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    Written by: Greg Stevens   Produced by: Posie Jacobs   Directed by: Alister Smart

Fiona opens the door of her flat at the boarding house. Wayne is standing in the corridor, and he apologises for being late. Fiona assures him that that's alright: Mary has only just finished packing. He walks inside, and Mary immediately says, "I remember you: you're...?!" Wayne quickly assures her, "I was going to visit - honest! Work's been non-stop. I'll make it up to you tonight." Mary asks eagerly, "How?" Wayne tells her, "I'm taking you out somewhere!" Mary pleads, "Where? Tell me!" Before Wayne can answer, Fiona interrupts them and tells Mary, "I've got something for you." She walks off, and Wayne comments to Mary, "I think she's going to miss you." Mary sighs that she wishes there was something she could do. Wayne, though, points out that Fiona has to get used to being on her own again sometime. He then tells Mary softly, "It'll be good to have you back." Mary insists, "I'm going to earn my keep this time: no one's allowed to do any housework except me!" Wayne picks up her bag. Fiona returns and hands Mary a book, telling her, "Let me know when you need another one." Mary thanks her. She then gives Fiona a hug and says, "You've been very kind." Fiona replies, "It's been so good to have you staying..." With that, Mary and Wayne head out. Fiona closes the door behind them and then leans against it, looking upset.

Beryl and Rod are wandering down the front path outside Beryl's house, and Beryl comments, "Beautiful, isn't he?!" Rod laughs that most babies seem the same, for the first couple of years! Beryl goes on that it's so good to have him back - and so healthy. Rod suggests that it'll be a while before he gets used to things. Beryl, though, insists, "He'll be as happy as Larry soon." Rod muses, "As long as Heather stays on for a bit, I suppose..." Beryl, though, tells him, "The longer she stays, the longer it'll take. I can understand how she feels - it can't be easy giving him up - but he is mine, and the sooner it's done, the better." Rod quickly assures her, "I just meant that it's a big change for him. If it happens overnight, the poor kid won't know whether he's Arthur or Martha, will he?" Beryl, though, retorts, "He'll only be confused if he continues to have two mothers. In fact, the sooner Heather leaves, the better..." With that, she opens the front gate, Rod gives her a kiss and tells her that he'll see her tomorrow.

That evening, Alison and James are enjoying dinner at Woombai, and James, finishing his main course, comments, "That really hit the spot!" Alison smiles, "I gathered, from the size of your second helping!" James, staring at her intently, replies, "Well... if the first tastes good, I normally have a second. I've got a big appetite..." Alison looks away and mutters, "I'm glad you liked it." James adds flirtatiously, "I can't wait for dessert..." Alison suggests, "How about one or two of those famous Quilpie Slammers first?" James smiles, "I'll just go and get the beer," and he heads out to the kitchen. Alison sighs heavily and then looks at her watch. She then dashes over to the 'phone and starts dialling a number.

The 'phone rings at Charlie's. Leigh is sitting on the couch. She stares at the 'phone for several seconds. It rings more than three times, though, and she hesitates in answering it. Eventually, she does so and STD pips sound. Before Alison can say anything, Leigh eagerly says, "Am I glad it's you! The 'phone's been ringing all day - it's driving me crazy!" It's Charlie's voice that then comes on, though, saying in surprise, "Alison?" A look of shock crosses Leigh's face as Charlie repeats, "Alison, is that you, darling?" She slams the 'phone down in a hurry.

At Woombai, Alison is looking worried as the 'phone isn't answered. James rejoins her, hands her her Quilpie Slammer and smiles, "These'll do the trick." He then asks her who she was calling. Alison replies that it was just a friend: she was engaged one minute and now she's not answering. James asks if it's anything important. Alison replies that she's just been meaning to call for ages. James assures her, "She won't miss you." They both take a sip of their drink, but Alison then says she thinks she'll try her friend again. James tells her, "If you're going to drink a Quilpie Slammer, you've got to do it properly." Alison ignores him, though, instead picking up the 'phone and starting to dial. James asks impatiently, "Can't it wait?" Alison tells him, "I just want to hear if she was going on holiday. I don't want to miss her."

The 'phone rings again at Charlie's. Leigh just stands there, staring at it.

At Woombai, James tells Alison to forget about it. Alison hangs up, reluctantly, and says she was just hoping to catch her before she left. She returns to the living room table. James brings her drink over and tells her, "You get this little brew into you, it'll prime you nicely." Alison retorts, "It'll do more than that. I'm not the drinker you are." James, though, asks, "How do you know? You've never been drinking with me." Alison points out, "At Charlie's once, you gave it a bit of a nudge. And I heard all about you when you were up in Quilpie..." James laughs and asks what they told her. Alison smiles, "You've got quite a reputation. A gun-skuller, they all said. A bit of a ratbag, but a gun-skuller. You must enjoy a drink..." James, though, explains, "That's the trick, you see? To skull, you've got to hate it. The minute you start enjoying it, you're cactus, you understand?" Alison shakes her head, and James goes on, "If you're enjoying it, you're tasting it. Tasting it's a waste of time. To skull it properly, you've got to drink so fast you can't taste it." Alison looks into his eyes and says, "Teach me." James smiles at her and replies, "Pleasure." He then heads off to the kitchen to get some more beer, leaving Alison with a broad grin on her face...

Charlie is spooning sugar absentmindedly into two cups of tea in the kitchen at the country house. Spider is with her and he tells her to go easy: he only takes one sugar! Charlie, coming back to reality, murmurs, "I am sorry. It's silly of me." Spider asks her what's on her mind: still that 'phone call? He then asks, "Who did you ring?" Charlie replies that she thought she rang Alison. Spider comments that she must have known if it was her or not. Charlie tells him, "I know it wasn't her, but I could have sworn... I thought it sounded like Leigh." Spider, looking surprised, retorts, "You're hearing things. I think that Tom's got you in a tizzy." Charlie smiles and sighs, "Honestly, Spider, it's not as if we're lovesick teenagers - although I was hoping he'd call tonight..." Spider, though, tells him not to hold her breath. Looking surprised, Charlie asks why not. Spider explains, "He's trying to play his cards right. Since you spent the whole of yesterday together, he doesn't want to risk you getting sick of him." Charlie smiles, "He needn't worry about that!" Spider comments, "You two getting a bit keen on each other, eh?" Charlie replies warmly, "Yes." She then adds more sadly, "Although I don't know if he'll feel the same much longer..." Spider assures her, "He will if he cares about you." Charlie, though, points out, "He still thinks I'm a bookworm with curly hair and glasses." Spider tells her, "It wouldn't make any difference if it was me..." Charlie smiles tenderly, "You are sweet. I only hope you're right. I'm going to have to tell him sometime..."

At Woombai, James slams an empty glass onto the living room table and slurs at Alison, "OK, now you have a go. Just take the biggest gulp you can, alright?" Alison puts her glass to her mouth and takes a small sip. James stares at her and then slurs, "No, no, no, no!" Alison asks what's wrong! James insists, "You've got to gulp, you can't sip." Alison says, "Show me again..." James slurs, "Come on, Alison, how many times have I got to show you...?" He pours some more beer into his glass and then, taking off his watch, slurs that they're going to time this. He hands the watch to Alison and indicates a button to press when the glass hits his lips and then again when it hits the table. He asks, "Ready?" Alison presses the button and then presses it again almost immediately as James slams down the glass on the table. She exclaims, "Two seconds! That's incredible!" She then asks, "What's your fast--" She breaks off, though, as James's head suddenly falls forward onto the table. He's passed out! Alison looks at him and laughs, "Oh, what a man!" She starts clearing-up!

Wayne and Mary are both laughing loudly as they arrive back at Dural, late in the evening. Mary is holding a cuddly toy. They go to head into the lounge room, but Wayne stops by the doors, turns to Mary and tells her, "I'm glad you're home. I've really missed you." Mary replies, "I've missed you, too." They then head into the lounge room, where Barbara and Gordon are sitting, reading. Barbara comments that that was a long dinner! Mary explains that Wayne took her to Lunar Park afterwards! Barbara smiles, "Aren't you the lucky one?!" Changing the subject, Gordon hands Mary a letter and explains that it arrived today from her solicitor: it might be something to do with the Mark Sproule trial. Mary opens the letter but then asks Wayne if he can read it. He takes it from her and says, "Let's see... it's from your solicitor: 'Dear Miss. Reynolds, Please contact me as soon as possible. Must speak with you regarding an urgent matter. Enclosed are my home and office numbers. Look forward to hearing from you. Yours sincerely, Humphrey Walden.'" Suddenly looking worried, Mary asks, "Why would he want to see me?" Gordon suggests that they ring and find out, and he takes the letter and heads to the 'phone on the bar. Mary stands there, looking worried.

A few minutes later, Mary has the 'phone to her ear and is saying, "Yes, I'll be at this number... alright... thankyou... bye." She hangs up and Wayne immediately asks, "What did he want?" Still looking worried, she replies, "He said nan left me some money." Wayne laughs, "Don't sound so pleased!" Gordon asks if that's all. Mary, going and sitting down on the couch, goes on, "Some old man took a liking to nan when she worked in the hospital. He left her all his money. Nan wanted me to have it when I got married." Barbara asks in surprise, "You didn't know about that?" Mary replies, "She hid it. Didn't even tell granddad, in case he spent it all." Wayne asks, "Didn't anybody know?" Mary replies, "Only her sister: Mark's mother." Wayne muses that that puts a different light on things. Mary murmurs, "He killed nan and granddad just for money. That's why he came after me..." She adds, "Mark told the police about it last week. They searched around and found it under the floorboards. One hundred and twenty thousand dollars. It's been put in a trust, or something." Gordon says, "I know it's not the most pleasant way to receive a windfall, but if it's wisely invested, you'll be secure for life." Mary, a smile covering her face, exclaims, "I can't believe it! All of a sudden, I can support myself!" Wayne, though, points out, "Not until you're married. It was your nan's condition." Mary smiles, "She was a wonderful lady."

It's the middle of the night. Robert is crying at Beryl's. Heather gets up, heads into the kitchen, takes a bottle of milk out of the 'fridge, runs some water into a saucepan and goes to place the bottle in it. The doors to the lounge room suddenly open, though, and Beryl comes in. Heather asks, "Is he keeping you awake?" Beryl replies, "Yes, but some fruit juice should settle him down." Heather, though, tells her, "Milk would be better. It'll be ready in a minute." A wary look crosses Beryl's face as Heather goes on, "I told you he doesn't sleep well at night, but he doesn't cry like this all the time. He used to - for hours... I don't know what set him off tonight: probably the strange surroundings." Beryl suddenly grabs the bottle from her and says tersely, "Thankyou, Heather - I'll feed him." Heather looks at her and murmurs in surprise, "I was only helping." Beryl, though, snaps, "He's my son, Heather. I'm capable of looking after him myself." Heather looks away, clearly upset. Beryl quickly says, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to snap. Please, just let me do the worrying from now on." Heather asks, "Don't you think you're over-reacting?" Beryl, though, retorts, "Don't you think it's time you accepted that he's my baby? My responsibility?" Heather just mutters, "I think we should have a talk in the morning, Beryl. My feelings can't be turned on and off like a tap, and neither can Robert's." With that, she storms off.

The next morning, Alison is sitting reading the newspaper at Woombai when James staggers in. Alison says a bright, "Good morning." James just mutters, "Very clever. I'm very impressed." Alison asks him 'innocently' what he's talking about. James sighs, "Come on... you didn't have the hots for me. You just wanted me on-side to protect your investment, didn't you? But you couldn't go through with it, could you? Got cold feet. Decided to get me drunk instead, and I fell for it. Boy, did I fall for it..." Alison tells him, "I'm sorry. I don't know what to say." James assures her, "It's alright. I'm not too upset." There's suddenly a knock at the front door and James calls, "Come in." He then turns back to Alison and smiles, "You know, I prefer a woman who's a challenge..." It's Duncan who comes in, saying brightly, "G'day, mate!" He stops in his tracks as he finds Alison sitting there. Alison smiles, "Mr. Phipps, I didn't expect to see you here." James explains to Duncan, "The lady's just visiting." Duncan, though, retorts, "That's what she told me, once. The next thing I know, I'm full as a boot and talking my mouth off. I'd watch her if I were you, pal." James smiles at Alison and murmurs to Duncan, "Thanks for the warning..." Alison says she might go and pack, and she stands up and heads out. When she's gone, Duncan asks James, "Why's she hanging round?" James, though, retorts, "More to the point, why are you? You're supposed to be in Sydney." Duncan explains that he thought he'd look the place over; he drove up last night. He adds, "Fallen on our feet, haven't we?" James, though, mutters, "What's this 'we' business? You're supposed to be staying out of the way." Duncan retorts, "I've changed my mind. I'm getting used to this fancy living." Looking annoyed, James snaps, "Don't get too attached to it, mate. You'll be back on your way to Quilpie real soon." Duncan, though, retorts, "I'd have more fun watching a 'fridge defrost." James snaps, "We've got a mine to run, remember?" Duncan snaps back, "And we're partners, remember? I want a piece of the action down here, too." James growls, "Partners in a mine only. Now, you get up there and start running it." Duncan, though, snaps, "If you think I'm going to spend the rest of my life scratching around in Quilpie while you're enjoying yourself down here, you've got another think coming. James snarls, "Don't you expect any of the profits out of this place." Duncan, though, retorts, "That's exactly what I'm expecting." James snaps, "Then you're way off the track." Duncan suggests nastily, "Something tells me you're forgetting what I know. And I reckon it's worth at least half the profits from this place..." James glares at him, furiously.

At Beryl's, Beryl hangs up the 'phone in the lounge room. Heather joins her and suggests that they should talk now, while Robert's asleep. Beryl murmurs, "Alright." Heather sighs, "Beryl... I can understand how you want to keep Robert to yourself... but you can't ignore that I've been his mother for months." Beryl insists, "I'm not." Heather asks, "How do you think he's going to react if I drop out of his life overnight?" Beryl points out, "I'd be here." Heather, though, retorts, "He won't understand that. He needs time. So do I." Beryl cries, "You have to accept that it's my baby." Heather snaps, "For heaven's sake, I'm trying, but can't you be a little more sympathetic? Have you even considered what I've been through in the last couple of weeks? My husband's gone and now I'm losing Robert." Beryl looks down at the floor and comments, "It hasn't been easy for either of us, Heather. And yes, I do know what it's like when you lose...; when someone you love dies, believe me. I spent months thinking I'd lost Robert, and when I found him, I had to wait months to get him back again. I can't begin to tell you how long those months felt..." She suddenly breaks down into tears. Heather begins to do likewise as she says, "I'm not saying I love him any more than you... or any better. But I do love him. Do you remember how you felt when he was suddenly taken away from you?" Beryl nods her head, sadly. Heather asks, "Is that what you want to put me through?" Beryl shakes her head, gently. Heather goes on through her tears, "I don't know how we're going to work it out. There has to be a less-painful way."

At Dural, Barbara is carrying a pot plant downstairs when the front door opens and James comes in. Barbara welcomes him back and asks how Woombai was. James replies, "Pretty good. Alan Pascoe runs a tight ship. He's a good worker." Barbara agrees, "Gordon's always had great faith in him." James asks if Gordon is about, but Barbara explains that he's gone out to play a game of golf before the meeting; it helps him relax. James says, "If you see him before I do, will you tell him I want to have a word with him? I need to talk to him before the meeting; it's important." Barbara, looking concerned, asks, "Are you alright?" James just mutters, "Aye," and walks off upstairs.

Next door, Leigh is saying to Alison fearfully, "When I realised it was Charlie, I just froze." Alison asks her if Charlie recognised her voice. Leigh says she doesn't know for sure, but she'd say so; that's why she didn't answer when she rang: she was dead-scared it would be Charlie again. Alison mutters, "She always did have a foot-in-mouth sense of timing." Leigh sighs, "I'm sorry. Maybe we'd better tell her?" Alison, though, retorts that she's too close to Adam. Leigh insists, "If we ask her to keep quiet..." Alison, though, points out, "That would be suicide! Charlie's a well-meaning woman, but discretion's not her strong suit." Leigh cries, "We can't just sit here." Alison suggests, "Why don't we call her? She mightn't even have twigged." She goes to the 'phone.

A few minutes later, Spider is sitting at the kitchen table at the country house as Charlie stands, talking on the 'phone, saying, "It was awfully strange." Alison comments that she can imagine. Charlie asks, "You don't think it could have been her?" Alison, though, insists, "Charlie, you know that's ludicrous. You obviously got a wrong number." Charlie sighs, "Possibly. It's just that... I know it sounds bizarre, but Adam's been saying she didn't die, and when I heard that voice..." Alison says curtly, "Adam wants to believe she didn't die. He hasn't got any proof she survived. Believe me, I'd know if Leigh was in the house with me or not." Charlie sighs, "You're probably right." Alison tells her, "I wouldn't mention it to Adam. It'll only upset him more." Charlie assures her, "I wasn't going to." Alison mutters, "Good." Charlie then remarks to her, "You sound a bit on-edge, darling. Everything alright?" Alison insists, "Fine. Life's just a bit hectic at the moment, that's all." With that, she announces that she has to go, and she hangs up. She then turns to Leigh and says, "Problem solved: she thinks it was a wrong number." Leigh smiles at her, in relief. At the country house, Charlie is still holding the 'phone, staring into space and looking thoughtful. Spider calls over, "Had a power failure, love?" Charlie, coming back to earth, turns and says, "Sorry?" Spider explains, "You're standing there like a telephone pole!" Charlie tells him, "I'm going to Sydney, Spider." Looking taken aback, Spider asks, "Why?" Charlie explains, "I'm going to make a surprise visit. Satisfy my curiosity."

Gordon opens the front door at Dural to find Fiona standing on the step. He smiles that she's the first to arrive. Fiona tells him that, actually, there'll be one less: Irene won't be coming - she's snowed-under at the surgery; she'll be standing in for both of them. Gordon assures her, "That shouldn't be difficult. It's only a formality to sign the agreement for Woombai." Fiona smiles that it sounds simple enough. Gordon tells her, "As long as the paper states that half of it goes to us and half of it goes to James, we can sign it and have lunch!" They head into the lounge room. Barbara leaps up from her seat and gives Fiona a hug. Fiona comments that it must be chaotic at Dural with all the guests. Barbara tells her, "So far, it's been a happy sort of chaos - although I must say, James had a very long face this morning." Turning to Gordon, she adds, "Darling, he said he wanted to see you. He said it was very important." Gordon comments, "I expect he'll be down soon." Barbara, though, insists," I think you better go and look for him. He wanted to see you before the meeting." Gordon sighs and heads out to the hallway. James is just coming downstairs, and Gordon comments to him, "Barbara said you wanted to see me." James retorts, "Yeah, I do." Gordon asks, "No trouble, I hope?" He adds, "If you'd like to leave it until after the meeting..." James, though, turns away from his brother and mutters, "No, it's about the meeting. I'm sorry, Gordon. The deal's off. I'm keeping Woombai to myself." Gordon looks at him in shock.


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