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    Written by: Ysabelle Dean    Produced by: Posie Jacobs   Directed by: Gaye Arnold

At Beryl's, Rod is standing in the lounge room with his arm around an attractive, blonde teenage girl. He tells Beryl, "This is my daughter, Jessica - or Jess, as we all call her." Beryl smiles at her and comments, "Your father's told me a lot about you." Jess replies, "He's told me a lot about you, too - I think you've won a heart!" Rod then asks Beryl if she's ready, adding that there's a little Italian place not far from there that he thought they could go to. Beryl, though, explains that something has come up, and she asks if they can eat at her place. Looking concerned, Rod asks if something's wrong. Beryl tells him that Brett seems to have got himself into more hot water; Leigh and Adam have gone to help him, but she'd like to be near the 'phone in case they call. Rod offers to go and get pizza. Beryl, though, tells him that she always has emergency rations! She adds that she's out of beer, though! Rod asks Jess if she wants to come for a ride to the pub. Beryl, though, suggests that Jess could stay with her, and Jess accepts this. Rod heads off. Beryl smiles at Jess, "You could start by setting the table." Out in the hallway, as Rod opens the front door, he finds Spider standing on the step. Looking surprised to find Rod there, Spider comments to him that he's taking the day off work, is he? Rod, though, explains that he's just taking a couple of hours to have a bit of lunch with Beryl. Spider looks at his watch 'innocently' and says, "Lunchtime, is it? Didn't realise that!" Rod laughs, "Oh yeah!" He then adds that he's off to the pub to get some beer. Spider asks him to get some for him, adding that he'll pay him back when he gets his pension cheque. With that, Rod heads off and Spider heads inside. Beryl and Jess are walking from the kitchen into the lounge room, and Beryl is saying to Jess that she didn't really want a hand with lunch; she just thought they could get to know each other better. She goes on, "So, tell me all about yourself." Before Jess can answer, though, Spider comes in, and Jess immediately hugs him and smiles, "Granddad, what are you doing here?!" Spider explains that he and Beryl are old mates, and he asks her if her dad hasn't told her how he lined them up together. Jess murmurs, "Once or twice." He then adds, "Not interrupting lunch, am I?"Beryl tells him tautly, "No, Spider - and I take it you will stay?" Spider laughs, "You could twist my arm!" Beryl heads off to the kitchen to get some more cutlery, leaving Spider to ask Jess what she thinks of Beryl. Jess retorts sourly, "She's not dad's type. I don't know what he sees in her." Spider tells her, "She's really a lovely lady. You wait 'til you get to know her better. In fact, if I was a few years younger, I'd marry her myself!" A look of horror crosses Jess's face and she says, "You don't think dad wants to marry her, do you?" Spider replies, "It's a bit early to tell." Jess stands there, looking worried.

Wal Mackay is sitting at the living room in Fiona's flat at the boarding house. He finishes some dessert and tells Fiona that it was wonderful. He then asks how Hung is, and Fiona replies that he's looking forward to coming out of hospital. Wal tells her that the boy ought to be grateful to that spider - it'll make a good story. Fiona asks him earnestly if he really thinks one more article's going to do the trick. Wal assures her that there's nothing like public sympathy for cutting through red tape. Fiona says she hopes so - Hung is scared that they're going to send him straight back to Singapore. There's suddenly a knock at the door and Fiona goes to answer it. Chris is standing there, and, having invited him in, she indicates Wal and says to Chris, "You two know each other, don't you?" Chris mutters, "Yeah." Wal tells Chris, "I have to apologise for suspecting you had anything to do with Hung's disappearance - I know you saved the boy's life." Fiona explains to Wal that she and Chris talked about that little mistake, and Wal says he's glad to hear it. Chris then tells Fiona that he actually came round to ask her a favour: he needs a bunch of flowers. Fiona tells him to take as many as he likes. She adds, "I hope she likes them...!" Chris smiles, "She will!" With that, he heads out again. When he's gone, Wal asks Fiona who the lucky girl is. Fiona replies that it's Samantha, she suspects; she suspects he's trying to catch her before she goes off on her lunch break!

A short time later, Chris is handing over the flowers - to Caroline, at the Morrell town house. Caroline smiles that they're lovely. Chris explains that he just wanted to thank her for listening to his problems the other night; it helped. Caroline smiles that she's glad. She then tells him that she was just about to make some lunch, and she invites him to join her. Chris says, "If it's not putting you out..." Caroline replies that she'd be glad of the company. Chris smiles, "In that case, I'd love to."

Leigh is back sitting in the passenger seat of Adam's car. She and Adam are both staring at the garage across the road, and Adam comments that Judge and Tracy must be stocktaking; they've been in there over half an hour. Leigh suggests that maybe they know they're being watched. Adam, though, says he doesn't think so. He then mutters, "What's keeping the cops?" Leigh points out that they said they'd get there as soon as they could. Tracy and Judge suddenly emerge from the garage and approach Judge's car. Judge is carrying a box containing the video for 'Paula'. Adam looks at them and murmurs to Leigh, "Wish me luck." By Judge's car, Judge asks Tracy to take his car keys out of his pocket to open the boot. She takes the keys out, but then notices Adam approaching. She immediately mutters to Judge, "We're in trouble: that's the cop I told you about - Brett and Leigh's friend." Judge mutters back, "He doesn't look too tough to me." Adam joins them and says sternly, "Police here. Would you mind telling me where you got that video recorder?" Judge retorts, "I bought it. No law against that, is there?" Adam tells him, "No, not if you've got proof of purchase." Judge goes to walk off, but Adam grabs him and snaps, "You're not going anywhere, mate." Judge growls, "Who's going to stop me?" Adam warns him, "Don't make things any worse for yourself - I've got backup on the way." Judge looks across at Adam's car: Leigh is climbing out and she starts walking towards them. Judge laughs, "If that's it, I'm shaking in my boots!" Adam snaps at Leigh to get back in the car. As he looks at her, Judge suddenly lunges at him and pushes him back. A police car suddenly roars up, though, and pulls to a halt next to them. Adam uses the distraction to grab Judge and push him against his car. Tracy goes to run away, but Leigh chases after her and grabs her, wrestling her to the ground. Tracy snarls at her, "You lousy little cow!" Leigh retorts, "Takes one to know one, Tracy. Anyway, I was only evening up the score. Now we're quits!"

At Beryl's, Beryl serves up some dessert at the living room table, and Rod smiles, "Plum duff. This is my favourite!" Beryl reminds him that it's out of a tin! She turns to Jess, but she says, "Not for me, thanks." Rod asks why not, and she replies, "I don't like tinned puddings." Beryl smiles that she's sure Spider can find room for a bit more! Rod starts getting tucked in, and he tells Jess that he doesn't know what she's missing. Jess, though, says, "Mum always made her own puddings. So does Doris - our housekeeper: she says they're better for you." Rod warns, "Jess..." Beryl assures her, "I usually make my own, too, love. It's just that I don't think it hurts out of a tin occasionally." Jess goes on, "Mum was a wonderful cook. You miss her, don't you, dad?" Rod mutters, "Let's drop it, please, Jess." Jess, though, persists, "He does - even though he doesn't like to talk about it." Rod snaps at her, "I said let's drop it, Jess." The back door suddenly bangs and Beryl comments that it must be Leigh and Brett. She heads out to the kitchen, leaving Rod to glare at his daughter. In the kitchen, Beryl asks Leigh and Brett where Adam is. Leigh replies triumphantly, "Down at the police station, making sure Judge and Tracy get the book thrown at them." Brett adds, "They're in real trouble, I can tell you." Beryl says warily, "I hope Adam's not." Leigh asks why he should be. Beryl points out that his superiors might not like the way he handled things. Changing the subject, she asks Leigh to brew some coffee for her, Rod, Jess and Spider, who are in the living room. Leigh smiles and asks what Jess is like. Beryl tells her, "The type that can't see anyone replacing her mother." With that, she asks Leigh to let her know when the coffee's ready, and she heads back into the lounge room. When she's gone, Brett comments to Leigh that Rod must be pretty serious if he's introducing Beryl to his daughter. Leigh says, "He is." She then says lightly that she's starving, and she offers Brett a sandwich. Looking at her in surprise, Brett comments that he thought she'd still be pretty mad at him for being so stupid over Tracy. Leigh points out, "We all make mistakes." Brett suggests, "Next time we go out, hit me if I look at another girl!" Leigh doesn't respond, prompting Brett to say, "You will go out with me again, won't you?" Leigh, though, sighs, "Look, no hard feelings, but why don't we just work on being friends, eh?" Brett nods, "If that's what you want." Leigh tells him, "Yes, that's what I want." Brett stands there, looking rueful.

At the Morrell town house, Caroline laughs as Chris tells her a story about Leo trying to hatch some eggs by putting them under an electric blanket! When he's finished, Caroline comments that Leo sounds like a kind and generous person. Chris murmurs sadly that he can still hardly believe Leo would kill someone; he'll probably end up locked away in some hideous institution. There's silence for a few seconds before Caroline says slowly, "I don't want to sound hard, or anything, but for a long time after the police stopped the search for Amanda, it was as though my life was in limbo. I had to know whether she was dead or alive - and suddenly, I realised that I couldn't go on drifting anymore. I still hope that, one day, I'm going to see her again... but I know now that I can't let it stop me from taking control of my life. You have to learn to see things that way. It'll take some time, but it's the only way." Chris just murmurs, "Yeah..."

At Beryl's living room table, Rod finishes his coffee and smiles at Beryl that it was the best meal he's had in ages! Spider laughs that he'll second that! Rod adds that he could go another cup of the coffee - it's lovely. Beryl asks Jess if she wants any more. Jess, though, mutters, "No thankyou - I can't drink the one I have." Rod glares at her and growls, "First dessert and now coffee. What is wrong with you, Jess?" Jess murmurs, "Nothing - I'm just trying to stay off caffeine, that's all." Rod mutters, "Rubbish - you were drinking coffee yesterday." Jess retorts, "Doris makes it a special way." Rod, though, snaps that she does nothing of the kind. He then tells his daughter tersely, "Mrs. Palmer has gone to a lot of trouble to make you a nice lunch. All you've done is turn your nose up at everything. I reckon she deserves an apology." Jess retorts, "I've got nothing to apologise for." Rod warns her to do as she's told. Jess, though, snaps, "You shouldn't have forced me to come here in the first place." Looking at Beryl, she adds, "I didn't want to; he made me. Why don't you just stay out of things? Everything was fine before you poked your nose in." With that, she storms out. Rod goes to follow her, but Spider tells him that she'll be alright; she's just a bit upset. He goes after her.

At Fiona's flat, Wal Mackay is checking his camera. Fiona joins him and asks if he's ready, adding that Hung will sign himself out if they don't get to the hospital soon! Wal explains that he's just checking there's some film in the camera - it wouldn't be the first time he'd tried to take some pictures without one in! Fiona muses that she just hopes Hung won't be too upset about doing another story: he's firmly convinced that any more publicity will bring the Immigration Department down on his head. Wal tells her that she'll have to make Hung understand that it's the only hope he has of staying in the country. Fiona murmurs, "I'll try." Wal then comments, "You think a lot of that kid, don't you?" Fiona sighs, "At first, he was just another good cause. Then I realised that the boot was on the other foot - I was the one needing help. I've been very lonely since Jill and little Fee left, and Hung sort of filled the gap." Wal suggests, "All the more reason to make sure he stays here in Australia." Fiona smiles sadly, "I know it's selfish, but I don't want to lose him."

Beryl is clearing her living room table as Rod stands by the couch, looking worried. Beryl comments to him, "Jess seems to think I'm out to break up your family. What on earth have you told her?" Rod assures her that all he said was that he'd like her to meet somebody special. Beryl points out, "She seems to be under the impression we're having a grand love affair. I think you should straighten her out." Rod tells her that he really is sorry about Jess. He adds, "You will be seeing me again, won't you, Beryl?" Beryl reiterates, "I think you should sort things out with Jess first - I don't want to be the cause of a rift in your family." Rod sighs, "OK," and he heads out.

Spider is standing with Jess in the lounge room at the Campbell house. Jess is looking upset and is saying, "He's never spoken to me like that before. I didn't do anything wrong." Doris, the housekeeper, is also there, and she tells her soothingly, "Of course you didn't, pet." Jess goes on, "He shouldn't have made me go and meet her. He knew I didn't want to." Doris tells her, "Don't blame your dad. Maybe he was on-edge because he knew Mrs. Palmer wasn't very pleased with you tagging along." Spider suddenly chips in angrily, "Now you keep your trouble-making tongue to yourself, Doris Hudson. Mrs. Palmer happens to be a very nice lady." Doris, still looking at Jess, replies, "She must be - to turn a man against his only daughter." At that moment, the front door bangs and Rod comes in. He immediately snaps at Jess, "I expected you and Spider to be waiting in the car." Spider explains that Jess wanted to come home, so they took a taxi. Rod then growls at Jess, "You've got a lot of explaining to do, young lady." Spider warns him not to be too hard on her, but Rod retorts, "I'd like to talk to her alone, if you don't mind." Spider mutters, "Right, then. I'll shove off." Looking at Jess, though, he adds, "Just remember: Mrs. Palmer's a very nice lady, and don't you let anyone ever tell you otherwise." With that, he goes. Rod then tells Doris - who's sitting on the couch with Jess - that this is between Jess and him. Doris, though, says she knows what happened, and she's sure Jess didn't mean any harm. She then smiles at Jess, "I'll be in the kitchen if you want me." She goes. Rod sits down on the edge of the couch, next to Jess, and snaps, "Right. Now you start explaining." Jess murmurs that there's nothing to explain. Rod growls, "What have you got against Mrs. Palmer, eh? She's done nothing to you." Jess murmurs, "I don't like her, that's all." Rod snarls, "Is that the best you can do?" Jess stands up and snaps, "It's a free country. I don't have to like someone just because you do." Rod retorts, "No, that's right, you don't. But it doesn't mean you can be rude to anyone whenever you feel like it. Mrs. Palmer was very upset when you left, and I expect you to write her an apology. Jess snaps defiantly, "I'm not apologising to her." Rod retorts, "Then you can just get straight to your room until you change your mind." Jess snaps, "I'm not a little kid, you know." Rod growls, "Stop behaving like one. Now you get to your room and you write that apology - and I'll expect to see it when I get home. Now get." Jess glares at him and then storms off.

Leigh and Brett are standing with Beryl in the living room at Beryl's. Leigh says to Beryl, "You're going to see Rod again, aren't you?" Beryl, though, replies, "Not until he gets to the bottom of Jess's problems, anyway." There's suddenly a knock at the front door and Leigh goes to get it. Brett lingers with Beryl and comments that Jess sounds like a spoilt brat. Leigh comes back in with Adam, and Brett asks him how it went with Tracy and Judge. Adam replies that they were charged, but the bad news is that they're out on bail. Beryl asks if that means they can expect more trouble from them. Adam, though, says he doesn't think they'd be that stupid. Beryl, looking at Leigh, says, "All the same, I'm glad Shane's up in Queensland, with your mum. It's a wonder Tracy didn't try to get at you through him." Leigh asks Adam, "Did you tell your Sergeant about helping us?" Adam nods, "I had to." Beryl asks what happened. Adam just replies, "Oh, a rap over the knuckles; could have been worse." Brett tells him he deserves a medal! He then suggests to Beryl that it's about time he got back to David's, as Isabella will think he's abandoned her! Beryl offers to come with him and cook him dinner, and Brett thanks her - although he adds that he doesn't think there's much in the way of food supplies there. Beryl suggests that they'll just have to pick up some groceries on the way! She heads out to the kitchen and Brett follows her. Left alone with Adam, Leigh smiles at him and says gently, "You're a good man, Charlie Brown." Adam smiles back and asks, "Is that supposed to be a compliment?" Leigh nods, "Yes." Adam smiles, "Thanks, Lucy!"

At the boarding house, Chris sits down next to Hung, in Fiona's flat, and offers to give him a hand with the gift he's unwrapping. He pulls the paper away and Hung reads the words on the box: "Snakes and ladders. Thankyou!" Chris offers to give him a game, later. He then tells him, "I'm sorry if you ran away because of anything I said." Hung, though, points out, "You wouldn't have saved me if you didn't like me." Chris sits there, suddenly looking sheepish. Hung then looks at Fiona and asks, "Where's Leo? Maybe he'd like to play, too?" Fiona, though, looking uncomfortable, replies, "Er... he had to go away for a while." Hung says, "I hope he comes back soon - I want to thank him for trying to help me." There's suddenly a knock on the front door and Fiona goes to answer it. Two men wearing dark suits are standing there. One of them holds out an identity card and says, "We're from the Immigration Department, Enforcement Section. We understand that a Vietnamese boy by the name of Nguyen Hung was released from hospital into your care, a short while ago." From the couch, Chris and Hung both look round at the door. Fiona asks the men, "What if he was?" The first man tells her, "I'm afraid we're under instructions that he's to be placed in a detention centre. He'll have to come with us." Fiona, though, retorts, "I'm sorry, but I'm not letting you take that boy anywhere." The second man tells her, "I understand how you feel, Mrs. Thompson, but I think you should let us come in and discuss the matter. We're as concerned as you about the boy's welfare." Fiona sighs, "Very well, come along in - but I'm certainly not going to change my mind." The two officers walk in and the first one looks at Hung and says, "Hello, young man. You must be Hung. I hear you've been having some adventures since you came to Australia." Hung just stares at him. The man then tells Fiona that the Department isn't totally unsympathetic; they're just concerned that the boy may run away again before his future is decided. Fiona snaps, "It is already decided, as far as you're concerned, isn't it?" The man, though, retorts, "No, it's not - but the boy is an illegal immigrant." Fiona tells him, "And I am willing to offer him a home for as long he might need it." The man assures her, "Mrs. Thompson, the Department is trying to arrange Hung's status as a legal resident." Fiona asks incredulously, "How long is that going to take?" She goes on, "You put him in a detention centre, he's liable to be there for months." The man hesitates and then sighs, "Alright, Mrs. Thompson, you can look after him - for the time being." Fiona thanks him. The man then looks at Hung and adds, "No more running away, alright? You don't want to get Mrs. Thompson into trouble." Hung says he won't. Fiona then sees the two men to the door. As she lets them out, the first one says to her quietly, "Unofficially, it mightn't be a bad idea if you can pick up some press coverage. Always seems to help." With that, he and his colleague go. Fiona closes the door and then leans against it, a smile on her face. She laughs to herself, "I'll see what I can do!"

Leigh is sitting with Adam on the couch at Beryl's. Adam is staring into space, and Leigh asks him if it isn't about time he told her what's on his mind. Adam murmurs that it's nothing. Leigh, though, insists that something's bothering him; she can tell. Adam sighs, "I didn't want you feeling guilty, that's all." Leigh asks, "What for?" Adam explains, "Well, my Sarge wasn't too happy when I told him I'd seen you and Brett at the warehouse." Leigh asks what happened, and Adam replies, "He wanted to know why I didn't run the two of you in. When I told him... well, the fact is, they want my resignation." Leigh stares at him in shock, and he quickly adds, "Now don't start blaming yourself - I'd already made up my mind to quit the force." Leigh points out that he loves that job, and she asks if he didn't explain how it all happened. Adam replies that he did, but it's not the first time his personal feelings have got in the way of his duty; it could happen again, only this time, it might not work out so well. Leigh murmurs that she's sorry. Adam, though, tells her, "Look on the bright side. Now we can spend more time together. Makes it all worthwhile, doesn't it?" With that, he leans in and they start kissing passionately...

Doris Hudson is doing some ironing in the kitchen at the Campbell house when Rod comes in from work and asks how Jess is. Doris replies that she still hasn't backed down; there's no way she's going to apologise to Mrs. Palmer. Rod snaps, "We'll see about that." He calls to his daughter. Doris insists, "I'm sure it's all a misunderstanding - she's very upset about it." Rod, though, snaps, "She's going to be even more upset by the time I've finished with her." He calls again for his daughter and heads towards her bedroom. Doris follows him, warning, "She's not the sort of girl you can browbeat. She's very highly strung." Rod, though, retorts, "Oh rubbish. She's as stubborn as her mother was - and that's a good enough reason for not letting her get away with it, isn't it?" Jess emerges from her bedroom and joins them, reluctantly. Rod stares at her and says, "Doris tells me you still haven't written that apology." Jess murmurs, "I haven't done anything wrong." Rod snaps, "Then you'd better get back to your room and have a good damn hard think - because you're not coming out until you've done what you're told." Doris points out that she has to go to school. Rod retorts, "Fine. In that case, she can come home every night after school and go to her room until she's done what she's told." Jess suddenly accuses, "You didn't love mum at all, did you?" Rod glares at her and snaps, "What are you talking about?" Jess goes on, "If you did, you wouldn't even look twice at someone else." Rod sighs, "Jess, your mother's been dead a long time." Jess, though, persists, "See, she's changed you already. You used to like being at home with me and Doris; now, you're always out with her." Rod snaps that that's rubbish. Jess, though, retorts, "You are. I wish I didn't live here anymore. I should've run away with Barry." With that, she storms off back to her room. When she's gone, Rod growls at Doris, "What the hell's got into her? I've gone out with other women before; she's never kicked up a fuss like this." Doris suggests, "Perhaps she can sense you're more interested in Mrs. Palmer than you were in any of the others - and that scares her." Rod mutters that he doesn't see why it should. Doris heads back into the kitchen and resumes her ironing. Rod follows her and asks, "What did you mean by that, Doris?" Doris replies that Jess has never really got over her mother's death. Rod points out, "She seemed to settle down alright, once you came to live with us." Doris agrees, "She has - to a point. I know she's very fond of me - but nobody can take the place of Jessica." Rod tells her curtly, "Nobody's trying to, Doris." Doris, though, tells him, "Jess doesn't see it like that. She sees Mrs. Palmer as a terrible threat." Rod says she'll get over it - once she meets Beryl properly. Doris, though, says she doubts it. She then tells Rod, "Look, I may be speaking out of turn, I think you're going to lose her love and trust for good if you try and force her to welcome Mrs. Palmer with open arms."

In Sunbury, Brett and Beryl approach the back door at the country house. Brett is carrying a bag of groceries, but he hands them to Beryl as he reaches to take his door keys out of his pocket. He goes to put them in the lock, but then realises that the door is already slightly ajar. Pushing it wide open, he looks worried as he mutters that he was sure he locked it. Beryl says she hopes no one's broken in. Brett suggests that they'll soon find out. He suddenly spots Isabella lying on the kitchen floor, not moving, and he bends down over her and cries in shock, "She's dead." Beryl, looking horrified, asks, "Who'd want to kill a little dog?" As she looks down at Isabella, she doesn't notice someone creeping up behind her. It's Judge, and he's holding a large metal pole. He suddenly lashes out and hits Brett with it. He crumples to the ground. Judge then says to Beryl, "I don't think we've had the pleasure, Mrs. Palmer - but I'm sure Leigh and Brett have told you all about me." Beryl stares at him in fear and asks him what he wants. Judge tells her menacingly, "Tracy and me have got a few old scores to settle. I reckon you're going to help us do it - if you know what's good for you..."


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