Jeff hobbles out through the front door of the Palmer house and
heads down the path. As he does so, he pauses and looks across
at his own house. He then hobbles off again. Leanne comes out
of the Palmer house and watches him as he crosses the road. She
sighs and goes back inside.
A while later, Jeff is hobbling across the nearby park. As he
passes a brick building, he spots a dero slumped against it, apparently
unconscious. He's surrounded by old bottles and newspapers. Jeff
looks round to see if there's anyone nearby. There isn't. He then
looks back at the dero, who stirs slightly, but doesn't wake up.
Jeff hobbles towards him and stands next to him, staring down
at him for several seconds. He then puts his crutches under one
arm, bends down and lifts out a bottle of scotch from where it's
sticking out from the dero's jacket. He unscrews the cap and takes
a swig of the liquid. As he swallows it, it causes him to cough,
and the sound wakes the dero up. He sees Jeff standing there holding
the bottle, and he immediately snaps at him to give him his drink
- it's all he's got. He manages to stand up, he grabs the bottle
and he staggers off, hiding the bottle under his jacket again
as he does so. Jeff watches him go. He then looks down at the
mess the dero has left behind.
In the lounge room at the O'Briens', Mike asks Katie to duck
next door and ask Jeff to come home. Katie goes. Heather immediately
asks him if that was necessary. Mike just retorts that he's going
to be late for work. Heather tells him to go, but Mike
snaps that he's not leaving until Jeff gets home. Heather
suggests that he probably got talking to Leanne. Mike, though,
just replies that he's had long enough. Heather tells him that
he's got to trust Jeff some time. Mike retorts that he'll
trust him when he can prove that he can pull himself together.
Heather asks him how he's going to do that with them
breathing down his neck all the time. Katie suddenly comes back
in and cries that Jeff isn't there - he left a while
ago. Mike snaps that he knew he'd try something. He then
tells Heather to go out and check the streets. He asks Katie to
stay there at the house and continues that he'll take
the car and try the lake and the park. He adds that Jeff couldn't
have got far on crutches. He then tells Katie to ring
Patricia and let her know that he'll be late for work. Heather
suddenly remembers that she said she'd give Beryl a lift to the
Children's Home. Mike tells her that he'll let her know that she
can't make it.
Next door, Beryl tells Leanne, who's sitting on the couch, that
the meeting shouldn't go on very late. There's suddenly a knock
at the door, and Beryl comments that that will be Heather now.
She goes and answers it, and looks surprised to find Mike standing
there. He tells her that he's sorry, but Heather can't give her
a lift this morning. Looking concerned, Beryl says she hopes there's
nothing wrong with her. Mike quickly explains that it isn't Heather.
He then asks her if she knows where Jeff went after he
left there. In the lounge room, Leanne looks round at the door.
Beryl tells Mike that she thought Jeff went straight home, and
she asks if there's a problem. Mike explains that they've had
a bit of trouble with him lately - they caught him drinking on
the sly. Looking worried, Leanne gets up and runs out into the
kitchen and through the back door.
A short time later, Leanne is walking quickly through the park,
and she suddenly spots Jeff standing in the middle of a patch
of grass, staring into space. She runs over to him and asks him
if he's OK. Jeff doesn't respond. Leanne goes on that she's his
friend - maybe she can help. Jeff turns and
looks at her, and then implores, "Please..."
A few moments later, Jeff and Leanne are sitting on a bench at
the park. Jeff tells Leanne that he doesn't know why:
he just can't stop - every time he goes to have a drink, he says
to himself that this will be the last one, and he really means
it. Leanne comments, "Then you have another one." Jeff
continues that, that old guy... when he took his booze... he
could end up like that; he's got to stop, but he doesn't know
how. Leanne remarks that it's a bit like smoking, isn't
it? Jeff says he doesn't know. Leanne goes on that a couple of
girls at the Home were really hooked on smoking, but they stopped
by cutting down by one a day; she reckons he could do
the same. Jeff glumly retorts that he doesn't.
Leanne points out that it wouldn't be as bad as going through
cold turkey. Jeff says he supposes so. Leanne tells him that she
can help him: they can make it that he tells her every
time he wants a drink, and she can tell him whether it's alright
or not. As she says this, a car suddenly pulls up behind them,
and Jeff realises that the driver is his father. Mike gets out
of the car, leaps over the wire fence that's between him and the
kids and snaps at Jeff, "Thank God I've found you."
He then angrily asks him why he couldn't keep his word. Jeff cries,
"I'm sorry, dad." Mike, more softly, replies that he
is, too. He suggests that they go home. He puts his arm round
Jeff's shoulder and helps him to the car. Leanne follows, holding
At Toorak, Luke is in the study with Patricia, talking on the
'phone to Mr. Donaldson. He tells him that they'll have the papers
copied and over to him this evening. He then hangs up and tells
Patricia that it's all fixed. Patricia thanks him for handling
it. She then goes on that what she'd really like to know
is where Mike is. Luke comments that it must be important,
as he's not the sort of guy to let you down. He adds that, besides,
he knew what had to be done. Patricia smiles and tells
him that he's got his father's instinct. Looking surprised, Luke
asks her how she knows about his father. Caught off-guard,
Patricia quickly replies that Jill talked about him a couple of
times - he just seemed to be a very clever businessman. Luke mutters,
"Right." Patricia looks relieved at getting out of her
Back at the O'Brien house, the four members of the family are
in the lounge room. Mike tells Jeff that the first thing that
has to be sorted out is whether or not he admits he has a problem
- because until he does, no one can help him. Jeff quietly replies
that it was only this morning that it hit him: yeah... he's got
a problem. Heather, looking upset, walks over to him, to comfort
him, but Mike tells her not to, as they're going to talk about
this as straight as they can - he doesn't want them to get emotional
about it. He then turns back to Jeff and tells him that there's
nothing more they can do for him - he and Heather don't know how
to deal with this, so they think it's about time he went to some
people who know what they're doing. Heather, looking at him in
shock, asks him if he means Alcoholics Anonymous. Mike replies,
"Yeah." He goes on that there are other kids with problems
like Jeff's and they know how to help them. He looks at Jeff and
asks him if he'll go. Jeff looks at Heather, who's on the verge
of tears. He then nods. Heather runs out of the room, crying.
Mike asks Katie to talk to Jeff while he goes after her.
Heather is standing in the kitchen, crying. Mike gently tells
her to come on. Heather sobs that she's sorry - it's just that
she can't believe it's happening: their son has to go
to court to answer a charge of shoplifting alcohol... and now
he's admitted that he needs help from AA... Mike points out that
at least he admitted it - it's the first step. He then
continues that he knows why the kid has had problems: it all goes
back to when they split up... then he got into trouble for joyriding...
he hasn't felt secure at home and he hasn't been the
kind of father he should have been... Heather assures him that
it's not his fault - he's a wonderful father.
Mike asks, "Am I?" He then goes on that he let them
all down before - he got so caught up in that business - and here
he is again: only a few days in his new job and already he's spending
less time with her than he should be. He adds that other
blokes can handle having a job and a family; why not him?
- he should be spending time at home trying to find out how he
can help Jeff; get him to a meeting or whatever. Heather assures
him that she'll do that - he's got to go to
work; he's got enough to cope with there. Mike
gently tells her that she knows he couldn't do this without her.
Heather smiles through her tears and tells him to go - he's late
enough as it is. She kisses him and adds that he can drop Jeff
off on the way. He goes. Heather wipes her eyes with her handkerchief.
She then sniffs and sighs.
Mike arrives at Toorak, and as he stands in the hallway with
Patricia, she tells him that he nearly missed her. Mike explains
that he had a problem with his family. Patricia retorts, "So
your daughter said." They head into the lounge room, and
she then tells Mike that the Donaldson call came through. Mike
snaps, "Hell. I'd forgotten about that." Patricia points
out that it's a major account. Mike says he's sorry. Patricia
continues that, fortunately, Luke was there and he
handed it - very well. She adds that he's in the study; she's
off shopping - she'll see him this evening. Mike says
he thought they were having a roundtable discussion about the
new accounts they're going after. Patricia tells him that they
can do that tonight. Mike asks her what she at least thinks of
the Carter deal. Patricia picks up the file from the coffee table
and says she'll take it with her to the hairdresser's and look
at it there. She then adds that she hopes he and Luke have a fruitful
day - what's left of it...
A short time later, in the study, Luke asks what he was supposed
to do. Mike retorts that he should have told Donaldson that he'd
ring him back. Luke asks why. Mike snaps that he's the manager
of the company; it doesn't look good. Luke insists that he was
just trying to help. He adds that he knows Mike has got
problems at home - that's why he thought he should cover for him
this morning; he's not trying to take over. Mike curtly tells
him to just remember who's in charge.
Roger Carlyle answers the 'phone in his apartment at the St.
Kilda Road Travelodge. Karen Fox comes on and introduces herself.
She then tells him that she knows they've never met, but she certainly
knows him by his reputation - as she's sure he does her.
Roger agrees that he's heard of her. Karen goes on that she's
in Melbourne on business and she wondered if he could spare her
a half-hour of his valuable time. Roger curtly replies that he's
sorry, but he's a very busy man - his days are usually planned
some time ahead. Karen insists that she's sure he'll be able to
find some time for her: she has something rather important
to discuss with him regarding his son Luke - but if he'd rather
she went directly to him... Roger quickly tells her that
he finds he has a gap at about 5:15pm - could she drop by his
apartment then? Karen replies that she'd be delighted to. Roger
asks her if she knows the address. Karen retorts that of course
she does - she'll see him at 5:15pm. They hang up. Roger looks
Beryl is sitting with Heather in the lounge room at the O'Briens'.
Katie is talking on the 'phone. Beryl asks Heather where Jeff
is now, and Heather explains that Mike took him to school
on the way to work. Beryl tells her that, if there's anything
at all that she can do, just let her know. Heather says she feels
a bit guilty not going to work today, but she wants to collect
Jeff at lunchtime to see he's alright. Katie hangs up the 'phone
and then announces that she'd better get moving - she's got an
appointment with her partners. Beryl comments that that
sounds important! Katie, though, explains that they're just the
people she designs computer games for. She kisses Heather and
Heather wishes her good luck. She goes. Looking at the expression
on Heather's face, Beryl comments that it's hard not to think
about it. Heather, though, explains that she was thinking about
Katie, actually - she was hoping that, as she's not seeing as
much of Terry, she might have lost interest in him, but it doesn't
seem to be working out that way. She adds that it's not as if
Katie can go tripping off to Ararat every week to see
him; she'll just have to wait and see what happens. She then realises
that she's keeping Beryl from her meeting. Beryl, though, replies
that there's something she thinks she should tell her before she
goes - about Terry and Jill O'Donnel. Heather looks at her closely,
and she goes on that Terry has asked Jill to marry him; she's
sure Jill won't, but if that's the way he's thinking... Heather
realises, "Katie is well and truly wasting her time."
Beryl agrees that she'd say so.
Barbara walks into Dural. Gordon comes out of the study and Andy
comes out from the lounge room and they both join her in the hallway,
where she opens her handbag and tells them to guess what she's
got. Gordon comments that he dreads to think! Barbara takes out
some items and declares, "My learner's permit and my L-plates!"
Andy exclaims that that's great, because he's got something to
go with them. He leaves them momentarily, and Gordon
comments to his wife that he wishes she'd forget this
idea. Barbara points out that he gave in over the present; he
can't expect her not to use it! Andy comes back and hands
her a helmet. Barbara looks at it in delight! She then puts it
on and asks how she looks. Gordon smiles and replies that it defies
description! Barbara then asks Andy if she can have her first
lesson. Gordon grimly asks if he can come and watch. They head
A few minutes later, Barbara is sitting on her scooter, and Andy
is telling her that it's an automatic, so she doesn't have to
worry about gears; she should just take it easy and watch where
she's going. Gordon warns her to, for goodness' sake, be careful!
Barbara starts the engine, revs it up and cries, "Whoo!"
She then moves the scooter off slowly, and Andy follows her as
she heads down the driveway. She bursts out laughing as she realises
she can't steer the machine in a straight line, and after a few
seconds, she hits the verge of the grass and falls off! Gordon
runs over to her in concern, but she just bursts out laughing
again! Gordon tells her that she should give up the whole idea,
but Barbara insists that it was wonderful! She adds that it's
like riding a horse: you fall off and then you get back on. She
then tells them to stand back, and she gets back onto the machine.
As she moves it back onto the driveway, Andy tells her to concentrate
this time! She starts the engine again and then toots the horn.
The sound causes her to burst out laughing again! She starts riding
off slowly down the driveway. Andy stands with Gordon and comments
that she's a terrific lady. Gordon grimly agrees that there's
certainly no stopping her when she makes her mind up about something.
Andy calls to Barbara that he thinks she needs training
wheels! Barbara calls back to him not to be rude. She then suddenly
veers off the driveway and heads down the grass verge, where she
falls off again!
Patricia is at Roger's apartment. Roger tells her to forget Carter
- they look shaky and they wouldn't be guaranteed a long enough
term. He then tells her to go for Graton - they're small, but
they're going to hit it big in a few months. Patricia quickly
assures him that that's what she thought... Roger tells
her that they'll have to leave it at that, as he's got a meeting
with someone soon. Patricia asks him if it's another client. Roger
replies that it isn't - but it's nothing to concern herself about.
He stands up and then asks how Luke is coming so far. Patricia
replies that he's doing very well indeed - in fact, he handled
a rather dicey problem this morning like an expert; she was wondering
if they shouldn't have made him manager instead of Mike,
despite him being so young. Roger, though, tells her to give it
a little time - she'll see why he wanted it the way it is; he
knows exactly what he's doing...
Karen knocks on the front door at the Palmers', and Leanne lets
her into the house, telling her that Mrs. Palmer shouldn't be
too much longer. Karen says that's good, as she's got
an appointment in an hour and she doesn't want to be late. She
then adds that, still, there's no reason why they shouldn't chat
while she's waiting. Leanne offers her some tea, and she accepts.
They head into the kitchen, where Karen asks her how she gets
on with the neighbours. Leanne asks her if she means the O'Briens,
and then continues that she gets on with them well - although
things aren't going great with them at the moment: Jeff has got
into the booze a bit, and his mum and dad are trying to get him
off it. She then realises that she shouldn't have said anything.
Karen, quickly changing the subject, tells her that she likes
her hair - it really suits her. Leanne looks delighted. Beryl
suddenly arrives home and Leanne calls out to her that Karen Fox
is there to see her. Beryl comes into the kitchen and asks Leanne
if she's making tea. Leanne replies that she is, but there's nothing
to go with it. Beryl explains that she hasn't had time
to do any baking. She hands the girl some money and asks her to
pop out to get something nice. Leanne takes the money and goes.
When she's gone, Karen comments to Beryl that it was very good
of her to take the girl in. Beryl replies that she's a nice kid
- she deserves a break. She then asks Karen what brings
her there. Karen explains that she believes Beryl knows Mike O'Brien
and Luke Carlyle; she was wondering what she could tell her about
them. Looking wary, Beryl says she doesn't think she should discuss
friends. Karen replies that she understands that, but
they do hold fairly key positions in Patricia's company, and she
does think they should know what they're up against. She adds
that she's heard that Mike O'Brien isn't all that experienced
and that Luke Carlyle only got the job because they're friends.
Beryl, though, says she wouldn't say that: Patricia heard a lot
about Luke from a friend and thought he'd be right for the job
because of the experience he's had in his father's company. Karen
says she sees. Beryl goes on that Luke is a good friend of Jeff's
- that's the O'Briens' boy - and they took him in when he left
home because he wanted to study medicine and his father
wanted him to study law. She adds that he sounds like
he's a pretty tough customer to her. Karen asks her if
she means Luke. Beryl replies that she doesn't - she means his
father: he and Mike had quite a fight when he tried to get Luke
away. Karen suggests that Mike must have something going
for him, by the sounds of it. Beryl agrees that he has - but she
really doesn't think that it's anything to do with the company.
Karen assures her that she's been a great help - she thinks she
knows exactly which way to go...
Late that afternoon, Patricia is with Mike and Luke in the study
at Toorak, and she tells them that she's decided which account
to follow up: they should forget Carter and go after Graton -
they may be small at the moment but they'll be a big hit in the
next few months. Looking surprised, Mike insists that he thought
Carter would be a consideration-- Patricia interrupts and retorts
that, no, it's too shaky. She then goes on that she's going upstairs
to get changed; they can help themselves to a drink if they like.
She goes, and Mike mutters to Luke that he'd at least like the
chance to offer an opinion. Luke comments that he thought
Mike said that she didn't have a clue this morning who
to go after. Mike replies that she didn't. Luke says
he wonders who she's been speaking to this afternoon. Mike comments
that it's obviously someone whose opinion she values more than
theirs. Changing the subject, he tells Luke that he can
pack it in if he likes - he wants to stay back and tidy
up a couple of things. Luke tells him that he might see him at
home - he's supposed to be seeing Katie. Mike then tells him that
he wants to apologise about this morning: he's sorry - it's been
hard going with Jeff and he brought his problems to work with
him and he shouldn't have. Luke tells him not to worry about it.
A while later, Katie is peeling carrots in the kitchen at the
O'Briens'. Luke is with her and he asks her if he's in her bad
books. He adds that he hates them not being friends. Katie assures
him that she knows he didn't mean any harm - and it was good of
him to take her to Ararat. Heather comes in and offers to take
over the peeling, but Katie assures her that she's alright. She
then goes on that she just hopes that, with Jill taking Fee to
see Terry, it will make a difference to the way he's being treated;
with a bit of luck, she should get a letter in the next couple
of days. Looking worried, Heather asks her if she can set the
table. Katie leaves the room. Luke goes to follow her, saying
he'll have a word with Jeff. Heather, though, stops him and says
that, before he does, Beryl Palmer told her something today: Terry
has asked Jill to marry him, and she's worried about how Katie
will take it. She goes on that a letter did arrive from
Terry today, but she didn't give it to Katie as she doesn't know
how she'd take it. Luke agrees that she'll be hurt. Heather explains
that that's why she thought it would be best to give it to her
when they're by themselves; at least she can have a good cry in
private then. Luke says he reckons it's the best thing that could
have happened to her. Heather, looking worried, says she just
hopes she doesn't take it too badly.
Karen arrives at Roger's apartment. Roger tells her that he won't
offer her a drink, as his time is short. Karen retorts that she'll
come straight to the point, then: she knows he's backing Patricia
Morrell and why: somehow, he wants to get back at Mike
O'Brien for helping his son - and of course, he has his son working
for him without him knowing it. She goes on that her
guess is that he's hoping Luke will get to the point where he
likes it enough not to care that his father is his boss. Roger,
raising an eyebrow, comments, "Very good." Karen then
tells him that he must realise that all she has to do is talk
to both of them - which is why she thought they might come to
an agreement. Roger, though, retorts, "No agreements, Mrs.
Fox." He goes on that he knew that as soon as she discovered
that Luke is his son, she'd work the rest out for herself - so
he's been doing a little investigation himself about her.
He then asks her if it's true that she had her start in business
by blackmailing a company's Director because of her somewhat questionable
relationship with him. He adds that he can give her names and
dates if she likes - there could be quite a scandal if all the
facts came out, to say nothing of the criminal charges which he's
sure would follow if he chose to reveal one or two other titbits
he managed to uncover. As Karen stands there stony-faced, he tells
her, "No agreements, Mrs. Fox. At least, not if you want
to stay in business."