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    Written by: Greg Stevens   Produced by: Posie Jacobs   Directed by: Gaye Arnold

Alison and Glen are walking towards the bench in the park where Alison has arranged to meet Micky. They sit down and Alison asks Glen where he's going to hide. He points out an area a short distance away and Alison suggests to him that he'd better hurry. Glen wishes Alison luck. Alison, though, assures him, "I don't think I'm going to need it. Everything's going to turn out fine."

Later that day, Charlie is fussing over Isabella in her lounge room when the front door slams and Alison walks in. Charlie tells her immediately, "I drew a blank, unfortunately. Betty had no idea." Alison, sitting down, says, "Micky turned up here. She wanted to see you, actually, until I informed her of one or two salient points. She agreed to make a statement, too." Charlie smiles, "Darling, that's marvellous!" Alison, though, adds, "At a price. The question is: am I being played for a sucker?" Charlie looks at her, a puzzled expression on her face, and Alison, explains, "Glen and I arranged to meet her; I'd hand over the money, she'd hand over the statement. She didn't show. Glen's still waiting in case she does. I came back in case she calls here. Something must have happened." She then adds, "Don't suppose I should tear up those tickets just yet..." The 'phone suddenly starts to ring and Alison dashes to answer it. She says, "Alison Carr. Who is it?" She listens and then mutters, "Oh, it's you." At the other end, Caroline smiles, "You sound disappointed. Expecting someone else?" Alison snaps, "If you've got something to say, say it and then hang up, will you?" Caroline replies, "Alright: I'll be short and sweet." She then goes on, "You'll be happy to know that Doug and I are chums again - and he's left it up to me whether I stay mum about who you really are. I've decided I will - but it's going to cost. Would you like to know how much?" Alison gasps, "You must be out of your mind." Caroline, though, retorts, "Why? You set the rules. You were quite prepared to see me destitute; I'm just returning the compliment." She then tells Alison, "All your money transferred into my account within three days or I go to the police. Goodbye." She hangs up, a smile on her face. At Charlie's, Alison hangs up slowly and murmurs, "They're all out to get me, Charlie."

Wayne is lying on the bed in the study at Dural as Susan sits on the bookcase next to him. He comes round and murmurs, "Susan?" Susan goes and pats his brow with a cloth and he murmurs, "Thirsty..." Susan cries, "I don't think there's anything here..." She looks round and notices some water in a glass that Gordon was using to take his tablets. She passes it to Wayne, who sips some. He then asks weakly, "We stuck here?" Susan nods. Wayne comments, "Door's locked... window's barred..." Susan assures him, "Someone will turn up before long. They'd better. Rags is locked in the house, too. He won't have any food or water, either." Wayne laughs weakly, "That's typical of you, isn't it: here we are, stuck in this room without anything, and all you're worrying about is your dog!"

Next door, Alison hands Charlie a drink. The radio is on in the background and the news comes on as Charlie asks Alison how long Glen will wait for Micky. Alison replies, "'Til it gets dark, I suppose." Charlie suggests positively, "Or until the woman turns up." Alison murmurs, "Yes." She hesitates and then cries, "What if she's got cold feet, Charlie? What if she's decided to call the whole thing off?" Charlie suggests, "Maybe she's just holding out for more money?" Alison shrugs, "Maybe." The newsreader starts talking about a woman being killed that afternoon. Charlie asks Alison, "How much are you prepared to pay?" Alison replies, "Anything she wants." Charlie insists, "I'm sure she'll turn up." Alison suddenly cries, "Shush!" She dashes over and turns up the radio. The newsreader is saying, "Miss. Pratt was wanted by the police for questioning over her alleged involvement in a recent jailbreak. She was last seen in the company of Edward John Parker, one of the escapees." She turns to another story as Alison switches off the radio and gasps at Charlie, "She must have been on her way to meet us." Charlie, looking shocked, cries, "It's awful..." Alison then announces, "I'm going out, Charlie." Charlie asks, "Where to?" Alison tells her, "The morgue. I need that statement - she must have had it on her when she was killed." Charlie points out in horror, "You just can't go barging into the city morgue demanding a piece of paper that you say is yours. For a start, the police could start asking questions and that would be disastrous." Alison, though, snaps, "How else am I going to get it?" She sighs heavily.

A while later, Charlie is telling a morgue attendant, "I work with Micky - dreadful woman. She was a thief - she stole my bracelet. I bought it at Fisherman's Wharf, on my first trip to San Francisco. Anyway, I demand that it be returned." The morgue attendant stares at her and replies, "I'm not allowed to hand over any of the deceased's possessions." Charlie tells him, "Of course you are. Don't be silly." The attendant, however, insists, "I'm not handing over anything that belonged to the deceased." Charlie asks, "Can't I just have a look at what I had on her when the accident happened?" The attendant retorts, "No. In any case, she wasn't wearing a bracelet. All she had was a small amount of money and a set of car keys." Charlie looks at him thoughtfully.

Back at home, Alison gasps at Charlie, "She must have had it with her." Charlie replies, "Apparently not." Alison mutters, "I can't believe it. So close. If I can't get my hands on that statement I'll be back to square one. Are you sure the attendant wasn't lying?" Charlie just shrugs, "I'm sorry, darling." Alison snaps, "What on earth do I do now? Tell me - please. I haven't got the faintest idea."

It's nighttime, and Caroline is fussing over Robert in the lounge room at the country house when David arrives home. He joins her and she asks him how the trip was. He replies that it was good. Caroline asks, "You get the truck?" David smiles, "Sure did!" He then lifts Robert up and asks how he's been. Caroline smiles, "Not an ounce of bother." David looks at her and then remarks, "A bit over-dressed for dinner, aren't you?" Caroline explains, "I'm eating out - an invitation from Doug." David grins, "Things are on the up-and-up again, are they?" Caroline tells him, "I'm not going to let a millionaire slip through my fingers, David. I meant what I said about not being poor - and if things don't work out with Doug, I've got another ace up my sleeve." David asks, "What's that?" Caroline, though, tells him, "First rule of poker: never show your hand!" David sighs, "I reckon you're being a bit tough on poor old Doug." Caroline retorts, "I don't think I'm being that tough on him. I know he's a nice man - but he's not like you, is he...?" An uncomfortable silence ensues. Caroline says quickly, "I organised Muriel to babysit Robert, but seeing as you're home now..." David nods, "I'll give her a ring and tell her she can relax. I reckon Beryl and me will be able to look after his nibs." Caroline queries in surprise, "Beryl?" David explains, "The doctors have given her the all-clear - I called in on the way home. I'm going to pick her up now. She'll spend a bit of time here until she's fit and well and then she can go back to Albert Park." Caroline asks in concern, "You're bringing her back here?" David replies, "She has to take it easy for a while." Looking annoyed, Caroline murmurs, "It'll be nice having her here..."

Doug is wearing his dressing gown as he answers a knock on his hotel room door. He finds Caroline standing there - wearing her new fur coat - and he smiles, "You look incredibly beautiful." As she steps inside, Caroline beams, "Thankyou." Doug goes on, "I won't be long. Make yourself comfortable - there's plenty of drink at the bar." Caroline assures him, "I'm quite happy to sit here and wait for you." Doug smiles at her and then walks off to change.

David escorts Beryl into the lounge room at the country house. She suggests that she'd better sit down for a while - and she does so. David hands Robert to her and she starts fussing over him. David then smiles at her, "It looks right, you know: you and Robert." Beryl assures him warmly, "You're part of it." David sighs, "Yeah, I know, but it's been so long since we've all been living under the same roof..." Beryl murmurs, "Yes..." She then asks, "Where will I be sleeping? I would like to be close to Robert." David tells her, "You can both use my room; I'll bunk up in the boys' room." Beryl tells him, "It'll only be for tonight. I have to get back to work: my biscuit business was going very well un--" She breaks off and then murmurs more sadly, "Until the accident..." David smiles and, indicating Robert, asks, "Have you noticed how big his feet are getting?! Real Palmers' feet! How the lot of us didn't finish up in the cops, I'll never know!" He then says seriously, "Beryl, you welcome to stay in my house for as long as you like - and you're definitely not leaving until you're fit and well; I can tell you that much." He adds, "If that sounds like an order, I'm sorry." Beryl smiles at him as he concludes, "I care about you, and I want you to know that."

Caroline is sitting on the couch in Doug's hotel room. Doug emerges from his room and puts on his jacket. He asks how things are at the farm. Caroline retorts, "Beryl's moving in." Doug asks, "So?" Caroline tells him tersely, "We don't get on. How anyone gets on with Beryl amazes me." Doug points out, "There's one way to solve that: move in here." Going and putting his arms around Caroline, he adds, "In fact, we don't even have to go out for dinner: we can order room service." Caroline, however, pushes him away and retorts curtly, "That's all you ever think about." Doug mutters, "One of us has to; it always seems to be the last thing on your mind." Caroline insists, "That's not true." Doug snaps, "I don't know what else I can do. I buy you gifts... give you the coat..." Caroline growls, "So now it's time to pay up: is that what you're saying?" Doug retorts, "I was just going to kiss you, Caroline. That's all." Caroline murmurs, "Sorry." Doug mutters, "So am I. I buy you gifts because I care. I don't see it as some price I have to pay for your company." Caroline tells him, "All I can do is apologise. My only excuse is the pressure at home. Beryl: she's going to make life uncomfortable and I don't know if I'll be able to handle it." Doug says, "Try not to think about it, OK? We'll go out and have a nice meal and pretend we don't have a worry in the world." Caroline smiles, "Sounds fine." Doug then takes a jewellery case out of his pocket and goes on, "At the risk of being accused of bribery, I have a small gift for you." Caroline sighs, "Now I feel awful." She opens the case to reveal a bracelet. Doug helps her put it on and says softly, "You're not to throw it back at me this time, OK?" Caroline smiles, "I promise."

At Charlie's, Alison has an road atlas in front of her as she talks on the 'phone and says, "It'll be like looking for a needle in a haystack, but you're right: it's worth a try." With that, she hangs up. Turning to Charlie, she tells her, "The police are conducting a house-to-house in the area where Micky was killed. They think she might have been hiding close-by." Charlie asks in surprise, "Why?" Alison explains, "For a start, she was on foot - and she wasn't carrying a handbag. It's not exactly what you'd call conclusive evidence, but it's certainly a start. They think if they find her hideout, that'll almost certainly lead them to Ned Parker." Charlie looks over Alison's shoulder at the road atlas and comments, "It's not far from the boarding house." Alison replies, "That's what I was thinking." She then asks, "Listen: can I borrow a torch?" Charlie asks in surprise, "What for?" Alison explains, "I think I'll conduct my own house-to-house. With any luck, I'll find Ned before the police do." Charlie points out, "The man's dangerous." Alison, though, retorts, "There's also a very good chance he knows where Micky put that statement. I just offer him the money for it instead." Charlie cries, "You're taking an awful risk. Why don't you leave it to the police?" Alison, however, tells her, "Charlie, I don't care how dangerous the man is or how slim my chance of finding him; I've got to try. I'm not asking you to come with me. Glen's going to keep his eye out while he's driving around the area. Between the two of us, we might strike it lucky." Charlie points out, "You'd have a better chance with three of us." Alison insists, "You've done your share. I don't expect any more of you - really." Charlie, however, tells her, "We'll stop at a service station and pick up a second torch." Alison smiles sincerely, "Thankyou, Charlie."

In the study at Dural, Susan hands Wayne the glass of water and tells him, "You may as well finish it." Wayne tries to give it back to her, but Susan reminds him, "I said this afternoon I wasn't thirsty." Wayne, however, retorts, "That was hours ago. Stop trying to play the dying soldier." As Susan takes the remaining water and drinks it, Wayne muses, "You didn't know what you were letting yourself in for, coming up to Sydney, did you?!" Susan comments, "All part of life's rich tapestry..." Wayne then says seriously, "When I've been half-unconscious... I've been saying things, haven't I?" Susan smiles nervously and shrugs, "Oh, you've been doing the odd bit of mumbling..." Wayne asks, "Did I say anything about you?" Susan looks away and then says, "I didn't really hear." Wayne tells her, "If I did, don't pay any notice. I talk a lot of nonsense sometimes." Susan assures him, "Don't worry about it. Try and get some sleep." She helps him lie down again, a worried look crossing her face as she does so.

Alison and Charlie arrive back at Charlie's, and Alison sighs, "I suppose it was pushing the odds a bit, thinking we'd come up with anything." Charlie tells her, "I'm sure the police haven't given up yet." Alison, looking strained, just cries, "I'm finished, Charlie. I'm going to be left without a cent in the world."

Beryl is in the kitchen at the country house when the back door opens and Caroline walks in. She tells Beryl, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to startle you." Beryl explains that she was just taking a headache tablet. She then comments, "David said you were going out with Doug. Did you have a nice time?" Caroline nods, "Yes - we enjoyed ourselves." Beryl murmurs, "Good." She then goes on, "Caroline, I realise you're not all that thrilled at me being here--" Caroline interrupts her and points out, "It's only going to be for a couple of days. I'm sure I'll cope." Beryl,however, explains, "Actually, it might be for more than a couple of days." Caroline growls, "You mean you'd like it to be more." Beryl insists, "No, no, I mean that David's asked me to stay--" Caroline interrupts her again and retorts, "Come off it, Beryl. You're just trying to win him back, aren't you?" Beryl protests, "I most certainly am not." Caroline just muses knowingly, "Doesn't matter. It's hardly a contest, when you stop and think about it, is it...?" She then adds, "Goodnight. Sleep well," and walks out, leaving Beryl with her eyebrows raised.

Susan is pacing the study floor at Dural. She puts on one of Gordon's cardigans, which is resting on a chair. Wayne asks from his bed, "You cold?" Susan turns to him and points out, "You're supposed to be asleep." Wayne tells her, "Get under the blanket. We can keep each other warm." Susan, though, says quickly, "No, no. I'm alright. It's not that bad." Wayne asks in surprise, "Have I embarrassed you?" Susan asks nervously, "Whatever gave you that idea?" Wayne murmurs, "Because I've been talking in my sleep. I said I loved you, didn't I?" Susan looks away sheepishly as Wayne murmurs, "Now I'm embarrassed." Susan says quickly, "Don't be. That's silly." Wayne insists, "You're making me feel worse standing there shivering. Get under the blanket." As Susan still remains standing, he adds, "I'm hardly likely to try and do anything in my condition." He then suggests, "Let's just forget I opened my big mouth, OK?" Susan, however, points out, "We can't, can we? Not really." Wayne admits reluctantly, "No. I guess we can't."

The next morning, Alison is pacing the floor of Charlie's lounge room as Charlie sits on the couch and grooms Isabella. Alison mutters, "I didn't sleep a wink last night, worrying about all this." She adds, "I may as well give myself up and be done with it; put an end to it all." Charlie sighs, "You're determined to wallow in despair, aren't you?" Alison, however, growls, "Charlie, this might come as a surprise to you, but the prospect of spending the next twenty years behind bars does not exactly fill me with joy." Charlie retorts, "I'm sure it doesn't - for someone who's given up hope - but I never thought you were the type, that's all. Funny how I've been wrong all these years, isn't it?" With that, she takes Isabella outside, leaving Alison running her fingers through her hair in despair.

Wayne is lying on the bed in the study at Dural, looking weak. Susan walks over to the cabinet by the door and picks up a glass decanter. It's empty. She also picks up the empty pill bottle lying next to it, and then appears to think of something. She moves across to the table, picks up a pen and writes on a sheet of paper 'HELP'. A dog starts barking outside, and Susan calls, "Go and bite someone, Rags. They might come around and complain and find this." She then puts the note inside the pill bottle and throws it out through the small study window. As soon as she does so, she hears someone cry, "Ouch!" She calls out quickly, "Who's that?" Charlie is outside with Isabella and Rags and she calls back, "It's Charlie Bartlett. Who's that?" Susan cries, "It's Susan. Oh Charlie... thank God you're here."

A few minutes later, in the lounge room at her own house, Charlie is imploring, "Come on, darling, hurry up. You've got a key; we have to let them out." Alison, however, tells her, "Slow down, Charlie. You're not making any sense. Now, Ned locked Wayne and Susan in Gordon's study?" Charlie, picking up the 'phone, nods, "Yes - and then went back to the mansion. That's where he and Micky have been hiding out. I have to call an ambulance: Wayne's in an dreadful state. It's only because of Rags--" She breaks off as Alison grabs the 'phone from her and orders, "Don't call an ambulance yet." Charlie protests, "I have to--" Alison interrupts her, though, and goes on, "They only call the police. I've got to get to Ned before they do. He knows where that statement is." Charlie gasps, "What about Wayne? He needs to get to a hospital. If you think I'm going to stand by and let him suffer--" Alison interrupts and sighs, "Alright, call an ambulance - but don't say anything about Ned. Please." Charlie points out, "Susan will - as soon as she gets near a 'phone." Alison, however, murmurs, "Maybe not..."

Next door, Susan is dialling a number on the 'phone in the hallway, crying as she does so, "I'm not leaving Gordon and May in danger any longer than necessary - particularly if you won't tell me what's going on." Alison slams her hand down on the handset to cancel the call, snapping as she does, "This isn't over." Susan turns to glare at her and Alison then growls, "Alright. Go ahead - if you think your conscience can cope." Susan cries, "With what?" Alison retorts, "A bloodbath." Susan demands, "What bloodbath?" Alison tells her, "Ned Parker is a dangerous man. He's cornered and he's got a gun. When the police try and arrest him, he's going to go crazy. And if he starts shooting, what sort of a chance do you think May and Gordon have got?" Susan cries, "He'll have to give himself up sooner or later." Alison retorts, "Yes - unless he decides to shoot it out. Plenty of people in his situation do." Susan asks, "What makes you think you can handle it more than the police?" Alison replies, "Because I'm positive I can convince Ned to walk away from his hostages without giving them a second thought." She adds, "Just give me one hour. That's all I ask. If what I've got in mind doesn't work by then, go ahead - but please just give me that chance..."


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