Mary is in Chris's bedsit at the boarding house, asking Chris
what he's going to do about his dad now that he can't bring him
to the boarding house. Chris mutters that he doesn't know. Mary
points out that Fiona does have other people to consider. Chris,
though, retorts that that's a cop-out. Mary suggests that he could
book his father into a motel for the weekend. Chris, though, says
he's flat-out trying to make ends meet as it is. He then reaches
into his pocket, takes out a note and adds, "Look, my entire
capital. I can't even take him out for his birthday." Mary
asks when it is. Chris tells her, "Today. I wouldn't have
remembered if his doctor hadn't reminded me. He said that's probably
why he came looking for me; didn't want to spend the whole day
with a bunch of strangers." He goes on sadly, "Dad threw
some terrific parties for me. I wish I could do the same
for him." Mary tells him that she could lend him
some money. Chris, though, retorts that he was brought up to pay
his own way. Mary then suggests that, maybe if he told Fiona it
was his father's birthday...? Chris, though, mutters that it wouldn't
make any difference. He pauses, then snaps, "To hell with
it. I pay my rent. I should be allowed to bring anyone I like
here. That includes my own father."
Samantha walks into the Morrell town house. Caroline, looking
surprised, tells her that she shouldn't be out of bed yet. Samantha,
though, insists that she's fine; she's shaken whatever she had.
She puts some milk in the 'fridge, explaining that they were out
of it, and Caroline muses that she never did much like being a
housewife. Samantha sits down at the table as Caroline goes on,
"Look, I know I'm not a model mum, either, but I do try."
Samantha mutters, "I'm not in the mood for deep-and-meaningfuls."
Caroline, though, glares at her and snaps, "And I'm
getting rather tired of your Cold War tactics." Samantha
retorts, "Then you'll be glad to know I'm moving out - just
as soon as I find a place of my own." Samantha asks haughtily,
"Because your boyfriend preferred me?" Samantha
glares at her, and Caroline quickly murmurs that she didn't mean
that. Samantha snaps, "I couldn't care less what
you meant." She stands up and Caroline growls, "I think
you're being very unfair. I had no idea how you felt about Chris."
Samantha, though, retorts, "Chris isn't the reason I'm leaving.
You told me to get out if I didn't like the way you live, and
I don't, so I am." Caroline insists that she was just letting
off steam. Samantha retorts, "Well, the pressure's off. If
you want to see Chris, go right ahead, but don't expect me to
stick around and watch you make a fool of yourself." With
that, she storms off, leaving Caroline looking exasperated.
Irene and Barbara are sitting in the grounds at Woombai. Barbara
is looking into the distance, intently, but Irene tells her that
it's rude to stare. Barbara growls, "If he upsets Gordon,
I'll give him another gammy leg." James and Gordon
are walking along together in the distance, and Irene points out,
"Do they look as if they're fighting?" Barbara
muses, "If they're not, I'm sure James is thinking
about it." A short distance away, Gordon is saying to James,
"I'll never forget the look on dad's face when he caught
you polishing off his best sherry!" James laughs, "Neither
will I; I've still got the scars!" Gordon then suggests that
the morning's getting on; he supposes they should go inside and
start working out what they'll do when James takes over. James,
though, asks, "Who said anything about me taking
over?" Gordon looks at him in surprise. James then asks,
"You still play cricket?" Gordon, though, laughs, "Golf's
my game!" James smiles, "The old man would turn in his
grave! I never forget the lecture that he gave me when I refused
to play the stupid game: 'Cricket's not just a game, boy, it's
a way of life. Teaches sportsmanship... endurance... team spirit.'
Too bad I was a born loner." Gordon looks at his brother
fondly and says, "I think he realised he was wrong in trying
to change you." Looking surprised, James asks why. Gordon
explains, "When he was dying, he asked me to look after you
after he'd gone." James muses, "So that's why
you turned the will over in my favour, eh? Guilty conscience.
Yeah, well, I doubt if I'd have done the same thing."
Gordon tells him, "I think you would have." He then
smiles, "I'm glad you're home." James smiles back, "So
A while later, in the homestead, Irene is checking Gordon's blood
pressure. As she does so, she asks him if James dropped any hints
about the future. Gordon, though, tells her that they were too
busy talking about the past. He adds, "I think we're
finally getting to understand each other." Irene finishes
his medical and tells him that his blood pressure is almost back
to normal. Gordon smiles that she's made his day! Irene tells
him, "It would make my day if James agreed to go
you halves in Woombai!" Gordon comments, "We can all
Barbara is walking with James in the grounds outside, and she
remarks to him, "Now you've seen the place, I suppose you've
made all kinds of plans?" James agrees that he's got a few
ideas. He then goes on, "It's a lot different from the real
outback; it's different out there." Barbara suggests pointedly,
"It must be nice knowing you'll never have to rough
it again. It's Gordon's turn now, isn't it?"
James points out, "What I decide is between him and me."
Barbara tells him, "I'm his wife." They stop
walking and James turns to look at her and asks, "How did
you ever hook him? You're not Gordon's type." Barbara
stares at him as he goes on, "He ever talk to you about his
first wife, Nancy? What a lady. She was everything a woman should
be. I don't think Gordon ever got over her." Barbara
glares at him and snaps, "If you've quite finished..."
James, though, retorts, "I haven't even started
yet, lady. You think you can browbeat people into doing anything
you want. Well not this boy. You tried to cheat me out
of my inheritance. And now you're trying to shame me into--"
Barbara interrupts him and snaps, "You know your father never
meant you to have that money - morally, you have no right to it."
James, though, retorts, "Legally I've got every
right. You keep pushing it, sweetheart, I'll promise you one thing:
Gordon's not going to get a penny." With that, he
walks off, leaving Barbara looking worried.
Chris is at the Morrell town house, saying to Caroline that he
doesn't know why Samantha is being so aggro about them being friends.
Caroline replies that she'll get over it - but she does think
they ought to cool things until she's feeling a bit more reasonable.
Looking disappointed, Chris tells her, "I don't want
to stop seeing you. You're the one person I can really open up
to. If I couldn't talk to you..." Caroline asks
him if he needs to talk, and he admits, "Yes." Caroline
invites him to sit down, and he does so. She then asks what the
problem is. He explains, "Dad. I'm bringing him home for
a visit today and he's bound to ask me why mum hasn't been anywhere
near him." Caroline asks, "Why hasn't she?"
Chris tells her, "She's taken the kids over to Perth to live
with her sister - and mum doesn't want dad to know where she is."
Caroline asks, "Couldn't you stall him until he's well enough
to handle it?" Chris, though, explains, "It's his birthday
today - and when she doesn't show or send a card, he's bound to
ask why." He asks what he should do about it. Caroline tells
him that it's hard to say, without knowing his father. Chris says,
"I thought maybe I could introduce you. We could
drop-in on the way to the boarding house." Looking uncomfortable,
Caroline tells him, "I really wouldn't like to make snap
decisions. Chris, you know him best; why don't you play it by
ear? I'm sure it'll sort itself out." Chris muses, "I
suppose you're right. I'll give it a bash."
A while later, Chris pulls up in his car outside the boarding
house. He walks round to the passenger door and opens it, saying,
"We're here, dad." He helps the Colonel out of the car.
He then opens one of the rear doors and doesn't notice his father
start wandering out into the street, staring straight ahead of
him. Mary suddenly comes along and spots what's happening. She
runs over to the Colonel and tells him to come onto the footpath.
She guides him back to safety as Chris joins them, holding some
wrapped gifts. He tells Mary that he's sorry. Mary assures him,
"That's OK. Have a nice party." The Colonel murmurs,
"Party...?" Chris explains to Mary, "He's bombed
out on tranquillisers." He then asks if Fiona is in. Mary
replies that she's going to the hairdresser's, but she doesn't
know whether she's left or not. Chris says, "If she hasn't,
could you keep an eye on her for a minute, so I can get dad in?"
A look of worry crosses Mary's face, and Chris tells her not to
worry about it; he'll take his chances. The Colonel suddenly points
to Chris and says distantly, "He's my son. He's taking me
out for the weekend. Can we go soon?" Chris tells him, "We're
already here, dad." Mary looks at them with pity and then
says, "I'll keep Fiona out of the way."
A few moments later, Mary runs into Fiona's flat and calls for
Fiona. Fiona emerges from her room but says she can't stop and
talk as she's running so late. Mary quickly says, "Before
you go, I'm really stuck: there's a couple of words I'm having
trouble with." Fiona assures her, "We'll look at them
first thing when I get back." Mary insists, "It won't
take long." Fiona sighs, "Alright, I guess we can't
put off a keen student!"
Out in the corridor, Chris opens the door to his bedsit and invites
his father to make himself at home. He doesn't notice Andy come
along the corridor, a look of shock suddenly appearing on his
face. The Colonel walks into the room and stares at Chris's neatly-made
bed. He comments, "Just like mine, at the hospital."
Chris tells him, "You always insisted on hospital corners
when I lived at home." The Colonel stares at him
and asks, "Did I?" Chris tells him sadly, "We'll
make you well again, dad. I promise."
Fiona emerges from her flat, telling Mary that she really has
run out of time. Andy suddenly comes along the corridor, a look
of worry on his face, and Fiona comments to him that he looks
as though he's lost a dollar and found sixpence! Andy explains,
"Yeah, I'm not too keen on having a schizo around the place."
A look of guilt crosses Mary's face as Fiona asks Andy what he's
talking about. Andy tells her, "Chris's dad."
Fiona, looking shocked, asks, "He's here?"
Andy asks, "Didn't you know?" Fiona snaps, "No,
I most certainly did not."
In Chris's bedsit, there's a cake sitting on the table, with
one lit candle burning on top. Chris goes to pour some tea for
his father, saying as he does so, "I'm sorry there's no beer,
but with all the pills you've been taking..." There's suddenly
a gently knocking on the door, and Fiona calls out, "Open
up, Chris." Chris tells his father to stay very still and
he then goes and opens the door. Fiona and Andy walk in and Fiona
growls, "I want your father out of here immediately."
Chris asks if they can talk about this outside, so they don't
upset him. Fiona, though, snaps, "I told you not to bring
him here in the first place, and I meant it. Now, either your
father leaves, or I call the police." Chris retorts, "On
what grounds? Disturbing the peace?" Fiona snaps, "He
could turn violent. We've seen it happen." Chris, though,
insists, "It won't happen again, now that he's back on medication."
Mary wanders in, but Fiona asks her to please stay outside. She
then turns to Andy and adds, "Please keep your eye on him,
Andy." The Colonel suddenly murmurs, "I knew
an Andy once. We called him 'Handy Andy'." Fiona glares at
Chris and asks, "Is he leaving, or do I call the police?"
Mary cries, "Please don't - it's his birthday."
Chris explains guiltily, "Mary saw us outside. I talked her
into keeping quiet." Fiona, looking annoyed, mutters, "Oh,
I see, yes, and keeping me occupied while you could sneak him
in." Andy chips in, "It's not Mary's fault. Chris knows
she's a soft touch and he used it. He's the real trouble-maker."
Fiona growls, "I know - and I've had just about enough of
it." She then tells Chris, "I want you to pack your
bags and be out of here at the end of the week - and if you don't
want your father upset, then you'll get him out of here now."
Chris sighs, "OK, we'll go." He walks over to his father
and, helping him up from his seat, tells him, "Come on, dad.
We're going for a picnic in the park." Mary appeals to Fiona,
"I wish you wouldn't let him go." Fiona retorts that
she has an obligation to the rest of her tenants. Chris, though,
suddenly roars, "Obligation from what? He's
no threat to anyone and you know it. And you're so prejudiced
against him, you won't even admit you could be wrong."
Andy gasps, "You should talk about prejudice."
Chris, though, snaps, "At least I tried to overcome
my hang-ups, 'mate', but she's not even prepared to try."
He then glares at Fiona and snaps, "Fiona, you're a hypocrite
and I shall be glad to see the last of you."
Later that day, the Colonel is sitting on the couch at the Morrell
town house as Chris tells Caroline, "When we got to the park,
we ran into a bunch of kids. It didn't take them long to figure
out dad wasn't the full quid. They had a great time, treating
him like a freak show." Caroline comments that it's been
a rotten day. Chris assures her, "I can take it.
But I really wanted it to be a nice day for dad. That's
why I took a punt on finding out if you were in or not.
He doesn't want to go back to the home yet, so if he could stay
here for a while..." Caroline replies hesitantly,
"I'd like to help, Chris - really - but
it is a bit awkward. You know how difficult Samantha's been, and
this could make it worse." Chris growls, "Samantha's
really got to you, hasn't she? If you want to call it quits, say
so." Caroline stares at him as he goes on, "Dad always
told me I had to learn to be self-sufficient. It's taken me this
long to realise he was right." He then walks over
to his father and tells him gently, "Change of plan, dad.
You're looking a bit tired, so I think we should take you back
to the home." The Colonel, standing up, murmurs, "Already?"
Chris assures him, "We'll have plenty of time together when
I get my new place." The Colonel cries, "I
don't want to go back yet." Caroline stares at him
and sighs, "Then stay here for a while." Turning to
Chris, she adds, "I know what it feels like to be let down
by someone you care for. Friends again?" Chris smiles in
relief, "I knew today couldn't be all bad."
Gordon and Barbara are dressed-up as they stand in the lounge
room at Woombai. James is sitting on the couch and Gordon asks
him if he's sure he won't change his mind and come to lunch. James,
though, insists that he'll stay home and keep Wayne company. Gordon
asks Barbara if she can persuade James to change his mind. Barbara,
though, says sourly that she thinks James is very wise to stay
at home and rest his leg. She then heads out of the room, saying
she'll go and tell Irene they're ready. James asks Gordon who
they're having lunch with. Gordon replies, "The Harpers."
James laughs, "Just as well I'm not coming - I still owe
Colonel Harper a tenner!" He then suddenly gets up from the
couch, goes to the fireplace and sticks his hand up the chimney,
saying, "That reminds me!" Gordon, looking bemused,
asks him what he's doing, and he explains that he's revealing
one of his secret hiding places. He removes a brick, which he
hands to Gordon, and he then takes out a pound note, showing it
to Gordon and saying, "Ta-da! Do you recognise it?"
Gordon assures him that he still remembers what a pound note looks
like! James, though, tells him to take a closer look. The note
is covered in ink, and James asks Gordon if he remembers how he
always used to doodle on his money. Gordon, looking surprised,
asks how it got in the chimney. James explains, "Yours truly.
I borrowed it from you without telling you! When you came looking
for it, the old man caught me; threatened to thrash me if I didn't
own up." Gordon comments, "So you took the thrashing
and hid the money?" James nods, "Yeah, well, I mean,
I only borrowed it. I was damned if I was going to own
up! See, I always intended to give that back when the dust settled,
and then, well... out of sight..." Gordon smiles, "I'll
put it in my scrapbook!" He goes to head out of the room
as Barbara comes back in and announces that Irene's ready. She
then notices the state of Gordon's hands and asks him tersely
what on earth he's been doing. Gordon smiles that he's been reminiscing.
He heads out. Barbara approaches James and asks him what he's
holding. James slaps the object into her hand and says, "That
is a brick. Put it back, there's a good girl!" Barbara stands
there, looking annoyed.
Irene is standing outside by the car when James wanders out,
and she comments that he's looking very pleased with himself.
James explains, "I get off on taking snobs down a peg or
two!" Irene muses, "You haven't upset one of the guests,
have you?" James, though, assures her, "Nah, just put
on the boxing gloves with her ladyship." Irene tells him,
"You're getting your wires crossed, you know? Barb's really
great when you get to know her." Barbara comes out at that
moment and snaps at James, "You're not coming with us now,
too, are you?" James looks at Irene and asks, "What
was that you said about madam...?!" Gordon joins them and
tells James to stay out of mischief! James says he thinks he'll
go and introduce himself round. Gordon, Barbara and Irene climb
into the car and head off. James then walks over to where Alan
Pascoe and another man are working nearby, and he asks them what
they're up to. Alan tells him that there are a couple of maintenance
jobs need doing. James tells him, "Drop that, will you? Come
inside and have a beer and bring me up to date. Go and round up
the rest of the blokes, will you? Tell them I want to meet them."
The second guy tells him that they're all pretty flat-out, and
Alan suggests that he could take James round and introduce
him to everyone. James, though, retorts, "My leg's giving
me hell. I'm the new boss round here; I'm going to be giving the
orders. Now round up the blokes, tell 'em I'm shouting."
Charlie is sitting at the kitchen table at David's country house
in Sunbury, painting her fingernails, when there's suddenly a
knock on the back door. She calls, "Entrée!"
The door opens and Alison walks in, saying, "How did you
know I wasn't an axe murderer?!" Charlie laughs, "They
hardly ever knock!" She then asks Alison where she's been
- and how did she know she was in Melbourne?
Alison explains, "I went to see Duncan." Charlie, looking
puzzled, asks who Duncan is and what she wanted from him. Alison
replies, "Some information about good old 'Ace'. He delivered,
too. Gordon's baby brother's been a very naughty boy. If he doesn't
want anyone to find out about it, he's going to have to do exactly
as I say, from now on..."
A short time later, Alison is pouring herself a drink, as Charlie
insists, "You can't tell me that much and no more!"
Alison, though, explains, "I want to deaden the pain, first."
Charlie muses, "I could have sworn you were feeling
no pain!" Alison explains, "Prickly heat - you get
that in Quilpie." Charlie, looking surprised, asks, "You've
been to Quilpie?" Alison tells her, "The men
have only got two things on their mind: beer and women - in that
order. It made Duncan a pushover." Charlie points out, "You
still haven't explained..." Alison tells her, "He was
one of the locals I managed to get on-side with. He and James
were like 'that'" - she crosses her fingers - "apparently.
Anyway, he told me I should ask him about Ben Simmonds."
Charlie asks who he is. Alison replies, "He's a
missing person who was with James the last time anyone saw him
alive. By all accounts, he and James hated each other's guts."
Charlie stares at her and asks, "How on earth did you get
Duncan to confide in you?" Alison explains, "I just
kept buying the drinks until he was drunk enough to talk. What
he told me would make things very dicey for James if I went to
the police." Charlie queries, "If...?"
Alison asks, "Why should I give away my bargaining power?"
Charlie gasps in shock, "You're going to blackmail
James?" Alison explains, "I need his help to patch things
up with Mary - and I want those shares." Charlie gives her
a look of disgust. Alison, doesn't notice it, though, and she
just asks her if she's got her chequebook. Charlie looks at her,
blankly, and Alison reminds her, "You promised me the money
for the shares if he'd sell." Charlie muses, "Oh yes..."
Alison tells her, "Come on, Charlie, I've got a 'plane to
catch. And if I hurry, I'll just get the connecting flight to
Woombai." Charlie stands there, and sighs heavily.
Gordon, Barbara and Irene arrive back at Woombai to the strains
of loud country music playing inside and a young couple staggering
around outside, looking drunk. Gordon muses that he did
tell James to have fun! They head off inside.
In the lounge room, James looks at the new arrivals and smiles,
"Perfect timing!" Barbara glares at him as he prepares
Irene a Quilpie Slammer. He then tells his brother, "Great
bunch of blokes you've got here, Gordon." Barbara snaps,
"Then how come they all think they've got the day off?"
She gives him a look, which he ignores. He instead turns to Gordon
and says, "What about a partnership, Gordon, eh? You and
me: fifty-fifty. What do you say?" Barbara tells James, "That's
very decent of you." James, handing her a Quilpie Slammer,
smiles, "Then get a decent drink into you; celebrate the
new regime." He hands Gordon a drink, too, and then tells
him to propose a toast. Gordon says, "To a new start - for
both of us." They all clink glasses, but Barbara
still stands there unhappily.
A while later, Barbara is clearing up some glasses. James, Gordon
and Alan are talking by the fireplace. Irene joins Barbara and
points out that she told her that it would all work out.
Barbara snaps that they still have to contend with James.
With that, she picks up her tray of empty glasses and storms off
to the kitchen. Alison suddenly walks in and says to Irene, "I
knocked, but no one answered." Irene smiles and calls over
to James, "Hey, Ace - you'd better lock-up your valuables.
Madam Lightfinger's back in town!" With that, she heads off
to join Barbara in the kitchen. Alison wanders over to Alan, Gordon
and James and comments that they all look very happy. James, putting
his arm around Gordon, tells her, "You are looking at the
Brothers Hamilton, Inc." Alan says he thinks it's time to
call it a night. Gordon tells him that he'll show him out. They
head off. Left alone with Alison, James comments to her that he
thought she shot through. Alison, though, explains that she's
been away on business. She adds, "Nice town, Quilpie."
James suddenly stares at her, looking worried. She goes on, "I
met a friend of yours: Duncan. Fascinating man. Tells some wonderful
stories. Especially the one about Ben Simmonds." James mutters,
"What are you getting at?" Alison retorts, "You
know what I'm getting at. And if you want to stay out
of prison, you'll do exactly as I say. The party's over - 'Ace'."
She smiles at him, gleefully.