take place at 9:00.
I thought you said that Mr.
Shaeffer made a phone call into an answering machine on a tape, and that he mentioned the time.
He did.
He was lying.
I understand the note that Mr.
Shaeffer had now.
The one that said, "Turn ahead twice at midnight.
" I have no idea what you're talking about.
Shaeffer had a calendar watch like mine.
It has to be set to May 1st by hand.
In order to do that, you have to turn it past the 12 twice after midnight.
Shaeffer's watch had been set to May 1st.
That means he was probably still alive at midnight.
How can you be sure of that? The salesman where he bought the watch said that he explained how it worked to Mr.
Shaeffer for 20 minutes because Mr.
Shaeffer said, "If you're gonna have a calendar watch, you might as well have the right day.
" And in order to have the right day, he would have to turn the watch twice right after midnight, just as the note said.
How brilliant you are, Lieutenant.
Tell me, why would he lie? Why would he want everyone to believe that it was earlier than it was? That's what I can't figure out, madam.
Unless Unless somebody told him to.
Yes, but why would somebody tell him to, madam? Lieutenant, I do wish you would stop trying to trip me up.
You know the answer to that.
You just said it yourself.
At 9:00 everyone had an alibi.
But even if you're right and somebody told him to do it, why did he listen? I mean, why provide somebody with an alibi, time and all, by pretending to die? Obviously, he didn't think it was an alibi, because he didn't think he was going to die.
Since Edward didn't shoot him, someone else must have made an arrangement with him.
Someone who wanted him dead and who wanted an alibi.
Suppose they planned the robbery together, Mr.
Shaeffer and the man who shot him, and all Shaeffer was planning to do was to leave the country with some antique gold jewelry won'th quite a lot of money.
But, then, let's say that the cohort shot him, Edward heard the noise, came downstairs, and then, of course, Edward had to be killed, too.
That must have been very close to the way it happened.
Cake? No, thank you.
Well, maybe.
Hey, they look delicious.
Lieutenant, I better tell you something before you find out yourself.
There's an artifact missing from the museum.
What kind of an artifact? It's gold.
It's a small, rectangular piece with carved stripes on it.
It's won'th quite a lot of money.
It's been missing about two weeks.
Did you report it to the insurance company? No, no.
Edward didn't want me to.
Why not, madam? Well, he said he knew who had taken it and he preferred to take care of the matter himself.
Did he tell you who? No.
Edward was a very stern man.
He wasn't given to emotional outbursts any more than I am.
Except this one time, two weeks ago, about the artifact.
I told him that I was going to report it no matter what, and I thought he was going to strike me.
He went into a rage.
Who else had access? I did.
Yes, but who else, Miss Lytton? No one.
No one at all? Not to my knowledge.
Miss Lytton, Janie's friend, the man that she was with at 9:00, that was Mr.
Shaeffer's brother, wasn't it? Why would you say that? You must have known that Janie hired Mr.
Shaeffer because he was her lover's brother.
And Janie has no money of her own.
And it must have occurred to you that it was Janie that your brother was furious at.
And that Janie knew it.
No! No! I swear! I don't believe it.
I swear to you, Lieutenant.
Lieutenant, I'm telling you the truth.
I don't believe it.
I don't believe it.
I don't believe that Janie did it.
A search warrant! I have never been so insulted.
What's it look like? I'm sorry, Mrs.
I thought the investigation warranted it.
I'll have you disbarred for this.
Or whatever the hell that word is.
Yes, madam.
"Fired," I think, is the word you want.
Worse than that.
You'll never get another job, not in this city, not in this state, not in any police force in the country.
I am not without certain influence, Lieutenant Columbus.
Lieutenant Columbo, can I see you a moment? I found this dish in her room, hidden on a shelf.
That's it.
That's motive, means and opportunity.
I guess it is, Miller.
Book her.
Sergeant, you will not get away with this.
I am not the weak, fragile creature that I appear to be.
Somewhere, somewhere inside, I am strong.
Miss Jane Brandt, I am arresting you for the double murder of your uncle, Edward Lytton, and Milton Shaeffer.
Now, you have the right to remain silent Strong! Necklace.
Turquoise and gold.
Same period.
Gold and cloisonné.
With pendants.
Same period or slightly later.
Knife scabbard, gold-encrusted.
Lieutenant? Knife scabbard.
Lieutenant? Gold I'll bet you don't know the difference between Byzantine and the Renaissance.
You've been listening to those tapes for over seven hours, Lieutenant.
You see, the Middle Ages werert as dark as everybody thought they were Lieutenant or the Renaissance as light.
Now, the French Renaissance jewelry, some of it, wasn't as garish as the Turks' and the Arabs'.
Garish? That's a good word, isn't it? Yes, sir, I've always liked it.
You know, it's funny.
Listening to Lyttors voice on the inventory tapes and then listening to Shaeffer's on the answering machine, both of them dead, and both of them, you know, like they were trying to tell you Seven hours is a long time in a room like this.
I just wanna hear this tape again.
What is it I can't hear? Jewel-encrusted How you feeling, Janie? I brought you some stuff to nibble on.
Food here's not too good, is it? And some cigarettes.
Figured you might run out.
Plenty of ketchup.
Smoke? Mad at me, huh? That cheeseburger's nice and hot.
I just picked it up.
Had them put everything on it.
Don't know if you like onions or not.
Do you? No.
Okay, okay.
Do you recognize it or not? Yes.
It's the briefcase that Shaeffer used in the robbery.
How do you know? It was on the floor next to the body.
He was still holding it.
Gee, you're a pretty observant person, huh? You only saw it that one time? No.
Of course not.
I saw it when I arranged the robbery with Shaeffer, and I saw it again when I killed him and Uncle Edward.
Is that true? You think it is, so what's the difference? It's gonna make a difference in court if you talk like that.
I'm not in court now.
Janie, I'd like to help you.
Is that why you brought all this stuff? Just to see whether I'd have a reaction to the briefcase or not? Very smart.
You proved your point.
I would appreciate it if you'd go now.
Why did your mother marry your father? She was in love with him, I guess.
Is that true? I wasn't alive then.
Well, that's open to question, isn't it? I don't understand what this has to do with anything.
Now, you don't have to answer any of my questions without a lawyer unless you want to.
But I think the truth is this.
Your mother went off with your Aunt Ruth's boyfriend.
They eloped on a Thursday.
It was June 28th, and they didn't come back until after you were born.
And you were born on December What is that? That's a copy of your birth certificate.
It's on file in Sacramento.
It means that Mrs.
Brandt was three months pregnant when they eloped.
Did you know that, or didn't you? Lieutenant, what happened then is nobody's business anymore except for my mother's and my Aunt Ruth's.
If I never talked to them about it, why should I talk to you? You love your Aunt Ruth a lot, don't you? More than your mother.
Maybe more than anybody.
You wouldn't like to see her get hurt, would you? She must have been hurt plenty back then.
Enough so that she got left without anything, right? Anything but the museum, that is.
What do you want? You were only seven when your father died.
He died of a heart attack, didn't he? That's what the coroner's report said.
That he'd had two heart attacks, that he was under a doctor's care, and there was no autopsy.
Your Aunt Ruth said that your mother wouldn't hear of it.
And the doctor probably didn't see any reason for an autopsy anyway.
How can you be so positive about all that? When I saw your Aunt Ruth the other day, she began talking about your father and his death.
Your Uncle Edward's death reminded her of it.
So? Death always reminds you of death.
And murder reminds you of murder.
Even when you don't know it, you begin to think it.
I don't know what you mean.
Don't you? He died of a heart attack.
Everyone knows that.
Heart attacks can be made to happen in a lot of different ways, Janie.
Do you know that digitalis and quinidine can have a reverse effect if the dose is too high? And it needrt even be that high a dose if a man has a weak heart.
The coroner's report on your father said that his condition was bad, and that he had other minor complications.
Not big ones.
Little ones that the doctor knew about, and your Aunt Ruth knew about because she was nursing him.
He had asthma, he was susceptible to infection, it's why he had a bad cold the week that he died.
So what? So she probably gave him a lot of chamomile tea.
It was a lovely funeral service.
I can't think why you left early, Ruth.
I didn't.
You left late.
Well, if I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times.
I don't leave a room unless I have a mars arm to support me.
Especially not after an experience like this.
I just know everything's gonna be all right with Janie.
I know it.
Cathy, for heavers sake, will you stop shaking? You'll spill the gravy.
My God.
Sorry, madam.
It's all right, Cathy.
I'll get the door.
Sorry, madam.
Aunt Ruth, please don't listen to him.
Please don't listen to what he's gonna say.
It's all right, Janie.
It's all right.
Come in, Lieutenant.
But you don't know what he's gonna say.
It doesn't matter.
It's all right.
Jane! Oh, my God.
Mother, please don't faint.
It's all right.
Have you come here to torture us again, Lieutenant? Haven't you done enough? I'm releasing your niece in my cognizance, Miss Lytton.
Releasing her? That's right.
I don't think she killed anybody and I don't think she stole this, either.
She's been using it all afternoon as an ashtray.
She doesn't even know what it is.
What is it? Janie, for heavers sake! Your aunt's been teaching you Byzantine art for three months.
Don't you know? No, she doesn't.
And she doesn't even know how we happened to be looking for it.
And she doesn't know how we knew that it was missing for two weeks before the murder.
He thinks that you killed my father, Aunt Ruth.
What? He thinks that you hated him.
He thinks that you hated all of us so much that you killed him.
He doesn't know how much you love us.
He doesn't know how you've kept the family together.
You never would have tried to do this if you knew how much my Aunt Ruth has done for us.
How much she's done for me.
All I've got is a tape recording.
I don't think it's enough to convict you.
It's your brother's voice.
It's from the inventory that he was taking.
This tape is dated April 30th.
Miniature incised gold piece, Bronze Age.
One inch square.
Miniature halberd, same period.
Inch and a half.
Gold-mounted button, green, same period.
Gold beaker, same period.
Six inches.
Halberd, one inch square, miniature.
Large gold belt buckle, Bronze Age.
Three and a half by five inches.
I wanna hear that last item again.
Large gold belt buckle Large gold belt buckle.
That's it, Miss Lytton.
Sergeant Miller and I, we thought it was a dish.
We were wrong.
It wasn't a dish.
It was a gold belt buckle.
And it was there the night that Edward died.
It was never missing at all.
Lieutenant, I don't know what you're talking about.
And you never will, Mrs.
Brandt, unless this case goes to trial.
And then it will all come out.
What your brother said to you about something being missing.
And what you said to me.
Janie, it wasn't true what he told you about my killing your father.
Was it, Lieutenant? You lied about that, didn't you? Tell her it wasn't true.
Tell her.
It was all such a long time ago.
It couldn't matter to anyone anymore.
Only to Janie.
Yes, madam.
It wasn't true.
I lied about that.
It won't be necessary to use the tapes as evidence, Lieutenant.
Yes, madam.
Lieutenant, may I take your arm? It's my pleasure, Miss Lytton.