Mannix (1967–1975): Season 3, Episode 20 - Only One Death to a Customer - full transcript

Three attempts are made on Mannix' life within a short period of time, and the killers were each offered a substantial sum of money to do the job. Mannix concludes that the only man who hated him enough to put out these contracts on his life was Frank Bauer, whom he captured and helped put in jail for a murder and robbery in Nevada. The only problem: Bauer, who had recently broken out of prison, was killed during his escape. Mannix decides to go to Nevada to find out whether Bauer's brother may be behind the attempts on his life -- and perhaps to find the more than $200,000 still missing from the robbery.

♪ ♪

Mr. Bradshaw?

Oh, forgive me for
bringing you out to the yard

this time of night.

You, uh, said you had a problem.

No, Mannix.

You have the problem.

(rifle hammer cocks)


(cocking rifle)


(car engine starts)

(tires screeching)

♪ ♪

(theme music playing)

♪ ♪

(groans softly)

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

There he is!

♪ ♪




(heavy breathing)

Hey, take it easy.

I'm not gonna hurt you.

What was all the shooting for?

For me.

What are you doing here?

I'm the night watchman.

You got a gun?

Security patrol comes around.

I'm just supposed to call if I
see anything out of the way.

Where's your telephone?

In the mill foreman's
office across the yard.

You been hurt!

I... want you to call
the police for me.

I don't know what
your trouble is,

but leave me out of it.

(bottle clatters)


Wait a minute!


(cocking rifle)

Don't shoot!

Hold it!

(distant siren wailing)
That's not Mannix.

Someone must
have called the cops.

Let's get out of here.

(siren continues)

WOMAN (over P.A.):
Dr. Rourke, go to 561 West.

Dr. Jackson, outside call.

Thank you, nurse.

Dr. Jackson, outside call.

(door shuts)

(breathing heavily)


Are you all right?

Never better.


What happened?

My client, Bradshaw,
wanted me dead.

Check on him, Peggy.

I already did.

Company never
heard of a Bradshaw.


Well, the other guy
he called Parker.

Probably both phony names.

Why, Joe?

He walked me into a trap.


That's something else.

I've had dissatisfied
customers before,

but, uh, I've never had one

that wanted to kill me
before I took the case.



I, uh...

I don't know whether I
turned on that tape recorder

when Bradshaw called me.

If it's on tape...

You didn't turn the tape on.


You've had enough for one day.

You're exhausted.

I'll see you in
the morning, huh?

(siren wailing)

(door opens)

♪ ♪


All right, now you better talk.

And it better be good.

The whole story.


I... I was... I was
hired to get you.

Who paid you?

I don't know.

A guy called me.

I met him in the
warehouse district.

What'd he look like?

He's on one side of the
wall, I was on the other.

You took a contract like
that, sight unseen, on faith?

He threw $2,500 over the wall.

Another 2,500 when I finished.

Where were you to meet
him when you finished?

Oh, he told me.

The obituary appears,

he'd send me the rest of it.


Look, Mannix, for 5,000 bucks,

I don't ask no questions.

(door opens)

WOMAN: What's all the commotion?

Why, Mr. Mannix,

you shouldn't be out of bed.


You have no idea why, Joe?

Either time?

In my business, Art, you figure

a certain percentage of the
people are not gonna like you.

But twice in a row...
Now that's ridiculous.

The guy you caught said
he had a contract for 5,000.

The other two had the same deal.

Means there's an awful lot of
money being spread around.

Yeah, and there's only
one man that I can think of

who hated me enough for that.


Frank Bauer.

Bauer? He's dead.


So where does that leave us?

You know,

when Bauer hit that
Vegas club for $220,000,

he hid that money somewhere.

He must have figured
if he got caught,

the money'd be waiting
for him when he got out.

But then when that cashier
he shot died, it was murder.

When I found him, he got life.

Frank Bauer was the
meanest man I ever saw.

He swore in court he'd get Joe

and the judge
and the prosecutor.

Last week, he broke out
of the Nevada state pen.

And he was killed.

So at least you don't
have him to worry about.

But that $220,000
is still missing.

Now maybe somebody
thinks I know where it is

and is trying to
keep me from it.

Watch out for that
somebody, Joe.


"B" for Bauer.

Bauer had a brother.

There's no mention
of a brother here.

Yeah, and he wasn't
at the trial, either.

They didn't get on too well.

Then why would his
brother suddenly set out

to revenge Frank's death
and spend a fortune doing it?

I don't know.

But I'm such a lovable guy,

I figure someone has got to
have a reason to want to kill me.

(door opens)

How about a refill, Joe?

Yeah, thanks.

Listen to this, Peggy.

"Elko, Nevada.

"Neil Evers, 63,

"retired judge of the
Nevada Circuit Court,

"died in a fire that
destroyed his home

"outside of Elko Monday morning.

"The fire was believed
to have been started

"by a short circuit in
an electrical heater.

Services will be private."

Don't tell me.

He was the judge
on the Bauer case.

Yes, he was.

Well, it said a
short circuit, Joe.

An accident.

I mean, maybe it's
just a coincidence?


And it was just a coincidence

that three guys
have tried to kill me

within the past 24 hours.

Now look, Peggy,
I want you to try

and get a rundown on
Frank Bauer's brother.

Find out... (gunshot)


Stay down!

(tires squealing)

Peggy, cancel all
my appointments

and call the
prison administrator

at the Nevada State
Penitentiary, Larry Hammond,

and book me on a flight.

But that's what
they want you to do.

They're trying to
draw you into a trap.

Well, make the reservations
under any name you want.

Up there, you're going
to be a sitting duck, Joe!

What kind of a duck
was I a few minutes ago?

Call Larry Hammond.

(door closes)

Yes, Joe, I knew Judge Evers.

He was a good man.

Yeah. Well, at the trial,
Frank Bauer kept screaming

he was going to
get rid of all of us...

Me, Evers, the prosecutor.

Now, Bauer wasn't one
of our more stable types.

What does all this
have to do with you?

Who's your client?


There have been three
different attempts on my life

within the past 24 hours.

And apparently, by
three different people.

Now Judge Evers is dead.

Well, you're not trying to tie
that to the threats Bauer made?

Well, it's a
possibility, isn't it?

Joe, Bauer was dead

the week before
Judge Evers died.

Are you sure Bauer is dead?

I can understand

how three different
attempts on your life

would make you edgy.

Maybe somebody
didn't nail down the coffin.

There's an inquest.

You want to see the
file on Frank Bauer?

He made a pretty
clever break, at that.

Came within a hair
of getting away with it.

But then, these guys
have nothing to do

but sit and figure a way out.

Frank Bauer had a brother.

He make any visits?


Two visits by his attorney.

That's it.

Bauer wasn't the
friendly type, in or out.

What are you working
on, a brother's revenge?


Well, that sounds better
than what it looked like at first.

I thought you had a
vengeful ghost in mind.

There's the results
of the inquest...

The usual workup.

He got out in a meat truck.

I'd just finished breakfast
when I first got the word.

One of the guards spotted
something suspicious

under the truck.

He hit the siren.

They were after it in
a matter of minutes.

We did a head count,
found out who was missing,

and put out an APB for Bauer.

They caught the meat truck

less than three
miles from the prison.

But Bauer got away.

They found blood where
he'd braced himself...

Hanging by his hands and
feet to the undercarriage.

The only stop the truck
made was a boulevard stop

at the highway junction.

They found where the
getaway car had turned.

They caught up with
it in the mountains

18 miles south of here.

Bauer gave them quite a run.

Again, he almost got away,

but we train our
boys pretty well.

There was some talk

that since it was
syndicate money he stole,

the syndicate
engineered the break.

Provided him with
a sabotaged car.

Sounds like an interesting lead.

Seemed like it to me, too,

but the investigation
turned up negative.

Trace the car?

Probably stolen.

Now you're sure it
was Frank Bauer?

No doubt about that?

The prison dentist

got back a piece of bridgework

that he put in himself

less than six months ago.

There's no doubt, Joe.

He's dead.

And I don't believe in ghosts.

Well, now, if the syndicate
didn't furnish Frank Bauer

with the car,
where did he get it?

Stole it. Oh, come on. How?

A car just happened to
be at a deserted crossroad

where Frank Bauer
happened to fall out

from underneath a meat
truck he used in a breakout?

Life is full of
coincidences, Joe.

Just like three guys
trying to kill you.

And managing to
kill Judge Evers.

You're assuming
that he was killed.

That's not what it
says in the paper.

They're investigating for arson.

Of course they are.

In a case of fire, they
always investigate for arson.

That's routine.


Oh, look, Joe,

I've known you for
a long time, right?

I've never seen you get
rattled under pressure.

I've gotten used
to the idea of living.

Who was the lawyer
who visited him?

Robert Turner.

That's the same
lawyer he had at the trial.


When did he last visit him?

March 19.

See, July, August, June.

That'd be seven months ago.

Well, it's not very likely he
would have set it up then.

Well, thanks again, Larry.

There are probably
not many people

who ever said that to you.


What's the matter?

I'm not sure.

HAMMOND: What is it?

This car was washed
when I rented it.

I've been driving
over dusty roads

for about an hour.

I didn't ask anybody to
check my oil and water.

It looks like somebody did.

Just another coincidence, Larry?

Or are you beginning
to believe in ghosts?

I'm Joe Mannix.

I called Mr. Corey.

Yes, sir.

He's expecting you.

Ah, Mannix.


Welcome to Reno.

It's been a long time.

Sure has.

Oh, how's the arm?

Ah, it's better. Oh, good.

Oh, come on in, sit down.



Now, what's this about
my being in danger?

Well, now, I told you
what happened to me,

what happened to Judge Evers.

And you remember

what Frank Bauer
swore he was going to do.

Mannix, if I didn't
know your reputation,

I'd give you a quick,
polite brush-off.

Larry Hammond phoned
me from the prison.

I was at the inquest.

There's no doubt Bauer is dead.

All right, what about
Frank Bauer's brother?

Revenge, maybe?


Ellsworth Bauer?

Well, he was under
surveillance for over a year.


Oh, and so was, uh,
Frank Bauer's girl...

Dorothy Harker.

We thought they might
know where the money was,

might try to pass some of it,

but no evidence turned up

to link them with the crime.

No. Bauer worked alone.

I imagine he took the money
right to the grave with him.

Whatever happened
to Dorothy Harker?

Oh, Dorothy.

I see her often.

Sure. Well, I live at
the Monarch Hotel.

She's got a little boutique
on the same street.



Got to get to court.

Oh, uh, could I take a
look at your Bauer file?

Oh, sure. Sure, sure.

(intercom clicks)
Betty, will you bring

the folder in on the Frank
Bauer trial, would you?

Thanks. Tom?


Watch your step, huh?

(laughing): I will.

Oh, uh, Mannix, uh...

he wants to check that file.

Now, help him in any
way you can, huh?

Glad to.

Any way I can.

(door shuts)

Oh, uh, thank you.

Would you do me one more favor?

Would you call the DMV and, uh,

check on a car registered
to Ellsworth Bauer?

Of course.

(door opens and shuts)

(phone rings)

Mr. Mannix's office.

Oh, Peggy, it's me.

I'm so glad you're
alive enough to call.

I want you to run a
check on Ellsworth Bauer.

Yeah, Frank Bauer's brother.

Used to work as a relief dealer

in a place called the, uh,
Lucky Dollar in Las Vegas.

You're still hunting ghosts?

Yeah, and they're hunting back.

♪ ♪

Good afternoon. May I help you?

I hope so.

Something personal for a gift...

A negligee, bed jacket?

I've got some lovely
Italian lace handkerchiefs.

Well, this isn't much
more than a handkerchief,

but, uh, it's quite a nice gift.

How much? $85.


Would you, uh...

Would you say this
is about your size?

I'm afraid not.

We always display
the smaller sizes.

Trick of the trade. Oh.

It looks more appealing.

I'm rather a big girl.

Well, I would say that's
a pretty fair description.

Haven't I met you some place?

Have you ever
been to Los Angeles?


But I remember you, Mr. Mannix.

Oh, yeah.

Dorothy Harper.


Dorothy Harker.

You were a friend
of Frank Bauer's.

The trial was a long time ago.

I hated you then,

but it was a long time ago.

Well, I must say, that's a
very professional attitude.

Did you keep in touch with,
uh, Bauer when he was in jail?

Never. Visitors depressed him.


Uh, what must have really
depressed him was knowing

that he was in for life

and all that money
was out there waiting.

And still waiting.

You're after that?

Well, now, I've never met anyone

who couldn't use a few
extra hundred thousand.

Look, Mr. Mannix,

I've had private
detectives hounding me,

asking me questions,

getting me fired from jobs.

Finally, they gave up.

Don't you think I'd
have gotten the money

if I knew where it was the
minute Frank was killed?

Now, wait a minute,

sometimes people know
things without realizing it.

I'm a private detective.

It's my job to put two
and two together...

And see if it adds up to a
couple of hundred thousand.

You think you can
find the money?

I'm gonna try.

And you expect me to help you?

Well, uh, maybe we
can help each other.

How about dinner?


Well, how about that?

(doorbell ringing)

Hi. Hi.

Well... Come in.

I must say that
looks more interesting

than it did in your boutique.

Of course, that
could be the model.

There's some scotch there.

Ice, soda, water.

I'll only be a second.

How do you take yours?

Over ice.

♪ ♪

There you are. Thank you.

To the end of the rainbow.

(glasses clinking)

As long as it's lined with gold.

Look, now, I'm not too
familiar with this town.

What's good for dinner?


It's a few miles out, but the
food is worth traveling for.


You're a lot different.

I mean, from what I expected.


I mean, I only thought
of you as a cop.


Well, uh,

why don't you think
of me as a partner?

You said partner, not buddy.



If you insist.

(glasses clinking)

What is all that noise?

Where are you?

Oh, I'm having
dinner with my partner.

Well, I do now.

Any luck on Ellsworth?


He hasn't worked Vegas
since Bauer's arrest.

Which isn't surprising.

Three months ago he
was up in San Francisco

working as a numbers runner.

I guess that would qualify
as a syndicate connection...

Certainly not a very plush job.

I checked Central Files.

There's no make on him anywhere.

So apparently, he's kept
himself out of trouble.

I'm still looking, but he's
pulled the hole in after him.

Maybe we've got
ourselves another ghost.

Yeah, they're all
around us, Peggy.

Now, look, you
find Ellsworth Bauer.

I need him.

Problem? Uh, no, no.

Some widow wants me to
check out her second husband

before she marries him. (laughs)

Well, a girl can't
be too careful. No.

You gonna set her mind at rest?

Well, I think this is a much
more interesting proposition.

(glasses clinking)

So do I. Mmm.

Joe, I love the music,

and the dinner and the wine.

But how do we go
about finding the money?

We talk.

Talk? Yeah.

Oh, and enjoy ourselves.

You see,

everybody at some point
makes a slip, and, uh,

if you can remember
anything that Frank Bauer said,

no matter how unimportant
it seemed at the time,

we may be able to figure
out where he hid the money.

Now, uh, did he ever talk to you

about his plans for the robbery?

Frank had each word
appraised by two different people

before he'd say it. Yeah.

Well, the prison
records list him

as a borderline psychotic.

Talking wasn't his
strong point. Mmm.

We're gonna have to
find another approach.


DOROTHY: Have you
always been a private cop?


No, I've done a lot of things.

Are you sure
that this is the way

we can find the money Frank hid?


You know, they say
getting there is half the fun.

They are right.

What about Ellsworth Bauer?

(laughs) Do you think, uh...

Do you think maybe Frank
told his brother about the money?

Oh, Frank wouldn't give
Ellsworth the time of day

if he'd just stolen
Ellie's watch.

Well, that tells us

what kind of a guy Frank was.

What kind of a guy is Ellsworth?

Oh, not enough ambition

to make an honest living,

and not enough
brains to be a crook.

What kind of honest
work did he try?

He was a relief dealer in
a couple of cheap clubs.

All the money
he'd get he'd spend

on a crummy cabin at Tahoe...

Not even on the water.

He wants to retire there.

You know, uh,
the way I heard it,

you used to be Ellsworth's girl.

That was before Frank.

One family girl, huh?

Not any longer.

You know,

maybe we ought to try
and find Ellsworth anyway.

He might know something
we can put together.

You have any idea
where he-he is?

Do you think maybe he's
up at that Lake Tahoe place?

He's on the coast.

Oh? Where? I don't know exactly.

I saw him a couple of days ago

and he was just
about to take off.

He was being very vague,

but Ellie always
plays it like that...

Like he'd got something
so big he can't discuss it.

Where'd you see him? Here.

He was staying at the Monarch.

When'd he leave?

A couple of days ago...

Monday, maybe Tuesday.

But he said he'd call
when he got settled.

Did he, uh, seem to have money?

Same as always.

Talked big and looked broke.


But then you just
can't tell about people.

Take you, for instance,

you have a square,
honest reputation.

What made you change?


People just keep
trying to knock me off.

You know, I'd like
to get enough money

to get out of this
business once and for all.

Shall I fix us some breakfast?

Oh, uh, no.

No, I'm... I'm gonna
have to be going.

Well, I don't have to
open the shop until 9:00.

And, uh, it's been a
long time since dinner.

Don't go.

Be a buddy. Ooh,
uh... maybe, uh...

Maybe we better stay partners

until we have enough money
to be real buddies, huh?


Ah, thank you.


(phone rings) (groans)



Oh, Mannix.


You're still in town?

You always keep these hours?

Ellsworth Bauer was
staying at this hotel?


A couple of days ago.

Dorothy Harker saw him.

Check it out, will you?

See if you can
get a lead on him.

I'm on my way over to you now.

♪ ♪

Stay clear, please. Clear.

What happened?

Tom Corey... He
fell off the balcony.


As loaded as he
was, it's no wonder.

I talked to him a
few minutes ago.

He was perfectly sober.

It smells like he
swallowed the whole still.

Who are you? Joe Mannix.

Mannix? He was calling
for someone named Mannix.

Hold it, fellas.


There was approximately
eight ounces of alcohol

in the stomach.

That's a lot of whiskey.

Now, look, 15 minutes before
Corey died, he was sober.

It's not easy to tell
with a heavy drinker.

Yeah. Well, he
wasn't drunk, Doc.

Did you come to ask my
medical opinion, Mr. Mannix,

or to tell me?

Tom was my friend, too.

I warned him a dozen
times to cut down.

He had no hobbies, no sports.

Booze was his sole
method of unwinding.

Yeah, maybe.

But I can't believe
that, in 15 minutes,

he got drunk enough
to fall off that balcony.

But he could have been forced

to down that whiskey,
and then pushed.

Yes, I'd say Tom Corey's
death was a little too much

of a coincidence.

Now, you told me that Frank
Bauer never had any visitors

while he was in jail,
including his brother.

Now, did he ever
write to his brother?

He did write his brother.

There were three letters.

The last one was sent
the tenth of this month.

The tenth.

That's four days
before the prison break.

Any record of the content?

No, but obviously,

there was nothing
suspicious enough

for the censors to pick up.

Now suppose the syndicate
used Frank's brother

to set up the break and
then sabotaged the car?

There never was any evidence

that Ellsworth worked
for the syndicate.


Well, then,

maybe Ellsworth decided to
go into business for himself.

Maybe he wanted his brother
dead so he could collect the money.

They may not have got on,

but Bauer was Ellsworth's
own brother, Joe.


Like Cain and Abel.

(door opening)

Joe, where were you?

I've been trying
everywhere to get you.

Yeah, well, so has
everybody else.

I got a call from
Ellsworth this morning.

I'm going to meet him.

He's got the money?

I think he knows where it is.

At least, I think
he's got an idea.

And he's going to
share it with you? Well...

as you pointed out, it
was Ellsworth before Frank.

Well, now, that's
the kind of loyalty

they write poems about.

Why do you need me?

I know Ellsworth.

If he did get his
hands on the money,

he wouldn't know
what to do with it.


You would.

Where is he?

At Tahoe.


We're still partners, aren't we?


Until we, uh... become buddies.

You've been watching
the mirror the last hour.

What are you looking for?


Um... wait.

Ellie may be a little
edgy with strangers.


Well, Frank,

you look remarkably
well for a dead man.

Get his gun.

Well, I'm to be the
last of the three.

I told you I'd get you.

I promised all of you.

You were lucky with
the others, Frank,

but those three bums
you sent to kill me...

They were really taking your
money under false pretenses.

You don't seem to
miss that bridgework

you left in Ellsworth's mouth.

But then, I suppose you've
had that replaced since.

Oh. This clown is funny.

Was your brother
funny when he found out

he had supplied the car
he was going to die in?

Careful, big mouth.

What are you going to
do, Frank, kill me twice?

Just for a point of
interest, how did it feel?

It's the first time I've
ever talked to a man

who killed his own brother.

It felt like anybody else.

He came 'cause he
wanted the dough.

He was hungry, just
like any other bum.

Just where is the dough?

(Frank grunting)


Aw, now, that-that's beautiful.

Brother Ellsworth must
have warmed himself

in front of that fireplace
dozens of times,

never realizing that there was
a fortune just beyond his reach.

I laughed about it
a couple of times.

Ah. You know why
you're a success, Frank?

You really know what you want.

You know what's important.

The world is full
of talented failures

who never knew
what was important.

And most people
get a whiff of money,

and it destroys their judgment.

They want that money so
bad that they beg to trust you.

They know better, but,

oh, the sight of all that
money just overwhelms them.

Oh, but not you, Frank.

You know better
than to trust anybody.

You don't need anybody.

You know when to use people

and when to get rid of them.

You've got better

sense than to let them live
once they've served your purpose.

Uh, where will I get it?

Ah, you're much too clever to
shoot me and let me die here.

(snaps fingers)
In the car, right?

The car I rented...
It has an accident,

and I end up in the lake.

I hear Lake Tahoe has
almost bottomless places.

Yeah, I get it the same
way your brother did.

Only, instead of
fire, it's a flood.

It's just too bad no one will
really know how clever you were.

'Cause there'll be no
one left alive, right?

Where you going, Frank?

Europe? Mexico?

Oh, the whole world
is open to you now.

And I will go to the
bottom of Lake Tahoe

with my lovely partner,

who brought me to you...

who has therefore
outlived her usefulness.

Kill him.

Don't do it, Dorothy.

Shoot him.

You shoot me, and he'll
have you on the hook forever.

It won't work, Mannix.

She wants

the money more than
she wants you alive.

Shoot him.

Dorothy... you kill me...

there'll never be
a way out for you.

Shoot him.


I'm, uh, sorry about
having unloaded my gun.

I just thought it'd be

a lot less messy
all the way around.

Three murders, he thought
he'd changed everything.

But he couldn't change himself.

What about me?

Well, uh, you did help
in your own fashion.

I guess I could tell the police

that you knew the
gun was unloaded.

Then we're still partners?

Oh, I didn't say that.

You don't have to tell
them about the money.

It's all there.


I'm afraid I'm going
to have to tell them.

What a shame.

We could have
been great buddies.

Well... maybe we
can be pen pals.