Steele Drivin' Man 17/?
Date: Friday, November 22, 2002
From: Anne Rose <>

Fred has really put in the long hours on this one. Enjoy!

Thanks again to Lauryn for skillful editing, and Susannah for on-location

Nancy, you may archive. As always, feedback is appreciated.


Steele Drivin' Man 17/?
Date: October 23, 1982
Mileage: 5,316

I finally am starting to feel like I'm putting in a full day's work. I
don't mind taking people places and waiting for them at appointments, but
when I spend most of a day waiting for something to happen, the hours really drag. I mean, there's only so many times I can wash and wax the beast, and so many issues of Road and Track I can read.

But this week I really racked up some miles. Wednesday morning Miss Holt
sent me over to Rossmore to pick up Mr. Steele. I came close to not making
it though, because as I was pulling in this red GTO came barreling out of
the driveway, and I just missed him. Some Mexican kid was hunched over the
wheel and looked like he meant business.

I parked and waited a few minutes. When Mr. Steele didn't show, I went
inside and spoke to the security guard. When he said Mr. Steele had already gone out I got a little worried. I wondered about the GTO, but I knew there was no point - they were long gone.

Finally Mr. Steele called and I picked him up in Glendale at a nasty
warehouse that said "Ratooi Games International" on the side. There were
video games all over their parking lot, and the building looked like it
should have been condemned. I took him back to the office. He seemed a lot
more excited then he has been lately, considering it was just 11:00 AM.

It wasn't long before I headed back to Ratooi with both Mr. Steele and Miss Holt. I stayed put and wandered around the storage yard - wouldn't you
know, there wasn't a single race car game in the whole bunch.

Mr. Steele came back to the car without Miss Holt, his tail between his
legs, but once we were under way I could almost hear his wheels turning.
Eventually he suggested that we go past the Belvedere Towers. I could feel
he was getting some wild idea about going off on his own. I'd been around
him long enough to tell. Just like Spiderman my "danger sense" was on red
alert. I reminded him that we were supposed to be going to the Beverly
Wilshire and I knew there would be hell to pay if Miss Holt found out we
didn't. But he was trying so hard to get involved, and I caved.

I found the Belvedere Towers and waited outside while Mr. Steele went in.
Before long Mr. Michaels came by and dropped off Miss Holt. She glared at
the limo. She couldn't miss it - I was parked right out front. I looked
the other way and tried to be invisible. She went inside doubletime, and
Mr. Michaels gave me a sympathetic look as he drove off. When they finally
came back to the car there was total silence back there. Mr. Steele's face
went through a dozen expressions - first he looked confused, then worried,
then nervous. I noticed he never once looked at Miss Holt. She stared out
the window on low simmer.

After we dropped her off at the office, we finally went to the Beverly
Wilshire and picked up Mr. Arnoch. He was not happy, I can tell you. When
Mr. Steele told him we were going to make one stop on the way I thought he
would jump out. I figured out eventually that Mr. Arnoch thought he wasn't
ever going to get out of LA.

We went back to the Belvedere Towers, only this time we picked a spot in the parking garage and waited. It's a good thing there was a bottle of
champagne in the ice chest to distract Mr. Arnoch, because he was getting
more ornery by the minute. When a car pulled in next to us Mr. Steele got
out of the limo. I could tell by the woman's expression they'd met before,
and she wasn't real thrilled about their meeting again. They started
talking, and Mr. Arnoch leaned over to interrupt them. The look on the
lady's face was strange - she seemed disgusted. I couldn't figure out what
she thought was going on, unlessàI put that thought away real quick. I've
seen the way Mr. Steele looks at women. No way.

The three of them headed for the elevators and I followed. I thought I
heard a shot but wasn't sure, so I hurried to catch up. I saw the lady
start to fall, and Mr. Steele passed her to Mr. Arnoch before he ran for the stairwell. That obviously was too much for the old guy. As soon as Mr.
Steele got back Mr. Arnoch handed the lady off to him and started sliding to the floor. I caught him and eased him down to the pavement and leaned him against a pillar. Mr. Steele wasn't quite sure what to do with the poor woman. He lowered himself to the ground and propped her against him while I called the cops. By the time they got there, Mr. Arnoch had recovered. I
know how he feels - I didn't feel so hot either looking at a dead person.
If I hadn't gone to use the phone I might have joined him on the ground. I
hope I don't see any more dead bodies on this job.

The police took a statement and Mr. Steele did all the talking. After they
left we put Mr. Arnoch back in the car, but he still didn't look so great.
He didn't want any more champagne. Mr. Steele told me to go back to Ratooi, and he called Miss Holt along the way to meet us there.

Mr. Steele helped Mr. Arnoch inside and I waited. Miss Holt arrived, and a
short time later we were all on our way to the marina. Mr. Arnoch said
something about our private jet, and Mr. Steele had to dig himself out. I
had to look out the window to keep from laughing out loud. Private jet!
Good thing Mr. Arnoch hasn't heard Miss Holt on one of her tears about
spending money.

Thank heaven for small favors, because I parked it before she could answer
and told them we were at the marina, obviously. I was put in charge of Mr.
Arnoch, and Mr. Steele and Miss Holt got out to act out his little plan. I
could hear 'Geraldine' in the back of my mind - "you devil, you!"

I decided to take a quick trip around the parking lot and see if I could
find a Coke machine. I heard the phone ring and before I could get close
Mr. Arnoch had answered it. Then he was out of the car and off down the
pier before I could stop him. I was about 10 yards behind him when I heard
gunshots. Everyone hit the dirt and I tried to figure out where the shots
were coming from. I snuck behind a shed after I guessed where he was. I
accidentally kicked a gas can someone had left near their boat, so I picked it up for a weapon. I lobbed it in the general direction of where I thought he was, which turned out to be a pretty good guess, because I heard someone cuss. A second later I could hear him running away down the pier.

I helped everybody up and dusted Mr. Arnoch off. Mr. Steele's jacket had
taken a couple of hits and he was seriously pissed about that. Miss Holt
didn't seem to be too banged up. We drove back to the office and they spent the whole trip trying to help Mr. Arnoch feel better, but it just wasn't

I don't know what happened upstairs, but when they came back to the limo Mr. Arnoch was getting really wound up. He'd been in a half faint on the way to the office, and now he was a bundle of nerves. We went back to Ratooi again, and whatever happened in there put Arnoch right back the way he'd been. All he would do was sit back there between Mr. Steele and Miss Holt, moaning and holding his head. No matter what they tried to say, it didn't help.

We took him to Rossmore and I helped Mr. Steele get him on the elevator. A
few minutes later Miss Holt came down and I took her to the office and
headed home. I didn't get far from Century City though when Mr. Steele
called and asked me to come back to Rossmore. I was really tired by now so
I was thinking he'd better have a pretty good reason for going somewhere at this hour of the night.

When I got there he was waiting out front and had changed clothes. I asked
him where to, and he told me we were going to cruise East Los Angeles. I
turned around and looked at him and thought seriously about asking him if
he'd lost his mind, but I kept my mouth shut. He just looked at me and
smiled. I hit the carlocks and headed out.

Mr. Steele told me to just drive up and down any main street I wanted to,
and after about half an hour a familiar looking red GTO started following
us. Now I was the one getting jumpy, but Mr. Steele told me to just pull
over. We sat at the curb for a minute, and then a young Mexican guy walked
up to the car. I had my hand on the gear shift, ready to floor it if I had
to, but Mr. Steele just lowered the window and started talking to this guy.
I saw him write down his address and hand it to him, then they shook hands
and the guy said he'd see Mr. Steele in the morning. Mr. Steele put the
window back up, and that's when I realized I'd been holding my breath the
whole time! Mr. Steele acted like this was just another normal evening for
him, but it took me a minute to calm myself down. I took him back to
Rossmore, and then I went home.

The next morning we finally took Mr. Arnoch to the airport, or at least I
thought we were when we headed out. We were on Sepulveda, practically at
the airport, and they were talking when all of the sudden Mr. Arnoch ordered me to turn the car around. Well, I guess he uses that voice when he's ordering his employees around, but I know who calls the shots as far as I'm concerned, at least when Miss Holt's not around. I waited for Mr. Steele to give me the OK, and then I threw the beast around in a U turn and burned some rubber in the process.

When we got to the marina Mr. Steele and Mr. Arnoch disappeared down one of the slips. I stood outside the car and leaned on the hood, enjoying the
nice morning. As I watched 'Toodle-Loo' go by, I heard the phone ring. It
was Miss Holt. She wanted to talk to Mr. Steele but I told her he couldn't
come to the phone right now. She wanted to know what he was doing, and I
said, oh, about five knots. Obviously she didn't think that was funny
because she slammed the phone down in my ear. I guess she doesn't
appreciate the humor of the Three Stooges.

I waited and waited for the boat to come back, and finally I saw Mr. Steele
pulling it into a slip. I ran down to meet them, and there was Mr. Arnoch
sitting on an enormous trunk wrapped up in chains. Mr. Steele told me to
find the nearest hardware store and buy a hand truck to move the trunk.
They were both wet, and it obviously had been quite a job hauling that load in. Fortunately I found a marine store right near by that had what I

It took the three of us to hoist that baby into the limo. On the way back
to Ratooi we stopped at another hardware store for a pair of bolt cutters.
Mr. Arnoch wheeled the cart in behind Mr. Steele, and they were in there
quite a while. When they came out, everyone looked pretty pleased with
themselves, but Mr. Arnoch most of all. He was in a completely different
mood then he'd been up until now.

In the evening I took Mr. Arnoch in the direction of the airport one more
time, but this trip we actually made it to LAX. I dropped him off at
curbside check-in and waited for traffic to clear so I could pull out. I
had just started to move when I stopped short because Mr. Arnoch was banging on one of the windows. He demanded that I open the trunk and take his bags - he wasn't leaving. I tried to convince him that it wasn't such a good idea for him to stay, but he insisted that I take him back to Rossmore. I kept trying to talk him out of it, because Mr. Steele had sent me to the liquor store in the afternoon, and I had a pretty good idea there was a private party in the works. But Mr. Arnoch got into boss overdrive, and I couldn't get him to back down. On the way he got on the phone with his wife and told her he was going to sell the business, and that she should put their house on the market. I could hear her screaming at him from where I sat. He kept trying to convince her, and finally he just hung up. I dropped him off at Rossmore, and then I high-tailed it out of there. I wasn't going to stick around to find out what he was interrupting.

Thank goodness it's the weekend. If every week is going to be like this,
I'm going to need a nap in the afternoons.
To Part 18