Wayne snaps at Alison, "Guess this is your idea,
is it?" James retorts that he said it was a present
to Alison. Gordon tells Wayne to forget it; if it's done, it's
done. Wayne growls at James that he really likes messing everything
up. James mutters, "Gordon and Alison have got joint control
of Woombai. I don't see anything messy about that. As far as the
company goes, four people have got an equal say; that means to
get anything done you all have to work together. I've arranged
things that way because I honestly believe that would be better
for the company." Barbara asks him suspiciously what he's
going to do. Putting his arm around Alison, James turns to her
and says, "I was meaning to tell you this later, but I've
got to go back to Quilpie for a while."
Next door, Charlie is in her lounge room, tying a glittery mask
around her head so that it covers her eyes when the front door
bangs and Tom, Sally and Adam come in. Sally looks at her mother
and asks what the mask's for. Charlie explains that she found
them; she thought they could hand them out at the door and turn
the party into a masked ball. Looking dubious, Sally suggests
that it's probably a bit too late to spring that on people. Charlie,
looking disappointed, nods and sighs, "Next time..."
She then takes the shopping bags that the others are carrying
and heads out to put everything away. When she's gone, Sally murmurs,
"I don't think I want to be here next time."
Tom mutters, "I don't particularly want to be here this
time." Sally quickly tells him, "It won't be so bad.
Just grit your teeth and talk about the weather!"
Alison and James are walking in the grounds at Dural. James is
telling his fiancée, "A mate called me last week.
Seems a few of the blokes down in Quilpie decided that whilst
I was here in Sydney, they'd take a crack at jumping my claim."
Alison asks him how long it'll take to sort out. James sighs,
"A couple of weeks; could be longer." Alison asks him
when he'll leave. James replies that it'll be tomorrow. Alison
smiles, "Don't forget fuel this time!" She then thanks
him for the shares. James suddenly takes a small case out of his
jacket pocket and hands it to Alison; it contains a ring. She
smiles that it's beautiful and they hug tightly.
Wayne is pacing the lounge room floor inside, muttering angrily,
"The man must have gangrene of the brain; there's no other
explanation." Gordon points it that it wasn't that disastrous;
he's got half James's shares in the company and half of Woombai;
it's a very generous offer. Wayne snaps, "We must have different
dictionaries." He goes to pour himself a drink. Gordon, though,
mutters, "Must you reach for a bottle every time
anything goes wrong? You might find that Alison is much more reasonable
than you think. At the very least, we should see how she shapes
up before we press the panic button." With that, he walks
out. Wayne pours his drink. Barbara hands him a glass for herself.
Andy climbs out of a van which is parked outside Charlie's front
door. Charlie, Adam and Sally emerge from the house and, looking
at the van, Charlie asks Andy if it's new. Andy explains that
he blew a gasket; the garage lent him this one. Tom,
standing with Charlie, comments that the party must have cost
her a fortune. Charlie, though, smiles, "What's money when
you're having fun?!" Alison joins them and asks if everything's
going to schedule. Charlie laughs, "Of course." She
then asks how James is. Alison shows her the ring, and Charlie
exclaims that it's gorgeous! Tom walks off to help Sally unload
Andy's truck. When he's gone, Charlie confides to Alison, "I'll
probably have to settle for something a little plainer
- but between you and me, I'd prefer that." Alison tells
her, "James also signed over control of his assets. That
was his engagement present." Charlie, looking shocked, gasps,
"You mean... you can sort of do what you like with
them?" Alison grins, "Exactly - and believe me, I intend
James is sitting in the grounds at Dural when Wayne storms over
and mutters, "Think you God's gift to everything,
don't you? Women... grog... business... You don't know
what you've done, handing over the reins to Alison." James,
though, retorts, "I know a lot more than you, peabrain.
I know you're not going to get an armchair ride anymore,
and that's what's really getting up your schnoz, isn't
it?" Wayne snaps, "What's worrying me is the
effect it will have on dad." James, however, snaps,
"Bull. The fact is you're nothing more than mediocre when
it comes to directing the company. Alison's going to make everyone
realise that." Wayne glares at him, angrily.
Gordon walks into the lounge room inside and asks Barbara where
Wayne is. Barbara retorts that he's outside abusing James, probably.
Gordon mutters that that isn't going to get him anywhere. Barbara
warns him that Alison could cause him a few headaches with the
company. Gordon, though, replies, "I don't think so - not
with the company. If she tries anything stupid, Wayne and I will
simply vote against her." Changing the subject, he asks when
they're due at Charlie's. Barbara replies that it's at about 8pm.
She then asks about Woombai. Gordon admits, "That'll be a
bit trickier - particularly with Irene, Beryl and Fiona having
a small interest in the place." Barbara points out that they're
hardly going to vote against him. Gordon replies, "No
- but Beryl lives in Melbourne and Fiona's down there at the moment...
if Alison kicks up a fuss, I'll be constantly calling meetings
to canvass opinions. She could make it difficult." Barbara
asks him what he's going to do about it. Gordon shrugs, "I
have to do something."
At the country house in Sunbury, Donna and Jess leave the lounge
room to go and see how dinner is doing just as Fiona - who's all
dressed up - comes in. Donna tells her to have a good night, and
Fiona smiles that she sure will! The two girls leave them. Spider,
who's sitting in an armchair, comments to Fiona that she's putting
on the ritz! He asks, "You wouldn't be needing a chaperone,
would you?" Fiona laughs, "No! Beryl and I are going
to have one wonderful night! See you all later!" With that,
she waltzes out again. When she's gone, Tim comments to Spider,
"She's a great lady, isn't she?" Spider, though, retorts,
"They should have taken a chaperone with them - two ladies
out on their own... it's not safe." He then suggests
to Tim that, after dinner, they go down to the pub and sip on
a couple of quiet ones. Tim says eagerly, "Sure!" He
then mutters, "Oh... I don't know what Donna will say..."
Spider, though, tells him, "Look, you're only going down
to the pub, for heaven's sake. Do you good to get away
from the missus for a few hours."
Out in the kitchen, Jess and Donna are preparing dinner. Jess
muses, "It's hard to think we're both 17 and I'm still at
school and you're married with a kid on the way." Donna mutters,
"I reckon you've got the better deal." Jess
comments that she thought she and Tim were getting along fine.
Donna, though, sighs, "He's nice and everything; he's just
not all love and roses, that's all. It's what I'm missing out
on that gets to me - I wanted to finish my HSC and go to uni."
Jess asks her what's stopping her. She adds, "There's
nothing to say that just because you're married with a kid on
the way you've got to lock yourself indoors. As soon as your baby's
old enough, you ought to get out and finish your HSC and go to
uni and do all those things." Donna murmurs, "I couldn't
- it doesn't feel right." She adds, "I don't know how
Tim would react." Jess smiles, "Drag him into the eighties
- hasn't he heard of women's rights?!"
Fiona is at Beryl's, standing with Beryl as she puts on some
earrings. Fiona comments to Beryl that she thought she would have
been ready and waiting. Beryl explains that she's been on the
'phone to Gordon: apparently, James has given Alison half of Woombai.
She goes on, "He wants to talk to you, too - he's offering
to buy us out; he thinks it'll put him in a better position to
fight any ideas she'll get." Fiona asks if he's talked to
Irene. Beryl replies, "Yes - she's selling; and
I am, too." Fiona sighs, "I'll sell too - give
me little bit more spare cash." She then suggests that they
The party at Charlie's is in full swing, and guests are milling
about the lounge room. Andy quietens the music to tell everyone
that if they have any requests, they should come and see him and
he'll see what he can do. He then starts another record before
joining Adam, Sally and Tom and asking how it's going. Tom muses
that it's not really their scene. Andy tells them that he's going
to the beach tomorrow with Kelly, and he asks the three of them
if they'd like to come. Sally and Adam accept. Tom, though, says
he'd like to, but he doesn't think Charlie will be all that keen.
Andy says he'll ask her. Charlie suddenly waltzes over to them
with a female guest and tells Tom, "I'd like you to meet
Marcia Coolidge - a very dear friend of mine." Marcia smarms,
"Professor Chaplin... I've heard a lot about you." Charlie
then introduces her to Adam and Sally. Marcia waltzes off to get
a drink, leaving Tom to mutter at Charlie, "Isn't a high-school
teacher good enough for you? I'm not a professor, Charlie."
Charlie cries, "But you lectured at university." Tom
corrects, "I tutored for one term; it's not even close."
Elsewhere in the room, Gordon is standing with Barbara and Wayne
and he asks tersely how much longer they have to stay before it's
rude to say goodbye. Barbara tells him, "I'm ready to go
now." Wayne turns to the doorway and looks at Alison
and James. Barbara mutters that they're getting closer by the
minute. By the door, James leads Alison out into the
hallway and asks her, "Do you realise that tonight is going
to be the last night that I see you for quite a while? Do you
think Charlie would mind if we just slipped away?" Alison
asks, "Where to?" James explains, "I've booked
a little motel room..." Alison kisses him and replies, "I
don't care if Charlie minds or not."
Later that evening, Barbara hands a seated Gordon and Wayne coffees
in the lounge room at Dural. As she does so, Gordon tells Wayne,
"I've been thinking: how would you like Power of Attorney
on my 25% of the company - for an initial period of three months
until we see how things pan out?" Wayne, looking surprised
but delighted, says, "Sure - if you want to give
it to me." Barbara, though, snaps, "Why?"
Gordon explains, "As a safeguard, really. I'm still not altogether
convinced that Alison's involvement is going to mean disaster,
but as the boy scouts say, 'Be prepared'. With Fiona, Beryl and
Irene selling out to me, I'll own a straight 50% of Woombai and
that'll be my domain; I'm happy with that. I don't want to spend
another twenty or thirty hours a week keeping tabs on the company."
Turning to Wayne, he continues, "You can do that;
I trust your judgement. Alison has to keep an eye on both and
that's quite a task; hopefully, between us, we'll stay one step
ahead of her." Wayne smiles sincerely, "Thanks dad."
Barbara looks away in disgust.
The party is still going on at Charlie's. Tom opens the front
door and stares outside. Sally joins him and comments that it's
a bit loud inside. Tom nods, "Just a touch." He goes
on, "I'm very fond of your mother, in lots of ways, and it
was nice that she threw a party to introduce me to everyone..."
Sally completes, "But basically, you don't like her friends?"
She adds, "Just between the two of us, neither do I."
At that moment, Charlie waltzes out of the lounge room and joins
them. She asks if either of them have seen Alison and James recently.
Sally replies, "Sorry." Charlie muses, "Wonder
where they could've got to. Party poopers!" She then grabs
Tom's arm and leads him back into the lounge room. Sally follows.
The next morning, Charlie is sitting in her lounge room, wearing
her dressing gown, when the front door bangs and Alison and James
walk in. Charlie snaps at them, "I expect a pretty good explanation."
Alison tells her, "Sorry, Charlie. It was James's last night
before he goes back to Quilpie for a while." James adds,
"We stayed in a motel. Alison wanted to say goodnight to
you; I couldn't wait." Alison tells James softly,
"It was a beautiful night," and she kisses him. Charlie
then wishes James a good trip and leaves him and Alison to it.
James tells Alison softly, "I don't know how long I'm going
to be away. I'm going to miss you." Alison murmurs, "Me
too." She adds, "Remember, 'planes fly on fuel!"
James whispers, "Catch you soon." They kiss and James
then walks out. Alison stands in the middle of the room, looking
upset. Charlie wanders back in and comments, "For someone
who said they couldn't bounce back like they used to, you don't
seem to be doing too badly." She adds, "He's more than
just a rebound from David, isn't he?" Alison murmurs, "Yes,
A while later, by the front door at Dural, James shakes Gordon's
hand and tells him to take care. Barbara looks on, but the 'phone
suddenly starts ringing and she goes to answer it. James tells
Gordon, "I meant what I said yesterday, mate: I gave Alison
a hand in the business because I think she'll make a better fist
of it than me. She may take a while to settle in, but I think
you'll find it's a good move." Gordon muses, "I'm sure
she'll keep us on our toes." James then picks up a packed
bag and tells his brother, "Keep your guard up. I'll see
you when I see you." With that, he goes. Gordon closes the
front door behind him and then heads into the lounge room where
Barbara is just slamming down the 'phone. She tells him, "Alison
- at Charlie's. She wants you to go over there as soon as possible
because she's lined up a meeting with you and, er, somebody else
to talk about Woombai." Gordon sighs, "So much for settling
There's a gentleman sitting on the couch at Charlie's. Charlie
is still clearing up the glasses from the night before, and she
mutters at Alison that she could have warned her. There's
suddenly a knock on the front door and Alison tells Charlie that
it'll be Gordon. Charlie goes to answer it and lets Gordon in.
He heads into the lounge room. The man sitting on the couch stands
up as Alison thanks Gordon for taking the time to come over. She
introduces the man as Richard Dent and tells Gordon, "Richard's
with the firm of civil engineers I chose to put in charge of subdividing
part of Woombai." Gordon looks at her in shock.
A few moments later, Gordon queries, "What subdivision?
What on earth are you talking about?" Alison retorts, "The
bottom paddock is 50 acres. I've talked to Alan Pascoe; it's hardly
ever used. If we agree it at ten five-acre lots and sell it off
tomorrow, we'd make a fortune." Gordon snaps, "In the
short-term, maybe, but once they're gone, that's it. In the meantime,
we've lost one of our main recreational areas - which in the long-term
could be disastrous." Alison starts to protest, "I know
you're annoyed just because--" Gordon, though, interrupts
and snaps, "I am annoyed because you had the nerve
to presume that I would go along with your ridiculous plan simply
because you set the wheels in motion. No, I am sorry, Alison.
I won't be bullied quite that easily." Dent starts to say
uncomfortably that he can see there might be a disagreement, and
he suggests Alison gets back to him when she decides what she
really wants to do. Alison sighs, "I'll show you out. Sorry,
I wasn't expecting such emotional opposition."
Spider is at Beryl's, and as he sits down in her lounge room,
he asks her what time she got home last night. Beryl replies that
it was about 2am or 3am. Spider asks her where she got to. Beryl
points to a leaflet on the table. Spider picks it up and reads,
"Ladies' Night - All-Male Revue." He exclaims, "That's
disgusting!" Fiona wanders in and Spider mutters, "I
suppose it was all your idea?" Fiona smiles, "I'm
afraid it was!" She adds, "You can't tell me
you've never seen any strip shows before!" Spider retorts,
"None." He pauses before then admitting, "Well,
maybe one or two - but they were girls; that's different!"
Beryl and Fiona look at him with bemused expressions! Fiona, changing
the subject, then says to Beryl, "Did I ask anybody here
for lunch today?" Beryl replies, "Yes, a friend you
bumped into before the show - Maynard Gilling." Fiona exclaims,
"Yes, of course! He should be here any tick of the clock."
With that, she heads off to have a shower. Spider, still staring
at the leaflet, muses to Beryl, "Good money, is it, this
sort of work?" Beryl smiles, "If you'd started, say,
thirty years ago, Spider, you'd be a millionaire by now!"
At Charlie's, Alison snaps at Gordon, "The Woombai property's
over one thousand acres. I'm talking about fifty;
less than five percent." She adds, "May I remind you,
I'm still the largest single shareholder." Gordon, though,
retorts, "Not for long: Fiona, Beryl and Irene are selling
out to me in a couple of days - we'll have exactly 50%
each. Now, as far as Woombai's future is concerned, I've always
believed that it lies in expansion, not subdivision." Alison
retorts, "You're wrong." Gordon, though, snaps, "I'm
not." He goes on, "I was prepared to give you a fair
go if you were prepared to be reasonable. Don't think you can
fight me and win because you haven't got a ghost of a chance."
Alison, though, smiles, "We'll see. I will fight
you, Gordon, and I will win."