The next morning, in the corridor at the hospital in Melbourne,
a nurse tells David that she's sorry, but Mrs. Palmer can't be
disturbed. David asks angrily if that goes for all visitors or
just him. The nurse retorts that Beryl is too upset to
see anyone - she didn't sleep well last night. David
snaps that that makes two of them. In her room, Beryl listens
as David tells the nurse that he wants a couple of minutes to
talk to her. A plain clothes policewoman joins them and tells
David that she knows how worried he must be about his baby, but
they're keeping an eye on things and they'll 'phone him as soon
as they have any news. The nurse suggests to him that he go home
and try and get some rest, but David asks her tetchily if she
could rest if it was was her kid missing. The policewoman
tells him that there's nothing more he can do to help them - honestly.
Beryl suddenly emerges from her room and tells the nurse that
it's alright - David can come in. The nurse starts to protest
that she doesn't think Beryl should have any visitors, but Beryl
interrupts her and assures her that she'll manage. She walks back
into her room and David follows her. As Beryl gets back into bed,
he comments that the nurse out there is a bit of a toughie. He
sits down on the seat next to the bed and then goes on that he
guesses he's the last person she wants to see; he shouldn't have
called the police without telling her. Beryl murmurs that she
doesn't feel up to discussing it. David cries that Robert is his
kid, too; he called them because he thought it was their only
hope of getting him back. Beryl points out, "We didn't,
though, did we?" David insists, "We will."
In her apartment, Gloria sits down with Robert and goes to feed
him a bottle of milk. She's interrupted by the 'phone starting
to ring, and she goes and answers it. Ross comes on and tells
her that it's him. Gloria just mutters, "Oh." Ross snaps
at her that she could try to sound a bit more pleased about it
- he's got some news. Gloria asks if it can wait, as she's busy,
but Ross retorts that, no, it can't - he's been up all night trying
to work out ideas for getting money out of Beryl Palmer. Gloria
retorts that she thought he'd have brains enough to quit while
he's ahead - the hospital must be crawling with cops by now. Ross
replies that it is, and he's still being watched, but
he's managed to catch up on the latest news. Gloria asks, "What?"
Ross explains that Beryl didn't call the police, David
did - he must have gone behind her back; they had a big row about
it last night. Gloria points out that it doesn't make any difference
now - they can't contact Beryl without the police finding
out. Ross, though, says he thinks they can -
and as long as Beryl keeps her mouth shut, he thinks they're set.
Gloria asks, "Suppose she doesn't? What do we do with the
baby?" Ross tells her that it won't come to that - if they
just hold out for a little bit longer, that baby will be out of
their hair by this afternoon. Gloria warns him that if anything
goes wrong, she won't let Ross hurt Robert, but Ross
tells her to relax - the kid will be alright. He suggests they
go over what she's got to do, but Gloria retorts that she can't
do it now - she's feeding the baby. Ross growls, "Let him
wait," but Gloria insists that he's hungry. Ross asks her
tautly if she doesn't think she's taking this mother bit just
a little too far, but Gloria snaps, "No, I don't think so.
He is your meal ticket, after all," and she hangs up. Ross
does likewise, looking annoyed. In her apartment, Gloria goes
and sits back down with Robert and fusses, "Nasty man made
you wait for your breakfast."
Barbara and Gordon head out through the front door at Toorak.
As they stand in the driveway, Barbara looks in her handbag and
says she thinks she's left the house keys upstairs; she'll just
go and check. Gordon, though, tells her that she doesn't need
them - Andy and Amanda are inside; they'll let them in when they
get back. He then looks at his watch and tells her to come on,
as they're running late. Barbara cries, "What if we don't
get back? I mean, what if he wants to lock me away somewhere,
this doctor? I don't think going to the clinic's a very good idea--"
Gordon interrupts her and tells her to calm down; nobody is going
to lock her up. He goes on that she's come through withdrawal
fine so far and he'll see her through the rest. Barbara cries
that she's scared... Gordon tells her not to be; he'll
be with her.
In Beryl's hospital room, David is ranting that he's surprised
the police haven't put someone in the room with her; he thought
they wanted to listen in to any calls. Beryl retorts that there
are two of them on the switchboard and there's a plain clothes
woman in the corridor; he's not to worry - if the kidnappers
try again, the police will know. David says to her that she's
still mad at him for getting in touch with them, isn't she? Beryl
just replies that it's all over and done with now; she just hopes
that the woman who has her baby wants the money bad enough to
try again. David insists that she will - and when she does, the
police will get her and anyone else involved. Beryl murmurs
that she wishes she could be so sure. She adds that, if they'd
done what the kidnappers asked in the first place, she'd
be holding Robert right now. David stands up and snaps
at her that she doesn't seem to understand that these people can't
be trusted to keep their word. Beryl, though, retorts
that they didn't keep theirs, so what does he
expect? David retorts that they had no choice. There's suddenly
a knock on the door and the nurse comes in and asks if everything
is alright. Beryl replies, "Yes, thankyou." The nurse
is carrying a box of chocolates, and she tells Beryl that they
were left at reception. Beryl asks if she knows who they're from,
and the nurse replies that the card says 'Katie'. Beryl comments
that that's nice of her. The nurse tells her that the policewoman
outside had a little peek, just to make sure they were chocolates.
Beryl opens them and offers one to the nurse, but she declines
and goes. Beryl then offers David one and he accepts. He walks
over to the bed and picks up the envelope containing the card
that came with the chocolates. He opens it as Beryl eases herself
into a sitting position and says she'll try and find the ones
he likes. David muses that she knows his weaknesses! As he reads
the card that came with the chocolates, Beryl lifts up the top
layer of chocolates - to reveal a typed message on a piece of
paper lying on the bottom of the box:
'IF YOU WISH TO SEE YOUR BABY AGAIN THEN FOLLOW THE ENCLOSED
INSTRUCTIONS VERY CAREFULLY. NO POLICE.'
Beryl stares at the note in shock and then quickly replaces the
chocolates. David reads the card and comments, "Nice."
He then asks Beryl if there are any chocolates there that he likes.
Beryl tells him that there aren't, and she hands him one that
she thinks he'll like. He thanks her. He then asks her
if she's not having one. She just replies distantly,
"In a little while." Noticing that she's suddenly appearing
to be slightly agitated, David asks her if she's OK, and she replies
that she's fine - she just wishes she'd asked the nurse to get
her some magazines. David says he'll go and get them, and Beryl
thanks him, explaining that they help keep his mind off things.
He goes. Beryl immediately lifts out the top layer of chocolates
again and pulls out the piece of paper at the bottom.
Barbara is sitting in the passenger seat of her car, her eyes
closed. Gordon opens her door and says to her, "Hey! Wake
up! We're home!" Barbara comes-to and explains that she was
just thinking about what the doctor said. Gordon comments that
it wasn't as bad as she expected, was it? Barbara agrees that
he was very sympathetic. She adds that she just hopes she doesn't
have to go back there, that's all. Gordon assures her
that she won't - not if she's a good girl and takes progressively
smaller doses. Barbara retorts that she doesn't like
that idea - she'd rather not take any. Gordon points
out that she's got to give her body time to adjust. Barbara muses
sadly, "Whenever I think of how I got hooked in the first
place...; even now, when I take just one..." Gordon
assures her that it won't happen again. He then suggests they
go and tell Amanda and Andy the good news, and he helps Barbara
out of the car. As they walk up to the house, Barbara says she
bets Andy and Amanda will be pleased; she doesn't think babysitting
her has been their scene, even though they were very good at it;
she's sure they're dying to get back to Sydney. Gordon tells her
that she's in for a change of scenery herself. Barbara
looks at him, and he goes on, "Nothing strenuous. Just a
quiet drive in the Dandenongs... lunch at a cosy restaurant. How
does that sound?" Barbara replies, "Really nice."
They head inside.
Beryl is reading the instructions from the kidnappers when David
bursts back into the room, and she quickly hides the piece of
paper under the bed covers. He hands her a couple of magazines
and sits down next to her again. Beryl starts flicking through
one of the magazines and then says casually that she's been thinking:
is the ransom money still available at the bank? - they may have
to get it out in a hurry if the kidnappers do 'phone.
David replies that it's there, but they won't have to
use it - the police will give them the dummy notes again. Beryl
murmurs, "Of course. I'd forgotten." David tells her
to just relax. He starts yawning, and Beryl comments that he must
be worn out, if he didn't get much sleep last night. David remarks
that he doesn't suppose she's too bright, either. Beryl
suggests to him that he go home and get some rest, as it's pointless
them both sitting by the 'phone. David, though, retorts
that he thought they'd been through all that: he'd rather
be there with her. Beryl tells him that it just seems
so silly - he's practically dead on his feet and the police will
let him know-- David interrupts her and says curtly, "I'm
not going home, Beryl. We're in this together." Beryl looks
Alan hobbles into the hallway at Dural, from the flat, wearing
his dressing gown. Leigh comes out of the lounge room and comments
that he sure can sleep; she was just coming to wake
him. Alan tells her that he didn't feel like doing much this morning;
he's been reading in bed. Leigh asks him if he doesn't feel well,
but Alan retorts that he's alright; he's just embarrassed about
last night, that's all - he's sorry things didn't work out. Leigh
assures him that it wasn't his fault, but Alan demands,
"Whose, then? Yours?" Leigh replies that she
thinks it must have been: if she knew more about what
to do... Alan snaps at her to come off it: she did what
she had to; it was him. Leigh tells him that
there's no need to get upset about it - she's sure it will be
better for them next time. Alan stares at her incredulously
and snaps, "You're not seriously suggesting we try again?"
Leigh, looking surprised, asks why not - she thought they liked
each other. Alan tells her that he does like her, but
things shouldn't have gone as far as they did - it wasn't
fair on Jill. He adds, "God, if it had happened
with Jill, I couldn't have looked her in the face again."
Leigh tells him that he doesn't have to be embarrassed with her;
she can help him. Alan, though, snaps at her to just
drop it. There's suddenly a knock at the door, and Leigh goes
and answers it. Jill is standing on the step and she says a cheery,
"Hi!" She then notices Alan standing in the hallway
and, looking relieved, exclaims, "There you are!"
She walks in and tells him that she came as soon as she could.
She asks what was wrong last night, but Alan shrugs and says it
was nothing - he just had a lot on his mind. He adds that, still,
it's always great to see her. They kiss. Leigh interjects
that she heard about Robin, and she asks Jill if she went to the
funeral. Jill replies, "Yes, this morning." Leigh comments
that it must have been very upsetting for her, and Jill agrees
that it was; she's getting over it, though. Alan suggests
that they go out to the flat, as it's time they had a talk. Jill
smiles, "Lead the way," and they walk off, leaving Leigh
standing there, a sly look on her face.
As Jill and Alan enter the flat, Jill comments to Alan that something's
getting him down, isn't it? Alan agrees that she could
say that. He invites her to sit down and he then tells her that
there are a few things they've got to get straight about their
relationship. Jill points out that they've already discussed
it; she knows he doesn't want to make things permanent, but she
can wait. Alan suddenly asks, "Why this attraction to lame
dogs, Jill? First Robin, then me. Now, considering the way I've
treated you in the past, I just can't work that out." Jill
stares at him in surprise and asks what's got into him. She adds
that maybe things weren't so hot between them before,
but they're OK now. Alan snaps, "Are they?"
He goes on, "Look, I'm a cripple, Jill. Don't pretend you
haven't noticed, 'cos I know that's why you're still here. You
feel sorry for me, don't you?" Jill cries,
"No," but Alan goes on, "Oh, you must.
Look, I can't offer you a real relationship, so why else would
you be hanging around?" Jill stands up and cries, "Because
I love you - and it's certainly not out of pity. You've
got as much to look forward to in life as anyone else. I was in
love with you before you were hurt and I still am." Alan
looks down at the ground. Jill tells him, "I think you love
with me, too. I just wish you'd admit it." Alan
stares at her and comments that she means all that, doesn't she?
Jill replies that of course she does - and what's more,
she's proud of him: three months ago, no one ever thought he'd
get out of that wheelchair - but he's shown a lot of courage;
instead of getting depressed, why doesn't he give himself a pat
on the back? She tells him gently, "Don't be scared of needing
me a little, Alan." Alan insists that he's not.
He then goes on that she's right: he's got to keep fighting; the
doctors said he wouldn't improve any more, but he'll show them.
Jill tells him to take him slowly, as the doctors warned him not
to overdo it. Alan, though, retorts that they're always too cautious;
with the right physio, he can become 100% fit again. He goes on,
"I do love you Jill - and I want things to be perfect
for us." Jill smiles at him and assures him that she's not
expecting a miracle cure, but Alan tells her that things have
to be perfect; nothing less. Jill nods, looking slightly worried.
Leigh is vacuuming the lounge room in the main house when Jill
wanders in. She turns off the vacuum and comments to Jill that
she looks a bit down. She asks if anything is wrong, but Jill
sighs that she doesn't know: Alan is acting very strangely. She
asks Leigh if she knows what's bugging him, but Leigh very quickly
says, "No." Jill pushes, "You do, don't
you?" She then pleads, "Leigh, if you do, please tell
me. He's got some bee in his bonnet about getting off crutches.
If he tries too hard, he could end up worse than he is
now." Leigh tells her that it's not the crutches
he's worried about. Jill persists, "Please,
Leigh, I need to know." Leigh, putting on a serious expression,
replies, "Well maybe you should. You might say something
wrong. I just wished he'd told you himself." Jill, looking
frustrated, asks, "Tell me what?" Leigh pauses
and then says slowly, "Last night, he tried to make love
to me - but couldn't." Jill looks at her in shock as she
goes on, "The way he was talking afterwards, he didn't ever
want to try it again. Not with anyone."
A while later, back at the boarding house, Jill growls that,
at first, she wanted to scratch Leigh's eyes out for encouraging
him; then when she saw how upset Leigh was, she knew it couldn't
all have been her idea. Cheri sympathises that she probably
didn't want to hurt Alan's feelings by knocking him back. She
adds that she's amazed at how well Jill is taking this; if a boyfriend
of hers went off with another girl, she'd be really hurt.
Jill insists that she is hurt: it's just that she knows
what he used to be like - he used to think he was Casanova's brother
- and she's sure he was only using Leigh to prove to himself that
he's still attractive to other women. Cheri comments that at least
Jill knows now why he was so anxious to improve his physical condition.
Jill giggles! Cheri tells her that she'll have to make Alan take
it easy; he's got nothing to gain by rushing into things. Jill
says she'll try, but Cheri doesn't know how pigheaded Alan can
be - she doesn't think he'll settle for anything less than an
overnight cure - especially after what happened with Leigh...
Alan, still wearing his dressing down, hobbles across to the
table in the flat at Dural and says to himself, "Right. Lesson
Number One: how to stand." He puts one of his crutches in
front of him and goes to let go, but quickly realises that he's
going to lose his balance by doing that, and he quickly grabs
onto the crutch again. He then hobbles over to the wall and says,
"OK, legs. Let's try it over here." He leans against
the wall and takes his hand out of the strap on his right crutch.
He then removes his hand from the left crutch and stands there,
just leaning on the top of them, panting heavily from the effort.
He murmurs, "OK - now we're getting somewhere."
David is pacing the floor in Beryl's hospital room. Beryl suggests
to him that he go to the cafeteria and get a sandwich, but David
declines, saying he couldn't force it down. Beryl asks
him if he'd mind staying still while she tries to eat hers, then,
as he's giving her indigestion. David says he's sorry. He then
looks at his watch and comments that they should have heard
by now. Looking impatient, Beryl snaps at him, "For heaven's
sake, David. You're giving me the creeps. Go and get some fresh
air, or something." She goes on, "If the kidnappers
do call, there's nothing you can do - the police are
handling everything." She then asks him if there
isn't something he can do in town, and David admits,
"Reapply for my truck licence, yeah. Guess I could do that."
Beryl tells him curtly that it makes more sense than hanging around
there. David asks about the nurse outside, adding that
she's worse than a watchdog; she might not let him back
in. Beryl snaps at him not to be ridiculous - she'll tell her
that it's OK. David asks her if she's sure she doesn't mind being
on her own for a bit, and Beryl retorts, "Positive."
David says he should be back in an hour, and he goes. As soon
as the door shuts behind him, Beryl, looking relieved, climbs
out of bed and goes to the wardrobe. She takes out a dress.
Gloria lets a blonde teenage girl into her apartment, and the
girl tells her that she was rapt when her mum told her that she
needed a babysitter - she spent all her money on the pinnies.
Gloria tells the girl - calling her Trudie - that Robert is very
young and she's got to be very careful with him. Trudie goes and
picks him up and asks if he cries much. Gloria replies that he
doesn't very often, but there's a bottle all made up and some
fresh nappies in the linen cupboard. She adds that she won't be
gone long - just a couple of hours. Trudie comments that Robert
is so tiny, and she adds that she didn't know Gloria had a baby.
Gloria retorts that he's her sister's - she's sick and she's looking
after him. She goes on that she'll be sorry when she has to give
him up. She quickly adds, "I mean, when my sister's well
enough to have him back." Trudie comments that they're so
cute when they're little, and she asks Gloria if she ever wishes
she had one of her own. Gloria replies that she did
- once. Trudie asks what happened, and Gloria tells her that he
died when he was a few months old. Trudie says she's sorry. Gloria
muses that it was a long time ago - but still, minding Robert
is almost like having him back again...
Beryl leaves her hospital room - wearing her dressing gown -
and tells the female plain clothes officer in the corridor that
she's just going to freshen up. The officer accepts this and tells
Beryl that she'll have her paged if anyone calls. She sits down
and Beryl wanders off down the corridor.
A while later, a nurse is telling the policewoman that one of
the other nurses found Beryl's dressing gown in the cleaner's
room. David approaches them as the officer asks, "Didn't
she leave a note or anything?" The nurse retorts
that they couldn't find one. David asks what's happened.
The nurse replies, "Mr Palmer. I'm afraid your wife's gone."
David stares at her incredulously and asks her what she's talking
about; doesn't she know where she is? The officer explains that
she walked out an hour ago, just saying she was going to freshen-up,
but now it looks as if she'd heard from the kidnappers. David
asks why no one followed her, but the officer retorts that she
had her dressing gown on; she didn't think she was going
out of the hospital; the first they heard she had was
when the bank told them she'd just withdrawn the ransom money.
She adds, "Where she went with it is anybody's guess."
David stands there, looking worried.
Beryl opens a set of double doors and walks into a church. She's
carrying a brown paper bag. She starts walking slowly down the
aisle and then goes and sits down in one of the pews to her left,
placing the bag of money next to her. She puts her hands together
and prays quietly, "Please, God, give my baby back to me."
She then picks up the bag and puts it down underneath the pew.
She stands up, looks around and walks out slowly, passing one
or two other people as she does so. Gloria is sitting at the front
of the church, her hair wrapped in a scarf. She looks round, watching
Beryl as she goes. She looks worried.
On the 'phone in his apartment, Ross asks, "Did you get
it?" Gloria assures him, "No probs." Ross sighs,
"Thank God. I've been on tenterhooks all afternoon."
Gloria points out that it isn't quite over yet; what about the
baby? Ross reminds her that she knows what to do. He goes on that
Beryl has been told to get to the football ground by four o'clock;
if Gloria has the baby there by 3:30pm, she'll have plenty of
time to get away. Gloria retorts that she can't leave him alone
for half an hour, and she asks Ross if he can't think of something
better. Ross snaps that it's too late - Robert will be perfectly
safe until his mother gets there. Gloria cries that anything
could happen, but Ross insists that it won't. He then tells her
to stay put for a while, as he's coming over and they'll split
the money. Gloria comments that she thought he said the police
were watching him, but Ross explains that there's a fire escape
that takes him around the back; they'll never even know he's left
the apartment. Gloria tells him that she can't risk him being
seen. She then pauses before going on that she'll leave his share
in a safety deposit box and mail him the key. Ross snaps that
it'll take too long - he needs the money to get out of the country
this afternoon. He adds that he'll be there in twenty minutes
and he hangs up. Gloria cries, "No, Ross..." but it's
too late. She turns to look at Robert, and then picks up a bundle
of the ransom money. She stuffs it back in the brown paper bag,
together with several other bundles, and then takes down a suitcase
from the top of a wardrobe.
In the lounge room at Dural, Leigh listens as Alan talks on the
'phone on the bar, complaining that the exercises he was given
are too easy; he's already had to work out some of his own. A
woman - his physiotherapist - on the other end asks, "Such
as?" Alan replies, "Practising how to stand, that sort
of thing." The physiotherapist warns him that standing unaided
puts direct pressure on the lumbar spine; he might improve his
balance for a while, but he'll weaken his damaged vertebrae. Alan
insists that he knows he's getting better - he can feel
it. The physiotherapist retorts that she'll be the first to admit
it: she's amazed at the porgies he's made - but he shouldn't push
it; he should be satisfied with what he's managed to achieve.
Alan snaps that he'd hardly be ringing her if he was satisfied.
The physiotherapist tells him, "You were an active man before
your accident and it's hard for you to get used to the idea of
being on crutches, but you need to give yourself more time."
Alan snaps that the only thing he needs is a better physiotherapist,
and he slams the 'phone down. He then mutters to Leigh that he
always suspected that woman was an idiot; now, he's sure
of it. Leigh walks over to him and asks him if he wants her to
look up some other physios, but Alan bitterly asks what
the use would be, as they'd all say the same thing - just like
they all said he'd never get out of a wheelchair. He goes on that
he can do his own exercises. Leigh comments that you'd
think doctors would encourage their patients, but Alan
retorts that all they care about is their nice fat fee;
well, he'll show them. Leigh tells him that she'd like to help
if she can. Alan replies, "Thanks, but..." Leigh insists,
"Please..." Alan gives in and says, "Well, as long
as you don't get the wrong idea. What happened last night just
made me realise how much I care about Jill. Now, I like you, Leigh,
but that's as far as it can go." Leigh glares at him and
says she thought he didn't want Jill's kind of love;
it's pity, more than anything. Alan muses that maybe
some of it is, but Jill cared about him long before this
happened; he just used to be so busy chasing anything in a skirt
that he didn't have much time for her, but not any longer - he
knows how much she means to him now, and for her sake,
he has to get better.
A sheet of green writing paper is lying folded on the counter
in Gloria's apartment. It has 'Ross' written on it. There's a
knock on the door, but no one comes to answer it. After a couple
of seconds, the door opens and Ross walks in. Looking worried,
he glances around, looking for Gloria, and he loosens his tie.
He suddenly spots the note and sits down to read it:
'Ross, By the time you get this, I'll be gone. You'll never
find me or the baby. When it came to the point of actually having
to give him back, I couldn't go through with it. I've taken all
the money, too; I'll need it to make sure he has the best of everything
in his new life. You won't understand this, but having a baby
around has given me something to live for. You didn't deserve
all that money anyway - I decided that when I realised you were
quite prepared to dispose of Robert if Beryl Palmer didn't pay
up. Got to go, Gloria.'
Ross sits there, looking shocked. He folds up the piece of paper
and screws it slowly into a ball.
Beryl is at the football ground, sitting on a bench in one of
the stands, holding the kidnappers' instructions. She looks at
her watch: it's 5:10pm. She stares back out at the centre of the
football ground, waiting and hoping...