Who's Gonna Pay for My Blue Satin Shoes......

rankamateur

In the TAG of "The Mole" (written by Cliff Gould) Amanda mentions ruining a pair of blue shoes, for which The Agency had not yet reimbursed her. How did those shoes get ruined you ask?

Vague references to "The First Time", written by Brad Buckner and Eugenie Ross-Leming and "Saved By The Bells", written by Joel Steiger and Stu Krisman

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

Beta by Buffy. All remaining mistakes are my own.

AU - definitely AU

Revised May, 2004

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Lee Stetson paced back and forth in front of Billy Melrose's desk. "Look, Billy, they found Johnson's body right by pier 22. We know he was killed at that location and that it happened on Friday night. Only two ships were being loaded on pier 22 on Friday night. One was a load of beach wear, bound for Bermuda. The other was a cargo of frozen turkeys headed for Finland."

"And you think the stolen missile parts are . . . "

"Headed for Finland."

"Whose turkeys are they?" Billy leaned back in his chair.

"The ship, the shipment and the warehouse by that pier belong to Col. Trevor Taylor, the Turkey King."

"Lee," Billy leaned forward, his voice rising perceptibly, "that man is an American institution! He's a real life Horatio Alger--a rags to riches story. You can't really think he'd be involved in smuggling and selling missiles to the enemy. Why would he do such a thing?"

"How about one of the oldest reasons in the world--money." Lee stuffed his hands in his pockets, waiting for his bosses' reaction--which wasn't long in coming.

"He's rich, Stetson," Billy responded, his tone a cross between annoyance and sarcasm.

"Hey, for some people, there's never enough."

"Okay, Okay. What do you have in mind?" Billy sighed, seemingly resigned to the fact that he wasn't going to win this one.

"Well, I found out the Colonel is having a little party tonight. And I managed to wangle an invitation. Amanda is going to meet me here about six- thirty and we'll be on our way to the Colonel's estate."

"Mrs. King is going with you?" Billy smiled broadly.

"Yeah, well, you know--I need someone for cover. I can't go alone to a party. I'll be an IFF director and she'll be my assistant. The usual." He adopted an air of nonchalance.

"Right. Well, you be careful. You won't have any back-up."

"Don't worry Billy. It's just a little fact-finding expedition." He smiled reassuringly at the older man. "We won't get into any trouble."

"Where have I heard that before?"

"Billy . . . ."

"Bye, Scarecrow. Just be careful, especially with Mrs. King along."

"I'm tellin' you—don't worry, Okay?"

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Amanda arrived at the IFF parking facility and pulled her station wagon into the slot next to where Lee was standing by his classic Porsche. She was wearing a beautiful peacock blue cocktail dress. Her shoes and evening bag were the same lovely color. She wore her hair up and had a diamond necklace and matching earrings. Altogether a sight that took Lee's breath away. A fact which he managed to conceal completely.

"Hi, Lee. I'm not late am I?"

"No. You're right on time. Let's go, shall we?" He helped her into his car and walked around to the driver's side, holding his breath.

"Do I look all right? I mean, is this dress OK for the occasion? What exactly is the occasion?"

"You look very nice and the occasion is a cocktail party at Col. Trevor Taylor's home. I'm Lee Steadman, a director of documentary pictures for IFF and you are my trusty assistant."

"Trusty assistant. Kind of like your girl Friday, huh? Oh thank you very much."

"Amanda, come on. Can't you take a joke?" He grinned as he put the car in gear and headed for the exit.

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Lee pulled onto the grounds of the Taylor estate. Cringing, he turned his beloved car over to the attendant. As she stood looking at the facade the house, Amanda was reminded of one of those plantations in Gone With The Wind. Once inside, they joined the party and began to circulate. It didn't take long to locate their host and initiate a conversation. After explaining to the Colonel that IFF was very interested in doing a documentary about his life and his climb to the top of the corporate ladder, and that he could be a role model for aspiring young entrepreneurs, Lee and the Colonel began to talk about wine, a subject with which both men were very familiar and knowledgeable.

Following a short discussion on the relative merits of domestic chardonnays, The Colonel excused himself, in order to circulate among his other guests. He was heading for a small group of junior executives, when he was approached by one of his employees. A man who worked in the darker side of Taylor's businesses.

"Colonel Taylor . . . ."

"What is it Henry? And what are you doing here? You don't belong at my party and you should not be mixing with my guests," the Colonel said in menacing tone.

"Sir, I'm not mixing but I have been watching and I wanted to tell you that I've seen that guy you were just talking to--the tall one who's with the good looking brunette--you know the one I mean? I know him from somewhere."

"Yes, his name is Lee Steadman and he's a director with some film company, IFF or something like that."

"No, I don't think so. Wait a minute! Now I remember. It wasn't all that long ago. There was a shoot-out in a warehouse on the docks. I happened to be there because I know a couple of the guys who were involved. They were working for some people and the head honcho was a KGB agent. This Steadman was there. He's no movie director--he's a government agent!"

"Good work, Henry. If government agents are attending my party undercover, they must suspect something. We'll have to take care of them. Go down to the wine cellar and pour two glasses of the Rochet Pinot Noir, the 1974." 'That was a bad year anyway,' he thought. "And make sure that after our guests take a sip or two, they will be asleep for as long as it takes to transport them out to the farm."

"Right boss, I'm on it." Henry nodded and headed off towards the back stair way.

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"Amanda, walk over this way," Lee whispered, putting his hand on the small of her back and guiding her towards a large archway. "I'd really like to get into Taylor's office. My information is that it's down there, at the end of this hallway." He gestured subtly in the appropriate direction.

"How are you gonna get in there without being seen?" Amanda demanded.

"Shhhh! There are a lot of people here. They may not even notice if we just kind of wander down there. I can go into the office and you can stand by the door and warn me if anybody is coming."

"Oh." She lowered her voice. "Okay. Oops!"

"What?"

"Here comes the Colonel again. I don't think it's a good time to go snooping."

The Colonel walked back to where Lee and Amanda were standing, each sipping some of the Colonel's excellent champagne.

"Mr. Steadman, Mrs. Keene, I'd like to show you my wine cellar. I'm very proud of it and I think you'll find it interesting. Please, follow me."

"Oh, that would be our pleasure, Colonel. Lead on." Lee tried to sound enthusiastic.

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"Lee, I can't believe this. One minute we're enjoying ourselves at a lovely cocktail party, being shown the host's private wine cellar and the next minute we're tied up in what looks like a chicken coop!"

"Yeah, except that, judging by the fact that it seems to be getting light outside, it's been more than a minute, and this must be a turkey coop, since Taylor's the Turkey King."

"Do turkeys live in coops?" She wondered.

"I don't know. I don't care," Lee answered as he tried, unsuccessfully, to move his hands, which were bound behind his back.

Amanda had been trying to loosen her bonds as well. Then she stretched a bit, and found that she was able to reach Lee's ropes. "Lee, you know what-- this knot feels like a Killick Hitch. I remember reading that if the Killick Hitch is tied correctly, it's very easy to undo."

"So . . . "

"Well, let me . . . . OK, there!"

"There what?"

"Aren't you loose?"

"Nope"

"Oh, umm, just a minute--let me try again . . . ." Amanda found another piece of the rope which felt like a loose end and gave it a tug. "There, now try and pull your hands free."

"I'll be darned. That worked! Now I can get you loose." Lee stood up and began working on Amanda's bonds. In a moment she too was free.

"Oh my, that's so much better. Thank you." She rubbed her wrists briskly.

"Amanda, knowing about that knot was fantas . . . ., ahh, really goo . . . . , sure came in handy."

"Thanks." She suppressed a smile at that near compliment from Lee.

Amanda picked up her evening bag, which the villains had so thoughtfully brought along, and the two of them walked outside the coop.

Lee surveyed the area. "Well, we can't go back that way. It's all open ground. We'd be sure to be seen. We'll have to go this way," he said pointing to the very large fenced area in front of them.

"Lee, I can't walk through that. There must be ten thousand turkeys in this yard and look at the ground. I bet it's a half inch deep in turkey guano! My shoes'll be ruined!" It almost sounded as though Amanda were whining!

"Oh brother! Look, when we get back to DC you can go to the shoe shine stand of your choice and The Agency will pay for it!"

"Lee, these shoes aren't leather. They can't just be cleaned and polished like yours. These are the same material as the dress."

"Very impractical, he observed."

"Yeah--well--they were fine in the house." She pointed out.

"Amanda, a seasoned, trained, professional Agent would never wear something so impractical--so easily damaged."

"Oh, right! A seasoned professional agent would have worn combat boots to any cocktail party given by the Turkey King!"

"Amanda!" Lee's voice rose half an octave. He paused, in an effort to regain control of his temper and the situation. "Look, do you want to stay here and get shot by the bad guys?"

"No."

"Do you want to go that way, over all that open ground, towards the house and most probably get caught by the Colonel's goons?"

"Nooo!"

"Well then . . . .?"

"Oh, all right. Let's go. But my shoes . . . . "

"What are you--some sort of American Imelda Marcos--with a shoe fetish?"

"NO. But these were dyed specially to match the dress. You just don't understand," she sniffed.

"I guess not. Amanda, come on, let's go. It's the only way. Please, trust me," he said as he looked at her with his most penetrating gaze and most engaging smile. "Here," Lee took off his suit jacket. "put my coat on. It's a little chilly at this hour of the morning and it'll protect your dress a bit, in case the turkeys are . . . not . . . clean."

"OK. I'll trust you--again. Thanks for the coat. Ahh, Lee."

"What?" He took her by the arm as they started off across the uneven ground.

"Do these things bite?"

"Turkey's? I don't even know if they have teeth. I've never been up close and personal with a herd of turkeys before!"

Walking gingerly through the undulating mass of foul fowls, Lee wondered if he would ever again look at a hot turkey sandwich in the same way. They finally came to the fence on the other side of the pen.

"OK. There's a gate." He fumbled momentarily with the padlock. "And the lock isn't closed."

"Pretty careless of them." Amanda observed.

"Yeah, but lucky for us. Look, Amanda," He pointed slightly to the right of their position. "You can see cars going by. The highway isn't that far."

"Yup. All we have to do is walk through two acres of underbrush to get to the road."

"It's not that far. Come on. I'll help you." He took her by the hand and put his other arm around her waist.

Arriving at the highway, Lee looked south, hoping to see a car coming in their direction. He was delighted to see several vehicles approaching. Stepping out onto the road, he raised his hand and extended his thumb in the traditional gesture of the hitchhiker. The first car, a brand new sedan, whizzed by. A truck, an older model pick-up, didn't slow down either. A moment later, another car also sped by.

"You're like Clark Gable."

"Huh?"

"Clark Gable. In that move where he and Claudette Colbert are out on the road and he's trying to hitch a ride and he's been bragging about what an expert he was at hitching rides, but nobody'll stop for him, so she lifts her skirt when the next car comes by and it slams on the brakes and stops for her."

'One breath.' He thought. 'How does she do that?'

As she finished, a car could be seen approaching. Stepping closer to the edge of the highway, Amanda leaned forward and started to grasp a bit of the material of her dress, a few inches above her knee, when . . . . . .

"Oh yeah," Lee put in," I remember that movie now. Turns out the car she stops is driven by a crook!"

At that, Amanda let go of her dress and, after smoothing out the material, straightened up. To her surprise and Lee's amazement, the car stopped anyway. As they walked quickly to the car, it began to back up towards them.

"Amanda--Amanda King--is that you?" a voice called from the car. The vehicle was equipped with power everything, so the window on the passenger's side lowered without the driver having to move.

Amanda got close enough to look into the car. "Mrs. Dunlevy. What are you doing out here on this back road at this time of day?"

"Well, I was on my way home from visiting my sister. She and her husband have a little horse farm about an hour's drive from here." Unlocking the doors, she continued, "you two just get right on in here."

"Thank you," they chorused.

Mrs. Dunlevy closed the window by Amanda and started driving. After a few minutes, she wrinkled her nose in a way which clearly indicated that this delicate instrument had been assaulted in a most odious fashion. "Amanda dear, is it possible . . . ahh, could you perhaps have . . . . stepped in something?" she asked as delicately as possible, as she opened all four windows just a crack.

In the back seat, Lee snorted.

Amanda turned and shot him a withering glance. He immediately stifled the laugh, closed his eyes and assumed the air of an injured martyr. 'I save her life and she's still mad at me because of those damn shoes,' he thought. 'Well, I did take her to the party, which put her in danger, but she wants to work for The Agency and it's Billy who's always forcing me to take her with me. I didn't ask her to become a--spy.'

Amanda had turned back towards Mrs. Dunlevy. "Well, I may have stepped . . . . We did just walk across that field and . . . " Amanda's voice trailed off.

"Amanda, what are you and your gentleman friend doing way out here in the middle of nowhere, at this time of the morning, dressed in party clothes?"

"It's a long story," she replied, panicking.

"That's all right dear, you've got over forty miles to tell it," she said in a tone of voice which mothers usually reserve for their sixteen year old daughters, when they catch them coming in an hour after curfew.

Amanda gulped, took a deep breath and began, "Well, Mr. Steadman and I work for a documentary film company and we went to this party in order to talk to a prospective client . . . "

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Mr. Steadman, where can I drop you?"

"Well, by the Key Bridge would be fine. I can call a friend to come and pick me up."

"Do you live in DC?"

"Yes, ahh, Georgetown."

"I can take you . . . ."

"Oh, no," Lee interrupted. "I couldn't let you go so far out of your way. You've been too kind already. Amanda, don't I remember that you always carry a few dollars for an emergency?"

"Yes, I do. Would you like to borrow them?"

"Please."

Amanda rummaged in her evening bag and quickly found the bills. "Here you are, Mr. Steadman."

"Thank you. Okay, Mrs. Dunlevy, you can drop me off right over there, at that gas station." The car stopped and Lee got out. "Thank you very much ma'am. Mrs. Ke . . . King, I'll see you at work, ahh, tomorrow?"

"Tomorrow? Okay."

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Lee went inside the station and had the attendant break the dollar bills that Amanda had given him. He went to the pay phone and dialed the direct line to Billy's office.

"Scarecrow, where have you been?. I've been worried about you and Mrs. King. Why aren't you here, working?"

"Billy, just hold on a minute and I'll tell you. But first, send a car for me. I'm in The Quickie Fillup gas station, right near the Key Bridge. My car is still at the party," he growled.

"Brother! Hold the line."

Lee tapped his fingers impatiently.

"OK, I'm back. Duffy is on his way to pick you up. Now what's going on?"

"Look, Amanda and I were taken prisoner by Colonel Taylor and his henchmen. He's has got to be the one stealing and shipping those missile parts. We need to search his warehouse on pier 22 and arrest him and his goons"

"All right. I'll get on the phone and get a search warrant and then I'll send a crew out to the warehouse."

"Better send some people to his mansion and also out to his farm in the country. That's where he had Amanda and me. Do you have that address?"

"I can get it and I'll send teams to all three locations right away. You and Duffy can meet us at the warehouse."

"Right, Billy. See you soon." Lee hung up the phone and walked out toward the curb, to wait for his ride.

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By the time Lee and Frank Duffy arrived, it was, as they say, all over but the shouting. The contraband had been found and confiscated and all the perps had been arrested and were being loaded into an Agency paddy-wagon.

"Guess we're too late, huh?" Lee looked tired and sounded dejected.

"Don't worry, Lee. You did a good job in forcing the Colonel's hand. He must have been trying to make arrangements to get the stuff moved but he didn't have time. When we got here, all the missile parts were neatly stacked together right near the front of the building. We didn't have to search at all. Thanks to you and Mrs. King. If you see her first, tell I said--well done!"

"Well, thank you Billy. And I will tell her--that is--if I see her first."

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TAG

As Amanda stood at her kitchen sink, there was a light tapping sound at her back door. Smiling, she put the dish towel down on the counter and went to open the door.

"Hi. I just came by to see how you were doin'."

"Oh, I'm--fine. Really, just fine."

"Good. Do you think Mrs. Dunlevy bought your story? Do you think she'll tell your mother?"

"I don't know. I've already told mother pretty much the same thing, so if Mrs. Dunlevy does bring it up, mother'll probably just say she already knows."

"That should take care of that then, huh?"

"Yeah."

"Listen, ahh, Billy said we did a good job on this case. He said to tell you well done."

"Oh, that is so nice of him."

"You did do a good job, getting us untied so we could get away before the Colonel's men came to finish us off . . . ."

"Thank you too," she said touching his arm for just a moment.

"Yeah. Well, I guess I'd better be going. See you in the morning?" he asked, smiling down at her.

"I'll be there. Good night."

"Good night, Amanda."

"Ahh, Lee . . . . "

"What?"

"Umm, in order to get reimbursed, should I bring the shoes in with me tomorrow morning, or do they just need the receipt?"

"Ohhh," he sighed deeply. "A-mand-ah . . . . ."

end