The opening of the next scene finds us on a sunny California highway.
The Steele agency limo approaches, presumably en route to LAX.
Indeed, we next see Mr. Steele and Arnoch comfortably ensconced in the backseat. Curiously, they are suddenly in a far more developed part of town, judging from the buildings visible in the rear window.
Mr. Steele hands Emery his plane ticket, along with an apology for all the fuss and bother. “I’m sorry this has been something of an ordeal for you, Emery.”
Arnoch concedes he’s looking forward to boarding the plane.
As he takes the ticket jacket, something drops out. Whatever can it be?
Arnoch and Steele peruse it … is it a note?
Nope! It’s a copy of the photo of Cynthia’s “Donna Rice” pose. Emery remarks that it’s a shame about Cynthia … and it’s a nice boat.
A nice boat that just happens to be named …
Steele and Arnoch realize that Creepy Izzy (RIP) wasn’t wishing them a jaunty farewell when he bit the dust – he was offering up a clue! Arnoch takes charge of the situation:
“Fred, turn this car around and head for the marina!”
Steele expresses surprise – Arnoch is sure to miss his flight again!
“Damn it, man!” Emery retorts. “You can’t expect me to pass up a lead like this after all we’ve been through!”
“You heard the man, Fred! To the marina – at once!”
Meanwhile, back at George Kaplan’s apartment …
The be-caftaned building manager is letting in another guest. “That must have been some party you all threw for Mr. Kaplan,” she notes.
The guest turns out to be Laura, who explains she left her glasses somewhere in the apartment. Just then: another arrival!
Murphy! Long time no see! Laura explains to the super that Murph’s with her.
“Wish I could say the same,” the lady drools. (Well, if things don’t work out with Laura, I think you’ve got a sure thing here, Murphy!)
But it seems Murphy is not seduced by the woman’s wiles!
Meanwhile, back at the marina …
We are treated to a gratuitous lady butt shot. Sorry, not interested.
But here come Steele and Arnoch – purposeful, and over-dressed.
Steele spies their prey!
Tootle is a variant of toddle, both meaning ‘walk in a leisurely manner’. Toddle, which is really the base word which leads eventually to toodle-oo, is moderately old and makes an appearance in print in Allan Ramsay’s The tea-table miscellany, or a collection of Scots songs, 1724: “Could na my love come todlen hame.” [toddling home]. The first known record of toodle-oo came … in a 1907 edition of Punch magazine. (Thank you, The Phrase Finder!)
Steele, with his mind perhaps not entirely on business, advances on the Toodle-Loo (the boat, not the bikini babe) …
… and boards her! (the boat, not the bikini babe). He is followed by Arnoch. Incidentally, by Mr. Steele’s watch, I make the time at just about noon.
Steele begins a thorough search of the bridge.
He unrolls the scroll and reclines, crossing his legs in the European style, to study it.
In this country, many fellows seem to deem it not quite manly to sit with crossed legs. Our friends at GQ – who as you’ll recall published Fashion Handbook: A Comprehensive Advisor for Year Round Wardrobe Guidance – have some ambivalence on the topic. However, their etiquette columnist defers to one John H. Young, author of Our Department (c. 1881), who has this to say: “He may sit cross-legged if he wish, but should not sit with his knees far apart, nor with his foot on his knee.”
Steele points (though not to the circled X, strangely enough) to an area on the map. “I make it about two miles off shore, north by northwest.”
Oh ho! A sly reference, that one!
The resourceful Mr. Steele proceeds to hot-wire the boat.
Meanwhile, Arnoch confesses he’s “not good on boats.”
“Well, let’s lean over that bridge when we come to it, eh, Emery?” Steele consoles him.
This is getting WAY long, so I’ll cut it here. Here we find Mr. Steele with the best of intentions, willing to delivery Arnoch to the airport as Laura commanded – but Emery insisted on jumping back into the chase. I believe Mr. Steele is a good boy led astray by bad companions! Once he decides to “go for it,” he does so with gusto! Both Steele and Arnoch seem to be thoroughly enjoying themselves here, gleeful to have discovered a clue to the mystery. Steele could have called Laura from the car phone – but where’s the fun in that? Now he has a chance to REALLY impress her by solving the case himself! Oh, Mr. Steele. I fear this may not end well. Share your thoughts on this humorous segment!