Sons and Daughters logo
    Written by: Ian Coughlan   Produced by: Posie Jacobs   Directed by: Andrew Howie

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 off.

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 or something?!"

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, dad."

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 quiet!"

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.


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