Arriving back at the hotel, Laura
and Kate immediately went to work on
their laptops. Laura phoned Danny and Mildred to have them dig deeper
on both Mrs. Wingate and Dean Harrigan.
Laura and Kate worked in companionable
silence, the only sound in the
room the clicking of their keyboards. This went on for quite some
time, as they were each engrossed in their own research, until Kate
broke the silence.
"I got it!" she exclaimed. "Oh Mom, you are not going to believe this!"
"What is it?" Laura asked.
"In the spring of 2001, Andrew
Harrigan who was then a tenured
professor of Humanities," Kate began, "was censured for having an
affair with a student."
"How can that be possible?"
Laura asked, standing to look over Kate's
shoulder at her laptop screen. "If that were the case, he could never
have been made Dean."
"Exactly," Kate answered.
"The incident was expunged from his record
four years ago. You know he only became Dean the semester I started at
"Where did you find this?"
"Ahhh...." Kate said with
a grin. "You've got to love the Internet.
This Dirty Deeds website is kind of folklore around campus. Everyone
knows about it, but officially, it doesn't exist. There are all kinds
of anonymous blogs. But there are some with names, too. Anything here
can be checked out, so I figured it was a good place to start."
"Excellent work, Kate," Laura looked at her daughter with pride.
"But wait," Kate told her.
"You haven't even heard the best part. The
student Professor Harrigan had an affair with her name was Gwendolyn
"Wendy," Laura acknowledged.
"Right," Kate agreed. "And
since his record was expunged shortly after
she married Marshall Wingate, she probably used his money and
connections to get it done."
"You're pretty good at this,"
Laura said with a smile. "Ever thought
about being a detective?"
With Laura and Kate back at the hotel
researching their latest
discovery, Remington went to have a chat with Dr. Doke. He went to the
Marine Science Center and knocked on the door to Doke's office.
"Come in," was the call from the other side.
Remington entered the office and Todd Doke looked up from his desk.
"Steele," he said coldly. "What are you doing here?"
"That's exactly what I've come to ask you, mate," Remington responded.
"Working. So if you don't mind "
"Ah, but I do," Remington
countered his sarcasm with a little of his
own. "You see, I came up here last week to witness my daughter receive
her degrees. Imagine my surprise when I discovered you to have joined
the faculty. Funny, but I'm not exactly thrilled with the idea that my
daughter has been sharing a campus with a man who tried to kill me."
"Look Steele," Doke said
with a sigh. "That was a lifetime ago. I have
long since paid for my mistakes. You know that Clarissa Custer was the
one behind that whole mess."
"I do indeed, Doctor," Remington
replied. "But it was your ingenuity
that nearly ruined my agency's reputation, and it was your gun in my
living room that night. However, you're right, that was a lifetime
ago. Remington Steele Investigations is as strong as ever and my wife
and I both quite well. My question is how can someone with your track
record be working with students at one of this country's leading
"Your guess is as good as mine,"
he answered honestly. "I was in
Georgia working on the Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary for the
Marine Conservation Biology Institute. I've been very happy with my
small boat and my small crew out on the reef."
"I got a call a couple of months
ago with a job offer here at
Stanford," Doke answered. "They were offering an obscene amount of
money, more than I ever made at UCLA and a hell of a lot more than I'd
ever make at the Conservancy."
"So you jumped at the chance
to come home to California," Remington
"Not exactly," he answered.
"Like I said, I liked my life.
Nevertheless, they were pretty insistent. I really didn't have much
choice. Mr. Steele," he said as his tone softened. "I know what
happened all those years ago was terrible. But I'm not a bad person.
At first, I just wanted to help my father. Then, after losing him I
guess something in me snapped. I was wrong and I know that. I paid my
debt to society, and I owe you and your wife my sincerest apology. I
enjoyed working on the Conservancy, but I love teaching. When Stanford
is insisting on hiring you, with an incredible salary plus tenure, you
don't say no, or question their reasons."
Remington accepted that Todd Doke
was telling the truth. He said his
goodbye and left to join his wife and daughter back at the hotel.
After comparing notes Remington, Laura
and Kate Steele were sure they
had their culprit. Now they had to prove it. They sat down to devise a
plan. Kate just watched her parents in awe as the case unraveled
before her eyes. She had always been proud of them; they were her
parents her heroes. Now she was beginning to realize that they really
were as good as everyone said they were. They knew each other so well,
and had worked together so long that sometimes they slipped into their
own private shorthand. Watching her parents work was an education as
valuable as the years she had spent at Stanford.
*****Once again, Laura Steele stood
with her husband's handkerchief in
her hand. This time, she had not had to use it at least not yet. They
were standing in their daughter's dorm room, preparing to leave her
alone. She knew Kate could handle herself. Remington had been hesitant
about letting her go away from home at such a young age, but Kate was
ready. She had worked hard to be able to enter college early, not only
had she graduated at the top of her class, but she had been admitted
to Stanford University at sixteen. She was a wonder, their little girl.
"Come on, Mom," Kate said
with a laugh. "No blubbering. This is almost
as bad as the first time you took me to the Academy. I was fine then,
and I'll be fine now."
"I know," Laura answered,
taking her daughter into her arms. "I'm just
so proud of you," she said softly, "and I'm going to miss you so much."
"Mom, it's not like I'm on the
moon," Kate said with a roll of her
eyes. "It's only a seven hour drive," she reasoned, smiling. "The way
you drive, you could make it in five," she said with a laugh. "And
it's only a little over an hour by plane. I'll call every week."
"Every day," Laura corrected as her husband pulled her close.
"How about twice a week?"
Kate offered, as Laura pulled her into her
"Okay," she agreed. "I can live with that. You're going to do great."
"Laura," Remington looked
at his wife. "Do you remember The Five Nudes
"Are you kidding?" she said, "How could I forget?"
"Where is the safest place to
hide a stolen piece of art before
"Of course," Laura said,
smiling. "The museum. And it makes perfect
sense. Either Wendy or the dean could come and go without question."
"But why bring you in on it?" Kate asked.
"To keep suspicion off them," Laura answered.
"Precisely," Remington replied. "We've got to get into that museum."
"It will be dark soon," Laura stated.
"Yes!" Kate exclaimed, and Remington smiled at her youthful enthusiasm.
He had always thought she was more
like Laura than she was like him,
but her excitement at the idea of breaking into the museum made him
wonder. Then again, Laura did enjoy a good heist. His smile broadened
and the blue of his eyes deepened as he thought of the affect
tonight's work may have on his wife. Though they weren't actually
*purloining* the gem itself...it was still close enough. He softly
sang to himself "You, the night and the music..."
After gaining entry to the museum,
the Steeles quietly looked around
the vault room.
"How can you be so sure they'll show up tonight?" Kate asked.
"Because the gala is tomorrow," her father answered.
"And they'll want to be gone without a trace by then," her mother added.
Their timing was perfect, as it didn't
take long before the entrance
of both Harrigan and Wendy Wingate rewarded them. From their vantage
point, they could see everything that went on, and Laura turned on the
digital video recorder, with infrared night vision. Though she still
preferred good old-fashioned ingenuity and legwork to get the job
done, Laura had to admit that technology had its advantages.
"Wendy, are you sure this is
going to work?" Harrigan asked, with more
than a little hesitation in his voice.
"Of course it is, Andy,"
Wendy said, giving him a confident wink. She
set about retrieving the stone from its hiding place. She held it up
to her flashlight. "I saw Remington Steele down at the Marine Center
this afternoon. They took the bait hook, line and sinker. You just
keep playing the part of the frazzled dean, I'll take the stone to the
dealer we found in France..." she said as she reached out to kiss him
passionately " And then we can finally be together," she said before
adding with a soft laugh, "and rich beyond our wildest dreams."
They were so caught up in themselves
that they did not notice the
"I don't think so, Mrs. Wingate."
Wendy, startled by the sound of Remington's
voice, almost dropped the
stone as she turned to run. She didn't make two steps before Kate
grabbed her. The two young women fell to the ground and Kate held
Wendy down as she took the stone from her hand. She handed it to Laura
while Remington subdued Andrew Harrigan.
"Not a bad night's work, girls,"
Remington winked at his wife and
"We make a pretty good team, eh Dad?"
Laura nodded in agreement, "We sure do, Honey all of us."
Remington and Laura Steele danced
around the floor of the 2008
Stanford Alumni Gala. They twirled around the display of the Star of
Karos, which was set in the center of the room, proud of the fact that
they had recovered it and secured that it would be on display tonight.
It had taken some doing, but with the help of Wingate's attorney and
Vigilance Insurance, the Steeles had convinced the police that keeping
a gem of such value in an evidence locker was not in the police
department's best interests. After writing their reports and assuring
they would have further access to the gem as needed, the police had
returned the Star of Karos to Marshall Wingate. Wingate had agreed to
let it be displayed as the Stanford Alumni celebrated the class of 2008.
Remington held Laura close as they
quietly celebrated their own
contribution to the class of '08. Their beautiful little girl had
proven herself a worthy investigator as she had helped them solve her
first official case, one full of tricks and turns. They left the dance
floor and joined Kate, Danny and Mildred at their table, where Laura
began to explain the details of the case.
"It turned out that though she
was in love with Andrew Harrigan, Wendy
couldn't bear the thought of life on a professor's salary. Thinking
she could marry up and still stick close to Harrigan by getting close
to a Stanford benefactor," Laura said.
"Enter Marshall Wingate,"
Remington picked up the story. "Wendy had
agreed to a very tight prenuptial agreement thinking that she could
outlive Wingate and end up with everything."
"The problem was," Laura
continued, "she found out that Marshall had
all but excluded her from his will. With the prenup and the way he'd
managed to divert his assets, she would inherit very little."
"So she came up with the plan to steal the Star of Karos," Kate chimed in.
"But where does Todd Doke fit in to all of this?" Mildred asked.
"The same place we do, I'm afraid,"
Laura answered. "Wendy made sure
that Harrigan hired Dr. Doke so that he would be on campus when the
Star went missing."
"Then she had Harrigan come to
us," Remington added. "Because she knew
we'd remember his connection to the Royal Lavulite."
"Now, I really don't get that,"
Mildred said. "Weren't they running a
big risk by bringing you in? You could have easily found them out and
exposed their scheme before they got away with the gem in fact, you did."
"You're right Aunt Mildred,"
Kate answered. "But they didn't count on
Remington Steele Investigations living up to its hype. Wendy assumed
Mom and Dad would be so focused on Dr. Doke that she could slip away
with the stone right under their noses."
"And she also didn't count on
us having our newest operative on the
case," Laura added, beaming with pride. "Without Kate, we might still
be out there looking," she said seriously, as Remington stepped up and
wrapped his arms around her waist. Laura knew she wasn't nearly as
technically savvy as her daughter...refusing for YEARS to put the
agency's files on backup discs. She probably would have found The
Dirty Deeds site, but maybe not before Wendy and Harrigan had taken
the Star of Karos to Europe. Kate was really proving herself, and
Laura was very proud.
Danny watched with interest as the
Steeles volleyed the story back and
forth. This was always one of his favorite parts of the case.
Remington and Laura worked so well together---in life and in business.
He hoped that he too, would find his perfect partner someday.
"What about Harrigan, Uncle Rem?" he asked.
"That's easy," Kate answered.
"He was going to wait until things had
died down and Wendy had gotten a chance to fence the stone. Then he
was going to join her in Europe."
"That stone must be worth a fortune," Mildred said.
"Over one hundred million," Remington said, trying not to wince.
"That's a lotta clams," Mildred replied.
"And thanks to Kate, they didn't
get their hands on any of them,"
Laura said with pride.
"They'll be the guests of the
California penal system for a very long
time," Remington said.
"And Mr. Wingate got his gem
back," Kate added. "You should have seen
him at the jail. He wouldn't even speak to Wendy. I think it's safe to
say a quiet divorce is on the horizon."
"Here's to a job well done," Mildred said, raising her glass.
"To Remington Steele Investigations," Kate added, joining the toast.
"The next generation," Remington finished.
They all clinked glasses and took
a sip as Remington Steele pulled his
wife in for a kiss.