Sons and Daughters logo
    Written by: Don Battye   Produced by: Posie Jacobs   Directed by: Mark Piper

Caroline and Doug are packing away their things in the reception room. There's an awkwardness between them, but Caroline says eventually, "Doug... we've got to talk about it." Doug asks, "Is there really anything to say?" Caroline tells him, "Marriage means a great deal to me. It means two people saying they're not afraid of their relationship; saying they're prepared to make a real commitment to each other." Doug sighs heavily and then says, "I still don't see what a couple of rings and a piece of paper has to do with commitment. They're not going to keep two people together." He goes on, "I love you - you know that - and like I said, I'll give you anything in the world, but I just can't sign that piece of paper." Caroline replies sadly, "I still don't agree, but I can understand." Doug smiles at her weakly and then says, "I'm not running away, alright, but I do have to go and see Beryl." With that, he gives Caroline a kiss and heads out. Caroline remains in the reception room, looking disappointed.

Two men emerge from a courthouse. They pass a car in the road, out of which Charlie, Alison and Bjorn are climbing. Alison tells Charlie, "I don't think they're going to be too happy about the dog." Charlie - who's holding Isabella - replies, "She's so small, and she'll behave beautifully." Alison snaps, "I don't want to risk anything - it's too important." Charlie, however, insists, "It'll be fine, you'll see - and besides, she'll bring you luck." Alison sighs, "I'm going to need every bit of that." Bjorn assures her, "With Isabella and me you have nothing to worry about. Come on - you must not be late." The three of them then head inside.

Fiona is talking on the 'phone in her room at the mansion. Caroline is sitting with her, and when Fiona hangs up, she asks who it was. Fiona tells her, "It sounded like an American. He wanted Doug to contact him urgently. Caroline asks what his name was. Fiona replies, "Hank Martin." Caroline gasps, "Really?! That's marvellous! Doug's been trying to interest him in a couple of deals for quite some time. He's very big in the States; this could be the breakthrough." Fiona smiles, "That's wonderful! Doug deserves it - he's worked so hard." She adds, "Who knows? With Beryl's biscuits and now this, he could be back on top in a couple of months!" There's suddenly a knock on the door and Janice comes in, telling Fiona, "Time for the rent." She hands it over and Fiona asks her if she can give her the receipt in a little while. Janice replies, "I'll be heading out in half an hour or so, so just slip it under my door, if you like." Fiona asks, "You going shopping?" Janice, however, admits, "No - I'm going to my parents' for lunch. They've invited Owen, too." Fiona comments, "I didn't know your parents knew about him." Janice explains, "I mentioned he was my partner to Mrs. Brooke's ball and now they've said they'd like to meet him." Fiona muses sourly, "They would..." Janice adds, "Mustn't keep them waiting," and she heads off. When she's gone, Caroline remarks to Fiona, "You don't look too pleased." Fiona grimaces, "No, I'm not. 'Dear Brother George' will think Owen is the ants' pants." Caroline asks in surprise, "Is there anything wrong with that?" Fiona replies, "Only that it's possible that Janice will talk herself into agreeing with them. If her father likes Owen, she'll go along with it - and I couldn't think of a worse fate for her..."

The front door opens at Charlie's and Alison, Charlie and Bjorn head inside. Alison smiles, "I have never been so relieved in all my life!" Charlie tells her, "I must admit, I burst out laughing when the judge put you on a good-behaviour bond! I took one look at you and one look at Bjorn and thought, 'If only the judge knew: good behaviour indeed...!'" The three of them head into the lounge room and sit down. Bjorn then tells Alison, "What I can't wait to see is you on your hands and knees, scrubbing floors!" Alison mutters, "Very funny." Charlie just laughs, "Yes! I wonder what the community service part of it's going to be. I must say: I didn't know you could do that instead of going to prison. You could have to mow lawns... deliver meals on wheels..." Alison just retorts, "Whatever it is, it has to be better than being locked away." Bjorn tells her, "It is so good to see a relaxed smile on your face." Alison replies, It's going to be even more relaxed in a minute: I am going to open a bottle of champagne." Charlie stands up and tells her, "I'm going to let you two share it. I have to pop out for a minute - there's one or two things I want to catch up on." Alison heads out to the kitchen, leaving Charlie to say to Bjorn quietly, "Actually, I want to go back to the courthouse. Poor Caroline could do with some moral support, I'm sure." Bjorn insists, "You'll still have enough time to share a glass of champagne with us." Charlie, though, tells him distantly, "No, there's something I have to do first..."

A short time later, Charlie is at Seabreeze Towers. She heads up to room 37 and is about to knock on the door when Maggie comes up behind her and demands tersely, "Want something?" She then indicates Isabella, in Charlie's arms, and adds sourly, "If you're looking for a flat, dogs aren't allowed - if you could call that thing a 'dog'." She then heads into the room and closes the door in Charlie's face. Looking indignant, Charlie gasps, "Oh Gordon! What are you doing?"

Doug hangs up the 'phone in Fiona's room at the mansion. He goes to head out, just as Fiona and Charlie are coming in. Fiona smiles at him, "Don't mind us - we're just passing through!" Doug explains, "I've finished now, anyway." Fiona comments, "Good news, I hope?" Doug nods, "Could be!" With that, he walks off. When he's gone, Fiona says to Charlie, "Now: about Gordon..." Charlie tells her, "I have just visited Seabreeze Towers - I couldn't contain myself any longer." Fiona asks, "And?" Charlie replies, "I asked the receptionist about him and found out he'd leased an apartment on a permanent basis. Anyway, I went upstairs, but... I couldn't raise the courage to knock on the door. Then along came this woman who was perfectly odious - and she simply let herself into the apartment. So it would appear Gordon has found himself a girlfriend - at which, I may say, my mind simply boggles. Why, she was even rude to Isabella!" Looking puzzled, Fiona comments, "This all sounds so crazy. Why on earth would Gordon want to lease himself an apartment?" Charlie replies sourly, "What is even more strange is why he'd want anything to do with a creature like that."

Upstairs, in the reception room, Doug opens a large cardboard box and takes out a mink coat. He puts it around Caroline's shoulders as she gasps, "How on earth...?!" Doug tells her, "After selling the first one on you, I thought it was the least I could do." Caroline asks in surprise, "How on earth could you afford it?" Doug explains, "Beryl. Beryl and Charlie put their heads together and came up with a whopping great cheque as thanks for the work I'd put into the biscuit company. I spent part of it on that." Caroline twirls round and smiles, "It's beautiful!" She then laughs, "Anything but marriage, eh?" Realising what she's said, she adds quickly, "I'm sorry - that was unfair. I know you got it for me to make me feel better about going to court - and it will." Changing the subject, she then tells Doug, "Fiona took a call from, um..." Doug interrupts and nods, "From Hank Martin, yeah. I 'phoned him back." Caroline asks, "And?" Doug tells her shiftily, "He wants me to go to the States and take over one of his companies. It's in a bit of trouble." Caroline exclaims, "Doug! That's marvellous!" Doug goes on seriously, "I haven't said yes or no at this stage - I wanted to talk to you first. See, the contract's for three months, starting now - which means I'd have to go to Melbourne first... pack and grab a 'plane. So I wouldn't be able to go to the court with you." Caroline, turning away, smiles weakly, "Oh, it's not that serious. They'll probably just rap me over the knuckles and that'll be that." She adds, "It's very thoughtful of you to think of asking me first, but look: go straight back downstairs and 'phone him back. You can't pass up a chance like that." Doug smiles at her broadly and tells her, "You're great!" He heads out of the room. Caroline stands there, looking upset ...

Fiona, Janice and Owen are walking downstairs out in the corridor, talking about the chocolates Owen has brought for Janice's mother. They head towards the front door. Doug emerges from Fiona's room and comments to Janice that she's all dolled-up. She explains that she's going to lunch with her parents. Fiona clarifies, "Janice's father is my 'dear brother', George." Doug smiles, "A real family-affair, eh?" Owen suggests that they'd better get a move on and he and Janice head off. Doug tells Fiona, "I must get back to Caroline - she'll be heading off to court soon." As he heads for the stairs, Fiona muses, "I wonder how Alison made out this morning." Doug replies, "I should have told you: Beryl said she got off rather lightly - a good-behaviour bond and committed to do some community work." Fiona laughs, "That's a turn-up for the books: I'm not so sure the community is ready for Alison Carr!"

Upstairs in the reception room, Caroline is tying up a small gift box, which she then places in one of the pockets of Doug's jacket, which is hanging over the back of a chair. Doug comes back in and tells her, "I've done it. I have to leave straight away." He then adds, "And I've been thinking: I must say that I don't like the idea of us not seeing each other for three months, so... how about coming to the States with me?" Caroline smiles weakly, "That would be very nice, Doug, but I don't think it's a good idea." Doug asks in surprise, "Why not?" Caroline tells him, "You're going to be very busy and I don't think I want to stay in hotel rooms for three months." Doug stares at her and then says, "No, that's not it, is it? It's the marriage bit." Caroline sighs and then nods, "Only partly. I think a three-month separation is something that we both need - and by the time you get back, I'll be so desperate to see you, marriage will be the last thing on my mind." Doug muses, "But if we were married, you'd be coming with me; I know that much... so, Caroline..." He starts fiddling with his tie, nervously, before going on, "Er... it... how about... if..." He breaks off to sigh, "I've never done this before, so it's pretty hard..." He then asks, "Would you... Marry me, will you?!" Caroline bursts out laughing and says, "Oh, darling! I think that's got to be the worst proposal I've ever had - and also the nicest!" She adds more seriously, "You must love me an awful lot to have plucked up that much courage." Doug assures her, "Course I do." He adds impatiently, "Well?" Caroline, however, shakes her head and tells him, "It would be so unfair to you - and I value what we have too much to risk losing it. I know that, deep down, you don't want to. After the court case is finished, I'm going to go down to Melbourne. I'll keep my mind occupied by helping David; polish up his business - and three months isn't long. I promise I'll be at the airport to pick you up when you come back home. Don't you think that's more realistic?" Doug sighs heavily and murmurs, "Caroline..." He kisses her and gives her a loving hug.

The front door opens at the mansion and Alison and Bjorn head inside. Fiona emerges from her room and sighs at Bjorn, "Oh dear... the time's here, isn't it?" Bjorn tells her, "Unfortunately, yes." Fiona turns to Alison and adds, "I heard the verdict." Alison just mutters, "Did you?" Fiona turns back to Bjorn and tells him, "I thought I might hide all your belongings and keep you here an extra couple of days, but then I remembered how big the captain is!" She gives him a hug and asks, "How long will it be before I'll see you back here again?" Bjorn smiles, "I thought I might see you on another cruise before then!" Fiona grins, "You never know!" She suddenly spots Isabella trotting along the floor and she picks her up, explaining to Alison and Bjorn as she does so, "I'm looking after her for Charlie - she didn't want to take her back to court with Caroline." At that moment, Caroline comes downstairs with Charlie, and Bjorn says to her "Perhaps you have not a great worry about today? The good news about Alison must make you feel happy." Caroline, though, glares at Alison and spits, "I don't know what's so good about having to scrub other people's floors." Alison retorts sourly, "It's preferable to what you're likely to get. After all, you caused the accident." A venomous look appears in Caroline's eyes, but Fiona says to Alison quickly, "Come on... don't spoil everything." Charlie guides Caroline outside. Fiona says to Alison and Bjorn that she thought they were going upstairs to collect the rest of Bjorn's things. Alison and Bjorn heads towards the stairway, Alison saying quietly to Bjorn as they do so, "I'm sorry - she just rubs me up the wrong way." Bjorn suggests, "Let's forget it - we don't have enough time." Alison says sadly, "Do you have to remind me...?"

Debbie hangs up the 'phone in the lounge room at the country house. She then turns to Craig and tells him, "That was Mrs. Stark: she's got a job for us. She's just had lunch with a friend who thought Cointreau wasn't alcoholic! I told her we'd pick her up." Craig points out, "We can't. Dave's away and I haven't got my Class 2 licence yet. I'll do my 'P' plate if I'm caught." Debbie, however, tells him, "I'll drive. I told her the business hasn't really started yet, but we'd do it for her as a favour." Craig points out, "Debbie, you've had no experience handling difficult people." Debbie, though, insists, "I can look after myself - and when you see how good I am, you'll be dying to tell David he should employ me." They head through into the kitchen, where Craig smiles, "You never give up, do you?!" They then head out.

Sometime later, Debbie pulls up a car by the side of the road and she, Craig and a female passenger climb out. Debbie tells the woman, "There you are: home safely." The woman smiles, "Thankyou, Debbie - it's really very good of you." Debbie hands her her car keys. The woman starts going through her handbag and she takes out some money, which she hands to Debbie. Debbie thanks her and puts it in her bag. Craig offers to go up to the house with the woman. She thanks him and they head off up the path. Debbie is left standing alone on the footpath. A young man suddenly approaches her and tells her, "I couldn't help noticing the sticker on your friend's car. What's 'Home in Style'?" Debbie explains, "It's like a chauffeuring service: people who've had a bit too much to drink can use us to get home safely. We haven't really started it properly, though, yet." The man asks, "Where's your office?" Debbie tells him, "We're running it from a friend's house in Warrandyte. Would you like the number?" The man smiles, "Sure! Why not?" Debbie reaches into her bag and takes out a piece of paper, telling him as she writes it, "It's Lot 6, Barker Road." She hands over the piece of paper just as Craig comes back down the path. He watches Debbie and the man suspiciously. The man walks off. Craig joins Debbie and demands, "What's he want?" Debbie smiles, "He's another potential customer. Really, you can't afford to do without me, you know?!" Craig, however, tells her, "You can try as hard as you like, Deb. The answer's 'no'."

In Sydney, Charlie and Caroline are walking towards the courthouse. Charlie tells Caroline, "Take a deep breath. You'll be alright." Caroline sighs, "I hope so. I put on a front for Doug, but I've never been so nervous in my life." Charlie takes her arm gently and suggests, "Come on." They head off inside.

In Fiona's room at the mansion, Fiona is smiling at Doug and saying, "Good luck - and you've got to promise to keep in touch: I have to know where you are in case I decide to come over there!" Doug grins, "If you do, we've got a date to do Disneyland together!" He puts on his jacket, but suddenly becomes aware of an object in one of the pockets. He reaches for it and takes out the small gift left there by Caroline. He starts unwrapping it. As he does so, Fiona asks who it's from. Doug replies, "It doesn't say - but I'll give you one guess." He unwraps the gift to reveal an audio cassette tape. Fiona asks him if he's got time to hear a bit of it. Doug hands it over and Fiona goes and puts it in her tape player. She presses the 'Play' button and after a few seconds, Caroline's voice comes on. She says in an American accent, "Hi there, honey! Thought you should grab a few tips on how to speak the lingo over there in the good old U.S. of A.!" Doug laughs as she tells him, "You don't say 'footpath'; you say 'sidewalk'!" She eventually adds, "Don't worry, mate - I'm sure you'll soon get the drift. Have a very successful trip and, above all, remember that I love you. Bye bye." Doug, looking shaky, murmurs to Fiona, "She did it for a joke - she gave me a tape on how to speak English, one time. What a girl... Great sense of humour. I'm going to miss her..."

Debbie and Craig are sitting at the kitchen table at the country house. Debbie is saying with a grin on her face, "Honestly, you wouldn't have a hope of the business working without me!" Craig smiles, "You're a little wonder - and you're also full of yourself!" They start play-fighting, but end up staring into each other's eyes. They kiss passionately. Craig then murmurs, "I've got to go away for a while - do something about having the cards printed." He goes to head out. Debbie calls after him, "Drive carefully!" He goes. The 'phone suddenly starts ringing in the kitchen and Debbie runs and answers it. She listens and then says, "Hello, Charlie." At the court house, Charlie is looking serious as she replies, "Hello, Debbie. I'm afraid I've got some terrible news." Debbie listens, a look of shock crossing her face.

Janice and Owen arrive back at the mansion. Fiona emerges from her room and Janice tells her immediately, "You look awful. What's wrong?" Fiona replies, "Caroline's been sentenced to three-months' imprisonment. She asked that nobody let Doug know about it." Owen comments sharply, "If you break the law, you must pay the penalty." Janice nods, "That's true." Owen then tells her, "I must be off. Thank you again for a wonderful lunch - and when you see your mother and father, thank them again for me, too, won't you?" Janice smiles, "I will - be in touch soon." With that, Owen leaves. Fiona comments to Janice, "I never thought I'd see the day when you'd go along with something Owen said." Janice retorts, "He's a very intelligent young man. You weren't there, but at lunch today he showed me what a nice person he really is; he was a perfect gentleman and father was most impressed." With that, she stomps off to her room. Fiona pulls a face behind her back!

Bjorn is standing with Alison in Charlie's lounge room. He's holding a necklace and saying, "It has been in my family for years and I thought you might like it." Alison murmurs, "Thankyou. It's beautiful." Bjorn goes on, "Are you sure you won't come to the airport?" Alison replies, "No - it's bad enough saying 'goodbye' without dragging it out." Bjorn tells her, "I have been giving us a lot of thought over the past few weeks. I have even considered applying for a job on shore here - but it is very hard... my family... and I'm not sure if I could do it." Alison replies, "Of course you couldn't. Apart from anything else, you couldn't handle being tied-up in an office - and we'd be at each other's throats in a matter of months. The fact that you thought about it is enough." She goes on sadly, "We've had six wonderful weeks. I'll never forget them. And if somehow we can..." She breaks off and murmurs, "Well... at least I've got those six weeks." She and Bjorn then start kissing passionately. When they pull apart, Bjorn heads off. Alison stands there, looking upset.

Debbie is working just outside the back door at the country house when the young man she met earlier walks round the corner. She smiles at him, "You gave me a fright!" She then adds, "I thought you said you were going to 'phone if you wanted to know more." The man tells her, "Well... I was passing by, so I thought 'why not drop in'?" Debbie sighs, "You've come at a really bad time, I'm afraid. Craig - that's the guy who was with me earlier - well, he's the one working out the rates and so on, and he's gone out at the moment. I don't know when he'll be back." The man comments, "Pity. Still, I'm not in any rush." Approaching a increasingly-nervous-looking Debbie, he goes on, "In fact, it might be nice for both of us. You're a really good-looking girl; I don't mind spending some time alone with you at all..."


    Links:  Episode 787    Episode Index    Main Index    Episode 789