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    Written by: John Alsop   Produced by: John Holmes   Directed by: Russell Webb

Jill is on the 'phone at the Fisher house, and she tells the person on the other end that she thinks Mrs. Fox is just coming in. Karen walks into the room and Jill quietly tells her that it's McPherson's. Karen, though, waves the call away, and so Jill says to the person on the 'phone that she's sorry but it was somebody else; she'll tell Mrs. Fox that they 'phoned. She hangs up. Karen immediately hands her her address book and tells her to dial the number on the open page and ask for Fisher. Jill takes the book and starts dialling. As she does so, she asks Karen if she knows what the room number is, but Karen snaps, "No." Jill then asks if it isn't very late over there, but Karen snaps at her again, telling her to just dial the number. The call is answered by a woman saying, "West Hollywood Plaza." Jill explains to her that that it's Sydney, Australia, calling: she'd like to speak to one of the guests, Dr. Nathan Fisher. The woman at the other end replies that it's quite late, and he's probably asleep. Jill turns to Karen, passes that on and asks her if she'd like to leave a message. Karen, though, snatches the 'phone and tells the woman that it's extremely urgent - she's a close friend of Dr. Fisher's and she'd like to be put through. Wayne suddenly comes in, holding a large bunch of flowers. Karen looks at him and says, "Hello." On the 'phone, the woman asks Karen if she's there, and she replies that she is. The woman then goes on that there's no answer from Dr. Fisher's room, and she asks if she should keep trying. Karen, though, looking at Wayne, tells her to forget it. She hangs up. Wayne tells her that he thought she could use some cheering up. Karen replies that he's not wrong. She then goes on that she should tell Fisher about Todd, but Todd insists that he doesn't want his father to know. Wayne comments that it's a tough one. He then tells Karen that he hates to bring it up, but Gordy is expecting them for the meeting at Dural. Karen realises that she'd forgotten about it, and she asks Wayne to go on ahead, as there's something she has to do first. Wayne asks if it's important. Karen retorts that, oh yes, believe her: it's important.

At the Morrell apartment, Todd is staring at Karen as she tells him that she knows they're going over the same ground, but he has to think of her position when Fisher gets back and finds out she's been in on the whole thing. Todd tells her to tell Fisher that it was his idea to keep the whole thing quiet. Karen, though, points out that he knows what Fisher is like. Todd retorts that that's why he doesn't want him finding out and twisting his arm to do it his way. Karen asks, "Even if it might save your life?" Todd immediately warns, "Karen..." Karen asks him if it isn't unfair keeping Fisher in the dark. She then turns to Amanda and asks her if she can't make him see that she'll get blamed for going along with the secret. Amanda tells Todd that Karen has a point. Todd suddenly snaps at Karen that she can tell Fisher, then, if getting herself off the hook is all she cares about. Karen asks him if it wouldn't be better coming from him, and she pleads with him not to make her tell Fisher. Todd just snaps, "No." Karen suggests a compromise, then: write him a letter. Todd retorts, "Not yet." Karen tells him to do it in two weeks, then; if he hasn't written by then, she'll call him. Todd looks at Amanda, who nods at him, and he says, "OK."

Jill is on the 'phone at the Fisher house, talking to Irene, and she says she's sorry, but she had no idea. Irene explains that it was a shock to her, too; she wouldn't have said anything - Todd doesn't want anyone to know he's dying - but she had to find out whether Karen spoke to Nat about it. Jill replies that Karen asked her to ring Dr. Fisher, but then she changed her mind. Irene asks if she said why. Jill replies that she didn't; she was going to ask her, but Wayne barged in. Looking thoughtful, Irene asks if Karen's change of heart coincided with Wayne's appearance. Jill agrees that it might have, and she asks what he's got to do with it. Irene explains that she had to find a way to stop Karen calling Todd's father, so she took a gamble: she warned her that if she blew the whistle on Todd, she'd wake Nat up to what's going on between her and Wayne. Jill remarks that it's no wonder she changed her mind. Irene grimly says she only hopes it keeps her in line until Todd has had time to do everything he wants to. She looks worried.

Barbara escorts Karen into the lounge room at Dural and offers her a drink. Karen replies that she wouldn't normally have one when she's working, but she might break that rule today. Barbara walks to the bar to get it. Karen asks where Gordon and Wayne are, and Barbara tells her that they're in the study. She then curtly adds that Gordon is explaining things to Wayne that he should have boned up on last night - had he made it home. Karen asks Barbara if she thinks Wayne will turn into a pumpkin if he's not home until midnight. Barbara snaps at her that Gordon was waiting up late for Wayne to come in. Karen assures her that she'll apologise to him. She adds that Wayne was doing some work for her. Barbara snaps that she thought he'd stopped that sort of thing when he left the escort agency. Karen muses, "Please, jealousy doesn't become you." Looking surprised, Barbara asks what she's got to be jealous about. Karen retorts, "The fact that I can still get a younger man." She then tells Barbara to face it: if she hadn't letched onto a semi-invalid, she doubts she would have a husband at all. Looking shocked, Barbara yells, "You get out of my house." Karen retorts that she's there to see Gordon. Barbara snaps that she doesn't care - no one speaks to her like that. Karen snaps back that no one talks to her-- Gordon suddenly comes in, though, and asks what the hell is going on. He adds that he knows the two women don't like each other, but he thought they could behave like two civilised people.

A while later, Barbara is sitting on the settee, a magazine on her lap. She's looking across at Gordon, who's sitting with Wayne and Karen at the dining room table. Karen tells Gordon that she's taken care of everything, adding that if he looks over the page, he'll find the figures there. Gordon looks at the figures and immediately comments that item c) is wrong, surely: there's a missing zero, and that could have made a huge difference; if McPherson's had signed up on those figures, they'd have been in one hell of a mess. Karen assures him that she'll have it fixed up before it's sent out. Gordon growls that he hopes so. Karen suggests to him that they shouldn't get hung up about it; what's really important is the effect of the McPherson account on the overall profit margin: projecting through to the end of the financial year, they can expect a profit margin of between 40% and 45%. Wayne comments that that's great. Gordon, though, points out that that's assuming they win all their major tenders in the new year. Karen adds, "And drive our competitors out of the game." Wayne remarks that even Patricia can't hold out over those odds. Karen tells Gordon that they'll make every cent of their discounts back twofold once they've got the field to themselves. Gordon, looking worried, says he doesn't know. Karen assures him that it's all in the figures. Gordon replies that he's not doubting her - it's her methods that worry him; he'd be much happier if they won new contracts by giving a better service, not by trying to send Patricia's company to the wall. Karen tells him that scruples are all very fine, but she prefers to go in no-holds-barred; it's the only way to win. Gordon looks at Barbara.

Heather is at the Palmers', and Beryl thanks her for popping in. She then tells her that she wondered if she could do her a favour. Heather ask what it is. Beryl explains that, when she got home, Leanne had a message for her from a friend of hers, Fiona: she wants to visit for a couple of days before she goes back to Sydney. Heather asks if she's arriving tonight, and Beryl replies that she'll be there in about an hour, actually - and she was supposed to be going to a charity dinner in the city. Heather assures her that it's no problem - she can let Fiona in. Beryl explains that, actually, she was wondering if Heather would like to go in her place. She adds that it seems a shame to waste the ticket. Heather, looking delighted, tells Beryl that all she had to look forward to was an evening home by herself - Katie's off out and Mike is taking Jeff to his AA meeting. Beryl smiles and comments that it's worked out well all round. She then asks how Jeff is. Heather replies that he's still in a sorry state. She sadly goes on that it breaks her heart to see what he's going through, trying to give it up. In the lounge room, Leanne looks thoughtful.

Mike gets home from work, and as he walks into the O'Brien house, he calls out to Heather to ask if she's there. There's no answer. Jeff comes out from his bedroom and explains that his mum is next door. He then asks Mike if he notices anything. Mike looks at him and Jeff points out that he's off his crutches. Mike asks him if he's happy, and Jeff exclaims, "You bet!" He adds that the doctor said he won't need them anymore if he takes it easy. Mike sits down at the living room table and opens his briefcase. Heather comes in and tells her husband that she saw him walk in as she was coming out of Beryl's. Mike asks how Beryl is, and Heather replies that she's expecting a visitor, actually - so she's scored an invite to a charity dinner. Looking surprised, Mike asks her if she's going out. Heather replies that she is, and she asks what's wrong. Mike explains that he was counting on her being at home: he's got a mountain of work and he was hoping she'd take Jeff to his meeting. Heather tells him that Beryl will be very disappointed if she has to waste her ticket. Mike, though, asks what's more important: his work or some fancy do? Jeff chips in that he can go to AA himself. Heather, though, quickly tells him that he can't. She then adds that she'll take him. She hands him her ticket and asks him to run it back to Beryl and explain the situation. Jeff takes it and goes. Heather tells Mike that she wasn't trying to be difficult. She then asks him if has to work so hard, adding that it's Perth all over again: he's working all day and half the night and he never has any time for them. By the front door, Jeff looks worried. He heads out.

Wayne arrives at the Fisher house and calls, "Surprise!" Karen asks him why he didn't tell her he was coming round before she left the meeting. Wayne replies that, with Barbara giving him the evil eye, it wasn't worth the ammunition. Karen tells him that she could kick herself for letting Barbara get under her skin today. Wayne asks what was behind it. Karen explains that it was just the usual shots, but she was so on edge about Todd that it was the last straw. Wayne remarks that it's really getting to her, not knowing how to help him. Karen explains that she can't accept someone so young giving up on life without a fight. She goes on that she's sorry Barbara was able to take advantage of her mood to get at her, but she'll keep...; meanwhile, she has to think about Patricia: they need details of what she's offering her clients. Wayne asks her if she has any idea on how to get them. Karen replies that a little inside information wouldn't go astray, but Patricia and Carlyle are too guarded; if there's weak link, they'll probably find it at the O'Briens'. Looking surprised, Wayne says that, from what he understands about Mike, he thinks he's straight down the line. Karen, though, explains that she wasn't thinking of Mike; it's his son she's got in mind..

There's a knock on the front door at the Palmers', and Leanne goes to get it. She finds Jeff standing there, and he asks if Mrs. Palmer is in. Leanne, without saying anything, beckons him into the house. As they walk into the lounge room, Jeff asks what's up. Leanne explains that she heard what a rotten time he was having with the alkie mob, and she said she'd help and she meant it: she gets paid today, so she'll buy him a small bottle of brandy so that she can give him a small dose when he needs it until he's over the worst. Jeff tells her that he's got to stay off it completely. Beryl suddenly comes in and Jeff tells her that he's sorry but his mum can't make the dinner; something has come up. Beryl suggests to Leanne that she'd better get ready for work, and the girl heads to her bedroom. Beryl then tells Jeff to let Heather know that she's not to worry - she realises it was short notice. Jeff says he will.

At the Fisher house, Wayne comments that it's pretty rotten dragging a kid into it; what makes her think Jeff will go for it anyway? Karen explains that she gathers from Beryl Palmer that he's got something of a chip on his shoulder about his father. Wayne points out that that hardly guarantees that he'll co-operate. Karen goes on that he also needs money. Wayne asks, "What for?" Karen just replies, "This and that." She then adds that he's a kid, and she points out to Wayne that he probably had all the money he wanted when he was growing up, but some people aren't so lucky; as she sees it, it's simply a matter of getting Jeff onside and then planting the idea that it could be worth his while to keep his eyes peeled - and maybe dig a little. Wayne asks if she means in his father's briefcase. Karen replies that she means whatever seems useful. She tells him to take her word for it: he'll jump at the opportunity. Wayne, looking doubtful, says that if it was anyone other than a kid... Karen snaps at him that she's got enough on her mind at the moment with Todd; if he's going to make life impossible at work, she doesn't think she can take it. Wayne, giving in, says there's still time to catch the last 'plane - he'll go down to Melbourne tonight. They kiss.

At the Palmers', Beryl looks at a long blond hairpiece lying in a box in the lounge room and calls to Leanne that she's left her wig out there. Leanne calls back that she knows; she's nearly ready - she'll be out in a tick. The 'phone suddenly starts ringing and Beryl answers it. STD pips sound and Karen then comes on. Sounding surprised to hear from her, Beryl asks her how she is, and she replies that she's not too bad. Beryl then asks her what she can do for her. Karen explains that she wanted to let her know that Wayne will be in town tomorrow and she's asked him to drop in. Beryl asks what for. Karen tells her that it's just to let her know what's going on with the business and to pick her brains. Beryl laughs, "He can try!" Karen, though, tells her not to be so modest - she really values her interest. Beryl says she'll look forward to seeing him, then. There's suddenly a knock at the door. Beryl looks at Leanne, who's standing in the lounge room, wearing a jungle-style costume, and tells her that it's probably Fiona. Leanne goes to answer the door. Fiona is indeed standing on the step, and she looks surprised when the door opens. Leanne says, "Are you Fiona?" Fiona smiles and replies that she's certainly not Tarzan! She then asks Leanne if she's eaten up Beryl! Leanne assures her that she hasn't, adding that Beryl is inside. The two of them head into the lounge room, where Beryl is just saying on the 'phone that she'll catch up with Karen again. She hangs up and she and Fiona then hug tightly. Fiona tells Beryl that it's so good to see her. She adds that, for one awful moment, she thought she'd come to the wrong house! Beryl smiles and comments that, sometimes, she's not so sure herself! She introduces Fiona and Leanne to each other and they both say, "Hi!" Beryl then tells Leanne to pop her wig on or she'll be late. She offers Fiona some dinner, adding that it's almost ready. Leanne looks at the wig lying in the box, an expression of distaste on her face.

A short time later, Beryl hands Leanne a hand mirror and, as the girl regards her reflection, asks her what she thinks. Leanne mutters, "Yuck," and she asks how anyone can wear such horrible hair. A car horn suddenly toots outside, and Beryl tells her to have a nice night. She goes. Beryl then asks Fiona if she can believe the difference the wig made. Fiona agrees that she's quite a pretty girl - she could make herself very attractive if she'd take a few tips. Beryl explains that she has to keep biting her tongue; it's something Leanne has to work out for herself. The two women head into the kitchen and, changing the subject, Beryl asks how Terry is. Fiona replies that he's good, and adds that he even took her heading up to Sydney in his stride. Beryl asks if he's not building up his hopes about Jill. Looking surprised, Fiona asks her what she's talking about. As a look of awkwardness crosses Beryl's face, she adds that she can't stop now. Beryl curses, "Me and my big mouth." She then explains that Terry has asked Jill to marry him: she didn't say 'yes' and she didn't say 'no', either. Fiona asks if she's thinking about it. Beryl replies that that's what she told Terry. Fiona cries that that's wonderful - she always hoped they'd get together, but she was convinced it was just a pipe dream. Beryl warns her to hold her horses: Jill didn't say 'no' because Terry's in jail and she didn't want to make it any worse for him. Fiona, though, says it seems to her that she's just giving herself time to think it over. Beryl insists that she isn't, and she tells Fiona that she thinks she should keep right out of it - it's between Terry and Jill. Fiona, looking disappointed, says she'll try, but it won't be easy. Changing the subject, she goes on that there is one good thing: she's got something very interesting to keep her occupied when she gets back up to Sydney. Beryl asks if she's allowed to know what it is. Fiona just smiles and nods at her!

Irene is having dinner with Amanda and Todd at the Morrell apartment in Sydney. Amanda remembers that she was going to ask Irene if they can borrow her camera to take away with them. Irene assures her that of course they can. Amanda, looking grateful, turns to Todd and tells him that he can pick it up on his way to work in the morning. Todd just grunts. Irene looks at him in concern, but Amanda snaps that if it's too much trouble... Todd quickly assures her that it's no trouble. Irene covers for him, explaining that his only gripe is that he has to get up earlier and he hates mornings! Todd just sits there, staring at his food. Amanda excitedly says she wonders whether they have to take their own tents or if they're already provided. She gets up to go and look at the brochures. Todd looks at Irene.

At the Fisher house, Jill comments to Wayne that it didn't take him long to get home and pack a bag. Wayne just mutters, "No." Jill comments that he doesn't sound thrilled about the trip. Wayne assures her that he's long past feeling excited about flying to Melbourne. Karen comes in and tells him not to forget to call her to let her know how things are going. They kiss and Wayne goes. Jill asks Karen if she'd like a drink. Karen looks at her watch and curtly retorts that Jill has finished work - she doesn't have to wait on her now. Jill tells her that she wasn't going to do it because she had to - she understands what Karen is going through with Todd and everything at the moment. Karen snaps at her that she's finally put two and two together, has she? She goes on that that's marvellous: now she supposes she'll have her simpering all over her. Jill, looking surprised, growls that she can't do anything right, can she: she's worked hard all day and gets nothing but abuse; that's fine - she expects it - but is she going to get her head bitten off every time she makes a friendly remark into the bargain? Karen snaps, "I'm sorry." She then pauses before adding more softly that, really, she is sorry: she's been a bit off the air lately - it won't happen again. Jill suggests that they start again fresh tomorrow, then. She heads out to the shops, leaving Karen looking annoyed with herself. She walks over to the couch and sits down, looking thoughtful. After a few seconds, she stands up and walks over to a radio on the nearby dresser. She turns it on and pop music starts blaring out. She turns the volume up so that it's at full blast, and stands there looking angry.

Jeff is sitting in an armchair at the O'Briens' the next morning, eating his breakfast, while Mike puts on his shoes. He tells his son that it's good to see him with his appetite back. Jeff explains that he feels a lot better after last night's meeting. He continues that he reckons the best part is the way they make you look at it - concentrating on the next 24 hours and saying you won't drink. Mike says he guesses they know all the tricks. There's suddenly a knock at the door and Heather goes to get it. Mike tells Jeff that he's really proud of him. Leanne comes in and Mike asks her what they can do for her. Leanne tells him that she wants to borrow Jeff's 'Thompson Twins' record. Mike tells her that there's one condition: please don't bring it back! He leaves them to it. Leanne immediately holds out to Jeff a small medicine bottle and tells him that she's brought his brandy. She goes on that it's his day's rations - tomorrow he gets a bit less and then a bit less the day after and so on until he's off it. Jeff tells her that he doesn't need it. Heather comes into the room and he quickly grabs the bottle and hides it under his jacket. Heather asks Leanne how she's getting on with Fiona. Leanne, though, explains that she was working last night and Fiona was still in bed this morning, so she hasn't really talked to her. Jeff heads off to the kitchen, leaving Heather to tell Leanne that she must have Fiona and Beryl over for morning tea. She asks her if she can invite them for her, and Leanne says, "Sure." In the kitchen, Jeff looks at the bottle he's holding, unscrews the lid and stares at the brandy. He then drinks it down in one go. Leanne suddenly comes in, and Jeff, nervous at almost being caught, quickly hides the bottle. He then tells her that she should have brought more. Leanne retorts that there's no more until tomorrow. Jeff snaps that there was hardly anything in that bottle. Leanne, though, tells him that he does it her way or he doesn't get any at all, OK? Jeff reluctantly gives in and says, "OK."

At the Morrell apartment, Todd is about to head out, but Amanda - who doesn't notice that he has his band on his stomach - tells him that he hasn't finished his breakfast. He replies that he's not hungry. Amanda asks him if he's sure he's feeling OK, as he didn't sleep very well. Todd explains that it must be the excitement at heading off to their island paradise. Amanda tells him that she was beginning to wonder if he really wanted to go. Todd assures her that of course he does. He then adds that he has to run. Amanda reminds him to pick up the camera, and he tells her, "No sweat." He goes, leaving Amanda looking worried.

A while later, Todd is out driving, but looking very unwell. He pulls his car into the side of the road outside Irene's boarding house, sweat beginning to break out on his forehead. He turns the engine off and then leans his head against the steering wheel. After a few seconds, he leans back. He then opens the door without checking that the road is clear. A car screeches its breaks as it stops to avoid hitting him. The driver looks at him through the open window and shouts that he's starting a bit early isn't he - or is he still half-cut from last night? Todd just stands there looking sick and exhausted.

Inside the boarding house, Todd staggers up to Irene's apartment and knocks on the door. He then leans against the wall while he waits for her to answer. Irene opens the door and immediately cries, "Look at you..." when she sees his condition. She helps him inside and asks him if she can get him a glass of water. Todd just shakes his head and mumbles, "No." Irene helps him sit down. She then tells him that she knows he was off-colour last night, but she didn't know he was so bad. She asks how often this happens. Todd replies, "Not very." Irene, though, tells him not to lie to her. Todd gives in and admits, "Two... three times a day." He adds that she doesn't have to tell him: he's on the final stretch, isn't he? Irene just replies that things are going to get a bit rough from now on. Todd suddenly yells, "Why now?" He goes on bitterly that he's just met Amanda and he's just got to know Irene all over again... he could have faced it if the two of them hadn't turned up. Irene gives him a comforting hug.


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