Mannix (1967–1975): Season 2, Episode 18 - Death in a Minor Key - full transcript

Peggy has been dating a black musician named Gabe Johnson. While they are at a jazz club, he and a man in the audience both recognize one another, and Gabe flees, without Peggy and without his prized cornet. Peggy turns to Joe Mannix and asks him to investigate Gabe's disappearance. Mannix learns that Gabe's real name is Gabe Dillon, and that the man in the club who recognized him (and whom Gabe recognized) was the police chief from the southern town where Gabe escaped while serving a ten-year prison term for burglary, attempted murder, and hit and run. Mannix attempts to help Gabe, but his efforts are stymied by Gabe's own resistance, and by the police chief's dogged pursuit of the fugitive.

(jazz combo playing)

(trumpet soloing)

(bass and piano
continue improvising)

(trumpet joins in)

(song ends with a trumpet blast)

Remember me?

I'm your date.

Sit tight, Peggy.

(piano and bass begin new song)

(jazz melody
continues in distance)

(jazz playing)

(theme music playing)

♪ ♪

He ran out.

I waited at the club
until closing time.

But he never came back.

Okay, Peggy, what happened?

I don't know.

Everything was fine.

We had dinner at my
house, and afterwards,

you know, while I
was doing the dishes,

he and Toby played,
and then, at the club,

Gabe was going great.

And wham... a sudden change.

Now, you know
how musicians are...

They're temperamental cats.

Who knows what got into him?

Are you trying to
make me feel better?


Well, I would, except...

you and I know how
Gabe feels about his horn.

So he said it's like his heart...
Without it, he's dead... so?

He left it at the club.

Did you try phoning him?

That's another thing...

He never gave me
his phone number.

I called directory assistance.

He's not listed.

And I checked with someone
from the musicians' union.

I got his address,
I drive out there...

It's a vacant lot.

Um, Gabe ever
talk about himself?


I did ask him where
he was from, though,

and he said, home was
always the last place he'd been.

I got the message, so
I stopped being nosey.

That's marvelous restraint.

Hold down the fort.


thanks for the trouble.

Wait'll you get my bill.

MANNIX: Hello, Gabe.

I knew you'd come
back after the horn.

What else do you know?

Nothing except what
you're gonna tell me.

Nothin' to tell, daddy.

Not even to Peggy?


Tell her I'm sorry.

About what?

The stand up. What else?

I gotta split, man.

You gonna follow me?

You know it.

What can I do to stop you?

Tell me the truth.

Is that a promise?

You got my word.

Story, man.

Story about a little
boy and a horn.

Little boy meets horn

and falls in
love at first sight.

Then little boy grows
up... and he loses the horn.

That was ten years ago.

I needed bread.

I hocked it.

And then I got a
gig at the roadhouse.

And a man needs his own horn.

And I broke into that pawn shop

and I borrowed my horn,

but I never made that roadhouse.

I made a prison
road gang instead.

So, like they say...
I've paid my dues.

You gonna follow me?

Nothing you've come up
with yet is gonna stop me.

How about this?

You wouldn't use
that on me, Gabe.

You're not the kind.

You're right, man.

I'm the other kind.

Press me too far
and I'll use it... on me.

Do you think he meant it?

Well, he had that
no-nonsense look,

so I let him be.

What could have made
him that desperate?

Well, I could give
you a few guesses.

What's the matter?

Someone's out there.

Before, while you were gone,

I thought I saw a
man looking over here,

across the courtyard,
but he moved on.

But now he's back.

Get back to the door,
where he can see you,

and just act as if you're
carrying on a conversation.

Go on.

Of course I'm
worried about Gabe.

Why would he disappear?

Everything's going
so great for him.

We were just starting to...

♪ ♪

MANNIX: Take a good look, Peggy.

I never saw him before.

Well, I saw you!

I followed you
here from the club.

And you figured she'd
lead you to Gabe Johnson.


You might say that.

My name's Walt Finlay.

Course, Gabe never mentioned it.

Not apt that he would.

I'm from Marysville.

That's a nice little town,

down where you folks up
here like to call Dixie way.

Chief of Police?!


Small world.

Truth is, I haven't seen
or heard of Gabe for...

close to...

let's see, about...
about eight year.

Yeah, about eight year.

Then I come to L.A.

for a law enforcement
officers' yearly to-do,

and who do I spot, just
by sheer coincidence,

but old Gabe Dillon.

That's his true name.

Gabriel Dillon.

Didn't know that, did you?

You know, they say you
can tell a coronet player

by the sound of his horn,

like it was his
voice or something.

You know, I'm tone-deaf.

Yeah, I don't got an ear.

I never would have
known it was Gabe

'cept he lifted his glasses
off for a second there.

Yeah, small world, isn't it?

See, Gabe and me...
We go back a long time.

'Bout... ten years.

The night he was picked up...

I was the arresting officer.

I suppose there's a reward.

Oh, yeah.


Well, uh...

don't spend it all
in one store, huh?

Tell you what.

You name your favorite charity,

and maybe we'll send it there.

Where's Gabe?

She doesn't know, so forget it.

Now, he paid the
rental on that coronet.

He served his time.

He told me the story.

No, maybe he didn't
tell you the whole story.

You see, he's an
escaped fugitive.

He served only nine months

on a ten-year sentence.

MANNIX: Ten years.

That's the way you
hand it out down there?

Mr. Mannix, I don't make
the laws, I just enforce them.

Ten years... for lifting
your own coronet.

For assault with
a deadly weapon.


He tried to kill a man.

MAN: Eight! Go, baby!

Ah, Joe, what do I know?

I'm just a guy in the
booking business...

A little schnook agent.

Oh, come on,
Barney, knock it off.

My head's zinging.

I don't want to
take it out on you.

Now, I gotta find
Gabe. For his own good.

Will you trust me?

Word's out, Joe.

Cool it on Gabe.

Where is he? Is he in town?

Why not? L.A.'s got
a big underground.

You know that.

I don't know where underground.

When you go underground,
you gotta keep moving.

What about stops?

Well, all along the way,

there are backrooms
and empty houses.

Gabe can't stay away
from that horn too long.

When you gotta
jam, you gotta jam.

(playing upbeat jazz)

♪ ♪

(stops playing, others continue)

(everyone stops playing)

Hi, Gabe.

Go ahead and finish.
We can talk later.

Cool it, fellas, huh?

I just wanted to leave
here peaceful, Joe.

Gabe... Finlay's got a
license to gun you down.

If you run...

It's better than going
back to that road gang.

You didn't tell me
the whole story, Gabe.

You left out the part
about the hit-and-run.

I had nothing to do with that,

except take the blame!

I didn't hit-and-run anybody!

Okay, so I...

I took this horn,
and I paid for it.

Now, I'm not going to die
for something I didn't do.

All right, Gabe.

All right.

Now, if that's the
truth, maybe I can...

Well, maybe I can
work out a new trial.

A new trial!

Man, in Marysville?

Look, I'll make a
deal with them at first.

Man, there is no deal down
there but a ball and a chain!

Gabe, you just
can't keep running!

Now, let me handle it.

I'll work out something.

(heavy sigh)

That's something.

I'm obliged to you, Mr. Mannix.

If I hadn't tailed you, I
never would have found...

old Gabe Dillon.

(kicks stair)

Well, I really
fouled that one up.

You did what you
thought was right.

Do you think it was right?

You didn't mean to hurt him.

Hm. Meaning I didn't help him.

Do you believe Gabe about
that hit-and-run charge?

MANNIX: I'd like to.

I do, no strings attached.

(phone ringing)

Mr. Mannix's office.

Yes, Sid.



I'll tell him.

Sid Morley said that Gabe's
on his way to Marysville.

What the...? What
are they trying to pull?

He's got a right to
extradition proceedings.

Gabe waived extradition.

I knew he would. So that's that.

No, that's not
the end of the line.

A crime and a
trial ten years old?

As Gabe figured, what chance?

You dig a little deeper.

In that town?

All right, it'll be
a little rough.


Look, Peggy,

get me the first plane
you can to Marysville.

There's only one plane.

You'll get there about dawn.

♪ ♪

(no audio)

I'm sorry, Mr. Mannix,

but, uh, your visit to the
prisoner cannot be approved.

Why not? Rules.

Which one? Keep Gabe under wraps

until you can ship him
upstate to a road gang?

We don't have road gangs.

Now, look, I want
to see the prisoner.

But I can't arrange
that, Mr. Mannix,

because the prisoner
does not want to see you.

Shall I wait?

Uh, better not.

It'll probably
be a little while.

No, I never let go when
I got a live one... I'll wait.

WOMAN: Oh... Oh, here we are.

The State v. Gabriel Dillon.

That's it.

Oh... well, sir, it is indicated

that, uh, those records
are not here at this time.

At what time will they be here?

Well, sir, that's,
uh... Hard to say.

Yes, sir.

Oh, you better have a good
reason for laying that there.

The chief would like
to see you, Mannix.

Thank you.

What's the matter, Finlay...

you afraid of something I
might find in those records?

What happens next, they
get burned accidentally?

You are really working
yourself into a sweat, Mannix.

Just look at you, listen to you.

And all that energy wasted.

The way you hop
around town here,

like a flea on an old hound dog.


Yeah, yeah, I forgot
how it is around here.

Sleepy time down South.

Everything slow and easy.

A thousand dollars...
Reward for the, uh...

of Gabriel Dillon."

Like I said, Mannix,

name your favorite charity.

It's yours.

You know, I've heard of
buy-offs, but that's a beaut.

You really are
suspicious, aren't you?

Well, being in your business,

you wouldn't be apt
to trust most people.

Especially since
you've arranged it

so I can't see Gabe.


Who told you that?

Finlay... you expect
me to believe you.


Come here, Mannix.

I want to show you something.

I did arrange this...

State v. Gabriel Dillon.

Proceedings are all there.

What are you
after, Finlay, really?

Well, first,

apprehending Gabe
was just a job to me.

Now, don't tell me you
went through all this trouble

just to sell me on the idea
you're one of the good guys.

You know...

the minute you met me,
and you heard the way I talk,

found out I was a cop,

you sure had me all
figured out, didn't you?

Talk about your stereotyping.

You figure every law
officer from down here

carries an electric
prod stick in one hand

and the leash of a vicious
police dog in the other.

Well, some of us have
gone along with the change,

because, like it
or not, it's the law.

But some of us... even
approve of the change.

Now, maybe you can take
that message back with you.

What about Gabe Dillon?

He had a fair trial.

I'm satisfied he's
guilty. Maybe.

Help yourself.

Uh, you'd best, uh,

turn to the testimony
of Harvey Boylan.

It's the dog-eared page.

I thought I could save
you a little reading time.

BOYLAN: I remember it
all just the way it happened.

It started when I saw this
car pull up across the street.

It looked kind of
funny parked there

and the lights turned out.

Then I saw this Negro get
out from behind the wheel.

The way he looked up and down,

I had an idea he
was up to no good.

I saw him slide into that alley

and force the door
of the pawn shop.

So while he was in there,

I figured I'd better get
his license plate number.

Just to play safe,
I wrote it down

to be sure when I reported it.

Then I heard steps
coming out of that alley.

Then I saw the Negro,

the defendant over there.

I ducked back into the shadows,

but it was too late.

I figured my one chance
was to run for it, so I ran.

I heard his car start up.

I ran even faster

when I heard the skid
and screech of his wheels.

(tires screeching)

BOYLAN: I'm glad
they caught him.

I'm glad they caught him.

He can fry.

Dear, please, you're
just upsetting yourself.


So, Mr. Mannix,

you are now looking at the
world's only talking vegetable.

(laughing): Harvey,
that isn't funny.

Somebody might
see the humor of it.

How about you, sir?

Mr. Boylan,

are you sure it was
Gabe Dillon's car?

You're hearing it from
the horse's mouth.

Ten years is a long time.

Events... faces dim.

Not his.

Mr. Boylan...

you said the car was
bearing directly down on you.


MANNIX: And the
headlights were in your eyes.


Well, with the glare
of the headlights,

how could you have
seen the car clearly?

More important,

how could you
have seen the driver?

Look, mister, you said
you read the record.

Well, I did, but naturally,

the prosecuting attorney
didn't ask you that question.

That Negro... that black...

Or whatever it is
you're supposed

to call 'em nowadays...

Had counsel to defend him.

Appointed by the court.

I checked that lawyer.

Apparently, he spent more time

drinking at the bar
than practicing at it.

No, he didn't ask
that question at all.

Nobody doubted you.

Dillon did it.

There's no doubt about it.

You're taking his word
agin' mine, ain't you?


That's right.

You can get out of
my house, mister,

and get quick.

No use talking to your kind.

You don't know
what they're like.

Mr. Boylan... I
am sorry for you...

in more ways than one.

Mrs. Boylan, thank
you for the lemonade.

(dog barking in distance)

(taxi engine starting)

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

Hotel, Mr. Mannix.

I changed my mind, Dave.

Let's go.

Something wrong?

You can bet your badge
something's wrong.

Anything I can do to help?

You know, I haven't
quite figured you out.

Well, take your time.

What do you want?

I told you... a fair shake.

Come on, you're up to something.

What's the angle?

Ah, there you go,
stereotyping me again.

(imitating accent): "Anything
I can do to help, Mannix."

Okay, Finlay.

Call off your dog.

He's been at my heels

ever since I left
Boylan's place.

I didn't even know
you was at Boylan's.

What's the matter, a
breakdown in communication

between you and that character

with the white hat?

Well, you can
tell him in person.

He even tailed me here.

He's parked right
outside, in his...

What's the matter?

Okay, so you called him off.

There is no man in a white hat

or any other kind of hat
tailing you under my orders.

You know, Finlay, I'm
gonna figure you out.


there's a message
for you at your hotel.

Now, I wonder how you knew.

I left it.

Made special arrangements

for you to see Gabe Dillon.

I told them I didn't
want to see you.

Now, look, Gabe, I'm
here because of you.

That's funny, I'm
here because of you.

Gabe, I'm trying to do a job.

You did your job in L.A.

Look, I just could
turn up something.

What are you gonna
do for an encore,

part the waters?

Don't make it any
tougher than it is. Okay.

I'll make it easier for you.

I'm giving you "A" for effort.

I'm clearing your conscience.

So you can skip along now.

That's all.

You zigged when you
should have zagged.

So what?

Everybody's entitled
to one little mistake.

Everybody's happy now.

Let's go.

Dave, where's the
nearest car rental?

Over on Third and Jay.

You gonna go out
on your own, huh?


See you around, Dave.

♪ ♪

(tires screech)

Hold it right there.

No gun, I just...

was gonna show
you my identification.

No show, tell.

Charlie Willis... I got an
office in the Braddock Building.

I'm in the same
business you're in.

I don't like being tailed.

Who's the client?

All right, all right.

Why should I get
my head beat in?

I don't even know
who the client is.

Come on. Come off it!

I'm telling you,
that's the way it is.

Look, I... I was hired by phone.

I got my retainer
in the mail, in cash,

and, uh, there was no return
address on the envelope.

So, just how do you
report to your client,

take an ad in the paper?

Well, this came
with the retainer,

typewritten like the envelope.

I was ordered to
phone that number

every day at 4:00 and report.

Who does the phone
number belong to?

I don't know.

Where's the phone located?

Well, I didn't investigate.

Look, I just get paid,
that's all I care about.

I'm not a curious man by nature.

You know, Willis, you're
in the wrong business.

Yeah, I know that now.

Now, tell me, uh, what
did your client's voice

sound like on the phone?

You know, what sort
of voice did he have?

Oh, it wasn't a man.

It was a woman.

(phone ringing)

Hello... hello?

Wh-Who are you?

Joe Mannix.

You're getting today's reports

straight from the horse's mouth.

Item one: I ran
into Charles Willis

a little while ago.

Item two: here I am.

Phyllis Judson Garth, married.

What does Mr. Garth do?

Garth Lumber and
Building Supplies.

Okay, now we've got all the
names straight except one...

Gabe Dillon.

Who's that?

What are you going to do?

Call downtown.

You mean the police?

Who else?

No, wait.

There's no reason why
I should take the blame.

None of it was my idea,
including hiring Willis.

Roger made me do it.

It's all his fault.

I just don't see
why I should go on

paying and paying
all these years.

He was very drunk that night.

I begged him to
let me drive, but...

oh, they think they're such men,

especially when they're drunk.

He hit and ran.

And then, when that
Negro was arrested

and Boylan identified him,
Roger thought he saw a way out.

I... I couldn't say anything.

My-My lips were sealed.

Roger doesn't just threaten.

He means it.

All these years, he
felt he was off the hook,

and then you had to show up.

I... I'm glad you did.

Where is he now?

At the lumber yard
on Trenton Street.

Everybody else
will be gone by now.

I was supposed to drive over
there after talking to Willis.

What do I do now?

Go home.

You should know, Roger
has a gun at the lumber yard.

Mr. Mannix...

I want you to
understand... I am innocent.

Where were you all those years?

♪ ♪

♪ ♪



♪ ♪

♪ ♪

♪ ♪




(bullet ricocheting)



(body thuds)

Now, let's start again,
from the beginning.

Maybe there's
something you left out.

MANNIX: Now, look, I told you,

I wasn't firing to hit him.

I wanted him alive.

I was only trying
to scare him down.

I missed... purposely.

Well, maybe you're
just a bad miss.

What are you, court jester?

All right, he's
entitled to his opinion.

Now, you got it all straight.

From the time I
met Charlie Willis

until I phoned you from
the lumber company.

(knocking on door)


All righty now.

Would you come
in, please, ma'am?

Oh, Miz Garth,
I'm terribly sorry

to trouble you
at a time like this,

but you could help
us by identifying

Mr. Mannix.

Mr. Mannix...

The gentleman you were
talking to this afternoon.

I never talked to that man.

(sets down mug)

Hold it, hold it. Wait a minute.

Now, Miz Garth, you have
been through an ordeal,

and you're
understandably confused.

PHYLLIS: Not about him.

I never saw him
before in my life.

All right, Mrs. Garth.

Thank you.

And again, I'm terribly sorry

to have bothered you.

You're taking her word.

They are facts.

From the facts, you
were shot in the hand,

returned the fire,
and killed Garth.

Now that only might
be self-defense.

You're forgetting one
thing: What about Gabe?

You're not going to
even question Mrs. Garth?

On what grounds?

Okay, she claims
she didn't see me.

What about Charles Willis?

She hired him. Call him in.


About Charles Willis,
Mannix... I personally checked.

He has no office in
the Braddock Building,

like you said.

There is no Charles
Willis, private investigator.

As a matter of fact,

there is no Charlie
Willis anywhere.

You got anything to
add to that, Mannix?

If not, you'd best stick around
while I check a few things out.

There was a
shooting and a killing,

and you're in bad trouble.


Finally got you figured, Finlay.

You knew just how
far you were going

right from the
beginning, didn't you?

A man with a badge, fair,

with a conscience,
living down the past,

leaning over backwards so far,

until you broke my back.

I forgot you had a personal
stake in Gabe's case.

You were the arresting
officer and the investigator.

Well, now, you wouldn't want

that can of beans
opened up again,

really, would you?

Not after ten years.

How would that
look on your record?

Mannix... you sit real tight...

in your hotel room.

You hear?

Did that car break down?

Listen, Dave, if you
had a foreign car,

and you wanted to
keep it in tip-top shape,

where would you get it serviced?

Hmm... only one
shop, the best in town.


MAN: Beauty, huh?

Yeah, yeah, that's exactly
what I was looking for.



Not for sale.


Oh, thanks.

Just brought in
for servicing, huh?

Uh-uh. Here all the time.

Belongs to Hal Gardner.

He owns the place.

There he is over there now.

He likes to talk to
foreign car buffs.

Yeah, so do I.

Uh, hey, these are pretty good.

Listen, uh, you mind
getting him over here?

No. Sure.

MAN: Hey, Hal?

Yeah, Ben?

There's a fellow over there,

a bug on old Mercedes-Benz.

Thought you might like to...

That's funny.

Said he wanted to talk to you.

Now he's gone.

What did he look like?

No, let Mannix
stick his neck out.

Sheriff Finlay will blame
the whole thing on him,

just like we planned.


You know, you...

you really shouldn't have
called me to your place, Hal...

A widow in a bachelor's pad.

I mean, we-we did agree

to observe a respectful
period of mourning.

But since I'm-I'm already here,

I suppose you fully intend

to take advantage
of me... a helpless...

defenseless... Tiger...

(sultry laugh)

(both growl and laugh playfully)

MANNIX: What's
this, love at the zoo?

Like I said, there was
a man in a white hat.

What's the matter, Gardner?

Tiger got your tongue?

Tell me, did she
talk you into using me

to get rid of Garth, or
was it his bright idea

to make me the patsy?

You know, Mrs. Garth, I've
been having serious doubts

about your version
of that hit-and-run.

Would you like to
change the story?

No. Okay.

Um, I'll just call a third party
to liven up the conversation.

No, wait, Mr. Mannix...

I-I think we should talk
a little common sense.

Such as?

PHYLLIS: I mean, what is
all this effort over Gabe Dillon?

I mean, how much money
could he have given you?

After all, he-he is...
MANNIX: A black?

Just another colored man, huh?

What's the difference?

Operator... Mannix...

Sorry, Operator, wrong number.

I must say, you're
a cute couple.

HAL: Yeah, well, uh,

the late, uh, Roger
Garth... He didn't think so.

He kept us apart

ever since that night
that we rode off together

in Phyllis' car,
and he followed us.

See, Garth agreed
to keep his mouth shut

about Phyllis being the
driver of the hit-and-run car

as long as she come back to him,

and lived with him.

Roger was big for appearances.

So, Garth didn't want
me digging into the case

any more than you two did.

Mm-hmm, yeah.


He played right along,

only he never
knew to what extent.

I guess that kind
of wraps it up.


Yeah, except for this.

That's right.

(trigger clicking)

MANNIX: Sorry, Gardner.

Your car registration
gave me your address.

I've been waiting for you.

So, let's go, huh?

(door opens and closes)



Come on.

No, no.

Don't tell me why you're here.

I don't mind telling you:

Waiting for you to finish.

Oh, you figure I'd
dig deeper and faster

if you ordered me
to stay put, huh?

Well, it was a long shot, but
it sure worked out, didn't it?

You know, that's beautiful,
Finlay. That's beautiful.

I did all the dirty work,

all the running,
all the sweating!

Well, like you said,
sleepy time down South.

Everything slow and easy.


We're changing.

Yeah, Finlay, tell
me one thing now.

You didn't have a tail on me.

How did you know I was here?

One of my men.

Like I said, we're changing.

Come on, I'll give you
a last ride in my cab.

Boy, this is some house.

(combo playing bluesy melody)

(trumpet joins in)

(theme music playing)