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    Written by: Maureen Ann Moran   Produced by: Posie Jacobs   Directed by: Julian McSwiney

Janice and Owen pull apart and Owen suggests that they break the news to the others. Janice, though, asks if they shouldn't tell their parents first. Owen nods that he'll ask for Janice's father's permission and then they'll tell his mother tonight, at the ball. He adds, "You've made me a very happy man, Janice." He gives her a kiss. At that moment, May comes downstairs and asks Janice impatiently if she's going to try on the dress or not. Owen tells Janice that he'll pick her up at 7pm, and he heads off. May smiles at Janice that it's going to a night to remember. Janice still looks worried...

Cassie is putting together her kite in Gordon's room at Seabreeze Towers. Gordon hands her a bowl of chocolate mix from a cake he's been making. Cassie starts eating it and gets it all over herself! Gordon suddenly picks up his camera and snaps Cassie in the middle of the kite and chocolate. Maggie mutters that he should have waited until they'd cleared up the mess. Gordon assures her, "It's more artistic!" He then puts his camera on a nearby cabinet, sets the timer and goes and joins Maggie and Cassie on the couch. It takes longer to snap than he expects, though, so that no one's looking at it when it goes off!

At the soon-to-be-orphanage, Ginny is bragging to two other young women, "It was the best birthday ever - scored a new stereo from my boyfriend." She adds that it cost him $100 to take her to Vincent's. One of the other women asks in awe what it's like. Alison, crouching nearby, wiping her hands on a cloth, smiles as Ginny replies, "Knock-out: chandeliers... carpet up to your ankles... white baby grand... Souvenired some match books for you, too." She reaches into her bag, but then comments, "Must have left them at home. Pity." One of the other women asks, "What are they like?" Ginny replies, "Blood red cover... champers bottle fizzing its head off in gold... Must have cost him a fortune to have it done." Alison stands up, walks over to her bag and takes out a match book. It has a blue cover. She then comments, "You tell a good story, Ginny. It's the little details you add - like the white baby grand. Makes it sound very convincing to someone who hasn't been there." She hands the match book to the other woman and adds, "They closed for renovations two weeks ago." The woman glares at Ginny and then says to the fourth woman in the room, "Come on..." They walk off, smirking. Ginny puts a cigarette in her mouth. Alison holds out her match book and gloats, "Want a light?" Ginny just snaps, "Go to hell." She storms off.

Later that day, in the lounge room at Charlie's, Charlie is chuckling, "Chandeliers and baby grands? Who does she thinks owns Vincent's? Liberace?!" Alison pours herself a drink as Charlie sits on the couch putting on make-up. Alison comments, "Making yourself beautiful for Vincent's' re-opening tonight?" Charlie smiles, "I thought I might drop-in for a while. What about you?" Alison shrugs, "Why not? Should be fun." Charlie asks, "You taking your little workmate?!" Alison just mutters, "That klutz..." Charlie smiles, "Talking of klutzes, I wonder how Andy and Wayne are." Alison laughs, "Since they fell into my little trap and went tearing off to Glen's motel..." Charlie chuckles, "I'd love to have seen the look on their faces when they found he'd checked out." Alison muses, "I hope he didn't tell the staff where he was going." Charlie insists that he wouldn't be so stupid. Alison, though, retorts, "He was stupid enough to walk into the lions' den." Charlie suggests, "Don't you mean the hyenas' lair?" She then hands Alison the newspaper she's holding. There's an half-page article headlined 'Hamilton Industries Pulls Off Another Coup'. A photo of Wayne and Alison accompanies it. Alison looks at the expression on Wayne's face and comments, "Oh yes... that's certainly a hyena's smile, if ever I saw one." Charlie asks what he's smiling about. Alison explains, "We pulled off the Williams deal. Wayne made a packet out of it." Charlie muses, "Small consolation for losing the woman you love." Alison, though, warns, "Don't write him off yet - one victory doesn't win a war. If Glen did let something slip and Wayne knows he's in Bali..." Charlie just suggests to her that she forget about it. Alison, though, tells her, "I think I might go on a fishing trip later: make sure tweedle-dum and tweedle-dumber are still in the dark..."

Ginny walks up to a man standing at the side of a road and asks him, "How's my favourite man today?!" The man starts putting together a hotdog for her, from the stall in front of him. Ginny begins to rant about Alison and the man asks what she's been doing. Ginny, though, retorts, "Not worth talking about." She then asks him if she can look through the gig guide in his newspaper. The man suggests, "If you can afford a night out, you can afford to cough over the money you owe me." Ginny reaches into her bag reluctantly and takes out some cash, muttering, "You're all heart." The man suggests, "Take it out on the bird that's giving you such a hard time." Ginny just retorts, "If I knew where she lived, she'd be history. Nobody gets the better of me." With that, she takes her hotdog and, as the man turns away, she grabs his newspaper as well, adding, "Not even you!" She walks off.

Back at her bus, Ginny starts going through the newspaper. She takes out some sheets from the middle, but doesn't notice the photo of Wayne and Alison that's staring back at her...

That night, Alison walks into Dural as Andy emerges from the study. She asks, "Tweedle-dum home?" Andy retorts, "If you're talking about Wayne, he and Susan have gone out to dinner." The two of them head into the lounge room, Alison gloating as they do so, "Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow he loses her to Glen." Andy smiles that Glen will have to come out of hiding to get her - and as soon as he does, he and Wayne will nail him. Alison comments, "Thanks for telling me the plan!" A look of annoyance crosses Andy's face. Alison then tells him, "I'm going to Vincent's gala reopening tonight. He's converting his restaurant to a very exclusive nightclub. He's got a young muso running it for him - on a percentage deal." Andy mutters, "So?" Alison retorts, "I thought that was the big dream." With that, she walks off, leaving Andy looking annoyed.

At the mansion, Fiona is standing in May's room. May emerges from her bedroom, all dressed up, and Fiona smiles at her, "You're going to knock their eyes out, Lady May!" May muses, "It's a long time since anyone called me that!" She has the comb in her re-styled wig, and Fiona asks her if she ever found out what happened to Connie Hogg, who gave it to her. May suggests, "She probably married some poor sod and spent the rest of her life hen-pecking him!"

Out in the corridor, Janice trots downstairs. She's wearing a white gown and has removed her glasses. Owen is standing in the hallway - wearing a tuxedo - and he tells Janice eagerly that her father was willing to give his consent. Janice smiles, "I know - he and mum called me - so if your mother approves..." Owen tells her, "I'm sure she will - as long as nothing upsets her." He then comments that Janice's dress is a bit revealing, and he suggests she cover up her cleavage a bit. Fiona and May emerge from May's room and Janice comments to May that she looks wonderful. May leads Owen outside. Fiona places a purple in the 'revealing' gap in Janice's dress and then tells her, "You look lovely." She asks, "How are you feeling?" Janice nods, "Fine." Fiona asks, "Are you sure?" Janice tells her, "Of course I'm sure. I don't know why I behaved like such a milksop when you showed me that photo. I'm over Neville now - and one thing's for sure: I won't be dying a lonely old maid on his account." With that, she heads out. Fiona stands there, looking worried.

Later that night, a man and woman walk downstairs at the Owen residence. As they pass the front door and head into the main room, May, Janice and Owen walk in. Owen says he'll find his mother. He walks off, but at that moment, Mrs. Brooks comes up behind them and, giving Janice a kiss, tells her that it's lovely to see her again. She then comments to May, "You must be Janice's friend. I'm so glad you could come." May replies, "It was very kind of you to invite me, Mrs. Brooke." Mrs. Brooke tells her, "It was all Owen's doing: he knows how interested I am in the welfare of the elderly." May's face drops. Janice tells May that she'll take her up to the ballroom. Owen, however, pulls her back and reminds her that she has to talk to his mother. May insists, "I'll be fine." Mrs. Brooke smiles at her, "Of course you will. Just make sure you take it easy. Find yourself a chair." May walks off, sniffily. Owen tries to grab his mother's attention, but she's sidetracked by various guests. He and Janice finally manage to stop her walking around, though, and Owen says to her, "Janice has agreed to be my wife - as long as you approve, of course." Mrs. Brooke smiles happily, "How could I not approve of Janice?" Looking at Janice, she adds, "I decided you were the right woman for Owen the minute we met." Owen then takes a ring out of his pocket. Mrs. Brooke tells Janice, "My husband gave it to me: a wedding present." Janice, looking taken aback, stammers, "I... I can't take it, then. I'm sure it's of much sentimental value to you." Mrs. Brooke, however, explains, "That's why I decided it must stay in the family." Owen places it on Janice's finger and comments that it's a perfect fit.

Cassie is sitting watching television in Gordon's room at Seabreeze Towers. Maggie suggests that it's time they were leaving. Gordon, though, assures her that a few more minutes won't hurt. Maggie then asks him if he's got one of those fizzy drinks that settles your stomach. Gordon goes to stand up, but Maggie says quickly that she'll make it. She stands up, but appears to come over faint. Gordon helps her sit back down. Cassie runs over to her, crying fearfully, "Mum?" Maggie assures her, "It's just too much rich food." Gordon tells her that he'll get them a cab home - his shout. Maggie warns, "You've spent enough on us as it is." Gordon tells her, "It's either that, or you and Cassie stay the night." Cassie says eagerly, "Oh, mum, could we?!" Maggie says to Gordon, "If that wouldn't be too much trouble..." Gordon tells her that she and Cassie can have the double bed. Maggie tells Cassie to run and get the sheets, and the girl runs off. Gordon stands up and says he'll get Maggie the fizzy drink. Maggie says she might just splash some water on her face, and she heads off to the bathroom. When she's gone, Gordon goes to the 'phone and dials a number. The 'phone rings at Dural, where Andy has the stereo on loudly. He turns it down and then picks up the call. Gordon comes on and asks if Wayne is there. Andy explains that he and Susan went out to dinner. Gordon says, "Can you give them a message for me? Tell them that I won't be home tonight: a friend of mine has been taken ill. I'll stay here with her." Andy asks him, "You got a number there?" Gordon, though, tells him, "There's no need to ring back. I'll see you both in the morning." With that, he hangs up, leaving Andy looking puzzled. He muses to himself, "Well, well, well... sly old dog!"

At the Brooke residence, Janice and Owen walks downstairs, arm-in-arm. Janice, looking worried, says, "We should never have let May go off on her own." Owen retorts, "She should never have been invited in the first place - she's totally out of her depth here." As they head into the hallway, a voice behind them says, "Janice, darling, you look stunning." Janice turns and gasps in surprise, "Charlie?!" Owen demands curtly, "What are you doing here?" Charlie smiles, "Harry White persuaded me to come." Owen mutters, "I'm sure you didn't have to twist his arm." Charlie tells him, "I would have rather partied-on at Vincent's - well, his parties are always such fun. Still, as this was for charity, I decided to make the sacrifice." Janice just tells her that she's looking for May, and she and Owen walk off. They realise that May isn't in the main room downstairs and they go and try another room. As they do so, they fail to spot May talking to two young men about her parties during the war. Mrs. Brooke suddenly walks up to May and the men says, "Why are you boys hiding away down here? Your partners will think you've deserted them!" May apologises, "It was my fault - I kept them chatting." The two men tell her that it was nice talking to her and they walk off. May then comments to Mrs. Brooke, "Lovely boys, aren't they?" Mrs. Brooke glares at her and retorts, "Yes... and much too polite to show that you're boring them." May, however, muses, "Oh... there's only one bore around here, and it's not me." At that moment, Charlie walks up to her. May, a look of delight on her face, smiles, "I had a feeling you'd turn up!" Charlie tells her, "You look stunning, darling - I'd kill for that haircomb!" Mrs. Brooke mutters, "What a waste of energy." May tells her, "They happen to be diamonds." Mrs. Brooke asks sourly, "Bought and paid for out of your pension cheque?" May smiles, "Oh, dear me, no - I've had it for donkey's years. I won it in a poker game." Charlie chips in, "Anyone with taste would know real diamonds when they saw them." Mrs. Brooke retorts, "Anyone with 'taste' wouldn't burst in where they're not wanted." She storms off. Charlie mutters to May, "Trust the dreaded Constance to have the last word." May, looking surprised, queries, "Constance?" Charlie tells her, "Madam's Christian name. Only Christian thing about her." May, looking surprised, asks, "Has anyone ever called her 'Connie'?" Charlie shrugs, "If they did, they wouldn't live to tell the tale." May muses, "You wouldn't happen to know her maiden name?" Charlie, however, replies, "I haven't a clue - Mrs. B. isn't very forthcoming about her background." May smiles, "I wonder why..." Charlie asks suspiciously, "What are you getting at?" May asks, "Don't you remember I told you about the little upstart I won this - " she indicates the haircomb "- from? Her name was Connie. Connie Hogg." Charlie laughs, "And you call me outrageous?!"

A while later, Charlie and May emerge from the main room into the hallway, May taking off her mask, muttering that she's sick of it. Harry White joins them and tells them that Owen is announcing his engagement tonight. Looking horrified, Charlie gasps, "Oh no... she hasn't." Janice suddenly walks up to them and tells May curtly, "I've been looking for you everywhere." May just says to her curtly, "Janice, there's a rumour doing the rounds that you're engaged to Owen. I'd scotch that quick-smart, if I were you." Janice, however, explains, "It's the truth, May. I'm very, very happy." May gasps, "You can't be serious. Why have you kept it to yourself?" Mrs. Brooke walks up to them and takes off her mask as she says, "It's only natural Janice would want to keep it in the family until we announced it." May cries, "We are her family." Janice pleads, "Please try to understand." Mrs. Brooke just tells her, "I'll deal with this, Janice. Get everyone into the ballroom." Charlie chips in, "It's alright, Janice. Don't worry about May. I think 'mother' has finally met her match." Mrs. Brooke glares at her. Charlie and Janice walk off, leaving May to comment to Mrs. Brooke, "No wonder your son has turned out the way he has with you for a mother." Mrs. Brooke retorts, "That sounds like sour grapes, to me." May tells her, "I wouldn't have your life for quids." Mrs. Brooke, raising her voice, snaps, "Then get the hell out of here before I throw you out." May asks lightly, "You and what army?" Mrs. Brooke warns threateningly, "You take me on and you'll regret it. I'm tougher than pig-iron Bob." May muses, "Someone else said that to me, once. Someone very like you. Common-as-muck. She thought she could take me on and win, but she's probably down-and-out and living in a slum now." As a number of guests walk past, Mrs. Brooke stares at them and, indicating May, snaps, "A slum? She's the one who's on skid row, not me." The guests begin to gather round, looking interested in the argument. May tells them, "She's right, you know. Who would have thought Connie would have started out on the game and ended up as a pillar of society?" Looking back at Mrs. Brooke, she smiles, "Long time, no see, Connie." Mrs. Brooke stares at her in horror. Owen looks at Janice fearfully.

As May, Janice and Owen arrive back at the mansion sometime later, May tells them to put up the folding bed in the reception room. Owen murmurs, "It's very kind of you to take me in." May insists, "It's the least I can do, seeing I'm responsible for you leaving home." Janice tells him, "I'll help you look for a flat tomorrow." Owen sighs, "There's no way your father will want you to have anything to do with me now." Janice, however, tells him, "Dad lives by the bible, and it says the sins of the parents should not be visited on the children." Owen, however, sighs, "I know it's out of the question that a Minister's daughter can marry the son of a whore." May walks off to her room, leaving Owen and Janice standing alone in the hallway. Janice tells Owen, "Things will look better in the morning. Just remember: every cloud's got a silver lining." Owen retorts, "Oh yes, and every tart's got a heart of gold. Why do people always bring out clichés at a time like this?" Janice tells him, "Because there's a lot of truth in them." She then murmurs, "Come on," and they head upstairs.

The next morning, at Seabreeze Towers, Gordon hands Cassie some money and she heads out. Maggie emerges from her room, but Gordon orders her back to bed, explaining that, when Cassie gets back with the milk, he'll bring in the breakfast. He adds that he wants her to rest until he can organise a doctor's appointment. Maggie snaps, "I'm fine. I don't need one." She then adds, "Doctors don't work on Sundays." Gordon explains that reception gave him the name of one who does. He then reminds her, "Anyway, you need a medical for your insurance policy." Maggie says meekly, "I've decided against that." Gordon points out, "That's Cassie's security." Maggie insists, "I can provide for her." Gordon muses, "If you're around..." Maggie snaps, "There's nothing wrong with me." Gordon, though, grabs her and moves her in front of a mirror. He tells her, "Take a look at yourself: you're sick." Maggie growls, "I'm not." Gordon just goes on, "If you get treatment now, it might make the difference between life and death." Maggie cries, "Leave me alone." Gordon asks, "What happens to Cassie if you died, eh? She's got no relatives of her own." Maggie snaps, "I don't have to take any more of this." She goes to storm off back to her room. Gordon, looking annoyed, calls after her, "If you really love Cassie, you'll see a doctor - but if you go on being pig-headed, in my book you're a poor excuse for a mother." Maggie turns and glares at him.

Ginny is walking along a footpath, approaching the hotdog vendor. He comments that he thought she'd be sleeping-in this morning. Ginny shrugs, "I wasn't in the mood to rage, so I came home early. Glad I did, too." She then shows him the newspaper she's holding and adds, "Found this." The man looks at it and comments, "Big deal." Ginny tells him, "That's Alison Carr." The man smiles, "Doesn't look like any old boiler to me!" His attention distracted by the photo, he finds himself pouring mustard on the hotdog until it's overflowing. When she noticed, Ginny demands a discount. The man mutters, "Never let up, do you?" Ginny retorts, "No." She indicates the photo of Alison and adds, "As she's about to find out..."

Alison walks into Dural and goes and knocks on the study door. Andy emerges from the lounge room, closing the doors behind him, and tells her curtly that if she's looking for Wayne, he and Susan are at church. Alison smiles, "As they say: 'Come to me all ye sinners'!" She goes to head into the lounge room. Andy, though, puts a hand in front of her and tells her, "I'm reading a paper in there and I'm pretty choosy about the company I keep." Alison mutters, "Arrogance doesn't suit you, Andy. It's like a mouse trying to roar." She heads off into the study. Andy walks back into the lounge room and, looking across at the couch, says, "Right. Now, where were we?" Ginny is sitting there, and she smiles back at him, delightedly...


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