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STORYLINE • "STRAIGHT FROM THE SHOULDER"

"EPISODE ONE OF THIS STORY... 
in which John Steed and Emma Peel take a refresher course in arms and ballistics and Steed advises her to shoot
STRAIGHT FROM THE SHOULDER."

Lady Adriana Beardsley is at Stokely House, her country mansion set in large grounds with peacocks in the gardens. She is timing a curious demonstration given by her brother, Conrad - a gun expert and crack shot. The demonstration (of a new rifle) culminates in the shooting of a hapless opponent in the gardens of the house. Meanwhile, Steed's flat has been turned into a gun arsenal, ostensibly to help Steed keep up his knowledge of the subject. Mrs. Peel is there and Steed tests her knowledge by questioning her on some of the equipment. She tires of this and ends the questioning by jokingly threatening him with a concussion grenade. So Steed takes a slightly different tack and shows Emma a used bullet found in a body, encased in concrete, in a Hampshire quarry. It seems to be from a new top secret rifle, and Mrs. Peel goes to Shrivenham Ballistics Centre to see if she can find out more. Steed, on the other hand, goes to a London hotel to look up an old school friend from his days at Eton - Colonel Aristides - whom Steed suspects of being in the country on a mission to buy arms. He finds the Colonel's sixth floor suite, but has to side-step the dumb Greek bodyguard, Giles, to get inside. At Shrivenham, Emma has not found out a great deal, and is preparing to leave when she is attacked by two men, Jackson and Erickson, in the car park. She manages to throw them off and gets in her car, driving straight for the exit. However, Conrad, in another car, blocks the way so Emma tries to reverse towards the entrance.

Simply Shocking...

Simply Shocking...
The new routine where the clowns tossed the little brats from the audience over the electrified fence met with strictly limited success...

"EPISODE TWO OF THIS STORY...
in which John Steed investigates the activities of an old school friend and Emma Peel proves to him that, as far as all types of small armaments are concerned, she can shoot
STRAIGHT FROM THE SHOULDER."

As Emma is still frantically trying to get out of the car park, Erickson throws himself on her bonnet, but she breaks sharply and dislodges him. She manages to race out of the exit, hotly pursued by Conrad and Jackson in the other car. They draw up level and try to run her off the road but she evades this manoeuvre and Conrad's car ends up in a ditch just as they join the M1 motorway. Steed is at a government rifle range when Emma joins him. It has been established that the bullet is from the FF70 - a brand new rifle not yet off the secret list, and Steed thinks that this is what Aristides is in Britain to buy. Steed and Emma have a shooting competition at the range, which Emma wins, and her prize is dinner that evening at The Rainbow Room in the Westborough Hotel - the hotel where the Colonel is staying. Coincidently, Adriana and Conrad are at the hotel visiting Aristides to invite him to a demonstration at Stokely House. The Colonel intends to effect a coup d'ιtat in his own country and knows that Adriana has three thousand FF70 rifles, so is very pleased to accept the invitation. After their meeting, Conrad and Adriana leave the hotel, to be spotted by Emma who is sitting in the lobby with Steed. Emma follows the siblings outside as they get into their limousine, but Conrad spots her in a car mirror. Adriana tells him not to worry - Mrs. Peel will find them later and they can deal with her then. Steed has gone upstairs to search the suite, but Emma sees the Colonel and Giles return, and realises Steed will be trapped.

"EPISODE THREE OF THIS STORY...
in which John Steed gets more involved in the affairs of Colonel Aristides and Emma Peel finds herself facing death
STRAIGHT FROM THE SHOULDER."

Steed gets into the Colonel's suite and finds a safe behind a picture. He opens it and finds £200,000 in bank notes inside, which he leaves there. He is just about to leave when he hears a noise, and spots a pair of legs behind the window curtains! Steed attacks - only to find that the legs belong to a tailor's dummy, wearing a general's ornate uniform. Aristides and Giles open the door, but Steed has escaped through another door out of the suite. Over dinner, Steed and Mrs. Peel realise that the Colonel wants to be president of his country - hence the new uniform, and his willingness to buy the FF70s. The next day Emma goes to the factory of Thrupp & Withenshaw, manufacturer of the FF70, under the pretext of organising a publicity shoot. She takes along a girl model and a photographer and sets up for the 'commercial' - only to be questioned by an employee called Paxton. Paxton appears to be mollified by her explanation, and goes around the corner to his 'guest' - Conrad. Paxton is the source of the FF70s for the Beardsleys and Conrad is there to pick up some more boxes of the rifles. He recognises Mrs. Peel and goes after her, but Mrs. Peel is quick enough to get away, only to run into two other men. She manages to overpower them but then Conrad appears and threatens her with an FF70. Meanwhile, Steed is back at the hotel visiting the Colonel. During the conversation Steed deliberately calls him 'General' - this alerts Aristides, but Steed claims he is merely anticipating events. He tells the Colonel that he is in competition with him - buying arms for the President, and is therefore Aristides' rival in business! During this time Emma is being taken back to Stokely House.

"EPISODE FOUR OF THIS STORY...
in which Emma Peel finds herself in grave peril and John Steed gets a profitable offer
STRAIGHT FROM THE SHOULDER."

At Stokely House, Emma is dumped in the cellar whilst Adriana entertains her guests - including Aristides. The Colonel mentions to Adriana that he has another rival and prospective buyer - Steed. Adriana is interested and asks Conrad to contact Steed - the more the merrier. Later, Steed arrives at the house whilst Aristides is playing golf with Giles. The Colonel decides to rid himself of his rival and sends Giles off to shoot Steed, who has just presented his credentials - a case full of money - to Adriana. Giles tries to kill Steed as the agent walks back from parking his car, but instead the henchman is shot by Conrad - Adriana doesn't want any bidders hurt. She does however want Emma Peel dead and aims to achieve this by putting Mrs. Peel in one of the demonstrations - competing against Conrad. Steed is wandering around the grounds, before the show begins, and finds a pet's gravestone from 1915 for a dog called Scamp, owned by Hector Beardsley. He realises who Adriana and Conrad are - the grandchildren of Hector, who had built up a thriving armaments business but whose son lost the lot. Adriana and Conrad obviously want to revive the family's lost business. Back at the house, Steed and Aristides watch the demonstrations start, with Jackson and Erickson as the first contestants.

"EPISODE FIVE OF THIS STORY...
in which John Steed fails in his bid to outwit Colonel Aristides and Mrs. Peel faces the marksmanship of Conrad Beardsley, who aims to kill
STRAIGHT FROM THE SHOULDER."

Jackson is the victor in the first demonstration, shooting Erickson having got to a hidden FF70 first. Adriana explains that the men are mercenaries who have been promised a huge cash prize if they win their competitions, hence why they are willing to risk all. She then announces the start of the next demonstration, featuring Emma and Conrad. Mrs. Peel is given an unloaded FF70 - the magazine is in the garden and she finds it quickly, then hides in a bush... But just as Conrad is about to give chase Steed halts the proceedings by demanding that the auction begin now. Adriana agrees and says that the winning bidder will not only get the rifles but also decide whether the demonstration is to carry on. Steed bids up to £300,000 and thinks he has won - all the other bidders have dropped out. But Adriana reveals that the Colonel had lodged some money with her some months before, which taken with the money he has brought with him, comes to a total of £300,000. The Colonel also produces another £10,000 and Steed has no more cash on him - so the Colonel's bid is successful and he wants the demonstration to continue! Emma and Conrad, both with FF70s, vanish into the grounds and start to hunt each other. Several shots are fired and Emma appears to be hit by Conrad... She has ducked and feigns death. Clever girl that Emma Peel!

"EPISODE SIX OF THIS STORY...
in which John Steed and Emma Peel join forces to defeat Adriana Beardsley and her brother, Conrad, and fight it out 
STRAIGHT FROM THE SHOULDER."

Steed grabs the victorious Conrad's rifle and stares down the sights at Mrs. Peel's body - she winks at him! So, feigning disinterest, Steed says his goodbyes and leaves. Later that evening, Conrad and the Colonel tour the grounds - but find that Mrs. Peel's body has disappeared! She has been given a lift by Steed and gone off for dinner. Adriana is counting the money when Conrad informs her about the vanishing body, so they agree to move the rifles next morning and double security in the meantime. At midnight, Steed and Emma return to the grounds, finding the hut where the rifles are housed. They quickly overpower the guard, Jackson, and go inside - finding that the hut contains plastic explosive and detonators as well as the rifles. Deciding to put all this to good use, they set up the explosives inside and light the fuse, just as Conrad finds Jackson's unconscious body. Conrad spots the two agents and shoots, but Emma - also armed with an FF70 - goes after him. Steed runs across the grounds and captures Adriana just as Conrad, nursing a bullet wound, escapes into the hut. The whole building goes up taking the rifles and Conrad with it! With the case closed, Steed and Mrs. Peel decide to raid the Stokely House cellar. Surely she has some champagne stored there?

by Alys Hayes

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