Thriller s06e07 - Death In Deep Water.

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In New York, at the airport, in an outbuilding silently walks a man, watching carefully, looking worried as he walks along a dark passage lined with packing crates. The sound of airplanes taking off heard in the background. This is Gary Stevens, blonde hair, dark glasses, moustache , carrying a suitcase. He stops by a line of crates, checks no one is following him and opens his suitcase. Firstly he takes off the blonde wig , to reveal his natural dark hair, then peels off the moustache and removes his smart white jacket. His suitcase has a change of clothes, more sombre looking business suit, he now looks quite different. Suddenly he hears footsteps , he freezes as the steps get nearer , a younger man than Gary who's in his early 40's walks into view carrying a gun. Gary launches himself at the man, the two struggle, no contest as Gary punches him out cold. A tannoy voice is heard, a call to his flight to London, Gary drags the body of the man out of sight and runs , he has a plane to catch.
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Some time later somewhere in New York in an elegant office a man sits at his desk, holding a gun, caressing it almost as if it's his best friend. Another man walks in , The Boss of the syndicate, he hands the seated man a photo of Gary Stevens.
Boss " I want him, I want him dead. Put a contract out on him"
The assassin, Burton, smiles,
B " consider Stevens dead"
Philip Stone is Burton.
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Months later, the west coast of southern England, the beautiful county of Cornwall , a two storey isolated house overlooks the bay. A road, no more than a dirt path winds it's way along the shore of the bay to the house, a car drives along it. The car goes to the end of the road, swinging round to the front of the house, the back overlooking the bay. Gary gets out of the car carrying bags of groceries , he climbs the steps and into his hideaway house he is renting.
Entering the open plan living space, he carefully treads, checking no one is here satisfied he relaxes and puts his groceries down. He takes his gun out and places it under the pillow of his bed, when he hears knocking on the front door.
" hey Steve"
Gary relaxes as he recognizes Doonan, the slightly drunken Scotsman who rents out the place.
G " okay coming"
He let's Doonan in.
D " you settling in good I see "
G " fine Doonan "
D " it's a relief I can tell you. During the summer when I usually rent this place, I'm up here two or three times a day, complaints about this, complaints about that, this doesn't work that doesn't work . You're different, keep yourself to yourself, yes you've really settled in, like a member of the community "
G " Care for a drink, scotch?"
D " ah, now you're getting to know me"
G " bottoms up"
D " after thirty years working on trawlers I'll not drink to that, but your health anyway"
They drink,
D " yes, folks have stopped asking about you Steve"
G ( alarmingly) " what folks"
D " In the village, not often we get an American here, out of season. Now the fishing is gone, the young ones have gone to the towns and factories, the folks don't understand how a man can shut himself away , just with the sea for company, to find himself "
G " if anyone in particular starts asking about me you'll let me know"
D " ah, that wife of yours, after the alimony. No no one in particular, I'll let you know if they do. I've been married myself, I could tell you a tale or two."
Doonan goes to the window looking out on to the bay.
D " don't go fishing today Steve, storm is coming "
G " are you kidding, it's a beautiful day "
D " in these parts storms come up quickly, yep this one will catch a lot of people out"
Doonan leaves, Gary downs another drink, in hiding in this remote Cornish fishing village.
Bradford Dillman is Gary Stevens ,
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Gary sits at a table playing chess by himself, he stops and stands, walks over to the tv and turns it on, watches for five seconds then turns it off, same with the radio nothing worth listening to. He is bored out of his head. He gets his suitcase from under the bed, opens it and pulls out a photo, of a young lady, his lady in New York. He goes over to the phone and speaks
G " hello operator, I'd like to make a call to New York person to person, yep I can wait"
A look of horror on his face as he slams the phone down.
G " my god am I nuts!"
Rain starts splattering the window pane, heavy rain, Doonan was right a storm and a big one is here. Suddenly he hears a loud bang, and again and again, and a voice, a female voice.
" help me please, help me let me in, help, someone "
Someone is banging on the back doors. Gary puts his jacket on, puts his gun inside it then goes to the back of the house down wooden stairs, leading to a sort of boathouse, a small motor boat is parked , for his use, comes with the accommodation. A large set of double wooden doors is being banged.
" help, let me in please "
Gary opens them and in runs a beautiful bikini clad girl, drenched.
Girl " thanks "
G " right ....er Blondie...what's the story?"
Bl " isn't it obvious, I was swimming and I couldn't get back "
G " swimming in this?!"
Bl " it wasn't like this when I started out"
G " okay you better come up "
The girl, just in her blue two piece bikini follows him upstairs.
 

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G " okay, bathroom is through there, you'll find some towels, I'll start a fire"
Blondie goes into the bathroom, Gary lights an old fashioned log fire, he goes over to the bathroom and knocks on the door.
G " I've got the fire going Blondie, want to hand me your things"
A hand snakes out of a crack in the door , holding the bikini pieces, Gary smiling takes them.
G " here , try these, they should fit you"
He hands some clothes over, and then takes her bikini and places them over a chair next to the fire.
Gary turns and sees Blondie standing there, wearing blue denim shirt and jeans.
G " they suit you"
Bl " they're itchy "
G " I usually wear them when I'm fishing "
Bl " well I didn't think you wore them to the hunt ball"
He offers her some scotch. They drink.
G " cheers, here's to dryer days"
Bl " it started so suddenly, I couldn't get back to my island "
G " your island?"
Bl " I call it my island, just around the headland, I live that way. Sometimes I go to the island to be alone, to sunbathe.....in the nude....to be private "
G " well I might swim out there myself someday surprise you "
Bl " I guess you like to be private too, living here "
G " it suits me"
Bl " well I'm glad you do live here, the current was so strong it was all I could do to make your shore"
G " I"ll get us some coffee "
Gary goes into the kitchen, Blondie notices the chess board set up.
Bl " not intruding am I? Your chess game"
G " no no, I play by myself, that way I always win"
Blondie goes into the kitchen,
Bl " what's your name"
G " Steve"
Bl " just Steve"
G " it'll do"
Bl " I think you're lonely Steve, this whole place says loneliness. I thought you looked lonely when I saw you in town a few months back"
G " not now, now you're here"
Bl " and what do you do here Steve , apart from play chess"
G " er...fish, relax...recharge the batteries. I'm on the run.....from a wife, the alimony. So I'm keeping a low profile "
Bl " I see"
G " and what do you do, apart from sunbathe in the nude"
Bl " I model seaman's clothes!!"
G " you could start a stampede to the navy"
Gary goes over to the fridge to get milk. Suddenly Blondie runs forward and takes his gun from his jacket pocket.
Bl " it spoils the lining of your jacket "
G " put that down Blondie, the safety is off"
Bl " no it isn't "
She turns the safety catch off
Bl " it is now. I know all about guns, my uncle has a cupboard full of them. ( points gun) Steve is it? I don't think so, close but no , it's Stevens, Gary Stevens, the man who was going to blow the whistle on organised crime, then changed his mind and disappeared. You're better looking than your photograph "
Blondie laughs and chucks the gun back at a relieved but bemused Gary.
Suzan Farmer is Blondie
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Blondie lays back on Gary's bed,
Bl " don't worry I won't tell anyone. It's your business and I'm a great respector of other people's business. Yes you will have to just take my word for it, otherwise what will you do....kill me? Anyway who would I tell..the police?...you're not wanted by the police"
G " no not the police "
Bl " could they trace you here?"
G " I doubt it, I hope not , if I testified I'd sink them all, so they're not going to give up. Trouble is I don't have enough money left to run much further. ( points gun) I'd be putting an awful lot of faith in you Blondie "
Gary lowers the gun and goes into the kitchen to get the coffee. Blondie on her own blows out her cheeks , relieved, a moment there she was scared.
Bl " storm's passed, oh my gosh I forgot to phone home, he'll be worried, probably called out the lifeboats and everything "
She picks up the phone and dials.
Bl " darling it's me, I'm okay, I swam to another shore, and a man here was kind enough to help. No I don't know him, I've never met him before. Really darling....I'll be home soon"
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Gary comes back in,
Bl " men eh?"
G " the jealous type is he ?"
Bl " just over protective. I better go"
G " I'll get the car"
Bl " no need, I'll go the way I came....er turn round"
Gary turns,
G " what if I turn round now "
Bl " if you want"
G " you can trust me, like I'm trusting you "
Gary turns to see Blondie back in her bikini.
G " will I see you again?"
B " I don't think that would be wise"
Blondie heads for the front stairs, and stops,
Bl " have you killed Gary ? Newspapers say you have"
G " newspapers exaggerate......hey I don't even know your name Blondie "
Bl " Blondie will do....bye"
Gary goes to his window and sees Blondie run towards the bay, she leaps in and swims away.
 
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The syndicate assassin Burton gets a phone call in his plush New York office, it's his boss.
Boss " our man has been spotted in three places, Sicily, Mexico City and London "
B " he'd be crazy to go to Sicily "
Boss " and we have Mexico City sown up so it's London "
B " I'm on my way "
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Gary is on the shore going over his fishing gear when he sees Blondie swimming towards him. She reaches the shore in her blue bikini again.
G ( smiles)" you look like Venus or whatever her name is the goddess coming out of the water"
Bl " you have the wrong goddess, I'm the goddess of plenty. A man on his own means he doesn't feed himself properly. So I'm going to fix your lunch."
A little later they eat at the dining table.
G " I thought I wasn't going to see you again. It's a great day, and he thinks you're sunbathing in the nude on your island "
Bl " he's away today on business "
G " what's he do?"
Bl " counts his money, he's rich"
G " he'd have to be"
Bl " you think I'm expensive"
G " no it's just that girls like you go with rich young men "
Bl " I never said he was young, he is 60 years old, I try to tell myself I married him for his charm , his worldliness, but deep down I know it was for his money. Do I shock you?"
G " I live in a glass house why should I throw stones "
Bl " it shocks me ,to know I'm that sort of a person "
G " that was quite a meal Blondie "
Bl " do you have brandy?"
G " erm yeah I think so"
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Gary pours some brandy while Blondie takes the dirty plates into the kitchen. He comes up behind her at the sink and strokes her hair.
G " no wonder he's jealous, every man is a threat" They kiss.
Later they lay in bed together naked, after sex, Gary gets up and pours himself a drink.
Bl " you drink too much Gary"
G " yep, a habit borne out of boredom "
He faces her,
G " I've never known a woman like you"
Bl " and you've known many"
G " hundreds "
Bl " you need a woman, in town there's plenty..."
G " I never go to town"
Bl " never?"
G " never, they say you can lose yourself in a crowd , but that's exactly where they'll be looking for me"
Bl " for how long"
G " I don't know "
Bl " meanwhile you're a prisoner here and you never ever go to town"
G " suddenly I have all I want right here "
They kiss,
Bl " he'll be back soon"
G "so, either he can't swim or if he can ,he can't make it this far anymore "
Bl " I have to go"

A plane lands at Heathrow, Burton disembarks, he hails a taxi.
B " Paddington Station please "
Paddington the station for trains to the west country, the net is closing.
 
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Gary is in his fishing boat about two feet away from shore, fiddling with his fishing tackle. He hears a voice.
" Steve....Steve.."
G " hey Doonan I'm round the back"
Doonan appears from the side of the house and totters over to him.
G " climb aboard "
D " that I'll do, it's a fine day....and a dry one"
G " hmmm...okay Doonan there's a beer in the icebox "
D " ah thanks Steve....what a mess you're making of that tackle...give it here...I'll show you how it's done."
They chill out together.
D " you're more relaxed, at ease with yourself "
G " why d'you suppose that is"
D " a clear conscience or a woman"
G " no chance, I make Robinson Crusoe look like a social beaver. I guess you know everyone around here in the village "
D " guess I do, if I don't recognise them they don't live round here"
G " what about the town "
D " most people "
G " I saw this guy the other day, wondered about him, seemed pretty well heeled, you know rich"
D " what's he look like"
G " er..just a guy, in his sixties perhaps, but his wife was something else. Blonde, beautiful slim"
D " that's his wife?"
G " you do know him then"
D " not know him no , but it sounds like Walter Sharpe. Got a big house on other side of the bay, a millionaire they say. I've seen him with that girl, she's an eyeful. Didn't know she was his wife"
G " yeah"
Gary smiles as he sees Blondie swimming to shore , she's sensibly coming ashore a little way off out of Doonan's sight.
G " look I gotta go Doonan, got a call to make back home. I'll see ya round, tomorrow, you can help me sample a bottle of scotch "
D " I'll sample that for you alright!"
Gary runs off to the house.
Ian Bannen is Doonan.
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After having sex again Blondie and Gary talk in bed.
Bl " something is wrong Gary, I think I've fallen in love with you "
G " why wrong, I have the same feeling "
Bl " it won't work Gary, it could never work. I told you I married for money, I'm avaricious greedy, scheming, I'm bad news Gary"
G " I'm no catch myself "
Blondie gets out of bed and faces him.
Bl " that's just it, you can give me everything I need and nothing that I want. I don't want to be poor, and run away with you, giving up the lifestyle I'm used to.....oh I'm sorry"
They hug,
G " I understand, I can't ask you to give everything up, give up being Mrs Walter Sharpe "
Blondie pushes him away angrily,
Bl " how did you find out, HOW!!.you've been spying on me"
G " I asked around that's all"
Bl " you've been to the house, you must NEVER GO THERE "
G " why...frightened I'll upset your bank balance......all I know about you is what you've told me, I've never been to the house, I don't even know your name or where you live"
Bl " anyway it doesn't matter, I'm going away, I don't know if he suspects but he's taking me away. At the end of the month we're going to Nice, selling up"
G " selling up?!"
Bl " yes it's a permanent removal. He craves the sun, he's old you see, blood is thin he feels the cold.......( sobbing)..oh Gary"
They hug again,
G " sssshh....don't cry Blondie "

An hour later Blondie wakes on Gary's bed. Gary is playing cards , solitaire at the dinner table.
Bl" you let me sleep "
G " yeah, I felt you needed it just an hour. (heavy sigh) end of the month....end of the damn month..you'll like Nice...never been there myself but I've seen the movies, you know the villas on top of the cliffs . Beaches loaded with Tarzans, you'll like it, maybe you'll find your own private island there too. End of the month....I'll miss you Blondie. Anyway that's a couple of weeks off, I can still see you can't I?"
Bl " no....I'll miss you Gary....( sighs).. he's got a cupboard full of guns, always playing with them, cleaning them"
G " thought that was your uncle "
Bl " they're two of a kind......did you ever kill a man Gary..newspapers said you did"
G " I told you newspapers exaggerate "
Bl " but exaggerate what...the act or the number....I think you have killed, probably for money.....no one knows I've ever been here"
Gary continues playing cards, the look on his face indicates he knows what's coming.
Bl " I've been careful, so have you, there's absolutely no connection between us. He's always playing with those guns....you know about guns Gary, so do I, however careful you are there are still accidents aren't they"
She kisses him,
Bl " I love you , but I told you I'm bad news, selfish and scheming. I would inherit a fortune if he dies......enough to go anywhere, it'll all be mine.....and yours "
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That evening Blondie is walking on the grounds of her mansion, through the yard at the back of the house, carrying a torch.
Bl " Gary are you here?"
G " over here "
Gary emerges from behind a large bin.
Bl " no one saw you come here?"
G " I was careful. Let's make this quick "
Blondie has a crudely drawn map on a piece of paper, she shows him.
Bl " here, that's the back door, I'll leave it unlocked. The stairs here , and here is where he'll be...the door has a lion on it "
G " lion?"
Bl " he's a Leo, it's his den. He always goes in there at 8.30 to clean his guns"
G " you'll have to lock the back door afterwards "
Bl " I know, when?"
G " tomorrow, invite a friend over, stay together, when you hear the shot you'll be in the clear. No one can point the finger at you"
Bl " what about you?"
G " let me worry about me , now go...and Blondie I'll see you afterwards yes?"
They kiss, she runs off back to the house.

The next morning a ferry chugs into the town harbour, people get off, including Burton, an underworld tip off has led him here.
 

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That evening Gary is back in the grounds of the house, dressed all in black, black gloves, inside Blondie is at the back door, she pulls the bolt back unlocking it, she leaves, a moment later Gary silently enters.
Upstairs in a bedroom a young lady is sitting at a dresser, looking at the mirror, towel on her head, face pack on. Blondie enters.
Bl " Helen sit still relax"
H " I look like death Gilly"
So Gilly is her name!
Bl " you'll look terrific by the time I've finished with you, not much longer "
Gary passes the bedroom outside he creeps down the corridor to see a door with a lion motif on it, he enters.
Meanwhile in the bedroom Blondie is doing Helen's nails;
H " this face pack, I'm drying out Gilly"
Bl " few minutes longer then I'll take it off"
H " I suppose Walter is in his den"
Bl " where else "
H " still don't know what to get for his birthday "
Bl " the man who has everything "
H " yes I know, but he's been so generous to me"
Suddenly a shot rings out, Helen stands,
H " Walter, Walter!!
Both run out, Blondie downstairs to the back door, she locks it as Gary is seen running away, job done. A piercing scream rings out Helen has found the body.
Diane Weston is Helen
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Gary goes back to his house by the bay, straight to the bottle of whisky and gulps down a large amount, steadying himself. He then puts his gun back under the pillow.
At the Sharpe residence a police inspector is talking to Blondie.
Insp. " you say the two of you were together when you heard the shot "
Bl " yes that's right "
Insp. " guns eh...however careful you are, you think it's not loaded, but accidents happen "
Bl " inspector he wasn't without influence and if the press get ahold of this....."
Insp " I understand, grief is private, I'll try and keep a lid on it, play it down a bit. After all no crime has been committed "
TWO DAYS LATER ;
Gary is on the beach outside his house, looking out to sea, no sign of Blondie. Where is she? Was he taken in by her and her promise to share her fortune?
Suddenly his jaw drops in horror, a body is washed up further along the beach, he runs over, it's a girl in a blue bikini, blond hair. Blondie dead
He turns the body over and looks down at her, almost feels sick, the face smashed by the rocks.
G " oh Blondie...I'm sorry.."
Horror on his face as he suddenly realises he's out in the open with a body.
He scarpers back to the house and straight again to the whisky.
G " no connection...no connection "
He must get rid of the body quickly.
Meanwhile Burton is getting closer. Doonan sits on the quayside of this fishing village mending his nets , as a rowing boat docks, Burton dressed as a tourist complete with camera gets out.
B ( to boatman)" how much do I owe you?"
Man " five pounds guv"
B " here we are "
Burton sees Doonan , he approaches him.
B " mind if I take a picture "
He snaps away acting like a tourist .
B " thanks fella "
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Meantime Gary has taken his motor boat out into the bay. Blondie's body is attached to an anchor. Making sure no one is about he tips the body overboard.
G " so long Blondie "
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Later, Gary is slumped over his dinner table, sleeping off a load of whisky. He stirs as he hears banging and a voice
" Steve......Steve...Steve....."
G ( half asleep)" Blondie...Blondie...."
He runs to the front door opens it, but it's only Doonan.
D " I thought you had died, are you okay?"
G " was asleep, had a few too many"
D " I have some news for you, an American was asking about you in the village, not specifically, but asked too many questions for a tourist "
G " what did you say"
D " I put him way off track. Told him there was an American here but he left, moved abroad "
G " thanks Doonan you did well. Want a drink ?"
D " I won't say no,......have you seen the papers....that rich fella, Sharpe, dead , shot himself , cleaning his guns and shot himself. All that money of his didn't do him any good in the end, I suppose that it will go to a relative or a charity"
G " no no his wife will get it"
D " ah you were wrong about her, Sharpe was a batchelor. George in the village told me, he did some work up at the house, Sharpe never married "
G ( perplexed)" that blonde girl, you saw her too"
D " yes and we were close, she was his fiancee, they were going to get married, if they had she'd get the lot, laughing all the way to the bank, well not laughing, you know what I mean, but as it is she'll get nothing, as they say in your part of the world that's the way the cookie crumbles "
Doonan leaves, Gary totally perplexed by this revelation. Why did she want him dead before they married.

In his hotel Burton on the phone to the syndicate boss.
B " didn't make a sale, got close "
Boss " and we were so sure"
B " you want I should try Sicily?"
Boss " that's a long shot, but check it out anyway "
B " sure I'll leave tomorrow "
 

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Gary slumped in his chair, still trying to fathom it out.
G (to himself) " why , it doesn't make sense WHY!!?"
He has an idea, he runs over to the phone book and thumbs through it, he gets the number of the Sharpe residence. After dialling,
G " hello is that the Sharpe residence "
A manservant has answered the call.
Man " yes who is this ?"
G " let me speak to Mrs Sharpe "
Man " Mr Sharpe is dead"
G ( shouting) " I know I want to speak to his wife"
Man " Mr Sharpe wasn't married "
G " look don't mess with me, I've seen her"
Man " another crank call, can't you people show respect to the dead, we're burying Mr Sharpe today , don't call again "
The phone is slammed down.

Later that day, the funeral cortege leaves the huge mansion. Line of black cars slowly proceed down the driveway. The front car with the coffin passes down the bush lined driveway, Gary is there, hiding behind a bush, he edges forward as the second car passes. In the back is Blondie , dressed in black.
She turns her head left momentarily, their eyes meet. Gary stunned, as the cortege moves on.

Burton is at the hotel reception.
B " I'm checking out today can you prepare my bill please "
Girl " certainly sir"
The girl goes into the office, Burton looks out of the window at the town centre. Gary is there!! Walking along the street with a newspaper in his hand. By the time the girl comes back to the desk Burton is gone.
 

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Gary arrives back home, he runs into the living area and starts thumbing through the paper.
" you won't find anything about me in there"
It's Blondie, wearing a tan coloured raincoat.
Bl " the police were kind about that, they kept the press boys at bay. Why did you have to come to the house today, today of all days. Tomorrow I'd have been gone and you'd never see me again. It was out of character, unexpected. You told me you never left this place, never went into town. It was careless of you showing yourself like that. I gambled on you being a pro."
G " I buried you !!"
Bl " yes I thought you would, you didn't let me down there. No connection eh Gary. You buried Helen Wiles, we looked superficially alike, build, hair, only the face was different and there wasn't much left of the face to identify was there. Very alike, I suppose that's why uncle Walter fell for her. Yes he was my uncle. He brought me up, adored me, everything he had was promised to me, then he met Helen. In a month they'd be married, husbands tend to make wills favouring their wives, and what would I have had, a quarter share of the fortune, or half, I've never done anything by halves Gary. Oh I wish you hadn't turned up today. It was so perfect, the police thinking Helen had gone off to bury her grief, and you thinking I was dead."
Gary smiles almost in admiration, he's been suckered.
G " you killed her?"
Bl " I had to, it made the circle complete, the perfect circle"
G " and now?"
Gary leaps onto the bed and lifts up the pillow, the gun is gone. Gary looks up, Blondie has it, pointing it at him.
Bl " you're getting careless Gary, and you drink too much, I told you that"
G" it won't work"
Bl " on the contrary, the circle is still perfect. The whole world knows there's a price on your head, so, someone collected "
G " maybe someone saw you come here"
Bl " I came by bus, and walked the last mile, and even if someone did see me, so what, there's no connection between us, never has been "
G " someone will see you leave"
Blondie undoes the buttons on her coat to reveal a black bikini.
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Bl " no one will see me leave "
Gary is desperate,
G " Blondie I loved you"
Bl " I know "
Gary moves towards her arms outstretched,
G ( smiling) " hey ...the two of us together...yeah Blondie?"
She fires, Gary is thrown backwards, dead on the bed. Blondie slips off her coat and shoes and runs, downstairs and out the back doors to the bay. She doesn't notice Burton hiding under the stairs, he is a professional with a job to do , he runs up the stairs, sees Gary and fires, another bullet in Gary.
Blondie is at the waters edge on the quayside. She places the coat on the ground, puts the gun and her shoes on top and ties it all up in a bundle. She hurls it into the water. Takes a run up and leaps into the water........just as glass breaks.
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Burton is staring at the dead body of Gary, he picks up the phone and dials.
B " yeah, it's me tell New York the deal is closed. And he had a friend with him, so I gave her a contract too just to be safe. Yeah I'm on my way home"
Burton goes over to the shattered remains of the window and looks out , a devilish smile on his face, the expert assassin in one smooth movement after shooting Gary smashed the window with his gun butt and fired, good shooting, he savours his handiwork..........on the surface of the bay , face down in the water, arms out by her side is Blondie ........dead.
THE END

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J. R.'s Piece

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I liked that one! Thanks.

Bradford Dillman said that Suzan Farmer’s outfit could have wakened the dead. Of course, he had been in the UK to film an episode of ITC’s Espionage c.1963. And he had come back to star in ITC’s 26-episode Court Martial series with Peter Graves, which was filmed at Pinewood Studios and on location.
 
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