Sons and Daughters logo
    Written by: Colin Tregenza   Produced by: Posie Jacobs   Directed by: Alister Smart

Susan gasps, "Who does he think he's kidding?" Caroline, however, suggests, "Let's not worry about that at the moment. You take off and we'll meet back in Charcoal Street, next to the coffee shop, alright?" With that, she heads back inside the house, leaving Susan standing on the step looking worried. She leans against the wall by the window, craning to hear what's said.

Inside, Caroline puts down her keys noisily. At the kitchen table, Wayne looks round sharply and then marches out to the lounge room and demands of Caroline, "What the devil are you doing here?" Caroline retorts, "I told Beryl I'd keep an eye on the house - for intruders..." Wayne growls, "I'm part of the family." Caroline, however, snarls, "Don't make me sick. Do you really think you'd be welcome here after driving Susan to her death?" Susan listens outside as Wayne retorts, "You have no right to say that." Caroline asks breezily, "Why? Too close to the truth?" Wayne growls, "I loved her." Caroline snaps, "You call it 'love' when you had to trick her into marrying you? Paying Maria to say that she'd had Glen's baby? Why did you destroy Glen's evidence?" Wayne retorts, "He was interfering. Trying to break us up. He was wrecking Susan's life." Outside, a look of shock crosses Susan's face as Caroline comments sourly, "So, it was all for Susan?" Wayne just growls, "You wouldn't understand." Caroline snaps, "You're right: I don't." Wayne goes on angrily, "Anyway, what does it matter? It's all been for nothing." Caroline smiles, "All that scheming down the drain. Poor Wayne!" Wayne, however, snaps, "She'd be alive today if Glen hadn't kept on interfering." Outside, Susan steps back, slowly, as Caroline tells Wayne, "Come on, don't blame Glen. It's your fault. You even tried to use her to put me away. Scaring your own wife with death threats and cut brake lines. Where's the love in that?"

A while later, Susan is standing by the coffee shop when Caroline joins her and asks quickly, "You OK?" Susan murmurs, "I'm fine." Caroline tells her, "He should be gone by now." They start walking along, slowly, and Susan cries, "I trusted that liar. To think of all the sympathy I wasted on him. I tried so hard to make our marriage work - and to think I could've been with Glen all the time..." Caroline points out, "So, now you've made the break. Glen's still around." Susan just mutters, "You seriously think he'd be interested?" Caroline doesn't respond. Instead, she asks, "Would you like me to go home with you?" Susan, however, murmurs, "No." Caroline says, "I'll see you at six, then. I'll pick you up." Susan looks at her blankly and Caroline reminds her, "The group therapy session." Susan sighs, "I don't think I want to go." Caroline insists, "It'll do you good." Susan hesitates and them murmurs,"OK." With that, Caroline leaves her to it.

A short time later, Caroline walks into a restaurant and joins Doug at a table. As she sits down, she smiles, "Let's have something decadent: champagne!" Doug asks, "Are we celebrating?" Caroline nods, "Yes." Doug asks in surprise, "Why?" Caroline tells him, "I managed to get a lot done this morning. Besides, I've decided to take your advice and enrol in group therapy classes. That'll ensure I keep out of your hair for at least one whole evening every week!" She then indicates a large mobile 'phone on the table and asks what it's for. Doug explains, "I have to 'phone the agent about the land. The problem is no one wants to fork out the capital. Old Doug's too big a risk..." Caroline suggests to him, "Maybe you should take the risk? You've always said that you don't get anywhere unless you take the ride." Doug shrugs, "It would be a pretty big gamble, considering the amount. I'd need--" Caroline interrupts and says, "Don't tell me! I'm sure you'll get it somehow!" Changing the subject, Doug asks her when her therapy class is. She replies, "Starts tonight." Doug comments, "You don't waste time. I won't either." Caroline grins, "That sounds more like the Doug I know!" She then announces, "I'm going to freshen up while you hatch your master scheme. If the waitress comes back, could you order me a crab salad?" With that, she stands up and heads off. Doug picks up the mobile 'phone and dials a number. When the call is answered, he says, "Billie? It's Doug. Listen, can you come around to my place in an hour?" He listens to the response and then tells her, "Forget it. This is much more important."

An hour later, in the lounge room at Caroline's, Doug pours Billie a drink and hands it to her as he says, "I've been thinking over your little idea about how to make a quick buck." Billie prompts, "Keep talking." Doug announces grandiosely, "We are opening a casino. Here. Tonight!" Billie stares at him and asks, "Why the change of heart?" Doug explains, "I need the money. Besides, I feel like some excitement." Billie asks, "What's Caroline think about it?" Doug replies, "She doesn't know." Billie muses, "That will add to the excitement!" Doug insists, "It's under control. She's got a group therapy class every week. They make a night of it - you know: supper, the works. She won't be back until after midnight." Billie murmurs in concern, "Still cutting it fine." Doug, however, insists, "We'll be alright. Anyway, it's only for a few weeks, until I get the money I need." Billie smiles, "You've got it all worked out - except for one thing: me." Doug tells her, "You're the sexy croupier." Billie says indignantly, "Hey! Until you quit, where's that leave me?" Doug assures her, "Sitting pretty. You'll know a whole string of well-heeled gamblers who trust you. They'll go wherever you set up next." Billie, nodding her head slowly, muses, "It might work." Doug tells her, "Of course it'll work - and you'll have your own casino in no time!" Billie just suggests, "Let's get this one off the ground first!"

A while later, Doug walks into an office with a young businessman, who's saying, "They're putting up six houses a week out there." Doug comments, "It looked like most of the roads are finished, too." The man nods, "They are." As the two of them sit down at the businessman's desk, Doug remarks, "I can see it five years from now: a regular suburb. I'll put a deposit on it right away." With that, he takes out his chequebook. The man tells him, "The land's going at 4.75. That makes the deposit forty-seven and a half." Looking suddenly concerned, Doug says, "How about forty thousand? It's all I've arranged for." The man, however, replies, "I'm sorry, but the holding deposit has to be at least one per cent." Doug asks, "Will you accept $40,000 and the balance in the morning?" The man pauses and then replies, "Make it ten thousand tomorrow." Doug warns, "Hang on..." The man, however, tells him, "We're talking about a bargain. It's $50,000 to hold it overnight." Doug finishes writing the cheque and smiles, "It's a deal. I'll be back tomorrow morning with the rest of the money." He hands over the cheque and shakes the man's hand. He then heads to the office door and opens it - to find Wayne standing there, about to head in. Wayne looks at Doug and spits, "You never learn, do you?" Doug, however, retorts, "I'm one step ahead of you, mate. I know that much." With that, he walks off. Wayne walks over to the man behind the desk and, holding out his hand, says, "Wayne Hamilton." The man shakes his hand and replies, "Tony Driscoll. What can I do for you?" Wayne sits down and explains, "I'm interested in the land Fletcher's after." Driscoll tells him, "He just put a holding deposit on it." Wayne asks, "What's the development potential?" Driscoll replies, "If you know what you're doing, it's a goldmine." Wayne smiles nastily and tells Driscoll, "I'd like to see it." Driscoll points out, "I just said--" Wayne interrupts, however, and retorts, "I know what you said. What's the land worth?" Driscoll replies, "4.75." Wayne suggests, "How about I round that up to $5m? Forget about Fletcher's piddling holding deposit. If the land's as good as you say, I'll give you ten per cent: half a million." Driscoll asks in surprise, "Now?" Wayne nods, "Bank cheque." Looking astonished, Driscoll comments, "That's some proposition." Wayne just retorts, "It's business. After all, we're not running charities, are we?" Driscoll stares at him and then says, "I'll arrange a flying inspection right away." Wayne smiles at him.

Susan creeps slowly into the lounge room at Beryl's and looks around. The house is empty. She heads into the kitchen, where she spots some screwed-up sheets of paper on the table. She picks one up, unscrews it and and sits down to read it:

'She was gentle. She was caring. All the time I knew how she never said a bad word about anyone. Made me think no one could be that perfect. Maybe I think I only say that because I loved her. I did love her. She was the closest thing to perfection I--'

Susan screws the paper up again, suddenly and throws it on the floor, looking upset.

In the lounge room at Dural, Beryl hands Gordon a letter and tells him, "It's from England. Kevin and Lynn." Gordon reads the letter as Beryl goes on sadly, "Why do they accept the fact that she's dead, without a second thought?" Gordon points out, "They're just expressing their sympathy." Beryl sighs, "I realise that, Gordon, but it sounds so final. How do they know? We don't know." Gordon tells her gently, "Hoping against hope is only going to prolong the agony. A memorial service would help. I think we should set a date for it." Beryl staring at the floor, sadly, murmurs, "Yes, you're right. It's time to accept that she's gone... time to get on with living..." Gordon reaches out his hand to her. She takes it with a weak smile.

It's evening-time. Doug is lying on the couch in the lounge room at Caroline's when Caroline walks in, ready to go out. She gives Doug a kiss and tells him, "Don't wait up. I'll be late." Doug replies, "Have a nice time." With that, Caroline heads out. As soon as she's gone, Doug leaps up from the couch and starts rearranging the furniture.

Gordon is sitting on the couch in the lounge room at Dural, staring into space. He has a sheet of paper in his hand. Beryl walks in from the hallway and says warily, "Am I interrupting?" Gordon looks at her and replies quickly, "No, no, not at all." Beryl is holding a piece of paper on her own. It has a list of names on it, and she explains, "It's for Susan's service. I keep thinking I might have forgotten someone." As Gordon takes the list, the front door opens and Wayne walks in. He calls, "I'm back!" Gordon just mutters, "Wayne." Wayne walks into the lounge room and smiles, "Hello, Beryl!" Beryl growls, "Wayne." Gordon asks his son, "Good trip?" Wayne grins, "A breeze." He heads behind the bar and offers, "A drink, anyone?" Beryl, however, retorts, "I'm just about to make some tea." She heads off to the kitchen. Gordon looks at his son, who says, "I've got the land! Doug Fletcher won't know what hit him!" Gordon turns away and says, "I saw our solicitor this afternoon. You lied to me." He holds out his sheet of paper and points out to Wayne, "The waiver that you said Charlie never signed." A look of guilt crosses Wayne's face. Gordon demands, "Well?" Wayne says, "I couldn't have told you about it because you would've made me rip it up." Gordon retorts, "Too right I would've. You do not cheat on people - in particularly our friends." Wayne insists, "I was protecting the company. You know what Charlie's like when it comes to business. I couldn't take the risk - and as it turns out, I was proved right: Charlie bankrupted the gym with her crazy spending." Gordon snaps, "Maybe the waiver makes good business sense, but I don't approve of your underhand methods." Wayne mutters, "I had no choice." Gordon retorts, "Then you should never have been involved in the first place." Wayne says quickly, "If it'll make you feel any better, we'll help her out; cover her losses. When the profits start rolling in from the land deal, we'll give her a loan. Easy terms." Gordon tells him curtly, "That's the least we can do."

A game of pontoon is in full swing in the lounge room at Caroline's. Billie deals cards to a number of men sat around a circular table. Doug wanders around the table, watching.

Sometime later, one of the men puts it $200 worth of chips. He's dealt another card, but has to fold. Billie looks at Doug and gives him a knowing wink.

Gordon and Beryl are at the dining table at Dural when Wayne walks in and says to Gordon, "I'm on my way to see Tick. Any messages from grandpa?" Beryl says suddenly, "I forgot the cake server," and she walks off to the kitchen. When she's gone, Wayne comments to his father, "Doesn't let up, does she? Can't even bear to be in the same room as me." Gordon points out, "She's had a lot to put up with, lately." Wayne, however, snaps, "We've all had a lot to put up with. What makes Beryl so special? I loved Susan just as much as she did." Gordon growls, "Some people might have trouble believing that, considering what you put the poor woman through in the last days of her life." Wayne demands, "What are you talking about?" Gordon retorts, "Beryl told me." Wayne snaps, "And you believe her?" Gordon nods, "Yes." Wayne stares at him and snaps, "Susan had to be taught a lesson. What sort of mother would she have made if she thought she could run off with every other guy who came along? I was thinking about our child. He deserved better than that. That's why I got Charlie to sign the waiver, too. If she had sent us broke, what sort of financial security could I have offered my family? None." Gordon just sighs, "All that reasoning sounds rather sick to me. You're acting like God instead of a husband. Nobody has that right." Wayne just snarls, "You think what you like. Seems you and Beryl make a pretty good pair these days." With that, he storms out, leaving Gordon looking thoughtful.

Caroline and Susan arrive back at Beryl's. As they head inside, Susan says, "Want a cup of something?" Caroline, however, replies, "Better not. I'm late enough as it is." Susan comments with a smile, "That woman must have described practically every day in her deprived childhood!" Caroline muses, "Yes, we certainly got the complete treatment, didn't we?!" Susan, sitting down on the couch, sighs, "At least she talked. I don't think it's worth it - for me, I mean. I'm just not the sort of person who lets things out." Caroline suggests, "Maybe once you learn to trust the others a bit...?" Susan, however, goes on, "All my private feelings about Glen and Wayne... I don't think so." Caroline suggests, "Then how about we forget these sessions - for a few weeks, at least?" Susan insists, "You shouldn't stop because of me." Caroline, however, tells her, "I don't really need them. I'm just doing them to please Doug - and to give you a bit of moral support. I'd be just as happy spending my time at home!"

At Caroline's, Doug piles an ashtray and some empty glasses on a tray and struggles to carry it out to the kitchen. Billie is spraying air freshener around in the lounge room. Doug walks back in and warns, "Don't overdo it." He then adds in concern, "Look at the time." Billie asks, "When's she due?" Doug retorts, "Twenty minutes ago." As they pull the couch back into place, Billie remarks, "You do live dangerously!" Doug retorts, "I didn't plan on our guests insisting they stay." Billie points out, "You can hardly blame them after losing so much - especially Nugget." Doug comments, "There's always next week." Billie tells him "They'll be here, don't worry. It's the only reason they left." They put the coffee table back into place as Billie adds, "I didn't know Aussies were such big spenders!" Doug smiles, "We did alright!" Billie nods, "Yeah, we made a pile - and when word spreads, a buck's deluxe!" Doug, however, warns, "Don't get carried away: we're not going to be doing this for too long. This is too dangerous." At that moment, they hear a car pull up outside. Doug tells Billie quickly, "You go!" Billie grabs up her things and dashes out as Doug puts the last of the furniture back into place. He then clambers onto the couch, pulls a blanket over himself and pretends to be dozing. Caroline enters the house, heads into the lounge room and sits on the arm of the couch. She starts stroking Doug's face. He 'stirs' and smiles, "Hi, darling. How are you?" Caroline points out warmly, "I told you not to stay up!" Doug insists, "It's alright. I went to sleep, anyway." Caroline sniffs suddenly and asks, "What's that smell? Sort of a... lemony." Doug explains quickly, "I had to spray the place out. I had a cooking disaster." Caroline looks at him in surprise and he adds, "I got hungry, so I decided to make some scones. Burnt the lot." Caroline queries in surprise, "Scones? There are plenty of biscuits." Doug insists, "I just felt like scones." He then changes the subject quickly and asks, "How was class?" Caroline replies, "Fine - expect the friend I go with, she probably won't be going again. So I think I might drop out, too." Doug, looking horrified, cries, "You can't!" Caroline looks at him in surprise. He adds quickly, "I mean, you've only just started." Caroline shrugs, "It'll depend on my friend." She then asks, "You coming to bed?" Doug nods, "I'll see you there." With that, Caroline walks off, leaving Doug looking worried.

The next morning, Doug knocks on the door of Tony Driscoll's office and steps inside. Driscoll smiles, "Right on time!" Doug, holding out a cheque, tells him, "The early bird catches the worm... and that should wrap it up." He hands over the cheque. Driscoll takes it and says, "You've got yourself a real bargain, you know?" He then adds, "You beat the competition by the skin of your teeth, incidentally." Doug smiles, "Great!" With that, he heads out again. As soon as he's gone, Driscoll goes over to his 'phone and dials a number. When the call is answered, he says, "Hello. Alison Carr? Tony Driscoll... He certainly did, Miss. Carr - he came in yesterday, right after Doug Fletcher left... First Hamilton upped the price, then he handed over a bank cheque for half a million... That's right: it was like taking candy from a baby... Fletcher? Yeah, he came in this morning. I gave him the bad news... He was disappointed; still that's not our problem, is it?... No worries, Miss. Carr, it was my pleasure. I'll send you a postcard from Switzerland. Bye bye." With that, he hangs up, looking very pleased with himself...

Beryl is sitting on the couch in the lounge room at Dural. She has some of Susan's clothes in front of her. Gordon is standing with her and he asks, "How much are you keeping?" Beryl murmurs, "Only a few things. The rest I'll send off to some charity; someone might as well get some use out of them." Gordon tells her, "You know that you could've left it?" Beryl, however, insists quietly, "No, no, I wanted to do it. I had to do it." She then goes on, "You've been very good to me, Gordon." Gordon sitting down, replies, "I'm just glad to think that you could... well, trust me, I suppose." He pauses before adding, "I feel guilty." Beryl looks at him in surprise and asks, "Why?" Gordon tells her, "When you enjoy somebody's company...; when you enjoy being with someone, you keep making up excuses to be in the same room as them. I enjoy being with you. It's just dreadful to think that it's taken something so very tragic to make me realise how much I care about you. That reason for being in the same room..." He adds quickly, "If you want me to stop, say so. I don't want to end up embarrassing you." Beryl just stares at him. Gordon then goes on, "If ever this was the wrong time to bring something up, this must be it, but I realise that life is full of lost opportunities and I don't want this one to pass me by; it's too important. We two have been through some pretty rough times lately, and I think we both deserve better than that. I love you, Beryl. I love you for what you are and everything that you stand for, and I'd be very honoured if you'd be my wife." Beryl continues to stare at him. Gordon smiles, "You don't have to answer straight away." Beryl, however, tells him quickly, "No, no, I know what I'd like to say. I'd love to marry you, Gordon - but I can't."


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