"We're called
The Pursuers

Our job is to keep 7,000 miles
of London streets from becoming
a cement jungle.
My sidekick is special- she's a
police dog. I'm a Scotland Yard
inspector- the name's
Bollinger, John Bollinger."

picture from #32.
Here are reviews of all stories I have

1 THE SAILOR
2 THE HUSBAND
8 THE HOLIDAY
10 THE JUNGLE AND NICKY STEEN
13 THE FRAME
14 THE OTHELLO MURDER
19 TOMORROW'S GHOST
21 BREAKOUT
25 THE ESCAPE
28 THE WEB
32 THE GEORGE WEBBER STORY
33 THE CONVENTION
35 THE ACCIDENT
37 THE CONTRACT

With a working title of 'Whitehall SW1,' it was originally intended to call this series 'Police Dog.' The alsatian Ivan came from Bexley Kennels. The series was produced for "Crestview Productions" by Donald Hyde with shooting starting on August 29th 1960. Following the traditions of the day a pilot had already been made. Hyde described it thus: "It is a purely British production. Probably the first that will not have any mid-Atlantic accents." It was called The Story of George Webber, the star being Shay Gorman and directed by John Knight. Script was by Basil Dawson who continued to contribute to the series. This film was one of 8 British entries entered in the May 1960 Eurovision Grand Prix Contest. It was later reworked to form one of the series of 39, and with sales to USA in mind, Donald Hyde called in his old stalwart from the Lone Wolf series, Louis Hayward. As for Shay Gorman, in a May 1960 interview he stated he "has not yet been signed up for the series."
The series made its debut on ABC (Midlands/The North) on Saturday April 1st 1961 at 7.10pm.
OK, the frenzied introduction owes a lot to Danger Man, but this is a seriously neglected series with a fine star that deserves to be brought in from the cold. Some of the stories are plodding, but the best move with a pace that raise them to the Eminently Watchable.

However one critic back in 1961 found little to praise, "the police dog doesn't get a lead role. In the shots where he is supposed to be hot on the scent, it looks more as though the dog food has been scattered well in advance." However he did agree with me that Malcolm Lockyer's fine theme music "really shifts," with a beat that puts it squarely in the early sixties.
My favourite story: You can't really top the with-it mood of teenage gangs in #10 The Jungle and Nicky Steen.

Dinosaur TV Crime Menu

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THE SAILOR

Nostalgic scenes of a ship berthed in the shadow of Tower Bridge. On board, stoker Portugenna (John Crawford) is arguing with Larry, a crew member who has been cruel to the ship's dog Rama. Larry ends up in hospital with a fractured skull. Inspector Bollinger questions the motley crew under Captain Jensen, who cover up, "somebody's lying," Bollinger warns them. Police Dog sniffs a piece of torn shirt in Larry's hand, but loses Portugenna's trail at a bus stop.
The case becomes more sinister when Larry dies, and it's discovered that the Great Dane Rama has rabies. A disturbance on a bus, in which a dog has attacked several passengers leads Bollinger to Portugenna's girl friend Sally (Ann Lynn) at 24 Cedar Villas Hackney. But he's 20 minutes too late, as the flat's empty, in rather a mess actually. The sailor has taken Sally to buy her some presents.
Sally's Austin is found unoccupied, the couple and Rama are trailed by Police Dog to their favourite pub, where the dog had been snarling fiercely. Bollinger takes a "gamble" and assumes Portugenna is making his way back to his ship, and there he is, with Rama who's "acting peculiar," snarling and salivating. Portugenna and Sally bid each other farewell, after which Portugenna spots the police swooping towards him, and he runs for it through deserted warehouses. Police Dog sniffs him and Rama out, but too late to prevent the killer being savaged by his own dog.
"He won't have to stand trial," comments the sardonic Bollinger

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THE HUSBAND
Two hoodlums smash up a cafe owned by Jimmy Benson (Donald Churchill). His wife Betty (Simone Lovelle) urges him to pay for the protection demanded, but his logical reply is "why should anyone be forced to buy protection?... it only makes the leeches grow stronger."
But she has divided loyalties, for it's her father Joe Raker (John Le Mesurier) who is behind the extortionists, and this makes it difficult for Jimmy to know what he should do: "open my mouth, and send my father-in-law to jail." His alternative is to give Joe a taste of his own medicine, punching him hard.
Raker's response is swift- he orders his cronies lead by Larkin to work Benson over, and Inspector Bollinger and Sgt Wall find Jimmy, his wife at his side, in a coma in Temple Hospital. Raker is making sympathetic if hypocritical noises to Betty. Robbery is the apparent motive for the attack, but Bollinger discovers one clue at the scene of the crime, an unusual button. He "gets lucky," for it is an unusual Italian button, and rare too, and Larkin is found to have one missing from his jacket. Police Dog completes the case against Larkin, when she uncovers Benson's wallet and watch in Larkins' room. He's ready to talk.
Realising he's rumbled, Raker makes a run for it. Police Dog pursues him on to railway tracks and the finish is too predictable, especially when Raker's foot gets caught in some points.
Back at the hospital, Jimmy makes an incredible recovery. He identifies Larkin as one of his assailants and Betty testifies against her dead father. Her loyalties are no longer tested.

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THE HOLIDAY
"Through Nature to Eternity," is where writer Timmy Merrill is going to on his night walk, in this start that seems to owe something to Armchair Theatre.
Timothy's on holiday from Zurich University. "Sometimes," he confides in his younger sister Armanda, "I feel the strangest things."
The body of a dead woman, Sybil Langley, is found on the nearby heath. Her distressed dog is at her side. No obvious motive for the killing, which had been done with an open razor. The biggest puzzle is why the corpse had been dragged twenty yards on to a flower bed.
A passer by comes forward. It's Timmy, who tells Inspector Bollinger he'd seen a stranger running in the area. Timmy rather takes to this "intelligent" policeman, and returns, saying he thinks he recognised the man. One of the gardeners who work on the heath. But Sybil's dog seems to have taken a violent dislike to Timmy, which starts Bollinger thinking. Checking up on him, Bollinger learns he isn't a student in Zurich.
"I don't think anybody knows you the way I do," Armanda observes to her brother. "monster that you are, I expect every genius has to be a bit of a monster." Yet she doesn't know just how much of a 'monster' he is.. But she does perceive he's not quite right in the head as he spouts on about "the Awareness of Awareness.. the Knowing of Unknowing." More Armchair stuff there and indeed the plot rather disintegrates for a while at this juncture.
A suspicious Armanda decides to take a look at what Timmy's been doing in the greenhouse. Timmy catches her there. Thank goodness Bollinger has now learnt Timmy's escaped from a mental hospital, where he was due to have a brain operation. As he asks "why is the hangman's noose?," she screams, That guides Police Dog to her rescue.
John Cairney as Timothy gives a strong performance as the deranged killer

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THE JUNGLE AND NICKY STEEN
One not to miss. Authentic teddy boy era drama of "two groups of hot headed kids in tight jeans." They "sweat with a jungle fever," explains Bollinger for the benefit of us non Expresso Bar types, as Nicky (Ken Hewitt) plans his revenge on Benny Trotter's gang, so he can be the one "going to the top."
Benny will be "laughed off the streets" if they get him in his own back yard. As Benny digs Nicky's "dip" Sue (Clare Marshall)- ie his girl friend, she gives him the come-on, and alone in 137 Kirby Mews he's lured into Nicky's trap.
Then in St Philip's Hospital, Inspector Bollinger throws a hopeful "who did it?" at Benny. He claims to have walked through a glass door.
What Bollinger groovily calls a "full scale gang rumble" follows when Benny discharges himself.
At 137, Police Dog picks up the scent which leads "Mr Square" Bollinger straight to "little man" Nicky. He is boasting to his gang that no cop could ever "take" him. However Bollinger manages to take him down a peg by arresting him for cruelty to animals. Though charges aren't pressed, Nicky is now utterly doomed in his gang's esteem. He spits out revenge, swearing to make Bollinger "crawl" by kidnapping the "goofball" Police Dog in order to regain his credibility. He even threatens to chop the dog up, ahhhh! Fortunately Sue can't stand to see Police Dog maltreated and informs Bollinger where he's been hidden.
Meanwhile Benny's gang are marching in on Nicky. There's a clambering chase over a bomb site and ironically it's Police Dog, breaking loose of his chains, who kindly saves Nicky from a worse beating.
However there's a sombre note as Bollinger brings the story to a moral conclusion.

John Hannay has helpfully provided these interesting reminiscences: This episode was filmed in the area around Lyon Street and Bemerton Street in Islington. My first vivid memory was seeing Denis Gilmore, the boy from the Fruit Gums adverts, and just outside my house don't you know. He was only a year older than me and out of sheer jealousy I hated him with all my might, though I never did get round to boycotting Fruit Gums.
I believe it was the child Gilmore that I saw a little later being filmed. He was sprawled face-down over a pile of bricks in the bombed ruin very near our house at 28 Lyon Street. The film crew allowed us local kids a good deal of freedom and I was near enough to see Fruit Gum's fingers moving. This puzzled me a good deal... wasn't he supposed to be dead or unconscious? All seemed to go well however as there was no second take as I recall.
The other scene etched on my mind was of a group of young men walking along Bemerton Street. My self-employed father actually had a repair garage on the corner of Lyon Street and Bemerton Street and I may have been 'helping' him when I spotted the film crew. I ran down Bemerton Street and positioned myself in front of the menacing young men marching purposively towards me with clubs and knives. It was a bit 'West Side Story' now I know more about films. At the end of the take I was greatly puzzled that the film crew sent everyone back to where they had started, and filmed the whole thing again. I was worried that surely people would notice the same background!
The final scenes took up a big chunk of Lyon Street, and did a splendid job of keeping everything green and natural completely out of sight. This is far in the background of the 'gang walk' which is pretty much as I remember it. There was a furniture company, Harmony, beside my dad's garage near the corner of Bemerton and Lyon. I spotted one of their vans on the left of the screen. The gang would have just crossed Gifford Street and been level with The Comus, the local pub, on the right of the frame. Other shots were done in Freeling Street, a bit further south and very near Beaconsfield Buildings, which were notorious even then. These very dark Italianate dwellings also featured in the opening scene of A Cry From the Streets
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THE FRAME
After 5 years in jail, ex cop Jim (Dermot Walsh) is out, and out to get Gino (Leonard Sachs) whose false witness had brought about his conviction. He's twisted and bitter. His wife Sue (Honor Blackman) has not been allowed to visit him in prison.
Desperate, she asks Inspector Bollinger to get her "husband back," but is it too late?
Brooks confronts Gino. "You're crazy," says Gino. "I told them what I saw." In a crowded cafe Brooks threatens him.
He's found later viciously beaten to death, just like Fowler, the man Brooks had beaten up while in his custody. Has Brooks' revenge ended in murder? But we have seen that Gus Hogan (Maurice Kaufman) and Benny Willis (Michael Balfour) are responsible.
Jim is in trouble! But why would he kill Gino before he'd told the truth about the trial? Jim believes Gino had lied to protect his family. Bollinger tells Jim Gino's dying word was "Benny." This means something to Jim, if not oddly to Bollinger. "Stop feeling sorry for yourself," says Bollinger as he lets Jim go. "He was ready to explode," narrates Bollinger, "and if he did, he'd also destroy himself."
Returning home, Jim finds Sue has had a word of warning from Gus and Benny. And a few punches. But instead of at last seeing the light, Jim grabs a gun to face the two crooks. As they meet, Gus sagely notes "I should have thought five years would have taught you something."
An exciting conclusion to a powerful story of a man eaten up by revenge.

Uncredited speaking role: John Stuart as the prison governor
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THE OTHELLO MURDER

After a murder, against Bollinger's orders, Doris West, a sixteen year old student at a progressive co-educational school, leaves the premises to keep an assignation, and is found murdered. A quotation from Othello ("else she betray more men") is by her corpse so the murderer is clearly a person "who knows his Shakespeare."
Bollinger has a harrowing interview with her mother, which puts him on edge. Mrs West: "you see so much violence, you're immune." Bollinger softly: "we're not immune"
Steve Wall sits in on lessons and Bollinger talks with a pupil who had been on a date with Doris, "she had a nice smile." Later the boy is found removing a handkerchief from her locker. But it seems he wants it as a keepsake as he blames himself for her death. He says he had a date with her but he had had to break it because he had been kept in to finish his French translation. Those were the days when most pupils did exactly what they were ordered!
Of course several of the staff have secrets to hide, including Edwards (Bob Dean) and Dale, the French master. "We waited for the murderer to make a move.........."
Then it happens. One blonde pupil, Betty Jones (Dianne Greaves), is stalked through the park on her way to a concert. A man, whose face, of course, we never see, gets nearer and nearer. He grabs her and starts to strangle her. Bollinger and his dog appear in the nick of time.
The killer confesses, explaining his feeble motive, as Bollinger listens in disgust

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TOMORROW'S GHOST
The sudden collapse of a wall on a Civil Defence site kills Amy Stewart instantly. The wall had been held firm by a cable which had snapped. Amy worked there and was unpopular with her colleagues. However this was no accident since minor skin burns show she was radioactive!
Arthur Johnson, head of the unit, arranges for Inspector Bollinger to question his staff not only about Amy but also about the six or seven ounces of radioactive material that is missing. Johnson himself gives a clear description of the "accident" as he calls it, "there was an explosion, followed by a crash." He tries to explain why this wall was being held up by a strong cable, and he can't account for the missing radioactive material.
Colleague Dick Parks says he had some "not serious" arguments with Amy, because he regarded her as a spying busybody.
Miss Helen Martin (Valerie Gearon) didn't care for Amy either, as she suspected her of pilfering.
Police Dog barks loud and long on a visit to Amy's home. Her talcum powder is what he is warning Bollinger about. It proves to be radioactive. "Now all we have to do is find out who gave it to her."
Featuring prominently in this story is laboratory expert Alec Carson (Bernard Archard) who demonstrates how the wall was made to collapse by using quartz and passing an electrical current through the cable. That explosion had been caused by the electrical impulse. "The plan was viciously thought out."
Bollinger lies in wait to catch the killer when that person comes to remove this electrical equipment. Police Dog gives chase up a derelict building. The frightened killer topples over the edge.

A slow story that becomes more absorbing. It concludes with a neat rounding off scene, explaining why Amy was killed
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BREAKOUT

A typical opening scene - lots of loud music as model prisoner Joe Bailey (Hector Ross) breaks jail and is driven away by his associates, then bashed on the head and dumped Underneath the railway Arches.
His former 'employer' Karvik had never helped Bailey after his arrest. When Karvik is found dead Bailey is the obvious suspect. In fact Della Karvik (Naomi Chance) even witnessed Joe shooting her husband- "I'll remember that face as long as I live."
Joe flees to his wife. "Something wrong going on here," he tells her. He'd broken out to kill Karvik, but he's already dead! The police arrive at their flat. He hides in a cupboard but this is hardly going to fool Police Dog.
Bollinger questions Bailey, and with Mrs Karvik's identification, he's under arrest. We see her go off to celebrate with her partner Paul.
Dyson, the villain who'd met Joe with his getaway car, denies helping Joe when the police interrogate him. But Paul is worried he might crack so he drives Dyson to a quarry and pushes him over the edge.
Although it looks black for Bailey, Bollinger has "some nagging doubts" so with Police Dog's assistance, he retraces Joe's movements after his jailbreak. At the Karvik apartment Bollinger reealises his dog hadn't picked up Joe's scent there. She's been lying!
Della is enjoying a kiss with Paul when they're interrupted by a loud bark! Enter Bollinger to question her again about her identification of Joe. "He was wearing his prison clothes," she finally decides. That clinches it. She's under arrest. Paul makes a run for it and Police Dog chases him up several flights of stairs and over roof tops. There's a lot of clambering before he doesn't as expected, fall over the edge

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THE ESCAPE
Robert Lucas, a prisoner (Barry Foster) jumps over the prison wall. His destination is the home of ex employer Colonel Barrett (Peter Madden) ninety miles away in Leywood. Lucas had been jailed for stealing a ruby clip and 50 belonging to Barrett. The one time big game hunter colonel is warned by Bollinger of Lucas' escape, but he is unperturbed- he's dealt with danger before.
But the real reason Lucas is coming here is to see the colonel's daughter Carol, to find out why she hasn't been in touch with him since he's been in jail. They were going to get married. "Her happiness means more to me than anything else," the colonel admits, as the plot becomes crystal clear. When Lucas does meet the colonel, he is shot, and it's made to look like suicide. The colonel has a good reputation locally, and at an inquest he is absolved of all blame. His explanation now is that Lucas had fired at him first, so he had been forced to shoot back.
However Police Dog finds the fatal bullet and Bollinger chats to Dr Tom Ambrose about the colonel. His wife had died mysteriously. The same thing started to happen to Carol when she came home from finishing school, "alive with life. And almost overnight she was still alive, but according to her eyes she had died inside."
Colonel Barrett now informs Bollinger his daughter had died three months ago. But police can find no record of her death. Bollinger and Sgt Wall decide to visit everyone named Carol Barrett living in the London area. Steve Wall traces her in this way, and learns she had quarrelled with her father over Robert Lucas. She is positive her father framed Bobby over the theft of the ruby clip.
"Everything I did, I did for her," confesses Barrett. Yes, he killed Lucas. Suddenly he pulls his rifle. He runs off, Police Dog giving chase. The murderer is quickly caught.
Inspector Bollinger persuades Carol to return to her home, Dr Ambrose giving a helping hand. Though what there is to return for, is not so clear
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THE WEB

Old hand Ferdy Mayne plays his usual villain, this time called Gregory. He urges patience on Ann (Paula Byrne). We watch her return to her luxury home and her invalid husband Tony Payton (Arthur Lawrence), "only half a man."
Inspector Bollinger is called in to investigate the disappearance of Payton's missing jewels worth 60,000, stolen from his safe along with 250 cash. But he finds precious little in the way of clues, or as he remarks in his Sixties-speak, "absolute nothingness began to say a great deal." The job seems to have been committed by a criminal with a fetish for neatness.
Ann phones Greg, but gets no reply. Not surprising as he's lying dead in his flat.
Meanwhile Bollinger is asking old mate Sam Rock (Jessie Robbins) if she's heard any whispers. But all she can tell him is "this one you may not crack Johnny."
But at last a break, when a costume jeweller approaches Bollinger. "A young man" had asked him to make imitations of some jewellery, which he now knows are part of the stolen Payton collection. The imitations must have been stolen. The young man proves to be Greg. Next stop Mrs Payton, of course, to arrest her.
Bollinger makes "the fifty minute trip in twenty" (mainly easy because the roads are empty!), where he obtains his confession. The stolen notes are found in the wallet of Basil, Payton's secretary. Then the bombshell that brought Bollinger here. How does Basil explain the 10,000 he's deposited in his bank account? Basil is arrested but Payton, in an effort to elude justice flees in his wheelchair. Hardly a match for the pursuing Police Dog! Having fallen into a lake, Payton is duly apprehended.
The final scene is a sad one, as Payton reflects on his scheme to eliminate Greg, "my plan was perfect," he claims. It's easy for Bollinger to contradict him
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THE GEORGE WEBBER STORY
Made up from the original pilot, with Insp Bollinger laid up in hospital, the legwork is done by the original star of the pilot Shay Gorman as Sgt Tom Clay.

George Webber (Kenneth Griffith) is angry with everyone, especially his wife Vi (Rosalie Crutchley), after he has been talked into starting fire at his workplace, a plastics factory. It is put out. She is actually colluding with the boss of the firm (David Horne).
There is a dearth of action, with news of progress being tediously relayed back to Bollinger on his sickbed. However, the final third perks up with little dialogue at all in the scenes shot on location. George starts another fire in the boiler house, but is rumbled.
Police Dog hurtles into the flaming hut and rescues a policeman Webber has knocked out, then chases the villain who returns to his terraced home, desperately searching for his gun.
Webber makes for a completely deserted Battersea Funfair, wading through the almost drained pool. Police Dog pursues, dragging Sgt Clay in his wake- how he follows the trail through the water is not clear. Webber shoots, so Clay has to take cover. Police Dog however is released and closes on Webber who has climbed the Tree Walk. It makes an impressive backdrop for the finale, with Clay watching at ground level, Webber firing his gun randomly, and Police Dog leaping on to Webber's wrist, forcing him to drop his weapon

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NB, a coincidence in that the format of this title, The xxxx Story, is the same as that used in Louis Hayward's earlier tv series, Lone Wolf

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THE CONVENTION
(Numbered #37 on the 16mm film print I have.)
Four eminent criminologists from France, Germany, Italy, and Japan have gathered at the King's Court Hotel in London for a conference.
Bastiani, one of the French delegation from Marseilles, is attacked in his room and after a struggle is shot dead.
Vinter (Leonard Sachs), a waiter brings coffee up to Room 286, Bastiani's room, leaves it, then helps hilself to the dead man's wallet. He tells his wife Martha, who is working here as a maid. They need the cash to pay for their son to come to England from behind the Iron Curtain.
Thus robbery seems to be the motive for murder, at least that's what Johnny Bollinger thinks. However the other professionals are all of the view that it was suicide, mainly because the killer had made it appear that way. However another point noted by British police is that the gun was faulty, and might have been discharged accidentally. In fact all the foreign coppers offer their own theories, unable to resist investigating the crime themselves, "I know who I would arrest."
With Bollinger finding clues, like the thrown away wallet, and a spent bullet, Martha urges her husband to admit he only stole the cash. He is caught trying to pass the money. However Bollinger is not convinced he is the murderer.
Inspector Paul Dumont the top French cop is here with his young wife Yvonne (Jan Holden). Before they had married, she had been involved in a crime in Corsica, and Bastiani had arrested her and had recently been blackmailing her. Paul comes clean with Bollinger.
However the evidence proves that the gun had been discharged accidentally

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THE ACCIDENT
Clive Marchant (Norman Bird) is off to work at the bank as usual. But this is to be no ordinary day, for his wife is to receive a call from the police, bringing her bad news- her husband has been injured in an accident.
But, hello, there is Mr Marchant, at work as usual, dealing with a customer (John Gabriel) who is no ordinary client. He informs the manager his wife is now in safe hands. "Where's my wife?" shouts Marchant, twice. "No need for histrionics," he's warned.
He returns home to explain to Mrs Fleming, his neighbour, that his wife has had to leave to help her sick mother. However Mrs Fleming is so worried, she phones the mother, who is perfectly OK. She dials 999: "there's been a murder," she yells down the phone. Inspector Bollinger takes all the details in, quietly puffing his cigarette. He's sufficiently interested to call at Mr Marchant's bank, where he learns the couple are now alleged to have had an argument. It would be "fatal" if the police were involved, he tells Bollinger.
Yet they are, for Bollinger keeps watch on Marchant, who is so worried about his wife's fate. The crook (John Gabriel) quietly collects a nice sum of money from the bank, before driving off in his car, XPH 165. That familiar police car trails him, XPC 898. Up the Great North Road, and on to the Barnet by-pass. The driver becomes suspicious, so a new car is put on his tail.
Then disaster! The crook crashes- "I think he's dying." Bollinger quizzes him: "where's Mrs Marchant?" If the crook is "not back by 4 o'clock she'll be killed," Bollinger learns. But the address is impossible to discover- the driver has died.
Police dog picks up a scent- "all right boy, go!"
3.55pm and the crook's accomplice (Neil Hallett) is preparing to shoot his prisoner. Up swoops a police car, but it's warned to back off. Bollinger retreats, but only to where he can watch the house. Police Dog waits to pounce. There's a sound of barking as she jumps on the villain.
At last, Mr and Mrs Marchant are reunited at the end of a long day

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THE CONTRACT

An exciting story of Walter Nolan (Richard Leech) who really needs a "miracle" to extricate himself from his financial difficulties. For 20,000 marksman Dulos (Paul Stassino) guarantees to do just that. "I kill so many people," he tells Nolan, "I've lost count." For that kind of money he will ensure Nolan's rival for a big contract, Robert Harlow will be eliminated. His method- a shot in the back.
Forensic evidence shows the gun that killed Harlow came from Greece. Footprints testify to a man wearing size sevens, "hand made." From such unpromising information a picture is built of the killer of which Mr Sherlock Holmes himself would have been proud.
Bollinger checks out the last known businessmen to have had appointments with Harlow, and that includes Nolan. His financial adviser Miss Porter (Frances Bennett) decides to offer her boss a challenge- "we'll be happier at the Ritz than in the poorhouse." He picks up on the word "we." But has he any choice?
In fact he starts to panic when Bollinger's suspicions fall on him. He tells Miss Porter "that means stopping him, before he stops us." Dulos is summoned again. He waits outside Bollinger's home. He fires. Quickwitted Police Dog pushes his master out of the bullet's path.
Dulos is soon tracked down. But Nolan has got there first. Dulos is dead. Bollinger knows at once who to arrest. But has he any proof? He certainly has!

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