Fletch (1985) Script

My name is Irwin Fletcher.

I'm an investigative reporter for a Los Angeles paper.

You've probably read my stuff under the byline of Jane Doe.

What the hey, it's better than Irwin.

The last three weeks, I've been loitering around the beach trying to pass for an amiable minor league junkie.

I don't nod out or drool, that's too obvious.

Act like you don't give a crap and you fit right in.

Business has really picked up, huh?

I'm still closed.

What is it, a Colombian national holiday?

Yeah.

So what do you figure, Sam?

No idea.

No idea at all?

Some idea.

Like when?

When it comes, it comes. l got some reds.

You don't mean communists, do you, Sam?

Is everything a joke to you, Fletch?

Everything, Sam.

Hey, Gummy!

Hey, Fletch. Hey, Sam.

How's the eye?

Guess it's okay. The cops did it.

They always beating up on me.

He doesn't know.

Son of a bitch !

That's what he said.

He doesn't know?

How come he doesn't know? l don't know how come he doesn't know. He just doesn't know.

Son of a bitch !

l wonder how he gets the stuff. l have no idea.

Never leaves the beach, that Sam.

Never leaves.

He sits in that chair. He's out of shit.

Suddenly he gets up, he's got shit.

So where's it coming from? The sand? l think that's highly unlikely, Crease. l ought to get some sleep.

Crease, how old are you?

Nineteen.

You're not taking very good care of yourself.

In case you haven't guessed yet, there's been a lot of drug traffic on the beach.

And I'm not talking about Robitussin and No Doz.

I'm talking about the hard stuff.

And a Lot of it.

I've been trying to find out who's behind it.

It hasn't been easy.

I don't shower much.

Excuse me. Yeah. l have something I'd like to discuss with you.

What's that?

We can't talk about it here.

Why not?

Because we can't.

Are you on a scavenger hunt, or did l just forget to pay my dinner check? l mean, I'd be happy to pay it. . . l want you to come to my house and then we'll talk.

You got the wrong gal, fella.

I'll give you $1,000 cash.

What?

Just come to my house and listen to the proposition.

lf you reject the proposition, you keep the $1,000, and your mouth shut.

Does this proposition entail my dressing up as Little Bo Peep?

It's nothing of a sexual nature, l assure you.

Yeah, l assure you.

$1,000 just to listen? l don't see how you can pass that up, Mr. . .

Nugent. Ted Nugent.

Alan Stanwyk.

Alan, charmed.

For an extra grand, I'll let you take me out to dinner.


What a coincidence.

What? l came this close to buying this place.

Then l found out Hopalong Cassidy killed himself here.

Blew it for me.

Who?

Hopalong Cassidy.

Bow and arrow. Very weird.

What? Are you doped up now?

Don't talk to me like that, ass face. l don't work for you, yet.

Pup 'N' Taco.

Oh, you've remodeled the garage.

Must have cost you hundreds.

That's a good idea. l oughta frame mine.

Will the Pope be in later?

Here's my proposition.

I'm all ears. l want you to murder me.

Here, on Thursday.

I'd like you to shoot me dead.

And the reason l ask you to do me this service is because I'm already facing a very long, painful and most certain death.

You see, l have bone cancer.

And l don't know if you know anything about bone cancer, Mr. Nugent.

It's the worst kind you can get.

It just eats you up bit by bit.

You don't look sick, Mr. Stanwyk. l don't feel sick. Not yet.

They tell me it'll start getting bad in about a month.

After that, I'd rather not be around for it.

Why don't you try suicide?

Believe me, I've thought about it.

But my company's taken out a very large life insurance policy on me.

Suicide would nullify my insurance, but murder does not.

Why me?

You're a drifter, pardon the expression, a junkie.

Nobody would notice if you just disappeared.

You see, I've been watching you for a couple of weeks.

Maybe I'm just on vacation.

Not with the scum you hang out with. No.

No, I've watched and I've thought.

It's rather an elegant little plan. l even have your escape figured out for you.

Swell.

Has it ever occurred to you l might not want to murder you, Stanwyk?

I've got $50,000 says you will.

$50,000.

And a guarantee you won't get caught.

I'm still here. l want it done Thursday evening around 8:00 p.m.

My wife will be at her club function, and it's the staff's night off.

These will be open.

Wouldn't they normally be locked?

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. The staff usually forget.

Oh, yeah. l have the same trouble with my help.

I'll be here in the room waiting for you.

The safe will be open.

There will be $50,000 in it.

You'll be wearing rubber gloves.

Do you own rubber gloves? l rent them. l have a lease with an option to buy.

Now, in this drawer. . .

A .357 Magnum.

My .357. You use it.

No one can trace it to you.

Of course the room will be in some disarray.

You want it to look like a burglary attempt?

You come in and catch me, I'm stealing your ties and money?

We scuffle.

And the gun gets loose, and l shoot you right between the eyes.

Precisely.

Are you a good shot?

Yeah, I'm all right.

Well, get me on the first shot, if you can.

Do you have a passport? l could probably dig one up.

Good. Now, after you kill me, take the Jaguar.

The keys will be in the glove compartment.

Take it where? LAX.

Go to the Pan Am desk. There will be a ticket waiting for you.

Where am l going?

Rio.

It departs at 11:00 p.m.

They serve dinner on the flight?

And a movie and free drinks.

I'd recommend staying down there for at least a year.

So?

So.

You've certainly thought this out.

I'm not someone who leaves a great deal to chance.

Those will be open? Now don't worry about that.

Just take care of the gloves, the passport and the aim.

I'll take care of everything else.

The gun, the money, the tickets and the dying.

That's right.

Looks like you get the hard part.

What do you say?

You'll be doing me and my family a great service.

Will you kill me?

Sure.

Hey! Good to see you.

Hey, Slouch, how are you?

Hey, check out the Beach Boy!

Larry? Yo.

Can l steal you for a minute?

Only if you promise not to return me. It's a deal.

Magic today, huh? Yeah, Kareem's in the wash. l need a favor. Shoot.

Fletch !

Did you hear something? Not me.

Me neither. Let's see what we have on a guy named Alan Stanwyk in Beverly Hills. l need this right away. l take it by your presence here that the story's done.

It's W-Y-K, okay? I'll be right down.

Tell me I'm right. Excuse us.

You are right, Frank, but you're very peaked.

You wanna throw up? Come on in. Vomit. . . l want an answer!

The story's done, right?

Almost.

Almost, is not an answer.

"Yes, Frank. The story's all done." That's an answer.

And a damn fine answer, if l do say so my damn self. Thank you. lrwin, professional journalism time now. Two points.

Go back to the beach. . . Don't say "lrwin."

. . .and finish the damn story! Rubber gloves.

Hey, Frank, l will. l swear.

Frank, something else came up. Okay?

No. It's not okay. You've got a deadline tomorrow.

Did you see the ad we ran Sunday? l don't read the paper. What's the spread on the game. . .

What's the spread on the game tonight? Anybody know?

Lakers by six. Take a look.

"Drugs on our beaches, shame of the city."

"Shame of the city." That's very nice.

Now, try to follow me on this.

You can't run the ad and then not run the story.

You can't? Why not?

Shit. Really?

Frank, I'm just putting you on.

You'll get the story and be very proud of it.

You broke it? You know the source?

Practically. Well, what's practically?

Is it this guy Fat Sam? You said you had pictures of him. l do have pictures of him dealing.

Well, let's go. We'll run the pictures.

You can't do that, Frank.

Fat Sam isn't the story.

There's a source behind him.

Who?

Well, there we're in a kind of a gray area.

All right, how gray?

Charcoal.

May l help you with that?

Okay. A little lighter. Little lighter.

Okay. Can you go higher?

That's good. Over to the right.

Higher. Higher. Perfect.

Perfect. Nice and hard. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Okay, that's good. Thank you.

That it? Perfect.

Everything's recent. Well.

Let me see that. "Alan Stanwyk, "commercial airline pilot from Provo, Utah."

"Formerly a test pilot, member of the Jaycees."

Should we move on? Yeah.

Married Boyd Aviation.

He's no dummy. That's big bucks.

"Mr. Stanwyk's parents, Marvin and Velma, of Provo, "were unable to attend the wedding."

Those are three names l enjoy, Marvin, Velma and Provo.

Hold it there. That's good.

Cancer. "Cancer Society Benefit."

"Internist Dr. Joseph Dolan."

"With internist Dr. Joseph Dolan." l wonder if that's his doctor.

One way to find out.

Yeah. There is one way to find out.

So where do you know Alan from?

We play tennis at the club.

Really?

California Racquet Club? Right.

That's my club, too. Oh. l don't remember seeing you there.

Well, l haven't been playing for a while because of these kidney pains.

Right.

Now, how long have you had these pains, Mr. Barber?

No, that's Babar.

Two "B's"?

One "B." B-A-B-A-R.

That's two.

Yeah, but not right next to each other. l thought that's what you meant.

Arnold Babar.

Isn't there a children's book about an elephant named Babar? l don't know. l don't have any.

No children?

No elephant books.

Open wide.

Say, "Ah."

You know, it's an odd name. l don't recall having seen it on the club registry.

Well, l don't formally belong. I'm a guest of my aunt's.

Your aunt?

Right. Mrs. Smith.

Joan or Margaret?

Right.

Well, which one?

Margaret.

Funny old bird. Yeah.

Is she ever. l could tell you some stories. l bet.

You know, it's a shame about Ed.

Oh, it was. That was really a shame.

To go so suddenly like that.

He was dying for years.

Sure.

But the end was very, very sudden.

He was in intensive care for eight weeks.

But l mean the very end, when he actually died.

That was extremely sudden.

You know, Alan and l were recently speaking of dying.

He told me Boyd Aviation took out a large insurance policy on him.

You've got to be in some kind of perfect shape to get that sort of a policy, l bet.

Drop your shorts and bend over, Mr. Babar.

Oh, no, really. We don't need to. l. . .

We don't want to do that.

You know, my kidneys feel a lot better in this position.

Maybe it's just that I'm not doing any calisthenics.

You know, if l did sit-ups in the morning or bent over like this, I'd probably feel 100%...

Moon river Phew!

Thank you, Doc. You ever serve time?

Breathe easy.

Breathe easy.

You know, l was surprised that Alan was able to get that policy. l know there's a history of cancer in the family.

There is? Yeah.

As a matter of fact. . .

You using the whole fist, Doc?

Just relax.

Yeah, l saw Alan the other day.

He was looking a little peaked. l don't know. l think he's lost weight.

Are you sure he's all right? l can't discuss another patient. You know that.

Well, l don't find anything wrong with you.

Well. I'm sure it's not for a lack of looking.

12:00 noon.

I was anxious to get back to my drug story.

But since Dr. JeIIyfinger wasn't talking, I just had to find out a little more about Stanwyk's health.

May l help you, Dr. . .

Oh, it's me, Dr. Rosenpenis.

Doctor who?

I'm just here to check Alan Stanwyk's file.

Dr. Rosenrosen. I'm here to. . .

Could you give that name again? l. . .

It's Dr. Rosenhite. l. . . l want to check the records room. Doctor who?

Dr. Rosen. Where's the record room?

Next to Pathology.

Would you do me a favor and take care of these things?

I'd like to check Alan Stanwyk's file.

What the hell's happening?

Where the hell's the records room?

Next to Pathology, B1. l can't hear you. What? B1.

Could you just collate these for me? Where did you say that was?

B1. B1. Thank you very much.

You can take the elevator.

Thank you very much.


Hey, you. Give me a hand for a second, will you, Doctor?

Me?

Come on ! Come on !

Yeah.

Have you ever seen a spleen that large?

No, not since breakfast.

Here. Hold this.

Listen, I'm not really prepared for this. l haven't sterilized my hands.

You're not gonna make this guy any sicker.

I'll get it.

l don't feel good.

Boy, you never get used to the smell, do you?

Oh, Doctor. Are you all right?

Where am l?

You're in the records room.

The records room?

Oh, I'm fine.

Can l get you something?

Do you have The Beatles' White Album?

Never mind. Just get me a glass of hot fat.

And bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia while you're out there.

Well, Dr. Holmes went to get you some smelling salts.

He was quite surprised that you fainted.

He was surprised? l thought that body was my dead brother.

Oh !

It's okay. But that spleen was a spitting image.

No, l guess I'm fine.

Nurse, I'm hyperventilating.

Would you get me a paper bag, please?

Yes, right away.

Thank you.


Here you are, Doctor.

Oh, thank you very much.

Is there anything particular l can help you with?

No. Yes, there is, actually. My. . .

One of my associates was doing a biopsy on this man.

Very recently, they said he had a melanoma, or a carcinoma, some kind of a noma. l don't know. There's no record of it here.

Well, if he had one, it would certainly be in here.

Wait. Here it is.

"A surgical removal of two moles.

"Tissue was benign."

Benign? There's no mention of cancer here at all? That's it?

That's it.

This is one month ago.

In other words, according to this hospital, Alan Stanwyk does not have cancer. l guess not.

He'll be so relieved.

Thank you very much. My pleasure.

Have a nice day.


That sauce?

Have a bite.

Just a minute. I'm not finished yet.

Sorry, Mr. Underhill.

Does that look like I'm finished? l guess not.

Now I'm finished.

Whatever you say, Mr. Underhill.

l imagine you're expecting a nice gratuity, right?

Maybe next time.

Gail Stanwyk?

Yeah. l haven't seen you since the wedding. You look great. l do? That's very sweet of you.

You know, l have to confess something to you, l must've been pretty plowed at your wedding. l don't have any idea who you are.

Not my wedding, your wedding.

Oh, my wedding. Thank God.

No. Doesn't really help me. Are you a friend of Alan's?

Why, yes, we used to fly together. I'm John.

Oh, John.

Oh, together.

No. John who?

John Cocktoastoy.

It's a beautiful name.

Well, it's Scotch-Rumanian.

That's an odd combination.

Yeah, well, so were my parents.

Do you mind if l practice some more? l have to work on my ground stroke.

You bet. Go ahead.

Excuse me, señor You are a member of the club?

No, I'm not. I'm with the Underhills.

They are left, señor That's all right. They'll be back.

He went out for his urinalysis.

Would you like some drinks, señor, while you wait? l will put it on the Underhills' bill.

Yes, very good. I'll have a Bloody Mary, and a steak sandwich, and a steak sandwich, please.

Very good, señor Oh, hi.

So, how's Alan?

What are you asking me for?

He's been so busy lately, l hardly see him.

He's been preoccupied.

With what? l don't know. Personal stuff.

Whoa! Look, l hit one.

Not bad. You know, lobs are a very important part of the game.

Sorry, sir.

Let me show you a couple of things.

Here. Stand here for a sec. Now look.

When the ball comes, face the ball like this, you see?

Yeah.

And then pivot your body, and step in like that. Swing. Step in with your left foot.

Just like this.

Okay?

Go ahead. Try one.

All right. Go ahead. Get in that ready position.

Yeah.

And the ball's going to come now. l want you to pivot. Ready?

Yeah. How many did you put in the machine? l thought l put a lot.

Well, that's it. It's finished.

Good. Much better.

You know, l must be having an off day.

I'm usually a fabulous player.

Well, l have this effect on a lot of women. l bet you do.

You know, the reason l was asking about Alan is that l bumped into him this morning and. . .

You know what l can't figure out?

Alan's in Utah. l can't figure out what l was doing in Utah this morning.

I'm very flattered, but I'm also very married.

You are trying to hit on me, aren't you?

How did you guess?

I'm such a heel. l don't know what came over me. lf l had a nickel for every one of Alan's flyboy buddies who tried to pick me up, I'd be a rich woman.

You are a rich woman.

See what l mean?

Who would have thought the Vice President knew l was opening the door.

But the Secret Service, they. . .

Whack! And this blood, and. . .

Washington.

Sugar, Mr. Poon?

No, never, never. Thank you.

Well, now, let me reiterate that this is not a formal investigation.

That is, if Alan Stanwyk isn't involved in any improprieties. . .

Alan Stanwyk is not involved in any improprieties. l don't know where the SEC comes off by even making such an accusation.

Now, you know that, and l know that but somebody's bucking for a promotion.

It's probably that pederast Hanrahan. l don't know. . .

All l know is, if l don't go back with something you and your son-in-law are going to be the scapegoats of the week.

Unbelievable. This is unbelievable. l mean, look at this. They even want to know what he's doing in Utah.

Utah? Oh, Jesus H. Christ on a popsicle stick.

First of all, Alan Stanwyk does not own one single share of stock!

The $3 million for the ranch in Provo was entirely provided by my daughter who converted some of her personal holdings, not corporate holdings.

Personal holdings.

So, if any of your DC boys want to make something out of that, bring them on.

Otherwise, you tell your Commission to get the hell out of my face.

God, l admire you.

Well, consider this case closed.

Look at this, it's even stopped bleeding. Isn't that something?

My pleasure.

Well, thank you and good day.

Oh, by the way. . .

Yeah.

. . .what kind of a name is Poon?

Comanche Indian. Goodbye.

Oh, Madeline, Frieda lost the number for Alan's realtor in Provo, Utah.

Could you get me that real quick, please?

Jim Swarthout? Yeah.

I'm sorry, who are you again?

I'm Frieda's boss.

Who's Frieda? My secretary.

I knew my junkie pals were awaiting my good cheer on the beach but I needed a second wind, a beer and a wardrobe change.

As I pulled up to my palatial imitation apartment building, I observed the familiar red OIdsmobuick of Mr. Arnold T. Pants, Esquire, attorney for the former Mrs. Irwin Fletcher.

Time to use the service entrance.


Refusal to pay alimony is a jailable offense, Fletch.

What about trespassing and loitering? l am neither loitering nor trespassing.

I've simply chosen an advisable location to await my client's delinquent husband.

Well, l don't like to discuss business on the lanai. Let's go inside.

Okay. lf you're wearing rubbers, leave them outside, would you?

A little one-on-one?

He draws the foul.

You owe Wendy $918.

She doesn't need it.

She's been living with somebody for months. And l know it. l don't know what you're referring to.

Wendy maintains her own residence.

This stinks. l empathize with your plight, Fletch.

However, you threw her out.

She was sleeping with everybody.

You should have proved that in a court of law.

My lawyer was a bum. l agree. l think she slept with him, too.

You may be right.

Are you serious?

That's history, Fletch.

You owe us $918.

Hey! l think our problems may just be solved.

Ed McMahon. l think l just won a million bucks.

Yeah. "lrwin M. Fletcher, you choose."

Oh, boy. l lost again. Sorry.

This is no joke, Fletch. lf some kind of payment isn't made, I'm gonna have to contact your paper, garnish you your wages. l can't have my wages garnish-ied.

Tell you what.

Cash? I'm impressed. l saw my pimp today.

Open your raincoat.

Come on. Just once. It's worth it.

That's $1,000.

You apply the difference to next month, okay?

Now scram. Till then.

Keep $10 for yourself. Go out and get yourself a nice piece of ass.

Ladies and gentlemen, our guest is the Most Valuable Player of the National Basketball Association, six times.

From the Los Angeles Lakers, the all-time scoring champion of the NBA, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

And he's coming off a game that was second to none in his brilliant career.

You gotta be proud.

Oh, definitely, Chick. It was a great effort.

But, you know, I had a Lot of help, and we're just glad to be here.

Hey, how about Fletch?

What can I say about Fletch? He's been fantastic.

He boxes out for us, gets the tough rebounds and does the tough things that we need to win.

It's great working with him.

I don't know where we'd be without him.

And let's take a look at the play.

He is actually 6'5". With the Afro, 6'9".

Pretty good dribbler. Comes in deep.

His club is behind by one point at this stage.

Fletch comes in, puts the ball through the legs!

What a great play! And he puts it up and in!

And the Lakers have the lead!

Oh, was that some kind of a play!

You know, this gritty kid from the streets of Harlem really creates excitement.

$4 million a year, that's true. But he earns every nickel of it.

Look how he shakes off four or five defenders with ease.

Fletch, he truly defines grace under pressure.

Lar, it's me.

Listen, see if you've got anything on Stanwyk from the time he used to live in Utah.

Yeah. And also check out a realtor in Provo.

His name is Swarthout.

Shit!

What's going on?

Take off, Fletch ! Hey!

What are you doing?

They're after Gummy again. Come here.

Hey, slow down. Fletch, this is dumb.

Come on, man !

Hey, what are you doing, man? He's defenseless.

No, no, no! Don't do that!

Get up! What are you doing?

Fletch !

Let me out of here!

Beat it, cop!

Hey, you're really nuts.

You okay?

Yeah. l feel like $100.

They didn't do anything.

What? What are you talking about? l busted their window, and they didn't do anything.

You're lucky or something.

It's not luck. They didn't want me.

They wanted Gummy.

The cops and Gummy. . .

Come on, Frank. Relax, will you? l need a little more time. l could be on to something here.

You're on to something?

Yeah. Good. What? l don't want to spoil your surprise.

Read about it tomorrow.

What? What do you want?

Don't point. Speak! l need Fletch for a second.

She needs me. l got nothing on Utah or Jim Swarthout. l know, honey. We have to put this on the back burner right now.

Right here. That's good.

You wanna give me just a little hint?

All right, Frank.

There just may be some cops involved in all of this.

Did you say cops? Yeah.

'Cause that's the one thing l did find.

It's from last month, so it was in the unsorted pile.

What's this? More cops.

Frank, l need to go to Utah.

Utah?

Yeah, Utah.

It's wedged in between Wyoming and Nevada. You've seen pictures.

What about finding the source? l have some ideas.

Come on, Frank. Say "yes."

I'll buy you some new deodorant.

Go to Transportation. Get a ticket.

My hero. Nothing to it.

You're not recording this, are you?

No. Never. Never.

Question.

Why does a man ask me to kill him and lie about dying when he isn't dying?

He asked me to kill him.

Question. Gail Stanwyk converts $3 million of her stocks to buy the ranch house.

Why pay in cash?


Mr. Jim Swarthout?

My name is Igor Stravinsky.

And I'm calling about some ranch property I'd like to buy.

Good, Mr. Stravinsky, what did you have in mind?

Mmm-hmm.

Oh, are you a friend of Alan's?

Well, no, not exactly. l was at the club, and l overheard some people talking about the property you sold him.

And $3 million sounded like a good price to me.

Oh, is that right?

Oh, well, in that case, l have been very misinformed.

Excuse you? Yes.

Well, listen. Say, I'd like to come out and see you anyway.

Is that all right?

What's good for you?

Well, I'm about to close up shop and go out for the evening.

How about first thing in the morning?

First thing in the morning. Tomorrow. Bye.


Hello. Anybody home?

Hey there, fella, what's your name? Fluff? Fifi?

All right.

Bad dog.


Sit.


Stay.

Watch your dogs.

Boy, oh, shut it.

Come on. Smile. Say, "Flesh."

Look, defenseless babies.

Fell for the oldest trick in the book.


Strangers in the night Exchanging clothing Strangers in my pants

Surprise!

What the hell's. . . Move!

Police. Spread 'em !

Got a gun, creep?

Shamu's got one. Borrow his.

What have we here? That's my dick.

Oh, funny boy.

What have we here?

Looks like heroin, Gene.

Hey. You just planted that.

What'd you say?

You fellows wanna read me my rights?

You have the right to remain silent.

Okay.

You have the right to have your face kicked in by me.

Nice.

You have the right to have your balls stomped by him.

I'll waive my rights.

All right, Gramps, move it along.

What's the booking, gentlemen?

Possession of narcotics. And the chief wants to talk to him.

Oh, yeah? You'll like Chief Karlin. He's a nice man.

Yeah, l hear he's mellowed out a lot since he came out of the closet.

You better take his picture while he still has a face.

That hurts. You've been hurting me.

Give him a buzz.

Come in.

Here he is, Chief.

Easy, fellas. I'll be with you in a moment.

You decorate this place yourself, or did Mrs. Chief of Police help out?

So, what's your name?

Fletch.

Full name.

Fletch. F. Fletch. l see.

And what do you do for a living, Mr. Fletch?

I'm a shepherd.

Officers, could you excuse us for a few moments?

Yeah. Why don't you guys go down to the gym and pump each other?

Why are you doing this, Mr. Fletch? l like men. l like to be manhandled. l like you.

For a gentleman who was just found holding a bagful of heroin. . .

That was planted on me.

We're looking at five years here, maybe 10.

Now, is that what you want, Jane Doe?

Your editor phoned me to respond to allegations you're about to print concerning police involvement in narcotics dealings.

Uh-uh.

I'm about to bust that beach wide open.

And l don't need some penny ante Woodward and Bernstein to come along and get in the way of my men.

Well, your men may just be involved in all of this. l would think that might interest you.

Idiot!

All right. Strictly off the record, okay?

Yeah, okay. l got that beach crawling with undercover cops.

But if you come along nosing around, you're gonna make the bad guys there more cautious.

Makes my job harder.

And listen, if you print your story this week, it might get some of my men killed.

And l can't have that, Mr. Fletch.

You understand?

Yeah. l understand.

Well, l got a deadline.

So the name's Karlin with a "K," right?

Dipshit!

You go back to that goddamn beach, and you won't live to regret it!

All right?

Hey, you and Tommy Lasorda.

Yeah. l hate Tommy Lasorda.

Hey!

It's all right. I'll take care of it now.

Swing low, sweet chariot I'll handle it from here.

Coming for to carry me home Can't keep me here, Chief.

Maybe I'm not gonna keep you in here.

Maybe I'm gonna blow your brains out.

Well, now, I'm no lawyer but l do believe that's a violation of my rights.

After l shoot you, l stick myself in the arm with this knife then I'll place the knife in your dead hand.

Self-defense.

We don't do it much anymore, but back in the old days. . .

You're serious.

Ask anybody.

Can l ask anybody now?

How about, can l call my mom, tell her how much l love her? l guess not.

I'm a newspaper reporter. You don't just blow away newspaper reporters.

It's kind of stupid, isn't it?

What'll it be, Fletch?

Hey, l hate the beach anyway, man.

This isn't even my story.

I've got a deadline on my series on that off-track betting in the Himalayas.

Smaller story, but l know you've been following it.

l can tell you have things under control down there.

Your beach.

Come on out. Come on.

May l? Thank you.

How could you call him? What's the matter with you?

Fletch, I'm sorry.

Do you have any idea know how close to death l came?

Yeah, it's awful. l mean, the guy had me alone in a cell with a gun at my head and a knife in his hand !

He threatened to kill me, Frank.

Jesus, that's a shame.

He would've blown me away.

Unbelievable.

You don't believe me, do you?

Nope.

He thinks l made it up.

Unbelievable.

Fletch, l need an article from you by tomorrow.

You believe me, don't you? Yes, l do. l don't want any of these unsubstantiated charges about dope-dealing cops or any of your horseshit paranoid fantasies about homicidal police chiefs.

Give me something l can print!

Print this.

Me, too.

Hey, watch it. You're on thin ice, Larry.

The time had come to hang out at Boyd Aviation to meet some of the guys and to find out what Stanwyk was doing with that plane.

I splurged.

I invested 49 cents in a set of novelty teeth.

Hey!

You the guy from Ajax?

Yeah, you bet.

All right. l thought you were bringing the eighth.

Yeah. They're on their way. I'm the supervisor. l don't carry the stuff.

Who's bringing them, Freddie?

Yeah. Freddie.

You were supposed to have been here over an hour ago, boy.

Well, traffic was murder.

You know, one of those manure spreaders jackknifed on the Santa Ana.

God awful mess.

You should see my shoes.

Stanwyk's baby, huh?

Yeah.

Uh-huh.

Looks well-used.

He's back and forth to Utah every weekend.

Oh, is that right?

What is he, a Mormon?

l don't think he's doing a whole lot of singing with the Tabernacle Choir.

These executives, they live high. Know what l mean? l sure do.

That's a terrific wing. l love this shape.

Hey, do us a favor, pal.

Name's Liddy. Gordon Liddy.

Gord, take a look at the seventh Fetzer valve, will you? l think it's been sticking.

Probably the humidity.

That's funny.

No, what l think it is myself is the bypass line.

It could be the bypass line. Yeah.

Maybe l should take a look at it.

Gordo?

Back here?

Don't tell me my business, boy!

Just checking the luggage.

Somebody ought to clean these windows.

There's a tremendous build-up of gook all over them. Look at that.

You use a lot of fuel to go to Utah?

That's what l always ask him.

Burns enough to go to South America and back.

South America and back.

Is that right? Yeah.

But l always kid him about it. l say, "What are you doing up there? You doing some stunt flying or something?"

What's he say?

Well, you know, he don't say nothing.

He just gives me that look.

You know, he's got that look.

Yeah, he don't say nothing. He just gives him that look.

Well, sure. He's the boss.

Here, let me take a crack at this Fetzer here.

Gord.

Yeah, l know where it is. I'm just getting a bird's-eye view here and. . .

What do you think? It's the bypass line, right? l think it's the bypass line. Yeah. l told you.

I'm gonna need some pliers and a set of 30-weight ball bearings.

What?

Yeah.

Tell you what. l gotta go to my truck. lf Fred gets here before I'm back, you can tell him to start without me.

What the hell do you need ball bearings for?

Oh, come on, guys.

It's so simple. Maybe you need a refresher course.

Hey, it's all ball bearings nowadays.

Now, you prepare that Fetzer valve with some 3-in-one oil and some gauze pads.

And I'm gonna need about 10 quarts of antifreeze, preferably Prestone.

No, make that Quaker State.

And wash those windows. They've got filth and muck on them.

Oh, hi. Where's Mrs. Stanwyk?

In her cabaña, señor Oh, yeah. I'm supposed to meet her in the cabaña 6, right?

Cabaña 1. One. Right.

You would like something to eat or drink, señor?

Actually, l would.

Charge it to the Underhills, señor?

Yeah. That's right.

Do you have any caviar?

Sí, señor Beluga. But it is $80 a portion.

Well, l better just take two portions of that.

How's the Lobster Thermidor? l recommend it, señor Good. That'll be fine.

Bring two bottles of Dom Perignon to Cabana 1.

Very good, señor And put down $30 for yourself, huh?

This is the nicest place.

Who is it?

It's John.

John who?

It's John. John Levin. . . l don't remember.

John Cocktoastin?

Yeah.

Hi. l was hoping you'd say that. l just got out of the shower.

Yeah. Can l borrow your towel for a sec?

My car just hit a water buffalo.

Nice place you have here.

I'm surprised to see you. What are you doing here? l ordered some lunch.

You ordered it here?

Well, l knew this is where my mouth would be.

l really should change.

No, l think you should stay the same wonderful person you are today. l mean put clothes on.

No, really, make yourself comfortable.

Are you always this forward?

Only with wet, married women.

Your turn at the door!

Okay. Very good, gentlemen. Come right in.

There you go. Right in this way.

Right in here. That's good. That's very nice.

Want l set up?

No, thank you. I'll take care of it.

Give each other $20, okay?

Put it on Underhill.

Oh, this is beautiful.

There we have it.

All this goes on the Underhills' bill?

Yeah, well, l saved his life during the war.

You were in the war?

No, he was. l got him out.

Wow, l can't believe I'm doing this. This is great.

Let's eat. Let's eat.

Your bill, señor Oh, thank you.

$400 for lunch?

Your guest, señor What guest? We didn't have any guests here today.

Two bottles of Dom Perignon?

$100 a pop!

Jesus H. Christ! Where is he?

He is with Ms. Stanwyk.

Where's she? Cabaña 1.

Do you mind if l ask you a question?

Depends on the question.

Want some more champagne?

Yes.

Are you still in love with Alan?

No. l mean, no, you can't ask me that question.

Ask me another one.

Why'd you let me in?

Because I'm bored. lf you're so bored, why didn't you go to Utah with Alan?

Well, Utah's not exactly a cure for boredom.

That's a good point. l mean, I've never even been there. l shouldn't say that.

What about his parents? They live there.

He hasn't seen them for years so I've never met them.

They don't get along well?

Mrs. Stanwyk.

Yes?

I'm sorry to disturb you. It's Ted Underhill here.

Thanks for a great time. l gotta get out of here.

Wait a minute. What is this?

Someone of your acquaintance has charged a $400 lunch to my account.

John, you don't know the Underhills?

I'd appreciate the opportunity of discussing this matter with you.

I'm just out of the shower.

Can you wait a minute? l just have to wee-wee.

Yes, of course.

Why did you do it?

Well, l don't think it would be fair for you to pay the bill.

A $400 lunch tab?

That's what l mean. It's outrageous, isn't it? It's way over the line.

I'll cover it.

Wait, you can't go out looking that.

He might spot you. Hold on.

You look like you're the same size as Alan.

Put this on.

Nice suit. Just return it.

Any other surprises?

Yeah.

My name is not John Cocktoastin.

And l wasn't at your wedding.

Who are you?

I'm lrwin Fletcher.

And l write a newspaper column under the name of Jane Doe.

And it's not the food section, Gail.

So?

So. . .

Your husband hired me to kill him.

Mrs. Stanwyk!

Mrs. Stanwyk! In a minute!

Enough surprises. What the hell are you talking about?

Sit down.

Your husband told me he was dying of cancer. Is that true?

No. It's not true.

That ranch property you thought you were buying in Utah?

Not true.

He's a bad guy, Gail.

He's involved in something very big and very bad.

Do you know a guy named Jim Swarthout?

Yeah. Swarthout's the man who sold us the ranch.

Wrong.

He sold you $3,000 worth of scrub brush.

No. l saw the deed.

You saw a forgery.

This is the real deed.

See, there's Swarthout's name.

Now, if this were at all legible, you'd see what l meant.

Look, here's the dog that tried to bite me.

Here's the motel l stayed in, there's my car.

The dog tried to bite that.

Here's the Mormon Tabernacle.

Stop it. Stop.

He's told me a lot of things.

So far, not one of them has been true.

I'm sorry to have to tell you these things.

Mrs. Stanwyk!

Wait! Just wait a minute!

I'm gonna call my father. He'll know. . .

No, you can't.

Gail, please. Look, l know you don't know me from a hole in the wall but you've gotta trust me.

Just give me 24 hours.

Mrs. Stanwyk!

You a Laker fan?

No.

Yeah, I'm coming.

Just a minute!

I'll take you to a game.

Mrs. Stanwyk!

Sorry. Thanks. Bye.

Wait. What are you talking about?

I'm talking about how much I'd like to take you to a Laker game. lf you need me, call the paper.

What am l supposed to do for the next 24 hours?

Act natural. l was afraid you'd say that.


Oh, Jesus.

What's he doing with the Chief?

Seeing Bone Cancer and Chief Karlin together might lead to a Page 1 item.

But without any real evidence, Frank wouldn't even print it in the want ads.

I had to keep digging, without a shovel.


Afternoon, Smog Patrol. Had your emissions checked?

No, sir. Fluorocarbons? Ozone?

No, sir. Well, let's check it out.

What do you say? Giddyup.

Smells pretty good.

That's him.

Unit 12, in pursuit.

Why don't you catch some shuteye? Just lay back and enjoy.

Try to breathe through your nose.

l always use a little chewing gum on these rides.

It filters out the pollutants.

Oh, shit!

Of course you've got some good grillwork there. Keep out the ozone. l gotta get this thing up to 95, check out the fluorocarbon output.

Don't worry about the speed limit here.

That's why we've got the police escort.

You a cop? As far as you know.

Are you gonna take me to jail for car theft?

Why, did you steal the car? l sure did !

Well, I'm not even sure that's a crime anymore.

There've been a lot of changes in the law.

Pull to the right and stop. Pull over.

Hey, look out for that truck!

Nothing, it's just a little game l play with my buddies.

Kind of a hide-and-seek kind of a thing. They love it.

What a day!

Must be a stage two right about here.

Do a little slipstreaming and. . .

Whoa! There's Fred ! Won't he be surprised !

Shit!

Can't you hear me? I said pull over...

Uh-oh.

You got a license? l didn't bring it with me. Do you have one?

No.

Pull over, buddy!

Hey, Freddie, how's the herpes? It hurt?

Pull over! l did pull over before. I'll pull over later.

Pull over!

All right, that's it. You can turn your bike in at the next depot.

You're a disgrace to the force!


Get going. Get the door.

Congratulations. You passed the test.

Raise your left hand, please. My men will be right with you.


Thelma Noble, Ellis Lee Hereford, Lee Weaver and Harold Ausley.

I would Like you to meet our friends here on the dais.

So please hold your applause until I'm finished.

To my left is Kitty Domaine...

More coffee? There you go.

...Selby Desner, Barbara Wattell, Walter Smith, Martha Sterling and Paul Fleming.

And to my right, Michael Kenyon, Olivia D. Williams, Otto Bailey, Bea Dorfman.

And now, the Father of Internal Bushings, our very own and beloved leader.

A man who needs no introduction!

Thank you very much, Sammy. Thank you ! l couldn't wait.

That was a very nice introduction, and l am very thrilled and proud to be here today.

It's been a wonderful ceremony so far.

Here on behalf of our own Fred "The Dorf" Dorfman !

Who is he?

Many of you don't know that Fred was darn near death recently.

And he wasn't ashamed to admit to me that he'd had syphilis.

Thank God he stopped it in its tracks. l must tell you that it takes a lot for a man to admit where he got it from and how he got it. l must say, look at him today. Fred, you look just wonderful.

The nose looks normal again. The face has come back into shape.

And he's not drooling anymore, it's a good sign.

And hats off to Marge, his wife, because that whole experience there, the two or three weeks that she stayed at Trembling Hills has paid off.

No more alcohol or sedatives in her life.

There's so many other things that l wanna tell you about Fred, things that maybe many of you already know.

Sammy, you're not going to sing for us, are you?

Did you know that Fred spent a good deal of his life honoring a profession that has gone largely unsung around here?

Some of those boys are here tonight.

The profession, of course, is law enforcement.

I know Fred feels this way, that too often our feelings are locked in and we feel restrained and perhaps even embarrassed to actually reach out and touch an officer of the Law.

After all, they are people, aren't they?

So why not stand up and pat them on the back? Go ahead, reach out.

Go ahead!

Shake hands with any one of the guys you see here, these men in blue.

Hug a cop! Yeah, go ahead. I said it.

Yeah! That's a wonderful feeling!

I am so proud tonight!

Oh, say, can you see By the dawn's early light What so proudly we hail'd At the twilight's last gleaming Hip, hip, hooray!

Hip, hip, hooray! Hooray!

Hooray! Hooray!

Mr. Stanwyk, you are confirmed on Pan Am Flight 441 to Rio de Janeiro tomorrow evening, 11:00 p.m., first class.

That's terrific. Thank you.

You reconfirmed this morning.

You bet l did.

I'm a bear for detail. l hope there's nobody next to me.

You see, l always travel first class and l take both seats up.

I'm in bridge work. Bridge construction.

These fold-outs take a tremendous amount of space up and l need the space.

I'm afraid there is someone sitting next to you.

Oh, for God don don ! Who is it? Mr. Sinilindon?

No. The name is Cavanaugh.

Cavanaugh?

Oh. Is that Morris or Pierre?

Sally Ann Cavanaugh.

Sally Ann? Well, terrific.

In fact, you purchased the ticket for Miss Cavanaugh.

Doesn't mean l want her sitting next to me, does it?

I'm sorry, the flight's full.

She's connecting out of Provo.

Oh. All right, fine.

Provo, Spain?

Utah.

Utah !

Listen, Frank, don't give me any crap about the beach story.

I'm at the airport.

The airport?

Listen, there are at least two dozen cops after my ass. l can't go to my house, l can't go to the office.

I'm a man without a country, Frank.

Fletch, if these cops are really after you, come in here.

You'll be okay. l couldn't even get through the front door.

Listen, I'm going to Utah.

You go to Utah, you stay in Utah.

I'm turning the story over to a professional reporter.

Frank, The story is Utah. Trust me.

You're going to Utah? Fine, fine, fine. lf your story is not on my desk by 11:30, you're out of a job.


Cujo?


Who the hell are you?

Get up!

I'm up.

Door was unlocked.

Lock's busted.

Well, there you have it. l work for the landlord.

He told me to watch out for the place.

Well, l commend him on his choice.

What? l commend him on his choice.

l was supposed to meet Mrs. Cavanaugh here.

Who are you?

I'm Don Corleone, Mrs. Cavanaugh's cousin.

You know where she is?

Moved out.

Moved out?

Isn't that something? l just talked to her last week. She didn't say a thing about it.

She moved out.

So you're saying she moved out.

This morning.

This morning?

God !

We had so much to talk about.

You know, Mo Green is out of the Tropicana now.

My sons, Mike and Fredo, are taking over.

What did you want under the bed?

I'm afraid I'm gonna have to pull rank on you. l didn't want to have to do this.

I'm with the mattress police.

There are no tags on these mattresses.

l have to take you downtown. Now, give me the weapon.

I'm calling the cops.

This is for the cops.

Come on, man, will you? I'm her cousin.

Tell the cops.

Okay, you wanna call the cops? Call the cops.

Better tie your shoelaces first.


Thanks a lot!

Hey, Stretch, what's happening?

I got an unbelievable story here.

Yeah? Great.

What can l do?

Write this down. Sally Ann Cavanaugh.

Sally Ann Cavanaugh.

Check every hotel in LA.

Start with the ones near the airport.

He's supposed to leave the country with her tomorrow night.

Got that, honey? l love your body, Larry.

Good afternoon.

Howdy.

You know, they ought to recall these things.

You hit one good bump out here and, boom, the whole rear window explodes.

Are you Mr. Marvin Stanwyk? Yeah.

Hi there. I'm Harry S. Truman from Casewell Insurance Underwriters.

Harry S. Truman?

Yeah, well, my were big fans of the former president.

Isn't that nice? He was a good man.

He sure was. He showed the Japs a thing or two.

Oh, yeah, he dropped the big one, huh?

He dropped two big ones on them.

He was a real fighter. Yeah.

You in the insurance line, Harry?

That's right.

Well, I'm fully covered.

Oh, l don't doubt it, Mr. Stanwyk.

Actually, my company is the sub-insurers of the subsidiary carriers of a policy held by Alan Stanwyk, who l believe is your son.

Yeah, he is.

Mr. Truman, l want you to meet my wife, Velma.

Oh, my pleasure.

Nice to meet you. Nice to meet you.

Come on up here and sit down, have a glass of lemonade.

Thank you.

Velma makes the most unusual lemonade.

Is that right?

It's kind of hard to keep it cold on a day like this.

Where you from, Harry?

I'm from California.

San Berdoo.

Yeah. Utah is part of my route.

Say, you folks don't mind if l ask you a couple of questions, do you?

Shoot.

Thank you very much.

We'll just start with a couple of the routine things.

You and your wife are currently alive, l take it?

Harry, if there's. . .

It's just regulations.

Now, you, Marvin, and your wife named Velma. . .

Velma.

. . .are the parents of one Alan Stanwyk of Beverly Hills, Executive Vice President of Boyd Aviation.

Check. Check.

And when was the last time you saw Alan?

Oh, about ten days ago.

Ten days ago?

Yeah, he comes and visits us about every three weeks.

Isn't that nice?

How long has he been doing that?

Since he moved to LA.

Now, you'll pardon me if l seem a bit personal here, but l don't know how to put it.

We understand that there's a young lady friend here in Provo that Alan's been seeing.

What's this got to do with insurance?

Oh, trust me, Marvin, this is a comprehensive policy.

Well, you can forget about that lady friend business.

Alan is the most loving husband a girl could have.

He dotes on that bride of his.

Who?

His wife.

You've met her?

Well, of course we have. He brings her with him.

Has Alan ever mentioned the name Sally Ann Cavanaugh to you?

Has he?

Boy, what in the hell's the matter with you?

He has, then?

Of course he has.

That's his wife.

Of course.

His wife's name is Sally Ann Cavanaugh then. l. . .

Cute as a button.

You wouldn't happen to have a picture of Alan and his bride, would you, handy?

Oh, sure, we've got lots of pictures.

Let me get you some. Great.

Still married are they, Alan and Sally Ann?

Yes, they are.

How long have they been married, Marvin?

It was before he moved to LA.

Eight years April.

This keeps getting heavier each year.

There we are. There, there it is.

That's the one. Oh, my goodness.

She is a button, isn't she?

Isn't she cute?

Say, could l borrow this picture for a while? l promise to send it back.

It's routine. The actuarial people. . .

Oh, that's all right. We have lots more.

Want to see the reception?

No, no, thank you. I'm trying to quit.

Well, how about Marvin's 65th birthday party?

How about that, Marvin?

They got a picture of me in here.

But they. . . Remember how much you drank that day?

This is Alan? Son of a bitch ! l can't believe this!

It's really Alan, and it's really bigamy.

How long have they been married?

About eight years.

Who is this woman? l don't know, Gail, l think it's Alan's high school sweetheart.

Her name is Sally Ann something or other.

Alan's been keeping a lot of things secret lately.

I'm gonna call the police. No, no.

No, Gail, you can't do that. Yes, l am.

And I'm calling my father.

Just give me one more day, okay? Just one more day.

Why, what for?

Do you have any idea how humiliating this is?

Yes, l do. l really do.

Remember what l told you?

Tomorrow night you have a club meeting.

You stay away from the house, all right? I'll take care of him.

Don't worry about it.

She looks like a hooker. Look at her.

Look at her. Could you love someone who looked like that?

What are you talking about? Of course not.

Five, ten minutes tops, maybe.

That's funny.

l know. Listen.

Why don't we both relax and go in there and lie down and I'll fill you in?

This is a really good time to make a pass at me.


Gum?

Who? Go somewhere else.

Gum, it's me.

Fletch. Really, is that you?

Don't say "Fletch." Don't say my name.

Shut up. Okay.

Don't look at me, lay back. l gotta talk to you, all right?

All right, all right. About what?

There're cops all around here, and they're after me.

What? You mean those surfers over there?

Just lay back down.

Don't point. Just lay back, all right?

Okay, okay.

Fletch, why they after you?

They're after me because I'm a newspaper reporter.

And I'm nailing Chief Karlin as the major drug source on this beach.

Sit back.

Fat Sam's turning state's evidence.

What's that?

He wrote me a very nice deposition.

He says he just received the drugs and you did all the selling.

He said what? Fletch, he's lying.

Man, honest, Fletch. l didn't sell nothing, man.

You gotta believe me. l didn't sell anything. l just carried the drugs from the Chief to Sam. That's it.

Sure you did. Sure you did, Gum.

Fletch, Fletch, honest, man. That's all l did.

Twenty years, Gum, twenty years in prison.

Unless you want to play ball.

You don't leave me much of a choice, l guess.

Fletch, you all right? Yeah, I'm all right.

These robes. . . l got another question for you.

Where does the Chief get his drugs from? l don't know.

Have fun. Don't bend over for the soap.

Fletch. Fletch, okay, okay.

It's somewhere in South America.

Mind if l sit here?

Fletch? Man.

You don't know me, Sam.

My pleasure, brother.

I'm a reporter, Sam.

I'm breaking the story on the drug traffic around here.

Gummy's turning state's evidence. l got good proof it's the Chief.

You gonna bust the Chief?

I'm gonna bust the Chief.

l could use your help.

I'm a slave to that son of a bitch.

He busted me, third offense.

Gave me my choice, push for him or do 15 long.

Now, all l get out of this is free junk.

You don't have a piece of the action?

No. Free junk, that's it.

Hey, how you doing?

Albert Einstein's forehead. You like it? l won it in a raffle.

Excuse me. Fellows, stay with me, will you?

Fletch?

What's up? What's up?

I'm quitting as of midnight tonight.

Who are these guys?

This is Fat Sam and this is Gummy. Fellows, come with me.

These are their statements naming Chief Karlin as the number-one drug pusher from here to Oxnard. l want them to have federal protection sponsored by the paper.

Is that okay, Frank?

Sit down in there, anywhere you. . .

That's good. Make yourselves comfortable.

This is wonderful. This is. . .

I'm out, Frank.

You lost faith in me.

Fletch, l got nervous. Come on.

Forget it. I'm writing the story.

Just hold the last two paragraphs till 10:00, okay?

You want an apology?

You were going to can me, right?

No, not really.

Not really? l was upset. You know.

Okay.

Jesus, I'm sick of this place. Ow.

I'm gonna try out for the Lakers. They need a good power forward.

Fletch, this is a hell of a story.

Thanks.

Now, about these guys. . .

Don't worry about them. They're just fine.

You don't have any valuables in there, Vicki Morgan tapes or anything?


Good evening.

l like your outfit.

Did you bring the 50 grand and the tickets?

Of course.

Oh, oh, oh. You forgot your rubber gloves.

You're planning on killing me, aren't you?

You catch on real quick, Mr. Nugent.

That's a pretty hostile thing to do, don't you think?

Well, you were gonna kill me. l look at this simply as self-defense.

Now, if you would be so kind as to put your passport on my desk.

You're wearing my suit. Where did you get that? l said, where did you get my suit, Mr. Nugent?

The name's Fletcher. I'm a newspaper reporter. l write a column under the name of Jane Doe.

What the hell is this?

Read this.

Look, l don't have time for your nonsense.

Cut the crap.

Come downstairs and read this. I'm not going anywhere.

Unless my people hear differently, that letter goes out at midnight.

"Dear Mr. Boyd, Alan Stanwyk murdered me tonight.

"Charred remains found by the police in the Jaguar are mine, not his.

"Mr. Stanwyk, using my name and passport, boarded Pan Am Flight 306.

"On arrival, he intends to establish. . ."

Pretty hefty.

Keep reading.

". . .with his legal wife, the former Sally Ann Cavanaugh. . ."

Don't stop, Alan.

Uh-oh, the missus.

What are you doing here? l already know most of it. l just want to hear the rest from you.

He doesn't read my stuff very well. Let me take a crack at it.

"Sally Ann and Alan were married eight years ago,

"never divorced, making Stanwyk a bigamist, even in Utah.

"Stanwyk is also traveling with $3 million in cash, "the result of Gail Stanwyk's conversion of Boyd Aviation stock."

It's true, isn't it?

"Sally Ann can confirm all this

"when the police pick her up at the Airport Marriott."

That's where she is, isn't it?

"By the way, Alan is a very big drug smuggler.

"But you can read all about that in tomorrow's paper.

"Sincerely, I.M. Fletcher. PS, Have a nice day."

Bravo, Mr. Fletcher. Bravo.

You know, what tipped it for me was something your wife said while we were in bed together.

Oh? And what was that?

Curiously, she said we had roughly the same build.

From the waist up, l imagine.

Then l figured it.

You bump me off, plop me in the car and burn me up.

What the heck, same bone structure.

You son of a bitch.

But I'm not a stupid son of a bitch. l was already prepared to commit one murder, ass face.

What makes you think l won't commit two, huh?

Whoops.

"Whoops." What do you mean, "Whoops"? Don't say "Whoops." l mean, by the time your story's published, I'll be on the beach.

And l understand extradition from South America is very complicated.

I'll bet for two murders, it's even more so.

That thing loaded? lf you shoot me, you're liable to lose a lot of those humanitarian awards.

Tough shit, Hopalong.

Greetings, everyone.

Thank God, the police.

Jesus, what in the hell are you doing here?

Put the gun down, Alan. l can take care of them. l thought you had this all figured out. Nice going, lrwin.

Don't ever call me lrwin, okay?

Fat Sam left the beach today. So had Gummy.

It began to occur to me that maybe there's some things happening here that l should become aware of.

Look, l said I'll take care of this. Now, it doesn't involve you.

Now, go on home.

I'll call you tomorrow. What? Long distance?

Couldn't help but overhear you say something about South American extradition.

Jerry.

Alan, you're not planning on taking that $800,000 l staked you with for the next load, are you?

Looks like you two have a lot to talk over.

We'll just catch the last ten minutes of Dynasty.

Jerry, come on, now. You're gonna have to trust me! l got a foolproof way to get rid of this asshole, and you're jeopardizing everything !

Your foolproof way is gonna land my butt on the front page while you're basking in the sun !

With your money.

The second one's gonna be even more fun.

Go ahead, make my day.


Thanks.

No, this is getting absurd.

"One Bob Haldeman wig, a gorilla suit."

That's a gibbon suit.

"Tennis shorts, leather sneakers, wrist bands."

It's business, Frank. Believe me, l hate tennis.

What's novelty teeth?

Frank, it's all business. Frank, it's all business!

"A nun's habit. Six tubes of Crazy Glue."

Oh, that's personal.

Right, take it out of my raise.

You're not getting a raise. Did l say. . . Come on. l would think the DA would need these tickets for evidence.

Not necessarily.

Not necessarily? Larry!

In the court ruling US vs. Fishbein, a man subjected to potential incineration while wearing another man's suit is entitled to $10,000 worth of airline tickets.

It's an obscure ruling but a very important one to me.

Why don't you just say that you want to take me to Rio with you?

There's a different slant.

The thing is, see, we haven't really dated formally. l always take my first dates to a Laker game. l don't want to go to a Laker game. l don't like basketball.

Maybe that's because you don't understand basketball.

You haven't been schooled in the fundamentals. Pick and roll.

Sounds like a fast-food chain.

Reverse stuff. That I've done.

I'll bet you have, you little vixen.

The coroner had certified Stanwyk dead or extremely sleepy.

And Chief Karlin was facing 20 years in the fun house.

I decided to accompany Gail to Rio and personally assist her in her grief therapy.

On the beach, I explained basketball to her, but she didn't seem to grasp it.

Fletch? Call me lrwin.

Why do they have to bounce the ball the whole time? l mean, doesn't it seem a little childish to you?

Well, it may seem that, but that's called dribbling.

Dribbling? lf they don't keep bouncing the ball, they get called for traveling.

Traveling. Oh.

Yeah, that's what they call it when you don't bounce the ball.

When it came to basketball, Gail was a loss.

But we had our own version of one-on-one, and she thought I was the bravest man in the world, which, of course, I am.

By the way, I charged the entire vacation to Mr. Underhill's American Express card.

Want the number?

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