Originally published in the fanzine Compadres #28, by Neon RainBow Press. This is an amateur work of fiction, based on characters and situations from the TV show Remington Steele. I don't own the show, I don't own the characters, and I make no profit from this, not even a ha'penny.

Dear Harry

by Susan M. M.

My dear Harry,

If you're reading this, my dear boy, then it means two things. First, I'm dead. God willing, I was shot by a jealous husband whilst making love to a beautiful blonde half my age. I always wanted to go out with a bang. Second, it means I died without ever working up the courage to tell you something I've wanted to tell you for years.

I'm 90% certain that you're my son. I hope you are; I've thought of you as my son for years. I only wish that I'd been brave enough to tell you this before. You've been playing detective for several years now. Perhaps you and Laura can investigate the matter, even after so many years, and confirm my suspicions.

Thirty-some years ago, I had a partnership with a charming Irish colleen. Her name was Kathleen O'Rourke. She had the most delicate hands, the lightest touch. I think you've inherited her deft touch, as well as her dark hair and blue eyes. She was a beautiful girl, and it didn't take long for our partnership to go from professional to personal. The two years we spent together were amongst the best years of my life.

Regrettably, the day came when we ran afoul of the gendarmes. She ran left, I ran right. I got away. She didn't. It wasn't until some years later that I learned she'd died in prison, as a result of complications from giving birth. Toxemia, I believe. The child was a son, who'd been sent to live with her relatives. The boy's name was Kevin Henry O'Rourke. Kevin was her father's name, and Henry was my father's name.

From the little you told me of your childhood in Ireland, your coloring, your gifted hands, I suspect you may be Kevin O'Rourke. I hope you are, because I would be proud to have you as my son. However, I never had a way to prove it, so I never said anything. Perhaps with your Laura's sleuthing skills and the new DNA tests, you can settle the question for once and for all.

I am enclosing a pocket-watch with a photo of Kathleen and a lock of her hair. I've also enclosed some snippings from my last haircut. From what the magazine articles say, that should be enough for these new-fangled scientific tests. It's not as fancy as the watch I sent you from the Earl of Claridge. I thought you might prefer being noble-born to the heritage I could give you. You know me, Harry: I've always preferred a beautiful lie to an ugly truth.

I've stolen several fortunes in my day, but unfortunately, I've spent even more. I have nothing to leave you, Harry, beyond my deepest affection. That you've chosen to go straight is a great loss to the profession, but I wish you and your Laura well. As apprentice, as partner, as friend, there was none better. Nor could I have had a better son.

Your loving father,

Daniel Chalmers