Charlie is lying on her couch, meditating, her eyes covered with
a mask, when the front door slams and Alison storms in. She rants,
"I don't believe how far that woman will go. Do you know
what she's trying on now?" Charlie doesn't respond,
and so Alison pulls back the mask from over her eyes and then
continues, "She's setting up a witness to say he saw me driving
the car." Charlie just stares at her and then pulls out a
pair of ear-plugs and says, "Sorry, darling, I haven't heard
a word you said." Alison repeats tersely, "I'm trying
to tell you that Caroline is setting up a witness to say he saw
me driving the car." Charlie comments, "There's nothing
drastic about that. It's only one person's word against
mine and the police will believe me; I mean,
I can swear you couldn't possibly have been driving the car."
Alison snaps, "Charlie, you don't understand. Even if they
finally realise she's lying, there's going to be a full investigation
- including me having my fingerprints taken..."
Charlie murmurs, "Oh, I see what you mean." Alison goes
on, "If I don't stop her, I'll be up for a damn sight more
than neg-driving." Charlie asks who Caroline's putting up
as a witness. Alison mutters, "Some man from an air-conditioning
firm. Probably a one-night stand paying back an old favour."
Charlie asks, "How are you going to stop her?" Alison
admits, "I don't know, Charlie. I don't know."
At the Morrell town house, Caroline is talking on the 'phone,
thanking the person at the other end for their trouble. She then
hangs up and looks up another number in the Yellow Pages, which
are open in front of her. She dials and when the call is answered
says, "Hello, could I have your Service Department, please?"
She then waits to be connected before saying, "Hello. It's
about a service call made in the Dural area yesterday. I was wondering
if one of your servicemen saw a car accident." She listens.
Samantha suddenly comes in through the front door, carrying a
suitcase. Caroline says on the 'phone, "I was wondering if
you could ask one of your men - it really is very important..."
She them murmurs, "I see. Well, I'm sure they would have
mentioned something. Bye bye." She hangs up and goes and
gives her daughter a warm hug. Samantha tells her, "When
the solicitor called, I came as quickly as I could." She
then asks in concern, "How are Gordon and Aunty Barb?"
Caroline replies, "They're both in hospital; Gordon's very
bad." Samantha goes on, "I didn't get much from the
'phone call other than you'd been charged." Caroline
cries, "It's not my fault. Alison was driving, but
somehow I ended up in the driver's seat after the accident."
She adds guiltily, "I was drunk." Samantha stares at
her and exclaims, "Oh mum!" Caroline pleads, "Believe
me, it's the last time - no more; I promise." She continues,
"Alison was driving. She set me up. All I can remember was
the car veering onto the wrong side of the road, then the crash
and then I blacked-out. When I came-to, I was in the driver's
seat and Alison had vanished." Samantha cries, "My God
- that woman!" Caroline tells her, "There was an air-conditioning
mechanic who saw what happened. That's what I'm trying to do at
the moment: track him down. I'm halfway through the list. If I
can find him, he'll be able to get me out of this mess."
She then asks, "Do you believe me?" Samantha smiles,
"Of course I do." She gives her mother another hug.
Caroline says gratefully, "I'm so glad to have you home."
Janice is with Fiona in Fiona's room at the mansion. She hands
her a sheet of paper and tells her, "It's a list of house
rules for this place." Fiona looks through them and then
gasps, "'No pets allowed?' Not even budgies?" Janice
retorts, "They can give you a disease." Fiona then reads,
"'No members of the opposite sex in rooms after 9pm,'"
and comments, "That's a bit hard." Janice tells
her, "Everyone should be thinking of going to bed at that
time of night." Fiona muses, "That's what I mean...!"
She goes on, "'No cooking odours'. Everybody's cooking
smells." She peruses further, "'Absolutely no alcohol
on the premises.'" Janice tells her, "Alcohol's an unnecessary
evil." Fiona retorts, "Only if taken in excess. There
is nothing at all wrong with the odd bottle of bubbly - or two!"
She then adds tersely, "You must have had a lot of fun making
all this up. Your set of house rules is more like a manifesto
for fascism. I can't imagine the new owner being too
impressed." Janice, though, tells her, "He's given me
authority to take charge." Fiona looks at her in surprise
and exclaims, "What? When did you meet him?" Janice
replies, "Last night. He gave Mr. Barnes his marching orders.
Apparently you were right: he's been cheating the tenants and
buying things for his own flat with the proceeds. He'll pay of
course, when he meets his maker." She adds, "Such a
pity, of course, that people like May have to suffer in the meantime."
Fiona asks her what she's talking about. Janice replies, "If
she has to pay her rent in coins, it's obvious she's in financial
difficulty." Fiona murmurs, "I didn't know she was that
bad." She then asks more brightly, "What's the new owner
like? I mean, he was very quick to come down on Mr. Barnes."
Janice smiles and tells her, "He's a gentleman. And it's
obvious he cares about people. He's going to renovate the building
and carry out all the repairs that need doing." Fiona exclaims
in surprise, "Really? Well, whoever he is, he just won me!"
Wayne is still sitting next to Gordon's bed at Hornsby Hospital.
He's looking exhausted and Irene tells him that he should go home,
as the crisis is over. Wayne asks if Gordon is going to be alright.
Irene replies, "I don't want you to get excited, but there
has been some improvement." She escorts him out
to the corridor and suggests he take a seat for a while, as she
has to check on a couple of things with the specialist. She walks
off. Charlie suddenly appears in the corridor and she joins Wayne.
She asks how Gordon is. He tells her that Irene says he's better;
he's over the worst of it. Charlie smiles that that is
good news. Wayne sighs, "You can say that again. I tell you,
Charlie, things are going to be different from now on. I know
I've been far from perfect over the years, but I'm going to make
up for every minute. I'm going to make sure we do everything together
that we should have done - right back from when I was
a kid. I want him to be proud of me." Irene emerges from
Gordon's room again, looking worried. She suggests to Charlie
that she go and have a chat with Barbara, as it's a bit too soon
for Gordon yet. Charlie murmurs, "It's awfully difficult
knowing what to say..." She walks off anyway. Irene sits
down with Wayne and says gently, "I want you to understand
what I meant before." Wayne points out, "You said he
was better." Irene tells him, "Yeah... better
than he was. There's a long, long way to go yet."
Wayne asks, "What are you trying to tell me?" Irene
replies, "You know your father's been ill for a long time.
His resistance is low; the accident's taken its toll." Wayne
snaps, "Stop beating around the bush. Is he coming out of
the hospital or isn't he?" Irene nods, "Yes, he's coming
out - but I've just been talking to the specialist and he seems
to feel..." She breaks off before explaining, "What
I'm saying is, you should make the most of the time you have left
with him." Wayne stares at her in shock.
Sometime later, Wayne is standing in the corridor at the mansion,
staring at the list of house rules, which Janice has pinned up
on the door of the manager's flat. Janice suddenly walks up behind
him and he doesn't turn round as she says, "I hope you understand
the rules, because if you don't, you're out. The new owner's very
firm about keeping a clean house." Wayne turns round at that
moment. Janice looks at his dishevelled appearance and exclaims,
"Good gracious! What on earth's happened to you?"
They head into the flat and Wayne tells her, "I've been at
the hospital since about two o'clock this morning. My parents
were involved in an accident. My dad's seriously ill." Janice,
looking shocked, murmurs, "I'm terribly sorry." She
then goes on, "I know how I'd feel. My father's
the most important man in my life. My thoughts will be with you."
Wayne tells her sincerely, "You're very kind." Janice
tells him, "If you want me to do anything, I'll be in Aunty
Fiona's room." With that, she leaves him.
Fiona is in her room, trying to use buckets and pans to catch
water that is dripping from the ceiling. Janice comes in and asks
where the water's coming from. Fiona points out curtly,
"Water usually runs down." Janice comments,
"It's not raining." She starts placing some other tins
under further drips of water. Fiona eventually says they'll have
to get the plumber. Janice tells her, "The owner
will do that." Fiona retorts, "If I can ever find
him." Janice replies, "He's in the manager's flat."
Fiona goes to walk out. Janice calls after her, "But he's
not really in a fit state to worry about it at the moment."
Fiona just retorts, "I'm not in a fit state to get
drowned - but I am in a fit state to give him
my list of complaints." Janice yells in concern for Wayne,
"Aunty... No - it's not the time..." It's too late,
though: Fiona walks off.
Wayne is sitting at the table in the manager's flat, his head
buried in his hands. Fiona appears in the open doorway and says,
"Hello." She walks in gingerly, staring at Wayne's back
and not realising it's him. She goes on, "I'm Fiona Thompson.
My niece tells me that you've agreed to restore the building.
I couldn't agree more." Wayne doesn't respond. Fiona goes
on uncertainly, "I'm just so glad that you decided not to
demolish. This place has got such wondrous potential--" She
breaks off as Wayne turns to face her and retorts, "I'm glad
you think so."
A few moments later, Fiona snaps, "I might have known
it would be you. Pulling down a beautiful old building, that's
just your style." Wayne mutters, "Hang on, don't get
your knickers in a knot. It's not quite what you think."
Fiona says disbelievingly, "Oh really?" Wayne retorts,
" Alison was behind it. She bought it -
against my advice - for the company. I'm not trying to get out
of a spot for anything; it's just now the place can't be demolished,
I'm trying to make it a going-concern - for dad's sake."
Fiona stares at him and asks him if he's been up all night. Wayne
replies that he's been at the hospital since about two this morning.
Fiona asks, "Uh huh?" Wayne explains, "Barbara
and dad were in a car accident." A look of horror crosses
Fiona's face. Wayne goes on, "Barbara's OK but dad's pretty
bad." Fiona exclaims that that's dreadful. Wayne tells her,
"I know we've never got on, but I could do with a bit of
support - it's going to be a while before dad's back on top, and
Alison doesn't give a damn about the place now it can't be redeveloped
- and I've got to find some way to make it pay. I was wondering
whether we could perhaps call a truce." Fiona assures him,
"There's no need for you to even ask." She then says
she thinks she'll go to the hospital. She adds that she'll leave
him him peace, and she tells him to try and get some sleep. Wayne
murmurs, "As soon as I finish here." Fiona leaves him
and he buries his head back in his hands.
Janice is wiping up water from the floor of Fiona's room when
Fiona comes back in. Janice asks her aunt, "You weren't too
hard on him, were you?" Fiona assures her, "No, no,
no." Janice goes on, "Mr. Hamilton's got a great deal
on his mind - and if a few drops of water is all we have
to worry about, we have to thank the Lord." With that, she
goes off to find a mop. She leaves the room. All-of-a-sudden,
Fiona stares at a bookcase which is leaning against one wall of
the room: it's turning round on an axis! May comes through the
opening, holding a vase, and exclaims, "Look what I
found! I nearly brought my old chamber pot: I thought I might
need it - dripping water does awful things to you!" Fiona
stares at her and murmurs, "May... you just came through
the bookcase!" May smiles, "That's right - it's our
connecting door." Fiona mutters, "I didn't know we had
a connecting door." May smiles, "It's been there for
years." Fiona asks uncertainly, "You just come and go
as you please?" May tells her, "Only when I know who's
in here - and as we're old friends from way back, I decided to
take the short-cut." With that, she hands over the vase to
Fiona, who says through gritted teeth, "I'm so very glad
you did." She puts the vase down and then picks up a pair
of tights which are lying nearby, saying as she does so, "I'm
down to my last pair, and I just can't afford any more at the
moment." May grins, "I can remember when you didn't
have to put your hands in your purse for a pair of stockings:
there was always someone to buy them for you - and they
weren't rubbish, either! Pure silk!" Fiona laughs, "And
the 'fridge was always full of orchids - and champagne!"
May says distantly, "They were great days..." Fiona
goes on, "I'll never forget him, either. Fancy the
time you and I both got a dozen pairs of silk stockings - and
on the one day!" She then muses, "I wonder whatever
happened to Neville. He was so sure he was going to survive
the War; I never heard from him again." May tells
her, "He's fine. He's living at Stoke-on-Trent in England."
Fiona asks sharply, "How do you know that? Have you been
in touch with him?" May murmurs uncertainly, "I thought
I'd said something about it. Alice Brown ran into him
when she was having her maiden trip. You remember Alice, don't
you?" Fiona shrugs, "If it's the girl I'm thinking of,
it was hardly a 'maiden' trip!" Janice comes back in with
a mop. She tells Fiona that there's someone at the door, collecting
for the Red Cross. May quickly says, "I'm afraid I'm all
out of small change - I only have large notes until I go to the
bank." With that, she heads back through the connecting door.
Janice gasps, "She just disappeared through the bookcase!"
Fiona assures her that she'll explain it all later on! Janice
goes on, "I'm not surprised she's out of small change, after
giving her last coins to Mr. Hamilton." Fiona muses, "I
don't think she'd have too many 'large notes', either. I'd say
she's completely skinned. Poor dear... scraping by on a pension.
Just isn't fair, is it?"
Alison is sitting in Charlie's lounge room, looking at some blown-up
photos. Charlie comes in from outside and comments that she just
saw a courier in the garden; she asks if the papers Alison has
are exciting. Alison, stuffing the photos back into an
envelope, muses, "Not unless you call fifteen pages of figures
exciting." She stands up and goes and pours herself a drink.
Charlie, looking at how calm she is, asks her what happened to
the bag of nerves over Caroline's witness. Alison tells her, "I've
been thinking about it; realised I've been carrying-on for nothing.
There's no way the police would believe the man or the
story. Anyway, you're an impeccable witness - and there are more
important things to worry about, quite frankly - like running
a company. By an extraordinary stroke of luck, Gordon handed over
Power of Attorney to me before the accident." Charlie,
looking shocked, gasps, "Really, darling. The poor man's
barely off his deathbed and you're crowing about a piece of paper."
Alison insists, "I'm not crowing; I'm just being
practical. Isn't it better that I'm able to keep the wheels turning
smoothly?" Charlie muses, "Yes - but for whom?"
Alison retorts, "For all concerned. It's really just a matter
of tying up a few loose ends at the moment." With that, she
takes the photos and walks out.
Caroline is sitting in a bar, sipping a drink. She looks at the
clock behind the bar: it's nearly 7pm. A man walks in.
She looks at him but he walks past her. Alison suddenly walks
in. Caroline quickly stands up and makes to move away. Alison,
though, tells her, "Don't go." Caroline mutters, "There's
nothing we have to talk about." Alison suggests, "Why
don't you have another drink?" Caroline, though, retorts,
"I have an appointment - with an air-conditioning mechanic:
the one who witnessed the accident." Alison smiles, "Yes,
I know. I thought you'd arrange to meet him here."
Caroline stares at her and gasps in horror, "You set me up.
There isn't a mechanic." Alison muses, "I'm
sure there are dozens of them - but not in this
bar." Caroline snaps, "Then I don't see any point in
staying." She goes to walk off, but Alison quickly counters,
"I do. I think after you've seen these, you might
want to have quite a chat." She indicates the papers delivered
by the courier. Caroline asks, "What are they?" Alison
tells her, "Just a few snaps. I think you might find them
quite interesting." She hands them over. A look of shock
crosses Caroline's face. Alison asks, "Still want to leave?"
A short time later, Caroline is snapping at Alison, "Stop
playing games and tell me what you're after." Alison replies,
"Alright. You sign every penny you have over to me."
Caroline stares at her and exclaims, "Do you honestly expect
me to take you seriously?" Alison retorts, "You'd
better - unless you want those photos of Samantha splashed all
over the trash rags. All I have to do is make a 'phone call and
the negatives are on their way." She goes on by way of explanation,
"Regardless of what you think, money is power; always has
been - and if you haven't got it, you're out of my hair. If you
want the truth, Caroline, you've been a damn nuisance. With you
out of the way, my life will be a lot simpler." Caroline
hesitates and then says, "I won't do it." Alison nods,
"Fine. Your choice. I can't see Samantha handling
it too well - I can just imagine her reaction when she finds out
her photographs are spread around the sex shops of Australia."
She pauses and then suggests, "Shall we say ten o'clock tomorrow
morning, outside the bank?" Caroline sits there, looking
Janice is mopping the floor of Fiona's flat as Fiona sits in
a chair, covered by a blanket, and sighs, "Oh boy, what a
day." Janice replies, "Yeah - well, at your age, you
can't take too much." Fiona asks curtly, "What do you
mean, 'at my age'?" Janice tells her, "You
are getting on; we've all got to face the fact our lives
are ticking by, minute-by-minute." Fiona asks, "Do you
think perhaps we could drop that subject?" Janice, changing
the topic, goes on, "What a terrible thing to happen to Mr.
and Mrs. Hamilton. No wonder Mr. Hamilton was looking so awful."
Fiona mutters, "No doubt you told him how awful
he looked?" Janice replies, "I think I did mention it,
in passing." Fiona mutters, "I can imagine." She
then tells her niece that the floor looks dry enough now. Janice
puts the mop down and she tells Fiona to close her eyes and have
a good rest. With that, she leaves. As soon as she's gone, Fiona
stands up and growls to herself, "Visiting hours will be
over before I get to the hospital." Before she can
get any further, though, the connecting bookcase spins round and
May comes in, saying, "I'm very worried about the door to
the spare room. The lock's been changed; I think the new owner
must have done it." Fiona asks, "What lock? What door?
What room?" May explains, "The spare room off the manager's
office. I've been using it as a storeroom for years and now I
can't get in." Fiona suggests, "Ask them for a key.
I've got to get to the hospital." May protests, "You
don't seem to realise how important this is. There are
things in there... well, my reputation wouldn't stand
it." Fiona comments, "The mind boggles!" May tells
her, "The mind will boggle even more if you saw
what was in there." Fiona laughs, "Got a few
bodies stashed away, have you, love?" May retorts, "I
think you call them 'skeletons' - and one of them is yours,
my girl." Fiona looks suddenly worried.
There's a knock on the front door at Charlie's and Charlie goes
to answer it. She finds Wayne standing there. He asks her if she's
got a minute. They head into the lounge room and Wayne explains
that he wanted a word with Alison. Charlie, though, says, "I'm
sorry - she's out." She asks if she can help. Wayne
sighs, "I wanted to try and sort out a way we could work
together without the backstabbing and nonsense. I don't want dad
worrying about the business." Charlie smiles, "That's
marvellous. I'm sure Alison will be willing to co-operate."
Wayne quickly adds, "Don't think I've gone soft on her, or
anything - I still can't stand the sight of her - but if it's
for dad's sake..." Charlie insists, "She's not all that
bad, really. People just want to put her in a bad light, that's
all: look at the way Caroline's trying to blame her for the accident.
Talk of a mythical witness... she'll try anything."
Wayne, looking at her intently, growls, "I tell you, Charlie:
if I ever found out Alison was responsible for that accident,
she'll end up in more than a bad light..."