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    Written by: Peter Pinne   Produced by: John Holmes   Directed by: Mark Piper

The flames start spreading from the kitchen and approach the photos on the cabinet in the lounge room - including the picture of David with John when he was five years old. There's suddenly a banging on the door - it's Bert. He also bangs on Brian's door, and Brian hurries out and sees smoke billowing under the door of Fiona's apartment. He says Jill should be out. Bert breaks down the door with his shoulder and the two of them rush in and see Jill lying on the couch. Bert tells Brian to give him a hand, and between them, they carry Jill out. Brian says he has to go back and get something. He runs into the room and leaves again with his wallet.

At Dural, Fiona laughs and says it's such a pity Jill couldn't be there, as the cake is beautiful. Gordon says it's not as good as Rosie's, and he adds that Fiona can take some home to Jill - if there's any left! Fiona jokes that it's her party and she's going to enjoy it. She adds that life begins at 40, and she laughs!

Bert is carrying boxes out of Fiona's room. Brian goes back to get some more, but is hit by falling masonry. Bert tells him to get the hell out of there. They both cough and splutter as they leave, and neither of them notices some photos fall out of the box their carrying - including one of a young Fiona with baby Scott.

Jill is on a stretcher in hospital, and is taken to be treated. Brian asks the Sister if she'll be alright. The Sister says Bert and Brian both need to be treated for smoke inhalation and kept in overnight; she adds that they were both very lucky to get out before anything serious happened. She tells them to go to casualty, where the doctor's waiting for them. Bert, though, says he has an important call to make.

Gordon offers Fiona more cake. She declines, but says she'd like another drink! The 'phone rings and Gordon answers it. Bert asks to speak to Fiona and Gordon fetches her. When she comes to the 'phone, Bert tells her that he has some awful news: her house is on fire - the fireman are there now, and they were lucky - everyone got out, although Jill was taken to hospital by ambulance. He explains that Jill was unconscious because she'd taken some pills to make her sleep, and those and and the smoke knocked her out. Fiona anxiously asks if the others are alright, and Bert says he and Brian both inhaled smoke, and he hurt his shoulder when he crashed the door in, but everyone else is OK. Fiona asks about Bunty and Thel, and Bert assures her that they're OK. Fiona then asks how bad the fire is, and whether the place can be saved. Bert says he's afraid not - he looked back as he left and the place was like a bonfire. He asks Fiona if she's OK, and, with a stunned expression on her face, she quietly replies, "Yes." She tells Bert to get himself to the doctor. Bert says they rescued some stuff and left it on the front lawn, and he adds that the police will look after it. At the hospital, the Sister calls to Bert, and Bert tells Fiona that he has to go. He tells her to keep her chin up, and Fiona says, "Yes... yes, of course." She puts the 'phone down and cries to Gordon, "My home - it's gone."

A while later, Fiona comes off the 'phone to the fire brigade and stares into space for several seconds. She then tells Gordon that there's nothing left. Gordon asks if they said anything else, but Fiona replies that they only said they're sorry, and they did the best they could. Gordon tells her that she's staying at Dural tonight. Fiona says some things were saved, and she's got to go and see - and see the house, too. Gordon says it'll be a terrible mess, but Fiona replies, "My house... my home. It's just burned down. I want to see." She adds that she'll go, even if she just stands in the street and looks. Gordon tells her he'll go with her.

Brian is in bed in hospital and Bert comes in and asks how he is. Brian says he's fine. He asks after Bert's health, and Bert replies that he just has a dislocated shoulder, hence the sling he's wearing. Brian asks about Jill, and Bert says she seems to be alright. Brian tells Bert that they owe him a lot. He then says he can't understand how it happened. Bert says they reckon it started in Fiona's kitchen, but Brian asks how - Jill was the only one there, and with the pills she took, she'd hardly be cooking a meal, and and she doesn't smoke... He suddenly realises what might have happened: he tells Bert that Carmel did smoke, like a chimney. He took her butts and put them in a container on the sink and put some paper on top. He tells Bert that that's how it happened. Bert says noone knows for sure, but Brian says Carmel was only there because of him - and because of him, Fiona lost her house and Jill almost lost her life. Bert tells Brian not to blame himself, as noone knows for sure how it happened. He suggests they both need a good night's sleep. Brian tells Bert to look after his arm. Bert says Brian's a great bloke. He leaves the room, and Brian lies back in his bed, thinking. After a few seconds, he gets up, puts his dressing gown on and leaves the room. He goes to Jill's room where she's lying asleep. He looks at her and then bends over and kisses her head...

Fiona and Gordon arrive back at Dural with a suitcase and a box, and Gordon suggests they go and get cleaned up and then both turn in. Fiona, though, wants to go through her case, as there's something that must be in there. Gordon tells her that there aren't any clothes in there as he had to do up the catch before. He gives her the other box, and she rummages through it, looking at photos. Gordon asks her what she's looking for, but Fiona just sobs "It's not there, it's not there." She cries that, first she loses her baby's grave and now the only photo she had of him is gone. She sobs that it was taken just after he was born. As she goes through the rest of the box's contents, she comes across the sculpture Doug Palmer bought her! She starts laughing through her tears as she says it was the last thing she wanted saved!

At the riding school, Paul asks Bridgette if she enjoyed her stay. She replies, "Very much." Paul tells her that he'll look her up when he gets to Sydney, but Bridgette tells him that she's going overseas very soon. Paul tells her that she shouldn't listen to gossip, especially when Patricia Hamilton is spreading it. Bridgette says she'd rather not talk about it. Paul says she'd rather she'd ask him his side of it - no matter what Patricia says, he's perfectly stable. Bridgette asks him if he gave away all his money, and Paul replies that yes, he gave away all he had at the time. Bridgette then asks him if he tried to strangle someone, and Paul admits that he did. Bridgette says that's all Patricia told her and that's enough - she likes her men fun and together. She starts the car and Paul asks her to listen to him, but she drives off.

Inside, Margaret is watching events. Paul comes in and Margaret tells him not to let it get him down - she heard the rumour too, but she takes people as she finds them. She adds that some people listen to gossip and take notice of it, but they're not worth worrying about. Paul says he didn't think he showed his feelings that much, and Margaret tells him that he wouldn't notice unless he was watching. She adds that she wouldn't blame Paul for hating Patricia; in fact, she'd almost understand, in a way...

Wayne drives up the road, past the 'Woombai Riding Stables' sign. Inside, the receptionist is doing some typing when Wayne comes in looking for Patricia - he explains that she's expecting him - he's her son. The receptionist says she thinks she's out riding. Wayne decides to go out and look for her. He goes outside and soon finds her. Patricia remarks that he took his time getting there. Wayne replies that the business at Ramberg was more complicated than he expected. Patricia says she hopes Wayne was late because he's done what she asked for Jennifer Healy. Wayne, though, repeats that it wasn't that. Patricia snaps that she wants Wayne to listen to her. Wayne, though, tells her that she has more important things to worry about than Martin Healy and his family: her main problem at the moment is Ramberg.

They go inside, where Wayne tells Patricia that, according to Richard Coleman, the business community has lost confidence in Ramberg. He adds that this is the real thing, and not Richard Coleman panicking again. He also tells Patricia that Paul Sheppard is still keeping in touch with Ted Morgan. Patricia asks why, but Wayne says he doesn't know. Patricia says they know Paul wants to get his hands on the trust fund, and he's still maintaining his contacts - he must want to get back into the business world. She says she thinks Paul wants to get at her by ruining Ramberg. Wayne says it would be difficult for one person to screw-up Ramberg, but Patricia replies that Paul is the one person who could screw it up - he's James Sheppard's grandson, and if people start listening to him, he could destroy confidence in the company. She asks if the company's floating on loans at the moment, and Wayne nods. Patricia says that, come the time for them to be renewed, she can imagine Paul putting doubts in all the right minds. Wayne asks how they can stop him, and Patricia replies that she'll carry on as she has been - she'll try to get him into jail. She tells Wayne that she tried to get Paul to have a go at her the other day, but it didn't work. She then suggests that Wayne should make himself the target, as Paul has already attacked him once, and she's sure he can get him to do it again - and this time, they'll have witnesses...

There's a knock on the door of Jill's room at the hospital and Fiona comes in. The two of them hug tightly. Fiona asks Jill if she's alright. Jill tells Fiona that it's so good to see her, and Fiona says she feels the same. Jill asks how Planny is, and Fiona replies that Bunty and Thel got her out, but she ran away from them. They've asked the neighbours to look out and they've put an advert in the paper. Jill thanks her. Fiona says the only thing they haven't done is 'phone John - and she thinks Jill should do that. Jill, though, says she'll write - she can't handle talking to him right now. Fiona asks why, and Jill explains that, knowing she nearly died last night, she could only think about how much she loved him. When he comes back in five weeks and wants to marry her, she's worried she'll say yes. Fiona tells Jill that the sooner she forgets the idea of holding John back in his career, the better. Jill replies that she knows John will be upset for a while, but he'll find someone else who can make him happy. Fiona tells Jill that she's the one who can make him happy. Jill, though, says she has to be strong - she has to find a way to say no when the time comes.

At the riding school, Wayne is sitting in the reception and he overhears Margaret and Paul talking outside - Margaret is saying that, after the ride she's just taken, she'll be stiff for the dance tonight. The two of them come in and Margaret stares at Wayne. Paul asks him what he's doing there and Wayne asks if they're surprised to see him. Margaret says yes. Wayne tells them that that he's there to talk business with Patricia. He then 'congratulates' Paul on his new job, and snidely says it's a step-up from stableboy. Patricia comes in and tells Margaret that her riding's improving. Margaret says she doesn't feel it! Patricia then tells Paul that his replacement at the stables is doing very well; she nastily adds that he's one to watch. She announces that she and Wayne are going into town and they won't be back for lunch. When they've gone, Margaret says they're both as bad as each other. Paul tells her to stop beating around the bush - he wants to know what she's been getting at for the last couple of days. Margaret explains that she has as much reason to want to see Patricia suffer as he has. She tells Paul that, if he can learn to trust her, she can be a big help to him...

At Dural, Jill asks Brian if he's all settled in. He says he is, but he doesn't have a towel. Jill says she'll get him one. She tells him that lunch is nearly ready, and she asks him to call Fiona and Bert. She adds that she's glad Bert is around Fiona - it was a shock to her losing the house, so she can imagine how Fiona feels. She goes off to get a towel, but Brian asks her to wait a moment. He then says he was the one to blame for the fire. He explains about the cigarette butts, and about how the curtains caught alight. He tells Jill that, every time he's round people, he puts a jinx on them - especially those he cares about. He says Jill could have been killed because of him and because of his crazy idea to keep him in the country. He adds that the sooner he pushes off, the better it will be for everybody. He walks out. Jill stares into space for several seconds, looking thoughtful. She then appears to have a brainwave and rushes outside. She finds Brian walking in the grounds and she tells him that noone blames him and she doesn't want him to leave. She says she hasn't known him for very long, but she thinks they've become close, which is why she's going to stick her neck out and suggest something - although she'll understand if he's offended. Brian asks why he would be. Jill says "Wait!" They walk over to a bench and sit down. Jill looks at Brian and says she's told him about John and how things are - she can't marry him if he wants to stay in the airforce - and he does. Her problem is that, even though she decided to break it off, John still wants to make it work, and he'll keep trying to convince her unless Brian agrees to what she suggests. Brian asks, "Yes?" Jill tells him that it's a business proposition - well, really friends helping each other as well. She says she knows Brian could never marry anyone he doesn't love, but she's hoping he'll change his mind and marry her...


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