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    Written by: Bevan Lee   Produced by: John Holmes   Directed by: Graeme Hodgson

At Dural the next morning, Barbara walks into the lounge room and tells Gordon that she's got some golf club business in the city-- She suddenly breaks off as she realises he's not in there. At that moment, he and Wayne come out of the study. Wayne is asking him if he thinks it's a good deal, then. Gordon agrees that there will certainly be savings. Barbara turns to look at him and comments that he's not working, she hopes. Gordon assures her that it's nothing too strenuous. He walks into the lounge room and continues that Wayne has come up with an offer to help save the company; from what he's read so far, it's very impressive - they get her money and expertise and she gets a share of the profits when they're back on top. Barbara remarks that she likes the sound of the 'expertise' bit, as it'll mean he has less to worry about when they're back on top. She asks what the name of this fairy godmother is. Wayne replies, "Er, Karen Fox." Looking surprised, Barbara queries, "Karen Fox?" Wayne says she doesn't know her, does she? Barbara replies that it just sounds familiar. She turns to Gordon and asks him if he likes the sound of the proposal. Gordon tells her that he does on first reading - but he'll find a nice spot outside to read it fully. He quickly assures her that, as soon as he's tired, he'll take a nap! Barbara says she'll be back this afternoon, as she's got business in the city. Gordon tells her that, if this proposal comes good, she won't have to worry about working. Barbara tells him that she enjoys it. He heads outside, leaving Barbara alone with Wayne. She immediately snaps, "OK: what's the real story?" Wayne 'innocently' asks her what she means. Barbara retorts that she met Karen Fox at Amanda's, and she didn't take to her much; neither did Irene. Wayne angrily asks what either of them know. Barbara says he thought he said he met Karen through the escort agency. Wayne replies that he did; it's a conincidence, that's all: they got talking and they realised they knew a lot of the same people. Barbara snaps that it's too much of a coincidence for her liking - the last thing Gordon needs is to be saddled with a shonky parnter; Wayne is bad enough. Wayne retorts that, just because she's done a few weeks' work in the office at the golf club, she shouldn't kid herself that she'd know a shonky partner from a good one; he sounded Karen out and realised she could help them, so he worked on her - he almost talked himself hoarse doing it, so he doesn't need her undoing the good he's done. Barbara pointedly tells him that he's not clever enough to catch that lady. She adds that, from what she hears of Karen, she pulls the strings wherever she goes. Wayne growls, "Not with me she doesn't."

Later that morning, Irene serves up a tray of tea things in her apartment at the boarding house. Babara is there with her. As she puts the tray down, Irene comments that The Fox has a way of rearing her head in more places than one, doesn't she. Barbara queries, "The Fox?" Irene explains that it's her nickname for Karen; a few others came to mind, but 'The Fox' was the cleanest! Barbara smiles and remarks that she bets it was! Irene sits down and picks up some knitting needles. She smiles and asks Barbara if she believes that she's actually knitting Todd a jumper - just how 'mumsy' can you get?! Barbara looks at it and says it's very nice. Irene replies that she bets it's something The Fox doesn't do for him, either. She asks if Wayne has said much about her, but Barbara replies, "Not a lot. Why?" Irene explains that Nat's relationship with Karen is pretty 'open' - she has a feeling that Wayne is one of her 'friends'; she goes for them young. Barbara grimly comments that maybe they deserve each other. She then asks where Karen got her money from: Nat? Irene, though, tells her no. She continues that, one thing she has to give Karen is that she's made her own way financially; she used men to get her foot up the ladder, but never money. Barbara agrees that that's something. Irene goes on that it's the full 'girl from outside the tracks' story: secretary, vamp, boss, boss leaves wife, secretary gets boss... so by the time the boss croaks it, she's at the top of the pile and keen as mustard to stay there. She adds, though, that she's sure she got some help from Nat - he's got more connections that she has. She then goes on that, one thing she's very good at, from what she hears, is making money; she doesn't care who she stomps on to get it, though - and she imagines Gordon is a thorough gentleman in business? Barbara agrees, "Uh huh." Irene tells her that she thinks that's one of the things Gordon will have to worry about: swallowing her business methods. She looks at the expression on Barbara's face and quickly assures her that she didn't mean to worry her. Barbara explains that it's just that she thinks Gordon is going to take Karen up on that offer - and it's going to lead to one hell of a headache...

Kevin is sitting at the table in the living room at the Palmers'. He's wearing his dressing gown and has the paper spread out in front of him, but he's staring out of the window when Beryl comes in. She asks him if he shouldn't think about getting ready. Kevin looks at her and she goes on that he's only got 25 minutes to get to the hospital for his appointment with the psychiatrist. Kevin mutters, "Yeah, right..." Beryl tells him that staring out of the window won't make her walk up the path. Kevin asks, "Who?" Beryl replies that she means Lynn, of course; Sharon is dead. Kevin ignores this, but glances down at the paper and says instead that some dimwit at the United Nations reckons they should be left to fight it out in El Abib. He angrily asks, "What would he know? Leaving them alone to blow up their own women and children; just like--." He breaks off, and Beryl tells him to talk it over with the psychiatrist. Kevin closes the paper and murmurs, "Yeah..." He stands up. Beryl goes on that it might be an idea if he stops in and sees Lynn on the way home. Kevin says he'll see how he feels. Beryl warns, "Kevin..." Kevin tells her that she doesn't know what it's like, so she shouldn't push it. Beryl assures him that she only wants to see him happy again. Kevin replies, "Yeah, well..." He goes to walk out, but then turns and tells his mother that he doesn't like being a nutcase... Beryl looks worried.

A while later, Kevin is sitting in the office of Dr. Brooks, the psychiatrist, with his eyes closed. He's leaning back in a large chair, while Dr. Brooks sits next to him. Dr. Brooks tells him that he's going to count to three and he wants Kevin to open his eyes on the third count. He continues, "One... two... three." Kevin opens his eyes slowly, and Dr. Brooks tells him that there's no need to rush; just relax. Kevin asks, "What did I say." Dr. Brooks, though, replies that he wants Kevin to think about it for a while, while his mind is clearing. He goes on that there's no great mumbo jumbo about hypnosis - all it does is help you talk about what's up in there. He indicates his head. He asks Kevin if he'd like to move to the desk, and Kevin gets up and moves across. Dr. Brooks sits down opposite him and asks Kevin what it was he told him while he was under. Kevin replies that he told him that Sharon and he were going to get married. Dr. Brooks tells him that it's no wonder he's confused, carrying round that inside all the time. He asks Kevin if there was no one else he could trust. Kevin explains that the whole family were all so mixed up in it... it felt bad enough without them knowing. Dr. Brooks tells him that that's why he's shutting them out: guilt. Kevin asks if it's any wonder he'd have been guilty: he told Sharon that he'd divorce Lynn; he was prepared to leave her and Davey; what kind of husband does that make him? - a pretty lousy one. Dr. Brooks tells him that there's nothing wrong with his hearing. Kevin asks him if he thinks he wants to be deaf. Dr. Brooks explains that, at times, part of him does; part of him is making it happen - it's a lot easier than being forced to feel any more guilty. Kevin insists that he'd stop it tomorrow if he could. Dr. Brooks tells him that he can: face up to the fact that Sharon is dead and isn't coming back. He adds that, from what Kevin told him, Sharon's sister isn't exactly over the moon about being made a replacement, so that leaves him with his wife and child. He goes on that it seems to him, guilt or no guilt, that they should win hands-down - and he'd stake his reputation on Kevin's hearing staying normal once they do.

The puppy that Katie bought runs across the lounge room floor at the Palmers', and Beryl picks her up. She comments that she's soft and cuddly, and adds, "Isn't she cute!" Heather tells her that there's nothing cute about the little puddles she leaves wherever she goes! Beryl smiles and comments that she thought Heather was supposed to be doing a hard sell on her minding the dog! Heather, though, replies that she has to be honest; she'd understand if Beryl said 'no'. Beryl tells her not to be silly. Heather goes on that she's sure Jeff will change his mind about wanting her, but he has to get over Titus first. Beryl looks at the puppy in her arms and tells her that she can stay as long as she likes! She asks Heather what the animal's name is, but Heather says she doesn't have one. She explains that they'd like Jeff to name her, but until then, it's 'Hey You'! Beryl looks at the puppy and asks her what she thinks of that! She then tells Heather that, actually, she couldn't have timed it better - having a bundle of fluff around the house like this will cheer everyone up.

Lynn is sitting in the lounge room at Toorak, flicking through a magazine impatiently. She then stands up and walks over to the window. Jill, who's also in the room, tells her that he'll come. Lynn retorts that, when he 'phoned, he said he wouldn't be any later than 1:30pm. Jill suggests that maybe the psychiatrist kept him talking. Lynn just mutters, "Yeah... And maybe he didn't." She walks over to the 'phone and Jill asks her who she's ringing. She replies that she's calling Mrs. Palmer - she'll see if she knows anything. Jill tells her that if Kevin said he'd be there, he'll be there; there's no point bothering Beryl. Lynn, though, insists that it's worth a try. Jill asks her what she'll do if he doesn't come. Lynn replies that it's the last straw - she's given him enough chances. Beryl answers the 'phone and Lynn tells her that it's her. She then goes on that she doesn't suppose Kevin is there? Beryl says he isn't. She then adds that she's sorry she took so long to answer the 'phone - she was just seeing Heather out. She asks Lynn if she's still at Jill's, and Lynn replies that she is. She adds that she wanted to talk things out with Kevin before she comes back. Beryl tells her that she had a chat with him this morning, so they should hope that did some good. Lynn replies that it obviously did for a while - he called and said he'd come over after the hospital. Beryl says, "He hasn't?" Lynn tells her, "No." Beryl assures her that, if he comes back there, she'll send him over with a flea in his ear. She then suddenly tells Lynn to hang on: she's minding a puppy for Heather and she just went on the floor! She puts the 'phone down, heads into the kitchen and picks up the puppy. She then goes to the kitchen door, opens it and puts the dog down outside, assuring her as she does so, that it won't be for long. She then heads back into the kitchen, looks at the puddle on the floor and walks out to the 'phone in the lounge room. She asks Lynn if she's still there, and Lynn replies that she is. She asks Beryl if she rubbed the puppy's nose in it. Beryl smiles and replies, "Sort of!" She adds that she'd better go and wipe it up. She then asks if there's anything she can do first. Lynn says there isn't, but she's grateful for her asking. She adds that maybe Kevin needs some of the same treatment. Beryl asks her what she means. Lynn replies that he needs his nose rubbed in the whole damn mess. Beryl comments, "A bit of house-training, eh?!" Lynn insists that she's not joking - something has to snap him out of it or she's going to leave him. She then says 'bye' and hangs up. At the Palmers', Beryl comments, "Kids! Huh!"

Jeff is at the sports ground, watching some of his former fellow athletes running. As he hobbles along on his crutches, two of the runners come over to him. They look at him on his crutches and one of them comments on how some people will do anything to get a bit of attention! The other guy says to Jeff that they heard he left his olds. The first guy asks going on, and the other one adds, "Yeah, what's her name?!" He asks Jeff if he's shacked-up with someone, but Jeff glumly replies that no he isn't - he's back with his mum and dad. He adds that he just needed a break. He asks how training is going. One of the guys tells him that they're stoked - it's Brisbane next week. Jeff looks down glumly, and one of the guys quickly adds that it's not any big deal. Jeff, though, snaps at him not to be stupid - of course it is; he was throwing back steroids to get himself ready for it; he should know. The two guys look at each other, and Jeff quickly says he's sorry - his leg is making him scratchy. He asks if Tanya is around, but one of the guys says, "Not today." The other one suggests that they'd better go before they cool down, and he runs off. The first guy smiles and tells Jeff to play up the injury with the chicks when he gets back to school, as he never knows where it might get him! He runs off. Jeff turns to head off, but Mike suddenly comes over and comments that Jeff he's come to talk to a couple of fellows has he? Jeff retorts that, no, he hasn't; he came to see Tanya: he wants her to know that he doesn't blame her for anything. Mike snaps that that woman should never have suggested he take those-- Jeff interrupts and retorts that it was his choice. He then mutters that he'll see his dad tonight. He hobbles off, but Mike calls after him that Katie told them about last night. Jeff turns back to look at him, and Mike goes on that she could hardly avoid it - the place reeked of booze from where he spilt it. Jeff snaps, "So?" Mike tells him that he's trying to work out what's going on with him - he's trying to be a friend, not a father. Jeff snaps, "Not now." Mike asks, "When?" Jeff ignores him and hobbles off.

That evening, at the O'Briens', Mike and Heather are standing watching the news on television. The newsreader is reporting that the United Nations Peacekeeping Force is expected to arrive in El Abib in the next few days, and until then, a shaky ceasefire is being observed by both sides; the death toll in the conflict-- The report is drowned out by Mike commenting to his wife that young Kevin next door was lucky to get out. Heather agrees, "Very." At that moment, Jeff hobbles into the room, some items under his arm. Mike tells him that he'll give him a hand. He takes the items and comments that they're Jeff's running trophies. He asks him what he's doing. Jeff explains that he wants Heather to store them away somewhere. Heather says she thinks she can smell something burning. She turns the TV off and adds that she hopes everyone's hungry tonight. She leaves Mike and Jeff to it. When she's gone, Jeff tells his father that he and his mother had better get their act together better than that. He asks Mike what he's got to say, adding, "Get it over and done with." Mike replies that there are no heavies; just one thing: the last time they talked about drinking, they had an argument and he belted Jeff; he's sorry - violence isn't the answer to anything - you only have to watch the news to see that - but he can't ignore the fact that he's got a son who's going the right way to becoming a drunk - and that's not the answer: it won't bring back Titus... it won't fix his leg... it'll just make him one more person who hasn't got the guts to fix his problems. That said, he adds, "End of lecture." He tells Jeff that there's no need to say anything. Indicating the trophies, he adds that he'll find somewhere to store them. Jeff snaps, "Thanks for worrying," and he gets up and goes. Heather comes out of the kitchen and says to Mike, "Well?" Mike grimly says, "Who knows?" He adds that they should just hope the reasonable approach works. In his bedroom, Jeff hobbles over to his wardrobe. He takes out an item of clothing and then lifts out a bottle of scotch. He looks at it and unscrews the cap. He pauses momentarily, looking thoughtful, and then takes a swig.

In the lounge room at Dural, Barbara hands Gordon a plastic beaker containing his medicine. Gordon drinks it and then humorously remarks that he's sure his doctor has got it in for him - it reminds him of the castor oil his mother gave him! Barbara points out that as long as it does him good... Gordon stands up and says he needs an orange juice to get rid of the taste. He goes to the bar. As he does so, Barbara says, "You're going to accept that deal, aren't you." Gordon replies that it will take lots of stress off him. Barbara asks him if he trusts women's intuition. Gordon smiles at her and tells her that he believes in hers... Barbara explains that she hasn't got one good reason to back it up, but she's worried: she's met Karen - through Amanda - and she knows who she reminds her of: Patricia - and another Patricia they do not need. Having listened to this, Gordon asks Babrara if he can be honest. He then goes on that he's done very little work since he found out that they're in trouble, but even that has knocked him around more than he's admitted. Seeing the expression on Barbara's face, he tells her not to panic. He continues that, all he's saying is that Karen is a godsend; if there's trouble later, then they'll tackle it; right now, he needs her; he can't do it alone. He then smiles and tells Barbara that if there's trouble, he'll set her onto Karen - she won't know what's hit her! Barbara snaps, "Too right she won't."

Wayne arrives at the Fisher house. As he walks into the lounge room with Karen, he tells her that he's a bit late, so he thought they could head straight off. Karen, though, replies that another five minutes won't matter - and she's already mixed him a martini. She tells him to make himself comfortable, and he sits down on the couch. Karen hands him his drink and comments that he seems a bit tense, so maybe he needs the drink. Wayne agrees that maybe he does. Karen sits down next to him, holds up her glass and proposes, "To you, to me, to us and to money." Wayne holds up his glass and repeats, "Yeah - to money." He then moves away from her, slightly, and she muses that he's sulking because she backed him into a corner last night. Wayne asks her if she can blame him. Karen asks him if he's read the document. He says, "Yes." Karen asks if her offer's a good one. Wayne admits, "Yes." Karen tells him that he's silly to sulk, then, when she's saving his bacon. Wayne points out that she's also assuming that he'll do whatever she wants personally because of it. Karen smiles and remarks, "Ah - good old male pride." Wayne retorts that he told her: he likes to make the running with his women. Karen comments that she didn't hear him complaining last night; she didn't get the feeling he was sorry he stayed. Wayne admits that he wasn't. Karen tells him, "Very well, I'll do you a deal: I'll make the running in the office, you make it elsewhere. Fair enough?" Wayne agrees, "Fair enough!" He leans across and kisses her.

Later that evening, Karen is sitting in the lounge room at Dural with Gordon, Wayne and Barbara. Gordon tells her that he sent her proposals off to his solicitors to read and they can't see any problems - and he's sure Beryl and Patricia will go along with it too. Karen smiles and says, "Good." She adds that she can see quite a future ahead for them. Wayne says to his father that Karen was telling him a few of her ideas coming over in the car - they're goers for sure. Gordon suggests they move into the study. Barbara assures him that they don't have to move on her account, but Gordon says it's alright - he's got to call Beryl. He, Wayne and Karen stand up and head out into the hallway. As they do so, Wayne tells his father that he's glad he doesn't mind Karen's idea of her having the final say for the first three months - he was a bit worried he would. Gordon replies that he likes her propsals, so why should be baulk at giving her the authority to carry them out? Karen smiles and tells him that she admires a man with the foresight to hand over the reins when it's appropriate. She then comments that Patricia Morrell is in London, he said. Gordon replies that he'll contact her tomorrow; at least this time he'll have some good news when he calls her. Karen suddenly realises that she's left her bag in the lounge room. Wayne says he'll get it, but Karen says it's alright - he and Gordon can go and put through the call to Beryl Palmer. The two men head into the study while Karen returns to the lounge room. Barbara is still sitting there, and Karen explains, "My bag." Barbara curtly replies, "Of course." Karen picks up her bag and then says to Barbara that Wayne told her that she's good friends with Irene Fisher. Barbara agrees, "That's right." Karen goes on that she wouldn't take much notice of anything Irene says if she were Barbara; Irene strikes her as the sort of woman who resorts to bitchiness but coats it with sugar. Barbara curtly retorts that she's sure Karen understands that very well. Karen ignores this and just says, "I'm sure we're going to be the best of friends, Barbara." She goes to walk out. As she does so, Barbara warns her that if she does anything to put any more strain on Gordon, she'll have her to deal with. Karen looks at her and lightly comments, "What a silly thing to suggest." She walks off, leaving Barbara looking annoyed.

On the 'phone at the Palmers', Beryl exclaims, "What a relief, if she's as good as you say she is." Gordon tells her that Karen's success rate is remarkable. Beryl asks what Karen will get out of it, and Gordon explains that she'll get a share of the profits once they start coming in again. He adds that he'll send a copy of the proposal down tomorrow. Beryl says she'll look forward to reading it. She suddenly hears a door banging and she tells Gordon that she'll have to go as she has a family matter to attend to. She asks him to apologise to Mrs. Fox for her, and she hangs up. Kevin comes in and Beryl asks him where he's been. Kevin, though, just tells her to look at what he's found. He holds up the puppy and Beryl says she knows - she's looking after it for the O'Briens. She asks him again where he's been, and he explains that he had a lot of thinking to do; he went down towards Port Melbourne - he walked and walked and he didn't realise how far he'd gone; he had to walk back. Beryl angrily tells him that he's had Lynn and herself worried sick; Lynn's called at least five times this afternoon. Kevin just mutters, "Yeah..." Beryl tells him that the least he could have done is ring the poor girl - she expected him. Kevin explains that he left his wallet in the car - he didn't have any money. Beryl snaps at him that he's hopeless - he's let that girl down so badly over the last few weeks. She asks him what on earth happened to the nice young boy who fell in love with her. She suggests that he get over there right now.

Lynn, Jill and Davey are in the lounge room at Toorak, and Lynn chides Davey that he's making a real mess! There's suddenly a knock at the door, and Lynn runs to get it. As she opens it, she cries, "Kevin!" It's not Kevin standing there, though; it's Andy. He tells her that he was wondering how she was. Lynn invites him in and, looking upset, explains that she was expecting Kevin. Andy asks her if she's seen him today. Lynn glumly replies that he promised he'd come over but... he didn't. She adds that she guesses he just couldn't be bothered. Andy tells her not to let it get her down. Lynn, though, cries that she can't take any more. Andy soothingly tells her that she doesn't have to. He goes on that he told Kevin to get his act together; he told him that he'd take her away from him if he didn't - but he didn't even care enough to take them seriously. He tells Lynn to come away with him - he'll be a good father to Davey and any other kids they have. He assures her, "We can make each other happy." Lynn looks at him and says, "Yes. Yeah, we can." Andy hugs her.


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