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    Written by: Betty Quin   Produced by: John Holmes   Directed by: Graeme Hodgson

Ross asks Patricia how she takes her coffee. She replies, "Just black, thankyou." Ross heads over to the sink to make it. Looking around, Patricia notices the newspaper on the couch, which is open at the sports pages, and she comments that he likes a flutter on the horses, does he? Ross, looking slightly put-out, tells her, "Occasionally - when I find time, which isn't very often." Looking bemused, Patricia comments that he doesn't seem to have any trouble finding time for her. Ross smiles and assures her that she's quite a different matter... Changing the subject, he tells her that he's going to be taking the x-rays downstairs, in his clinic - he thought it would be slightly less daunting for her than going into hospital. Patricia thanks him, adding that hospitals aren't exactly her favourite places. Ross asks her if she's been having much pain with her knee. Patricia replies that she's been having quite a bit, actually; frankly, she's terrified of what the x-rays are going to show. Ross assures her that she'll be absolutely fine. He goes on that he thinks a couple of cortisone injections will fix it; at least, he hopes so - the last thing he wants is to have to operate. Patricia asks if that's the next step if the injections don't work. Ross replies that he's afraid so. He quickly adds that it's not that bad - people have operations all the time these days. Patricia comments that, somehow, she doesn't find that much of a consolation. Ross, handing her a cup, tells her to stop worrying and have her coffee; they should wait for the results of the x-rays.

Irene, David and Barbara walk into kitchen at the country house and Irene hands David a small bottle, telling him, "I brought this." David asks what it is and Irene explains that it's a herbal tonic - it's good for the nerves; she thought it might help Patricia. David thanks her. Irene then goes on that he'd better not tell Patricia where he got it from, though, or she might tip it down the sink! She and Barbara both laugh heartily! Barbara then asks David how Patricia gets on with the wood stove while she's there. David smiles and replies that she doesn't! They all laugh again! At that moment, Andy comes in and says he reckons the place is terrific. David agrees that it's coming on, although there's still more to do. Andy heads off again to have a further look round. David turns to Barbara and tells her that he's sorry about her and Gordon having problems. Barbara murmurs that it's something they'll sort out eventually. Lightening the mood again, Irene says to David that she supposes he'll have whipped them up a nice batch of scones for morning tea?! David laughs and tells her that he only thing he'd be able to manage is scrambled eggs; he could do with a bit of her home cooking! Irene smiles and says she doesn't think Patricia would take too kindly to that idea. David agrees that she'd probably hit the roof. He then adds that Patricia reckons she's trying to get her hooks into him! Irene, putting on a front, asks if she actually said that. David laughs that she said it a bit more dramatically than that! He then goes on that he told Patricia that she was stupid if she was jealous of Irene, and she came back with this big announcement that Irene was in love with him. Irene looks down down at the floor. David doesn't notice, though, instead going on that Patricia doesn't understand what mates are about. Irene suggests that she'd better make this her last trip out there, then. David, though, tells her that his friends are welcome any time they like - he'll see a lot more of her while she's up there. Andy comes back in from the hallway and says he'll take a look outside. David tells him that he'll give him a guided tour of the place. He asks Barbara if she'd like to come as well, but, looking at Irene in concern, she replies that she'd rather start with a cup of tea. She tells him to go off and she'll call him when it's ready. The two men head outside, and Barbara touches Irene on the shoulder comfortingly. She then comments ruefully, "Good old Patricia - still able to stir things up." She adds that she doesn't know why Irene wanted to give her the tonic; why does she care about wanting to calm Patricia down? Irene explains that she was thinking of David, actually - it might make Patricia easier to live with until the trial. Barbara comments, "Which isn't far away, thank God. The sooner they lock her up, the better." Irene bitterly remarks that David still keeps taking her back... giving her another chance... Barbara, though, says she thinks that all he feels for Patricia is sympathy; once she's in jail, maybe he'll realise that he feels lot more for her than just friendship. Irene, though, sadly says she doubts it...

Karen is packing some files into a bag at the Fisher house. Alan comes into the room and asks his mother if she's thought any more about his proposition yet. Karen retorts, "Not when it involves Amanda." Alan asks her if she's sure she doesn't want to discuss it. Karen snaps that she doesn't when she's running late for an appointment. Alan tells her that she'll change her mind, but Karen retorts that it's highly unlikely, and so Alan snaps that, the next time she wants money, she's not to say he didn't give her the chance. Jill suddenly comes into the room and warns Karen that it's twenty past. Karen says she's just on her way, and she heads out. When she's gone, Jill remarks to Alan that Karen's a bit touchy today, isn't she? Alan agrees that, yeah, she is; he's not sure why, though, but they were talking about Nat's son earlier and that might have had something to do with it. Jill admits, "Probably." Alan goes on that Todd must have been special to both Amanda and Karen, to care so much. Jill replies that he was. Alan says, "Tell me about him..."

Barney is standing by the side of a road when Mitch pulls up next to him in his car. Barney gets in the passenger side and Mitch thanks him for coming. Barney comments to him that he's not in more strife, is he? Mitch replies that he isn't; he just wanted to thank him for backing him up last night. Barney points out that he didn't have much time to think about it, did he? - the cops were on his doorstep before he could hang up the 'phone. Mitch asks him suspiciously if he means he wouldn't have backed him up if he had had time to think about it. Barney, though, assures him that he doesn't mean that. He then explains that the two of them are mates and Alan Brandon sounds like a real mongrel; but he's always played it straight, and he's not going to blot his copybook for Mitch or anyone else; smashing up that car was plain stupid. Mitch growls that the way Alan went on about Amanda... he just saw red; he'd had it. Barney warns him that he had better start controlling that temper of his: if he wants to win that girl, he's got to show her who's the better bloke, and he won't be able to do that from behind bars - so he's not to start doing anything stupid.

Jill and Alan are sitting in the lounge room at the Fisher house, and Jill is saying that she thinks it was the fun side of Todd's nature that first attracted Amanda to him; then when she found out what a kind, gentle person he could be... he was so different to anyone she'd met before. Alan comments that he was really rapt in boats...? Jill replies that he was designing one when he got sick; he never did finish it. She goes on that there wasn't much he wasn't prepared to take on - even parachuting; she guesses he just wanted to do it all - he knew he didn't have much time. Alan tells her that he's jumped a few times himself - he got a real buzz out of it. Jill continues that Amanda went quite strange for a while after Todd died; she doesn't think she'll ever really get over him. Suddenly realising the time, she says she'd better get back to work. They stand up and Alan thanks her, adding that he thinks he understands things a lot better now. Jill leaves the room. When he's alone, Alan walks over to the 'phone and dials a number. The 'phone rings at the other end and Amanda answers. Alan tells her that it's him. He then goes on that he hopes she doesn't mind him calling, but he's been worried about her. Amanda assures him that there's no need to be- she's OK. Alan, though, continues that he can't tell her how badly he feels about the accident and the baby. Amanda tells him that he's not to blame. Alan continues that he wishes he could make it up to her, somehow. Amanda repeats that she's OK - really. Alan, though, tells her that she sounds miserable, and that makes him feel even worse; there must be something he can do. Amanda thanks him but adds that there's honestly no need to worry about her. Alan asks her if she won't at least let him see her - he can take her out for a few hours; maybe cheer her up a little. Sounding dubious, Amanda warns, "Alan..." Alan, though, persists that he can sleep a lot better at night if he can see for himself that she's alright; how about he picks her up in half an hour? Amanda reluctantly gives in and says that, if it'll make him feel better... Alan tells her that he'll see her soon, and he hangs up, looking pleased with himself.

Patricia and Ross come out of Ross's x-ray room, and Patricia asks if they couldn't try the injections first. Ross tells her that they could, but he doesn't think they'll work - cortisone is basically an anti-inflammatory, and it's not much good for a damaged cartilage. Patricia says, "But--" Ross, though, interrupts her and tells her that he's sorry, but an operation is the only answer in his view. He then adds that, if she's not happy with that decision, she can always get a second opinion - he's quite happy to give her a referral. Patricia assures him that she believes him; it's just that her sister died on the operating table, and she supposes she's terrified that she same thing will happen to her. Ross, a smile on his face, tells her that it's a perfectly straightforward operation; he hasn't heard of anybody dying from having a cartilage removed; has she?! Patricia muses that he must think she's a terrible coward! Ross, though, assures her that, under the circumstances, he understands completely - but she's a young and healthy woman, and she's going to be in expert hands. Patricia checks, "You'll be doing the operation?" Ross replies that of course he will - so why don't they book her in tomorrow, he'll operate the next day and she'll be out before she's had time to worry about it. Patricia asks what they'll do if there isn't a bed available tomorrow. Ross, though, says he's sure they'll find one for him. Patricia smiles and tells him that he's the doctor - they'd better do it his way. Ross smiles back and says, "Good!"

At the country house, Andy and Barbara are busy running around, trying to get chooks back in the chicken shed, when Patricia and Ross pull up in Ross's car. Ross comments that it seems Patricia has visitors. Looking annoyed, Patricia agrees, "Yes..." Andy and Barbara keep chasing, but Andy exhaustedly remarks that they'll be there all day. Barbara snaps at him that they wouldn't be if he hadn't left the gate open, so he can jolly well stick to it until the chooks are all back in there. In the car, Patricia tells Ross that Barbara can't stop giving orders even in the farmyard. Ross muses that it sounds as though Patricia has a neighbour she isn't very fond of. Patricia retorts that Barbara isn't a neighbour, thank God - she's one of those people who, despite all her money, still manages to look like a frump! Staring at Barbara intently, Ross asks where she fits into the scheme of things, then. Patricia tells him that she doesn't - and apparently, her husband has just decided that she doesn't fit into his scheme of things, either. She sourly adds that she hopes Barbara isn't planning on staying there. Changing the subject, she asks Ross if he'd like to come in for coffee. Ross declines, though, saying he'd better get back to the hospital and make arrangements for her operation. Patricia tells him that she'll see him tomorrow and she gets out of the car and starts hobbling back to the house. Ross watches her go. He then turns back to watch Barbara and Andy. After a few seconds, he opens the car door and gets out.

Inside, in the kitchen, Irene is preparing some salad when Patricia comes in. She snaps at Irene that she seems to be making herself at home. Irene retorts that she's just trying to make herself useful. Patricia growls, "I bet." Irene then goes on, "David told me you said I loved him." She adds that he doesn't believe her, and she didn't say anything, but if Patricia is wise, she'll keep her mouth shut from now on... At that moment, David calls to Irene from outside that, if she's got a moment, he'll show her where he's going to grow the veggies. He comes into the kitchen and looks surprised to find Patricia there. He asks her how it went and she explains that she has to have an operation; she's going into hospital tomorrow. David says he supposes it's the best thing - she can get it over and done with. Patricia tells him that that's what Ross said. She then announces that she thinks she'll go and have a lie down. David tells her that he'll bring her in a cup of tea, and she thanks him. As she goes to leave the room, David calls after her that he almost forgot: Irene brought her this. He hands her the bottle, and Irene explains that it's a herbal relaxant to calm you down when you're under pressure; she finds it very good. Patricia just comments that, the way she feels at the moment, anything is worth a try. She thanks Irene and walks off to her bedroom. When she's gone, Irene remarks to David that she does seem nervy, and she asks if it's just due to the operation. David explains that he supposes she's thinking about what happened to Margaret.

Outside, Ross hands Andy a chook and says, "There we go. Lucky last!" Andy thanks him and takes the animal into the coop. Barbara tells Ross that it was very kind of him to help. Ross assures her that it was his pleasure. Barbara smiles and says she's sure her doctor wouldn't help round up chickens! Ross laughs that he doesn't know what he's missed! Barbara tells him that she won't take up any more of his time - she's sure he's a very busy man. Ross, though, assures her that he always finds time to help a lady in distress! He then adds that maybe they'll meet again. Barbara replies that, maybe they will, but she doubts it. Ross, though, a twinkle in his eye, tells her that it's a small world - you never know... He starts walking back to his car.

Alan pulls up his car in the middle of a field and he and Amanda climb out. There are light aircraft on the grass behind them, and Amanda asks what they're doing there. Alan explains that it's an airfield. Amanda laughs that she knows that, but what has he got in mind?: lunch in Brisbane or a joyride? Alan replies that it's neither - he's going to strap on a parachute and do a jump for her. Looking surprised, Amanda asks, "Why?" Alan tells her that he wants to. Looking at the expression on her face, he then asks, "What's wrong?" Amanda, clearly thinking about Todd, replies, "Nothing..." Alan says he'll go and find the pilot and see when they can take off. He walks off. Amanda looks up at the sky.

At the Fisher house, Jill is sitting at the table in the lounge room, several files in front of her. Karen suddenly comes in and growls that it's certainly not her day. Jill says, "No luck?" Karen ignores this, though, instead asking where Alan is. Jill tells her that he's probably jumping out of a 'plane at the moment. Looking surprised, Karen snaps, "Sorry?" Jill goes on that she honestly thought he was interested in hearing about Todd: he asked a million questions - more fool her. Karen, looking annoyed, snaps at her to just tell her where Alan is, as she needs him to sign over some money before 2pm. Jill explains that he's out at Chapman's Airfield - he's gone parachuting with Amanda. Karen comments that he wants her to think he's Todd, does he? Jill replies that she doesn't think he's interested in Amanda at all - he just wants to get back at Mitch and is using her to do it. Karen stares at her and tells her that, if she's worked out what sort of person he is, she should for God's sake stop wasting her time on him. She then adds that she'll see her when she gets back, and she heads out. Jill sighs.

A light 'plane comes to a halt on the runway at the airfield and Alan walks over to it, wearing a jump-suit, a helmet and a parachute. He turns and waves to Amanda and then climbs into the craft. All-of-a-sudden, though, he climbs out again as he spots Karen running towards him and yelling at him to wait. She runs up to him and tells him that things have changed: she needs a cheque. Alan, though, snidely retorts that he's sorry, but it's time to go. Karen snaps that she can't wait - she's due at the bank; she'll do what he wants, but she needs a cheque for $10,000 now. Alan tells her that they'll talk when he gets down. Karen snaps, "Now!" Alan ignores this, though, instead telling her that he's glad she's there, as he wouldn't like her to miss the show. He climbs back into the 'plane

A short time later, the aircraft is up in the air and Karen and Amanda are watching as it flies along. Alan suddenly appears, falling through the sky, and Amanda exclaims that he's jumped! After a moment, she cries that he's too low - he'll never make it. Karen yells at him to pull the cord. To the relief of both her and Amanda, he does so. The 'chute opens and Alan starts falling to earth more slowly.

Alan lands a short distance away and Karen and Amanda run over to him. Karen tells him that he scared the life out of her. Alan, though, asks her what she was worried about: the money or him? Karen glares at him and then suddenly runs off. Amanda tells Alan that he really took a risk. Alan replies that he's sorry, but that's him - you've got to be a bit mad or life gets too boring. Amanda muses distantly that she knew someone else like that. Changing the subject, Alan announces that all that fresh air has given him an appetite, so how about some lunch? Amanda smiles and says it sounds good to her.

Mitch is with Fiona in the kitchen of her flat, listening as she tells him that she just couldn't believe it when Terry wrote to say he could be coming out and then the parole board rang to make sure he had somewhere to go if he was released. Mitch asks when the board is meeting, and Fiona tells him that it's tomorrow afternoon. She then goes on that she's just praying that they do give Terry his parole; of course, she's not counting her chickens yet. Mitch tells her that Terry wrote to him about it, too, actually. He continues that he knows he's not Fiona favourite bloke right now, but he was wondering if there's a chance of getting a room there at the boarding house; Terry and he were pretty good mates, and Terry will be looking for a friend or two when he gets out. Looking surprised, Fiona asks him if he doesn't like it where he is now. Mitch replies that it's pretty crummy - he has to share a bathroom and everything. Fiona, looking wary, says she'll think about it. She adds that it's not that she doesn't like him, but she just hates the way he keeps losing his temper and doing stupid things all the time. Mitch warns her that that's what Terry will be like if he's not there for the first few weeks; it's hard to adjust to being back outside; he's only trying to help him. Fiona gives in and says, "OK..." She goes on that the bedsit opposite is free; he can move in if he likes, but only if he promises that he'll keep out of trouble. Mitch assures her that he promises, and he thanks her. He then says he'd better go and tell Amanda what's happening. He stands up to go. As he does so, Fiona quickly says she knows he's very fond of Amanda, but doesn't he think he should leave her alone for a while? Mitch, though, assures her that he's not going to get heavy with the girl; the fact is that she doesn't want to see him for a while - but he reckons she'd at least want to know where he's staying. He goes, leaving Fiona looking worried.

David, Irene, Barbara and Andy are standing outside the back door at the country house, and David thanks his guests for everything. Irene asks him to say 'goodbye' to Patricia for them. Andy tells him to sing out if he finds he needs a hand sometime. Barbara chips in that he's just not to let Andy get near any chickens! Everyone laughs! David then turns to Irene and tells her that he'll be in touch. Irene tells him that she'll call in again before they go, and David says she'd better! The guests leave.

Inside, in the lounge room, Patricia is standing looking at a photo of Margaret, which is stored inside a leather wallet. As she hears David coming back into the house, she quickly puts the wallet in her handbag, sits down on the couch and starts reading the newspaper. David comes in and immediately tells her that she doesn't have to put an act on for him. Patricia 'innocently' asks, "About what?" David tells her that he knows how she thinks: she's scared that what happened to Margaret might happen to her. Patricia gives in and reluctantly admits that she knows it's silly, but she just can't help it. David points out that Margaret's operation was different - and besides, she has a good doctor. He goes on that a knee operation is nothing; two days from now, she'll be throwing things at him if he reminds her how scared she was! Patricia tells him that it's not just the hospital - it's the murder charge... those men coming after her... She adds that, God, if Ross hadn't picked her up in his car-- David interrupts and points out that he did, didn't he?; he got her out of trouble that time and he'll make sure everything goes right for her this time. He tells her, "Let's face it: you're a survivor."

Alan pulls his car up outside the apartment block where Amanda lives and he and Amanda get out. Mitch pulls up his car in the road next to the block and goes to get out. As he opens the door, though, he suddenly notices Amanda with Alan and a look of fury crosses his face. Amanda and Alan head inside the apartment block and Mitch pulls his car door shut again. He then picks up a bunch of flowers that is resting on the passenger seat of his car and starts bashing them on the seat so that they end up in tatters. Satisfied at having taken out his anger on them, he starts the car engine and roars off.

That evening, at the Fisher house, Jill is pouring drinks for her and Karen, while Karen is saying that she felt sure Alan was going to kill himself; at that moment, she forgot everything except that he was her son. Jill asks her if she told him that. Karen retorts that he wouldn't have believed it; she's not even sure he's worth telling it to. Jill suggests that maybe it's just what he needs to hear, but Karen tells her, "No." She goes on that what Alan wants is to see her grovel; that's all he wants; he never had any intention of loaning her the money and she's sick of begging for it; when he comes home, he's going to get his marching orders; the brat deserves a kick in the backside.

There's a knock on the front door of Ross's apartment, and Ross hums cheerfully as he goes to answer it. He opens it to find a man standing there. It's the man who tried to shoot Patricia a couple of days earlier. He tells Ross threateningly that Mr. Carlyle wants a progress report. Ross retorts that everything is going fine. The man warns Ross that if he wants Mr. Carlyle to pick up the tab on his gambling debts, he'd better keep him informed. Ross assures him that it's all going as arranged. The man, though, threatens Ross that he doesn't seem to understand: Mr. Carlyle wants to know exactly what he has arranged and how soon he's going to do it. Ross sighs and then tells the man that Mrs. Morrell will be going into hospital tomorrow and the next day she'll have an operation. The man says, "And?" Ross replies, "She'll die on the operating table." The man smiles nastily and tells Ross that that's good. He then adds that he's glad Ross isn't his doctor. Ross ignores this and growls that if there's nothing else, he's busy. The man tells him, "Sure. But no slip-ups, right?" Ross assures him that there won't be. He lets the man out, but when he closes the door again, he looks worried.

The next morning, Patricia is in a room at the hospital, and a nurse is putting some of her clothes into the wardrobe in there. As she does so, she tells Patricia that there's no need to be nervous - it's not a big operation. Patricia explains that she's just not very fond of hospitals. The nurse tells her that she's had strict orders from Dr. Newman to take extra special care of her, so first she'll get her a nice cup of tea. Patricia thanks her. As she goes to leave the room, the nurse tells her that she needn't worry - Dr. Newman is one of the best there is; she couldn't be in safer hands. She goes. Patricia takes out the photograph of Margaret and stares at it, looking worried.


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