Gordon snaps at Alison that Alan will be very difficult to replace;
three years at uni and a degree in Business Management hardly
makes up for experience. Alison retorts that Alan isn't impartial.
Gordon points out curtly that that the man has worked there for
three years; he's an excellent worker and-- Alison interrupts
and yells, "I am not criticising his work. I am simply saying
that in any disagreement he's bound to come out on your side -
and that just isn't on."
Charlie is fussing over Isabella in her lounge room as Adam and
Sally look on. Sally starts to say nervously that she thinks she'll
go back to-- Charlie ignores her, though, and goes on about her
new little baby. Sally looks on and eventually blurts out, "I'm
going back to Melbourne tomorrow." Charlie, looking shocked,
asks what on earth for. Sally tells her, "I don't want to
miss too much of my course." She then stands up and leaves
the room, saying there's reading she should be doing. Charlie
looks at her in surprise. She then asks Adam if she said something
wrong. Adam muses, "I think she's been out in the sun too
long; it sometimes makes people snappy." Charlie smiles that
that 's probably it, adding that Tom was a little bit
snappy today." She suggests that maybe Sally was upset to
see Tom and her arguing. Adam nods that that's probably it...
Barbara steps outside the Woombai homestead, wearing her dressing
gown. She stops and stands on the step as she hears Alan snapping
at Gordon a few yards away, "Mr. Hamilton, I don't want the
job as foreman, I want the job of manager. I've been with you
three years. You're asking a bit much if you expect me to be good
about it." Gordon sighs, "My only excuse--" Alan,
though, interrupts and snaps, "I don't really care. I don't
want another job here, Mr. Hamilton. The only person I could work
under was Stephen, and I know he's not coming back -
so I'll see you through until the new bloke arrives and that's
it." Gordon murmurs, "I appreciate you staying that
long." Alan snaps, "Some of us have a sense
of loyalty." With that, he storms off. Gordon looks
over at Barbara.
A while later, Gordon wanders over to where Alan is pulling up
his car outside the homestead. He tells his manager that he doesn't
have to drive them to the airstrip if he doesn't want to. Alan,
though, insists that it's alright. He then apologises for earlier,
saying he can see how Alison must have handled it. At that moment,
Barbara and Alison emerge from the homestead and Alan calls over,
"All you managed to do was stir up talk of a strike, Miss.
Carr. The men are going out if I'm fired." Alison asks lightly,
"Is that a threat?" Alan retorts, "No, a statement."
Alison mutters, "And of course you've got nothing
to do with it?" Alan tells her, "I haven't,
actually." Alison growls, "Well let them strike.
If they do, we'll replace them - right, Gordon?" Gordon retorts,
"We'll do no such thing." He then tells Alison to get
in the car and they can go; she's caused enough damage.
He helps her into the back, adding that he's had as much of her
as he can stomach for one day. Barbara looks on admirably and
murmurs to Alan, "That's more like it!"
Sally puts down a packed suitcase in the hallway at Charlie's.
She then wanders into the lounge room and picks up Isabella from
the couch. Adam comes in after a run and asks her if she has to
leave straight away. Sally explains that she just thought she'd
get the packing out of the way. She adds sadly that it's just
her luck: she spends years being a wallflower and waiting for
the right man to come along, and when he does, he's her mother's
boyfriend. Adam insists that it's not a complete disaster:
if it doesn't work out with Charlie, maybe she and Tom will still
get together. Sally, though, says she hopes it does work
out for her mother; she deserves someone. Adam then tells
her that Tom is waiting outside, and he suggests she get the private
goodbyes out of the way. At that moment, Charlie comes in and
asks wearily what everyone's doing up at the crack of dawn! Sally
points out that it's 10am and she's got a 'plane to catch. She
then hugs Charlie and says, "I'm so glad you're
my mum." She heads outside, leaving Charlie to ask Adam in
surprise, "What brought that on?" Adam replies,
"I don't know - but I second it, though!"
Alison is sitting in the back of a cab as it heads up the driveway
to Charlie's. She suddenly spots Tom and Sally standing in the
front garden, kissing. As the cab goes past them, Sally asks Tom,
"Who is it?" Tom replies that he doesn't know; it may
have been Alison - he thinks Charlie was expecting her back. Sally
asks him if he thinks she saw. Tom, though, shrugs, "What?
Me giving you a kiss on the cheek?" Sally points out, "It's
the way you kissed me..." Tom insists that they
were doing the decent thing; no one can make a fuss about that.
The cab pulls up outside Charlie's and as Alison climbs out, Sally
murmurs, "It is her..." Alison waves to them
and smiles, "Hi, you two!" Tom murmurs to Sally that
he doesn't think Alison saw anything. Sally then tells him, "I'll
miss you. Please, don't try and get in touch with me, otherwise
I know what will happen and I'll hate myself." As Alison
heads to the front door, she looks back round at Sally and Tom,
who are standing close to each other.
Alison heads inside and Charlie joins her in the lounge room,
groaning, "I feel dreadful - Marcia served some
lethal cocktails yesterday." She then asks Alison how it
went. Alison replies, "Could have been better... could have
been worse. Come to think of it, couldn't have been much
worse." Changing the subject, she indicates the suitcase
in the hallway and asks who's leaving. Charlie explains, "Sally.
She said she had to get back to study, but I'm sure that's not
the real reason." Alison asks what is. Charlie,
though, sighs, "I've no idea at all. She went to the beach
yesterday with everyone - Tom, too, of course... Oh, I don't know,
maybe she's siding with him over the argument we had, but I can't
imagine it." Alison muses, "No..." She then comments,
"Sally and Tom... they've got a lot in common, haven't they?"
Charlie nods, "A lot more than Tom and I. It's marvellous,
really - she can talk to him about all those academic things that
are quite beyond me and I can keep him happy. We're a good team
- it's one of the reasons I'm sorry she's going home." Alison
starts to say, "You don't think--?" She then breaks
off, though, and says she'll go and freshen up.
Caroline is lying asleep on the couch at the Morrell town house,
but she suddenly wakes up and yells, "Amanda." Samantha
rushes over to join her and asks what it is. Caroline, going to
pour herself a drink, pants, "Amanda... it was just like
at Woombai after she disappeared. She was standing there... only
this time, I knew she wasn't alive. I couldn't help her..."
Samantha puts her arms round her. Caroline snaps, "I mustn't
cry. I've got to be strong today. It's just... when I sleep...
it's the dreams..." Samantha suggests that she call Irene
and she can give Caroline a sedative. Caroline, though, insists
that she doesn't want one.
Sally is hugging Charlie in Charlie's lounge room as Adam, Alison
and Tom look on. Charlie tells her daughter to study hard. Sally
turns to Alison and says, "Bye, Alison." Alison wishes
her a nice flight. Sally then turns to Tom and says, "Goodbye,
Tom." She stands there nervously and Charlie tells her not
to be awkward; give him a peck. Tom kisses Sally on the cheek,
reluctantly. Charlie and Adam then head out. Sally lingers in
the doorway and glances at Tom. Alison stands there, watching.
Tom comments to her, "I don't know what Charlie would do
without that girl." Alison muses, "No..."
Caroline, Samantha, Irene, Barbara and Gordon walk into the Morrell
town house following Amanda's funeral. Caroline offers drinks.
Irene says she'll have one. Gordon and Barbara opt for coffee,
and Samantha goes to make it. Irene tells Caroline that she can't
stay long as she has house calls. Gordon adds that nor can he
and Barbara; Wayne's pretty upset and he'd like to spend some
time with him. Caroline goes to the drinks tray. As she pours
a couple of scotches - including one for herself - she remarks
that it's a shame James couldn't make it: she knows he never met
Amanda, but she thought he might have come for her sake.
She adds, "Still, I suppose his injuries would have prevented
him." Gordon, looking uncomfortable, tells her, "There
are a few things that you don't know about: James has gone back
to Quilpie... and he got engaged to Alison before he left."
Caroline hesitates and then mutters bitterly, "Wasn't he
Mr. Sincerity?" Barbara insists that he was very fond of
her - but Alison likes to get her own way. Caroline mutters, "And
James was so weak that he let her con him. I cared a lot
for him." She sits down with a glass of scotch in
her hand and announces, "Once you're all gone, I'm going
to get myself rotten drunk and I'm not going to apologise to anyone."
Irene offers to give her some pills to help her relax. Caroline,
though, mutters, "Pills... booze... what's the difference?
I'll stick to this - just so long as everything blurs for a while..."
She then murmurs, "Bye, baby," and takes a sip of her
Tom is sitting on the couch at Charlie's, reading, when Charlie
comes in and unveils her new swimming costume. She asks Tom what
he thinks. He doesn't even look at her, though, but just murmurs,
"Lovely." Charlie suggests that they could go to the
beach today - just the two of them. Tom tells her that he's burned
from yesterday. Charlie suggests that they take an umbrella. Tom,
though, indicates his book and says tersely, "This is difficult
stuff, Charlie. You may not have to concentrate on the pulp you
read..." He breaks off and apologises, saying he didn't mean
that. He stands up and walks off to his room. Alison wanders into
the lounge room and asks Charlie what happened. Charlie cries,
"He was hideous to me. I'm not the brightest
person in the world, but I don't know what's got into him."
Alison tells her, "I do." She sits down as
Charlie asks her what she means. Alison sighs, "Charlie,
I don't want to hurt you, but there's something you have to know."
Gordon and Barbara arrive back at Dural, and Gordon, looking
around, comments that Wayne must be up in his room. He adds, "I
hope he isn't drowning his sorrows, too." Barbara
mutters, "I'd be more surprised if he wasn't."
They head into the lounge room, where Gordon remarks that his
son doesn't turn to the bottle as readily as he used to; he thinks
he's cutting back. Barbara muses, "Unlike Caroline.
I worry about her: given everything that's happened,
she could become an alcoholic at the drop of a hat." Gordon
murmurs that it's been quite a day - and it's only half over.
Changing the subject, he goes on that he thinks he'll ring Alan
and see if the men are any more stirred-up than they were this
morning. Barbara asks what happens if they go on strike. Gordon
tells her, "I don't know; we can't afford the loss. I ear-bashed
Alison enough on the way down on the 'plane... I hope to God she
comes to her senses." Barbara harrumphs, "Huh! That'll
be the day."
Next door, Charlie stands up angrily and snaps at Alison, "Just
because you've got problems with Gordon and Woombai, there's no
need to take it out on me." Alison, though, retorts,
"If you weren't so besotted with the absent-minded professor,
you'd have realised it for yourself." Charlie cries,
"Tom and Sally wouldn't do it. She's just a baby
- and he's not a professor, he's just a tutor." Alison points
out, "She is a woman, Charlie, and a woman
who has a lot more in common with him than you do."
She then tells Charlie, "Dump him and get someone else who'll
do the right thing by you." Charlie, though, snaps, "Just
like that, mm? I was alone for years before
Tom came along. Men aren't exactly dropping off the trees,
in case you hadn't noticed." Alison glares at her and retorts,
"Bury your head in the sand, for all I care. It'll
just be twice as painful when it finally does come out."
She goes to walk off, but then turns back and says, "I told
you this because I care about you. Think about it. I
don't want to see you get hurt any more than's necessary."
Charlie cries, "It's about time you learnt to be a bit more
diplomatic. How do you expect people to react when you charge
in like a bull at a gate?" Alison just tuts and walks out,
leaving Charlie looking upset.
Alison heads out through the front door, thinking about Charlie's
words. She suddenly smiles, "Very good, Charlie..."
A few moments later, there's a knock on the front door at Dural.
Barbara goes to answer it and Alison walks in. She asks if Gordon's
in. She adds, "Flag of truce." She wanders into the
lounge room. Gordon joins Barbara from the study and the two of
them follow Alison to the lounge. Alison immediately starts, "Before
you say anything, let me talk first. It'll save a lot of aggro."
Barbara mutters, "I doubt that." Alison shakes
her head and sighs, "Oh, you really are a negative woman,
Barbara." Gordon glares at her, but Alison says, "I'm
sorry, Gordon, she brings out the worst in me." She then
goes on, "I came here to apologise. I was wrong. I was arrogant
and unreasonable. Of course Alan can stay - and I'm not
changing my mind because of any threatened strike; I'm changing
it because I've calmed down. I realised you talked a lot of sense
on the way back on the 'plane. I bow to your greater judgement
- even as far as the subdivision's concerned." Barbara and
Gordon stare at her and she suggests, "As soon as you've
picked your jaws up off the floor, why don't you offer me a drink?
I think we should toast the beginning of a new era for us."
Charlie walks into her lounge room, wearing her new swimming
costume. She sits down on the couch, picks up a magazine and starts
browsing through it. Tom wanders into the room slowly and tells
her, "I don't blame you for being upset. I had no right to
say it. I'm sorry." He goes to kiss her, but Charlie quickly
pulls away and Tom asks, "Still not forgiven?" Charlie
replies hesitantly, "No... it's something else." She
looks at him but then says, "Nothing. You go back to your
book." Tom heads back out, leaving Charlie looking worried.
In the lounge room at Dural, Alison finishes a glass of scotch
and then tells Gordon and Barbara, "Of course, we may not
always see eye-to-eye, but from now on, our differences should
be a little more amicable; at least, less juvenile."
Gordon tells her, "I'm glad you've changed your mind. You'll
understand if I reserve judgement for a few weeks." Alison
replies, "Naturally. I mean it, though, Gordon. You'll see."
With that, she heads out to the hallway. Barbara follows her and
says bitterly, "Saul on the Road to Damascus?" Alison
looks at her and says, "Sorry?" Barbara retorts, "The
blinding flash; the conversion." Alison smiles, "Yes...
I thought you might be cynical about it." She then
goes on, "Of course, it's not really important what
you think, Barbara. You're irrelevant in the matter. It's business,
remember?" Barbara opens the door and lets her out. Gordon
joins his wife in the hallway and she asks him what he thinks.
Gordon tells her, "I'll keep an eye on her. At least Alan's
job's safe again." Barbara asks sourly, "For how long?
You don't think that's going to last, do you?" Gordon
replies, "I'll give her the benefit of the doubt - and if
she proves she doesn't deserve it, then you'll hear the explosion
in Woombai." Barbara warns him, "Just don't let her
make a fool of you." Gordon assures her, "I've no intention
Charlie is dialling a number on the 'phone when Alison comes
in. She asks Charlie if she fronted Tom. Charlie, though, sighs
that she couldn't. Noticing the expression on her friend's face,
she adds that there's no need to look so happy about it. Alison
tells her that she hates to see her depressed - and if she looks
happy, it's because of Gordon. Charlie asks what he's done. Alison
explains, "I've just been over there; laid a little groundwork
for the future. Something you said made me think: I was married
to that man for twenty years and I've never used any of that experience
in dealing with him." Charlie suggests tersely, "He's
very clever in business. Why don't you just trust him?"
Alison retorts, "Because I'm cleverer. Trouble is,
I told him so - but I'm changing tactics." Charlie
sighs, "He's a very sweet man. Don't make things unpleasant
for him." Alison, though, smiles, "I'm not going
to. I'm going to be so damn pleasant, he'll wonder what hit him.
I'm going to make Gordon think I'm the sweetest thing that ever
walked, Charlie - and he'll do exactly what I want him