Another Dead Ringer

by rankamateur

References to: "Dead Ringer" by Juanita Bartlett - "Odds On A Dead Pigeon" by Juanita Bartlett
and "Sudden Death" by Tom Sawyer

Time: 4th Season. January 1987. They have been engaged for about 2 and a half months.

Strictly AU

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

Amanda and Francine had "doubles". Why not Lee?

Thanks to rb for her help and error trapping. Remaining mistakes are mine.


Amanda entered the Georgetown Foyer of the IFF building and greeted the imperturbable receptionist.
"Good morning, Mrs. Marsden." It was funny how much less intimidating Mrs. Marsden had become over the years.

"Good morning, Mrs. King," the older woman returned Amanda's smile and handed her a badge - her very own badge - not just a "visitors" or "guest" pass.

Amanda climbed the stairs to the Q-Bureau and unlocked the door to the office that she had shared with Lee since the Stemwinder case. As she started to take off her jacket and put her purse away, the phone rang.


"Amanda," Lee paused.

"Oh, hi, how are you?"

"I'm OK," he responded. "Listen, can you come down to the bullpen for a minute?"


"Yes, now, if you can..."

"Sure." You could hear the smile in her voice. "I'll be right there."


She hung up, picked up her purse and jacket and relocked the door. As she headed for the stairs she wondered what could be so urgent that Lee needed to see her right away.
In a few minutes she got off the elevator. There was Lee, leaning against the wall, waiting for her.
They looked at each other in that very special way........... a look which, in a building full of spies, you'd think somebody would have noticed by now.

"What's up?"

"Well," Lee looked down with a rather sheepish expression on his face. "Nothing really. I'll be tied up in a meeting, probably all day, with Billy and Dr. Symth and .....," he hesitated briefly as he glanced up and down the hallway, making sure no-one was within earshot, then continued, "I just couldn't go *all* day without seeing you...that's all." He reached out and took her hand.

"Ohh, Lee, that's so sweet. My, you sure look handsome in that navy blue suit. Is it new?"

"Naw. I just haven't worn it in a while. Well, I guess I'd better get going, before Billy comes after me. See you tonight for dinner?"

"Yeah. 7:30?"

"Right. Unless this stupid meeting runs really long. If I'm going to be late, I'll call you at home or, if I miss you there, I'll call you at Emilio's and let you know how late I'm going to be." He squeezed her hand and smiled. "Bye."

"OK. See ya later." Amanda reluctantly pulled her hand from Lee's grasp and watched for a moment as he turned and walked back towards the bullpen and Billy's office.

"Mrs. King........Mrs. King!" Ephraim Beamon called in a rather annoyed tone.

Amanda turned to face him. "Yes, Ephraim?"

"You do remember about the class? You're supposed to be there *now*." He tapped his wristwatch for emphasis.

"Oh, I'm sorry. I'm on my way." With that, Amanda turned and headed down the hall.

For this assignment, Beamon had divided the class into 'runners' and 'trappers'. Amanda was a 'trapper' who was supposed to follow and apprehend fellow trainee, Jack Marshall, before he was able to get to Dulles Airport and book a flight out of DC.
The students headed for the Agency's parking lot, from where each group would leave at five minute intervals: first a runner then their trapper, then the next runner and so on.
Soon it was Jack's turn to drive away and Amanda followed moments later.
As Jack drove the standard avoidance pattern through the DC traffic, Amanda recalled with a smile the first Agency tape she had ever listened to - Automobile Surveillance Refresher Tape Part One. She knew Part One and Part Two by heart. Plus, she had learned surveillance techniques from the best - Lee.
She stayed with Jack all the way to the public parking lot at Dulles and then followed him into the terminal.
Just as he was about to reach the head of the line for tickets, she placed her hand on his arm.


Jack hung his head. "Yeah, you got me, Mrs. King. You win."

"Hey, don't take it so hard Jack. I have had a little more practice at this than you have. Why, I bet next time you'll lose whoever is after you. Don't worry. It'll get easier."

"Thanks, Mrs. King. I appreciate the encouragement. I'll see you back at the office?"

"Yup. After lunch. We can take our lunch break now, don't forget."

"Right. I have a date with my, ahh, with a very good friend and if I leave here now, I think I can be pretty much on time."

"Good for you." She smiled at the young man. Jack Marshall was a tall, lanky kid from Duluth. He didn't look much like an agent - which would probably turn out to be an advantage. Amanda silently wished him well and hoped his girl was the understanding type.

"Bye." He waved as he turned and walked away.


Lawrence Stafford stood in the aisle of the 747 and tried to stretch his 6'2" frame without hitting any of the other passengers who were shuffling by, trying to get to the exit. He pulled on his navy blue suit jacket, laid his topcoat over his arm and, gathering his carry-on bag, started towards the door. He smiled a goodbye to the stewardess who had been so very attentive during the long, cross-country flight.
Larry seemed to attract the attention of women wherever he went. His height and lean, muscular build, his casually styled brown hair and beautiful hazel eyes, his wonderful smile and engaging manner, altogether formed a package that seemed to be a magnet for females of all ages. That's probably why he was still a bachelor at thirty-four .... too many choices.
He stepped out of the jetway and walked quickly to the baggage claim area, and then stood by the carousel, watching the hustle and bustle of Dulles International. He had thought the Reno airport, where he had boarded his flight this morning, seemed busy, but it was nothing like this.
Larry was so intent on people watching that he didn't notice the very attractive brunette who had just walked up beside him. He only became aware of her presence when she gently squeezed his arm.

"Sweetheart, what are you doin' here? I thought Mr. Melrose had you in some meeting with Dr. Smyth for the whole day."

Larry turned and looked into her eyes, deep brown eyes that he thought seemed, for want of a better word, twinkle with love and happiness. He was very sorry, and a little envious, that he wasn't the man for whom that look was meant.
He smiled that dimpled grin that he'd always found so effective with the ladies. "I'm sorry ma'am. I think you're lookin' for someone else."

"Lee, oh, com'on now, don't play games," Amanda said with a smile and just a little hint of exasperation.

"Truly, I'm not this Lee fella. I wish I were. My name's Lawrence Stafford, Larry to my friends.."

Amanda looked at him quizzically. Was this Lee, trying to put her on with this little bit of 'down-home' charm - so unlike his usual cosmopolitan manner - or was this person a look-alike - a....a doppelganger - wasn't that the German word that meant a person's exact double - for Lee?

When Amanda said nothing, Larry continued, "whoever this Lee is, he's a mighty lucky man to have someone as pretty as you callin' him sweetheart. Look, I'll show you my ID, if you like."

As he reached for his wallet, Amanda noticed a small scar on the inside of his right thumb. He was right-handed. Her fiance', Lee Stetson, was ambidextrous, but usually preferred to use his *left* hand.
"Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry. But, you look exactly like my fia...... ahh, my part....... ahh, like a man I work with. This is actually the second time someone I work with has turned out to have someone who is a dead ringer for them. It's weird!"

"I'm just here in DC on business, trying to drum up some government contracts for my electronics company. I'm stayin' at the Jefferson Plaza Hotel for about a week. Anyway, if you and associate have time, I'd sure like to take you both out to dinner - or lunch - whatever's convenient. I'd like to get a look, umm, I mean, I'd like to meet him."

"Well," Amanda thought for a moment, "that could be very interesting, the two of you together - I mean I'm sure it would be very enjoyable - to get together for lunch - or dinner." She laughed self-consciously.

"Great," Larry responded. "Here, here's my card. Why don't you give me a call at the hotel, later today or tomorrow and we can work something out."

"Thanks. I'll call you. After I have a chance to talk to Lee."

"Hey, you know my name and I know Lee's name but I don't know your name."

"Amanda, Amanda King." She held out her hand and Larry took it firmly and shook it. "Glad to meet you, Larry."

"My pleasure, Amanda, ahh, I mean Mrs. King."

"Amanda's fine." She waved her hand dismissively and smiled up at him. "I'll be in touch. Goodbye, Mr. Stafford."

"Larry," he called out as he waved and then watched her retreating figure until it was lost in the throng of people. He was so intent on his encounter with this Mrs. King, that he was completely unaware of the two men who had been observing the entire exchange between himself and Amanda.


KGB agent, lower echelon, Anatoly Chumpsky was determined that he would not always be stuck with airport surveillance duty. Chumpsky, was a short, stocky, gray haired, unobtrusive man. He and his associate, Oleg Dimov, had been working at Dulles for the last six months and Anatoly was more than ready for a change. Oleg was not the sort of person he would have picked for a daily companion. The man was a complete contrast to Anatoly. Dimov was big - well over six feet tall and must have weighed two hundred and forty pounds, mostly muscle, including the space between his ears. His short-cropped graying hair made him look rather like an over-age marine recruit. It was hard - no impossible - to carry on an intelligent conversation with the man. He was a thug, pure and simple. But, of course, thugs could have their uses in certain situations.
Like now.
Anatoly was amazed. He rechecked the photo in his wallet. Yes, he was sure of it. There, by a luggage carousel stood the famous Scarecrow and his almost equally famous partner, Mrs. King. She was walking away, obviously on her way out of the terminal. But the Scarecrow stood there, watching her leave and then, turning back to the slowly circling mechanism, he leaned down and retrieved his suitcase.
Poking Oleg in the ribs, Chumpsky asked, "Do you see who I see? It's the Scarecrow. Come on, quickly, let's follow him. Perhaps we can finally put to use that fake taxi-cab which our KGB superiors so kindly provided us."

"Where is he, comrade," Dimov asked, looking in the wrong direction.

"He's there, there, just walking away from that luggage thing. He's wearing a navy blue suit and carrying a dark overcoat. He has a brown suitcase and a small brown carry-on bag. Do you see him now? Never mind, just come with me. We'll follow him. Maybe this is a chance to grab him and take him to our special interrogation facility. There we can pump him for information about Agency operations."

As they watched Larry go out the front door and stand there, as though he was waiting for the next cab to pull up, Chumpsky clapped his hands together. "Oleg, run and get the cab which you should have parked just outside this building."

"It is parked exactly where you instructed me to place it, comrade."

"We will offer our friend a ride. The ride of his life," Anatoly smiled. "And don't forget to put on that cab driver's hat," he called, as Oleg walked briskly down the sidewalk.

In a moment, a *RED* cab pulled up in front of Larry and the driver, a tall man wearing and ill-fitting cap, jumped out and opened the back door. "Cab, sir?"


Amanda had no more been seated at their *usual* booth when Lee walked up. A furtive glance around the room disclosed no familiar faces among the patrons, so he leaned down and gave her a quick kiss. Tossing his overcoat on the bench, he sat down.

"Hi, how was the meeting?" She inquired tentatively.

"Don't ask! It was long and boring with a capital B." Lee picked up the menu and then put it down immediately. "Why am I bothering? I'll have a salad and ahh, what do you want for a main course? Chicken?"

"That's fine and a green salad with the house dressing. Dr. Symth didn't have anything interesting? Or anything that you can talk about...."

"It was mostly about old, unsolved cases and *why* weren't they solved. Like we were a bunch of supermen or something," Lee grumbled.

"Oh, well," Amanda smiled and patted his hand. "Just consider the source and try and forget about it, at least for a few hours. You'll never guess who I saw at the airport today"

"OK, if I'll never guess then I give up. Who? And what were you doing at the airport anyway?"

"I was following Jack Marshall, to keep him from getting out of town." Amanda picked up the crystal goblet and took a sip of water.

"What?" Lee asked, looking somewhat perplexed.

"It was a class assignment. Beamon paired us up. One was a runner and the other had to follow and catch him - or her - before they could leave DC," she explained, setting the glass down on the table.

"Oh, well, at least you got out of the office."

"Yeah. Anyway, to get back to the *who I saw* part....I saw you," she paused and waited for his reaction.

"Me? You didn't see me because I never left the building, and I certainly didn't get to go to the airport!"

"No, really. It *was* you. Well, actually it was your twin." At Lee's incredulous expression, she went on. "It was just like when I was looking at Karen or when I first saw Magda Petrak. This man was the spittin' image of you. He even had on a navy blue suit. I walked up to him and called him sweet..... ahh, I said hello, thinking it was you."

"You called some strange man sweetheart? Hmmm."

"Oh com'on Lee, I really thought it was you," she said somewhat defensively, until she saw that he was smiling. " Oh you..."

"Hey, just kidding. You might be interesting to meet this guy. Knowing somebody who looks *that* much like me could come in handy in some future Agency operation," Lee looked thoughtfully at nothing in particular. "Let's call him tomorrow and set up a meeting - lunch or something. You do know how to get in touch with him?"

"Sure," Amanda responded. "I've got his card right here." She searched in her purse for a minute and then pulled out a small, blue business card. "Here you go," she handed the card to Lee.

"OK, we'll call him first thing in the morning. Ahh, here comes our waiter......"


"All right, Scarecrow. Tell us about Operation Delphi." Chumpsky leaned down, his face just inches from Larry's. "We know that you are in charge of this."

"Oh," Larry groaned. He hurt - all over. "I don't know what you're talking about. I don't know anything about an *Operation Delphi* or any other kind of operation. And - scarecrow? As far as I know, scarecrows are things that farmers used to put in their fields. That's the only kind of scarecrow I know about."

"Do you think we are fools?" Anatoly straightened up. "We know who you are! We have hundreds of photographs of you, many with your partner. And, see here," he waved a small, rectangular piece of linen cloth, "your handkerchief has the initials *LS*."

"That stands for Lawrence Stafford. What do you think it's for? Les Scarecrow?"

"You still refuse to cooperate? Then you bring this on yourself." Turning to his associate, Chumpsky waved his hand. "Oleg, continue to *persuade* him. But don't hit him in the face. We may want to trade him for one of our operatives and we may have to make the exchange some place that is well lit. We don't want his face all marked up. He must be recognizable as Lee Stetson."

"Very well, comrade. I'll concentrate on his ribs, for now."

"Oh no." Larry wondered why he had ever thought coming to Washington DC was a good idea. 'Wait a minute,' he thought, 'Lee....... the woman, Amanda...' Before Oleg could land another blow, Larry held up his hand. "Hey, is this Scarecrow's partner named Mrs. King?"

"Of course. As you well know!" Anatoly spat the words angrily.

"Well then, that's it! You made the same mistake she did. She thought I was this Lee.... ahh, Stetson, you said was his last name?"

Anatoly sighed at this latest tactic. The Scarecrow was a very tough opponent. But that is where Dimov came in handy. "Oleg....."

Larry thought he actually *heard* his rib break.


Amanda hung up the phone and turned to Lee, who was idly pushing some file folders around on his desk. "He isn't there."

"Well, we'll try him later......"

"No, I mean he isn't there - he never checked in. They have his reservation for yesterday and he didn't show up or call."

"Hmm." Lee frowned. "Tell you what..... you said he was in town to talk about contracts for his electronics firm."

"Right," Amanda looked concerned.

"OK, I've got a buddy over at the Pentagon, Mike O'Brien. I'll call and ask him to see if he can find out whether or not your friend Larry had an appointment with somebody in Procurement."

"Lee, he's hardly my *friend*. I just talked to him for a few minutes....."

"Amanda, if he is in trouble - he's your friend. Just like any other stray you found on the street..."

"Oh you.... Call Mr. O'Brien." She picked up a pen and started making notes for the file she was working on.


About a half-hour later the phone rang. "Stetson."

"Hi, Lee, it's Mike. A Lawrence Stafford did have an appointment for 9:00 o'clock this morning, with our Colonel Trustham, but he never showed up. He can forget about military contracts for whatever he's peddling, 'cause old Trustham is furious."

"Well, tell your Colonel to give him a break. It just may *not* be his fault that he didn't keep the appointment."

"What do you mean?" O'Brien inquired.

"Ahh, I'd rather not go into that right now, but Mr. Stafford may have stumbled into some pretty serious trouble - not of his own making."

"Sounds mysterious. But you are Agency aren't you. Let me know how things work out."

"I will. Thanks Mike. Bye." Lee hung up the phone

"So," Amanda stopped working and looked at Lee expectantly. "Larry did have an appointment at the Pentagon?"

"Yeah," Lee nodded his head.

"And he didn't keep it! Oh my gosh, Lee, somebody must've kidnapped Larry, thinking they had you."

"That's what it sounds like," Lee said, absently running his fingers through his hair. "Now we have to figure out *who* took him and where they have him."


Larry lay on the floor, moaning pathetically.

"Comrade, he will not talk. It is useless for me to continue this *interrogation*," Oleg said, as he rubbed his sore knuckles. "Didn't you say something about perhaps trading him for one of our agents?"

"Yes. The Agency is holding Molotov. They have had him for about ten days. I have heard that comrade Pentoff said he would like to get Molotov back from the Americans, before he can be talked into defecting."

"Well then. Call that little double dealer - what is his name? Marconi. Yes. Call him and tell him you need him to deliver a message to The Agency for us." At Anatoly's angry look, Oleg rephrased that last..."for you, comrade. You are in charge of this...."


Billy Melrose looked up from the paper work on his desk when he heard the knock at his office door. "Come in Lee, Amanda."

"What's up Billy," Lee asked, easing into a chair as Amanda remained standing in front of the desk.

"I just got a strange phone call. One of those shadowy middlemen that work both sides of the street. Marconi's his name. Anyway, he says he's in touch with a couple of low level KGB agents, and they want to make a trade - Molotov for *you*! What's going on, Lee. Why do a couple KGB flunkies think they have the Scarecrow?"

"It's kind of a long story, Billy," Lee started.

"Shorten it," Billy commanded.

"Well, there's this civilian who looks like me..........."


"Yes, yes, Marconi. Give this Chumpsky character this phone number and have him call me within the hour. We'll discuss the terms of the trade.

Forty-five minutes later, the phone range. "Melrose here."

"Ahh, Mr. Melrose. It is a pleasure. I'm sure it will be a pleasure to do business with you and your Agency."

"Cut the small talk. What's the deal?" Billy asked in an angry tone.

"Very well. I have three tickets aboard Aeroflot flight number 174, leaving from Dulles tomorrow at 8:00PM. I and my associate will be on that flight. We will be accompanied by either our friend Sergei Molotov or by *your* friend Lee Stetson - your *Scarecrow*. The choice is yours, Mr. Melrose. Be at the terminal tomorrow evening by 7:30, at the latest."


Amanda sat on the couch in her family room, trying to make some sense out of Philip's math homework, but she just couldn't seem to focus on algebra. Her mother was out with Capt. Curt; dinner and dancing. It was a special evening that Amanda wouldn't *think* of asking Dotty to cancel. And, even if she could have found someone to keep an eye on the boys on such short notice, she had the feeling that the assignments were already made and she wasn't included. Francine would be working with Mr. Melrose and Lee would be undercover with Frank Duffy as his partner.
She wasn't sure whether this was Lee trying to keep her out of the line of fire or if Mr. Melrose felt that her shooting skills and hand-to-hand combat experiences weren't as extensive as Francine's.
Well, she was working on those areas, with the help of Leatherneck and the Agency's new martial arts instructor, Sidney Hoo.
But for tonight, all she could do was sit there, worry and wait for Lee to call and tell her if the operation was successful.


Billy and Francine walked into the Aeroflot terminal, with Molotov between them. They stopped at a small kiosk, containing information about flight schedules and tourist attractions in Moscow. Billy could see Lee and Duffy, who were disguised as janitors; and Fredricks and Thomas, who were dressed like airport security; all at their pre-arranged locations. Three men were walking towards the kiosk. The two in the cheap suits were KGB, Billy was sure. The other man, who walked slowly, with his head sagging down on his chest, seemed somehow familiar. Then he raised his head and Billy could see his face. It *was* Lee! Billy doffed his hat, the signal to his agents that these men were the targets. In a moment, the two groups were standing face to face.

Fredricks and Thomas walked up and pushed between them.
Looking at Larry, Fredricks addressed Chumpsky, "Sir, is your friend here sober? He doesn't look sober. I've been watching him. Doesn't look like he could walk a straight line if he had to."

Chumpsky was taken by surprise at the question, but he quickly recovered. "Of course he is sober! Why would you even concern yourself with such a thing........"

Fredricks interrupted, "Aren't you aware of the new rules about passengers not being allowed on international flights if they're not sober? They can drink on the plane, but they have to be OK, they have to be sober, when they board."

Billy started to speak to the *security guard*. "Listen...."

"Stay out of this shorty," Fredricks cut him off, with a smile. Billy shot back an 'I'll get you for that...' look.

"Keep your mouth closed," Chumpsky whispered to Larry.

"Sir, you and your friends will have to leave the terminal. Now we can do this the easy way or the hard way. It's up to you." He and agent Thomas both rested their hands on their holsters, just to make sure Chumpsky and his very large companion, got the message.

"Very well," Chumpsky said angrily, "we will leave."

The three started walking towards the exit with one of the phony security guards on either side. Billy, Francine and their prisoner, Molotov, started moving towards the door also.
Lee and Frank Duffy started pushing the flatbed cart containing their trash barrels and cleaning implements. Just as Chumpsky, Dimov and Larry stepped through the double doors of the terminal, Lee and Frank shoved the cart into them, knocking all three men to the ground. Oleg was on his feet first, landing solid blows - first to Fredricks and then to Thomas. Chumpsky started to run, but Lee caught him after just a few steps. He turned the KGB operative around, and knocked him out with one solid left hook. Frank was taking his turn at Oleg, and getting the worst of it, when Larry stood up and let loose with one prodigious, round-house punch, hitting Oleg right where he was sure would do the most damage. Oleg dropped like a rock.

Shaking his right hand, Larry said through gritted teeth, "I knew that guy'd have a glass jaw."

Lee walked up and shook Larry's sore hand. "Good job, my friend."

Other Agency personnel appeared and began cuffing the KGB agents and putting them into an Agency van.

Billy came up and offered his hand to Larry. "Boy, you *are* a dead ringer for Scarecrow. No wonder the KGB thought they had him. Say, would you consider making yourself available to the Agency, to ahh, help us out on occasion?"

Larry laughed, then winced, holding his sore ribs, "Having them think I was your Scarecrow here, was not a pleasant experience. Help you guys out? By pretending to be him? I'll have to think about that - for a long time."

"I wouldn't blame you if you said no, " Lee remarked.

Francine looked - at Lee - then at Larry and then back at Lee. "Well, Amanda said I'd be amazed and I *am*! Gee, Lee, I wonder if your twin here, has four little blacks books too," she laughed.

"Five," Larry grinned.


Lee and Amanda returned Larry's wave as the elevator doors closed and he disappeared from view.

"He's such a nice man," Amanda remarked, with her usual enthusiasm. "And didn't you love it when the waiter finally *had* to ask if you two were twins?"

"No, I didn't love it! And, well, he's an OK guy, I guess," Lee allowed, somewhat grudgingly. "Boy, I'll tell ya though, looking at him was like lookin' in a mirror. Now I know how you must have felt when you first saw Karen Brinkman."

"Oh, Larry's pretty close, but....I don't know, he's not *that* close."

"What do ya mean?" Lee asked as he put his arm around Amanda's waist and headed her towards the front door of the Jefferson Plaza hotel.

"Well, when I first saw him at the airport in that artificial lighting, I was fooled. I thought he looked exactly like you. But later, when I saw the two of you, together, in natural sunlight - well, you're *much* better looking."

"Gee, do you really think so?" A very pleased expression began to form on his handsome face.

She looked at him affectionately and nodded her head affirmatively.

"Oh......thanks," Lee said with an ever broadening grin.

"You're welcome, sweetheart," Amanda responded with a little smile. "Anytime."
After all, it was true. He didn't look exactly like Larry. In her eyes, he really was *one* of a kind.