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    Written by: Don Battye   Produced by: Posie Jacobs   Directed by: Gaye Arnold

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 annoyed.

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..."


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