Title: "A Dotty Inquisition"

Author: pandagirl

Summary: Filler scene for "The Artful Dodger" in which Dotty receives an explanation for the
"friendship" ring given to Amanda by Alan Squires. (a.k.a. the "Dodger"). My first fic.

Disclaimer: Warner Brothers and Shoot the Moon Productions own the copyright to
Scarecrow and Mrs. King. The contents of the filler story are mine and may not be redistributed
without my express permission. Proper credit is due to Pamela Chais who wrote the episode,
"The Artful Dodger".

Feedback: Will be appreciated. I just ask that you be kind, but honest in your review of the
story. Special Thanks to Ali for beta reading and encouragement.

Archive: At Ali's site http://www.geocities.com/ali4247/index.html Anywhere else,
Please ask first. Thank you.

"It's been a lovely evening, Alan. Thank you," Amanda King said to her date, Alan
Squires, as they walked, hand-in-hand, to the front door of her home. She had enjoyed his
company in the two weeks they had known each other.

"The pleasure and privilege has been all mine, Amanda. I never imagined I would have
ever been glad that my car has a tendency to stall, but I was that day," Alan replied,
smiling at his new 'friend.'

'Mrs. King has no idea how great of an assistance she will be in my plan to steal the
pliofilm sheets of the MAB system. The listening device inside the ring's cloudy stone
will operate effectively. The surveillance of Stetson certainly provided me with an
excellent source of information. Yes, indeed, it will be a pity to have to dispose of her
when the time arrives,' Alan thought, as he and Amanda continued up the front walk.

They arrived at the door and Amanda turned to unlock it. "Now, Alan, I must warn you
that Mother can sometimes, well, be very inquisitive," Amanda cautioned, as she turned
to gaze at him.

"Amanda, please. I find your mother to be a delightfully keen lady. Besides, I believe I
already have her endorsement as a suitable companion for her solely, beautiful daughter,"
Alan fostered, as Amanda extracted her key from the lock.

'Mother certainly did give her approval of Alan Squires by reminding me of how polite,
cute, and charming he is,' Amanda thought, as she dropped her keys inside her purse.

"Okay, here we go," she said, with an amused expression on her face. She thought,
further, of how he had no idea what an inquisition they were in for from her mother.

Amanda opened the door and they stepped into the foyer. "Mother, are you home?" she
quietly called out to her mother, as Alan closed the door behind them.

"Yes, dear, I'm in the kitchen. Hello again, Alan," Dotty West answered, coming around
the corner to the stairway with a coffee mug in her hands. "The boys were asleep long
before Gerald brought me home from the Officers Club. He took the sitter home, also. I
was just fixing a cup of hot chocolate before heading upstairs to get ready for bed. How
was your evening?" Dotty asked and rambled in one breath.

"Hello, Mrs. West," Alan acknowledged her, as he helped Amanda out of her coat.

"It was very nice, Mother. We had a wonderful time," Amanda responded, as Alan
handed the coat back to her.

Amanda stepped over to the foyer closet and hung her coat up. Closing the closet door,
she thought of how her 'friendship' ring on her right hand had been inadvertently
obscured from her mother since she and Alan stepped into the house. Meanwhile, Dotty
and Alan were continuing their conversation about his collection of Duke Ellington
original side records that had begun earlier in the evening when he arrived to take
Amanda to dinner.

Amanda listened, with a grin on her face, to their chat as she returned to where they were
standing. Alan reached over, taking her right hand in his. This act was not lost on Dotty,
when she turned to see her daughter standing on the stairway in front of her a moment

"Can I get either of you some tea, coffee, or hot chocolate?" Dotty offered.

"No, thank you, Mrs. West," Alan replied.

"No, thank you, Mother. Why don't we have a seat in the family room?" Amanda
answered and asked.

"Sure, darling," Dotty said as the trio walked from the foyer into the family room.
'Amanda has something on her mind. A mother can always tell these things,' Dotty

Amanda and Alan sat on the sofa, while Dotty took the chair opposite them, placing the
mug on the coffee table in front of her.

"Mother, we have something to show you and I don't want you to get the wrong idea
about this gift..." Amanda began, releasing her hand from Alan's grasp.

" Oh, Amanda! It's beautiful!" Dotty exclaimed, as the ring with a thick silver band and a
clear rectangular stone with rubies around it, was revealed to her across the coffee table.
Dotty grabbed Amanda's hand to inspect the gift.

"What kind of ring is it?"

"It's a-"

"Are those rubies?"


"Wherever did you find it?"


"What are your intentions with giving her this ring?"

"My in-"

"Is it an engagement ring?"

"It's not r-"

Dotty excitedly fired question after question at Alan Squires, who was attempting to
answer her inquisitions, but was amazed that he could not get a word in edgewise to do

"Mother, please let us explain," Amanda implored with her mother.

"Alright, darling, I will. The ring seems to become more breathtaking as I look it," Dotty
said, as she held Amanda's right hand.

"Mrs. West, it's called a Concubine or Harem ring, if you will-" Alan began to answer
one of Dotty's many questions, but was suddenly cut off again. Amanda sensed her
mother's reaction and tightly closed her eyes in preparation for the onslaught.

"I most certainly will not! Don't tell me you actually think of my daughter as a-" Dotty's
eyebrows shot straight up, leaping out of the chair, dropping Amanda's hand, as she
verbally spat at Alan Squires. 'How dare he suggest that my Amanda, my baby girl,
could- would-be a hussy?' Dotty silently queried.

"Mother!" Amanda exclaimed and Dotty immediately ceased her impending tirade and
returned to her seat.

"No, of course not, Mrs. West. My intentions towards Amanda are entirely honorable. I
would never deem her a mistress, or anything else improper," Alan explained, recovering
quickly from the surprise at this woman's outburst towards him. He was carefully
avoiding the other possible synonyms of the definition they were speaking of.

Squires had not foreseen Dotty West's backlash of the ring itself or what it historically
represented. 'Choose your words more cautiously to keep yourself in Mrs. West's good
graces, so Mrs. King will remain impressed enough to wear the ring,' Alan instructed
himself silently.

'He was clearly taken aback at Mother's reaction of the ring's background,' Amanda
mused, looking back and forth between the two.

"Mother, the gift will make more sense to you if you will give Alan a chance to tell you
about it-" Amanda began.

"But-" Dotty interjected.

"-without interruption." Amanda finished.

"Alright, Amanda. I'll listen to what you both have to say, with no interruptions," Dotty
reciprocated guardedly.

"Thank you, Mother. Alan, please continue," Amanda said, keeping her earlier condition
from their conversation at the restaurant: that she would accept and wear the ring if, and
only if, Alan explained to her mother the fact that it was strictly a gift of friendship.

Alan nodded to Amanda and then continued to enlighten Dotty on the significance of the
gift. "Despite the historical meaning of the ring itself, it is still an exquisite piece of
jewelry, is it not?" Dotty nodded at his question.

"The original ring is in the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul. I have a picture of it from one of
the many art books I have lining the shelves of my Paris apartment. I took the book to a
jeweler friend of mine and had him make a replica of the ring. I'm an art dealer. I see
beautiful, elegant objects from all over the world on a frequent basis. When I saw this
ring, I thought of another friend of mine-Amanda. Amanda and I are friends. A lovely gift
for a lovely friend. This is a 'friendship' ring, a symbol of our friendship. That's all,
nothing more, nothing less," Alan elaborated for Dotty.

"Alan and I have discussed this, Mother. We are both comfortable with the fact that we
are just friends. If our companionship develops into a romantic relationship, that's fine. It
will also be just as nice if we remain friends," Amanda added.

"Well, okay, Amanda. If you are at ease with accepting this gift, as a friendly gesture, I
trust your judgement in doing so. Alan, I'm sorry for flying off the handle the way that I
did. However, I can never apologize for wanting what is best for my daughter, or for
looking out for her happiness," Dotty responded, smiling.

"That is quite alright, Mrs. West. I understand completely. There is no need for you to
justify your actions. I must admit that I did not explain the spirit in which the gift was
given as well as I could have," Alan replied. Dotty nodded.

"I'm going to head upstairs to bed and give you two some privacy." Dotty smiled at the
two of them as she rose from the chair and picking up her mug of now-cold hot chocolate.

"It's become rather late and I do have an early appointment tomorrow, so I must leave
also," Alan said, rising from the sofa, and then walking to the steps.

"I'll walk you out," Amanda volunteered, following Alan.

"Goodnight, Alan," Dotty said, stopping to shake his hand before heading to the kitchen
to wash her mug.
"Goodnight, Mrs. West," Alan answered, as he shook Dotty's hand in reply, returning her

Squires opened the front door to the King residence, he and Amanda walked into the cool
night, closing the door behind them. "Well, that was certainly very awkward," Alan
confessed to Amanda, shaking his head in bewilderment at the events of the past hour.

"I tried to caution you that Mother could be very inquisitive, inquiring, and
interrogating," Amanda gently reminded Alan, as she looked up at him with empathy
reflected throughout her eyes.

"Yes, Amanda, you did indeed. I wish I had heeded your warnings in explaining the gift
to your mother. I assumed that she would be automatically accepting of the ring, despite
its origins, since she seemed so fond of me before," Alan defended himself.

"Everything worked out alright in the end. My mother understands and isn't upset
anymore, and we accomplished what we wanted to do when we sat down to discuss it
with her," Amanda concurred.

"I should go; it's cold out here. Goodnight, Amanda. I'll call you tomorrow?" Alan
inquired, somewhat tentatively, as he turned to glance at the house with a wary
expression on his face.

"Yes, I'd like that. Goodnight, Alan," Amanda answered her date, smiling, as he took her
hand and lightly kissed it. She found it funny that Alan was now a little intimidated by
her mother. Alan nodded, returned her smile, released her hand, and turned to walk to his
burgundy Rolls-Royce parked at the curb.

Amanda waved as Alan drove down the adequately lit, tree-lined street. She opened the
door of her home and walked inside where she found her mother standing at the foot of
the staircase.

"Amanda, I want to apologize to you for losing my temper with Alan earlier. You are my
daughter. I love you and trust you. But I also don't want to see you hurt in any way, and I
was just trying to protect you. You could say that I was being overprotective," Dotty
admitted with a sheepish smile.

"Oh, Mother. I understand completely what you were trying to do. You had good
intentions and I just can't see any fault in that. I'm a mother, too, you know. I, more than
likely, would have reacted the same way," Amanda related to her mother.

"We're some pair, aren't we?" Dotty asked, stifling a grin.

"Yeah, I guess we are, Mother," Amanda giggled.

"Do you think I scared him off? He seemed very shocked at my questions, then my
anger," Dotty asked and commented, laughing hysterically.

"I noticed how surprised he was, too. I also think he was attempting to hide his reaction.
He's calling tomorrow, I think," Amanda stated as she and Dotty roared even harder.

"You know, Mother, I think I will have some of that hot chocolate now," Amanda
accepted Dotty's earlier offer, as they made their way back to the kitchen, still laughing.
The End