anti-steele your heart away -- act three
Date: Monday, March 12, 2001
Susan Deborah Smith <>

okay to archive



a teleplay by Susan Deborah Smith

(with respectful apologies to and much admiration for Brian Clemens)




As Tony and Laura come tumbling over a flimsy chain link fence and drop into cover in the ditch below it. They gingerly peer off to where the police car comes bowling along the road through the park on the other side of the fence, beyond a swale of grass and trees.

The police car comes to a halt. Oliver gets out with his gun and looks around. The police car backs up to meet him. Oliver looks around one last time and heads back to the road.

TONY: Let's go!

Laura and Tony each start off in opposite directions and are yanked back by the handcuffs that shackle them together

TONY: Come on, Laura. One of us has gotta lead.

LAURA: Right. Follow me.

She tugs Tony her way. Oliver reacts as he starts to get in the car and catches a glimpse of them heading away on the other side of the ditch, heading toward a deeper part of the park. He takes a couple of shots at them as:


Laura and Tony come running up TO CAMERA and on past as we TRACK them heading into a more woodsy part of the park. Laura hesitates to get her bearings. Tony determinedly grabs her hand and, brooking no argument, he tugs her away on HIS chosen course - a course that takes them into the thickening cover of the ancient shade trees. En route, they find themselves hampered by some shrubs that each tries to avoid in either direction.

TONY: I've just remembered something.

LAURA: What?

TONY: A quotation - something about the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. (as they get entangled again) This is worse than being married.

LAURA: You can say that again.

She gets no further because Tony suddenly grabs her and pushes her down to the ground, face first, he almost lying across her behind a big tree. Laura's face is buried in dead leaves for a moment, then she manages to rise up and splutter:

LAURA: Will you -

Tony pushes her down into the leaves again - holds her down - and she might protest again - but at this moment we HEAR the low purr of the police car inching along the road nearby.


As Posy drives slowly, Oliver gazes alertly out the window, his eyes taking in everything - almost. The car moves past.


Tony releases Laura at last. She sits up to indignantly brush away dirt and dead leaves from her face and hair.

LAURA: Would you -

TONY: How about calling a truce? For both our sakes.

In answer, Laura spits out a leaf.

TONY: Good. Now . . .

He gently turns her head to look down a slope where, at the edge of the park, there are some old two story buildings.

TONY: Agreed? Before my arm gets yanked out of its socket again.

LAURA: Agreed.

And together, they get up, hold hands and start to sprint toward the buildings.


It's a brick building among a cluster of others on the edge of the park. Tony and Laura run up to the door but find it secured with a large padlock.

Tony kicks it, then kicks it again. Taking a step back, he hurls himself against the door - and drags Laura off-balance in the process.

Laura tugs Tony away from the door to seek other possibilities. They move quickly along the side of the stable and see a window fairly high up. Tony pulls an old crate around and, still hampered by the handcuffs, they climb up onto it and somehow get each other through the window.


As Laura, then Tony, climb through the window - lose their balance and fall . . . almost disappearing in the mound of hay just this side of the window. They have fallen into a hayloft, set above floor level.

Tony sits up with straw in his hair.

TONY: Where the hell are we?

LAURA: Shhhhh.

We HEAR a car come up and stop outside. Laura and Tony press deeper into the hay. A beat - and then we HEAR the door rattle open


Oliver and Posy enter and look around. They open a stall at the far end - look in - close the stall - and then Oliver looks up at the hay loft. He grabs a pitchfork that's leaning against the wall - and moves to start thrusting it up into the hay.


lie almost nose to nose, tensely listening to the sound of the pitchfork stabbing into the hay around them. Then the tines of the pitchfork stab through between them - missing their faces by inches.


Steps back - tosses aside the pitchfork as:

OLIVER: They must've headed back into the park. Let's go.

Oliver and Posy move to exit.


Remain unmoving until they - and we - HEAR the car start up and move away. Then Tony sits up - and jerks Laura up with him.

TONY: Close call.

LAURA: Very close.

They glance around, examining their surroundings. Then Tony begins to test the hay the same way he'd test a mattress. Laura sighs, regards him unhappily.

TONY: Aw, come on. It's not all bad. (beat) This is pretty cool, actually. Like being in a movie or something.

LAURA: The Thirty Nine Steps.

TONY: The what?

LAURA: It's a Hitchcock movie, about two people who are handcuffed together and fleeing from the police or something. You've never seen it?

TONY (mystified): Nah.

LAURA: Good.

They sit in silence a moment. Tony folds his arms, dragging Laura's hand across to lie on his thigh. Laura jerks her hand away.

TONY: How was it?

LAURA: What?

TONY: This movie you're talkin' about.

LAURA: It was okay.

TONY: æCause I'm thinking - if it was a romantic kinda movie - we could - you know (smiles) re-enact the good parts.

LAURA: Not a chance.

Tony gestures around the stable, Laura's hand limply following his at the other end of the handcuffs.

TONY: Nothin' else to do.

Laura looks at Tony. Tony looks at her with eyes that both offer and expect.

LAURA: I'm a married woman, Mr. Roselli.

TONY (hopeful): Happily married?

LAURA: Very happily.

Tony takes this in. Then:

TONY: So (beat) where's your husband?

This discomfits Laura.

LAURA: I told you. He's on a case.

Tony sees he has an opening.

TONY: Yeah? Where? For how long?

LAURA: I don't know. He and Mildred -

TONY (interrupting): Mildred? Who's Mildred?

LAURA: Our indispensable assistant. Right now, I'm alone at the agency with only you to help me and -

TONY (trying to work this out): Wait a minute. Your husband is off somewhere with the secretary, and you're having second thoughts about a roll in the hay with me?

LAURA: It's a long, complicated story, Mr. Roselli.

TONY: Yeah? Well, one thing I do remember is how much I hate long, complicated stories.

He pulls her close, kisses her and, in a daze, she lets him - not sure what emotional strings he's plucking just now. As they ease back onto the hay, the tune "That's Amore" starts to PLAY IN A PECULIAR, TINKLING ARRANGEMENT.

Laura dreamily opens her eyes.

LAURA: That's amore.

Tony strokes her hair with his free hand.

TONY: It sure is.

And, as he goes for another kiss, the song continues to PLAY. Laura suddenly sits up. Her eyes are wide. She can't believe what almost happened.

LAURA: No! That music. It's "That's Amore".

Tony reacts. He traces the source of the sound to his pocket and pulls out the big pocket watch we saw earlier. He stares at it - as it continues to tinkle out the cheerful tune.

LAURA: Where did you get this?

TONY: I dunno.

Laura takes the watch. She presses it and it pops open to reveal an inscription on the inside of the case.

LAURA (reads): "To J.R. - from A.R." Who's J.R.?

TONY: A guy who got shot? (off her look) Sorry. How should I know?

LAURA: A.R. Those are your initials.

TONY: You said my name was Tony.

LAURA: Short for Anthony.

TONY: People call me that?

LAURA (shrugs): Your friends call you Tony. My husband calls you "Antony" - but I think he's just yanking your chain. (beat) You must have been planning to give this to someone.

Tony takes the watch back and examines it.

TONY: Maybe I'm married.

Laura reacts. The initials suggest such a possibility.

TONY: Oh, my God. I think I'm going out of my mind.

Laura takes his hand in both of hers and pats it with her free hand.

LAURA: I know how you feel, believe me but - (abruptly) - Oh!

TONY: You thought of something?!

LAURA: No - someone just kissed my leg.

And, as one, they move to lean over the edge of the loft and look down to where there now stands a horse made distinctive by a narrow blaze surmounted by a white crescent on its forehead. It has obviously gotten out of the stall that Oliver neglected to close properly. With the toe of her shoe, Laura scratches the horse behind its ear - its eyes close in pleasure.

TONY: Well - he's got good taste, I'll give him that.

Tony's smile fades as he remembers something.

TONY (cont'd): Horses! It's got something to do with horses . . . and - and a man named - Bud - or is it Bill? -

LAURA: Go on, go on!

TONY: I'm trying, I'm trying! (concentrates) He works for a company called -- The Company. I've gotta see a guy at the Company.

He holds up the watch and stares at it.

TONY (cont'd): That's why I came to New York. To see a guy at the Company.

LAURA: But isn't CIA headquarters in Virginia?

Tony looks at her, still struggling with his unreliable memories, then at the watch.

As we TIGHTEN on the spinning watch:


Through the window, the Washington skyline. PULL BACK to reveal Poppy seated at his desk, looking balefully at Fawn.

POPPY (tsking): So they lost æem, did they?

FAWN: Well, so far we haven't heard anything from the police - or any other agency.

POPPY: I wish the missus were here to guide me through these treacherous waters. (sighs; leans back) The oil business gone belly-up - not a darned thing to do in this job but sit and wait - a little friendly rivalry heating up but good is about the only thing --

FAWN (interjects): And not much for the rest of us to do around here.

POPPY: Is that all you're thinking about, Ms. Hall? Your career? I'm talking about beatin' that fella at his own game!

Fawn glances at her watch.

FAWN: Your car's downstairs, sir. We want to be back in New York in plenty of time.

POPPY: You make sure that Posy and Ollie keep an eye out for Roselli and the girl. You know what they say - better safe than sorry.


A bus lumbers to the curb and the doors open.

Laura and Tony, holding hands to conceal the handcuffs, get off the bus. Tony stares up at the building. Laura drags him inside.


Laura consults the building directory on the wall.

LAURA: Suite thirty nine oh nine.

They cross to the elevators where Tony presses the UP button.


Tony and Laura look through the glass doors at the OFFICE LOBBY we saw earlier. It's darkened now, with a light shining through an open door.

LAURA: Anything familiar?

Tony rattles the door but it doesn't open.

TONY: Maybe.


Laura and Tony turn to face Leo Stern, an affable, thirtyish guy, who is coming along the corridor.

LEO: Hey, Tony, great to see you again!

Tony puts his cuffed hand behind his back, forcing Laura to put her arm around his waist. Tony and Leo shake hands.

LAURA: Do you two know each other?

LEO: Know each other? We worked together down in South America.

TONY: We - (gestures between himself and Leo) - worked together?

LEO: Sure! It was great seeing you at the party the other night. Bud told me -

Leo pauses and looks up and down the hall.

LEO (cont'd): Come on inside.

He types a code into the keypad on the door, opens it and urges them to slip inside.


Leo leads Tony and Laura from the lobby down a hallway between several small interior offices.

TONY: So I was here?

LEO (hesitates): Weren't you?

TONY: You tell me.

Leo regards Tony suspiciously. Tony is no less wary.

LAURA: Mr. Roselli is suffering from amnesia.

Leo is delighted by this news and gives Tony a shove - like kids on a playground.

LEO: Get outta town!

Tony glances at Laura.

LAURA: It's true. Can you help us, Mister - ?

LEO: Stern. Leo Stern.

He puts out his hand, but Laura doesn't shake it. She smiles and nods instead.

TONY (quickly, to distract): So, Leo. What was I doing here?

LEO: Old times' sake. (beat) Something about the watch, I think.

TONY: This watch?

He produces the pocket watch.

LEO: That's it - that's what brought you back. That, and the letter that went with it.

TONY: Letter?

LEO: In your wallet. Which reminds me . . .

Leo disappears into one of the darkened offices. We HEAR drawers opening and shutting, papers rustling.

LEO: You've gotta be real careful in the city, hey, pal!

Leo re-joins them, holding a billfold.

TONY: What were you doing with it?

LEO: Waddaya think? Guy comes back on an operation none of us have ever heard of - usual suspects. (winks) Here you go.

Tony takes the wallet and opens it. There's some money; we glimpse a driver's license and some credit cards. A folded up piece of paper is tucked in with the money.

TONY: Just checking, huh . . .

LEO: Figured you'd be right back for it. (to Laura) Hell, we left it lying on the carpet till the last of us went home.

Tony takes out the letter - unfolds it awkwardly with one hand - regards it and, with Laura reading over his arm:

TONY: "Your dad always wanted you to have this."

He stares from the watch to the letter, to an equally puzzled Laura.

LEO: That's why you came back to the Company. To find out about Dad.

TONY: Does my dad work here?

Leo laughs.

LEO: Come on, Tony. What're you working on? (grins) Oops. Can't tell me, huh? Amnesia, right?

Tony reacts to Leo's wink.

Laura reaches with her free hand to take the letter and reads it herself over:

LEO (cont'd): You know, there's an old adage about playing with handcuffs - make sure you know where the key is before you get started.

LAURA (with a jerk): This isn't -

LEO (appraising): Least you managed to get yourselves dressed. Not an easy thing, with cuffs like those.

TONY: We weren't -

Leo winks again.

LEO: I think I've got a little something here that can spring ya.


Tony and Laura watch as Leo closes a desk drawer and opens a lock pick kit and selects the appropriate implements. He switches on a desk lamp.

LEO: Right over here.

They move to stand near the desk lamp.


Leo's fingers work the pick in the lock. One side springs open, then the other.


exchange looks and rub their wrists as:

LEO (cont'd): Never know when this baby might come in handy.

TONY (back to business): Was it you I came to see?

LEO: Nah. It was Clines. You seemed to think it was a message from Clines.

LAURA: Who is Clines?

LEO: Another guy we used to work with in South America. Those were the days! (beat) He's moved on. Runs a business over in Brooklyn, I think. Putting the spy game behind him.

TONY: Pool hall?

LEO: Yeah. You went there?

As they talk, Laura picks up a newspaper from Leo's desk.

TONY (rubs his head): I think so. Yeah.

LAURA (looking up): You guys are spies. Who's the greatest spy of all?

LEO: Mata Hari.

TONY: Ninety-nine.

Tony and Leo glare at each other in disbelief.

TONY: Mata Hari?

LEO: Ninety-nine?!

Laura rolls her eyes.

LAURA: What about James Bond?

LEO: Oh, man! One of the greatest.

TONY: I've seen every one of those movies. Twice.

In not very close harmony, they start to HUM the James Bond theme.

LAURA (interjects): What else did they call him?

TONY: Double oh seven.

LEO: Of course.

LAURA: Good answer!

She turns the paper so that Tony can see.


The sports section is emblazoned with a headline: "DOUBLE-OH-SEVEN - WORLD'S RICHEST RACE HORSE TO RUN AT BELMONT"

There is also a big picture of the horse - with the narrow blaze topped by a crescent. The same horse we saw in the stable!

As Laura and Tony exchange an incredulous look:


A taxi drives across from Manhattan.


Laura and Tony sit in the back seat.

LAURA: How could I have left my purse with those fake cops?

TONY (amused): You're talking to me about forgetting stuff?

They exchange a look. Then Laura, faintly embarrassed, turns to gaze out the window on her side. Tony watches her a moment, then turns away to regard the passing view. Then:

TONY: Did I ever tell you I'm married?

LAURA (shakes her head): No.

TONY: I sure don't feel married.

LAURA (reminds): "Your dad always wanted you to have this."

TONY: But I'M "A. R". The watch is FROM "A.R."

Laura shrugs and looks out into the night.

TONY (cont'd): I can't remember my dad.

LAURA: You can't remember anything.

TONY: I mean - something's wrong. I have a - a -

LAURA: A feeling.

TONY: That's right. I have a feeling that something's not right between us. Between my dad and me.

Laura turns to look at him.

HOLD on Tony and Laura's concerned look, and then:


Empty - then the door opens and, in the pale light of the moon Tony and Laura enter and look around. The horse is gone.

LAURA: It was here, it was Double-Oh-Seven - I'm sure of it. A horse with a narrow blaze and that crescent moon on his forehead . . .

TONY (paces up and down in front of the stalls): "Mint juleps on Derby Day."

LAURA: What?

TONY: That's it! The sign on that bar was trying to tell me something! Derby Day!

LAURA: The Derby is in Kentucky.

TONY: But there's a track around here, isn't there? (pulls out a memory) Belmont. We've gotta get to Belmont.


An official government limousine, flanked by motorcycle police, rolls down the road.


Fawn and Poppy sit in the back seat. Oliver, dressed in a black suit and sunglasses, sits opposite, glaring alertly around.

Poppy is on the car phone.



The other towers of Manhattan are visible through the window. An American flag in the corner, a framed photo of Ronald Reagan on the wall, but this office is more designed for work: computer terminal, filing cabinets, a desk piled with paper.

McFarlane, whom we saw earlier at the dream party, barks into the phone:

MCFARLANE: DAD! That's what I said D - A - D - Dad.

POPPY (v.o.; phone filter): I dunno, Bud. I'm out of the loop these days.

MCFARLANE: The password he gave was . . .


Poppy leans forward, listening.

MCFARLANE (v.o.; phone filter): . . . "Your dad always wanted you to have this."

Poppy listens and ponders.

POPPY: Bud. I'm telling you - I'm out of the loop. Any operation the old boys are running called "Dad" just isn't part of my job description thing these days. Maybe you oughta give Bill a call.

Poppy hangs up.

OLIVER: We should've eliminated them, sir.

POPPY (soothing): Give it a rest, Ollie. We're not "eliminating" anybody. We're just having a little fun. If Bill's running this Dad operation on a collision course with us, then we'll deal with it. Otherwise - we're in the homestretch. We'll terminate only if we have to.


As the gates open - racehorses plunge out - the race is on, and around the track, people begin to cheer on the runners.

We are at Belmont Park - and we PICK UP Tony and Laura moving amid the crowds.


Fills the screen, carrying the numbers and odds for the horses for the next race.


in Tony's hand. He runs his finger down the list of horses, comparing them to the information on the board.

Horse number five is Double-Oh-Seven.


look up at the board. The word "SCATCHED" shines beside #5 on the board.

TONY: Scratched.

LAURA: Isn't running. They've pulled him out of the race.

TONY: And I bet we know why.


A clubby atmosphere with windows overlooking the race course. Everyone is very well dressed - this area is obviously off-limits to the hoi polloi.

Poppy, trailed by Fawn and Oliver, approach JOHN, a tall Texan with a drink in his hand.

POPPY: Well, John. How're things?

JOHN: Good enough. Good enough.

POPPY: Fine day for a horse race.

JOHN: Sure is.

Poppy surveys the track and the scene and a TV SCREEN conveniently located to view (either overhead, or set into the wall behind them).

As on the tote board, only with better graphics, we SEE that horse #5 is scratched.

POPPY: Double-Oh not running today?

JOHN: Quarter crack. Hasn't healed properly. We're letting him rest.

Poppy claps him on the back.

POPPY: You're a heckuva lot more easy going than I am, Johnny.

JOHN: How's that?

POPPY: Millions on the hoof - missing. Insane ransom demands. Glue factory right nearby. (beat) I'd be deployin' the troops by now.

JOHN (faintly riled): I'm not sure I get what you're getting at.

POPPY: Word around town is they want eight million - that is, if you want to see that stallion alive again.

HOLD on John's reaction. In the background, "they're off!"