This series is about a P.I. in 1935 Los Angeles. It features Wayne Rogers as the headliner. Rogers is a permanently broke Private Detective who goes by the handle, Jake Axminster. He works out of an office in the Bradbury Building. He is constantly at war with corrupt Police Lt Clifton James. Always in hot water, Rogers is aided by his somewhat loopy secretary, Elaine Joyce, and his lawyer pal, Philip Sterling. Some nice period detail and such help the stories along. (Rogers tools around in a beat up 1930's rag-top) The series only ran for 13 episodes. This particular episode is the 8th of the production run.
In this episode, Rogers is hired by a wealthy businessman, Broderick Crawford, to tail a female employee. When asked why the tail, Crawford tells Rogers that he suspects the woman of pilfering company funds. What seems like an easy gig turns out to be anything but. Rogers trails the woman and a man, Brett Halsey, to an amusement park. Rogers is keeping a light tail on the pair when they disappear around a corner. Rogers picks up the pace in order to keep up. He rounds the corner and bang, he gets a 2 by 4 to the forehead. Down he goes in a heap.
When our man comes to, he hotfoots it over the girl's apartment. He wants a word or two with the lumber happy Halsey. What he finds is the girl doing a fine imitation of a corpse. After checking for signs of life, he has a quick look around. During this activity, the phone rings, Rogers picks up the receiver. A man's voice asks for the now dead woman. Rogers recognizes Halsey's voice but does not answer, he hangs up and leaves.
Into the car he hops and is off to Crawford's place for a talk with the client. He explains what happened to the man and asks what the "real deal" was? Rogers figures that that the dead girl was really Crawford's mistress. Rogers then asks if Crawford had killed her. Rogers can tell from Crawford's reaction that he had nothing to do with her death. Crawford asks Rogers to look into the matter and find out who killed the girl He coughs up 2 week's pay in advance. Rogers agrees, who is he to turn down money.
Rogers roots around and finds out that Halsey is an unemployed actor. Halsey is a real pretty boy who is also stepping out with Crawford's secretary, Marcia Strassman. Rogers decides that a little face to face with both Halsey and Strassman is in order. He visits Strassman at home for a few questions. She pours the P.I. a large drink and agrees to tell all. Next thing he knows, Rogers is getting his stomach pumped at the hospital. The witch had slipped him a Mickey Finn.
Now his client, Crawford, is bumped off with a severe overdose of lead. Good thing Rogers got paid in advance. He again hunts down Strassman and Halsey, and this time, is anything but polite. Halsey needs a little bit of arm twisting before spilling what he knows.
It seems that Strassman and Halsey, who are really a couple, had found out that her boss and the office girl were stepping out. They also discovered that Crawford had secretly socked away close to a million bucks. Halsey had taken the woman out a few times to try and find out more about the hidden cash. A spot of blackmail on Crawford seemed in order.
The whole plan fell to pieces when Crawford and his paramour were killed. They both swear they did not kill either one. They had only been rough with Rogers because they thought he was after them over the blackmail plot. Rogers realizes that Crawford had only hired him because he was afraid to lose his mistress. So who killed Crawford and his girl?
It suddenly dawns on Rogers who the real killer is. Crawford's wife, Pricilla Pointer, had found out about the cash and Crawford's new love. It seems that Crawford had planned on taking his new girl, the cash, and splitting south of the border. Pointer decided otherwise, she had no intention of being left high and dry. The Police are brought in and Pointer is arrested.
Roy Huggins, the series producer, has recycled a story he used in his 1967-68 series THE OUTSIDER. Writer, producer and director Huggins was involved with quite a few hits series, including, MAVERICK, CHEYENNE, BUS STOP, THE VIRGINIAN, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE, ALIAS SMITH AND JONES, THE BOLD ONES, and THE ROCKFORD FILES. He also wrote the screenplays or stories for the feature films, I LOVE TROUBLE, THE LADY GAMBLES, TOO LATE FOR TEARS, WOMAN IN HIDING, SEALED CARGO, HANGMAN'S KNOT, GUN FURY and PUSHOVER.
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