Columbo (1971) s07e05 Episode Script

The Conspirators

God save Ireland , said the heroes God save Ireland, say us all Whether on the gallows high Or the battlefield we die Oh, what matter when for Erin dear we fall High upon the gallows tree Swung the noble hearted three By the vengeful tyrant stricken in their bloom But they met them face to face With the courage of their race And they went with souls undaunted to their doom God save Ireland, said the heroes God save Ireland, say us all Whether on the gallows high Or the battlefield we die Oh, what matter when for Erin dear we fall Well, that's a very interesting question, I suppose.
But as far as I'm concerned, if you'll excuse me, it's a non-question.
You see, it never really occurred to me.
You see, at a very early age I decided to be me own master and the servant of no one.
And that left two promising possibilities.
Either be a king or a poet.
Now, as Ireland had her fill of kings, I clearly saw I had to educate myself to the way of words.
So, I took to drink immediately, fell in love at every opportunity, and avoided the schoolroom like the plague.
I advise you to do the same.
You have eyes like emeralds.
I'll gladly buy their splendid memory with the story of my life.
Will you do me the honor, Mr.
Devlin? All included in the price, Mr The name is Pauley.
Vincent Pauley.
I understand you're in the market.
Any special inscription? Whatever is appropriate.
Perhaps we could have a drink sometime and discuss each other's work.
I'd enjoy that.
Sometime soon? Oh, I see that crafty look of disapproval.
You want to love me, Kerry, but you think I drink too much.
Full's Irish Dew.
The label says, "Let each man be paid in full.
" What do I owe you, Kerry? Thank you very much, sir.
Well now, for all your righteousness, when did you last write to your mother? A week or two ago.
More like a month or two ago.
Why don't you write today? Write her about life in America.
Write her about your job with Mr.
Laying lines of red bricks like a craftsman born.
Why don't you write her anything you damn well please, only write her.
I'll write her you drink too much.
Devlin, please.
My name is Pauley.
I don't recall inviting you here, Mr.
I prefer neutral ground.
You're the one in a rush.
Can we be alone? Run along, Kerry.
Excuse me.
You're satisfied I come from your friends? They're satisfied.
Care for a dram? No, thank you.
Let's get this done with.
We're talking about a large sum of money, Mr.
I've never handed over a sum like that to a man I've never had a drink with.
I'm not a convivial man, Mr.
Now, this is the item I think we'll be talking about.
The M11.
Easy to fire.
Easy to conceal.
Rate of fire, Effective range, 200 yards.
And this is the companion piece, the M10.
Uses a more powerful charge.
Greater range, more expensive.
My recommendation is still the M11.
As I understand it, the need is for hit and run, close quarters.
Why spend the extra money? My handguns are superb.
But they will not give the rate of fire.
A poet's choice.
We'll stay with the M11.
$300 a unit, as stipulated.
$150,000 for the order.
That's agreeable, then.
You may keep that, if you like.
Beautiful craftsmanship.
Has a built-in silencer.
The full order of M11's to be delivered aboard your ship or wherever preferred on the 30th of the month.
When? The 30th.
I told you the 15th.
My supplier advises me the 15th is not possible.
The ship sails at 3:00 p.
on the 15th.
After that, your guns are useless.
I understand the urgency of the weapons arriving in Belfast by a certain day, but my supplier can't supply what he doesn't have.
At least, not at these prices.
You're suggesting something extra might touch his heart? Or yours, Mr.
I am suggesting his priorities might be adjusted, possibly, for an additional $50,000 in all cash in advance by tonight.
If I agree to the extra $50,000.
It's up to you, Mr.
I deal only in guns.
Not rebellion.
I'll be in touch.
I'm sure you will.
And when we meet again, let's make it somewhere else.
So, a policeman says, "What are you doing with that great load of dynamite in that paper sack?" "Dynamite?" says I.
"I'm only 14 years old.
"And I'm begging your English pardons," "the fella that sold it to me" "said it was flaming bloody fireworks to celebrate the king's birthday.
" "King's birthday ain't for five months.
" "Oh, well, then, sirs.
" "Celebration's a bit premature.
" "So, if it's all the same to you, I'll wait for the great day back in Ireland.
" Well, they packed me off to an English hotel for the wicked, complete with royal iron bars, porridge like gravel, and frequent roll calls.
"Devlin, Joseph!" "Yes, sir.
" "Where?" "Here.
Right here.
" "Oh?" "That's right.
" "Devlin, Joseph.
" "You are a miserable bit" "of incomprehensible filth.
" He could tell right off, I had the makings of a professional poet.
Well now, it's nearly 11:30 and, as for my own poetry, we're sick to death on it.
Glorious as it is.
Now, I grant you, this is an odd gathering.
A boy from the back streets of Belfast come to wring your pockets and your consciences.
But there are some here with ties of blood and some who have memories of those selfsame streets.
Kate O'Connell.
She's given over her house for these money-raising shenanigans.
And George, her son.
He's never seen his mother's Belfast but he understands the pity of it.
Irish against Irish.
They cut each other down with guns and bombs.
Oh, I've seen it well enough.
Kerry here fled from it.
The madmen on both sides.
Hot to kill, calling it duty, passion, patriotism, even morality, God help us.
And they said to me, "Once you were one of us, Joe.
" "Oh, no," I said.
" I was a foolish child.
I was one of your victims.
But we're all bloody victims of the Irish sorrow.
Well, nothing was ever solved by guns.
And nothing ever will be.
But by St.
Pat's good hands and a hand to the pocketbook, we can look to the widows and the orphans, the helpless, and the hopeless.
Because those of us here in this house, this room, this night, we can be their help against the lunatic gunmen.
We can be their hope.
And why not? If we don't put it in that little barrel, I'll tell you what'll happen to it.
Some find it most important and others roll about Some take delight in playing and wind up full of doubt Why search any farther, the answer's where you are So join the celebration, it's whiskey in the jar Oh, whack a diddle diddle oh, whack a diddle dee There's no greater pleasure than whiskey in the jar Oh, whack a diddle diddle, oh, whack a diddle dee It makes your spirits rise up when there's whiskey in the jar For a rough guess, I'd say $46,000.
$45,200 this time.
You should've been a businessman, Joe.
And live your life? Not for all the wealth of O'Connell Industries.
Don't you trust your accountant, George? My husband trusted everyone, built the O'Connell business.
My son trusts no one and built it twice as big.
I trust my son.
Go right ahead, George.
And make sure that Mr.
Moore puts the money in the right account.
You have the majesty of queens, madam.
When will you see your Mr.
Pauley again? When the time's right.
Does he know about the ship? He knows she sails on the 15th.
I want to be at that meeting, Joe.
Well, now.
Pauley comes recommended by our friends.
I wonder what that's worth.
You see, I'm not much of a trusting fellow myself, George.
Pauley knows no one in this room but me.
And no one in this room knows Mr.
So we'll keep it that way.
You take care of the money, I'll take care of our business.
"For the great Gales of Ireland "Are the men that God made mad" "For all their wars are merry" "And all their songs are sad.
" And I wonder what our guests would say if they knew it was all going to buy guns.
I have very good news for us.
Have you now? Have a drink on it.
My very own.
How very thoughtful of you, Mr.
Pauley, and how very observant.
Will you join me? No.
I'll pass, thank you.
Then I'll drink to my own good fortune.
This far and no farther.
Three hundred of these delivered on the 15th.
The extra $50,000 struck a sentimental chord.
When I leave here, Mr.
Pauley, you'll have my money.
I'll have your sincere promise of the guns.
May I count on the pleasure of your company here in Los Angeles until the weapons are in my hands? Whatever is necessary.
I'm very pleased to hear it.
You see, I'm curious as to how a man like you spends his time.
Now, today, you treated yourself to a fine blazer jacket with gold buttons.
You had an excellent lunch of Indian curry.
I'm partial to the spicier varieties myself.
Then you visited the airline office in this very hotel where you purchased passage on a flight to Lisbon, leaving in two and a half hours.
Now, what puzzles me, Mr.
Pauley, is how you can possibly be in Lisbon and Los Angeles at one and the same time.
I see.
I think we'd better clear the air here.
You're here to purchase guns, not the story of my life.
But you do understand my concern.
I don't have to account to you.
We execute traitors, Mr.
Didn't you know that? Love of God, Joe, what have you done to us? I picked up every piece of paper in the man's suite.
Somewhere in these scraps, I'll find his supplier and be my own middleman.
What supplier? According to you, Pauley was gonna steal our money and run.
This time he became greedy.
But he served our friends before.
Where the hell do you think he gets his guns? Makes them in a cellar with Santa's elves? Oh, George.
Somewhere there's a supplier.
How will you introduce yourself? "I'm Devlin.
I'm the lad who shot your dealer.
" What the hell is he doing? I'm writing my mother.
Well, he can write her how we'll all end up in prison.
I want him back in the brickyard.
George, you're like the gallant young knight who flung himself onto his horse and went galloping off in all directions.
Start with this, George.
No one of us had anything to do with this base crime of murder.
It has nothing to do with us.
And if for the sake of argument someone known to you or me did take a hand in punishing Vincent Pauley, there is no connection for the police to turn up.
Nothing ties the gunman to the victim.
No one ever saw them together.
Only Vincent Pauley knew his executioner.
Pauley's dead.
And that's the end of it.
There's a policeman in the parlor.
Excuse me.
My name is Joe Devlin.
Excuse me, sir.
I couldn't resist trying your pinball machine.
I guess I tried a little too hard.
But that's an old problem with me, sir.
The way I keep steering and pushing and pulling at things, someday the whole sky is going to light up and it's gonna say, "TILT.
" And that's gonna be the end of the world.
My name is Lieutenant Columbo, sir, I'm with the police.
You wanted to see me, Lieutenant? Oh, I've already seen you, sir.
I mean, I've seen you before.
Your one-man show.
Columbo, she insisted that we go.
I'm gonna tell you the truth.
I'm not all that much of a poetry fan.
But the way that you held that audience that night, Mr.
Devlin, you could've heard a pin drop.
You were fantastic.
Oh, Mr.
This is Lieutenant Columbo.
And the young man is Kerry Malone, late of the Emerald Isle.
If you're here about the parking ticket, Lieutenant, I'll come quietly.
Right, sir.
That's what everybody says.
Well, in that case, I'll escape while I can.
Kerry, I left a bit of a mess out there on the table, perhaps you could clean it up.
I will.
Well, now.
How can I help you, Lieutenant? Well, it has to do with a man named Pauley.
Vincent Pauley.
I believe you knew him, sir.
Pauley? The name isn't familiar.
Care to try your luck again, Lieutenant? Oh, thank you very much, sir.
This is a real treat for me.
Carries me right back to my corner candy store.
I could've sworn that you and Mr.
Pauley were acquaintances.
You never met him? Should I have met him? Oh, I forgot to say, sir.
He was shot to death last night in his hotel room, sir.
My goodness.
We haven't been able to find out much about him, sir.
Except for this.
You see this, sir? It's your book, Up from Ignorance.
Well, certainly, I'd recognize it anywhere.
We found this book, sir, in Mr.
Pauley's top coat pocket.
And right here, sir, in the fly leaf, you see this, sir? That's where you signed his book.
"To Vincent Pauley, all the best, Joe Devlin.
" I thought you certainly must've known him, sir.
It's all in the touch, isn't it, sir? Oh, yes.
The secret is in a fine hand.
I'm sorry, Lieutenant.
I signed thousands of these in the last month.
New York, Chicago, San Francisco.
This particular book, sir, comes from Chandler's bookstore right here in Los Angeles.
Well, I was signing at Chandler's last week.
But I don't recall your Mr.
Well, there's this, too, sir.
He wrote something right here, on the top of the same page, sir.
We checked the handwriting with the hotel registry.
You see this, sir? He wrote these words.
"Ourselves Alone.
" What do you think that means, sir? I don't remember this.
That certainly is a disappointment, sir.
He must've written it in later.
It doesn't give us much to go on.
Oh, dear.
Well, I guess I'll be running along, sir.
Oh, look at that, sir.
It looks as if you've beaten me.
It's all a matter of luck, Lieutenant.
Oh, I doubt that you depend upon luck, sir.
You're not that kind of man.
You know, that's terrific.
Pinball machine, right here in your living room.
No, she'd never go for it, sir.
Goodbye, Lieutenant.
Goodbye, sir.
You bloody fool.
I didn't quite understand that last part, ma'am.
I was wondering how you liked it.
Oh, well, to tell you the truth, I haven't had a chance to read it yet.
It's a smasher.
Especially if you're Irish.
Well, my name, ma'am, is Columbo.
I'm with the police.
I'm wondering, ma'am, if you can recall seeing the man that's in this photo.
He was here in this shop last week when Mr.
Devlin was signing his books.
Looks like he's asleep.
Yes, ma'am.
You could say that.
This is the book that he bought that day.
And Mr.
Devlin inscribed it.
I don't remember him.
I'll ask the other clerks.
Well, thank you, ma'am, that would be very helpful.
Sorry, Lieutenant.
No Luck.
No one remembers him.
Well, thanks just the same, ma'am.
Would you like me to have that wrapped for you, Lieutenant? Just browsing, ma'am.
$55 for a book? I could have my car fixed for that.
That's a very expensive book, ma'am.
Not if you enjoy erotic art.
Well, I'm not sure my wife would go for it, ma'am.
Your wife might just surprise you.
That's a fact ma'am.
She usually does, but not $55 worth.
Sinn Fein, Lieutenant.
Ma'am? Sinn Fein.
It's Gaelic for what's written in the front of your book.
Devlin's book? Mmm-hmm.
It's Gaelic for "Ourselves Alone.
" It's the battle cry of the Irish Rebellion.
"Ourselves Alone?" Is that what that means? That's what that's meant for 70 years.
They're still shooting guns over there.
Sinn Fein.
Goodbye, ma'am.
Lieutenant Columbo.
Is this the latest scientific method? Only when we're not expecting company, sir.
I didn't think we'd be seeing each other so soon.
That's not a complaint, sir.
I'm very pleased.
As am I, Lieutenant.
I believe I may be of some assistance.
I see you've been reading my book.
Up to the part where you escape from the English prison and come to America.
It's really fascinating, sir.
Well, as it turns out, the most fascinating thing of all, is these two words written by your Mr.
"Ourselves Alone.
" I remember them now.
I remember they were already here when he gave me the book to sign.
I'll be a monkey's uncle.
You know, sir, that is exactly the same thought that I had.
Because when you wrote there, Mr.
Devlin, you wrote over the words "Ourselves Alone.
" You see that? So, those words, "Ourselves Alone ," they had to be written first.
And those two words just staring up at you from a blank page, that's why I wondered why you didn't notice them.
I thought it was strange at the time.
But not nearly as strange as a policeman knocking on my front door making enquiries about a murder.
I'm afraid the shock must've addled my memory.
Oh, don't mention it, sir.
I understand.
Lord knows, I know how confused people can get when the police come around and start asking questions.
But to tell you the truth, sir.
I've been asking myself a lot of questions about some of the things in this room and I don't mind telling you, I'm very, very confused.
Someone with a mind like yours, a creative person with a superior, logical brain, do you think you could give me a moment to help me, sir? You put a poor poet out of his depth, Lieutenant.
Well, just consider this, sir.
We found this whisky bottle right here.
Right next to Mr.
Pauley's body.
But there's where it spilled.
You see the stains, sir? Yes.
The bottle must've been here.
On the desk.
Right over the stain.
The way I see it, when Mr.
Pauley got shot, he knocked the bottle to the floor and it spilled out.
I'm afraid I'm missing our problem, Lieutenant.
The problem is how did the bottle get from here to here? And why? I find that very interesting.
Do you find that interesting, sir? Sounds a bit dreary to me.
Is it important? Well, sir, the bottle didn't fly around the room on its own.
There's gotta be a reason.
I plead poverty of invention.
I haven't a clue.
You must never make a mistake of confusing Irish blarney with logic.
Well, sir, let's put that aside for a moment.
I got another one for you.
I got it here someplace.
Have you considered motive for Mr.
Pauley's murder? Well, it turns out that's another problem, sir.
This is Mr.
Pauley's briefcase.
A briefcase for carrying papers.
Only we can't find any papers in the room.
Not a single shred, sir.
Not even in his wallet.
Not in his jacket pocket.
Not in the desk.
But we found his money and his credit cards all over the floor.
So the motive certainly wasn't robbery.
At least, not your ordinary robbery.
Incredible the way you piece these things together.
Well, we're just scratching the surface, sir.
Here's something else the killer might have taken.
If it was just a robbery, that is.
The maid said this case belonged to Mr.
Good lord.
A very warlike gentleman, your Mr.
That's another thing, sir.
The victim was killed with his own gun.
Better and better.
How do you know that? We found the gun right here, sir.
The boys have it down at the lab.
Then the killer came into the room, took a gun from this case.
Your Mr.
Pauley hears the breathless beat of angel's wings, as a drunken Irishman once wrote.
And the assassin replaces the gun in the case.
Hooray! No connection to the murder weapon! Well, it could've happened that way, sir, very easily.
But not necessarily.
The killer might have already had Mr.
Pauley's gun in his pocket when he came here last night.
I mean, we have to allow for that logical possibility, sir.
Because they did know each other.
Lieutenant, you're a fountain of delightful surprises.
How can you be sure the victim knew the murderer? Well, it's that bottle again, sir.
Full's Irish Dew, you see? Now, according to the hotel, when Mr.
Pauley couldn't get that particular brand from room service, he sent out for it.
And since he didn't drink himself, he must've ordered the bottle for somebody, sir.
For the killer.
Was this the room of an ascetic? Or was it the house of the Devil? A man who didn't drink, you say? He was a diabetic, sir.
We found this medical alert bracelet on his wrist.
I'll be a son of a gun.
Here's what I've been looking for all the time.
Here's where I'm really going to need your logic, sir.
"LAP 2-1-3.
" What does that mean to you, sir? That's Mr.
Pauley's handwriting.
L-A-P, 2-1-3.
Well, I said "LAP," but I suppose.
"L-A-P" could stand for something, too.
Could you give me a wee bit of background, Lieutenant? Oh, right, sir.
If you'll just step into the bedroom for a minute.
I found it tucked right under this lamp, sir.
Just stuck there.
"L-A-P, 2-1-3.
" You think it has some special significance, Lieutenant? Well, it occurred to me that maybe this is what the killer was looking for.
What an interesting point.
Let's see what we can fetch up from the dim, gray bog.
" LA 213.
That's the telephone area code for Los Angeles.
But then you have your "P," sir.
Yes, of course.
Why would anyone in Los Angeles, write down the telephone area code.
When it's written right here on the phone, sir.
" Somebody's initials, Lieutenant? But then you have your "2-1-3", sir.
A safety deposit box number.
I'm gonna write that down.
" For police, a police badge number? Another good one.
A personal license plate.
A code number for a club membership? You're fantastic, sir.
A postal code outside the United States.
Well, I don't know about that one, sir.
The mind flags, temporary exhaustion.
Deprivation of nourishment.
Will you be my guest at lunch, Lieutenant? I was just about to ask you, sir.
This is for what I learnt at The Rose and Thistle in Donegal.
This is for the Old Celt, Londonderry.
This one's for the Royal Crown in Belfast.
You've got your work cut out for you, Lieutenant.
What do I need, sir? Sixty-six to get out.
This is for taking on an Irishman in his own backyard.
This is for being an Italian in an Irish pub.
Hold this.
And this is for the sainted memory of Sergeant Gilhooley.
Great shakes in Ireland, you did it! Well, I got lucky again, sir.
I'm proud of you.
Who is Sergeant Gilhooley anyway? I might want to pray to him myself sometime.
He was a desk sergeant back in the 12th precinct, taught me how to play darts.
Well, haven't I been taken for a stroll through the woods.
And by a policeman, into the bargain.
We're not that bad, sir, when you get to know us.
Oh, I'm well acquainted with the police, Lieutenant.
A penniless lad scooting through the streets of New York.
You had to have a touch of rascality in order to survive in those days.
You had to be quick of wit and fleet of foot.
You had to do without a coat.
And tell yourself that an aching belly was as natural as the shivers.
Most of all, you had to have a keen eye for the police.
So, you see, Lieutenant.
Even today, when I spot a gentleman of your persuasion, my instinct is to flee.
Well, if you don't mind, sir, I'm going to take that as a very high compliment.
Sinn Fein, sir.
Ah? You're a revolutionary.
For those of our years and intelligence, that can be a risky undertaking.
Well, you've outgrown all that, sir.
The war against the English and all.
Some of my best sweaters are English, Lieutenant.
We learn, as a drunken Irishman once wrote, to seek the unstained pastures of peace.
You know what I think, sir.
I think the same fellow who wrote that wrote about the breathless beat of angel's wings.
Sinn Fein, that's Gaelic, isn't it, sir? How would you translate that? "We, us.
" "Those who stand by themselves.
" Something like that.
"Ourselves Alone," sir? Yes, even better.
But when Mr.
Pauley wrote those words in your book, sir, you said you thought it was very strange.
You misunderstood me, Lieutenant.
I meant, I didn't know why he wrote "Ourselves Alone.
" I suppose in retrospect, it was an Irish salutation to an Irish book-writer, that's all.
Well, that certainly would explain it, sir.
Ah, Mr.
Devlin, your bottle, sir.
Drink hearty.
Not today, Joan.
Well, how do you like that, sir.
Full's Irish Dew.
That's the same thing Mr.
Pauley had.
It is that.
Japan sends televisions.
Ireland sends whiskey.
Do you care for a nip? No, thank you very much, sir.
As a matter of fact, I think I better be running along.
It's been a terrific lunch, sir.
It's been my pleasure, Lieutenant.
I'm sure we'll be seeing each other again soon.
The detective, what did he want? What does anyone want, boy? A bit of cheer and comfort.
This far and no farther.
Well, what is it, lad? Well, after you left, I was watching the telly, and I happened to glance at Mr.
Pauley's program log.
Pauley's indeed.
There's a phone number written there on yesterday's page.
And did you call that phone number? I did, sir.
It's a Mr.
Jensen, and I've got his address.
You're a credit to your mother, boy.
Well, sir.
You look like a man ready for the good life.
And how are you today, sir? Excellent, thank you.
My name is Devlin.
I'm looking for Mr.
One and only.
You're in the market for one of our beauties.
I'm in the market, so to speak.
Pauley, Mr.
Vincent Pauley suggested I pay you a visit.
No, the name doesn't ring a bell.
But we do have a passel of customers here.
The turnover, you would not believe, brother Devlin.
And that's because our prices are right.
You just look at this little model right here Another time, perhaps.
Pauley was arranging a purchase, I believe.
Well, if it's an RV, we've got it.
We've got the largest inventory west of Chicago.
Super savings on every shape, every make, every model.
Perhaps Mr.
Pauley was negotiating with another dealer.
Thank you, Mr.
Uh, uh Yes, sir, uh Now look, I'll tell you.
If you get a lower price from anybody I'm going to give you one of these gorgeous hats.
Yes, I will, sir.
And that goes for your friend, too, sir.
It will be a pleasure to do business with you.
We're being counted on, Joe.
Time's slipping away.
I have never betrayed anyone who counted on me.
Don't turn me into one of those.
Death before dishonor.
Long life, Majesty.
Unfortunately, they don't pass out guns at the local supermarket.
Maybe you could think it through without a glass screwed into your fist.
You and young Kerry ought to get up an act.
Hymn-singing for the multitudes.
George is right.
He's usually right.
Drink when it's done with.
Well then, why don't I put the whole mess into the princeling's manicured fingers? Might I remind you that your sole contribution to this business has been safe cash and a righteous tongue.
But then, you've got such an executive flair about you, Mr.
Why don't you step into this mess and clean it up? There's a policeman calling, ma'am, to see you.
Or Mr.
Would this policeman be Lieutenant Columbo? You, Mr.
Devlin? Me, Lieutenant.
Thank you, Kerry.
Well, this is certainly another pleasant surprise, sir, the way we keep running into each other.
We just can't keep meeting like this, Lieutenant.
Gee, this is some house.
This is a remarkable room, sir.
I mean, all this marble and all this glass.
The most beautiful parlor I've ever seen.
Well, it isn't exactly a parlor, Lieutenant.
But come and meet the lady it was built for.
May I present my friend, Kate O'Connell.
My friend, Lieutenant Columbo, who hangs about Irish pubs and skins unsuspecting dart players.
I believe you already know of her son, George.
Yes, I remember, Mr.
Thanks for seeing me, sir.
How do you do, ma'am? About that dart business, all I had was a lucky throw.
I certainly hope you'll forgive me for barging in like this, ma'am.
Anyone who can skin Joe Devlin is welcome in the O'Connell home.
Oh, thank you, ma'am.
Something wrong? I didn't know who I was dealing with.
I mean, O'Connell's.
Is it this O'Connell's? O'Connell Industry? And this and this and this.
My father built most of these.
And you built the rest, sir.
Look at this.
Dams and buildings and docks and skyscrapers.
It's like the whole country was raised right under the O'Connell flag.
It's not a flag, Lieutenant.
It's a company emblem.
We're not quite royalty for all of Joe's desperate jokes.
You see? The modesty of queens.
How can we help you, Lieutenant? Ah, well, ma'am, Mr.
O'Connell, what it's about, it's about the American Friends for Northern Ireland.
I understand you're both on the board of directors.
As am I, Lieutenant.
Yes, sir.
You seem to be here, too.
As I understand it, you're sort of a pacifist group? It's nothing so dramatic, Lieutenant.
We're Irish-Americans who deplore the violence on both sides in Northern Ireland.
So we've banded together to do what we can for the victims.
Why do you ask, Lieutenant? Did you want to make a donation? I'm afraid it has to do with a murder, Mrs.
A man named Pauley was found shot.
Excuse me, ma'am.
That's a continental stitch, isn't it? You do needlepoint, Lieutenant? Oh, no, not me, ma'am.
My nephew's the needlepointer.
It seems to relax him before he goes into those weightlifting contests.
Excuse me, ma'am.
Ah, yes.
That's a basket weave stitch you've got mixed in there, am I right, ma'am? Right again, Lieutenant.
You mentioned Mr.
Did I tell you, sir? Maybe I forgot.
Did I mention that he was an illicit arms dealer? That would account for the gun case.
The boys at the FBI, they got a file on him that would choke a horse.
But this man, Pauley, ma'am, he was found murdered a few days ago.
Forgive me, ma'am for being indelicate like that.
But you know, all the years that I've been doing this kind of work, I still don't know how to make it sound inoffensive when one person kills another.
You say this man was in the weapons business? Not only that, sir.
He has deals sending arms to Northern Ireland.
Guns bought right here in this country, ma'am.
More blood and death.
So, while you folks are raising money to help some of the victims over there, it looks like there's other people raising money for guns for the terrorists.
You mean here? In southern California? That's what the boys in the FBI think.
I thought maybe you folks might have heard about this gun-running business.
About the kind of element who could have been dealing with Mr.
It's just a long shot, ma'am.
But we have to check it all out.
The murderer just might have been one of those Irish gun-runners.
They've killed so many, I suppose one more or less wouldn't make that much difference to them.
George, you could have a look around.
That's all I ask, ma'am.
We'll see what we can find out for you, Lieutenant.
You can count on us, Lieutenant.
O'Connell isn't one to betray her responsibilities.
Are you, Kate? Will you show the lieutenant out, Joe? I can find my own way.
Thanks again, ma'am.
We'll stay in touch.
We'll all stay in touch.
It seems you've struck up a fine friendship, Joe.
Oh, by the way, sir.
I've come up with another one.
Another what? "L-A-P 2-1-3.
" An address, sir.
What do you think of 213 Los Angeles Place.
Well done, Lieutenant.
I got somebody checking it out right now.
A fine friend, indeed.
Ourselves Alone.
I can get my hands on some M16's.
I prefer a smaller weapon.
I'm just telling you what I've got.
Fifty M16's.
Maybe 60.
Not enough.
Like I said, I'm telling you what I've got.
Thank you for telling me what you've got.
Go to hell, Mr.
In actual fact, I'm looking for a mutual friend.
A gentleman by the name of Proctor.
What's going down? The world, in terminal descent.
We were in touch a year or two back, Mr.
Proctor and myself.
I thought we might renew our acquaintance.
You mean guns? Yes, possibly.
No more of that for Proctor.
No guns.
You see, we're into coke, poppy and hash.
You know, happy stuff.
A moral decision, I assume.
Thank you for your time.
Not a chance, not in this world.
What I sell goes out under license.
Strictly legal.
I'm offering a considerable amount, man.
Surely that'll cover any legal technicalities.
You got the wrong guy.
Well, just don't stand in my doorway, Mr.
Come on in.
These Coast Guard people are impossible.
They keep on changing their lights around.
Well, now, I trust everything is going well.
I need help, Captain.
So do I, Mr.
The merchandise has been held up.
I need more time.
Perhaps you could delay your departure.
I'm sorry to hear about your merchandise.
For two or three days.
Not even for two or three hours, Mr.
I have a schedule to keep.
Well, perhaps you could contrive to How do you like that, sir? We've both come up with the same thing.
Pier 213, Los Angeles Harbor.
Well done, Lieutenant.
And I thought I was going to surprise you.
Well, I gotta be honest with you, sir.
It was her idea.
I mean, the way that woman reads the newspapers, she reads the obituaries, she reads the personal notices.
And she reads the shipping news.
She showed it to me right in the paper.
This here freighter at Pier 213.
Oh, she's a beauty, she is.
How did you come up with it, sir? Well, the truth is, I had a bit of help myself.
You see, George O'Connell's firm built several of these docks.
And it was his suggestion that LAP-213 might refer to this very pier.
Isn't that terrific, sir.
Up there on the ship, was that the captain you were talking to? Yes.
I was investigating.
Then, you know, sir, that the ship is going to England.
No, I haven't quite got that far.
Well, wait till you hear this, sir.
Sergeant Burke made a couple of telephone calls and it turns out that Southampton is the main transshipment port for all goods going to Belfast.
Belfast? The guns.
Well, if we're right about Mr.
Pauley and the guns, I guess it won't do no harm to take some precautions, will it, sir? What did you have in mind, Lieutenant? We'll bring in the FBI boys, Customs, Coast Guard.
I'm going to have this ship searched.
We'll check out everything that comes aboard.
We'll check out every Will you look at that? How do you like that? That's practically a brand new recap.
Criminal workmanship.
Can I give you a hand with the spare? Well, the spare, sir, that's back in my garage.
Very sensible.
If you get a flat at home, the spare's out and ready.
Well, I'll have to press on, Lieutenant.
I have an appointment hawking my book on one of those talk radio programs.
Oh, that's all right, sir.
I'll just call the auto club.
Good luck on your radio show.
Good luck on your tire.
Oh, Mr.
Just one more thing, sir.
Yes, Lieutenant.
I hate to bother you.
Could I borrow a dime? A dime? A dime, sir.
A dime, sir.
I'm looking at a glass of good Irish ale clasped firmly in the hand that wrote Up from Ignorance.
Hi, Joe.
For those of you who want to call Talk Radio, the number is 555-1776.
I'm Carole Hemingway.
My guest, Joe Devlin.
Poet, entertainer, autobiographer, raconteur.
And infamous jailbird.
Joe, you were only 14.
Fresh as a daisy.
So was the dynamite.
What were you going to blow up? England.
Modest aim.
All of it, why? Because it was there.
And I was Irish.
You're still Irish, Joe.
Ah, but of a different hue, Carole.
Non-violent? Violently.
A famous Irish philosopher named Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel once wrote that the essence of tragedy isn't the conflict of right and wrong, it's the conflict of right and right.
Can we get some music on? present bloodletting in Ulster Just bear with me, sir.
Conflict between wrong and wrong.
And for every death, there's always a death to be avenged.
Vengeance, sweet vengeance, Carole.
Ah, but what's the answer? When will it stop? Maybe at the great catch-up, as another member of my tribe once wrote, and wrote these words, too.
"Justice for the many, justice for the free.
"Let each man be paid in full, that's just enough for me.
" With that, Joe, let's take some more calls.
The number is 555-1776.
I'm Carole Hemingway.
My guest, Joe Devlin.
Hello, you're on the air.
My name is Marion.
Would you mind, sir.
Could we pull into that gasoline station? Can't you wait another five minutes? I've been writing poetry ever since I was a little girl.
You have my sympathies.
One's first poem is usually a shriek of pure anguish.
I was always a very happy little girl.
What I wanted to know was if you could give me some advice on how to get my poems published.
Ah, that does pose a problem, doesn't it? I made my first acquaintance with a publisher by striking him firmly on the nose during an extemporaneous brawl in a bar.
Do you visit many bars, Marion? We're putting you through right away, hold on, please.
Thank you very much.
I'm Carole Hemingway, my guest, Joe Devlin.
Hello, you're on the air.
Hi, hello? Hello.
May I speak to Joe Devlin? Hello? That sounds like a very familiar voice.
Yes, sir.
It's me again, sir.
Ah, we have a friend on the line, Carole.
Lieutenant Columbo.
I was listening to the program, sir, and I was wondering, it's just a trivial question, sir, but it suddenly hit me.
I was wondering about that little poem about justice for the many.
Was that written by the same guy that wrote about angel's wings and the unstained pastures of peace? No, indeed, Lieutenant.
I discovered that bit of doggerel on the subject of justice scratched on the wall of a prison cell.
For all I know, it may still be there.
Although I haven't checked lately.
I thought, sir, that the writer might've been you.
I'm sorry, Lieutenant.
The author of that scrap of folk wisdom appended his name.
Michael Dolan.
Later hanged.
In any case, Mr.
Dolan's passion for justice became my inspiration to escape.
And to this day, I revere his memory as an original, if untutored philosopher on the roots of freedom for all men.
If we are all paid in full, we can't go far wrong.
Right, Michael Dolan, right.
Well, I won't be taking up any more of your time, sir.
Nice talking to you, again.
Brother Devlin.
Remember me? Chuck Jensen, Jensen RV sale.
Of course, Mr.
There I was, rolling along the freeway when all of a sudden, you come on the radio, loud and clear, and I says to myself, "That's got to be the Joe Devlin that came to see me.
" "I mean, it's got to be the real Joe Devlin, no doubt about it.
" "Only this time, I'll go to see him.
" Very enterprising of you, Mr.
But I don't think Brother Devlin.
Don't say no before you hear my offer.
I've got a sweetheart of a deal.
Make your eyes pop.
One look will make you a believer.
Just like I made a believer out of Brother Pauley.
Now, why don't you just sit right down here, brother Devlin, and make yourself comfortable.
It's kind of nice, ain't it? And I can put you in one of these little beauties for, uh, about $150,000.
You mentioned Mr.
I've got your merchandise, brother.
I was going to deliver to Pauley, but wouldn't you know, he turned up dead.
And I'm holding the goods, the deal all made, my middleman out of business and no cash to feed the bulldog.
So the guns are all yours, brother Devlin.
Same price, same terms, cash on the barrelhead.
Yes, well.
Let us say, for the sake of argument, the cash can be made available.
Where's the merchandise? You're sitting on it.
And And And It's gonna be a pleasure to do business with you, brother Devlin.
Here, Michael.
I just come from the docks.
Have you now? The ship's thick with uniforms.
Customs, Coast Guard.
Ever on the alert.
Even the FBI by the look of them.
Always a comfort.
They're taking the bleeding ship apart.
You'll never get the guns aboard.
That's where you're wrong, Kerry.
That's where they're all wrong.
For all their hunting and seeking, she'll sail with the guns, count on it.
And one day, you'll tell your sainted mother how Devlin did the trick.
It's him.
Run along, now.
It's a pity about Mr.
It's a pity about us all, Kerry.
And he's not the first innocent victim of war, is he? Hello, Lieutenant.
Come along and have a game of darts.
If you don't mind, sir, I'll quit while I'm ahead.
Was that Mr.
Malone you was just talking to? Yes, young Kerry brings word from my booking agent.
The show is about to return to the road.
With myself alone, center stage, bringing truth and beauty to the multitudes of the wealth of the Incas to your humble servant.
Have a drink.
Joan, two ales, celebration size.
Well, to tell you the truth, sir, it's sort of a celebration for me, too.
So tonight, the treat's on me.
You just tell me when this runs out.
What's your occasion, Lieutenant? The case, sir.
Pauley's murder, I think I'm getting close.
Then we'll drink to your good fortune.
Here's to friendship, ripe and long.
Here's to voices raised in song.
Here's to a long and thirsty night.
Here's to the stuff that makes it right.
I got one for you, sir.
Well, this is not exactly a toast.
We'll waive the formalities, Lieutenant.
Out with it.
"There once was an old man from Lyme, "Who married three wives at a time.
"When asked why a third, "he replied, 'One's absurd, "'and two of them, sir, is a crime.
"' It's a good one.
I accept that as a challenge, Lieutenant.
Limericks at 20 paces.
Ready, aim, fire.
"The limerick is furtive and mean.
"You must keep her in close quarantine" "Or she sneaks to the slum" "and promptly becomes disorderly, drunk and obscene.
" That's a terrific limerick.
Try this one, sir.
"A real old bird is the Pelican.
"His bill holds more than this belly can.
" "He can take in his beak enough food for a week.
" "I'm damned if I know how the hell he can.
" "As I was drinking gin and water" "And me being Corporal Riley" "Who should come in but the landlord's daughter.
" "And she took my heart entirely.
" "Said Aristotle unto Plato, 'Have another sweet potato.
"' "Said Plato unto Aristotle, 'Thank you, I prefer the bottle.
"' I don't know how you do it, sir.
You never seem to run out.
What that was, Lieutenant, that was a statement of preference.
Liam, me lad, this stuff's turned to water.
Bring us a proper drink.
You know what I was thinking about tonight, sir, driving out here to the harbor? I was thinking about that fella, Michael Dolan, and that verse about "Justice for the free.
" "Let each man be paid in full.
" "That's just enough for me.
" A chance remembrance, Lieutenant.
There you were in that prison cell admiring the man who wrote that on the wall.
Did you ever get to meet him? No.
I was told he was executed.
For what crime, sir? This was a long time ago, Lieutenant.
Well, that chance remembrance of yours, about each man being paid in full.
To tell you the truth, you made me curious about Michael Dolan.
So I checked him out with Scotland Yard, and it turns out that Michael Dolan They certainly know you around this town, sir.
No matter where we go, out comes your very own whiskey bottle.
Easy beginnings.
Prudent endings.
The trick is to know when to stop.
This far and no farther.
Well, it's my stopping time, sir, I think I've had enough.
Is it your intention to insult the House of Devlin? Sure and the only proper thing is to end the evening on a nectarous note.
I'll make you a deal.
Like you say, this far and no farther.
To the drop.
You were speaking of Michael Dolan, Lieutenant.
It turns out he was one of those Irish terrorists.
According to Scotland Yard, he was responsible for the murder of five people.
One of them, a woman.
And there was a child, sir.
I had no idea.
You were a terrorist yourself, in those days, I know you were very young.
But there was that business with the dynamite.
I'm surprised you didn't know about Mr.
Insidious old age, Lieutenant, comes sweeping in like winter before its time.
It could be I heard and forgot.
You didn't forget his name.
You remembered it along with his poem.
Well, there's the trick of memory.
You retain a man's name and a bit of verse and forget the rest.
But that bit of verse, when you realized that was written by a fanatic murderer, it's hard to see how you could call Mr.
Dolan a philosopher.
Someone to be respected.
Like you said on the radio.
Well, if I said it, Lieutenant, it was without realizing Mr.
Dolan's true character.
Not much of a man to revere, was he? No, sir.
No, he certainly Hold it.
Just a minute.
Something wrong? That fella, Dolan, he reminded me of one that I almost forgot.
"There once was a fella named Finnegan" "Who escaped from a jail so to sin again.
"He broke laws by the dozen," "Even stole from his cousin," "So the jail he broke out of, he's in again.
" Anything? Nothing, not even a slingshot.
Would you mind checking again, sir? I'm glad you could make it, sir.
I knew you'd be interested to see how these boys work.
Thanks for thinking of me, Lieutenant.
You can tell the O'Connells, sir.
If somebody is trying to run guns on this ship here, they're certainly going to be disappointed.
You sure he won't outwit us, Lieutenant? There's still a few hours before she sails.
He might be able to fool me, sir.
But he's not going to fool these Customs boys.
But then, we don't know for sure there are any guns, do we? No.
No, it's all conjecture.
Still, the Friends for Northern Ireland do appreciate what you've done for us.
You've done a job and a half.
It's more like a half a job, sir.
I still got Mr.
Pauley's murder to think about.
I thought you had that case well in hand.
I thought so too, sir, but it slipped right through my fingers.
I suppose I ought to get back to it.
Will you forgive me for bringing you down here, sir, and then running off? Oh, I understand, Lieutenant.
Fencing the hen house is one thing.
Catching the fox is another.
You do understand, sir.
Oh, one more thing, sir.
The next time you see Mrs.
O'Connell, will you tell her something for me? My nephew won two prizes the other day.
Second prize for a needlepoint contest.
First prize for weightlifting.
Lieutenant Columbo.
Yes, Sergeant.
No, I want your help.
Call the Chief Customs Officer at the Los Angeles Harbor.
Tell him to hold the ship in Pier 213.
I don't want that ship to sail.
We had to let her go.
She's clean.
Nothing else we could do.
Right, I understand.
Please see Mrs.
O'Connell if you don't mind.
She'd like a word with you.
Yes, ma'am.
Would you like to sail away on her? Run away to sea.
I think I would.
Well, I wouldn't want to give up my work, ma'am.
And I want to thank you for all your efforts.
There'll be no guns aboard the ship, will there? I don't really know that for a fact, ma'am.
No, not for a fact.
Thank you, Lieutenant.
Good day.
Good day, ma'am.
Here you go, Mr.
Ah, well done, Kathy, thank you.
I thought I might find you here, sir.
Back at the scene of the crime.
Sit down, Lieutenant.
Care for a drink? I wish I could, sir.
But not this time.
Bound on official business.
How goes the trail? Very warm, sir.
You might even say hot.
Then you found your murderer.
In a manner of speaking, yes, sir, I have.
And I certainly have you to thank.
Whatever for? That line in Mr.
Dolan's verse.
"Let each man be paid in full.
" Full's Irish Dew.
And take a look at what it says on that label there, sir.
"Let each man be paid in full.
" Take a look at that.
Do you see what I mean, sir? Both lines are identical.
"Let each man be paid in full.
" That's an interesting observation, Lieutenant.
Here's what I think happened.
I'll bet my life on it.
Pauley and the killer, they were negotiating a deal.
Arms for Northern Ireland.
Yes, yes, we discussed that possibility.
But I don't understand the connection between a line of poetry, a whiskey slogan, and a murder.
Right, I'm getting to that, sir.
Remember the whiskey bottle in Mr.
Pauley's hotel room? This is it.
Remember how we couldn't figure out how a bottle could fall in one place and end up in another place right next to Mr.
Pauley's body? Yes, I recall that very well, Lieutenant.
Well, try this one, sir.
Pauley and the killer, they are having an argument about the guns.
Now, it's my personal theory that the killer thinks he was double-crossed.
So when he shoots Mr.
Pauley, he thinks of it as being more like an execution.
Like he's handing out justice.
"Let each man be paid in full.
" Now there's a whisky bottle laying on the rug.
Another kind of "Let each man be paid in full.
" Well, the killer, he's got a pretty good sense of humor, sir.
So he makes his own private pun about it.
And he moves the whiskey bottle next to Mr.
Pauley's body.
Like the label on the whiskey bottle will label the murder for what it is.
An execution.
"Let each man be paid in full.
" Give him what he deserves.
Pay him off.
Very ingenious, Lieutenant.
But I say, a bit skimpy in a court of law.
Yes, sir, but I think I handled that.
It's these other bottles.
Your personal bottles.
This one is from the Irish pub.
This one is from the place we went to last night, before we came here.
And like I said, this one is from Mr.
Pauley's hotel room.
Now, do you notice anything special about these three bottles? They are, alas, empty.
There's something else, Mr.
Your bottle from the pub.
Take a good look at it under the light.
You have me in a state of wild suspense, Lieutenant.
Please, go on.
It's these scratches, sir.
You see these tiny scratches? They're on all the bottles.
You see, the killer, he had that habit.
He would make a mark on the bottle, and that would set how much he was gonna drink in any one sitting.
Like on this bottle, sir.
This is a full bottle like the one that was in Mr.
Pauley's hotel room before it got knocked off the desk.
And there's the scratch, sir.
And there's the scratch on Mr.
Pauley's bottle.
All the same scratches.
But hardly identical, Lieutenant.
Oh, yes, sir.
Absolutely identical.
I had the boys down at the lab make a microphotograph of all these scratches.
There you are, sir.
The scratch on your bottle from the pub.
The bottle from the other bar.
And the same scratch on Mr.
Pauley's bottle.
You see that, sir? Right there in the photographs.
They're the very same scratches.
Identical, sir, like fingerprints.
And why are they identical? Boys at the lab say the scratches were made by a diamond.
I'd say a ring, sir.
And every diamond in the world has its own special pattern.
Every diamond leaves its own special signature.
Find the diamond, and I've found my murderer, sir.
What do you say to that? Do you know these lines, Lieutenant? They're by Lewis Carroll.
"You can charge me with murder or want of sense "We are all of us weak at times:" "But the slightest approach to a false pretense" "Was never among my crimes!" Well, sir, you pretended to raise money to help the Irish victims and all the while you were planning to make more victims.
Wasn't that a pretense, sir? Politics makes liars of us all, Lieutenant.
I bargained for the guns.
I'll stand by my bargain.
No regrets.
That'd be the Coast Guard, sir.
To stop the ship.
You knew.
That was a very clever plan, Mr.
Devlin, the way you handled the guns.
Very clever.
I never would've figured it out, if it wasn't for Mrs.
O'Connell's needlepoint.
Kate's needlepoint? The guns, they aren't aboard the ship at all.
Not yet, sir.
The guns aren't aboard the ship yet.
They're still on the tug.
They would've been loaded aboard the ship just before the ship put out to sea.
But the house flag on the tug, sir, the company emblem, that's the O'Connell company emblem.
Just like Mrs.
O'Connell's needlepoint.
She does terrific work, sir.
I guess it was just dumb luck.
My noticing that your friends owned the tugboat.
So that's where the guns would be.
No, it's never just luck, Lieutenant.
Didn't your Sergeant Gilhooley teach you that? Well, now that you mention it, sir, he did tell me to keep my eyes open.
Are you sure you won't join me, Lieutenant? Well, maybe I will after all, sir.
Now that we've come this far.
This far and no farther.