A few minutes later, May is sitting at the table in Fiona's room
crying, "I've just lost everything I own in the world..."
Janice, though, snaps, "Of course you haven't. You've still
got the pension and a roof over your head." May murmurs,
"That money was my security. I knew as long as I
had that, I'd never find myself in rags out on the street..."
She sniffs and turns to Fiona, going on weakly, "I grew up
poor, Fiona. I never want to go through all that again; it was
awful." Janice chips in piously, "It is easier
for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich--"
Fiona, though, interrupts her and snaps, "For goodness' sake,
Janice, will you stop it? You don't know the first thing
about it." Janice retorts, "I do so - and it
would never have happened if you hadn't both--" Fiona interrupts
her again and snaps, "Janice, if you can't think of something
worthwhile to say, shut up!" She then turns to May
and smiles, "Now come on, cheer up. I'm here, aren't I? We've
been in worse spots than this and we'll get out of this one, you
just wait and see." May cries, "Promise you won't leave
me alone, Fiona. There's no one left." Fiona gives her a
hug and assures her, "Course I won't leave you alone, you
silly old moo! It's not as if you were going to spend
the money; it's hardly the end of the world, is it?"
Beryl is walking along the corridor at Hornsby Hospital, carrying
Robert. Irene is walking towards her and Beryl tells her, "I
was just coming to look for you. I wanted to know how Barbara
was." Irene explains that she went home this afternoon. She
then goes on in concern, "I didn't know you'd been in to
see Gordon; I hope you didn't upset him." Beryl protests,
"I'd hardly do that." Irene checks into Gordon's
room and then says, "Sorry - I didn't mean to sound snappy.
It's just that his condition's pretty delicate at the moment and
if anyone let slip the news about Patricia, there's no telling
how he'd react." Beryl assures her, "I just
said I was a long-time friend. We got talking about Woombai and
it quite cheered him up, actually." Taking this as a cue
to change the subject, Irene asks, "What are you doing back
here, anyway? I thought you had another week at Woombai."
Beryl explains, "I cut it short. From what I hear, Fiona's
been misbehaving. Is it true she's taken on a job?" Irene
nods, "Yeah - here, as a matter of fact: the canteen."
Beryl suggests, "I'll just have to hammer some sense into
her, won't I?" Irene grimly wishes her luck and then walks
A while later, Beryl is sitting with Fiona in Fiona's room at
the mansion, chastising, "All the trouble we took to convince
you to have the operation and now you seemed determined to undo
all the good. First thing you do is give up that job." Fiona,
though, insists, "The job's nothing - it just gives
me an interest." Janice chips in from where she's clearing
the dinner table, "Tell her how you had to go home today
because you were too weak to go on working." Fiona glares
at her and asks curtly, "Would you like to make us a cup
of tea?" She then turns back to Beryl and tells her, "I
can't give up the job. I'm working to support a friend;
we both need the money." Beryl suggests, "I'll
fill in for you. You can still collect the pay and then give it
to your friend or do whatever you like with it." Janice smiles,
"That's a wonderful idea. She accepts - and I'll make sure
she stays in bed the whole week, resting." Fiona, though,
growls at her, "You will do no such thing. I'd go out of
my mind if I was cooped up in here for a week."
Janice retorts, "Alright - after a couple of days, I'll let
you take some light exercise - but only on the wheelchair."
Fiona snaps, "What wheelchair? It's been stolen."
Janice tells her, "Then I'll find out who took it and get
it back." Fiona, changing tack slightly, insists tersely,
"I am not having Beryl do my work and I am not having you
bullying me." Beryl tells her to relax. She then points out,
"We've been friends for a long time - and friends help
each other. Stop arguing." Fiona sighs, "I just hate
feeling so useless and dependant." Beryl reminds her, "I'll
need you to look after Robert during the day." Fiona, suddenly
brightening up, smiles, "Really? That way I really would
be useful, wouldn't I? OK! As long as you don't mind
filling in for me." Beryl assures her warmly, "I don't
mind doing anything that will help you get better."
David, Tim and Spider walk up to the back door at the country
house and sit down just outside. Spider tells David and Tim, "You
blokes wouldn't know how to do a decent day's work. When I
was a young fella, as long as there was light--" David interrupts
him and retorts, "Listen, cobber, if there was a full moon
out there, we'd work right through it. The only reason I'm knocking
off early is to go across to Beryl's." Spider comments that
he thought she was in Sydney. David explains, "I'm
just going across there to pick up some mail... switch on a light
or two... keep the burglars away." Spider mutters, "Why
didn't you tell me that in the first place? I go right past
Beryl's." David, though, insists, "It's all under control."
With that, he heads off to his car. When he's gone, Spider comments
to Tim, "Seems mighty keen to get over to Beryl's, doesn't
he?" Tim grins, "Maybe he's got a crush on a neighbour
It's dark when David arrives at Beryl's. He heads up to the front
door and looks surprised to find some light visible inside. He
opens the door and heads into the house. He walks noiselessly
towards the kitchen where he sees someone at one of the cupboards.
He runs in and grabs them, yelling as he does so, "Alright,
mate, what do you think you're doing?" He then looks at the
person in surprise. It's a woman. He stares at her and exclaims,
"Susan?!" Susan beams, "Hi, dad!"
A few minutes later, David and Susan are sitting at the kitchen
table, Susan explaining, "I knew mum was away, so it seemed
a good chance to come down and be by myself. I had a lot of thinking
to do; that's why I didn't 'phone." David murmurs, "Right."
He then asks, "How's Bill?" Susan looks away sadly and
explains, "That's what I have to think about: he's divorcing
me." David asks in surprise, "He's divorcing
you?" Susan murmurs, "I guess I should have
seen it coming. Each time I visited him, he seemed more remote.
Still, it was the last thing I expected..." David holds her
hand comfortingly, but she assures him, "I'm OK." She
then says, "I'll make us some coffee," and she goes
to the stove. David watches her as she goes on, "I know it
hasn't been easy for him - it seems like he's been in prison forever
- but it hasn't been easy for me, either. When they transferred
him to minimum security, I uprooted my whole life and moved to
the country just to be close to him. I've really tried hard, dad
- and it's all been just wasted effort." David suggests,
"Maybe it's for the best?" Susan murmurs, "Yeah...
Anyway, there's no point in staying up there any longer, so I
tossed in my job and came back. Now I have to decide where I go
from here." David asks, "Who says you have to go anywhere?"
Susan muses, "Yeah... I might stay... get a job.
I just don't know, yet." David walks over to her and, turning
her gently to face him, tells her, "Whatever the reason,
it's good to see you again. And while you're doing some thinking,
if you need some fatherly advice, you know where to come."
With that, he gives her a hug. She sighs in relief, "Thanks,
Tim is clearing the table in the kitchen at the country house.
Spider comments to him that it's a pity Caroline went to bed early;
he was looking forward to a good old chinwag. Tim points out that
she looked pretty tired. Spider tells him, "She could have
stayed at my place - 'cept I've got to move
out, too." Tim asks in surprise, "Really?" He then
suggests, "You should go and stay with Rod and Jess. You'll
be with your family - and you'll save money, too." Spider
sighs, "It's just that all of me mates are here."
Tim tells him, "I reckon you're mad; I'd be out
there like a shot!" Spider muses, "You've still
got a bit sweet for young Jess, haven't you?" There's an
embarrassed silence, which is interrupted by the 'phone ringing.
Tim goes to answer it. He listens and then says, "Righto...
I'll leave some in the oven in case you're hungry when you get
home... OK... See you." He then hangs up and tells Spider
that that was Dave: he said he'll be back late. Spider asks, "Why?"
Tim shrugs, "Didn't say. I guess something must have come
up at Beryl's."
Sometime later, Spider creeps up to the front door at Beryl's
and overhears as David tells Susan, "You're welcome to stay,
you know?" Spider looks in through the window and can see
the outlines of David and Susan in the shadows of the darkened
lounge room. He watches as David gives Susan a hug. He then puts
his ear to the door - but the door is suddenly opened and David
demands, "What in the hell are you doing here?"
Spider chastises, "You should be ashamed of yourself - in
Beryl's house, behind her back, and with a slip of a girl young
enough to be your daughter." A grin crosses Susan's face
as David snaps at Spider, "I think that's my business."
He then adds, "I'd like you to meet Susan. Susan Palmer.
My daughter." Spider looks at him, aghast, and murmurs,
"Daughter...?" Susan nods at him, wickedly. Spider nods
in embarrassment, "Evening!"
The next morning, at the mansion, May carries Robert out of Fiona's
room into the corridor, telling him that she's going to show him
all round the house. Janice suddenly comes in through the front
door and asks if Fiona is awake. May explains that she went to
the hospital with Beryl to introduce her to the staff. Janice
mutters, "She's not well enough to be getting around like
that." May insists, "She promised she'd come straight
home - except for going to the bank - and that will only
take a minute." Janice asks what she's doing at the bank.
May replies, "She's drawing out some money to pay the hire
company for the wheelchair." Janice growls, "I told
her I'd find the wheelchair. Why doesn't she just leave
things to me?" With that, she storms off.
Fiona is standing outside some shops, looking thoughtful. She
murmurs, "Horrie Mulligan..." She then says more curtly,
"Horrie Mulligan. I knew that was you behind those
dark glasses." She turns behind her, where Horrie Mulligan
is sitting on Fiona's wheelchair, wearing dark glasses and with
a collection tin in his hand. Horrie tries to ignore her, shaking
his tin and calling, "Penny for the blind." Fiona, though,
snaps, "You're no more blind than I am." Two
young men look across at the commotion as Fiona starts battering
Horrie with her handbag!
A man is escorting Spider up to the front door at Beryl's, asking
in concern, "Have you had these dizzy spells before?"
Spider murmurs, "Sort of. The doctor said it was just old
age and I need to eat better." The man knocks on Beryl's
front door and then tells Spider, "When you get inside, make
sure you rest properly - and be careful crossing busy roads in
the future!" With that, he adds that he'll keep moving as
he's got a couple of calls to make. The front door opens and Spider
finds Susan standing there. He tells her, "I had a bit of
a turn crossing the street..." Susan, looking concerned,
invites him in and says she'll call a doctor. The man, though,
explains, "No need - I am one." Susan asks
if Spider is alright. The doctor explains that he just needs to
take it easy, that's all. Susan helps Spider into an armchair
in the lounge room, where he comments, "A man's getting old,
and that's the truth. You know, a man might be better if he was
out in the bush. Not so many cars around, eh? And I know Rod and
Jess would look after me if I needed it." He pauses before
announcing, "Yeah, I've made up my mind." Turning to
Susan, he adds "If I can use your 'phone, I'll fix you for
the call." Susan tells him to go ahead. He shuffles off.
Susan then tells the doctor, "Thanks for your help."
He replies, "A cup of tea would be a nice idea." Susan
says, "I'll make him one straight away." The doctor,
though, grins, "I was thinking for me!" Susan
quickly says, "I'm sorry! I'll put the jug on!"
Horrie Mulligan is riding down the street on Fiona's wheelchair
as Fiona chases after him, crying, "Help! Anybody! Help!"
One of the two young men runs after the wheelchair and grabs it.
It falls over, and so do he and Horrie. Horrie stands up and runs
off. Fiona bends down next to the young man and asks him if he's
alright. Janice suddenly runs across and joins them as the young
man tells Fiona, "I twisted my ankle a bit, I think."
Fiona then tells Janice triumphantly, "I got the wheelchair
back." Janice asks in surprise, "From that old blind
man?" Fiona retorts, "That 'old blind man' was Horrie
Mulligan." She then turns back to the young man and tells
him that his ankle looks as though it needs some disinfectant.
She adds, "Come with us - I live in that big old house up
at the top of the hill." The young man insists that it's
alright. Fiona, though, tells him, "It's the very least I
can do." Changing the subject, the young man indicates the
tin that Fiona grabbed off Horrie and comments that it sounds
like there's a fair bit in there. He asks her what she's going
to do with it. Janice chips in, "My father's a minister.
He'll see it goes to a good cause." With that, she helps
the young man to his feet. She then tells Fiona to get in her
wheelchair. Fiona, though, retorts that she'll do nothing of the
sort. Janice snaps, "You're not walking anywhere after
all that excitement. Now, are you going to get in or am I going
to have to strap you in like a baby in a stroller?" Fiona,
looking annoyed, mutters, "Alright. Anything for peace and
A short time later, the young man is walking with Janice and
Fiona - still in her wheelchair - along the corridor at the mansion,
saying, "I stopped paper deliveries here ages ago,
because most of them wouldn't pay their bills." Janice heads
off to get some disinfectant, leaving Fiona to muse to the young
man, "I wonder where May and the baby are." The young
man asks who May is. Fiona explains, "She's my neighbour."
They head into Fiona's room and Fiona climbs out of her wheelchair
and tells the young man, "I just want to check on my friend's
baby." She then pushes open the swivelling bookcase and walks
through the gap, leaving the young man gasping in surprise! Janice
rejoins him and he laughs, "The bookcase: just like Indiana
Jones and the Temple of Doom!" He then asks Janice,
"Has your room got one of those?" Janice, though,
explains, "I don't live here; I'm just visiting." She
then tells him to roll up the leg of his jeans. He sits down at
the table as Janice goes on, "Aren't you a bit old
to be a paper boy?" The young man explains, "I'm not
a paper boy; I'm a Delivery Manager." Janice asks, "Don't
you go to school?" The young man replies, "Yeah. I organise
the kids' morning and evening deliveries. I go to school in-between.
Janice demands, "Why aren't you there now?"
The young man explains, "I had extra work; some days, it
just gets too busy. If I get a chance, I'll go this afternoon
- after I see a guy about a new cleaning contract." Janice
looks at him in surprise and he clarifies, "It's office blocks:
that's what I do on weekends." Janice comments in concern,
"It's hardly the way to pass your HSC. What do your parents
feel about it? You must be hardly ever home." The young man
explains, "I don't live at home; I've got a flat
not far from here. It's a bit of a dump, but it does me."
Janice tells him quickly, "If you're not happy there, we're
looking for new tenants."
At Beryl's, Spider is saying on the 'phone, "Half an hour
before departure time. Righto." In the kitchen, the doctor
is commenting to Susan, "I'm surprised I haven't seen you
around - my surgery's just down the road." Susan explains,
"I've been nursing in a country hospital the past few years;
I've just only come back." The doctor then declares smarmily,
"As founding member of The Committee for Assisting the Resettlement
of Attractive and Unattached Young Women, let me take this opportunity
to welcome you to the neighbourhood!" Susan mutters shyly,
"That's one committee I haven't heard of..."
The doctor checks, "You are unattached?" Susan
replies hesitantly, "I'm moving in that direction..."
The doctor persists, "I hope you're not the sort of person
to argue with fate; that's obviously what's brought us together
and it would seem churlish if we didn't take the hint. How about
dinner tonight?" Susan looks at him sharply, but she's saved
from answering as his pager suddenly starts beeping. She tells
him, "Someone wants you. I'll see if Spider's off the 'phone
and you can call your surgery." She walks out to the lounge
room, where Spider tells her, "It's all arranged. I'm catching
a bus this afternoon." Susan asks him if he has much packing
to do. Spider replies, "Not much - but I don't want to go
without saying goodbye to David and Tim." Susan tells him,
"I'll be seeing dad and Tim later: I can explain
the rush and tell them that you said goodbye - and I'll come over
now and give you a hand packing." The doctor suddenly emerges
from the kitchen and chips in, "I'll give you both a lift,
seeing as how it's an emergency! I'll just be a minute calling
the surgery." Susan tells him, "We'll wait for you on
the porch," and she and Spider head outside. The doctor then
picks up the 'phone, dials a number and, when it's answered, says,
"Carla... Ted." In the reception of the surgery, a young
woman replies, "Oh yes, doctor. It's just... will you be
home for dinner tonight? Your wife called to find out." Ted
tells her, "No. 'Phone her back; tell her I can't make it.
I've got a meeting I've got to go to..."
That evening, David is sitting at the kitchen table at the country
house, drinking a beer, as Susan looks in various cupboards exasperatedly
and mutters, "You must have some flour somewhere."
David points out, "It's on top of the 'fridge." The
back door suddenly opens and Tim comes in. He asks, "Caroline
not back yet?" David explains that she's got a late interview.
He then adds that Spider took his advice and has gone to Mount
Osborne. Tim exclaims that that was quick! Changing the subject,
David indicates his daughter and says to Tim, "You remember
your cousin, Susan?" Tim gives her a delighted hug as David
adds that she's come to spend a bit of time in Melbourne. Tim
then heads off to wash-up. When he's gone, David comments to Susan,
"You're a lot chirpier already." Susan smiles, "I
was asked out this afternoon by a rather charming doctor. That's
always good for a girl's ego!" David asks in surprise,
"Then what are you doing hanging around here?!"
Susan, though, insists, "It's too soon." She adds, "Anyway,
it wasn't anything serious; he was just being nice to a new girl
in town." Tim comes back in and asks if anyone got the afternoon
papers. David replies that they're in the lounge. Tim heads out
there. David then remarks to Susan, "We never talked much
about Bill, did we?" Susan, suddenly looking
wary, asks grimly, "What was the point? Talking wouldn't
have changed anything." David goes on, "Still - I always
wanted to tell you how I thought, but I was scared of hurting
your feelings. I felt sorry for Bill, but I hated seeing you throwing
your life away, just waiting for him. You're my daughter and I
want to see you happy. I reckon what's happened is for the best
- and the point of it is: you're starting a new life, so you should
be out on the town and having a bit of fun." Susan sighs,
"I appreciate the sentiments, dad, really, but believe me:
there's plenty of time." There's suddenly a knock on the
back door, and David comments, "It can't be Spider.
Who else do we know who calls at mealtimes?!" He goes and
opens the door to find Ted standing there. Ted immediately holds
out his hand and says, "You must be David." David shakes
his hand and Ted explains, "Ted Dawson. Spider mentioned
your address when I was driving him over to his place today."
David realises, "You're the bloke who managed not to run
over him!" Ted smiles, "Just! Anyway, I was in the area...
thought I'd drop by and see if he got away alright." David
tells him, "Apparently - but come in: Susan can
tell you more than I can." Ted, looking at Susan
earnestly, goes on, "That's the other reason I dropped
by, actually: I wanted to see if I could get Susan to change her
mind about having dinner with me tonight." Susan tells him
that Spider did get away alright and he said to say 'thankyou'
again. Ted smiles, "You know the best way you can do that,
don't you?" David asks, "You're the bloke who's
asked her out for dinner?" Ted nods that that's right. David
suggests to Susan, "Then why don't you go?" Susan sighs,
"Why do I get the feeling I'm being ganged-up on?!"
David tells her, "You need someone to give you a push - and
like I said before, you need to get out and have a bit of fun."
Susan muses, "If you put it that way..." Turning
to Ted, she adds, "Alright, I'd love to." She then asks
David, "Happy now?!" David nods, "Yep!" Susan
stands there, smiling but looking ever-so-slightly still worried.