EPISODE 23: David is oddly agitated when Constable Carter investigates Roger's crash.
Vicki has told David to study for the test she's about to give him. David is up in his room reading Nightcrawler Comics on the off chance that they may contain the answers to some of the Maine History questions Vicki is about to ask him. (Hey, on this show, stranger things have happened).
Downstairs, Constable Carter arrives to investigate Roger's accident. Jonas says he saw what was left of Roger's car, and wouldn't have bet dollars to doughnuts that anyone could have survived (and you know what that means, coming from a cop).
Roger says that the brakes were tampered with, and demands that Carter arrest Burke immediately. Carter tells Roger to cool his jets. When somebody with Burke's money is involved, you're going to need facts, evidence and witnesses. You can't just pull the portable guillotine out of the squad car's trunk and go to work.
Liz interrupts the conversation, desperate to discuss Vicki's Foundling Home letter with Roger and coach him on the answers to the questions that Vicki is likely to ask. Roger doesn't want to talk family secrets in front of the F-U-Z-Z, but Liz assures him that this secret isn't illegal. Er, not that any of them are. Carter pretends to be too engrossed in the portrait of Isaac Collins to notice any of this discussion.
Upstairs, David is asking Vicki what's the worst thing she ever did. Vicki's juvenile delinquency record doesn't compare with David's, so the worst thing she ever did was to give another girl at the Foundling Home a bloody nose. And even that only happened because Vicki bumped into the other girl while she was drinking a Bloody Mary.
For some reason, David wants to know what would happen to Vicki if she tried to kill someone. Vicki goes all maudlin, and says they'd lock her away until she's old and grey! (Since the show is in black and white, she's grey already, which kind of kills the imagery).
David wonders what would happen if Vicki killed a lot of people. Vicki says oh, that's different. In that case, she'd become a national celebrity and get her own talk show once she was out of jail. Vicki finally gives David his test. Even though the answer to every question is "Maine", David only manages to score a 75.
Downstairs, Constable Carter is listening to the whole story. An attempted murder is pretty big stuff for a small town like this, and unlikely to be solved with the usual homespun wisdom and folksy homilies (Carter's sheriffing style is heavily based on Andy Griffith).
Roger tells Carter the whole story. The bleeder valve was removed with a wrench, and Burke was seen in the garage an hour earlier holding a wrench in his hand. How much more cut and dried does it get? Carter asks questions, but unfortunately they're the wrong kind of questions. Like why Roger waited 12 hours to report the accident. When Roger explains that he wanted to try to blackmail Burke into leaving town first, Carter pretends to be absorbed in that painting again.
In David's room, the lesson is still going on. According to Vicki, the first Christmas tree in America was in a French settlement in (where else?) Maine, in 1604! A Google search shows that it was actually in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in 1747, but nobody calls her on it. (Just as 1960's TV viewers didn't have freeze frame, they didn't have Wikipedia either.)
Vicki is called downstairs to talk to the Constable, but every time he asks a question, Roger answers for her. This continues until Roger finally gets tired of being asked "Is your name Vicki?"
Vicki admits that she saw Burke in the garage that night with a wrench in his hand. Carter thinks that someone else may have sabotaged the brakes, but admits it's a huge coincidence that Burke just happened to visit Collinwood that same night. Vicki admits that Burke didn't "just happen" to come by. He was here because Carolyn invited him, which is another little detail that Roger forgot to mention to the Constable.
When he hears the whole story, Carter thinks the case doesn't quite add up. According to Vicki, the hood was closed, and Burke didn't have any grease stains on his hands or clothes. Furthermore, Burke may very well hate Roger and wish him dead. (Hey, who doesn't?) But Burke doesn't seem to be completely nuts. Don't the Rich sub-contract these kind of jobs to a hitman or something, rather than expose themselves to danger? Roger argues that this doesn't prove that Burke is nuts, only that he's cheap!
Carter decides that the next step is to actually examine the wrench. Vicki, Roger and Carter all go out to the garage to get it (it must be a BIG wrench!). After they leave, Liz catches David eavesdropping, and for some reason, David is quite agitated to hear that they plan to check the wrench for fingerprints. Liz says that the mere presence of fingerprints wouldn't be enough for a conviction, but it might be enough for the police to go beat a confession out of someone. Maybe even the guilty party.
Carter returns to talk to Liz, and deposits the wrench on the table so close to David that he can taste it. It looks like he's started dusting the wrench for fingerprints already, but it turns out to be powdered sugar from the doughnut Carter was eating.
David "accidentally" knocks the wrench on the floor and picks it up before anyone can stop him. No matter, says the Constable. It just means that if we find his fingerprints on the wrench now, we'll know where they came from, and won't suspect David of sabotaging the car, like we would have otherwise. Roger says and if you find his bootprints on David's backside, you'll know where THEY came from too!