Heather is crossing the road, approaching the O'Brien house.
She suddenly spots Jim and Beryl unpacking Jim's car outside Beryl's
house, and she walks over to them and asks them if they've just
got back. Beryl tells her that they have. Jim adds that they thought
they'd try and beat some of the afternoon traffic. He then asks
Heather where she's been. She tells him, "Church."
Looking surprised, Jim comments that he thought she only went
there for weddings and funerals. Heather explains that there seem
to have been so many problems lately that she thought it would
be nice to just sit somewhere peacefully for a while. Beryl suggests
that they all go inside and have a cuppa. Heather accepts the
offer, and Jim puts his arm around her as they head into the house.
As they walk up the path, none of them notices the smoke pouring
out of the back of the O'Brien house next door...
Inside the O'Brien house, Susie is lying in the hallway,
whining, as the fire rages in the kitchen.
In the lounge room at Beryl's, Beryl is telling Heather that
they had a lovely time - the weather was prefect. Heather replies
that it's been nice there, too. Beryl heads into the
kitchen to make the tea, leaving Heather with Jim. He says to
her that he reckons Beryl might come with him now - the
few days away went really well. Heather says she's glad. Jim goes
on that he knows he's dodged responsibility in the past, but he
reckons he's old enough and ugly enough to cope with a few now.
Heather tells him that she's sure he is. Beryl suddenly
comes back in and says she's sorry but she doesn't seem to have
anything to offer them to eat. Heather tells her that she
made a cake and a few biscuits this morning - she'll go
and get them. Beryl asks Jim if he wants to give her a hand in
the kitchen. Heather goes.
Heather comes out of the front door of the Palmer house and starts
walking down the path. As she reaches the gate, she turns to look
at her own house and an expression of shock crosses her face as
she sees the smoke streaming out at the back. She cries, "Oh
my God..." and starts running towards the house at a pace.
She hurries up the path, pulls open the insect guard, opens the
front door and finds Susie standing by it in the hallway. She
picks the puppy up and runs towards the kitchen. She watches for
a few seconds, helpless as the fire burns out of control. She
then turns and runs out again.
In the kitchen next door, Jim comments to Beryl that Heather
looks pretty tired. Beryl agrees that she looks like she could
do with a good holiday. Jim says he wishes he and Mike were on
better terms, as he could talk to his brother about taking her
away somewhere. Looking surprised, Beryl asks what's wrong between
him and Mike. Before Jim can answer, though, Heather comes running
in from the front, holding Susie, and crying, "Jim... Jim..."
She then pants that the house is on fire - they need to call the
fire brigade. Looking shocked, Beryl exclaims, "Fire?"
Heather hands Susie to her and Jim asks her how bad the
fire is. Heather replies that it seems to be mainly in the kitchen.
Jim tells her that they'll see what they can get out, and the
two of them run off. As they do so, Heather cries, "Thank
God no one's at home."
The fire is spreading as Heather and Jim run into the O'Brien
house. As they try to breathe, Jim yells at Heather that they
won't be able to do much - the smoke is getting too thick. Heather
yells back at him to grab what he can and she'll try and find
At Beryl's, Beryl is on the 'phone to the emergency services,
and she tells the operator that it seems to be pretty bad; can
they come as quickly as they can?
At the O'Briens', Jim and Heather have managed to retrieve some
belongings and they run back into the house to collect more. As
they stand in the hallway, though, Jim stares at the inferno ahead
of them and has to tell Heather they they can't get anymore.
Heather yells that they need to get some clothes. As that moment,
though, there's an explosion, and Jim pulls Heather outside. They
run down the path to join Beryl, who's standing on the pavement
watching the house burn. She tells them that the fire brigade
should be there any minute. Looking shocked, she adds that it
seems awful to just stand here. Jim pulls her back towards the
road, telling her that it's too dangerous to stand so close. She
then comments that it was a good thing that Susie wasn't inside.
Heather, though, cries that she was inside; she got her
out. A car suddenly pulls up and David and Mike get out. They
stare at the house in horror. Heather, looking terrified, asks
if Jeff isn't with them. Staring at the house, Mike cries, "Oh
no... No..." David points out that Charlie's car is parked
next to them. Heather says she's sure Susie wasn't inside when
she left; someone must have let her in... Suddenly looking terrified,
she runs to Mike and asks him where Jeff is. Mike asks her if
she hasn't seen him. Heather cries, "No." Mike
cries, "Oh my God - he could be in there."
He starts running towards the house as Heather stands there, tears
streaming down her face.
Mike, David and Jim all run into the house, Mike yelling Jeff's
name loudly. As they look round, Jim tells his brother that the
only place Jeff could be is the kitchen. Mike goes to run in there,
but Jim quickly pulls him back. Mike yells again for Jeff, but
Jim and David both grab him and pull him back outside. Looking
shocked, Mike cries over and over, "No... No..." They
get him back down to the road. Heather anxiously asks, "Was
he in there?" Mike cries, "No." Heather asks him
if he looked. Mike tells her that of course
he looked. They suddenly hear the sound of approaching sirens.
Mike goes on that he couldn't get through to the kitchen; Jeff
could be there. David points out that he could have been and gone
again. Mike, though, points out that Charlie's car is still there.
David suggests that he could have just left it. Mike, though,
cries, "No." He and Heather both stand there, their
faces filthy from the smoke, tears streaming through the grime.
Patricia is stoking the fire at the country house, but Charlie
tells her that it's quite hot enough as it is; she doesn't
need to put on more wood. Patricia, though, explains
that she's got to keep it going if she's going to cook a meal
on it. Charlie says she doesn't know how Patricia can bear to
live there. Patricia tells her that she can put up with
it now that she knows she's not broke. Charlie comments that she
wonders what made the boy give her the bank name and account number
in the end. Patricia replies that he's scared - and when
the police question him again, she's sure he'll break. Charlie
asks her if she means he'll admit to killing Luke. Patricia tells
her, "Of course," adding that she'll be completely
off the hook with the police and Roger. She goes on that it feels
like the weight of the world has been taken off her shoulders:
Jeff O'Brien is going to save her neck.
Beryl walks into the lounge room at her house, holding a glass
of water and a tablet. Heather is sitting on the couch, and Beryl
tells her to take the tablet - it contains a mild sedative which
will calm her down. Heather quietly thanks her, admitting that
she could use something right now. Beryl says she thinks
they've almost got the fire out. Heather nods and replies that
she just wants to know about Jeff. Beryl says she's sure
he wasn't in there; if he was in the kitchen when the fire started,
he would have had plenty of time to get out. Heather nods again
and tells her that she's right: there wouldn't have been time
for him to be overcome by smoke. Outside, by the front door, David
is standing with a shocked looking Mike and Jim, and he helplessly
says he wishes there was something he could do. Mike thanks him
and he and Jim then head into the house and shut the door behind
them. They walk into the lounge room, slowly, and Heather and
Beryl turn to stare at them. Beryl asks what's happening. Jim
tells her that they've put it out. Heather stares at Mike, her
lip quivering. He doesn't say anything. Heather shakes her head
and begins to break into tears as her fears overtake her. She
murmurs, "Jeff?" Mike, looking shell-shocked, tells
her, "He was in there. He's dead."
Heather breaks down, and Beryl comforts her.
David is back at the country house. Patricia looks shocked, and
she says "Dead? He can't be." David
tells her that he must have been drinking and passed out in the
kitchen when the fire started. Charlie comments, "His poor
parents." Patricia asks David if he's sure. David
explains that he saw the body. Patricia remarks that it's just
so hard to believe... Changing the subject, David asks her to
give him a hoy when dinner's ready; he's going outside to do a
bit of work. He heads out, leaving Charlie to comment to Patricia
that it's dreadful. Patricia agrees, "Yeah..." She sits
down at the table and mutters that it's not fair; it's just not
fair... no one's going to believe that Jeff killed Luke
now; it was her last chance to prove her innocence; she hasn't
got a hope in hell now. Charlie puts a comforting hand
on her shoulder.
In Sydney, Wayne and Katie come in through the front door at
Dural, and as they stand in the hallway, Katie asks Wayne if he's
sure there's no one home. Wayne tells her that his dad and Barbara
both went out this morning - in different directions; neither
of them will be home for dinner. Looking surprised, Katie asks
if things are that bad between them. Wayne tells her, ""Not
good at all." They head into the lounge room and Wayne says,
"How about some afternoon tea?" Pointing towards the
far door, he adds, "The kitchen's through there!" Looking
surprised again, Katie exclaims, "Chauvinist!" Wayne
pleads that he's tired after walking along miles of beaches. Katie
points out that she walked too, but Wayne tells
her that she's younger than he is. He smiles and adds,
"Go on. Quick!" Katie laughs as she tells him to get
lost, but she heads into the kitchen nonetheless. The 'phone suddenly
starts ringing, and Wayne answers it at the bar. To his surprise,
Liz come on and says it's her. Sounding relieved, Wayne asks her
where she is. Liz, who's talking from a public 'phonebox, tells
him shakily that she's just come back from the police station;
she had a terrible time. Wayne asks what happened; why did she
disappear from the flat? Liz explains that George Perrin was waiting
for her - he forced her out the back door and into his car; he
took to her to an old house in the country; she couldn't get away
from him - he put her through hell. Wayne asks her how
she did get away. Liz, beginning to break down in tears,
sobs that she... some neighbours got suspicious after they heard
her crying out and they called the police. Wayne tells her that
she'd better come over. Liz, though, says, "No." Wayne
tells her that Gordy has been worried sick about her; he'll want
to see her. Liz, though, repeats, "No." She adds that
she just wanted Gordon to know that she's alright; she'll write
to him sometime and tell him that. Wayne tries to explain that
things have changed, but Liz says she has to to go and she hangs
up. When she's done so, she breaks down completely, leaning her
head against the 'phone as tears stream down her face.
Amanda and Mitch are walking along the corridor at the boarding
house, talking as they do so. Amanda comments to Mitch that that
Sergeant of his sounds like quite a character. Mitch agrees that
he was one of the best, was Barney. Amanda knocks on a door and
Fiona opens it. Looking surprised to see who her visitors are,
she says a curt, "Hello." Amanda tells her that Mitch
would like to have a talk to her. Fiona snaps, "Really?"
She then more calmly suggests that they'd better come in. She
closes the door and remarks to Mitch that she didn't think she'd
see him again. Mitch tells her that he reckons he should have
come before; he and Amanda had a talk and Amanda made him see
that he owes her a fair bit, so he'd like to bury the hatchet.
He adds that he knows she must be upset about him leaving Woombai.
Fiona snaps that, these days, she doesn't know how she
feels about him. Amanda assures her that he's doing quite well
now. Fiona sarcastically says, "Working for Karen Fox?"
Amanda explains that it's the job he had before. Fiona,
looking distinctly unimpressed, mutters, "Oh." The 'phone
suddenly rings and Fiona asks her visitors to excuse her. She
answers the call, STD pips sound and Heather then comes on, sounding
upset. She asks if Katie is there, but Fiona says she's afraid
she's out for the day. Heather, her voice beginning to crack,
asks Fiona if she can tell her where she can get in contact with
her. Fiona hesitatingly replies that she's with Wayne Morrell
- Katie might get her at his place. Heather thanks her
and says she'll ring there. Fiona cheerfully asks how everyone
is in Melbourne. Heather just mutters that they're alright and
she hangs up. Fiona looks at her 'phone in surprise. Amanda asks
if something's wrong, but Fiona says she's not too sure. Amanda
then goes on that, anyway, they were wondering if she'd like to
come to dinner on Tuesday night. Fiona accepts and thanks her.
At Dural, Katie is talking on the 'phone at the bar in the lounge
room, and, looking shocked, she asks her mother if she's sure
there's no mistake. Heather, in the lounge room at Beryl's, sobs
that she's afraid not - it was Jeff. Katie cries "Oh mum..."
Mike takes the 'phone from Heather and tells Katie that it's him.
Katie cries that she can't believe it. At Dural, Wayne looks at
her. Mike tells her that he and Heather want her to come home
- they need her. He starts to break down and Heather
takes the 'phone again. She explains to Katie that they're at
the Palmers'. Mike stands there, resting his head on her shoulder,
sobbing heavily. Katie says she'll be there as soon as she can.
Heather hangs up. Mike cries to her that he's sorry. Beryl looks
at Jim for some sort of help. Jim suggests that he could book
into a hotel and Mike and Heather can stay there. Beryl,
though, tells him that that's not necessary - there's plenty of
room. Turning to Heather and Mike, she adds that they can stay
as long as they want. Jim points out to Beryl that it'll be a
while before they can move into their house again; what the fire
didn't damage, the water did. Heather, though, suddenly
growls that they'll never live in that house again; she
never even wants to go back in there. Mike says they
shouldn't impose on Beryl, but Beryl tells him that they're staying.
She adds, "OK?" Mike nods gratefully.
In the lounge room at Dural, a shocked Katie cries that someone
you've lived with all your life... how do you get used to the
idea that you're never going to see them again? Wayne gently says
he knows. Katie cries that it seems such an awful time: lately,
everything that could go wrong has - and now
this; it's just not fair - and it's half her
fault. Wayne asks her how she works that out. Katie tells
him that if she'd gone back with Luke, this mightn't have happened.
Wayne points out that she doesn't know that. Katie goes
on that she might have been able to get Jeff out. Wayne asks how.
Katie snaps that she doesn't know; somehow. Wayne tells
her that there's no sense blaming herself. Katie, though, snaps
that she called Luke selfish, but she was just as bad.
Wayne snaps back at her that it's not her fault. Growing more
and more hysterical, Katie yells that she let Jeff down when he
needed her and now he's dead. Wayne warns, "Katie..."
Katie, though, rants, "He's dead, Wayne. He's dead and it's
my fault. It's my fault because I was so selfish." Her voice
growing louder and louder, she yells, "It's my fault.
It's my fault--" Wayne suddenly slaps her round
the face really hard. Looking shocked, she puts her hand to her
face and then breaks down. Wayne holds her as she sobs that she
stayed there because she wanted to be with him. She quietly
tells him, "I love you." Wayne comforts, "I love
Mitch and Amanda arrive back at the Morrell apartment. As they
do so, Amanda asks Mitch how long he thinks it'll last. Mitch
looks at the watch he's wearing and replies that, for four bucks,
he'll be lucky if it lasts the day. Amanda, going to
the bar and starting to prepare drinks, asks him why he bought
it, adding that those guys who flog them on the street were trying
to put one over him. Mitch explains that it reminded him of his
dad - he used to be a street spruiker, but he was really a con
man. He tells Amanda that, sometimes, his dad used to take him
along for sympathy value - one of the supposed eight mouths he
had to feed. Amanda asks, "How many were there?"
Mitch tells her that it was just him and his sister - their mum
shot through when he was about six and he and Sally ran pretty
wild; their dad tried to keep them in line whenever he wasn't
off with one of his girlfriends. Amanda comments that it sounds
like he had a rough time. Mitch agrees that it wasn't a lot of
fun. He then goes on that joining up was the best thing he ever
did, though: he had good mates and plenty of action...; he knows
'Nam was hell for some blokes, but for him he was in
his element; it hit him pretty hard when he was wounded and invalided
out - he really misses his old army mates. Amanda asks him if
he didn't keep in touch. Mitch replies that he did keep in touch
with Barney for a few years until he got in trouble and went inside;
then he let it drop. Amanda asks where Barney lives.
Mitch tells her that it's there in Sydney, if he's still at the
same place. Amanda asks him why he doesn't get in touch with this
Barney, then. Mitch points out that it might be a bit hard to
pick up the threads. Amanda, though, tells him that it mightn't
be. She adds that she bets Barney will be pleased to hear from
him. Mitch says he's got Barney's number; he guesses he could
try. Amanda tells him that of course he could - and he could invite
him for dinner on Tuesday night; it could help smooth things over
with Fiona. Mitch agrees, "Yeah," adding that she wasn't
exactly falling into his arms. Amanda assures him that she'll
come round - she just has to see what a really nice guy he is!
At Fiona's flat, Fiona is arranging some flowers as Wayne stands
there waiting for Katie. She asks him if it's a good idea going
down to Melbourne with Katie, but Wayne assures her that he's
only going to give her moral support - he's not going to intrude
on her family. Fiona admits, "Fair enough." Katie comes
out of her bedroom and announces that she's ready. She then adds
that she wishes she had a strap for her bag, as the zip is broken.
Fiona tells her that she can give her one, and she goes
to get it. Katie walks over to Wayne and he puts his arm round
her. She tells him that she's dreading seeing her mum
and dad - she won't know what to say. Wayne assures her that just
being there will help them. Katie tells him that she doesn't think
she could have got through this without him - he's become very
important to her. Wayne replies, "Likewise." He then
adds that that's why he's asked his solicitor to start divorce
proceedings with Amanda; he wants to be a free man for her.
Katie hugs him gratefully.
It's nighttime, and Gordon arrives back at Dural and walks into
the lounge room. He spots a sheet of paper on the bar, resting
under a glass, and he goes and picks it up. He reads:
"Dear Dad, Katie got some very upsetting news from her
parents: her brother, Jeff, died in a fire today and she and I
are going straight down to Melbourne. I don't know how long I'll
be gone but I'll stay with her as long as she needs me. Something
else: Liz rang. She's alright but she's been through a dreadful
Gordon puts down the note.
At Beryl's, Heather hugs Katie tightly and Mike tells her that
they're so glad she's there. Katie gives him a hug and
assures him that she wanted to be there with them. She and her
father pull apart and Heather helps Mike sit down on the couch.
Beryl and Jim come in and Katie goes and gives her uncle a hug.
Jim is holding two cartons of milk. He quietly asks Katie if that's
Wayne outside. Katie admits, "Yeah." Jim growls at her
that it wasn't very bright bringing him there. Katie
murmurs that he only wanted to stand by her. Mike overhears some
of the conversation and asks, "Who's outside?"
Katie explains that it's Wayne - he doesn't want to cause any
trouble; he only came for her sake; he'll stay outside.
Mike, though, tells her to tell him to come in - it's alright.
Katie looks at her mother and Heather nods at her, repeating that
she can bring him in. Katie thanks them and heads outside. Jim
walks forcefully into the kitchen, and Beryl quickly follows him
and asks what the matter is. Jim snaps that that bloke shouldn't
be there. Beryl points out that he obviously means a
lot to Katie. Jim growls that after what he's done to his family,
he's got a damn gall even coming near the place. Beryl
tells him that the most important thing to Mike and Heather at
the moment is having Katie back in the family, and if that means
accepting Wayne... Jim mutters that he still reckons Wayne has
got a hide.
Out in the hallway, Wayne tells Katie that the last thing he
wants to do is cause more trouble. Katie assures him that there's
not going to be any trouble - they want him
to come in. The two of them head into the lounge room and Heather
quietly says, "Hello, Wayne." She adds that it was good
of him to bring Katie. Wayne tells her that he's very sorry about
what's happened. Mike offers him a seat. Beryl and Jim come in
from the kitchen and Beryl asks Wayne how he is. He replies, "Fine."
Beryl suggests that, now that they have some milk, she'll make
a cup of tea. Heather, though, quickly says she'll do
it, and she gets up and heads into the kitchen. Katie comments
to her father that her mum seems to be coping pretty well. Mike
says he doesn't know how he'd manage without her - she's
been a tower of strength.
Heather is alone in the kitchen and she sobs as she puts the
kettle on. She suddenly notices Beryl's bottle of sedatives on
the shelf in front of her, and she picks it up, opens it, takes
out a tablet and swallows it.
At the country house, David is sitting in the kitchen, reading
a newspaper as Patricia washes up and Charlie dries. Charlie comments
that at least one good thing came out of a dreadful day:
the money will come in handy. David looks round and asks,
"What money?" Patricia quickly chips in that
Charlie rang home this morning and discovered that she'd been
left some money. David dismisses this and tells Charlie to let
him know when she's ready and he'll take her to a motel; he'll
get her car from the O'Briens' tomorrow. Charlie says
that's fine. Patricia, though, tells David that Charlie would
rather get away now. Looking at her friend, she adds,
"Wouldn't you?" Taking the hint, Charlie mutters,
"Alright." David says he'll get the car, and he stands
up and walks out. As soon as he's gone, Charlie asks Patricia
what she means about the money being left to her; she
was talking-- Patricia interrupts and snaps that she knows,
and she asked Charlie this morning not to mention it
to David - she doesn't want anyone to know where that money is.
Charlie points out that she'll have to tell the police in order
to get it back, but Patricia retorts that she won't:
all you need to operate a Swiss bank account is the number, and
she's got that. She goes on that, at the moment, it's
better that everybody thinks she's broke, as she gets more sympathy
that way and the money's there when she needs it. Charlie, looking
shocked, exclaims, "Darling!" Patricia, though, snaps
at her not to start moralising - she doesn't intend to spend years
in jail and she doesn't intend Roger's men to get her; she may
need that money to disappear. Charlie snaps back at her that she's
in a big enough mess as it is; won't she make it worse
by lying? Patricia tells her that the money could make all the
difference to her life. She then asks Charlie if she's going to
stand by her or not. Charlie replies, "Of course,
but--" Patricia interrupts again and snaps that there are
no 'buts'; if she's going to stick by her, pick up her car first
thing in the morning and come there. Charlie asks her
what she has in mind. Patricia replies that she has to talk to
the police and convince them that Jeff killed Luke. Looking shocked,
Charlie tells her that she can't do that to the O'Briens; not
now. Patricia insists that she doesn't want to
hurt them, but what choice does she have?
Gordon is sitting in the lounge room at Dural, reading through
a file. There's suddenly a knock at the front door and he gets
up to answer it. To his surprise, he finds Liz standing there.
He invites her in and asks her if she's alright, adding that he
knows all about it as Wayne left her a note. He goes on that that
he went straight round to her flat but she wasn't there. Liz,
looking upset, explains that she couldn't face going back there
again - the last time she did, George Perrin was waiting for her.
She continues that she knows it sounds silly, now that the police
have him, but she doesn't think she'll ever be able to
open a front door again without being frightened that there might
be someone there waiting for her. She then cries at Gordon that
she knows she shouldn't have come there, but she had to see him.
She tells him, "I love you so much..." She rests her
head on his chest. Gordon stands there and tells her, "I
love you too." Looking surprised, Liz sobs, "I never
thought I'd hear you say that." Gordon looks worried.