Beryl asks Fiona in surprise, "What do you mean
you can't afford it? You've got private health cover." Fiona,
though, explains, "I never took it out. I didn't think it
was necessary. I was always so healthy." Irene suggests
that her friends would bend over backwards to lend her the money.
Fiona, though, asks how she'd pay them back. Irene snaps, "Alright,
we'll take a second mortgage out on the boarding house."
Fiona, though, retorts, "It's bad enough with the first
mortgage. And I'm not going to leave you with a great debt hanging
round your neck." Irene snaps, "You're not going to
be leaving me with anything. You're talking
about something that isn't going to happen." Fiona,
though, retorts, "For God's sake, Irene, why don't you face
facts? So OK, I have the operation and it is a success. How do
you know the cancer hasn't spread? Then there'll be another operation
- and another one. And if you think I'm going through all that,
you're wrong." She then announces that she's going
to her room and she walks off. Beryl and Irene glance at one another.
That night, Beryl is sitting with Barbara and Gordon in the lounge
room at Dural, telling them, "I thought you'd want to know."
Gordon asks why Fiona didn't say something. Beryl reminds
him that Fiona likes to keep her troubles to herself. She then
goes on, "Irene's arranged the operation to have the kidney
removed, but Fiona doesn't think she can afford it. She's just
lost all her savings on a business deal that went wrong. Irene
and I were involved too; I'll tell you about it later - so we
can't help out, either." Gordon offers, "I
can cover the costs for her." Beryl warns him that Fiona
won't accept charity. Gordon, looking thoughtful, suggests, "Let's
make it look as if the money really belongs to her: uncollected
profits from Woombai." Beryl asks if he could convince her
of that. Gordon winks, "Old silver-tongue like me? You just
Caroline is lying back on the couch at the Morrell town house
when there's a knock on the front door. She goes to answer it
and finds Wayne standing there. He asks if he can come in. Caroline
mutters, "If you must." He walks in and goes and stands
by the drinks tray, looking upset. Caroline asks what the matter
is. Wayne tells her quietly, "Amanda... I needed someone
to talk to. I realised you must be feeling the same way, so..."
He breaks off. Caroline comments, "It has hit you
hard, hasn't it?" She then goes on, "I understand
how you feel, but I don't want to talk about her. What's happened
has happened; we've all got to get on with our own lives."
Wayne accuses, "You're going to forget her - just like that?"
Caroline, though, retorts, "Of course not - but I can't go
on in mourning forever." She then suggests that she make
some tea. Wayne, though, says quickly, "There was something
I wanted to show you - but I don't suppose it matters now. You're
obviously coping so well; I wouldn't want to set you back."
Caroline insists, "I don't think it would; not now."
She asks what it is. Wayne reaches into his jacket pocket and
takes out a photo, explaining that it's of her with Amanda when
she was six. Caroline stares at the photo. Tears suddenly start
to well in her eyes. She doesn't notice the smirk that appears
on Wayne's face. He asks lightly, "Do you mind if I get a
drink?" Caroline murmurs, "No." Wayne adds, "I
think I need one, the way I feel. What about you?"
Caroline mouths, "Yes - please." Wayne starts to pour,
looking pleased with himself.
The next morning, Samantha emerges from her bedroom to find her
mother slumped back on the couch, the remainder of the drinks
on the table in front of her. She sighs, "Oh mum... you've
got to stop doing it to yourself." She rouses Caroline and
then, noticing the photo on the table, asks her mother where she
got it. Caroline murmurs, "Wayne brought it round last night.
Everything came flooding back... I miss her, Samantha
- and it hurts..."
Irene and Beryl are sitting with Fiona in her flat. Irene is
saying, "Alright, I'll postpone the operation for a few weeks
and then we'll see how you feel." Fiona, though, retorts
that that won't make any difference at all; she wants Irene to
cancel it. There's suddenly a knock on the door and Beryl
goes to get it. She finds Barbara and Gordon standing there and
she invites them in. Gordon tells Fiona that he and Barbara had
some business to attend to in the area and he thought they'd drop
in. He adds that he's glad everyone's there together. Fiona asks,
"Why?" Gordon, taking some envelopes out of his jacket
pocket, explains, "I have a little windfall for you: profits
from your share of Woombai." He hands round the envelopes
and Irene smiles, "Couldn't have come as a better time, as
far as I'm concerned"" Fiona, though, says
to Gordon suspiciously, "Wait a minute: we sold all our shares
back to you." Gordon lies, "I've just had the
books audited. There was a mistake in the last dividend; they
underpaid us all." Fiona comments, "You've never
made a mistake in your account." Gordon laughs, "There's
always a first time!" He adds, "Actually, I'm sorry
to give the money away." Fiona snaps, "But
you wouldn't be if it would make someone have an operation you
were told they couldn't afford?" Gordon asks 'innocently',
"What operation?" Fiona, though, retorts, "This
phoney profits story is nothing but charity in disguise."
Barbara chips in, "Then we'll lend you the money with interest,
if it'll make you feel any better." Gordon adds, "If
any of us were in the same position, you'd be the first one to
write out a cheque. You've got to take the money; for goodness
sake, how long have we been friends?" Fiona, however, retorts,
"That doesn't make a scrap of difference. No one has the
right to force a decision on someone else. I am sick and tired
of being argued with and pressure into changing a decision that
only I can make - and if you don't stop it right now, I'm not
going to have anything to do with any more of you." With
that, she rips up the cheque and storms off to her bedroom.
Caroline is sitting staring into space at the Morrell town house.
Samantha joins her and Caroline asks her, "Is that offer
of yours to go up to the mountains still open? I don't think I
can cope by myself today." Samantha tells her, "You'd
feel a lot better if you got out of yesterday's clothes and had
a shower." Caroline, though, says, "It'll take more
than a shower to make me feel better." Samantha
sighs, "Alright. I'll give Irene a call." Caroline heads
off to get changed while Samantha goes to the 'phone. She dials
a number - and the 'phone rings at Dural. Wayne answers it in
the hallway and Samantha immediately snaps, "I don't know
what you think you're up to, but just stay away from mum, OK?"
Wayne asks 'innocently' what he's done. Samantha retorts that
he must have known that photo of Amanda would upset Caroline.
Wayne retorts, "I was married to Amanda, remember?
I was upset last night; I wanted to be with someone who knew her
as well as I did." Samantha asks, "Why bring
the photo round?" Wayne retorts, "I thought Caroline
would like it." Samantha sighs, "It only made
her feel worse. She was drinking until all hours of the
morning." Wayne tells her, "I'm sorry - I really am."
He then adds that Caroline is too strong to let alcohol take over;
she'll come out of it in couple of days. Samantha cries, "I
hope you're right - I'm starting to wonder." Wayne assures
her, "If there's anything I can do, just let me know."
Samantha says, "I will. I'm sorry for snapping." With
that, they hang up. Wayne stands in the hallway at Dural looking
very pleased with himself.
Alison is talking on the 'phone in the lounge room at Charlie's,
saying to the person on the other end that she'll be in touch
as soon as she's talked to her business partner. She then hangs
up and tells Charlie, "They like the idea."
Charlie muses, "No reason why they shouldn't. It's
a pity your motives aren't all that honourable."
Alison retorts, "The children will benefit. So will Woombai."
Charlie remarks, "Regular Mary Poppins, aren't we? I'm sure
Gordon will be impressed." Alison says she thinks she'll
drop over and put the proposition to him now. She heads out. As
she does so, Adam comes in and tells Charlie that he might go
and pick up some brochures for the Europe trip. Charlie, though,
tells him that they don't show the real Europe; leave that to
Gordon and Barbara arrive back at Dural to find Alison waiting
for them. They let her into the house and head into the lounge
room, where Barbara asks her curtly what they can do for her.
Alison announces, "I'd like to open Woombai to a group of
underprivileged children." Barbara, looking astonished, asks
suspiciously what brought on this burst of generosity. Alison
explains, "I got the idea when I realised what you'd both
done for Mary. If it hadn't been for you two, she'd have ended
up another homeless kid on the streets. And there are a lot of
kids, just like Mary, who've never been out of the city."
Barbara demands, "What's in it for you?" Alison
retorts, "Nothing - except that the spin-off in goodwill
from the community will help business in the long-run." Barbara
remarks sourly, "But of course your main concern
is the children?" Alison explains, "I've already
contacted a school and they're all for it. Now it's up to you."
Gordon remarks that it sounds like an excellent idea but he'd
like some time to think about it. Alison tells him to let her
know what he's decided. With that, she goes. In the lounge room,
Barbara comments to Gordon, "Now I've heard everything."
Gordon muses, "I don't see any harm in the idea." Barbara
retorts, "No, nor do I. But the question is: what's Alison
really going to get out of it?"
Fiona is walking along the pavement outside the boarding house
when she spots Kelly coming towards her, using her stick to guide
her way. Kelly calls to her, "Fiona!" Fiona stops and
asks, "How did you know that was me?!" Kelly explains,
"Listening to your footsteps: you take a longer step with
your left foot than you do with your right." Fiona laughs,
"You learn something new every day!" Kelly then goes
on, "I heard you're not going to have the operation."
Fiona sighs, "I don't want to discuss it." Kelly, though,
reminds her, "When mum died, you made me talk about her."
Fiona mutters, "That was different. If I am going to die,
I want it to be in my own bed, not on an operating table."
Kelly cries, "If an operation would make me see again, I'd
take the chance. I understand, Fiona; I know how you feel. I felt
the same when mum died - but you and Andy and everybody talked
me out of it. I'm OK now - and you will be, too, if you give yourself
the chance." Fiona just murmurs, "I'm not having the
operation, Kelly, and that's final." She walks off.
At the Morrell town house, Samantha asks her mother if she's
ready to go. There's suddenly a knock on the door, though, and
Samantha goes and opens it to find Wayne standing there. She mutters,
"You again." Wayne explains that he's there
to see Caroline. He walks over to her and tells her that there's
a meeting on at the house tomorrow afternoon: they're going to
talk over some new financial options for the company and Gordon
will be officially handing over his Power of Attorney. He adds,
"I'll be happy to take your proxy if you don't feel up to
it." Caroline glares at him and snaps, "You never give
up, do you? I'm coming to the meeting and I'll be doing my own
voting, thankyou. It's about time I got back into the
swing of things." Wayne suggests, "In that case, why
don't we have lunch first? I'll be in the city, then we can both
go to Dural." Caroline comments, "As long as you don't
organise a case of food poisoning..." Samantha warns, "Mum!"
Caroline assures her, "Only joking, darling. Wayne's so intent
on looking after my shares, I don't want to encourage
him." Wayne insists, "Only thinking of you."
Caroline smiles, "I'm sure..."
At Dural, Barbara is saying, "I don't understand these people
who have this fear of operations." She's sitting in the lounge
room with Gordon and Irene, but Irene tells her, "Don't be
too hard on her - she comes from a generation when operations
were a lot more risky than they are now." Wayne comes in
as Gordon asks how long Fiona has if she doesn't go to hospital.
Irene replies, "Six months. Less if she doesn't slow down."
Wayne asks what's wrong with her. Irene tells him, "Cancer.
Kidney." Wayne just murmurs, "Oh." Irene comments
that he doesn't seem upset about it. Wayne retorts, "I'm
not." Gordon warns, "Wayne..." Wayne,
though, asks curtly, "What's the point pretending sympathy
for someone I've never liked?" Barbara points out, "She's
never done you any harm." Wayne laughs, "She
would given half the chance. If it was me she wouldn't
be spilling any tears." Gordon suddenly stands up and snaps,
"You couldn't be more wrong: that woman doesn't have an evil
bone in her body." Wayne mutters, "Think that if you
like." Gordon snaps, "I do - and I'll
thank you to keep your views to yourself. If you haven't got the
guts to say it to her face, don't say it behind her back - at
least, not in this house. Is that clear?" Wayne
murmurs, "Yes." Gordon snaps, "Keep it in mind."
Next door, Alison is pouring herself a drink in the lounge room
when Charlie comes in, loaded down with bags and smiling, "Winter
in Europe!" She takes out a fur coat and Alison exclaims
that it's beautiful. Charlie then asks how things went with Gordon.
Alison replies, "Very well. As long as Barbara doesn't talk
him out of the idea, he's all for it." Adam suddenly comes
in and hands Charlie some brochures, saying, "Read these.
See what you think." Charlie takes the brochures and reads
the titles: "Himalayas on Foot. Inner Mongolia
by Bicycle." Adam tells her, "That's the one."
Charlie gasps in shock, "But I'm all dressed for winter in
Europe!" She indicates her new bags of clothes. Adam points
out, "We hadn't definitely decided on Europe."
Charlie, though, retorts, "I had." Adam insists,
"Mongolia's an adventure." Charlie continues
looking at the brochures and suddenly exclaims, "There's
a camel!" Adam explains that that's the camel trek across
the desert. Charlie smiles, "Camels are much more romantic
than bicycles!" Adam insists, "I still like
the idea of the bicycle tour. The organiser is showing a film
tonight; I think I'd like to go." Charlie muses, "I've
got a very chic safari suit I wore in Egypt. I wonder if that
would be right for Inner Mongolia?" Adam looks at Alison
and rolls his eyes!
Beryl is sitting with Andy and Kelly at the dinner table at Fiona's
flat, commenting that Fiona wouldn't say where she was going.
Kelly asks if she's got any family. Beryl replies, "There's
a brother in Sydney but they lost touch years ago; her family
disowned her." Kelly asks, "How could we find him?"
Beryl comments, "I'm not sure. Bunty and Thel might know."
Kelly suggests, "If they found out she was sick, they might
talk her into having the operation." Beryl, though, explains,
"Not in Fiona's case, love. Old hatreds run very deep in
her family, I'm afraid." Kelly insists, "We don't have
anything to lose. I say let's give it a go." Andy chips in
that agrees. He asks Beryl if she wants to come. Beryl retorts
that she still doesn't think it's a good idea to go looking for
Fiona's family. Kelly, though, cries, "If they convince Fiona
to have her operation, then everyone will think it's
a good idea. We have to give it a try."
Sometime later, Andy and Kelly are approaching a grand-looking
house. Kelly asks, "What does the place look like?"
Andy replies, "Nice and neat and tidy. They must trim the
garden with a pair of scissors!" They walk up towards the
front door and Andy helps Kelly up a step. He then knocks on the
front door. Kelly comments, "It feels empty to me."
A male voice suddenly calls out, "They're not in." Andy
looks around to see a man approaching from next door. The man
goes on, "I take it you're not friends of the Reids?"
Andy replies, "No." He asks the man if he knows when
they'll be back. Kelly adds that it's very important they talk
to them. The man hesitates and then says, "George will be
in around six - and Janice, his daughter, comes in around four."
Andy asks Kelly if she wants to wait. Kelly nods. The man, pointing
back down the path, snaps, "In the street, if you don't mind."
Andy helps Kelly back down the path, commenting that the man must
think they're druggies wanting to knock the place over!
Alison wanders into the lounge room at Charlie's. Adam is in
there and he comments that she looks happy. She explains that
she's just had a call from James: he's thinking of putting in
a manager so he can spend some time with her in Sydney. Charlie
suddenly waltzes in, dressed in her safari suit, and she smiles,
"Can't you just see me in the Gobi? Riding along on the ship
of the desert?" Alison muses, "Not really!" She
adds that she honestly thinks Charlie would be better off on the
bicycle tour. Charlie, though, sighs, "Trouble is, darling,
I never learned to ride a bicycle." Adam insists that she's
got plenty of time to learn before they go. Charlie sighs that
she'll go and change! When she's gone, Alison muses to Adam, "I
detect a certain conflict of interest between you and your mother."
Adam sighs, "Yeah!"
In her flat at the boarding house, Fiona is showing Beryl some
photos in an album. They also have various other items spread
out, and Fiona comments that a lot of the stuff goes back to before
the war. She then hands Beryl a coat and tells her that she'd
like her to have it. Beryl, though, tells her to keep it for herself.
There's suddenly a knock on the door and Fiona goes to get it.
Wayne is standing out in the corridor and he smiles nastily, "Hello,
Fiona. I heard you weren't too well." Fiona snaps, "So
you've come to pass on your sympathy, huh?" Wayne grins,
"You should know me better than that!" He adds, "One
thing, though: I never took you for a coward. Poor old Fiona's
going to lay down and die because she's too scared to have an
operation." Beryl warns, "Wayne..." Wayne, though,
continues, "Strange, isn't it? Someone you always thought
had more guts than half the US Marine Corps. But when it comes
down to it, she just can't hack it." Beryl snaps, "That
is enough, Wayne. We're not really interested in what you have
to say." Fiona stands there, looking indignant. Wayne laughs,
"Least of all Fiona, eh? She's a bluff-artist; she certainly
had me bluffed all these years. One threat after another
and I fell for them. Now I find out she's just a frightened
old woman." Beryl snaps at him, "Get out." Wayne,
however, spits at Fiona, "Just don't expect me to send flowers
to your funeral. I wouldn't waste my money." With that, he
goes, leaving Fiona standing there looking thoughtful.