Janice is busy going through a filing box full of papers, muttering,
"It would help if Aunt Fiona had a proper filing system."
Alison is standing with her in Fiona's room at the mansion, and
she replies, "I don't suppose it's urgent." Janice,
however, retorts, "As long as I'm acting manager here I want
to know where things are. I'm not having balance sheets just go
missing." Alison picks up a card suddenly from the desk,
and staring at it, she asks, "What does this mean?
Against Colin Smith's name: you've marked a big cross." Janice
explains, "It's part of my new R.O.T. system - Record of
Tenancy. The way Aunt Fiona kept things you could never tell who
was coming and who was going." She then smiles as she finds
the papers she's looking for and exclaims, "Here they are!"
Alison, however, just goes on, "So what does it mean: the
cross?" Janice indicates the card and replies, "Look,
it says here: T.T." Alison sighs heavily, "Janice, I've
never been very good at code-breaking; is there any chance we
might have this conversation in English?" Janice
explains, "T.T. Tenancy Terminated." Alison comments
in surprise, "You mean he's gone?" Janice retorts,
"And good riddance, too." Alison asks, "Do you
know where he went?" Janice replies, "I haven't got
the faintest idea. I caught him going through Beryl's suitcase
and I told him if he wasn't off the premises in ten minutes, I'd
call the police." Alison, looking thoughtful, murmurs, "I
wonder if he's gone back to Melbourne." Janice nods, "Yes,
I think he did. I remember he 'phoned the airport on his way out."
She then hands over the sheet of paper she's found and Alison
takes it and heads out. As she does so, she passes Owen. He joins
Janice in Fiona's room. Looking at the expression on his face,
Janice asks, "What happened?" Owen says quickly, "Nothing."
Janice stares at him and then demands, "What have you done
to your glasses? They're all scratched." Owen tells her,
"I, um, dropped them." Janice sighs heavily, "Oh,
honestly. Talk about two-left-feet. Do you know how much a new
pair's going to cost?" Owen retorts, "Of course
I do. Janice, you sound more like my mother than she
does." Janice mutters, "That's not funny." She
then asks, "Did you talk to Gordon?" Owen replies, "Not
exactly." Janice demands, "What do you mean, 'not exactly'?"
Owen tells her, "I've been thinking: it's probably all for
the best - you know: the cancellation of the Reserve. It would
have been a lot of work and a lot of responsibility and I don't
think I'm ready for it." Janice points out curtly, "You
were up until now. What's changed your mind?" Owen
says quickly, "Nothing. It's just that there's... too much
to lose... and all those worries. Anyway, that's the way it is.
Sorry if I disappointed you." With that, he dashes out, leaving
Janice looking worried.
Wayne is pouring drinks for himself and his father at the bar
at Dural as Gordon asks in surprise, "Why would Owen cancel
a project he obviously had his heart set on?" Wayne just
shrugs, "Search me - but you said he behaved strangely
when you went to look at his model. When I arrived at
the mansion, he was going right off his brain. It was all I could
do to stop him from ripping the model into pieces. Frankly,
I've always thought he was a bit... strange; the type of person
who just goes to pieces under pressure." Gordon murmurs,
"Still, it's the last thing I would've expected." Wayne
tells him, "Me too! It's crazy! If it had happened a couple
of hours ago, I would have been glad, but since we had
that little talk I've set things in motion with one of our big
debts and it looks like that will bring in all the cash
I need." Gordon smiles, "Good. Good." Wayne goes
on, "So from the company's point of view, I wish the Reserve
would go ahead - but if Owen's pulled out, I guess there's
not much we can do." Gordon suggests, "We could put
somebody else in as manager." Wayne looks at him
sharply and says quickly, "We could... it's hardly
viable, though." Gordon asks, "Why not?" Wayne
tells him, "A different manager will mean different ideas.
We'll have to postpone construction... Add to that the time needed
to find another manager... the delays will cost us a fortune."
Gordon murmurs reluctantly, "I suppose so. Still, it's a
pity." Wayne, looking relieved, just nods, "Yeah."
Janice is standing in Fiona's room at the mansion, wiping her
eyes with a tissue. The door opens suddenly and Beryl walks in,
smiling, "I'm back! I've enrolled Robert in the daycare centre
and they suggested I leave him there for the rest of the afternoon
so he can get settled in." She then notices Janice's red
face and asks in concern, "Something wrong?" Janice
tells her, "Owen's left. He just walked out without
a word; I couldn't even get him to say when he'll be back."
Beryl asks in surprise, "Did you have an argument?"
Janice replies, "No, not really." Beryl comments, "Well,
there's nothing to worry about." Janice cries, "You'd
at least think he'd have the decency to tell me his plans."
Beryl admits, "It's a bit odd..." Janice goes
on, "I know he's upset over Wayne cancelling the Reserve
project, but I at least thought he'd have the gumption to tell
Gordon what he thought. He hasn't changed: still
lets people walk all over him." Beryl just stares at her
and gasps, "Wayne did what?" Janice repeats,
"He's cancelled the Reserve project. No thought for how it
might affect others, of course. Still, you wouldn't think
Owen would up and leave just because of that. Something
else must have happened; I wish he'd told me what.
I can't help worrying about him." Beryl looks at her sympathetically.
Wayne is sitting at a picnic table in the front grounds at Dural,
working, when Beryl marches up the driveway towards him. She stops
by him and mutters, "Didn't take you long, did it?"
Wayne looks at her and asks, "What didn't?"
Beryl just demands, "What did you say to Owen?" Wayne
replies, "Who said I said anything?" Beryl,
however, retorts, "Come on, Wayne, it doesn't take a genius
to work that out. Owen cared too much about that Reserve to walk
away from it, even after you'd cancelled it." Wayne insists,
"I didn't cancel anything. Owen simply announced
he was pulling out." Beryl snaps, "That's a lie."
Wayne, however, tells her, "No it isn't. Ask Owen - if you
can find him!" A nasty smile crosses his face... Beryl continues
tersely, "Somehow, you pressured him into dropping the project
and walking out on Janice. Now, because she's a decent kid and
I don't want to see her get hurt, I'm getting to the bottom of
it." Wayne sighs, "If you were right - which you're
not, but let's assume you were - it would be between me and Owen.
There's not a damn thing you could do about it." Beryl just
retorts, "We'll see." With that, she marches off.
Inside, Gordon is emerging from the lounge room when the front
door opens and Beryl marches in. She says quickly, "Gordon..."
Gordon smiles, "Beryl. Susan's upstairs, I think." Beryl,
however, explains, "Actually, it's not Susan I want to see,
it's you." She then goes on hesitantly, "Er,
I was wondering if your offer was still open." Gordon queries,
"Offer?" Beryl explains, "For a bed - for Robert
and me." Gordon smiles, "Of course." Beryl tells
him, "Good. Then I accept."
At Charlie's, Alison is talking on the 'phone in the lounge room,
saying, "As far as we know, he's on his way back to Melbourne."
The person on the other end of the 'phone is David, who's sitting
in the lounge room at the country house. He asks Alison, "Did
he ever actually see Craig?" Alison replies, "No
- we were lucky. What about you? Did you come up with anything?"
David tells her, "I've been getting matey with this Ted bloke
Ruby used to buy her stock from. According to him, she used to
bludge beer six days of the week and then shout the bar on a Friday
- so she must have been getting money from somewhere on a once-a-week
basis." Alison asks, "Somewhere apart than a street
stall, you mean?" David replies, "Yeah - that was just
rent money." Alison goes on, "This fellow:
he doesn't have any ideas?" David tells her, "He's not
saying anything - but I think our friend, Ted, knows
a lot more than he's lot on so far." Unnoticed by David,
Debbie appears in the doorway and listens as David continues,
"I was going to stay there for the lunch period and work
on him but I had to come back and get some stuff together for
the solicitor... yeah, that insurance case. As soon as I can,
I'll get back there and work on him some more." Debbie heads
off to the kitchen. In Sydney, Alison says, "I've been doing
some thinking too, but I'll tell you about it over breakfast tomorrow."
David queries, "You coming down?" Alison grins, "Why
should you have all the fun? See you in the morning!
Bye!" In Melbourne, David hangs up, looking worried.
Out in the kitchen, Andy is making a cup of coffee as Debbie
tells him, "I just heard David talking on the 'phone and
he's sure that Ted knows something." Andy just murmurs, "Good."
Debbie goes on with a sigh, "Then why is he here?
Sounds like he's going to be sitting round here all afternoon,
filling out insurance papers, when he should be back at the pub."
Andy, however, tells her, "I reckon he knows what he's doing,
Debbie. If he starts pushing the bloke too much, he'll twig."
Debbie mutters, "Who's to say he hasn't already? What if
he splits while David's wasting time here? That'll be the end
of any chance of helping Craig." Andy tells her, "Stop
getting so worked up. We don't even know if he's got anything
to do with it. How does he fit in with this Colin Hopkins,
huh?" Debbie replies, "I think they're both
involved, somehow." Andy points out, "We have not got
a scrap of evidence." Debbie nods, "Then it's up to
us to get some. I'm going to go back to the pub and see
what I can find before it's too late." Andy sighs, "They
aren't going to tell you anything." Debbie, however, retorts,
"How do you know? He's already made it pretty clear
that he likes me. If I act friendly, he'll probably tell me more
than he would David." Andy asks, "Aren't you
forgetting something?" Debbie retorts, "What?"
Andy points out, "You told him your old man's a cop. If you
start asking him questions he's going to run a mile." Debbie
sighs, "I'll just tell him I was kidding." Andy mutters,
"Oh yeah, I bet he's just the type to enjoy a real good joke."
Debbie insists, "I can look after myself." Andy sighs,
"You can't go barrelling in there by yourself - it's too
risky." Debbie shrugs with a hint in her voice, "If
no one's volunteering to come with me, I don't have any
choice..." Andy stares at her and then sighs, "Alright."
Debbie smiles, "Thankyou." Andy adds, "How big
is he?" Debbie replies, "Tiny. Just a little fella.
He wouldn't hurt a fly." With that, she heads for the back
Colin Hopkins lifts a suitcase out of the boot of his car and
he and Jean head up towards the front door of their house, Colin
grumbling as they do so, "If you think you could do the job
better, why didn't you go?" Jean retorts, "I
should've. At least I wouldn't have been frightened off
by some snotty little girl threatening to call the police."
Colin demands, "What if that snotty little girl had
called the police?" Jean sighs, "Did it never occur
to you she was bluffing, Colin? People who run boarding houses
don't want police tramping around - it's bad for business."
Colin just mutters, "Anyway, the boy wasn't there, I'm sure
of it: the woman that's supposed to be hiding him's gone overseas.
He's probably still in Melbourne. He could be anywhere,
for all we know." Jean, taking out a set of door keys, retorts,
"Thanks to you, we hardly know anything."
Colin assures her, "The police will catch up with him sooner
or later. The longer he's on the run, the more guilty he looks."
Jean, however, mutters, "As usual, your confidence is pathetically
misplaced. I want that boy caught and convicted now.
That's the only thing that will put this business to rest."
With that, she unlocks the front door and she and Colin head inside.
Debbie and Andy are walking down the street towards the bar,
Andy saying warily, "I still don't think this is a very good
idea." Debbie insists, "All I want to do is talk
to the man. What harm can that do?" Andy demands,
"What are you going to say to him? 'Excuse me, but were you
involved in killing Ruby Hawkins?'" Debbie sighs, "Come
on - I'm not a complete idiot." Andy asks, "Then what
are you going to say to him?" Debbie replies hesitantly,
"I don't know... I just want to talk to him; make conversation."
She stops in her tracks suddenly as she spots Ted standing outside
the bar ahead of them. Andy, looking surprised, comments, "He's
just a little fellow." Debbie, stepping forward
again, says, "Come on." Andy, however, tells her, "It's
OK - I'll do it." Debbie asks in surprise, "Why
should he talk to you?" Andy replies, "Because
my old man is not a cop, for one thing. Leave it to me."
Debbie warns, "Be careful." With that, Andy starts jogging
towards Ted. He calls, "Excuse me." Ted looks at him
and mutters, "What do you want?" Andy tells
him, "I was wondering... that is..." Ted just snaps,
"Nick off." Andy, though, persists, "Do you know
anything about Ruby Hawkins' death?" Ted glares at him and
then lashes out with his hand, punching Andy in the stomach. Andy
collapses to the ground. Looking horrified, Debbie runs up to
Ted and snaps, "Get away from him." Ted stares at her
and snarls, "Why, if it isn't the copper's little
girl..." David runs out of the pub suddenly and snaps at
Ted, "Hey. Lay off him, pal. I know them, alright? What happened?"
Ted mutters, "You know 'em, do you? That makes sense."
He goes to walk off, but David shoves him up against the wall.
Ted glares at him and snaps, "You'll keep." With that,
he storms off. David helps Andy up and asks him, "You alright?"
Andy pants, "It'll take more than a thug like that
to worry me." David, however, comments, "Not much
more, by the look of you. What are you both doing here, anyway?"
A while later, David sits down in the lounge room at the country
house, sighing at Andy and Debbie, "You're both idiots;
you know that, don't you?" Debbie explains, "It's just
that I thought you were too busy to get back to the pub."
David asks, "What gave you that idea?" Debbie
tells him, "I heard you talking on the 'phone. You said you
had to fill out forms, or something." David nods, "I
did - but I had them finished by then. If you'd
bothered to ask, I could've told you. As it was, I left
here straight after you; I just didn't know we were going to the
same place." Andy mutters, "You still would've been
too late: Ted was just leaving as you got there." David asks,
"So? I could have talked to him tomorrow. As it
is, now he won't tell me anything - not to mention
I lost the job: our mate happens to be one of the boss's best
customers." Debbie sighs, "I'm sorry. It's just I wanted
to do something to help." David tells her, "Alright.
I suppose I shouldn't go on about it. But if you get any other
great ideas, talk to me first, OK?!"
It's nighttime, and Beryl emerges from the bedroom in Fiona's
room at the mansion. She starts packing some of Robert's clothes
into her suitcase. Janice comes in and offers her some help. Beryl,
though, assures her that she's just about finished. She then asks,
"Any word from Owen?" Janice shakes her head and replies,
"I 'phoned his family. I even tried Woombai, but no one's
heard. He's obviously not even remotely concerned people might
be worrying." Beryl points out, "What about all those
times he wanders off in the bush by himself? You don't worry about
him then." Janice mutters, "That's different."
She then adds indignantly, "Anyway, I'm not worrying:
if he wants to be a coward that's his problem. I'm
not going to lose any sleep." Beryl insists, "It's too
soon to judge, Janice. Why don't you wait until you've got all
the facts?" Janice demands, "What facts?"
Beryl replies, "I don't know - but whatever they are, I'm
sure he wouldn't wander off without a good reason."
Later that evening, Wayne is sitting at the living room table
at Dural. Gordon emerges from the kitchen as Beryl comes in from
the hallway, and he asks her, "Did you get Robert off to
sleep?" Beryl smiles, "As soon as his head hit the pillow.
An afternoon at the daycare centre seems to have exhausted him!"
She sits down at the table and then asks, "Where's Susan?"
Wayne tells her, "In bed. Not sick - just tired." Beryl
comments, "I don't think I'll be up late, either.
Today has been somewhat tiring." Wayne comments pointedly,
"I can believe it: moving from house to house...
can't see the point, myself." Beryl, however, tells
him sharply, "The point is your father was kind enough to
invite us and I decided to accept. Does that bother you?"
Wayne assures her, "Not me. Must be unsettling for
Robert, though." Gordon warns, "Alright, Wayne..."
Beryl just says, "You needn't worry about Robert: he's a
very adaptable child; I'm sure he'll enjoy the change as much
as I will." Gordon declares quickly, "You are
both welcome to stay as long as you like." Beryl smiles,
Sometime later, the main course has been served and Gordon tells
Beryl, "Fresh vegetables, stolen from Woombai!" Beryl
says quickly, "Speaking of Woombai, I hear that
Owen's pulled out of the Reserve project." Wayne glares at
her. Gordon replies, "Yes, it appears so." Beryl remarks,
"That's somewhat of a surprise: he was so enthusiastic."
Wayne comments, "Same old story: promised the world then
realised he couldn't deliver." Beryl tells him, "I
wouldn't say Owen was that type - and neither would Janice."
Turning to Gordon, she adds, "She's quite upset about the
whole thing." Gordon admits, "I must say I don't understand
it myself." Wayne, however, mutters, "What's
there to understand? He went cold and now the project's down the
drain. We ought to be thankful it happened now, when
we can still cut our losses." Beryl goes on, "I still
feel it's a shame - I personally thought it had great potential."
Gordon assures her, "It still does. The only difference
is that Owen won't be manager." Wayne stares at him in horror
and gasps, "You're not going go try and salvage
it?" Gordon asks, "Why not? It's a perfectly sound business
proposition. I've gone into the financing: we didn't borrow to
fund it, so any delays won't incur any interest charges. Any additional
costs will be minimal. At least, that's what I think.
What about you?" Wayne just sits there, looking
uncomfortable, and murmurs, "Yeah, yeah. I suppose so."
Beryl looks at him, a gleeful smile on her face.
The next morning, Wayne is wandering along in the grounds at
Dural with Ron Pryor, saying, "I've had a look at the books
and there's no way we can keep the gym going without a massive
cash input and a whole new publicity campaign - so we'd better
get working: we don't want the place dying on us before we can
make use of it." Pryor asks, "Where do I fit
in?" Wayne tells him, "First, I want you to organise
some door-to-door selling. Get some big blokes; good-lookers.
Get them knocking on doors and handing out pamphlets to all those
body-conscious housewives. Let's tell people where we are, OK."
Pryor nods, "Sure - but what about the money? Have you got
it?" Wayne sighs, "I thought I did, but the
particular avenue I was working on fell through." Pryor asks,
"What about Plan B?" Wayne tells him, "Instead
of me putting my own money in and working my butt off, trying
to get a decent return, I thought I'd look for a backer; chase
the fast buck; someone I can take down." Pryor comments,
"One with more money than sense?" Wayne, however, chuckles,
"Not necessarily. Fitness is big business, right? This gym
could be very profitable - given efficient management and the
right equipment. At least, that's how I'm going to sell
it. I need someone who can see that potential; someone who likes
the idea of fronting a prestige outfit and who won't look too
hard at the fine print." Pryor comments, "Especially
the last bit, eh?" Wayne nods, "Seeing as there'll
be a clause in the contract absolving us of any liability should
the whole operation fold..." Pryor asks, "Do you think
that's likely?" Wayne smiles, "When we decide
it's served its purpose." Pryor points out, "You're
going to have to offer someone a whopping share of the profits
if they're going to accept a clause like that."
Wayne just smiles, "It's my money, mate." Pryor
stares at him and asks, "You mean there aren't going to be
any profits?" Wayne replies, "The books won't
show any." Pryor gasps, "You're just going to pocket
all the money?" Wayne tells him, "It's called 'creative
accounting'. If we need $1.5million for a total renovation, I'll
tell our backer we need two. Anything I can get away with. I'm
just after the fast money, that's all." Pryor asks, "What
are you going to do with the money when you've got it?"
Wayne, however, replies, "That's my business. You
just have to help me find a sucker. The rest you can leave to
Alison is taking her coat off in the kitchen at the country house,
commenting to David as she does so that it looks like they've
come to the end of the line with Ted Flogit. David sighs, "Yeah
- we're back to square one, I reckon." Alison smiles, "Not
for long - I'm here now." David says quickly, "I
don't think that's a good idea. If you ask me, there
are too many people in this already and we're all getting in each
other's way." Alison insists, "I wouldn't be here if
I didn't think I could help. I told you on the 'phone I've been
thinking about our friends, the Hopkins'." David demands,
"What about them?" Alison points out, "They
obviously had something to do with it. We know where they live;
I suggest we go over there, wait for them to go out and then search
the house." David starts to protest, "Oh no, no--"
Alison interrupts, however, and tells him, "If you want to
clear Craig's name, we have to take a few risks. I happen to think
this one's worth it."
Wayne is standing in the hallway at Dural, talking on the 'phone.
He says, "Ron? Wayne Hamilton. I've had my thinking cap on
and I reckon I've come up with a sucker. We need to whet her appetite,
though. Have you organised those house-callers yet?" He listens
and then smiles, "This afternoon? Great. The first place
I want them to go is next door..."
David and Alison are sitting in David's car, which is parked
outside the Hopkins' house. David sighs heavily, "If I knew
we were going to be this long, I would've cut a lunch." At
that moment, though, they spot Colin and Jean emerge from the
house. Alison comments, "Looks like they're going out to
lunch. Should give us all the time in the world. Why don't we
just follow them, to make certain?" They watch as Colin and
Jean walk over to their car and climb in. David starts the engine
of his car.
A while later, the Hopkins' car pulls up outside a building and
Colin and Jean climb out and head inside. David and Alison pull
up in David's car a short distance away and Alison grins, "I
was right: lunch at the yacht club. That should keep
them busy for an hour or two." David tells her, "I'm
going in to make sure they are staying." Alison
shrugs, "If it makes you happy - but hurry." With that,
he climbs out of the car.
A few seconds later, David heads into the yacht club. The maitre
d' is standing near the entrance and says to him, "Yes
sir?" David asks, "Has Mr. and Mrs. Hopkins arrived?"
The maitre d' nods, "Yes, sir - just a moment ago.
If you're joining them for lunch, I'm afraid you'll need a tie
and jacket." Looking down at his jumper, David muses, "Better
give it a miss, huh?" He goes to walk off. As he does so,
though, he hears a ringing sound. Looking surprised, he spins
round and asks the maitre d', "What was that?"
The maitre d' tells him, "Ship's bell, sir. Signalling
noon." Looking thoughtful, David comments, "Ship's bell,
eh? Thanks." With that, he heads out.
Outside, David dashes over to his car and, peering through the
passenger-side window, tells Alison, "They've got a ship's
bell in there. That's exactly the noise Craig heard."
Alison queries, "Noise?" David explains, "The
'phone call telling him to go to the park where he found Ruby:
there was a noise in the background. From what he said, that's
it. I'll bet on it." Alison declares, "Then
it must have been the Hopkins'. If we could just find
something in the house... one decent piece of evidence, that's
all we need." David climbs into the car and starts the engine.
They drive off.
A short time later, David and Alison are walking up the path
to the Hopkins' house. Alison tells David, "Don't look so
furtive. Look like you own the place." David opens
a gate and they head over to a window. David takes a crowbar out
and asks, "Are you sure you want to go through with this?"
Alison mutters, "Yes. Hurry up." David starts using
the crowbar to open the window. After a few seconds, he manages
to force the lock. He then suggests to Alison, "Why don't
you go in and I'll keep watch"? Alison smiles, "My hero!"
With that, David helps her inside.
At the yacht club, Jean and Colin are marching down a set of
stairs, Jean muttering, "I tell you all the time not to forget
your wallet. I'm sure it means something. You ought to
see a psychiatrist." Colin sighs, "Stop your
nagging, will, you, Jean? It's only five minutes around the corner,
At the Hopkins' house, David is standing by the road, keeping
watch. A look of horror crosses his face as he spots the Hopkins'
car driving back towards him suddenly...