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    Written by: Maureen Ann Moran   Produced by: Posie Jacobs   Directed by: Gaye Arnold

Fiona is using a nail file to try to saw through the padlock on the door to May's store room at the mansion. She sighs that she wants to get to the hospital. May, though, retorts that it's all rush, rush, rush. Fiona gives up and says she'll try again tomorrow. May, though, tells her that they have to get everything out tonight. She adds by way of warning, "It'll be on your head if Mr. Hamilton finds out about us." Fiona tells her, "Mr. Hamilton already knows my background. If you want everybody to believe you're a retired elocution coach, that's just fine by me." May smiles, "You were always one of the best." Fiona tells her, "I had a good teacher: Lady May, Queen of the Bordellos! You ran a classy establishment, May, and I'll never forget how you got me out of trouble." May assures her, "That's all water under the bridge, now. I like to remember the good times; I suppose that's why I hung on to those keepsakes." She goes on, "Just wait 'til you see them - they'll bring back some memories!" Fiona points out to her that there's nothing to stop her having a go at breaking the padlock. May, though, insists, "I couldn't possibly. I always said you could tell a lady by her hands." Fiona looks at her own hands and then shrugs, "I'll put the alarm on and get up early and we'll do it tomorrow, May."

A short while later, Fiona walks into Gordon's room at the hospital. Barbara is sitting by his bed and Fiona tells her, "I've just caught up with the news." Barbara is sobbing and Fiona asks her if she shouldn't be in bed. Barbara retorts, "What's the point? I can't sleep unless they give me something. I just lie there... When we were in the car, I said such terrible things to Gordon, and if he were to die before I could say I'm sorry..." Fiona insists, "He's not going to die." Barbara, though, cries, "Maybe he'd wish he could: at the moment, it seems as if he's going to spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair." Fiona gasps, "Oh no..." Barbara goes on, "There's poor Caroline copping all the flak and I'm copping all the sympathy and the accident was just as much my fault as it was hers." Fiona points out, "She was on the wrong side of the road." Barbara retorts, "And I wasn't paying attention. If I'd just seen them earlier... and all I could see was Gordon and Alison in that motel room... Now I'm being punished. My face was very badly cut, you see - and there's nothing more they can do. I'm going to be scarred for life. That's why I can't sleep - all I can think about is what's going to happen when they take these bandages off... What's Gordon going to say when he sees me?" She breaks down into tears as Fiona insists, "He'll still love you." Barbara cries, "Will he?"

Caroline arrives back at the Morrell town house. Samantha asks eagerly, "What did he say? Will he give evidence for you?" Caroline, though, tells her, "Wild goose chase, I'm afraid. It wasn't the poor man's fault - he was in the Dural area, but he wasn't the witness." Samantha sighs, "I'll have to eat my words tomorrow: I saw Irene at the hospital and I told her it wouldn't be long before she had to apologise to you." Caroline shrugs, "I'm disappointed, too." Samantha insists, "It's early days, yet. We'll find him." Caroline replies, "Maybe - but if we don't, I'll survive." Samantha asks her in surprise how she can be so strong. She adds, "I don't think I could handle it if all my friends turned on me." Caroline says nervously, "Don't underrate yourself." Samantha, though, insists, "It's the truth - I've never been strong. I suppose that's why I got caught up in that religious cult: those kids made me feel liked and respected; it's important to me." Caroline asks hesitantly, "Is that why you went to such great lengths to get that awful film back?" Samantha tells her, "If it had ever been released publicly, I don't think I'd be around now." Caroline goes and gives her a hug, saying, "Don't think about it. It's over. I'm going to make sure that no one ever hurts you again..."

The next morning, Caroline and Alison emerge from the bank, Alison telling Caroline as they do so, "You've made a very wise decision." Caroline, though, retorts, "Don't look so smug. I'm not beaten yet. Now that I have these negatives, I'm going to keep on looking for the witness - and when I find him, you're going to be history." Alison, however, tells her, "I've taken out a little insurance to make sure that doesn't happen: I have another negative locked away in a safety deposit box." Caroline snaps, "The deal was that I got the lot." Alison retorts, "That wasn't my interpretation." She starts walking to her car. Caroline follows her and goes on angrily, "One day, I will get that negative, and when I do, I'm going to grind you into the dust." Alison laughs sarcastically, "You're scaring me to death!" Caroline growls, "I don't make idle threats." Alison, though, asks, "What else could they be? You've just signed over all your money to me. You'll be too busy scratching to make a living." With that, she climbs in her car and drives off, leaving Caroline looking furious.

Fiona is walking downstairs at the mansion. As she steps into the hallway, she hears May saying in the manager's office, "Of course you can do it: you're a big strong man." In reply, she hears David telling her, "I'm not touching anything until Fiona gets here and tells me it's OK!" Fiona walks into the room and smiles at David, "Hey, you're a sight for sore eyes!" David grins, "You're looking fighting fit yourself!" They hug and Fiona then asks whether Beryl's settling into Woombai alright. David nods, "Yeah. Had a job to keep her there, though, once she heard about the accident." May suddenly coughs, pointedly, and Fiona says, "I'm sorry - I'm forgetting my manners." She introduces David to May, explaining that May is a very dear friend of hers. She then hands David a large nail file and comments, "That's all I could find." David smiles that he'll pop back later with some proper tools, after he's been to the hospital. He adds that he just dropped in to see if there was anything Fiona needed. Fiona assures him that she's fine. With that, David tells the two women that he'll see them later, and he goes. Fiona comments to May, "Trust you to put him to work!" May just shrugs, "Men like to feel... useful!"

Alison is standing in the corridor at Hornsby Hospital, telling a nurse, "No, I'm not family, but I do have Mr. Hamilton's Power of Attorney, so when he comes-to, he'll probably want to know how the company's going. Could you make sure I'm called as soon as he's allowed to have visitors?" The nurse says she'll make a note of it, and she walks off. David, who's been hovering by a set of doors nearby, walks over and joins Alison, commenting sourly, "It didn't take you long to find a new meal-ticket." Alison retorts, "I don't know what you're talking about." She tries to step past him, but David moves to block her and says, "Irene told me what's been going on." Alison asks, "Judging me on hearsay, are you?" David snaps, "Past performance. You tried to cause trouble between me and Beryl when I was on top of your list; now you're using the same tactics on Barbara and Gordon." Alison whispers, "That's ridiculous." David sighs, "I wish to God I'd given you up to the police, Pat." Alison spits, "Don't call me that." David ignores her and goes on, "If I had, none of this would have happened." Alison snaps quietly, "The accident wasn't my fault." David tells her, "Whether you were driving the car or not, you're still responsible. If you hadn't been trying to bust-up Barbara and Gordon, they wouldn't have been arguing and Barbara could have swerved." Alison mutters, "Trust you to find a way to put the blame on me." David retorts, "I've heard I'm not the only one blaming you." Alison tells him, "Caroline's just trying to save her own skin." David insists, "She wouldn't lie about this. She thought the world of the Hamiltons." Alison retorts, "I can prove I wasn't there." David mutters, "Yeah, I heard about the alibi." Alison snaps, "It's not an alibi; it's the truth." David, though, sighs, "Come on, I know you too well. You're always able to think on your feet in an emergency. It would be just your style to drag Caroline into the driver's seat and then take off." Alison spits, "I was at home with Charlie." David mutters, "It makes me sick, the way you use poor old Charlie." Alison retorts quickly, "She doesn't know it was a s--" She breaks off as she realises what she was about to say. David quickly asks, "What? A set-up?" Alison denies, "No." David accuses, "You were driving?" Alison repeats, "No." David growls, "Save your breath, Pat. I can tell when you're lying." Alison hesitates and then says, "You'll never be able to prove it." David retorts, "If you had any decency, you'd own-up to it. Always putting yourself first, aren't you? No wonder you're so anxious to get your hands on money and power - but they're a poor substitute for the things that really count." Alison snaps, "I'm not missing out on a thing. I have a man who's crazy about me." David queries, "James? Yeah, I heard he shot through soon as he got what he was after." Alison snaps, "You've got a gutter mentality." David insists, "It's true, though, isn't it?" Alison retorts, "James had business to take care of. He'll be back as soon as he--" She breaks off before completing, "Any day now." David tells her, "I wouldn't hold my breath. No man in his right mind would put up with you." Alison reminds him, "You did. When I went to South America, you came to look for me." David insists, "I had to, or I would have been admitting to Beryl that I made the biggest mistake of my life by marrying you - and I was too stubborn to back down." Alison smiles slightly, "Now who's lying? You wanted me - admit it." David nods, "Sure I did - from the moment I first saw you. That's what it's always been - it's been like a sort of sickness. But I'm over it now - and I can't understand what I really saw in you." With that, he walks off, leaving Alison looking upset.

A while later, Alison is back at Charlie's, talking to James on the 'phone, saying curtly, "I'm missing you... yes, I do have plenty to keep me busy, but if goes on being all work and no play, I might not be here when you finally do show up." With that, she slams down the handset. Charlie suddenly comes in and asks Alison what she thinks of her hair. She adds, "Claude did it. He's French, and très sexy!" Alison just snaps, "Do you have to bore me with the details?" Charlie stares at her in surprise and asks what's upset her. Alison explains, "I just called James. Somehow, I don't think absence made the heart grow fonder." Charlie insists, "He adores you." Alison tells her, "David thinks all he was after was a bit of fun." Charlie asks, "David came here?" Alison replies, "No, I saw him at the hospital. It was very unpleasant." Charlie murmurs, "I am sorry - but you mustn't let it get on top of you." Alison shrugs, "You're absolutely right - all I have to do is a bit of positive thinking. I'll just bounce back. Anyway, who needs people?" With that, she walks off.

Samantha is in the kitchen at the Morrell town house when Caroline arrives home. Samantha comments to her that she was out early. Caroline just goes and pours herself a coffee. Samantha warns her that it'll be a bit cold, but Caroline doesn't take it in. She goes and sits down on the couch. Samantha joins her and asks her if she's been following up another dud lead. Caroline, though, tells her, "No. Last night was it." Samantha says, "Don't let it get you down. You'll find him." She then suggests that they hire a firm of private investigators." Caroline, though, quickly snaps, "No." Samantha insists, "It's worth it to clear your name." Caroline snaps, "I'll handle it my own way, OK?" With that, she storms off to her bedroom, leaving Samantha looking puzzled. She calls after her mother, "You're not making sense." She then mouths to herself in sudden realisation, "Unless there isn't a witness..."

David is working on the padlock in the manager's room at the mansion. As he does so, he says to Fiona, "I'm damned if I'll let Alison get away with it." Fiona points out that he should be sure of his facts before he buys into it. David mutters, "It's exactly the way she always operates." Fiona comments in surprise, "I didn't think you knew the woman that well." David quickly explains, "Er, she did a bit of stirring when she was in Melbourne." Fiona accepts this and then tells him, "I still think you're on the wrong track. Charlie wouldn't lie to give her an alibi." David suggests, "Maybe she's pulled the wool over Charlie's eyes? Caroline wouldn't lie - not about this." Fiona asks him how he can be so sure. David tells her, "She's too decent. When she stayed with me in Melbourne when she was looking for Amanda, I got to know her pretty well, and since then I've thought a lot of her." At that moment, May dashes in and asks David how he's progressing. David removes the padlock from its clasp and tells her, "I've done it." May quickly tries to open the door, saying she can manage now. David assures her that he can do it, and he starts turning the handle. The door suddenly bursts open and he goes flying inside! May cries to Fiona, "Do something. Get him out of there before he sees something he shouldn't." David suddenly bursts out laughing, though, and Fiona comments, "It sounds like we're too late already!" David emerges from the room, still in fits of laughter, and Fiona asks him what on earth is in there. David grins, "You go and have a look - I wouldn't believe it if I didn't see it with my own eyes!" May gasps, "I've never been so embarrassed in all my life." Fiona, though, tells her, "Come on, whatever's in here, it's not going to bite." May, however, retorts, "Just wait 'til you see it. You won't be smiling then." With that, Fiona heads into the store room.

In Melbourne, Spider is walking down to the road from the country house, a black sack over his shoulder. A ute suddenly pulls up and Tim climbs out. Spider mutters that he'll be glad when David gets back; he's getting too long in the tooth to be carting garbage around. Tim just asks if Donna's inside. Spider replies that she's sewing. Tim grins, "Great! I've got a little surprise for her: the money she needs for her computer course." Spider asks him in surprise how he came by that. Tim tells him, "I sold my watch." Spider asks in astonishment, "Not the one Leigh gave you?" Tim admits, "Yeah." Spider remarks, "I never thought I'd see the day you'd part with that." Tim murmurs, "It's no big deal, Spider." With that, he walks off up to the house.

Charlie is sitting with Barbara in her room at Hornsby Hospital. Barbara looks at Charlie's hair and asks her if she's going out somewhere special. Charlie admits, "Actually, it's just drinks with Natalie. Col is divorcing her; she's absolutely shattered, poor dear." At that moment, the door to the room opens and Alison breezes in, holding a bunch of flowers. She says brightly to Barbara, "Morning. How are you feeling?" Barbara mutters, "Fine." Charlie asks Alison if she saw Gordon's specialist. Alison replies, "Yes, but he wouldn't be pinned down. Said Gordon could regain consciousness any time." Barbara suddenly says to Charlie, "Would you do me a favour? I've run out of tissues. Would you mind?" Charlie smiles, "I'll get you some from the shop." With that, she goes. Alone with Barbara, Alison says, "I was hoping we'd have a few moments alone. I wanted you to know how sorry I was you got the wrong idea about my weekend at Woombai with Gordon. I wouldn't have had this happen for the world." Barbara, though, mutters, "Please, Alison, do spare me the hearts and flowers." Alison insists, "I'm not spinning you a line." Barbara, though, retorts, "No wonder you managed to pull the wool over Gordon's eyes. You're good. You're very good. You'll probably even manage a few crocodile tears when you see him." Alison shrugs, "Say whatever you like if it makes you feel better." She then goes on, "I must say: you do have my sympathy. I saw your file on the specialist's desk - but I won't tell a sole, so you needn't worry." Barbara snaps, "I'm not worried." Alison says lightly, "I would be. Most men can't stand even the tiniest disfigurement." Barbara growls, "It won't make any difference to Gordon." Alison smiles, "No, you're probably right not to worry. No matter how he feels, he wouldn't do or say anything to hurt you." Barbara looks away in annoyance. Alison adds, "But I wouldn't waste my time with sexy negligées. When a man stays with a woman out of pity, it's usually a separate-bedroom deal. Frankly, I'd have too much pride to let that happen to me." With that, she walks out of the room, leaving Barbara looking upset.

Caroline is sitting on the couch at the Morrell town house. She sips from a glass of wine as Samantha comes in through the front door. She comments sourly to her mother, "Drowning your sorrows again?" Caroline just retorts, "What's wrong with a little glass of wine while you're balancing the budget?" Samantha points out, "You never stop at one glass." Caroline mutters, "If it'll make you happy, I'll go and pour it down the sink." She stands up. Samantha, though, retorts, "I won't be happy until you produce your witness." Caroline asks, "You've seen Irene?" Samantha tells her, "At the hospital. She as good as said your witness story was a stunt to keep me happy." Caroline asks sourly, "What did you expect?" Samantha goes on, "And when I tried to see Aunty Barb, they wouldn't let me in." Caroline suggests, "It's probably too soon for visitors." Samantha retorts, "Charlie and Alison saw her this morning - so it seems I'm persona non grata as long as I side with you, which is hardly fair, as the accident was your fault." Caroline cries, "It wasn't." Samantha tells her, "Charlie swears Alison never left the house." Charlie shrugs, "So? They're friends." Samantha points out, "Charlie couldn't tell a convincing lie to save her life. There never was a witness, was there? You just made him up to keep me onside." She goes to walk off angrily, but Caroline snaps, "I didn't." Samantha stops and continues, "You know what really disgusts me? The way you tried to save your own skin by blaming Alison. It makes me feel as if I don't want to know you, either." Caroline cries, "Don't say that." Samantha, though, retorts, "It's the truth. I'm leaving." Caroline cries, "You can't - not after all I've done for you." Samantha sighs, "I wondered when the emotional blackmail would start." Caroline insists, "I'm not trying to pressure you into staying; I'm talking about something specific. If I could tell you about it, you'd know I was innocent. You'd know how much I love you." Samantha demands, "Why can't you tell me about it?" Caroline tells her, "It would ruin your life if I did." Samantha asks, "Have you any idea how thin that sounds? Good try - but not good enough." With that, she walks off to her room, leaving Caroline looking upset.

At the mansion, May and Fiona struggle to move a painting - covered with a sheet - into Fiona's room. As they do so, May asks Fiona, "Are you sure that young man can be trusted to be discreet?" Fiona assures her, "'Discretion' is David's middle name! She then asks, "Why ever did you hang onto this painting if it embarrasses you so much?" May sighs, "I've always been too sentimental for my own good." At that moment, Charlie walks in and, looking around the room, comments to Fiona, "Trust you to find a place so... um... full of character!" Fiona introduces May to Charlie and May says, "Short for 'Charlene', I presume?" Charlie tells her, "'Charlotte', actually, but I hate it: it always reminds me of Apple Charlotte." May smiles, "It reminds me of royalty." Fiona suggests she make them some tea. Charlie, though, explains that she can't stay. She goes on, "Irene wondered if you'd come to the hospital. Poor Barbara's not feeling herself." Fiona asks if she's had a relapse. Charlie replies uncertainly, "No. More of an emotional breakdown. She's refusing to see anyone but you and Irene." Fiona stands there, looking worried.

A short time later, Fiona is standing over Barbara's hospital bed, asking Barbara sympathetically, "What's wrong?" Barbara sobs, "Alison just made me face a few brutal home truths." Fiona asks angrily, "What on earth has she been saying?" Barbara, though, cries, "Nothing I haven't already worked out for myself. My marriage is over, Fiona."

David appears in the open front door way at the Morrell town house and calls, "Anyone home?" Caroline is sitting in an armchair, looking upset, and she snaps, "Go away." David walks in, though, and tells her, "I have to talk to you." Caroline retorts, "If you've come here to abuse me, you can save your breath. Samantha's just walked out and I'm beyond caring." David, though, explains, "I've come over to tell you that I'm on your side - and I'll do anything I can to help." Caroline, looking grateful, says weakly, "Just hold me." David puts his arms round her and tells her, "I mightn't be able to nail Alison, but I'm damn sure I'm not going to let her get away scot-free." Caroline sighs, "There's no way you can get at her." David, however, insists, "That's where you're wrong. I'm going to hit her where it hurts most."

Fiona is walking along the corridor at the hospital with Barbara, telling her, "You're going to feel so much better after a walk in the sun." A nurse suddenly approaches them and tells Barbara, "Mrs. Hamilton, I've got good news: your husband's regained consciousness." Barbara cries, "Oh thank God." Fiona asks, "When can Mrs. Hamilton see him?" The nurse tells her, "Right now." Turning to Barbara, she adds, "His first thought was for you. Can't wait to see his wife." Fiona smiles at Barbara, "There you are, you see? Come on." Barbara, though, murmurs, "You go." Fiona insists, "The longer you wait, the harder it's going to be." She leads Barbara slowly down the corridor and goes on, "Gordon loves you - and he needs you." They reach the doorway to Gordon's room. In the room, Gordon is lying in bed with his eyes closed. The nurse turns to him and tells him, "Here's your wife now, Mr. Hamilton." Gordon opens his eyes, looks at Fiona, leading Barbara in, and mumbles weakly, "Where?" He makes out the blurry faces of Barbara and Fiona and then murmurs, "Fiona? Where is she? Where's Patricia?" Barbara stares at him.


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