Answering Machine Message: It’s Pete! Hope you enjoyed using the cabin last week. Only next time, leave the trout in the refrigerator, huh? Not in the cupboard!
Pham Van Mai: Brother refugee. Stay Camp Blanchard. Come from Vietnam. Last night, take bus. I meet, no Vinh. I call sponsor, no answer.
Jim: Well, maybe he just took the wrong bus. Maybe he got off at the wrong station.
(Phan Van Mai shakes her head know, then sets her face and holds out Rockford’s ad, which she tore from a telephone book.)
Pham Van Mai: You promise! You find!!
Jim: Hi, Dennis.
Dennis: What are you doing here?
Jim: Sorry if I caught you at a bad time, but I need some help. I’ve been trying to run down a guy by the name of, uh, Robert Coffee. I called his house, he doesn’t answer his phone, and, uh, the address that I have is a vacant lot.
Pham Van Mai: You find Vinh?
Jim: Well, not yet, no. But I... I have to tell you, I’m... I’m not too happy with the way things are turning out. Someone broke into my trailer and searched it. And what they found was my father. They knocked him cold. (Mai does not understand.) They hit him.
Pham Van Mai: Your father hurt?
Jim: Well, not as bad as he could be. Mai... is there something about your brother that you haven’t told me?
Mitch Donner: Keep stalling, Rockford, and you’re going to wind up on a wheelchair basketball team.
Pham Van Mai: Night I go meet Vinh, guard say two men chase, maybe catch, maybe torture.
Jim: Why didn’t you tell me this? Even better, why didn’t you tell the police?
Pham Van Mai: You find. You no find, they kill Vinh.
(Seeing Nguyen's injuries)
Jim: Who did that to you?
Nguyen: Two men. Americans. They took Vinh. We found, but they had guns.
Jim: You think you could describe them for me?
Nguyen: One was a big man. The other was taller, thinner.
Jim: Sounds like old friends.
Nguyen: Mai said she would pay one thousand dollars to do no more than describe them to you. Give you information to help you find them, but not reveal what they wanted. She’s rich... she has many American dollars. But she doesn’t want to tell you. That is what they want.
Pham Van Mai: Mr. Rockford... wait, wait, where you go?
Jim: I’ve got a coiple of tickets for the Lakers game. I thought I might use them.
Pham Van Mai: You’re going to a basketball game? Didn’t you hear what Nguyen said? They have Vinh! Look, I paid you seven hundred dollars. That ought to buy more than a quick brush off.
Jim: (noticing Mai is suddenly speaking fluently) Crash course in Berlitz?
Pham Van Mai: Alright. I speak English. I also speak French.
Jim: Ah, but pidgin English, that’s where you really shine...
Pham Van Mai: I didn’t know if I could trust you. Now I think I can.
Jim: Well that’s too bad, ‘cause now I don’t trust you.
Pham Vam Mai: I couldn’t let you tell the police.
Jim: Well of course you couldn’t. My father gets clobbered, I get clobbered, Nguyen gets beat up, your brother gets kidnapped. No, what do we need the police for – let’s just call in the coroner!
Benson Kelly: Rockford.
Benson Kelly: Your lady friend’s got something belongs to us. Sounds to me like the makings of a trade, how’s it sound to you?
Jim: Like kidnapping – twenty to life.
Benson Kelly: When you’re dealing for half a million, what’s a couple of years?
Jim: She’s got half a million, we’ve got her brother. Let’s not play games.
Jim: You CIA? Army Intelligence?
James Callahan: Army CID. Attached to the Colonel Tranh / Benson Kelly money conduit. We almost got them, too. But the poor colonel was vaporized when his jeep hit a Claymore.
Jim: That’s when you decided to cross the line.
James Callahan: Well... the way was ending. Just another ex-soldier without any prospects. I knew Vinh had wound up with a half a million dollars, but I couldn’t locate him. I mean, everything was coming down – it was pure chaos over there. So I talked Kathy into bringing our little Mai stateside. I thought he had the money. But I knew she and the kid would connect up with each other one day.
Jim: He’ll have to fence the money. We just have to find out who the fence is.
Dennis: When anybody calls me and tells me that an allegedly rational adult would go to a kidnap exchange with no backup and no money, well I find that hard to swallow.
Jim: Well, I wasn’t too crazy about it myself.