Tag Archives: Holt

Steele Trap – 17

In response to the bloodcurdling cry …

almosteverybodyleaves

… everyone hurries to see what’s going on.

randibentover

They find Randi upstairs.

areyouallright

Feldman is the first to reach her. “Are you all right, Randi?” he asks.
Sorry, Feldie. You’re not the droid she’s looking for,

Iwalkedin
She races into Steele’s arms.

clammygrabbedme

“I walked in, and something clammy grabbed me!”

You mean THIS clammy?

wetnylons

They hurray into Steele’s room. Apparently Laura left some of her lingerie on the line. My, what long legs you have, Nurse Groggins!

Safety tip: Nylon is highly flammable. Watch where you’re waving that candelabra, Feldman!

He’s not worried.

oddplace

“Ugh,” he says. “They’re wet.”

“Odd place for Miss Groggins to hang her laundry,” Steele comments.

whoputthemthere

Fortunately, Detective Feldman has taken the lead on this investigation: “Yes. If she’s the one who put them there.”
Silent Partner suggests they ask Myrt – er, Laura.

But wait! Something is wrong here!

whereisshe

“Where is she?”
thoughtshewasbehind
Madeline says she thought Laura was right behind her. Nope.
feldmantakesthelead
The group heads out to try to find the missing nurse. Naturally, heroic Feldman is in the lead.

ohdearlauracorpse

Oh, dear. Lying down on the job, Laura?

standback

Dr. Bellows tells everybody to stand back.

letaprofessional
After all, he’s the medical professional here.

musthavefallen

“She must have fallen in the commotion,” Detective Feldman surmises.

orwaspushed

Randi thinks maybe she was pushed.

checkherpulse

Steele places his fingers on Laura’s delicate neck. Bad news.

myrtlelauragroggins

“I’m afraid we shall never know. Myrtle Laura Groggins is … dead.”

stoopstopickherup

Mr. Steele gallantly picks up the corpse.

carriesherupstairs

He carries her upstairs …

thatlooksuncomfortrable

… into his bedroom … (Note: I’d think that pose would be hard on Stephanie Zimbalist’s neck.)

groanswitheffort

.. lays her gently on the bed …

puttingonweight

… and quietly insults her.  “Putting on a little weight, aren’t we?”

glare

Oh, you’ll pay for that one, Mr. Steele.

hopeyouarethelastvictim

Tenderly, he arranges a pillow underneath her head. “I certainly hope you’re the last victim,” he whispers. “We’re beginning to run out of rooms.”

patsherhand

He arranges her arms over her chest and, solemnly, leaves the room.

sadGlenn

Aw. So sad.

 

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Steele Trap – 16

Just then,

bringcandles

Laura and the boys return bearing candelabras.

turnoffgenerator

As the lights flicker again, Silent Partner pronounces, “I’m gonna turn off the generator.”

Feldman asks if Dominic wants company on his journey. Nope.

broughtafriend

He’s brought a friend. (and a cummerbund!) Meanwhile, back on the dance floor …

continueourgyrations

Steele has an indecent proposal for Randi: “Why don’t we continue our gyrations up in my room? You slip away now, and I join you at the propitious moment?”
propitiousmoment

I’m going to assume Randi thinks “propitious” is something kinky.

honeyinthekitchen
Yep. “You didn’t happen to notice if there was any honey in the kitchen, did you?”

Illcheck
Artie promises he’ll check. Randi heads off for the rendezvous.

lightsout

Laura and Feldman are still putting finishing touches on the mood lighting.

steeleobserves

Steele appears to ponder a moment, then moves to join Laura.

finishthisdance

“Care to finish this dance, Myrtle?” Oops. Try again, Mr. Steele.

ecusemelaura

“Excuse me. Laura.”

ketchup

As they prepare to trip the faltering light fantastic, Steele is apparently pondering how condiments other than honey can be sexy. “Is the ketchup still on the dining room table?”
littlelessphony
Laura is fretful “I wish we could find something a little less phony.” Is she referring to the ketchup, or her dancing partner?
nooneabletotell
“No one will be able to tell.” Something tells me he’s done something like this before.

Just then the lights go out.

darkpianist

Good thing Madge plays by ear. The sudden darkness is accompanied by a piercing scream.

anotherscreamagain

Here we go again!

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Steele Trap – 15

After Laura leaves with the guys, Mr. Steele’s sexual frustration reaches a point of desperation …

readytodoit

“Ready to do it, Miss Russell?”
whatsheasks
Even Mrs. Roper seems taken aback by his boldness.”What?”

“Dance.”
alotmorethanthat
Randy Randi says she’s ready to do a lot more than that, “…but if it gets the ball rolling”
There’s that ball again. Who knew Mr. Steele was so athletic!

thatstheidea
“That’s the idea,” he answers. Randi seems very tickled.

docandIwanttoance
They approach poor wallflower Madeline, still making love to her piano.
somethingwecangropeto

“The doc and I want to dance. Play something we can grope to,” Randi demands.

The lady reminds them she doesn’t take requests.
especiallyforoldtimesake
“Not even for old times’ sake?” Randi asks.
“Especially for old times sake.”
donttakeitoutonme
“Hey, don’t take it out on me,” Randi smirks. “I’m not the one who shafted you. You wanna get even with someone, go shove some more garbage down Ambrose’s throat. That is, if you didn’t do it the first time.”
lookwhostalking
“Look who’s talking,” Madeline counters.
Oh, boy …

catfight

Cat fight!

werentonthebestofterms
“I take it you and Mr. Blinn weren’t on the best of terms,” Steele observes.

hewasalowlife
“He was a lowlife. A sick growth.”
whyacceptinvitation
Mr. Steele wants to know why she accepted the playboy’s invitation, then.

heowedme
“He owed me.”

Randi’s had enough of the chitchat.

yoursadstory

“Artie doesn’t wanna hear your sad story, Madeline.”

Wrong again, Randi!

onthecontrary

“On the contrary,” Steele mutters. “Artie’s fascinated.”
Beats having to bump and grind with Randi, I guess.

whatabore

Randi is a little disappointed at this news. Madeline launches into her exposition sob story.

soldtherecordcompany

“Two years ago, Ambrose formed a record company. Just for me. Six months later, he folded it. Said he couldn’t GIVE my albums away.”

sleazylittleclubs
” I was reduced to playing sleezy little clubs in the Valley.”

youhadyourshot

“You had your shot, Madeline,” Randi taunts. (Let’s hope it was a shot of penicillin.) “More than most.”
wantedanother
“I wanted another. Besides, he owed me, after all I did for him.”
Again with the “owed” bit. Gonna spill, Madge?

doforhim
“What did you do for him, Madeline?” Steele asks.
howthis
“How’s this?” she answers, and begins playing a familiar tune.

strokethoseabs
Getting the hint, Art and Randi hit the dance floor. Something tells me Randi is into dirty dancing.

whatdidmadeline

“What DID Madeline do for Ambrose?” Steele asks as Randi pulls him into a clinch.
randisings
Bizarrely, Randi begins singing the words to the song Madeline is playing: “It’s the wrong time, and the wrong place.”

behindthescenes“It’s All Right With Me,” written by Cole Porter for the 1953 musical, “Can-Can,” was later used in the musical, “High Society,” where it was sung by the character – wait for it – Tracy Lord.

 

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Steele Trap – 13

 

Some time later …

itsobvious

Mr. Steele and his inamorata are getting dressed (after an off-screen quickie? Alas, no.)

Steele says, “Well, it’s obvious that we can’t keep our eye on everyone.”

baggedhislimit
Laura, wearing some kind of harem costume, suggests, “Maybe our killer has bagged his limit. There won’t be anymore victims.”

Okay, then. Let’s just put all this unpleasantness behind us an enjoy the rest of the weekend. But Steele is not convinced.

atleastonemore

“There should be at least one more.”

Laura wants to know how he’s so certain.
whoitshouldbe
“Because I know who it should be.”
illbite
“Al’ right, I’ll bite.” Oh, NOW she’s in the mood? That’s a little kinky, Laura. Turns out she only wants to know who he’s talking about.

younext
“You.”

andthentherewerenone

Well, then. Just because she won’t sleep with you is no reason to want her dead, Steele. Don’t be petty.

barryfitzgeraland

Steele explains himself. “And Then There Were None.”

freetosearch

“Barry Fitzgerald and Walter Huston faked Fitzgerald’s death. With everyone believing that he was just another victim, he was free to search for the killer.”

If Laura expects Steele to bone up on detective techniques, she might at least familiarize herself with HIS area of expertise. Fair is fair.

believemelaura

But Laura doesn’t seem to see the point.  “Believe me, Laura, it will work” Steele calls after her.

pronouncesyoudead

“When Dr. Arthur Bellows pronounces you dead, who’ll question it?”

whowillquestion

“With everyone downstairs, you’ll be free to go through their rooms and search for evidence.”

peekingagain

Not getting a response, he stoops to peeping. Oh, Mr. Steele.

DisappointedIAm

Disappointed, I am.

caughtpeeping

“You’ll be able to- watch their every move without them knowing it,” he as, just as she opens the door.
losesomething
“Lose something?” she asks.

Yes. I believe that would be his dignity.

cufflink

“Uh … cufflink,” he confabulates. (You can usually come up with something better than that, Mr. Steele!)  Oh, here it is.” Fortunately, Detective Steele doesn’t want to see evidence. Is she slipping, or feeling magnanimous. The latter, apparently.
planisbrilliant
“Your plan is brilliant,” she concedes.
itsfromamovie
“Of course it is. It’s from movie.”
DoctorDuh

Duh.

oneflaw
“Except for one flaw.”
If you mean that you can’t be killed again, since you’re already a fashion fatality, I’m inclined to agree, Laura.

whatflaw
“Flaw?”
killerwillknow
“The killer will know he or she didn’t kill me.”
Look at that bouncy hair.

wowhair

Just look at it!

thatswhyitworked
“Hmm. THAT’S why it worked in the movie,” Steele remembers. “Barry Fitzgerald was the killer.”
Wait.

going-my-way-fitzgerald

Father FitzGibbon from “Going My Way” is a killer? Does Bing Crosby know?

unless
However, Laura has a refinement to the plan. “Unless-”
deathisanaccident
“… my death is an accident.”
youvedoneitagain
Mr. Steele is impressed with her ingenuity. At least, I think it’s her ingenuity he’s impressed by.

savedtheday

“Laura, you’ve done it again,” he gushes.

inspired

“Saved the day with your analytical approach …”

inventiveness

“…  your inspired inventiveness…”

whatsaywee

Apparently Mr. Steele’s admiration for Laura has exhausted him.

takealittlerest
“What say we take a little rest before we launch into this strenuous plan of yours?”

She’s not tired, though.

nottired
“Perfect. Neither am I.”
Side note: Another sign of how things have changed in the 30-odd years since Steele aired. I’m pretty sure this little comedy bit of Mr. Steele trying to coerce Laura into having sex with him wouldn’t fly in 2015.

Turns out, it doesn’t fly (with Laura, at least) in 1983, either.

lauraescapes
“We’ll need some kind of diversion,” she diverts him.

wearingpantyhose

A clearly frustrated Mr. Streele starts spouting nonsense. “Are you wearing pantyhose, by any chance?”

She is. Steele has a suggestion.

strip

“Strip.”

quitetheproposition

!

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Steele Trap – 12

Back from vacation! Meanwhile, Mr. Steele and Laura’s not-s0-romantic getaway seems to go on and on …

steelefilming

We see Mr. Steele manning a video camera. What kinky business is this, sir?

crimescene

The camera pans back to reveal Laura’s reflection in the mirror, rifling a closet.  The trail of feathers reveals that they are in the late Miss May’s room. Wait. Was the camera there when they discovered the body? If so, might they not check the video footage to see if the murder was recorded?

Steele is musing on the case.  “More than one killer. “Do you think that’s possible?” he asks.

poeticbent

“Whoever it is has a certain poetic bent,” Laura responds. Steele doesn’t get it; Laura expounds.

irritatingpropensity

“Well, Ambrose Blinn was accused of publishing garbage, and he was choked to death with it,” Laura explained.

“And Cindi Sykes, who had an irritating propensity for giggling…” Steele jumps in, catching the drift.

“…giggled herself to death,” Laura concludes.

anycandidates

“Any candidates?” Steele inquires.

Laura notes that none of the guests seem overly fond of their host.

fartoovaculous

“That might account for Blinn’s death, but what about Cindi?” Steele asks. “I hate to speak ill of the dead, but she seemed far too vacuous to do anything that might drive someone to murder.”

Laura has an answer for that.

didreplacerandi

“She did replace Randi in Blinn’s affections.”

Steele isn’t convinced.

echanginganecdotes

“Yes, but you should have heard the two of them over dinner, exchanging anecdotes over Blinn’s sexual preferences like so many recipes,” Steele says with a tone of distaste.

Hm. It seems a life of hedonism isn’t as appealing to Mr. Steele as he perhaps anticipated.

honeything

“Are you familiar with the honey thing?” he asks Laura.

honeyawkward

At Laura’s blank look, he elaborates.

heatabowl

“Apparently you heat a bowl of honey …”

walnuts

“… then take half a pound of shredded walnuts…”

anotherscream

Steele’s recipe recitation is interrupted by a piercing scream.

investigating

The detectives race from the scene of one crime to what is presumably the scene of another …

thatbreckbounceagain

As they race toward the piercing shriek, we again observe the Breck bounce in Laura’s luscious tresses.

randomalertbreckbounce. The Breck Bounce was supposedly caused by a mysterious substance called Sartron that made Breck conditioner extraordinary. Strangely, I can’t find evidence of any ingredient called Sartron in a Google search. Hmmmm.

laurainthelead

Although Steele was in the lead in the previous frame, we find Laura well ahead of him on the way down the stairs. We hear shouting and shrieking in the background.

whenrandiattacks

At last they come upon the scene, finding Silent Partner and Mrs. Roper assaulting each other with blunt objects.

“Help me! He’s trying to kill me!” Randi is screaming.  “He came at me with that pool cue!”

Silent Partner says she’s crazy. He claims she came at HIM with a poker.

liar

“LIAR!”
slut
“Slut!”

Yes, but how do you REALLY feel?

pornographer
Randi prepares to deal a death blow. “Pornographer!”
biggeststar
“You should know. You were my biggest star.”

Well! Things grow more sordid by the minute!

warmforafire

Laura’s had enough.  She wrestles the weapon away from Randi. Look how lush and shiny Laura’s hair is. That Sartron stuff really works!

“A little warm for a fire, Miss Russell,” she quips.

askhim

“Ask him what he was doing in here, going through Ambrose’s desk,” Randi suggests.

lookatthebooks

“I wanted a look at the books,” Dominic says.
why
“Why?” Steele wants to know.

forgothowtoadd

Silent Partner explains that he put up the green to back these clubs (you mean there’s more than one?). “We were supposed to be partners, 50-50. Only Ambrose forgot how to add when it came to my share! So I wanted to see just how much he snookered me out of!”

Oh, that’s a SNOOKER cue, not a pool cue.

howsthatforamotive
“How’s that for a motive?” Randi suggests.

fineformbrose

“It’s fine for Ambrose,” Laura tells her. “But it still leaves Cindi.”

Mrs. Roper has an answer for that one, too.
cominontoher
“All last night, he was comin on to her, tryin’ to get her to go upstairs with him.”

uglyface

“She just looked in his ugly face and said if she wanted an animal, she’d go to the zoo!”

hurthisfeelings

Aw. Now you’ve hurt his feelings.

SilentAttack

He makes a lunch toward Randi. Unfortunately, Laura and Steele get between the combatants and keep them from murdering each other.

whataboutyou

“What about you? What about you?” Silent Partner protests. “Ambrose kicked you out on your kazoo!”

toadface

“Don’t be too sure, toad face,” Randi sneers, making a toadish face of her own.

realwoman

“I got invited here, didn’t I?! Maybe Ambrose missed a REAL woman.”

Laura looks dubious at this suggestion.

aintmorethan10percent

“There ain’t more than ten percent of you that’s real.”

Touche!

peoipleplease

Randi tries to muscle out of Laura’s grasp. Mr. Steele has had enough. “People, PLEASE!” Steele demands.

morecivilized

“Let’s confine ourselves to name calling! It’s far more civilized.”

So presumably this chaotic scene is meant to make us believe that either Randi or Dominic is the murderer. What do you think?

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Steele Trap – 10

Back on the island, the Easter egg hunt is in full swing!

Ambrosehecalls

And speaking of swinging, Randi seems eager to swing with Steele. Our detective, however, is all business.

“Ambrose!” Steele shouts.

blindmansbluff

“It’s just like Blind Man’s Bluff,” Randi gushes. Wait. I thought it was an Easter egg hunt.  “Come out, come out, wherever you are!” she calls.
ambroseshecallsagain.jp[g
“Ambrose! Mr. Blinn!” Mr. Steele calls again. He seems a little uneasy at Randi’s talons nails affixed to his sleeve.
ummissrussell

Steele decides it’s time to get up close and personal with his former patient.   “Miss Russell, refresh my memory. When exactly did I …”
refreshmymemory
“… er …

And now they’re playing charades, it seems.

twoyearsago

“Two years ago,” she says. She laughs. “I’m really very naughty.”

stunned

I’m stunned. So is Steele.

personallifeisyourown

“Your personal life is your own,” Mr. Steele assures her.
drharry
“No, no. I mean, Dr. Harvey Bernbaum was supposed to do the operation, but he got in a fender bender
on the way to the hospital.”

sinceIwasprepped

Since I was all prepped and everything, he asked if you could take over for him. So you probably never even knew my name.”

neverknewmyname

Something tells me a lot of the gentlemen Randi interacts with never bother to learn her name.

neveractuallymetbefore

Randi seems to have a special attachment to her doctor. I believe this is called “transference.” Or maybe “promiscuity.”

“So we’ve never actually met before, except in the operating room,” she explains.

behindasurgicalmask

“And me behind a surgical mask.” Randi seems eagers to find out what’s behind Steele’s mask clothing.
whenIcameto
“When I came to, there was Dr. Bernbaum.  And as soon as I got out of the hospital, I went straight to Switzerland …”

thankyouproperly

“… and I never got a chance to thank you properly.”

No problem. He accepts cash, Visa cards and money orders. No personal checks, please.

suddenattack

Oh. She means that kind of thanks. Pretty sure he’d prefer cash.

atackle

I may be wrong, but I don’t think Steele is into her.

abondscene

And now we’re playing … Twister?

thisisfun

“This is FUN!” Randi declares. Steele seems … doubtful.

anothersmooch

Randi attacks again.

manofmedicine
When she comes up for air, Mr. Steele tries desperately to protect his virtue. “Miss Russell, please! I’m a man of medicine”

shedoesntcare

And Randi wants to play doctor.

lookingforescape

Steele writhes … in passion? I don’t think so.  Struggling to escape, he throws out one arm.

wellwornshoes

Hm. It appears Mr. Steele would rather play footsy with someone else. Wait a minute!

missrussell

“Uh, Miss Russell-”

lookoverthere

He gives his discovery a pointed glance. Randi finally notices.

eeeeek

Is this what Randi looks like when she’s aroused?

Nope. She looks like that when she’s screaming.

heardascream

Meanwhile, Laura and Feldman are beating the bushes. They hear Randi’s scream …

theyruntothescene

… and run to see what’s going on.

examiningthebody

They  find Steele’s bending over the body as Randi stands nearby. “Ambrose,” Feldman identifies.
somuchpathos
“He’s dead,” Randi says, displaying the whole gamut of emotions, from A to B.

lauraglares

Laura, looking grim, joins Steele.

none

“And then there were none,” Steele confides.

whatimafraidof

“That’s what I’m afraid of,” his partner answers.

barryfitzgerald

“No,” Steele corrects her. “The movie.”
comingunhinged
“What movie?”
forgodssakejpg
“Barry Fitzgerald, Walter Huston, Louis Hayward, June Depree, for God’s sake.”
Laura, who apparently has forgotten Mr. Steele is a film buff, grows impatient.

comingunhinged
“Get a grip on yourself. You’re coming unhinged.”
But Steele persists.

luredtoaremoteisland
“A group of people are lured to a remote island and systematically murdered.”

crazedkiller

“Laura,” he concludes, “We’re trapped on this island with a crazed killer.”

okaythen

Laura ponders his ominous words …

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Steele Trap – 9

NOTE: Sorry my posts have been so sporadic. Technology issues. Anyway, we last left Mr. Steele performing an ad-hoc post-mortem on Miss May, diagnosing a fatal case of the giggles.

sequins

We now join the crowd apparently some time later. Madeline is boozing again. Hey, it’s 5:00 somewhere.

howcananyonebetickledtodeath

She wants to know how someone can be tickled to death.  I want to know why she’s wearing that godawful caftan.

wavethatfeather

Steele, having secured the murder weapon as a fetching accessory to his daytime ensemble,  seems distracted. “Hmm?”

imafraid

“How? How.”

fartootechnical

“I’m afraid the explanation is far too technical for you laymen,” he says.

Ugh. Why do doctors always act like they know everything.

doctorclever

Okay, then.

Nevertheless, our man Feldman isn’t intimidated. He has an explanation of his own!

mybrothertellingme

“I remember my brother telling me that laughter temporarily cuts off the air supply to the lungs,” Feldman offers, as Steele continues his little tap dance.

temporarilycutsoffair.

“Therefore, prolonged laughter could, conceiveably, induce a form of asphixiation.”

substantiallcorrect

“Am I substantially correct, Doctor?”

Idontknow

That’s what I figured.

However, Dr. Bellowsteele is prepared to bluff.

sometimeswish

“I sometimes wish that we gentlemen of the medical profession were half as concise as you gentlemen of the bar.”

Indeed. Lawyers are known for their brevity.

whodaman

Squeee! Feldman got a compliment! Who da man?

youdaman

HE da man!

Meanwhile, back to the crime …

Ialwaysthought
“Tickled to death,” Randi notes. “And I always thought that was just something you said when you were happy.”

happySteele

Steele is curiously amused by this statement.  He begins to explain how he arrived at the death-by-chuckles explanation. “I heard Mr. Blinn and Miss Sikes around three this morning.”

inthethroes

“Found myself in the throes of …” Careful, doc. Nurse Groggins looks a little testy this morning. Presumably because she’s realized how ridiculous her jumpsuit is.

backproblems

“Some back problems.”

wellplayed

Well played, sir.

excruciating

“Attempted to walk off the excruciating pain,” he continues under Laura’s watchful eye.

mountofpain

“Miss Sikes was giggling her way to ecstasy.”

anaccident
“Are you saying it was an accident, doctor?” Feldman asks.

tiredofwaiting

Mr. Steele is prepared to expound on his theory. “In the heat of passion, in the grip of heavenly transport, perhaps Mr. Blinn simply got carried away and didn’t know what he was doing – or when to stop.”

Laura seems a little uncomfortable back there. I wonder why?

ambrosefreak
“Ambrose Blinn is a sadistic FREAK,” Madeline says. Perhaps. But I think we can assume anyone who would wear that outfit is a MASOchistic freak, Madge.

painundertheguise

“Well, he likes to inflict pain under the guise of pleasure,” Feldman agrees.

Um … and you know that how?

justthesortofthing

“This is just the sort of thing he’d come up with,” Randi affirms.

Perhaps because she’s had NO sadistic fun this weekend, Laura has had enough of this guessing game.

findourhost

“I think we should find our host,” she announces.

putthequestion

“Put the question of what happened to him.”

letssplitup

Feldman is eager. “Good. Let’s split up.”

moreefficient

“It’ll be more efficient that way. Some of us search the grounds, others take the house.”

IwantBellows

“I want Dr. Bellows for a partner!” Randi exclaims excitedly. Hurray for murder!

notaneven

Steele seems amenable, but Feldman is irked. “Randi, this is not an Easter egg hunt.”

Well, Laura’s dressed a little like an Easter egg. Close enough.

contest

Randy Randi and Suave Steele exit stage right.

FeldmantakesLaura

Feldman claims Laura.

exitstageright

And Silent Partner, who has been lurking in the background all this time, hurries out a side door, apparently to avoid having to partner with Madeline.

The game is afoot!

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Steele Trap – 8

We left Laura pouting in the loo and Steele out of luck. Some time later …

gigglingsound

The sound of giggling ripples through the house.

steelepeeksout

As it persists, Mr. Steele peeks around a corner. So we can assume it’s not Laura giggling, then.

whattaplace

Steele returns to the Bellows/Groggins suite, apparently wondering why someone other than him is apparently getting so lucky this night.

Lauraissleeping

We discover that Laura seems to have claimed the bed. Steele steals over for a look at his sleeping beauty.

agentletouch

He gives her a gentle brush of his hand on her check; she doesn’t stir.

akiss

Then, he bends further to drop a tender kiss on her temple.

howromantic

Awwww.

reluctantlyleaves

Reluctantly, Mr. Steele leaves her side and, in the age-old tradition of men in the doghouse …

sleepingonthecouch

… takes up residence on the couch.

NOTE: Steele’s tenderness in this scene, when Laura isn’t awake to appreciate it, makes one wonder how deep his feelings for her run. Is the conman already in love with the lady?

After a no-doubt very uncomfortable night, the detectives are awakened by someone banging down the hall.

ohbehave2

Get your mind out of the gutter. I didn’t mean that kind of banging.

poundinginthehall

It’s Feldman, pounding on one of the room doors. The rest of the gang hovers around him.

steeledressed

Laura and Steele appear, already dressed. (In Steele’s case, dressed stylishly. In Laura’s case … oof.) The detectives follow  trail of feathers to their destination. Has someone slaughtered a flamingo in here?

.

openup

Feldman is calling for Ambrose to open up.

pushysilentprtner

Suddenly the Silent Partner appears and boorishly pushes his way to the front of the line. Feldman continues to holler at Ambrose, demanding to know what he and Cindi are doing in there. (Didn’t he read the brochure?)

“Perhaps they overslept,” Mr. Steele offers. “They were up rather late last night.”

kickdoorin

Silent Partner silently kicks open the doors. Now THERE’S a man of action!

doorsswingopen

The party enters the room and find …

shesdead

… the nekkid corpse of Miss May, with plumage strategically arranged.

howdidshedie

“She’s dead,” Randi declares astutely. (Maybe Laura should hire her for the agency.)

Feldman asks Dr. Bellows how she died.

Mr. Steele ponders the possibilities and offers a succinct diagnosis: “Uh. Um.” (Must be some tropical disease.)

impossibletosay

Laura steps in. “That’s probably impossible to tell without an autopsy. Am I right, Doctor?” she says.

Feldman demands that the medical expert make an educated guess. Steele is prepared to oblige him.

heresyourcauseofdeath

He picks up a deadly weapon. “Here’s your cause of death.”

afeather

Madeline seems a bit skeptical, but Steele forges on.

tickledtodeath

“It’s my sad duty to inform you that Cindi Sikes was literally tickled to death.”

Bum-bum-BUM!

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Steele Trap – 7

Time for dinner!

franksandbeans

Well. That looks … appetizing. Still beats the eats at the Grievey Mansion, I guess.

lauralikescampingfood

Laura, ravishing in red, is amused. “Franks and beans. On Wedgewood. Shades of Citzen Hearst.”

behindthescenesPresumably, Laura refers here to Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, Joseph Cotton, RKO Studios, 1941), a thinly-veiled portrait of newpaper magnate William Randolph Hearst.

Feldman has an explanation for the low-brow fare:

culinarytriumph

“It’s all poor Cindi could handle. Just getting the can open was a major culinary triumph.”

Laura wants to know if their host will be joining them. (My guess is he’s laying dead in an elevator someplace.)

housethatsmutbuilt

“No, no. Ambrose is giving us sufficient time to be properly awed by the house that smut built.”

Suddenly Steele appears, bearing wine. He interjects himself between Laura and Feldman – did he think they seemed a little too congenial?

thankyoudoctor

“Thank you, Doctor,” Laura says. Is that a warning look he’s giving her?

doesnthavetoapprove

“You don’t approve of Devil magazine?” Laura asks her dinner companion.

Feldman tells her he doesn’t have to approve. “All I have to do is defend it against charges of pornography.” He adds that he’s a very busy boy. Meanwhile …

ajollytime

Miss May, Jane Junior and Doc Art are having a jolly old time.

deathglare

Laura is NOT having a jolly old time.  “Quite a pair, eh?” Feldman comments.

“That’s what I’ve heard,” quips Laura.

Oh, no! Now Laura is making the cheap jokes!

stopdoingthat

Really.

sosincerelaura

Now that’s what I call a sincere smile!

steadycompanion

Feldman reports that Randi was Ambrose’s steady companion (Wait. Is that like an inamorata?) until Miss May blossomed a couple of years ago.

“He likes them young- and dumb.”

agoodjoke

The ladies are still enjoying Mr. Steele’s company.

holdagrudge

“She doesn’t seem to be holding a grudge,” Laura notes. Something tells me Laura DOES hold a grudge.

Feldman has an explanation. “Randi? She can’t hold a thought in her head for three seconds, much less a grudge.”

He moves on to the next guest down the table:
michael
“Michael Dominic. Mr. Ambrose’s business partner. Ultra silent variety.”

ultrasilentvariety

Thanks for the exposition, Feldman!

disembodiedvoice

Suddenly a disembodied voice announces, “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. And welcome to the Devil’s Playground.”

The dinner party breaks up abruptly as they guests hurry toward the sound of the voice.

nodinnerforpianist

Oh, look! It’s the piano player who doesn’t take requests. What, she doesn’t like franks and beans?

delightedyoucould

As the dinner guests enter …

ultracheese

We see someone – apparently our genial host – on a big screen TV. “I’m delighted you could all accept my invitation,” he says.

memorable

“And I promise each and every one of you a memorable weekend. But for now, enjoy your meal- pass a pleasant evening- and when you least expect it – I will make my presence felt.”

ambrose

 

click

He uses a remote and the screen goes blank.

WTH

Madeline, still looking profoundly bored, nevertheless manages to convey strong emotion. “What the HELL did he mean by that? Make his presence felt?”

ambroselovesdrama

“Well, you know Ambrose,” Feldman reminds us. (Actually, we don’t.)  “He loves the dramatic, so let’s just sit back and enjoy the suspense.”

enjoyingthesuspense

As the rest of the guests drift off, Laura and Steele exchange a meaningful look. Think they’re enjoying the suspense?

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Steele Trap – 6

We left Mr. Steele cooling his heels …

steelesurveys

Maybe he sees a spider on the ceiling? Just then, another unwelcome creature scuttles in:

mrsroeperreturns

Hello again, Mrs. Roper! “Yoo hoo!” she calls. (Yoo-hoo? Is that what the kids are calling it these days?)

umnose

Steele seems a little unnerved. Perhaps he’s discerned that Miss Holt won’t be up for a menage a’ trois this weekend.

faceisfamiliar

“You don’t remember me, do you?” she asks.

(Not surprising; “The Ropers” only lasted two seasons.)
Steele plays it diplomatic: “The face is somewhat familiar.”
ataloss.jpog
“It’s not the face you were familiar with,” oozes.

Mr. Steele confesses himself at a loss.

maybethis

“Well, maybe this’ll get the old crank turning,” (Crank turning? Oh, THAT’S what the kids are calling it these days.)

sheflasheshim

Mrs. Roper opens her caftan. Is she going to try to sell him a stolen watch?

 

surprise

“Miss Russell!”

behindthescenesI have to wonder if Randi’s last name is a sly nod to Jane Russell, the buxom actress. I recall Carol Burnett once commenting, “In 1943, Howard Hughes discovered two of his greatest assets: Jane Russell.” Hughes even designed a special bra to emphasize her bountiful bosom. Jane_Russell_in_The_Outlaw
The more famous Ms. Russell, displaying her talents in “The Outlaw.”

furtherdisrobes

“They’re YOURS,” Jane Junior purrs.

theyremine

“Mine?” (What gentleman could resist such an invitation?)

telleveryone

“I tell everyone they’re a work of art.”

lookingforLaura

Despite being a connoisseur of fine art, Mr. Steele is unimpressed terrified. “Um, could you put them away now?” He glances toward the bathroom, where …

ahMyrtle

… Miss Groggins, who is dressed rather more formally than their visitor, has emerged.

justgoingover

“Ah, Myrtle, uh, so glad you could join us,” Steele stammers. “That is, we were just going over her … er …”
bodybybellows
“Isn’t it GREAT having a body by Bellows?” Randi interjects.

shewouldntknow

Laura snipes that she wouldn’t know.

steelenapoleon

“You oughta try it,” Randi suggests. “It really gives you a LIFT.” Judging from the level of her gaze, she thinks Miss Holt’s tuckus could use a little work, too.

givesyoualife

Perhaps sensing that Laura isn’t prepared to receive guests, Jane Junior decides to withdraw. “We’ll be seeing more of each other over dinner.”
steeleexplains
“How much more can there BE?” Laura grows after she departs.

“It’s all right,” Steele reassures her. “I’m a doctor.”

noyournot

Laura reminds him, emphatically, that he is NOT. She grabs some gear from her bag and heads back to the bath. Is she going to sleep in the tub?

renovatedher

“Well, as a matter of fact, she thinks I… uh … renovated her,” Steele persists.

shewasapatient

Laura quickly spots a hole in this explanation. “She was a patient of Arthur Bellows? And she doesn’t know you’re a fraud?”

throwninalobotomy

“They must have thrown in a lobotomy at no extra charge.”

thatwentwell
Oh, dear. Isn’t this where we came in?

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