Remington Steele (1982) s01e12 Episode Script

Steele Flying High

- I think we just found Dr.
Maxwell.
- Where? - In the tub.
- How dare he say that Amos Maxwell's death was murder.
- lfhe claims he was murdered, then he's - Put his foot in it again.
- You don't think he's in any kind of danger, do you? - No.
[Groans] If there's one thing I learned about him, he can take care of himself.
- Shh-shh.
- Where have you been? Laura, I've had the most incredible night.
- Pump the brakes! - I'm pumping! I'm pumping! - Jump! - Are you crazy? We could be killed! [Laura] Try this for a deep, dark secret The great detective Remington Steele? He doesn't exist.
I invented him.
Follow I always loved excitement.
So I studied and apprenticed and put my name on an office.
But absolutely nobody knocked down my door.
A female private investigator seemed so feminine.
So I invented a superior.
A decidedly masculine superior.
Suddenly, there were cases around the block.
It was working like a charm.
Until the day he walked in with his blue eyes and mysterious past.
And before I knew it he assumed Remington Steele's identity.
Now I do the work, and he takes the bows.
It's a dangerous way to live but as long as people buy it I can get thejob done.
We never mix business with pleasure.
Well, almost never.
I don't even know his real name.
[Water Sloshing] [Doorbell Rings] [Line Ringing] [Bernice] Remington Steele Detective Agency.
Please hold.
Yes, Mrs.
Stanton.
Tuesday at 9:00.
Mr.
Steele will be delighted.
Absolutely delighted.
Ah.
Mmm.
And so will I.
[Pounding] Come out of there! You're going to be late! You are late! - Want me to kick it in? - Not yet.
You gave your word.
And everyone knows that Remington Steele's word is his bond.
- Laura, that's a most unfair tactic.
- Not if it works.
I don't want to be honorary chairman of the Committee to Save the Bald Eagle.
- It's good P.
R.
For the agency.
- What? A gaggle of blue-haired women prattling on about saving the bald eagle while they wear their chinchilla coats and alligator shoes? All you have to do is shake a few hands show your pearly whites and get your picture taken.
You usually like that part.
Hey! Don't forget your book.
What's that for? Makes it look as if you're interested in the committee's work.
I realize the bald eagle is your national symbol, but I must confess, I hate birds.
- Especially bald ones.
- Remember interested, sincere, concerned.
Mm-hmm.
[Woman] I want to give you all a preview of our coming attractions.
For our raffle, Mr.
William Collins has contributed a week for two in Hawaii, all expenses paid at the King Kame hame uh - Sorry I'm late.
- Are you on the committee? - Honorary chairman.
one of the oldest and finest hotels at Waikiki.
- Oh.
- [Continues Speaking] And you don't find this interesting? A bit technical for my taste.
Millicent is a bit of a bore, but she's terribly dedicated.
Is that why you're here dedication? They appealed to my sense of civic duty.
Which one's Mrs.
Grace Stanton? The birdlike lady with the twitch? - Uh-uh.
- The blue-haired lady with the twitch? - Uh-uh.
- Tell me something.
Why do all these women twitch? Obviously, you haven't seen their husbands.
You don't twitch.
I'm a widow, Mr.
Steele.
You seem to have me at a disadvantage.
You know my name, but I don't know yours.
[Millicent] And now, Mrs.
Willis Stanton.
- Now you do.
- [Applause] Thank you.
Friends, I have some bad news and some good news.
The bad news is that Dr.
Amos Maxwell was scheduled to give his report today on the Lake Solitude project and its ecological aspects pertaining to the bald eagle.
Well, as you can see, he was unable to attend.
But he will give his report day after tomorrow at the finance committee meeting.
My good news is that I have with us today our honorary chairman the renowned if somewhat elusive Mr.
Remington Steele.
Thank you.
Thank you.
[Clears Throat] Ever since I was privileged to come to your wonderful country I've been fascinated by your bird.
Nary a day goes by that I don't ponder the arcane reasons that could've driven your founding fathers to select something as as, uh Well, as you can see, words fail me when I contemplate the bald eagle.
Thank you, Mr.
Steele.
Thank you.
I can see that we are going to have many fascinating insights from our honorary chairman.
Now we are going to have a 20-minute intermission for refreshments.
[Chattering] Now that that's over with, I'll make our excuses, and we'll get the hell out of here.
I just arrived.
Wait for me in the hall.
People will try to keep you here.
Don't let them.
Now hold on, partner.
Sit a spell.
Let's jaw.
Uh, men's room.
Have to get to the men's room.
Congressman Bishop.
You can call me Oren.
I'd be delighted to call you a great many things, just as soon as I get back.
- What are you doin' here, Steele? - I'm the honorary chairman of this committee.
Well, I know that.
But I mean, what are you really doin' here? - Trying to get to the men's room.
- No.
I have a vested interest in this committee.
So, if there's somethin' here that requires your professional expertise I got a right to know what it is.
I'm sorry to disappoint you, Congressman but the only reason I'm here is to give your bird a fighting chance.
If you'll excuse me.
Thank you.
- What did he want? - He wanted to know what I was doing here.
- Did you tell him? - Apparently, I don't know.
Time enough for that.
We've got to get out of here.
I apologize for all this cloak-and-dagger stuff.
But if the committee knew Dr.
Maxwell was missing it would jeopardize the entire project.
- When did you last hear from him? - A week ago.
He called from Lake Solitude.
He was making his final inspection of the eagle sanctuary.
- Did he get in touch with you after that? - I never spoke to Dr.
Maxwell.
Well, then did he send you something? Some material about our committee? - Not that I'm aware of.
- Perhaps it was mislaid.
My staff s very good about those things.
If Dr.
Maxwell sent me something, I'm sure I would have seen it.
Oh.
- What do you think happened to him? - I don't know.
It would take something horrendous to keep him from giving his report.
His whole life is dedicated to the protection of those poor creatures.
May I ask you an impertinent question, Mrs.
Stanton? What is my life dedicated to? [Chuckles] While finding an appropriate home for the bald eagle is certainly a noble endeavor I find it difficult to believe it occupies your every waking hour.
I know what you're thinking, Mr.
Steele.
A spoiled, pampered, incredibly wealthy young woman dabbles in good deeds to fill the time between shopping sprees, world tours and endless parties.
But that's not what it's like at all.
The money Willis left me has been a burden more than a blessing.
I was Willis's third wife, It was a brief marriage.
He was not a well man.
And I awoke one morning to discover that I was worth, conservatively - $140 million.
- [Gagging] A lot of bubbles in 140 million, huh? Quite a few.
You'd be surprised how quickly a proposal of marriage usually follows that information, Mr.
Steele.
You've no idea how lonely that can make a woman.
How terribly lonely.
You poor thing.
Thank you.
- [Doorbell Ringing] - There's a key in the flowerpot.
In certain circles this could be construed as breaking and entering.
Amos and I are old friends.
How do you think I know where the key is? - No key.
- There has to be.
It's always there.
Well, I suppose we'll have to find another way in.
That's definitely breaking and entering.
- He could be so ill he can't even answer the door.
- Do you have a credit card? - My name is my credit card, Mr.
Steele.
- May I? [Chuckles] It's so reassuring to have you by my side.
[Chuckles] You see, I was right.
Something has happened.
Mrs.
Stanton? What does Amos look like? - Early 50s.
- Yes? Brown hair with a touch of gray.
- Go on.
- Brown eyes.
Yes? Oh, and a scraggly mustache.
I think we just found Dr.
Maxwell.
- Where? - In the tub, soaking.
Where is he? - Hasn't come in yet.
- That idiot.
How dare he say Amos Maxwell's death was murder when the police, the coroner and Mrs.
Stanton herself all agree it was an accident.
- Where is he? - If you mean Mr.
Steele That idiot! How dare he say that Amos Maxwell's death was murder.
Remington Steele has one of the finest criminal minds one of the finest minds in criminology, and if he claims he was murdered, then he's He put his foot in it again, didn't he? Murphy, this gentleman is here to see Congressman Bishop.
I'm a great admirer of your work, sir.
Congressman Bishop is one of the great environmentalists of the country.
Well, normally, I would be delighted to hear from a satisfied constituent but right now I have more pressin' priorities.
- Then perhaps we could discuss them in Mr.
Steele's office? - Fine.
- Murphy.
- Right this way, sir.
Find him.
Fast.
Doesn't Steele know what an honorary chairman does? He shakes a few hands, smiles a lot and gets his picture taken.
He doesn't stick his nose in committee business or people's bathtubs.
Now if Amos Maxwell wanted to get pie-eyed and deep-six himself well, that's his prerogative.
- Did he have a history of drinking? - How the hell should I know? He was hired to determine if my land was hospitable for the bald eagle.
- Now you say you admire my work.
- Very much.
Then you know I'm ripe for all sorts of potshots from the polluters, right? The strip miners, the woodchoppers they're just waitin' for me to slip up.
What does this have to do with Amos Maxwell's death? I have agreed to sell my land as a sanctuary for the bald eagle.
Considerably below market value, I might add.
Now if Amos Maxwell was murdered the day before he was to report his findings well, that casts a cloud over the entire project.
So unless Steele has some tangible evidence some solid proof that he was murdered I want a public retraction, at least as prominent as his accusation.
- Is Mr.
Steele in? - What are you doin' here? - I imagine the same thing you are.
- Well, you hired this Maxwell.
- Is there truth to these charges Steele's slingin' around? - None whatsoever.
Then you'd better see to it they're put to rest or you can find yourself another piece of property for your damn birds.
Don't threaten me, you sidesaddle Thoreau.
Stop affecting that silly accent.
He thinks it makes him sound like a man of the soil.
Actually, he went to Harvard Business School.
You can be as amusin' as you wish, Mrs.
Stanton.
But just you remember you got a whole lot more to lose than I have.
- Is Mr.
Steele in? - Not yet.
- I'm his associate, Laura Holt.
- Oh.
This is Murphy Michaels, Bernice Foxe.
Perhaps I can help you.
- I hope so.
- Right this way.
No answer at his apartment, the limo's in the garage and I'm running out of numbers to call.
We're detectives, for heaven sakes.
The least we can do is find the head of our own agency.
[Door Opens] What a wonderfully neat desk.
My late husband often said the mark of a truly great executive is a totally clean desk.
They never leave until every last scrap has been cleared away.
Yes, yes.
Mr.
Steele to a tee.
First one to arrive, last one to leave.
In fact, sometimes he's so diligent, we don't even see him.
Has he shared his thoughts with you about Dr.
Maxwell's death? Not as fully as I'd like.
At first he said it was a tragic accident.
- What changed his mind? - I have no idea.
After the press arrived, he began saying all sorts of strange things.
Such as? "Murder Most Foul.
Margaret Rutherford.
M.
G.
M.
1964.
" Do you know what any of this means, Miss Holt? Uh, Mr.
Steele often speaks in a code.
Who is this Margaret Rutherford? Is she a suspect? I think we'd best wait for Mr.
Steele to clarify that.
I'd just hate to have any of this negative publicity undermine the committee's work.
If Mr.
Steele is correct, and Dr.
Maxwell's death wasn't an accident could it be related to what he was doing for your committee? I can't see how.
It was very cut and dried.
- But then you already know that.
- I do? He said he was going to send some material to Mr.
Steele about our aims, our objectives, his findings.
- We never received anything.
- Perhaps he sent it directly to Mr.
Steele's home? - I'll check.
- It probably wasn't anything important.
Just routine literature.
If anything turns up, I'll let you know.
Thank you.
Mr.
Steele is very fortunate to have someone like you.
- [Knocking] - [Murphy] Come on.
! - Open up! - [Doorbell Buzzing] You know, for once I'd like to kick the door in and see the wood splinter in a thousand different pieces.
- We'd only wind up paying for the damage.
- I know.
It really burns me when you have to stand up for that guy, you know? What else do you expect me to do admit to Bishop and Mrs.
Stanton that, yes, he's a fraud and that, no, Margaret Rutherford isn't a suspect she's an old English character actress.
[Sighs] This is as hard for me to say as it is for you to hear but do you think our Mr.
Steele has actually stumbled onto something here? Either that or his cleaning lady's mad at him.
I think it's time we stopped apologizing for him and started taking him seriously.
You're right.
I'll get a copy of Maxwell's autopsy report right away.
And dig up everything you can on Grace Stanton.
Murphy? You don't think he's in any kind of danger, do you? No.
If there's one thing I learned about him, he can take care of himself.
[Groans] I hope Vernon wasn't too exuberant in requesting your presence.
He managed to drive the point home.
Chateau Lafite Rothschild, 1945.
Please, Mr.
Steele.
Shall I pretend I don't know who you are, or doesn't it really matter? [Chuckles] Instant recognition.
That's the price one pays for having his picture in so many places.
Most men would be delighted to make the cover of Time, Mr.
Swan.
Not as the world's number one swindler, Mr.
Steele.
Although I do think the authorities were rather harsh on me.
It wasn't completely my fault that my conglomerate collapsed.
- I simply borrowed more than I could repay.
- And kept it for yourself.
Three years in prison more than compensated for that slight lapse.
I sing a mournful tune, Mr.
Steele.
- Back taxes, as I remember.
- Quite a bundle.
I'm currently negotiating payment at 50 cents on the dollar.
But unless you can help me, I won't be able to raise the needed funds.
You didn't bring me here to ask for a contribution? On the contrary.
I'm in the market for something.
A certain item I'm convinced you possess.
Really? I know you're involved with Grace Stanton.
Tell me, have you succumbed to her considerable charms or are you still your own man? Always my own man, Mr.
Swan.
Always.
What would you say this is? A worthless blob? A lump of clay? I'd say it was an uncut, unpolished diamond.
Ah! By gad, sir that is remarkable.
There aren't two men in 50,000 who would know that.
I've been robbed in half the cities of the world, and no one looked at this twice.
- Does this have anything to do with Grace Stanton? - It does, sir.
This represents what she was when I first met her a dull, lumpish teenager with a bad complexion and dirty hair.
Well, sir, I discerned the diamond in that lump.
I cut it, polished it made it possible for her to one day become Mrs.
Willis Stanton.
But somewhere in her journey toward that exalted position she acquired other, less lustrous traits.
She became an accomplished liar.
A scheming, treacherous woman not to be trusted.
About the item.
I'm prepared to pay $10,000 for its return.
No questions asked or answered.
Cautiously, Mr.
Steele.
Vernon enjoys a moving target.
Brings out the sportsman in him.
Would this item have anything to do with Dr.
Amos Maxwell's death? Since I don't know the gentleman I'll dispense with the customary insincerity over his passing.
Someone was very interested in the contents of his house.
Turned it upside down searching for something.
- Are you saying you don't have it? - Not at all, no.
I was just wondering who else was interested in it.
Don't be too clever for your own good, sir.
Cleverness will get you nothing.
Honest greed will bring you 20,000.
Make it 25.
I like doing business with a man who likes doing business.
Tomorrow, Mr.
Steele.
I shall need it by tomorrow.
Vernon will be in touch.
My apologies.
One final indignity.
[Groans] [Bumps Object] - Shh-shh.
- Where have you been? - Laura, I've had the most incredible night.
- So have I.
Calling the hospital every 15 minutes, checking morgues.
- Laura, I'm touched by your concern.
- Why shouldn't I be concerned? You're a very valuable investment.
Don't think I've spent all this time transforming you into Remington Steele only to lose you.
- What happened to your head? - I got sapped by some weasel named Vernon.
- Sapped? - Forties'jargon for "slugged," "hit," "bashed about.
" - Where were you? - In a scene right out of The Maltese Falcon.
There I was, confronting the very incarnation of Kasper Gutman.
I, of course, was Sam Spade, the slightly shady shamus.
And we were actually dickering for the dingus.
- Only he called it an item.
- Who called what an item? Harry Swan a fugitive from the I.
R.
S.
Attempting to buy his way into the country by paying off his back taxes.
Apparently Mr.
Swan isn't the only one looking for something.
Grace Stanton came to the office, ostensibly to see you but she was really after some material Amos Maxwell sent you.
She's our Brigid O'Shaughnessy.
And whatever Maxwell sent is the item.
Now all we have to do is figure out what the item is and who sent it.
This is shaping into a first-rate case, Laura.
And I must say, it's much more fun being Sam Spade than Remington Steele.
- Oh? - Well, Steele is so boringly honest.
Such a paragon of integrity.
Spade, on the other hand, is far more interesting.
A hard, shifty man, able to take care of himself in any situation.
Mmm.
Well, you certainly emulated Mr.
Spade in that respect.
- Oh! Ouch! - [Phone Ringing] Steele here.
Finally turned up, eh? - Thank you, Miss Wolfe.
- For what? I can tell by your tone that you are genuinely worried.
Yeah, sure.
Is Laura there? - Miss Wolfe.
She's beside herself with joy at my return.
- Yes, Bernice? Think you'd better get over here.
I'm sitting on something very interesting.
On my way.
- Get some rest.
- Aren't we gonna talk about the case? Formulate a plan? Ferret out the item? Later.
Put something on that so you don't get infected.
Laura? You look lovely in the morning.
The rest of the place is worse.
It'll take days before we know what they were after.
I think I know what they were after.
- What? - The item.
- What item? - The one they killed Amos Maxwell for.
You mean Remington Steele actually knew what he was talking about? Scary, isn't it? [Bishop] I'm not meanin'to stampede you folks, but I'm due back in Washington next week.
[Grace] I move we purchase the Lake Solitude property at the price agreed upon.
[Millicent] But, Grace, dear, I don't see how we can.
We have not seen Dr.
Maxwell's report.
But I spoke to him the day before his accident.
He told me he found Congressman Bishop's land ideal for an eagle sanctuary.
But if we are considering an expenditure well over a million dollars we should proceed with the utmost caution.
This is unfair to Congressman Bishop.
He deserves an answer and now.
Move the question.
Well, all right.
All those in favor of purchasing Congressman Bishop's land at Lake Solitude please signify by raising As your honorary chairman, could I have your indulgence for a few words? We'd be delighted, Mr.
Steele.
This meeting reminds me of the legend of the apes of Gibraltar.
What? Madam Chairlady, is he speakin' of the question? The legend states that if the apes were ever to leave Gibraltar it would mark the end of British sovereignty.
And I suggest to you that the disappearance of the American eagle could well mark the end of this great nation.
For without that majestic creature, what would happen to our sense of direction? Our feeling of pride? Our commitment to duty? And what will we tell our children when they ask with bright, innocent eyes "What's a bald eagle, Mommy?" - Oh! - Oh, please.
In order to give us time to find the answer I move we adjourn.
A motion to adjourn takes precedence and cannot be debated.
The meeting is adjourned, sine die.
- We have a motion on the floor! - I'm helpless, Grace, dear.
- Robert's Rules of Order and all that.
- Millicent, you don't understand.
[Muttering] I know a filibuster when I hear one.
- What in the hell are you up to? - I wonder what ever happened to Dr.
Maxwell's report? Maybe it got lost in the mail.
Maybe Maybe he never finished it.
What would you say if I told you I had the item? Maxwell's report? I'd say it was your duty to turn it over to Mrs.
Stanton, so the committee could make its decision.
I've already had an offer of $25,000 for it.
You wouldn't care to get in on the bidding, would you, Congressman? I'd always heard that Remington Steele was a man of integrity but this sounds like a cheap shakedown to me.
There's nothing cheap about $25,000.
Enjoy your last days as a private investigator, Mr.
Steele 'cause I'm gonna have your license lifted.
You've got until Tuesday.
Unless this situation is resolved by then, it's off.
Everything's off! Congratulations! In a few minutes you've managed to destroy what it's taken months to achieve.
Get out! Not so fast, sister! You've been pulling me along after you from the very beginning.
You arranged for me to be on this committee.
You arranged for me to find Maxwell's body.
- Only I crossed you up.
I didn't say it was an accident.
- It was an accident! Then why was my apartment turned inside out? Why was I snatched at gunpoint, my skull creased by some cheap gunsel? - May I ask you a question? - Shoot.
- Why are you talking like that? - Because I'm angry, angel.
I won't play the sap for you.
- This is hopeless.
- I wanna know why Dr.
Maxwell's report was worth $25,000.
- Who offered you 25,000? - Harry Swan.
Hmm.
That's an attractive color you're wearing, Mrs.
Stanton.
- Ashen, I believe.
- How do you know Harry Swan? We're drinking buddies.
- What did he tell you? - First, he told me you were an accomplished liar.
A treacherous, scheming woman not to be trusted.
- He said he'd known you since you were a teenager.
- Mr.
Steele, help me.
- I'm so frightened.
So terribly frightened.
- Of Swan? You don't know him like I do.
It's true.
I lived with him from the time I was 16 until I was 19.
It's not an interlude I'm proud of.
But now that Willis is gone, he wants to come back into my life.
I don't want him.
- I'm repulsed by him.
- What's that got to do with Maxwell's report? He knows how important it is to me, how desperately I need it.
Another survey would take months.
We'd lose Bishop's land, have to start all over again.
Perhaps even return the funds we've already collected.
But if Swan has the report, he knows I'll have to come to him.
He'll have me exactly where he wants me in his debt.
Oh, Mr.
Steele, I'm so afraid.
For all his polish, he's a hideously brutal man.
If it's the money you want, I'll outbid Swan.
But I have so much more to offer.
That you do, Mrs.
Stanton.
That you do.
[Groans] I don't know how he did it.
- Who? - Bogart.
He rolled his own cigarettes in The Maltese Falcon.
Don't you think you're carrying this Sam Spade thing a bit far? It worked splendidly with Grace Stanton.
A few moments with that tough, devious dick, and now she wants to purchase Maxwell's report.
- With what? - She's worth $140 million.
Conservatively speaking.
Murphy found out it's all tied up in trust funds.
She has to get permission before she can spend $500 on anything.
That's why she was so accommodating.
- I guess I owe you an apology.
- Really? Laura, this is a seminal turn in our relationship.
- Usually the apologies run the other way.
- Well, Maxwell was murdered.
Only not in his bathtub.
The autopsy revealed stream water in his lungs containing small traces of D.
D.
T.
He was doing an ecological survey up at that eagle sanctuary.
- Maybe he was killed up there.
- Then we should be going to Lake Solitude.
- We are.
- Oh.
Good thinking, Laura.
What should I do about the car that's following us? - [Both] What car? - The blue Ford.
- It's been with us since we left the agency.
- Shake it, Fred.
Seems we've lost our tail.
Excellent work, Fred.
Actually, it turned into a gas station about two miles back, sir.
Still, you handled this baby beautifully.
- You're not gonna try this again, are you? - No.
Smoking's bad for you anyway.
But I was wondering what do you think I'd look like in a fedora? - What is it, Fred? - It's a flat, sir.
[Groans] [Laura] Is anybody there? [Steele] Excuse me.
Our car seems to have developed a few flats.
Could you send someone to fix it? Not for three, four hours.
- Is there anything we could borrow? - Nope.
- Rent? - I got an old jeep.
Wouldn't know what to charge for it.
- Well, what about - Thirty bucks a day, 15 cents a mile.
You pay the gas and any damage to the vehicle.
There's a great deal of glass on the road back there.
Perhaps someone should clean it up.
I'll lend you a broom.
[Steele] Isn't this invigorating? Crisp mountain air clear blue skies and God's green earth below us.
- You're going a little fast.
- Obviously, I never told you about my Grand Prix days.
- Pump the brake! - I'm pumping! I'm pumping! Pump it.
! - You gotta downshift.
Downshift! - Stop shrieking, Laura.
It's affecting my concentration.
The edge.
! You're getting too close to the edge.
! - Jump! - Are you crazy? We could be killed! Are you all right? Say something! If you can't talk, groan.
The Big Sleep.
Humphrey Bogart.
Lauren Bacall.
Warner Bros.
1946.
- Good God, you're babbling.
- Tacks were deliberately strewn across the road giving Bogart two flat tires and sending him to Art Huck's garage where Canino was lying in wait! - Must be a concussion.
- Laura that glass was placed in the road, so we'd be forced to rent that death trap from Friendly Fritz.
Come on! [Steele] Someone doesn't want us to reach Lake Solitude.
Small puncture in the brake fluid container.
That's why whoever followed us in the Ford turned into that gas station to call ahead and set the whole thing up.
Come on.
We'll hitchhike our way to Lake Solitude.
[Car Approaching] [Clears Throat] - We're in luck.
- How do you figure that? It's all downhill.
[Man] Closing in eight minutes, folks.
We'd like the plat book for the southeastern valley.
Excuse me.
Index in the front.
- [Gate Buzzing] - Listed by section.
[Mutters] Nope, nope, nope, nope.
Chinatown.
I, too, attend an occasional movie.
- Is there another book like this one? - Of course not.
The page has been torn off.
Never happened before that damn movie.
Do you remember a gentleman in his early 50s brown hair, slightly grayish, brown eyes, scraggly mustache? - Uh-uh.
- How 'bout a woman, early 30s tall, blonde, uh, hazel eyes some might call moderately attractive? Jackpot.
She asked for the same plat book you folks did.
- Hmm.
- Hmm.
- [Doorbell Chimes] - Leave everything to me, precious.
Before I'm through, I'll have that little twist singing like a canary.
Oh, Miss Holt.
Mr.
Steele.
So pleased to see you.
- When was the last time you were in Lake Solitude? - I don't know.
Years ago.
You seem to have a lot of trouble with dates.
You told me you hadn't heard from Dr.
Maxwell for over a week but you told the finance committee you spoke to him the day before he died.
Now you tell us you haven't been to Lake Solitude in years only the clerk at the hall of records said you were there three days ago.
Talk, sister.
I want answers and I want 'em fast! I don't have to tell you anything.
So in the parlance of the street, shove it! I apologize for Mr.
Steele.
Sometimes he forgets who he is.
- I don't know what he's accusing me of or why.
- We're really here to help you.
I'm sure you had a compelling reason for tearing that page out of the plat book.
You're going to have to answer sooner or later.
I doubt the police will be as understanding as we are.
It was Swan.
Harry Swan.
He told you I lived with him? Well, he left out the best part.
- I was married to the bum.
- You were Mrs.
Harry Swan? I still am.
When I left him, he promised to get a divorce.
Only now he says he never got around to it.
It slipped his mind.
Then you were never legally married to Willis Stanton? No marriage, no 140 million.
Swan was willing to keep silent in exchange for the money he needed to pay off his back taxes.
He was going to get it from the sale of the land as an eagle sanctuary.
- But I thought Bishop owned that land.
- I sold it to him.
And your name was in the plat book as the previous owner.
How would it look if I sold the committee my own land? - Why would Bishop front for Swan? - I don't know.
But you do know why Dr.
Maxwell was murdered.
He discovered that I sold the land to Bishop threatened to dig deeper, expose the entire charity as a fraud.
- Then you killed him.
- Of course not! It was Swan! He'd never get back into the country without the money.
Why is everybody so anxious to get their hands on the Maxwell report? The committee won't purchase the land without it.
Then I take it you're still interested in it.
- Do you have it? - No.
But I know where I can put my hands on it.
What do you mean you know where you can put your hands on Maxwell's report? - He sent it to you.
- When? Don't you remember? Grace told us both he sent you some material.
- Obviously, it was his report.
- But we never received it.
Didn't we? - Maxwell's report? - Actually, my cleaning bill.
You better hope Vernon has the day off when they find out.
- If we do it right, they won't.
- You're good.
You're very good.
Thank you.
But when this is over, I would like the Sam Spade retired.
- Permanently.
- Oh.
But he's so colorful.
The dialogue just seems to flow right out of me.
If you can't eliminate the flow, the least you can do is cut it down to a trickle.
[Clanging] The front door key.
The murderer must've put it down there and forgot to return it to the flowerpot.
- Swell piece of work, Sam.
- Thanks, angel.
You just managed to smudge any worthwhile prints.
Oh.
Excuse me.
[Steele] I believe the last bid was for 25,000 from Mr.
Swan.
Do I hear 30? I have no intention of bidding for somethin' that rightfully belongs to the committee.
That envelope contains more than Dr.
Maxwell's report.
- It holds the motive for his murder.
- Which was? He found something very damaging at Lake Solitude.
And if the committee didn't purchase that particular piece of property then there was no way Grace could help you buy your way back into the country.
And if Swan wasn't paid off, he would certainly tell about your marriage.
You're the only odd player in this mix, Congressman.
Why would a man of such lofty ideals want to become a front for someone as distasteful as Harry Swan? No offense, Mr.
Swan.
I personally find you quite charming.
I was only lookin' for a refuge for those birds.
Now how we got it was of little moment.
Well, someone's gonna have to take the fall for Maxwell's death.
- Is that necessary, sir? - Fraid so.
Cops get awfully finicky when it comes to murder.
They won't stop digging until they come up with someone.
- Let's give 'em the gunsel.
- Vernon? Why, he's made for it.
Attractive car you have there.
Noticed it when you drove up.
Blue looks good in a Ford.
He tailed us to Lake Solitude.
Probably on your orders.
Tried to get "Precious" and me knocked off with the help of Friendly Fritz from the garage.
That's attempted murder.
It's only a short hop from the real thing.
- Out of the question, sir.
- Why? He's perfect.
Perhaps, but Vernon has the only gun in the room.
No offense, Vernon.
It's all meant as a compliment.
Well, if it wasn't my good friend Vernon there, whom shall it be? - May I throw something into the pot, sir? - Oh, be my guest.
The congressman was secretly representing me to the I.
R.
S in exchange for a generous campaign contribution.
He's planning to run for the senate.
There's nothing illegal about that.
It's done every day.
And the people that I'm tryin' to stop happen to be the biggest contributors to political campaigns.
I gotta take my money where I can get it.
Whoever killed Dr.
Maxwell did it at Lake Solitude.
The autopsy disclosed stream water in his lungs accompanied with minute traces of D.
D.
T.
- D.
D.
T.
That's it.
- What? - The reason Maxwell was killed.
- D.
D.
T.
? That book you gave me, Laura it said one of the major reasons for the bald eagle dying out was the indiscriminate use of D.
D.
T.
It weakens the eggshells, so they can't hatch properly.
And you thought I never did my homework.
Tell me, Congressman.
How many votes do you think that would get you? A leading conservationist selling chemically infested land for a wildlife preserve.
You got a lot of bark, lady, but no bite.
The killer drove the body back here, entered the house using the key Maxwell always kept in the flowerpot outside.
And since there are no scuff marks on the carpet, that effectively clears Grace.
Obviously, she couldn't carry Dr.
Maxwell.
Especially a waterlogged Dr.
Maxwell.
It also exonerates Mr.
Swan and my old pal Vernon.
They weren't acquainted with Dr.
Maxwell and his idiosyncrasies well enough to know that he kept his front door key in a flowerpot.
Tell me, Congressman Would you like to bet your life that this key holds your fingerprints? A head start, sir, say enough time to reach the Mexican border? In that case, the shortest farewells are the best.
Adieu, Mrs.
Stanton.
Come, Vernon.
Let's burn rubber.
If they catch him, he'll tell them we're still married.
It's not so bad being poor, Grace.
- They say it builds character.
- [Sniffs] Doesn't it? [Laura] Here it is.
! [Laura] Here it is.
! Amos Maxwell's report! Returned to post office.
Zip code incorrect.
Don't they know where I live by now? Here's one from Grace Stanton.
Marked "Personal.
" Nice.
A check for $25,000.
Postdated five years hence.
[Chuckles] A way to ensure our silence? [Imitating Bogart] What would Sam Spade do in a situation like this? Back to that again, are we? You know, you're disturbingly convincing as a slightly shady shamus.
A role I was born to play.
But I suppose it's time to put the trappings of artifice aside and return to the real me.
Remington Steele.
Adieu, Sam.
[Mews]