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    Written by: Ysabelle Dean    Produced by: Posie Jacobs   Directed by: Brian Phillis

Suddenly taking the hint, Simon asks Irene nervously if she hasn't told Roland. Irene replies that she couldn't... She approaches Roland, who demands to know if it's true. Simon starts to say that he didn't mean-- However, Irene interrupts him and snaps that it's time Roland knew the truth. She then tells Roland that she should have told him from the start. Roland suggests, "You can tell me now. Let's go inside." The three of them head indoors.

Barbara is clearing the table in the living room inside when Roland comes in with Irene and Simon. He asks her if she'd mind leaving them, as Irene and Simon want to talk to him. Barbara turns to go, but Irene asks her to stay, explaining that it concerns her, too. She then explains to Roland and Barbara, "Simon and I first met each other at a party in London before we came back to Australia." Looking surprised, Barbara remarks that she's never mentioned that before. Roland growls, "For good reason, it seems." Irene continues, "I went to London to study surgical techniques - I thought if I threw myself back into medicine I'd be able to forget about David, but... it wasn't that simple. I spent a lot of time brooding about how he'd married Patricia... drinking more than was good for me... then one day a doctor at the college asked me to go to this party. I knew it would be an upper-crust do, but I was sick of going home at night so I thought 'what the hell'?" She sits down on the couch before going on, "So there I was, like a fish out of water - I had absolutely nothing to say to these people; I couldn't even talk shop; only two of us were doctors - and then Simon turned up." Barbara turns and looks at her son suspiciously. Irene continues, "Believe me, when you're lonely and in a strange country, an Aussie accent sounds pretty good." Barbara sits down and Irene goes on, "We had a couple of drinks and one thing led to another and... we went back to my flat." Roland asks curtly, "And he stayed the night?" Simon quickly says, "That's all - we never saw each other again until I came back and found you were engaged to her." Irene adds, "I wanted to tell you but I knew you'd be hurt." Barbara murmurs, "Oh well... that was a coincidence." Irene stands up again and appeals to Roland, "It doesn't have to change things." Roland, though, retorts, "It changes everything..."

At Charlie's, Wayne is telling Caroline that, somehow, they have to make an offer they can't refuse. Caroline points out that she can't make it - Simon's her nephew and he'll find it very strange if his aunt suddenly develops an interest in him outside family. Wayne suggests that they'll have to think of someone else. Alison comes back in with a tray of coffee things and says, "What about me?" Turning to Caroline, she adds, "I'm sure I could convince your nephew to sell up." Wayne points out to Caroline that Simon and Andy have never met Alison; she could say she's a stockbroker. Caroline asks Alison suspiciously what her interest in it is, and Alison replies that she expects to be paid, if that's what Caroline means. Caroline points out to Wayne that they don't know anything about Alison. Wayne insists that he knows enough, but Caroline retorts, "I don't." She stands up to go, saying she has an appointment in town, but Wayne quickly suggests that they have lunch together and Caroline can get to know Alison properly. Alison assures her, "I've got nothing to hide." Caroline agrees, "Alright. One o'clock - outside the Town Hall. We'll find somewhere there." She goes, leaving Alison with a smile on her face...

Andy and Colin are packing up their things in their room at Woombai. Samantha comes in and asks if they're ready, as she doesn't want to get back too late. Andy smiles that neither does he, as he's got a gig on tonight. He adds that Colin's helping him out. Colin explains to Samantha, "He wants me to change the records so he's free to check out the talent!" Samantha smiles, "Mates again, eh?" Andy laughs, "Yeah. But that's all: mates!" Barbara suddenly comes in and asks if they're all packed. Andy says he's just got to say goodbye to Irene and Roland. Barbara, though, tells him that they're discussing something rather personal and it might be better if he didn't interrupt. She suggests he goes out the back way and she'll tell them he's gone. Samantha asks what's wrong. Barbara assures her that it's hopefully nothing they won't be able to sort out; they just need a chance to talk about it. Andy asks Barbara to tell Roland he'll give him a call when he gets back to Sydney, and he heads out. Samantha goes to follow and she asks Colin if he's coming. Colin tells her glumly, "Mum rang this morning - asked me to come and see her when I got back." Samantha asks what it's about, but Colin says he doesn't know; but she sounded upset. Samantha asks if she could have guessed. Colin just murmurs, "Have to wait and find out..."

Out in the lounge room, Simon is insisting to his father, "It was only one night. It's not the end of the world." Roland, though, says he can't dismiss it that lightly. Simon tells him that it doesn't have to change anything... Irene suggests to him that he go out and have a walk, and Simon snaps that he'd be glad to. He goes. Irene then appeals to Roland that he's not the only one who got a jolt, and she asks how he thinks she and Simon felt when he introduced them. She adds, "Telling you was the hardest thing I ever had to do." Roland murmurs that he knows. Irene tells him, "I love you. And you still love me, I know that. Can't we put it behind us?" Roland, though, says he doesn't know if he can, explaining, "Every time I look at you, I'll think of you and Simon..."

A while later, Roland is sitting out in the grounds when Barbara approaches him and tells him that she's just been talking to Irene. Roland murmurs that he knows she's upset. Barbara points out that it happened long before he and Irene even met. Roland cries that he spent two years of his life in a vacuum; when Barbara brought him home, he felt as if he'd been given a second chance, but nothing was the same: "You'd married Gordon..." Barbara reminds him, "And you found Irene." Roland murmurs that she made it seem all worthwhile. Barbara insists that he can still be happy. Roland, though, shakes his head and replies that he always admired Irene so much for her honesty, but what happened with Simon is the one secret she wishes to God she'd kept. Barbara points out that Simon is her son, too, and she got just as much of a shock as he did, but Irene isn't the sort of person who can deceive someone she really cares about, and for both their sakes, he just has to forget it. Roland asks, "Could you? If it was Gordon and Wendy?" Barbara stares at him.

Simon walks into the living room inside, carrying a cup of tea. Irene comes in with a suitcase and Simon asks what's happening. Irene explains that she's going back to Sydney - Roland needs time to decide what he wants. Simon mutters that he's letting it get to him. Irene growls angrily, "I suppose you thought he'd just blow his top and forget all about it?" Simon agrees, "Something like that." He then thanks Irene for not telling his father everything. Irene replies that he's had enough dramas for one day. Simon tells her, "Don't worry. He'll snap out of it." Irene glares at him and then snaps, "If you really believe that, then you're even more insensitive than I thought. Look at it from his point of view." As Simon stands there, looking puzzled, she smiles and realises, "You can't, can you? Well, you take it from me: he won't forget it easily at all." Barbara and Roland suddenly come in and Simon announces that Irene is going home. Roland tells her that there's no need to, but Irene insists that it's best if she does. She asks Barbara for a lift to the station and then heads outside. When she's gone, Barbara snaps at her former husband, "For God's sake, Roland, you can't let her go without at least talking to her." Roland, though, just stands there, and so Barbara snaps that he's only got himself to blame. She follows Irene outside. When she's gone, Simon tells his father that it wasn't Irene's fault: he was the one who did the chasing - he could see that she was lonely and so was he; he just had to wait until she'd had a few drinks... Roland asks, "Weren't there any women of your age there?" Simon, grabbing his arm, just suggests they talk about that later, and he leads his father towards the front door, telling him that they have to stop Irene from leaving.

Outside, Irene places her suitcase in the back of Barbara's car as Barbara asks her if she's sure she won't change her mind. Irene murmurs that Roland doesn't want her there. Roland emerges from the house as Barbara tells Irene that she's never known her turn her back on someone she really cares about; she's running away. Irene spots Roland standing there. He says, "Simon's just told me." Irene approaches him and asks what he said. Roland replies, "That he picked you up because he was lonely and had nothing better to do. I thought it was the other way around." Irene comments, "That apology doesn't exactly come straight from the heart, does it?" Roland looks down at the ground. Irene goes on, "How it happened isn't the problem. The fact is that it did - and that's still true, isn't it?" Roland nods. Irene says sadly, "Goodbye, Roland." She then climbs into Barbara's car. Barbara climbs into the driver's seat, starts the engine and reverses down to the road. Roland watches them go, disappointment etched on his face.

In the kitchen at the country house, Beryl places a baking tray in the oven while Leigh does some washing-up at the sink. The 'phone suddenly starts ringing and Leigh goes to answer it. A woman's voice comes on and asks, "Could I speak to David Palmer?" Leigh, though, explains that he's away for a couple of months, and she asks if she can help. The woman goes on that, actually, it's Beryl she's trying to contact, and she asks if she's away too. Leigh replies that Beryl is right there, and she asks who's calling. The woman tells her, "Diane Ball from the Children's Home." A look of fear suddenly crosses Leigh's face. Beryl asks her who it is, and Leigh, handing over the 'phone, tells her. Beryl puts the 'phone to her ear and asks Diane cheerfully how she is. Diane replies that she's fine. Beryl asks her if she needs some help at the Children's Home, but Diane assures her that they're right at the moment; she just wanted to chat - she hasn't seen Beryl for ages. Beryl suggests to her that she come out to Sunbury this afternoon, and Diane replies that she'd love to. Beryl tells her that she'll look forward to it and she hangs up. Leigh immediately asks what Diane wanted, and Beryl explains that she just called to chat. She adds that she's coming out later. Charlie wanders in from outside and asks Beryl if she's talking about anyone she knows. Beryl explains, "Diane Ball. You may have heard me mention her - she works at the Children's Home. She nearly got the sack last year over Jamie... the baby the O'Briens eventually adopted." Charlie recalls, "Oh yes. They never tracked that girl down, did they?" Beryl mutters, "No." Leigh, looking nervous, asks what time she's coming, and Beryl replies that it'll be at about 3pm, she supposes. She then asks Leigh if she ever met Diane, but Leigh quickly tells her, "No. I didn't..."

A while later, Leigh is outside, and she goes and unties Patch, who's secured to a pole. She asks him if he wants to go for a walk today before Diane Ball gets there, adding that, if Diane sees her, she's in big trouble, and they don't want that. Adam suddenly walks over and says, "Hi!" Leigh asks him how it went, and he replies that they've suspended him; they want to investigate further. Leigh cries that she's sorry - Warren Patterson must have gone off his nut. She then asks if he thinks it'll blow over. Adam, though, sighs that he's past caring. Leigh says that, if it hadn't been for her and Patch, none of this would have happened. Adam, though, assures her that she did him a favour - he's been looking for an excuse to quit the force.

Inside, a short time later, the kettle boils and Charlie pours the water into a teapot. As she does so, she says to her son, "It's your decision, Adam. If you want to leave, leave." Beryl asks him if he's sure he's not over-reacting, as she thought he loved being in the police force. Adam retorts, "That's not the point. It's 'cos I lost my nerve when Ian got killed." With that, he heads off to change. When he's gone, Beryl tells Charlie that she shouldn't encourage Adam to resign, as he'll only regret it if he leaves under a cloud. Charlie, though, insists that he's upset at the moment - it's only natural - but he's such a bright boy he could do anything he wanted. Beryl warns her that he won't jump into another career in a hurry, but Charlie insists that he will eventually. She then goes on that she knows Beryl's thinking he shouldn't run away from his problems, but she just wants him to be happy.

The front door of the Morrell apartment opens and Caroline walks in, followed by Alison and Wayne. Caroline asks if cognac suits everyone, and Alison retorts, "Anything but red wine!" Wayne murmurs that he's sorry about that! Caroline tells her that if she'd like to try and sponge if off, the bathroom's through the nearby doors. She indicates where she's referring to and Alison heads out there. When she's gone, Wayne says to Caroline - who's pouring drinks at the bar - "Well, you two had a good old chinwag. Feel easier about her now?" Caroline, though, retorts that, no, as a matter of fact she doesn't. Wayne looks at her in surprise and Caroline explains, "When we were talking about London, she said she saw the Royal Shakespeare Company play Hamlet at the Aldwych." Wayne exclaims, "So?! It is a real play, you know. She wasn't pulling a fast one." Caroline, though, goes on, "The RSC moved to the Barbican Centre about 18 months ago." Wayne suggests, "It was a slip of the tongue. You're determined to be suspicious, aren't you?" Caroline points out that she's got a right to be, hasn't she? Alison rejoins them and Caroline asks her if the stain came out alright. Alison smiles, "Yes, thanks." The three of them sit down, and Caroline says to Alison, "By the way, I meant to ask you over lunch: how's Cynthia these days?" Alison looks at her, taken aback momentarily, before saying quickly, "She was fine two weeks ago. Why, do you know her?" Caroline nods, "Yes, we met in London. She was recovering after the accident." Alison acknowledges, "Oh yes..." Caroline goes on, "Yes, dreadful business. Do you know if she won her case? You know, the trial started after I left. Of course, there never seemed to be any doubt about it - you know, I think the other driver was drunk." Alison tells her, "Yes, she did win." Caroline smiles, "Good..." She then raises her glass and, looking pleased with herself, proposes, "Cheers..."

Beryl takes her baking out of the oven in the kitchen at the country house. Leigh is doing some more washing-up at the sink. There's suddenly a knock on the back door and a look of panic crosses Leigh's face. Beryl goes to open the door. Leigh starts to dash out into the hallway, but Charlie is just coming the other way, and Leigh bumps into her. Charlie laughs, "Steady on. Where's the fire?!" It's Spider standing at the back door and Beryl, looking pleased to see him, invites him in. Charlie, a smile on her face, asks him what he's doing there, and he explains that he thought it was about time he came over to see her for a change. Noticing Beryl's tray of freshly-baked biscuits on the table, he laughs that they must have known he was coming! Charlie asks him about the bunch of flowers he's holding under his arm and, looking slightly embarrassed, he hands them to her and explains, "They're for you." He quickly adds, "It's alright - I bought them!" Charlie goes to put them in water. Spider turns to Leigh and asks her how she is. She replies nervously that she's fine, thanks; she was just going to take the dog for a walk. With that, she grabs her jacket and heads out. Spider murmurs to Beryl and Charlie that he hopes he didn't scare her off.

Outside, Leigh is stroking Patch and saying to him that she hopes he's feeling energetic as it's going to be a marathon effort. She stands up and suddenly notices a car pulling up. Diane Ball climbs out and starts walking towards the house, glancing at Leigh as she does so. Leigh watches her. She then quickly turns and starts running, with Patch in tow. Diane stares after her, looking thoughtful...

At the Morrell apartment, Wayne appeals to Caroline, "Where's the harm in letting her try? There's no one else we can get to do it." Alison adds, "You won't lose anything." Caroline says, "I know, but... forgive me for probing again, Miss. Carr, but why are you so keen to help us?" Alison tells her, that, like she said, she expects to be paid - if she succeeds. Caroline suggests that there must be easier ways of making money, but Alison tells her, "I like a challenge." Caroline comments, "Fair enough." They all stand up and Caroline says she'll think about it and let them know. Wayne suggests to Alison that they go, adding that there's no point wasting any more time. Caroline smiles at him, "I enjoyed the lunch. Thanks for inviting me." Turning to Alison, she goes on, "And I think I know a little bit more about you than I did." Alison smiles, "Likewise." With that, she and Wayne head out, leaving Caroline looking thoughtful. After a few seconds, she heads over to the 'phone, picks up the handset and takes it across to the couch. She sits down, dials and waits for an answer. When it is answered, she says, "I'd like to place a person-to-person call to Mrs. Cynthia Hemingway. In Mayfair, London."

Beryl, Charlie, Spider and Diane Ball are enjoying afternoon tea in the lounge room at the country house. As Spider opens himself a can of beer, Beryl asks how Julie is. Spider muses, "Oh, you know Jules: happy one day and touchy as a pup with pigs the next. But she's been all smiles lately." Charlie asks if she's got another Wayne and Spider explains that Rick's back on the scene. Beryl comments that she thought he was the boy she was engaged to before; a bit of a heavy gambler. Spider tells her, "He swore off it." He then adds, "As a matter of fact, I think he and Jules might make a go of it second time around." Charlie points out, "They will if you don't interfere!" Spider says indignantly, "Who, me? I've got my own life to look after. As a matter of fact, I've taken up dancing again - takes up all me time, lately." Charlie giggles, but Spider tells her, "Don't you laugh! You want to see the old Spider gliding round the dancefloor to a stately waltz." He then adds, "As a matter of fact, I was thinking of asking you to join me one night." Charlie, looking taken aback, says, "Oh, thanks, but um..." Spider quickly insists that she'd love it - and Beryl and Diane are welcome too. Shane suddenly starts crying and Beryl explains to Diane, "That's my niece's baby." Diane says to Spider, "I don't think my husband would approve if I went dancing with a charming man like you, Mr. Webb!" Adam comes in and tells Beryl that Shane has woken up. Beryl heads out to see to him. Charlie introduces Diane to Adam and Spider, and Spider says to him, "Charlie tells me you're a cop." Adam, though, replies, "Not at the moment. I was suspended this morning." Spider murmurs that he's sorry to hear that. Adam then announces that he's going to see if Brett needs a hand in the garden, and he heads out. When he's gone, Spider murmurs, "Stuck me big foot in it, didn't I?" Beryl comes back in with Shane and smiles at him, "Say hello to Diane. She looks after lots of little babies like you!" Diane tickles his hand and smiles that he's a cutie! Beryl then says she doesn't know where Leigh's got to - she said something about taking the dog for a walk and then disappeared; she should be back by now. Diane tells her, "I saw her when I arrived." She then asks, "Are you sure we've never met?" Beryl replies, "She doesn't think so." Diane muses, "She looks familiar..."

Samantha, Colin and Andy are sitting with Caroline at the Morrell apartment and she asks them if they all enjoyed the wedding. Caroline smiles that it was lovely - though it nearly ended in disaster. Caroline muses, "So I heard. Stephen and Jenny were here - they accused me of organising it all." Samantha protests, "But you weren't even there." Caroline sighs, "Try telling them that." Changing the subject, Colin says to Caroline, "Mum wants to see me. Today." Caroline asks him when he's going, and he replies that he may as well go straight away. Caroline explains that she was just off to Dural to see a friend and she asks him if he'd like to share a cab. Colin thanks her, and the two of them head out, leaving Samantha sitting there, looking thoughtful.

Leigh sits down by a tree in the grounds of the country house. She says to Patch as she strokes him, "I don't about you, but I'm getting blisters. We must've walked miles." She sighs heavily before going on, "We can't go in yet. It's too early." She then starts thinking back to when she took baby Robert to the Children's Home. Diane Ball had said to her, "I'm afraid the Children's Home is full at the moment. Don't you know anyone who can help you? Parents? The child's father?" Leigh had cried, "Both my parents are dead and the kid's father ran off when I told him I was pregnant. Please, I want him to have a good home with proper parents." Diane had given in and agreed, "Alright, we'll do our best for him. You'll have to fill out some forms." On hearing that, Leigh had run out, leaving Robert behind. Diane had called, "Hold on. Come back. You haven't signed the papers..." Leigh, looking worried, sighs heavily again.

Back at the house, Beryl is seeing Diane out, and as they stand just outside the kitchen, Beryl says she'd hoped they'd have time for a chat, but Spider does tend to steal the limelight! Diane comments to her that she seems to be getting over Robert. Beryl murmurs, "Learning to cope." Diane assures her that that's something. Beryl smiles that she'd still like to know where Leigh got to. Diane says, "Never mind, I'll meet her next time. But I'm sure I've seen her somewhere before - I never forget a face." Beryl suggests that maybe she passed her in a street somewhere. Diane smiles that it'll come back to her, and she goes.

Stephen opens the front door at Dural and lets Colin in. As Colin looks round the hallway, he comments that it's a nice place. He then asks Stephen nervously if he has any idea what this is about. Stephen, though, says, "I think you'd better ask her," and he leads Colin into the lounge room.

Caroline is back at Charlie's, and as Wayne escorts her into the lounge room, he says he hopes she's come to tell him she's made up her mind about Alison. Caroline retorts, "As a matter of fact, I have. Where is she?" Wayne replies that she's in the kitchen. He then asks Caroline what's wrong, as she seems a bit tense. Caroline, though, assures him, "Oh, I'm alright. Alison should be the one feeling nervous." At that moment, Alison walks in and says to Caroline politely, "Oh, hello. Didn't expect to see you again quite so soon." Caroline growls, "Oh, I bet you didn't." She then goes on, "I telephoned Cynthia Hemingway after you left this afternoon. She's never heard of anyone called Alison Carr, so who are you and why have you been lying to us?" Alison stares at her, looking worried.


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