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    Written by: Greg Haddrick   Produced by: Posie Jacobs   Directed by: Julian McSwiney

As Wayne storms off, Katie runs after him. He eventually stops and cries that he couldn't help it. Katie asks him if he's read the letter, and he nods. Katie goes on, "Mitch is alive, isn't he? Charlie told me." Wayne murmurs, "She knew, too? Seems I was the only mug who didn't." He continues, "You've got no idea what it was like, thinking I'd killed him. I could never forgive her. How could she do it?" Katie tells him gently that she knows how he feels - Ross used her. Wayne comments that they haven't done too well for themselves, have they. As Karen stands up and starts staggering towards them, still holding her neck, Wayne takes Katie's hand and starts leading her back to the house, adding as he does so, "I hate her, Katie."

Inside, Gordon is on the 'phone at the bar, and he asks the person on the other end, "Did Wayne talk to you?" Barbara chips in that he was supposed to be there this morning, but Gordon waves his hand at her to be quiet. Karen suddenly walks in, still holding her neck, and Barbara asks in shock, "Karen, what happened to you? What's wrong? You look dreadful." Karen gasps, "I'm fine." On the 'phone, Gordon says, "Thankyou, Dorothy. Bye." He hangs up and asks Karen if she's alright. Karen gasps, "That was Dorothy?" Gordon replies that, yes, it was - she's pulling her money out; she's given them six weeks to find another backer; Wayne didn't talk to her at all, today. Karen cries, "It was her, though?" Gordon tells her that, yes, it was. Karen staggers out into the hallway, looking relieved. Gordon follows her and asks, "Karen?" Karen insists that she'll be fine. Gordon asks what happened, and Karen replies, "Wayne just--" She breaks off before adding, "Oh, it doesn't matter." Gordon asks what Wayne did, but Karen insists that it was her fault. Gordon asks, "What?" but Karen just says she needs to rest; she's fine. She walks off, leaving Gordon looking at Barbara in surprise.

Amanda and Stephen are walking along the corridor to the Morrell apartment, and Amanda comments that she supposes the place brings back old memories. Stephen admits that, yes, it does. Amanda then asks him if he heard about Patricia, and, looking down sadly, Stephen replies that Gordon told him. Amanda opens the apartment door and finds a piece of paper lying on the mat. She laughs that someone's been leaving messages. Stephen asks, "Secret lover?!" but Amanda smiles, "Hardly!" She reads what's written on the paper and then tells Stephen that her mum called this morning; no one answered and she said she'd come back this afternoon. She adds that she wishes her mother would leave an address or something - or at least a 'phone number; she doesn't even know how to get in touch with her. Looking wary, Stephen suddenly suggests that maybe he should go - he really doesn't want to see Caroline. Amanda suggests that it won't hurt, will it? but Stephen points out that they split up a long time ago, and he knows what Caroline thinks of him. Amanda comments that she can't believe they can still be mad at each other. She pleads, "Please stay - I'd like to see my parents together again. Please?" Stephen just looks at her.

Caroline - looking dowdy - wanders into the lounge room of the place she shares with Ron. He's sitting watching television, and she asks him if he's not going back to work today. Ron explains that he's still feeling crook - but it could be a good afternoon... Caroline, realising what he's implying, explains that she'd planned to go out. Ron tells her to cancel it, but Caroline retorts that she can't: she left a note at Amanda's and promised she'd drop in. She adds that he should come along - she knows Amanda would like to see him. Ron tells her, "Forget her. Stay here with me." Caroline insists that she said she'd go. Ron asks if there's something wrong with him, but Caroline assures him that of course there isn't. Ron growls, "Then stay, OK?" Caroline stares at him and then tells him that she doesn't want another argument. Ron points out that she's seen Amanda once, and she knows she's alright, so she should leave it. Amanda cries, "She's my daughter." Ron retorts, "And you're my woman." Caroline assures him, "And I love you. But I loved her, too, and I don't want to lose her, just as I don't want to lose you. Look, I'm not running out on you, Ron - I just want everyone to be happy, that's all." Ron snaps at her that she's dreaming - they're talking about different worlds and she can't have both. He gets up, turns the TV off and storms out. Caroline stands there and sighs heavily.

In the lounge room at Dural, Gordon asks, "Karen knew Mitch was alive the whole time?" Wayne replies, "According to Mitch. I drove down to Berrima and talked to him yesterday. Can't blame me for being mad with her, can you?" Barbara assures him, "Not in the least." Wayne adds, "That's why she was so upset." He then asks, "You didn't feel sorry for her...?" Gordon tells him, "Not now, I don't; as far as I'm concerned--" He breaks off as Karen walks slowly into the room, holding her arms defensively across her chest. She murmurs, "I suppose you've--" Barbara snaps, "Yes. Wayne's just told us. And all I can say is that you're sick." Karen stares at Wayne and asks quietly, "Can we talk?" Wayne stands up and asks bitterly, "What are you going to say? You did it 'cos you love me? Our marriage is over. I don't want you here another minute." Gordon tells Karen that he's sorry, but she'll have to leave. Karen, tears welling in her eyes, asks where she's going to go. Wayne growls, "That's your problem. If you're wondering why you're suddenly so alone, take a look at yourself. There's no one else to blame."

A short time later, Karen is carrying two suitcases to her car, which is parked in one of the garages, next to Wayne's car. She puts the cases down by the car and goes to open the boot, but she then turns and leans against the car and stands there, looking upset. She suddenly notices something and she runs across to where a hosepipe is coiled nearby. She grabs one end of it and drags it back to the car, where she sticks it in the exhaust pipe. Looking around again, she runs over and pulls open one of her suitcases. She starts piling the contents - including the game of Trivial Pursuit that she bought for Alan - onto the ground until she finds what she's looking for: a pair of tights. She pulls them out and runs back over to the car, where she stuffs them into the exhaust so that the only way the fumes it emits can escape is through the hosepipe...

At the country house, Beryl, David, Mike and Heather are sitting at the kitchen table. Mike spreads a pack of cards across the table and starts explaining the rules of the game they're about the play. The back door suddenly opens and Leigh comes in and tells David that she's sorry to interrupt but she has to talk to him for a minute. The 'phone suddenly starts ringing and Beryl gets up to answer it. She listens and then says, "Speaking." David follows Leigh outside. On the 'phone, Beryl says, "Oh, Mr. McAuliffe. Any news of Robert?" Just outside the kitchen door, David tells Leigh, "OK. Shoot." Leigh murmurs that she knows she should have told him this before, but... She stops and David prompts, "Go on: out with it." Leigh continues, "You know the other day, when I rang mum?" David nods. Leigh explains, "Well, she's coming down. She'll be arriving sometime this afternoon. It won't be for long or anything." David, looking annoyed, mutters that he wishes she would have asked them if it was OK. Leigh says she knows, but she was scared he'd ask why; the thing is, her mum's bringing her baby down. David looks at her in shock. Inside, Beryl quietly says to Mr. McAuliffe that she understands, and she hangs up, sadly. Heather walks over to her and sympathetically asks, "Beryl?" Beryl explains that it was the private detective: she thought...; she really got her hopes up. Heather asks if there's no news. Beryl murmurs, "They don't even know where to look." Heather insists, "They'll find her. It might take a while, that's all." Beryl, though, shakes her head and murmurs that it's no good kidding herself; Robert's gone. Outside, David asks Leigh angrily how Beryl is going to feel, having a baby round the place; did she think of that? Leigh suggests that she might like to help look after him; if she started caring for Shane, it might help her forget a bit. David points out that it might not, too. Leigh assures him that if it upsets Beryl, she'll leave and find a place in the city somewhere. David retorts that he couldn't ask Beryl to go - and she couldn't anyway: she's got decorators at her place. Leigh insists that she wasn't after trouble; she just didn't have much choice: her mum said George really put his foot down and wouldn't have the baby in the house another day; she had to take him. David mutters that he wishes she'd given him some warning. Leigh assures him that Shane is a lovely kid, and David mutters that he doesn't doubt it. He then asks her how long Frannie has had Shane, and Leigh replies that it's ever since she first came to Melbourne; her mum was giving her a couple of months to look around and get organised without having to worry about a baby at the same time. She adds that if he doesn't think it'll work... David tells her that they'll see - he'll have a talk to Heather and Mike and see if they can get Beryl away for the afternoon so that she can have a chance to sort something out with her mum. Leigh thanks him. David quickly adds that he's not promising anything, mind - but he wouldn't want her to leave, though. Leigh smiles at him, a look of delight on her face...

Caroline knocks on the door of the Morrell apartment and looks shocked when Stephen answers it. He says a stiff, "Caroline." He then invites her in and explains that Amanda is in the kitchen. Caroline comments that she wasn't quite expecting a family gathering, but Stephen retorts that it was their daughter's idea, not his - he's just staying with her for a couple of days; he's perfectly happy to go out this afternoon. Amanda suddenly walks in from the kitchen, carrying a plate of biscuits, and tells him, "Oh no you don't. We're going to have a pleasant few hours together - aren't we?" Caroline and Stephen look at each other, and Amanda asks if that's too much to ask. She adds that they ought to see themselves, eyeing each other like angry penguins. Caroline looks at her sharply, and Stephen warns her, "You watch it." Amanda ignores him and tells her parents to help themselves to a biscuit while she gets the coffee. She walks off. Stephen says to Caroline, "She just wants us to sit down and have a chat. And I'm sure after seven years we can avoid an argument." Caroline muses, "You'd think so, wouldn't you?" Stephen assures her that it's all in the past, as far as he's concerned. Caroline sits down, looks up at him and smiles, "Me too. All in the past..."

Gordon is standing behind the bar in the lounge room at Dural, tipping a pill into his hand. Barbara wanders in and asks him if he's alright, but he assures her that he's fine; it's been a rough day, that's all. Barbara asks if they aren't his angina tablets that he's taking, but Gordon tells her that it's OK - he's due to have one anyway. Wayne suddenly walks in and announces that he's going out for a while - he'll see them for dinner. Barbara follows him out to the hallway and, by the front door, asks him curtly where he's going. Wayne retorts, "Out. I have to unwind." Barbara warns him not to come home drunk; if he can't think of himself, think of his father - he's not the only one under stress. Wayne sighs, "Alright. I'm just going for a drive. I'll see you in a couple of hours." He heads out, leaving Barbara standing there looking worried.

Wayne heads up towards the garages and cries out, "God," in shock as he suddenly notices Karen's car standing there, the engine running and the hosepipe stuffed into the exhaust. He runs up to the car and looks inside; Karen is sitting in the driver's seat. The other end of the hosepipe is sticking into the passenger-side front window, and the gap at the top of the window has been blocked with further pairs of tights and other underwear. Wayne goes and bends down by the exhaust in order to pull the hosepipe out, but he suddenly pauses and stands up, undecided as to whether or not to help...

A couple of minutes later, Karen is lying on the ground outside the garages. Wayne is trying to waft air over her face, and Karen murmurs, "Oh God," as she comes to. She puts her hand to her temple and cries, "Wayne..." Wayne asks her curtly if she's alright now. Karen murmurs that she doesn't know... Wayne points out curtly, "Trying to kill yourself in full view of a full house of people? Doing your best to be safe, weren't you?" Karen murmurs, "No... truly..." She then asks, "Why did you stop me?" Wayne mutters, "I had to think about it." Karen points out that, if he really hated her, he'd have walked away. Wayne, though, retorts, "And leave Gordy with a body in his garage? Not likely." Karen suggests that he must have felt something, but Wayne snaps, "Nothing. I couldn't care less if you killed yourself; in fact, nothing would make me happier - but get off our property first." He storms off, leaving Karen lying there, looking upset.

Barbara and Gordon are sitting in the lounge room in the house, and Gordon asks what Wayne is doing. Barbara retorts, "'Out', he said." Gordon suggests, "Probably to the nearest pub," but Barbara says she doesn't think so; he's just gone for a drive. Gordon says he hopes his son doesn't do anything silly, but Barbara tells him that she's sure he won't. She then throws down the TV guide, muttering that there's nothing on. Gordon tells her that he's not in the mood for television anyway. Barbara snaps that they've got to do something to take their minds off it. She suggests chess or cards, but Gordon tells her that he couldn't concentrate. Barbara suggests a walk, then, adding that the fresh air will do him good, but Gordon insists that he'd rather just sit there. Barbara crosses her arms and legs in resignation. She then comments that it's been a day full of surprises, and Gordon agrees, "To put it mildly." Barbara asks him if he's coping, and Gordon replies tetchily, "Yes, Barbara, I have taken one tablet and I am perfectly calm." He then adds more calmly, "I don't know, I'm just amazed that Karen..." Barbara says she knows - so is she; she must have been insane, or so possessed that she-- Gordon interrupts and says he wouldn't blame Wayne if he went to the nearest pub. Barbara retorts that he hasn't, she's sure - and Karen has gone, so they don't have to worry about her anymore.

Stephen, Caroline and Amanda are sitting in the Morrell apartment, and Amanda laughs as she recalls that Samantha was the goody-goody and she was always being smacked! Stephen smiles that she was a little terror, that's why! Caroline laughs that she wasn't too bad! Amanda goes on that they had good times, though; well, she did: weekends in the snow... picnics in the park... she used to enjoy it. Looking at Caroline, Stephen replies, "So did we, darling - didn't we?" Caroline puts down her cup of coffee and tells Amanda that she's sorry: she knows she meant well, but it's useless; she'll come back when Amanda is on her own. Stephen stands up and snaps, "That's right, Caroline, don't even bother to make an effort." Caroline mutters, "What's the point? 'Good times'? It was a nightmare living with you." Amanda begs, "Mum, please..." Stephen snaps at Caroline, "Who do you think you are? You leave a note, invite yourself over... if you can't even bear to remember the times our family spent together, I don't know what you're even doing here." Amanda says to her mother, "Look, you don't have to go, do you? We'll talk about something else. Come on... please?" Caroline gives in and Amanda offers her more coffee. Caroline accepts and Amanda goes to the kitchen to get it. Caroline and Stephen sit down and Stephen tells his ex-wife that he's sorry for raising his voice. Caroline muses, "Nice to know some things haven't changed." Stephen raises an eyebrow and smiles, "You haven't. You're still as attractive as ever." Caroline rolls her eyes!

Leigh is carrying baby Shane as she and her mum walk up to the back door at the country house. As they do so, Frannie comments that it's a nice area. David comes out of the back door, holding a black plastic bag, and he comments to Frannie that it's long time, no see. Frannie looks at the bag and says he hasn't been cleaning up for her, has he? David assures her that it had to be done anyway. He then goes on that Leigh was telling him why she had to bring Shane down - he understands how she feels. Looking nervous, Leigh quickly says she doesn't like to spoil the party, but Shane is getting a bit heavy. David says he's sorry, and he tells Frannie to go in and make herself at home. Leigh heads inside, carrying Shane. Frannie looks at David as he walks off, a thoughtful expression on her face. She then heads inside and asks Leigh what she's been saying: David thinks it was her idea to bring Shane down. Leigh reluctantly explains that she told David that George got angry and said he'd leave if Frannie kept the baby any longer. Frannie asks her why she said that. Leigh admits, "I thought... I thought, that way, David would have to let me keep him here. Well it's not like I own the place, mum. A baby's going to mean extra trouble for everyone. If I'd just asked, he might have said 'no'." Frannie comments that it sounds a bit strange to her. Leigh retorts that she wants her baby; what's so strange about that? Frannie points out that she never has before. Leigh tells her that things have changed; she's been thinking about him a lot, lately - wondering if he'd grown, what he looked like; she's been thinking of him as hers, too, not his father's; that made a difference. She adds, "I do love you. You'll help me keep him, won't you?" Frannie looks at her suspiciously.

Stephen and Caroline have left the Morrell apartment and are walking down towards the road. As they do so, Stephen tells Caroline that he's heading to Dural to see Barbara, and he asks her if she's sure he can't give her a lift. Caroline tells him, "No thanks." Stephen asks, "Not even the station?" Caroline insists, "I'm fine, really!" Neither of them notices that they're being watched by Ron - sitting in his car - as they walk along the road. He gets out and stands there angrily as Stephen and Caroline stop walking, and Stephen puts his hand gently on Caroline's shoulder. He tells her that he's glad Amanda made her stay; he hopes they can keep in touch. Caroline retorts that she can't imagine she'd want to. Stephen points out that she knows-- They're interrupted by Ron suddenly running over and yelling, "Caroline!" Caroline looks at him in shock as he goes on that he reckoned there was something funny going on this afternoon; she passed him up this arvo, didn't she? Stephen glares at him and says, "I beg your pardon?" Ron snaps at him to shut up, adding bitterly, "I know who you are." Caroline tries to placate him by explaining that Stephen is staying with Amanda, but Ron ignores her and snaps that she was going to see her daughter, was she? Caroline insists that she didn't know Stephen was going to be there. Ron asks her if she thinks he's dumb, and Caroline cries that he must be if he-- Ron interrupts and snaps that he's not stupid, but Caroline retorts that he should stop acting as though he is. Ron suddenly lashes out and clobbers her round the face. Stephen grabs him in shock and pulls him away. Ron warns Stephen to stay out of it, but Stephen tells him menacingly, "You leave her alone and I will." He glares at Ron, who growls, "Yeah, well she's not worth it anyway." He storms off back to his car. Stephen asks Caroline gently if she's alright, and Caroline nods and replies that she'll get a taxi home. Stephen, looking astonished, says to her that she's not going home, but Caroline insists that she's fine - really. Stephen tells her, "The man's an animal." Caroline, though, snaps, "Leave it. Please. I'll handle it my own way." She looks worried, though.

A while later, back at their house, Ron follows Caroline into the lounge room and asks her what she wants him to do. He adds that he said he's sorry; she knows he didn't mean it. Caroline points out that she always said she'd leave if he hit her. Ron cries that he wasn't thinking, but Caroline growls, "Neither was I - for a long time. Even with Stephen, I just did what I was told. He could always make it seem as though it was my fault; he did it again today." Ron tells her that if Stephen's a problem, she's only got to say the word-- Caroline interrupts and tells him, "Men are the problem. I've been bossed around by everyone I've ever been involved with." Ron asks her when he's bossed her, and Caroline points out he tried to keep her away from seeing Amanda. Ron looks down, guiltily. Caroline tells him, "I can't take it any more, Ron." Ron snaps that he won't let her go, but Caroline smiles nastily and asks him what he's going do to: hit her? She walks past him to the doorway. As she does so, Ron asks, "Did you ever love me?" Caroline turns to him and replies, "Yes. But it would never have worked: as you said, we're from two different worlds." She walks out, leaving Ron looking upset.

David and Frannie are sitting at the kitchen table at the country house, and David hands Frannie a mug of tea. She sips it and thanks him. David comments that she looks bushed, and Frannie explains that it's a long flight - especially with a baby on your lap. David invites her to stay the night, adding that he'll fix her up a bed in the lounge room, but Frannie tells him that she has to get back - George is expecting her. David remarks that Leigh never says much about George, and Frannie explains that they never got on very well; he's a good man, though - just a bit strict, that's all. David remarks that it explains why Leigh never got on with him! Frannie concludes, "Still, I love him - not like I did Ray, of course. But we're happy." David pauses and then asks her carefully, "Frannie, did you ever tell Ray?" Frannie shakes her head and replies that she's never told anyone. David tells her that he used to feel guilty as hell every time he and Beryl went up and saw them. Frannie points out that it was a long time ago; he shouldn't still be worried about it. David admits that she's right... Frannie suddenly stands up and says she'll see how Leigh's handling Shane - it's been a while since she's had to look after him.

Outside, Leigh is sitting on a bench staring into space and ignoring baby Shane, who's lying in his bassinet. Frannie comes out and comments, "Not cuddling him now, are you?" Leigh retorts, "He was sleeping." Frannie bends down to fuss over the child and realises that he needs changing. Leigh mutters, "I know." Frannie asks, "Well?" but Leigh retorts, "Could you do it?" Frannie asks her if it isn't time she tried. She then asks her suspiciously what she's up to, but Leigh cries, "Nothing." Frannie growls, "You don't want Shane - you can hardly stand the sight of him." Leigh insists that that's not true, but Frannie goes on that David has told her about his son being kidnapped and about how badly Beryl is taking. She asks Leigh, "What's going on inside that little head of yours?" Leigh just snaps at her, "Isn't your tea getting cold?" Frannie retorts, "I can't leave without telling David the truth," but Leigh retorts, "Oh yes you can - or I'll get Tim down here; you know he'd come if I asked him to. Do you want him to run away from home?" Frannie growls, "You wouldn't..." but Leigh snaps that she would if she had to. Frannie glares at her and says, "If Shane grows up to hate you, it would serve you right." She goes to head back inside, but pauses by the back door and adds, "And he still needs changing. The least you can do is look after the poor little thing." She goes inside. Leigh just sighs.

Gordon is sitting back on the couch at Dural while Barbara massages his shoulders. She tells him that he's tense, and Gordon muses that that's hardly surprising. There's suddenly a knock on the front door, and Gordon tells Barbara that if that's the accountant or if it's Charlie, he's not home! Barbara goes and answers it to find Liz standing there! She walks straight in and announces that she's not there to cause any trouble - she'd just like to talk to her and Gordon together. Barbara snaps, "Oh yes? What about?" Liz just asks if Gordon is home. Barbara retorts that he's very tired and he's still not in the best of health, so if Liz could leave her number or tell her about it-- She's interrupted, though, as Gordon comes out of the lounge room and smiles, "Liz..." Liz walks over to him and he holds out his hand. Barbara slams the door shut, looking annoyed.

In the kitchen at the country house, David muses that it's no wonder Leigh never mentioned the kid before; he can't blame her if that's how it happened. Frannie explains that it turned her nasty about a lot of things, and David replies that he can understand - although he can't say he's noticed. Frannie tells him, "Believe me, it has - you'll have to watch her." David muses that she hasn't been any trouble so far, but Frannie insists that she will be; he'll have to watch her very closely. David points out that he can't keep tabs on her all day, but Frannie cries, "You'll have to. She'll hurt everyone here if you don't." David asks angrily, "Why lay it on my feet? Why don't you take her back to Ceedum with you; I mean, she's your daughter." Frannie retorts, "And yours. She's your daughter, so it's time you started taking some responsibility." David stares at her in shock.


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