We last left our heroes standing impotently on a sidewalk while their client is kidnapped in Little Tokyo. Seems like a convenient way to close the case, but that’s not Laura’s style.
The scene opens on Bernice. She’s
talking to berating someone on the phone. “Who is this? Would you stop saying that? Come on, bub, what is it you really want?”
Better brush up on your phone skills, Bernice. No wonder the waiting room is empty.
“Ooooohhh,” she groans. I’m guessing it must be Steele, finally delivering the punch line to his lame cat-on-the-roof joke.
Nope! Here comes Laura – in the lead, natch – trailed by Murphy and Steele. She wants to know if Dickerson has shown up yet.
Bernice follows Laura to her office, declaring she wants the office phone number changed. THAT should improve business.
“Some creep’s been calling every 10 minutes for the past two hours, and he just won’t quit.”
“Obscene?” Laura asks, a little eagerly. (Her sex life has been a little dry lately.)
Obscene, Bernice can handle. “But no heavy breathing, no lewd suggestions, just one line, over and over,” she explains.
Let me guess: “How would you like to save 20% on your monthly phone bill?”
Laura wants to know what the line is.
“You’re still the one for me,” Bernice replies. (I had no idea they had that sort of relationship.)
Mr. Steele is touched (and perhaps a little turned on). “It’s really a rather nice sentiment, when you think about it.”
Just then the phone rings again. Mr. Steele reminds Bernice of her duty, while Murphy thumbs through his messages.
Mr. Steele takes charge. “I’ll handle this!”
Wow. Lois Lane has really let herself go. Ah, it’s not Lois. It’s some guy sight-reading from a notebook: “You’re Steele the one for me.”
“That’s right,” Steele answers with grim authority.
Meanwhile, Murphy is still reading his messages. Who are all these messages from? Why does it take him so long to read them? Both are mysteries more compelling than the present case.
“The one for me,” notLois says. “Come to 331 half first street.”
Mr. Steele waves away Bernice’s offer of a pen. “What was that again?”
He pulls out his OWN trust notebook and pen.
“Can you tell me what-“
NotLois is not interested in continuing the conversation.
“Certainly wasn’t a touching sentiment,” Steele reports.
Aaaannnnd … the scene fades.
Well, this bit is at least marginally more interesting than the last one. We see Laura fully in charge here, though seemingly not overly concerned about her missing client. Did they even call the police to report the abduction, I wonder? Murphy seems very passive here. He pays little attention when Steele grabs the phone and seems pretty disengaged from Bernice’s complaints about the mystery caller. Could he be brooding about being so marginalized in this case?