Amanda - Star of TV And......(Film At 6:00 And 11:00)

by rankamateur

Scarecrow and Mrs. King belong to Warner Bros and Shoot The Moon Enterprises, Ltd.

"Flight To Freedom" written by Barry Gold

In "Flight To Freedom", Amanda and Colleen Donnelly wind up on the TV news. How would Amanda explain *that* to Dotty?


Thanks Rb and JulieC for some error trapping and other help. Remaining mistakes are mine.


Amanda carefully maneuvered the Mata Hari II into the docking space. Lee had gone forward and was calling out corrections. "Just a little bit to starboard, Amanda. Yeah, that's it.....that's good."

The sun had set a good forty-five minutes ago and the ships running lights, plus the widely spaced lights above the wharf didn't quite make up for the sun's absence. As the ketch got close to the dock, the two old retired seamen, whom The Agency paid to maintain her, came running up and waited for Lee and Amanda to toss them the bow and stern lines so they could tie the boat off. In a few minutes everything was secure.

"Thanks, guys," Lee called out. "We can take it from here."

"Right, Mr. Stetson," old Hank responded. "Hope we see you again soon."

"Yeah," Lee called back, somewhat less than enthusiastically. "So," he turned his attention to his partner, "looks like you'll be home at a reasonable hour tonight, just like you told your mother when you called her yesterday."

"Yup," she replied in a soft voice.

"Everything OK?" he asked, taking her hand in his.

"Oh sure," she replied with conviction. "It was a little scary for a while but everything turned out all right. Harcourt and his henchmen are in custody, Colleen and Bart are back together and the people who run La Gaviota have learned a good lesson."

"What lesson?" He smiled at her enthusiasm.

"Well, the fact that not everybody who works for the government is a bad guy," she gestured randomly with her free hand.

"That's true," he grinned. "Maybe next time they're in a situation like this, they'll call us for help, instead of trying to go it alone and maybe getting a lot of people hurt. Come on. I'll drive you back to The Agency so you can get your car."


They walked up the dock and towards the parking area in silence, still hand in hand.

"Ahh, Amanda, since there wasn't anything left to eat on the boat, would like to stop off and grab a bite? Nothing fancy. Maybe a hamburger?"

"Gosh, I'd love to, except by the time we get my car and I drive home, it's going to be kinda late already. I probably shouldn't stop and eat. I really think I should just go on home."

She tried to cover the disappointment she felt at not being able to accept his invitation; not without calling home and coming up with another excuse. She wished it weren't so late. She wished they hadn't had to spend the previous night watching the Sea Chance, just in case the Cummings made a move that might lead to Bart Stoller.

Her relationship with Lee, the personal one, not the business one, seemed to move one step forward and then two steps back. Just when she thought he was beginning to think of her as something more than his partner and friend, he'd say or do something to pull away from her - or from his feelings. It was frustrating to say the least, but she was a patient person. She always tried to be patient with Philip and Jamie. Heaven knows she'd been patient with Joe. She could be patient with Lee

This evening had almost seemed like one of those steps forward. Much of the sail back across the bay had been spent in quiet conversation, with Lee's arm around her.

And now he didn't bother to try and disguise his disappointment at her refusal. It was in his eyes and his voice. "OK, maybe..... next time."

When they reached the Corvette, he released her hand and unlocked the car door. He held it open until she was comfortably seated. "You in?"

"Yes, I am," she answered as she buckled the seat belt.

"OK." He walked around to the driver's side and got in. In a few moments they were pulling out of the parking lot and onto the road back to The Agency. The drive there was completed mostly in a fairly comfortable silence.

"Well, here we are and there's your car."

"Right. Thanks again."

"Hey, my pleasure. See you tomorrow?"

"Bright and early. Good night, Lee."

"Good night...... Amanda."


"Mother, I'm home," Amanda called out the obvious as she closed the front door.

"Hello, dear. And how's my television star this evening?" Dotty asked in a slightly sarcastic tone.

"Television star? Mother, what *are* you talking about?" Amanda asked with a short laugh. Then it hit her, 'the television cameras. Oh my gosh!'

"You, Amanda, I'm talking about you being on the 6:00 o'clock news. You and some woman named Connelly or Donnelly. At some Senate hearings. Just what was that all about and how do you know this Miss ..........."

"Connelly, Mother, her name's Connelly. Ahh, well, just let me get a sandwich or something, I'm starving, and I'll tell you all about it." 'Oh great,' Amanda thought, 'now I've got the length of time it takes to make a sandwich to come up with a good story for Mother!'

Setting the sandwich and a glass of milk on the kitchen island, Amanda pulled out one of the stools and sat down.

Dotty stood with her arms folded across her chest and a -'well, I'm waiting' - look on her face.

"OK Mother, you see, umm, Colleen is a free-lance reporter...... and, umm, she's done some work for I.F.F. - you know, when she's not on assignment for one of the big news organizations. Anyway, I.F.F. has bought some of her ideas and ahh, her narratives - for documentaries, that is."

"I see," Dotty remained standing with her arms folded. "So how, exactly, do *you* know her?"

"Well, my boss, Mr. Steadman, knows her from her working for I.F.F. and he knew that she had been down in Santarilla on assignment for Trans World Press and that she had been injured pretty badly. So he went to see her and ahh, she was the one who came up with the idea for the documentary we just finished."

"Oh really?" Dotty interjected, still waiting for a logical reason as to why her daughter made the news.

"Yeah. I.F.F. was going to do a piece on yacht racing. Do you remember that famous, old, sports reporter who once said that yacht racing was about as exciting as watching paint dry? Or was it watching grass grow?" She gazed up at the ceiling, as though the answer might be found there. "Oh well, it doesn't matter. I.F.F. wanted to see if he was right. But Colleen suggested they do a film on La Gaviota instead."

"What in the world is *La Gaviota*? Do you want some tea, dear?" Dotty asked as she picked up the kettle and walked over to the sink.

"No, thank you," she answered, taking a small bite of her sandwich. "It's an organization of yachtsmen who rescue people. They rescued Colleen, got her back to DC. Anyway, hers was a *much* better idea."

"All well and good, Amanda, but how did *you* wind up with her on TV? The reporter called you *protestors*. And who was that unidentified Federal employee who saved you from being arrested? Arrested. My daughter.....," Dotty said incredulously, shaking her head for emphasis.

"My boss asked me to take her to the hearing. Since she had been doing a story down in Santarilla, she was really interested. We weren't, at least I wasn't, protesting anything. And, umm, he...he was someone Colleen knows," she finished, putting one hand behind her back and briefly crossing her fingers. It wasn't a total lie - just some errors of omission.

"She seemed to be very angry at that man, the ambassador....."

"Ambassador Harcourt, yes Mother, she was. She thought he was a crook and she wanted everybody to know about it. That's why it was a story - because of Harcourt - not because of Colleen and *certainly not* because of me. I was an innocent bystander, you might say."

"All right, darling, that's what we'll say. When Edna and the girl's at my bridge club ask me, that's what I'll say. My daughter was an innocent bystander, not a protestor. She was just being a Good Samaritan, taking that poor, injured woman to the Senate hearings. You're a very kind hearted person, Amanda. I hope your good nature doesn't get you into trouble."

"Oh, thank you Mother. I'm sure it won't." Amanda breathed a sigh of relief and took another bite of her sandwich.

"Sure you don't want a cup of tea, dear?" Dotty asked as she removed the kettle from the burner and poured some of the boiling water into her cup.

"I'm sure. Thank you anyway, Mother."


Amanda leaned her head against the back of the couch, closed her eyes and let the music wash over her. It was Mozart. She supposed that many, or maybe most, people would think of it as the theme from the movie *Elvira Madigan*. She was pretty sure it was his 20th or maybe his 21st Piano Concerto. It didn't really matter which one. It was soothing and right now she needed something to soothe her somewhat frayed nerves. She had managed to pacify her mother with a story about why she was on the TV news, but it was getting harder and harder to come up with plausible stories to explain her activities. Keeping secrets from her family was probably the biggest drawback to being a spy - or rather - an intelligence operative. On the other hand it was interesting, exciting; sometimes dangerous, but a patriotic service to her country. It also meant spending a lot of time with Lee Stetson, a *plus* that just about cancelled out any of the negative aspects of the job
In spite of today's close call, she definitely wasn't ready to give up working for The Agency, not yet.

Besides, she was just sure that someday she would be able to tell her family all about her second career. And then they will be soooo *proud* of her........