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    Written by: Ray Kolle   Produced by: Posie Jacobs   Directed by: Mark Piper

Bill Ashley is driving his Range Rover along in the grounds at Woombai when he notices Stephen's jeep coming up behind him. He pulls his vehicle to a halt and sits there, looking thoughtful.

The workman detonates another set of explosives. Debris flies over Samantha, and it causes her to begin to stir. The workman connects up another set of wires just as Stephen's jeep pulls up. Stephen snaps, "Damn fool," as he sees what's going on. In the jeep, Caroline asks Desmond Bourke what he's feeling now, and he replies that there's something nearby; danger - it's to do with the blasting but he just doesn't know what it is. Stephen climbs out of his jeep, approaches the workman and demands to know what's going on, as he wasn't supposed to start for another hour. The workman explains that Bill Ashley said he was told any time after 1pm. Stephen snaps, "After two. That's what I told the guests. What if someone had been out riding?" The workman mutters that he's sorry; he's just doing what he's told. In the jeep, Bourke looks at Caroline and they both climb out. Ashley starts guiding his Range Rover towards them. Stephen says to the workman that he's lucky there was no one around or there would have been hell to pay. Ashley pulls up in his Range Rover and yells to the workman, "Get on with it." The workman calls back that Mr. Morrell said it's too early. Ashley yells, "It's after one," but Stephen points out, "I said two." Ashley suggests cagily that they must have got their wires crossed. He then adds, "Still, may as well get it over and done with." Stephen concedes that there's no point hanging around, and so the workman bends back down over the detonator. Bourke suddenly runs over and cries, "No, don't. There's something wrong. Something to do with a girl." Caroline suggests that it must be Amanda - she must be out there somewhere. Stephen, though, points out that the whole area has been searched a dozen times, and he suggests they go back to the house and let Jerry get on with his job. He starts to guide Caroline back to the jeep, but Jerry suddenly notices movement ahead of him and he cries, "What the--?" Everyone spins round to see Samantha standing up carefully a short distance away. Caroline cries, "Amanda!" Stephen, though, realises that it's Samantha and he runs up to her. Ashley's quickly drives off in his vehicle. Caroline tells her daughter, "You were nearly killed." Bourke looks on in relief.

That evening, a tearstained Samantha is lying on the couch at the homestead when Stephen walks in. She asks if the police have gone and Stephen says they have for now. Samantha asks if they've caught Bill, but Stephen replies that he certainly didn't waste much time getting out of town. Samantha cries that she can't believe he'd do something like this; he was so good to her about Amanda. Stephen tells her that it's almost certain Ashley had something to do with her disappearance. Samantha murmurs, "Yesterday he said..." Stephen asks, "What?" and Samantha goes on, "That we mightn't find her for years; that she could be buried somewhere in a shallow grave. I didn't want to believe it, but now, after he's tried to kill me..." She flings herself into his arms. Stephen suggests that they don't tell Caroline that; it's the last thing she needs at the moment. Samantha asks if she's taken Desmond to the Reid House, and Stephen replies that she's booking him in for a few days - although he'd rather see the last of him; it's a load of mumbo jumbo. Samantha points out that he tried to stop the blasting this afternoon; he said there was danger. Stephen, though, comments that he wasn't specific; it could have been just a coincidence. Samantha sighs, "Bill would have got away with it if I'd been blasted, wouldn't he? It would have looked like an accident." Stephen cuddles her and says, "Thank God you weren't." Samantha goes on that she knows he's always been closer to Amanda, but she feels so close to him now.

At the hospital in Melbourne, Irene is pacing the corridor, and Roland tells her to sit down. Irene, though, laughs bitterly that she gave up smoking six months ago, but boy, she could do with one now. David and Leigh suddenly come down the corridor and Leigh asks anxiously how Shane is. Irene replies that it's still too early to tell - his condition hasn't stabilised as it should. She then explains that he was stung by a wasp and had a violent reaction to an adrenaline injection she gave him. Leigh asks where he is, and Irene goes to open the door of the nearby room. Leigh, though, snaps, "I don't want you coming in." Irene cries that she's sorry, but Leigh retorts that Irene said she'd look after him. Roland points out that, actually, Shane was outside with him, and so Leigh cries that he's as much to blame as Irene. With that, she runs into the room. A nurse in there tells her that they're doing everything they can and she goes. Leigh sniffs and then says gently to Shane, "Hello, darling. They got you good, didn't they? Well, don't you worry. I'll make them sorry..." She suddenly becomes aware of David standing behind her.

A short time later, out in the corridor, David reminds Leigh that she said she'd change. Leigh sniffs that Shane might die; doesn't he care? David replies that of course he does, but there's no point blaming anyone. Leigh growls that Roland let him get bitten and Irene gave him that injection. David points out that she was trying to help him; she can't take it out on them. He adds that it sounds like something Patricia would have done, and she doesn't want to end up as unhappy as she was, does she? Leigh growls, "I can't forgive them," but David tells her there's nothing to forgive. He then reminds her that, yesterday, at lunch, she said she wanted to change - and now's the time to.

Irene and Roland arrive back at the country house just as the 'phone starts ringing. As she goes to answer it, Irene says she hopes it's not the hospital. STD pips sound. It's Wayne at the other end, but, upon hearing Irene's voice, he hangs up without speaking. Irene tells Roland that the caller didn't say anything. Roland suggests nervously that it might be one of Pezani's men who's found out he's down there, but Irene says she doubts it; it was STD, and if they'd followed him, they'd hardly be ringing long-distance. Roland concedes that it must have been a wrong number. He then tells her that he doesn't know how he'd cope without her there. Irene assures him that he's helped her, too - she certainly needed somebody around this afternoon.

Spider wanders into the lounge room at Dural as Wayne hangs up the bar on the 'phone. He says he can come back, but Wayne explains that the 'phone at the other end was engaged. Spider says he's sorry if he caused an upset with that Mr. Armstrong business. Wayne, though, tells him that it's a good thing it all came out. He then takes some money out of his wallet and suggests that Spider buy himself a few beers. Julie comes in as Spider agrees that he might do that. He heads out of the room, saying as he does so that he'll put a jacket on, as he might get a chill; his old back's playing up again - every time he thinks it's coming good, away it goes. He heads out to the hallway and Julie closes the lounge room doors. She then demands of Wayne, "Where's he off to?" Wayne explains, "The pub." Julie asks suspiciously, "You gave him some money?" and Wayne tells her, "Six bucks." Julie mutters that he's always trying to get money out of people, but Wayne explains that he offered it to him. He tells Julie to give the bloke a go for a change. Julie insists that she knows Spider better than he does, but Wayne retorts that she keeps saying that, but she's never told him what he's done that's meant to be so bad. Julie points out that she told him about Rick, but Wayne retorts that she told him Spider killed Rick with kindness, and that's not saying much. Julie stares at him, turns away and then turns back and explains sadly, "Rick was a compulsive gambler before I met him. It had been a hard struggle, but he finally managed to kick the habit and I really respected him for it. We fell in love and decided to get married and set the date and everything. But dad wasn't happy." Wayne asks, "Why not?" and Julie explains, "Because Rick wasn't good enough for me - which really meant I didn't have enough money. He thought I should set my sights on somebody rich - which is why he couldn't be even more happy about you." Wayne suggests that maybe Spider just wanted life to be easier for her than him. Julie mutters, "Maybe." She then goes on, "Anyway, dad buttered him up, so now we're great mates. Then he talked him into taking him to the races, and it wasn't too much longer before he was hooked. He was gambling and up to his neck in debt. When I found out about it, I broke it off; I couldn't cope with living with a man who gambled away every cent." Wayne suggests that she ought to thank her old man for opening up her eyes, but Julie snaps that everything was OK until her dad got to him; he found out what Rick's weakness was and worked on it to break them up; he ruined Rick's life; she doesn't think she can ever forgive him for that. She cries at Wayne, "I thought you'd understand."

Desmond Bourke is standing in the lounge room at the Woombai homestead, looking at the photo of the young Amanda and Samantha, when Caroline comes in with Amanda's bracelet. Bourke takes it and asks if Amanda was wearing it the day she disappeared. Caroline confirms, "Yes." Bourke stands there for several seconds, holding it. Caroline eventually asks, "Well?" but Bourke tells her, "I'm sorry. Nothing." Caroline asks if that means Amanda is dead, but Bourke replies that sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't; perhaps he could try again in the morning. He adds that she shouldn't pin her hopes on him too much. Caroline assures him that she's just very grateful that he's there. She puts her hand on his arm, but he suddenly freezes and Caroline asks what's wrong. Bourke stares at her and explains, "Sometimes, when I touch someone, I get a feeling about things that have happened to them. You've been made very unhappy by men; it's been something of a pattern in your life." Caroline confirms sadly that that's right. Bourke continues that she's reached a point where she can go on and have real happiness with a man, or she can throw it away, but it's up to her what she does about it. Caroline nods. Bourke sighs and tells her, "I don't like to play God, Mrs. Morrell. Please, be very careful before you make any decisions based on what I said." Caroline, looking thoughtful, murmurs, "I will."

Stephen is with Jenny in the office at the riding school, pouring a cup of coffee. Jenny asks if the business with Bill Ashley could put a stop to the abattoir, but Stephen says he doubts it - the company just has to appoint a new manager. Jenny comments that it's going to come as quite a shock to Ken - he'd become quite friendly with Bill. Stephen muses that Ken seems quite good at making friends... Jenny hesitates before going on, "This might not seem like the right time to tell you, but I've finished with Ken." Stephen asks, "Oh? Anything to do with me?" Jenny smiles, "You men are so damned egotistical!" Stephen, though, explains, "I didn't want you to think I'd led you on. I'm not too sure of anything at the moment." Jenny assures him that she knows he and Caroline have been seeing a lot of each other again. Stephen replies that it could just be because of the stress they're under; he doesn't know if there's anything in it. Jenny tells him that, whatever happens, she doesn't want him to feel guilty about her; agreeing to marry Ken was a silly thing to do in the first place. Stephen tells her that she did it because he hurt her, but Jenny, putting her hand to his face, assures him that it's all forgiven. The door suddenly opens and Caroline comes in. Looking surprised, she tells Jenny that she didn't know she was there; she was just checking up on Stephen. Jenny quickly says she was just leaving, and she goes. Caroline tells Stephen that it's been the most awful day, but at least they've got each other; why don't they turn in? Stephen, though, replies that he's got a lot of work to do; he thinks he'll work on for a bit. Caroline looks disappointed.

In the corridor at the hospital, Leigh cries at David, "Why is it taking so long? He'll be OK, won't he? I couldn't stand it if he died, not now." She goes on, "I used to hate him. You know that? I used to hate my own baby." David gives her a hug as she cries, "Every time I looked at him, all I could see was Richard. Then I started to look after Shane and I began to really care about him. I didn't think I had a maternal bone in my body, but I love him. He's my baby. I love him. I couldn't bear to lose him..." A doctor suddenly emerges from Shane's room and announces, "It's alright. He's going to pull through." Leigh hugs David ecstatically.

A while later, David and Leigh are back at the country house, and Irene exclaims, "That's wonderful. He'll be better in no time now." David says he thinks they ought to celebrate. Leigh, though, says she just wants to go to bed, and she heads off. Irene tells her to wait a minute, and she picks up an envelope and hands it to her, explaining that it's from Sydney - priority paid, so it could be important. David asks who it's from, and Leigh tells him, "Charlie, I think. She promised to send me something."

The next morning, Leigh is lighting the stove when the 'phone starts ringing. She answers it, STD pips sound and Wayne comes on. He asks her if she's alone and she replies that she is. He then tells her that he tried to get her yesterday, but Irene answered. He asks if Roland is still there, and Leigh replies, "Yes." He then asks her if she got the cheque, and Leigh mutters, "Yes, I got it." He tells her that there's plenty more where that came from, too; all she has to do is what he tells her. Leigh retorts that she told him she wasn't interested, but Wayne points out that she could use the money, though - and besides, what has Roland Armstrong ever done for her? Leigh looks thoughtful before asking, "What do you want me to do?"

A while later, David and Leigh are in the kitchen with Irene and Roland, who are both wearing jogging outfits, and David comments to the two of them that they must have got up with the chooks! Irene explains that she decided to go for an early-morning jog and found Roland had beaten her to it! Roland explains that he had a few things on his mind. Leigh, pointedly ignoring the two of them, starts laying plates on the table, noisily. Irene cries, "Leigh, please--" She puts her hand on Leigh's arm, but Leigh quickly pulls away. Irene stares at her and then tells her, "We're pretty upset ourselves. The last thing Roland and I would want is to hurt little Shane. My son died. Believe me, I wouldn't wish that on anyone." Looking surprised, Leigh murmurs, "I didn't know you had any kids." Irene admits, "Only one, and he wasn't a baby; all of twenty. Didn't make it any easier, I can tell you. Roland and I just want you to know how terribly sorry we are." Leigh stares at them and then looks at David, guiltily. She then tells Irene and Roland, "A week ago, I couldn't have stopped myself from hating you both. But I know you didn't mean it." She sits down and David tells her, "Good girl." She then goes on, "I had a call from Wayne Hamilton. He wanted me to pretend that I'd been heavied by two men who came asking questions about Roland." Looking at Roland, she adds, "Apparently, he and Andy Green have made you think these guys are after you." Roland, looking astounded, mouths, "What?!" Leigh continues, "I said I'd go along with it. Seemed a good idea at the time. I guess I can't, now." Roland realises, "The whole thing's a hoax. There's no one after me."

Caroline and Samantha are clearing the breakfast table at Woombai. Samantha tells her mother that it could have been perfectly innocent - Jenny has been very good to them - but Caroline explains that, this time, she was being clearly more than friendly. She adds that, after Jenny went, she tried to get Stephen to go to bed, but he preferred to get on with his paperwork; when he finally did come home, he went to the other room. Samantha says, "But I thought you two were--?" Caroline admits, "So did I. I need Stephen. I need to know that he and you and I are all part of a family. It's very important to me now. I'm not going to lose him - I've made up my mind about that."

Desmond Bourke walks into the office at the riding school and says to Stephen that the receptionist said he wanted to see him. Handing him a cheque, Stephen explains that he wanted to give him that and thank him for his time. Looking surprised, Bourke takes the cheque and asks what it's for. Stephen tells him that he tried to help and he appreciates it; unfortunately, he wasn't able to do anything, but he realises his time is valuable. Bourke reminds Stephen that he doesn't ask for payment. Stephen tells him that his staying on there will only upset Caroline further. Bourke retorts that he knows Stephen thinks he's a fraud, but he knows he has a gift, and while there's a chance he can do some good with it, he has to use it - but he doesn't particularly enjoy it, and he never accepts money. Stephen snaps that he's not interested in Bourke's spiel; he's convinced his wife of her powers and he's sure there'll come a time when she's desperate enough to start forking out money in the hope that he'll somehow miraculously lead them to their daughter; he suggests that he take what he can get now and leave. Bourke glares at him and snaps back, "Who the hell do you think you are? What do you know about psychic ability? Aren't you even willing to consider that such a thing might exist? I showed you my newspaper clippings; I've had successes. Doesn't that prove anything?" Stephen retorts that he's not saying the whole thing is impossible, but he hasn't been able to do anything about Amanda. Bourke insists that he'd like time to at least try - and he was sensing danger yesterday at the blasting site; if what he had to say caused even a moment's delay, he might have saved Samantha's life, so, on the strength of that, why doesn't Stephen give him the benefit of the doubt? Stephen tells him that perhaps he has been jumping the gun a but, but he wants to protect Caroline; she's been pushed to the edge lately and he doesn't want to see her go over.

Jenny emerges from her house carrying a washing basket when she spots Caroline approaching. She asks her cheerily if she's come to see exactly what she's put her money into, but Caroline retorts, "Not really. I wanted to thank you for all your help over the last few days - but, well, it won't be necessary for you to come over to Woombai quite so often now." Jenny stares at her as she goes on, "It's not easy for me to say, Jenny, but I'm fighting for someone who's very important to me." Jenny asks, "Fighting...?" She then adds that if Caroline is talking about last night, there was nothing happening between Stephen and her. Caroline tells her that she knows Stephen still has feelings for her; she just thinks it would be better if she stayed away, that's all. Jenny retorts, "Actually, I was thinking much the same thing, but I don't like the way you say it. It sounds like you're trying to warn me off." Caroline tells her, "That's exactly what I'm doing. I know how important your property is to you - it took you and your husband many years to build it up, and when he died, you had a terrible fight to keep it. All-in-all, it must be worth a great deal to you." Jenny admits, "Yes, it is." Caroline goes on, "And now I hold the mortgage on it. I hate doing this, Jenny, but I have to use every weapon I have. If you want to keep your property, stay away from Stephen. It's as simple as that."


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