… Mr. Steele is getting ready for his dates! The doorbell buzzes, and he goes to answer it.
Outside his bedroom window, something suspicious is afoot!
It’s Laura at the door – but where is Abigail? Laura explains her mother is downstairs in the car. Steele apologizes for not being dressed yet.
“Pleasant reunion?” he asks.
“Just peachy,” she answers. “Do you have any aspirin?”
You’ve got to stop letting your mother get to you like this, Laura!
Back in the bedroom, the sneak is sneaking in!
The masked figure crosses he room and closes the door, then turns …
… and reveals her secret identity. Katherine!Felicia!
Back in the living room, Laura is pressing Steele for an explanation of why he didn’t want to take the nekkid ladies case. (Apparently they don’t care that Abigail is sitting in the car, thumbs twiddling.)
“Why, the curse, of course,” he answers. Laura didn’t think he was the superstitious type.
“A minor flaw in an otherwise stainless Steele.”
Oh, Mr. Steele. You are a wit!
Meanwhile, back in the bedroom …
The lady who wants to steal the nekked ladies is getting nekkid herself.
In the other room, we hear Mr. Steele is enumerating other people’s phobias: “For some it’s walking under ladders, black cats, opening umbrellas indoors …”
“For you it just happens to be paintings with curses.”
Apparently cursed paintings are fairly common. Want to know more? Here’s a website: http://www.csicop.org/si/show/curse_that_painting
“Particularly those with a track record.”
“Tell me: How do you feel about Irish names? Any favorites?”
“Irish names … Hm. I once knew an O’Casey I was rather fond of.” Mr. Steele develops a sudden, passionate interest in the inventory of his liquor tray.
“How about an O’Leary?” Laura asks.
Just then …
KatherineFelicia appears in the bedroom doorway, casually dressed. (You vixen!)
“I’m sorry, darling,” she purr. “I didn’t know you were expecting someone else.”
“I’m a touch surprised myself.”
Well. This is awkward.
“Miss … Bolt, isn’t it?”
“Is she here on business, or did you have something wicked in mind?”
Oh, YOU’RE the wicked one, Felicia.
Laura plays it cool; she won’t have this icy bedroom blonde thinking she’s a prude. “Sounds like fun, but I have my mother downstairs.”
“Ooh, that’s too kinky for my blood!” Felicia smirks (somehow I doubt it). Mr. Steele seems to find this repartee rather painful.
“I won’t hold up the action any longer. I’ll give mother your apologies, Mr. Steele.” She turns to leave.
“Laura, would you believe me if I said I have absolutely no idea how that woman got into my bedroom or my bathrobe?”
“Not a chance.”
She jerks the door open, apparently hitting Mr. Steele’s bare toe on the way out.
“Just thought I’d ask,” he grimaces as she departs.
Outside the apartment, Laura leans against the wall. She is sad.
Then she’s MAD.
She goes to the elevator and presses the button.
The car is previously occupied, by some guy who is looking curiously relaxed as he lounges against the back.
When he sees her, he springs!
He covers her face with a rag. Presumably it’s soaked with chloroform.
Apparently chloroform is fairly easy to make; you can find recipes on the Internet. (Don’t do it!). According to some website that apparently promotes the legalization of drugs, the effects of chloroform are as follows: ” First your extremeties begin to go numb; next your vision and hearing begin to fail. Complete unconsciousness sets in a few seconds later, provided you keep breathing. Recovery generally occurs as soon as the chloroform is removed, though it may be a few minutes before the user feels completely normal.” Okay, then.
That certainly seems to be the effect it’s had on Laura as the elevator door closes. What a cliffhanger!
This scene contains both comedy and pathos. I have to feel for Laura, who has had a bad day already. She’s no doubt worried about how the dinner with Steele and her mother will go, Murphy’s insinuations are weighing heavily on her … and now she’s humiliated by Steele’s bedroom bunny. She must wonder how he acted fast enough to seduce the woman from the museum, who looks a lot less nerdy out of her lab coat and glasses. And who’s this guy in the elevator?