Trusted secretary Doris Mauldin steals $50,000 from the Colton Valley Farmers' Co-Operative and solicits the assistance of her boyfriend "Dusty" Dunn to transport the cash to a safe hiding place in his crop dusting plane. Her manager and co-workers vouch for her honesty and efficiency, but most of the other possible suspects are painstakingly eliminated. When Dan Mathews notices a white dust handprint on the back of Ms. Mauldin's dress, he deduces that she and Dunn are romantically involved. He utilizes a ruse that compels Ms. Mauldin to expose her involvement by attempting to flee with Dunn in his plane. Written by
$50,000 in 1957 had the same purchasing power as $381,000 in 2009. See more »
In its day-to-day job of enforcing the law, the Highway Patrol has come to know many types of lawbreakers, their methods, and habits. But some fit no previous pattern. This girl - an efficient secretary, hardworking, thorough, and loyal. For five years, she has held her daily job with the Colton Valley Farmers' Co-Operative. Doris Mauldin does not look like a criminal, nor has she ever been one. Until today.
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Yet another first rate Highway Patrol episode, Efficiency Secretary starts slow and is a bit dull for its first few minutes, then picks up as head of steam. The criminal here is a woman, and she's pretty much the gang leader: the catch is that she has no background in crime, is the girl Friday in the agricultural co-op where she works; and prior to her theft of several thousand dollars of the money of hard-working farmers, she was an upstanding citizen.
What made her do it is never explained. As I think on it she's a bit like insurance man Walter Neff of Double Inemnity, also a highly trusted employee; and Psycho's Marion Crane, the attractive young woman who absconds with forty grand from her long time employer. All three characters are middle to low level business types, a far cry from upper level management, they're not exactly working stiffs, either. They steal less from greed as a desire to break free from their humdrum lives.
The character of Miss Mauldin in Efficiency Secretary is the least sympathetic of the three. I could never warm up to her. There wasn't much to like, though her professionalism earned my admiration. She was clever enough to outfox top cop Dan Mathews early on, but even he noticed that she was almost too efficient, so disciplined and reliable to actually raise suspicions. Counter-intuitive types, whether in crime or business, often forget that they can themselves be "counter counter-intuited" by others and that no, this doesn't take a rocket scientist, just a professional cop with a keen eye. The episode features a good story, decent acting and an interesting villain of the week whose motive is never explained. Indeed, the subject never comes up.
This one isn't action packed but it's worth sticking with, as it gets better as the story moves along.
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