A while later, Wayne is sitting with Ginny and Tick at the dinner
table. Wayne looks at Ginny and indicates with a nod of his head
towards the kitchen to leave him and Tick alone. Ginny takes the
hint and starts clearing away the plates. When she's gone, Wayne
looks at Tick and says gently, "I know I did the wrong thing
when I yelled at you, but I was cross and I didn't think. OK,
I did the wrong thing - but we all make mistakes; even you,
sometimes, I bet." He goes on, "It meant a hell of a
lot to me when you turned up at the funeral. Maybe I haven't said
it, but it means a hell of a lot to me having you around.
I know it doesn't feel like that sometimes - because I'm busy
and I ignore you - but it is important. Everyone deserves
a second chance. Do I get one?" Tick doesn't respond.
Wayne then says, "I tell you what: how about if we spend
the whole day together tomorrow? Just the two of us. We'll do
anything you want. What do you say?" Tick gasps, "Anything?"
Wayne smiles, "I could be letting myself in for a hell of
a time, but yes, anything!" Tick asks, "Promise you
won't yell at me again unless I've done something wrong?"
Wayne nods, "OK. Deal." He shakes Tick's hand, adding
as he does so, "I'll ask first, I'll yell later. I really
am sorry." At that moment, Ginny emerges from the kitchen
again, saying as she does so, "Just coming through for another
load. Don't stop on my account." Wayne, however,
tells her, "It's OK - it's all sorted out: we're spending
the day together tomorrow." Ginny asks, "Haven't you
got any work on?" Wayne replies, "Just a meeting with
a guy who's interested in buying the mansion. That shouldn't
take long." Ginny remarks, "You've got someone interested,
eh?" Wayne nods, "I hope so. It'll be a big help financially
if we can unload that monstrosity." Ginny stands
there looking thoughtful...
Sometime later, in the lounge room at Charlie's, Alison says
to Ginny curtly, "You should have tried to get the name
of the buyer out of him." Ginny retorts, "I did.
I couldn't push too hard without being obvious, though;
I don't want to blow my cover." Alison asks, "You sure
there was nothing else?" Ginny replies, "Only the name
'Bob'. Wayne said 'Bob put me on to him'." Looking thoughtful,
Alison muses, "Bob... Bob... any ideas who it could be?"
She looks at Charlie, who's sitting on the couch, grooming Isabella.
Charlie suggests, "Perhaps Bob Drummond? Gordon used to do
a lot of business dealings through him." Alison
nods, "I'll follow that up. If I can manage to stop Wayne
selling the mansion, it'll keep the financial pressure on him."
She then hands Ginny a cheque and smiles, "You've done very
well." Ginny takes the cheque, but sighs, "Wayne's so
nice with Tick it makes me feel guilty sometimes."
Alison, however, retorts, "Nice with him? I had
to chip him earlier on about neglecting the child."
Ginny tells her, "You must have done some good, then, because
they're getting on great together now." She then
adds, "I'd better go - he thinks I'm in the kitchen, doing
the dishes." With that, she heads off.
Fiona is sitting at the desk in her room at the mansion, a glass
of champagne in one hand, the telephone handset in the other.
She's saying on the 'phone, "We need as many people as we
can get all out in front of the mansion and all protesting. There's
no way they'll be able to evict us if we make enough
fuss." There's a knock on her door and Beryl and Gordon walk
in as Fiona declares on the 'phone, "No one will want to
buy the place when we've finished kicking up a stink." She
then looks round at Beryl and Gordon and says warily on the 'phone,
"I'll call you back, Maisie. Visitors." She hangs up.
Beryl tells her, "We thought we'd drop by and see how you're
bearing up to it all." Gordon adds, "I'm sorry that
Wayne has to sell the place, Fiona. Believe me, if there was any
other choice..." Fiona just tells them, "I've just opened
a bottle of bubbly. Sit down!" Beryl and Gordon do so and
Beryl asks, "What are you celebrating?" Fiona replies,
"Nothing. I'm thoroughly miserable. But I can't think of
a better way to cheer myself up!" Beryl comments, "If
it'll help, we'll join you!" As Fiona pours two fresh glasses,
she then says, "There's no way to act innocent, I guess,
Gordon. You heard exactly what I said when you came in."
Gordon nods, "Yes - you're lining up support against being
thrown out." Fiona tells him, "You can't blame a girl
for trying to protect hearth and home." Gordon says, "I'm
sorry to tell you, but it's a waste of time." Fiona hands
him and Beryl their drinks and then sits down again, saying as
she does so, "Why? We got results when we protested the last
time." Gordon, however, replies, "Yes, but there
have been some changes to the council zoning laws. Whoever buys
the place can do whatever they like with it, and the people showing
interest are all land developers who couldn't care less
about you or your tenants." Fiona tuts, "Damn
Wayne. And damn you too, Gordon: you could have stopped
it if you'd've wanted to." She then adds quickly
and more calmly, "I'm sorry. I really am upset." Gordon
tells her gently, "We're broke. We've got no choice but
to sell." Beryl chips in, "You must know that Gordon
would never want to hurt you, Fiona." Fiona sighs,
"I know that. Looks like I might be losing my home; I don't
want to lose a friend as well." She then indicates the champagne
and says, "I've got three bottles of this in the 'fridge.
I doubt very much that there'll be any of it left by the morning..."
It's the next morning, and Wayne is standing in the hallway at
Dural, snapping down the 'phone, "I don't see why I have
to be there... I know I'm the one with the money worries,
but surely you can deal with it? I can ring in every
hour, just in case you need my say-so on something..." He
listens and then mutters reluctantly, "Yeah, alright, I'll
be there. I'll see you in about an hour." He slams down the
'phone. He then wanders over to the bottom of the stairs and calls
up, "Tick. Can I see you downstairs for a minute, please?"
Tick comes running down, carrying a bucket and a fishing rod.
Wayne says hesitantly, "Look, mate... my accountant just
called. I have to see him." Tick's face drops and he says,
"We'll go later, won't we?" Wayne, however,
admits, "No. I'm afraid we're going to have to cancel
today." Tick stares at him in disappointment. Wayne goes
on, "I know you start school tomorrow, so we can't go then,
but the first free day you get, I'll make it up to you."
He adds, "I don't want to do this, Tick, but I've
got no choice." Tick just walks down the stairs,
past him, and out through the front door. Wayne stands there,
Alison is standing in the lounge room at Charlie's, looking at
a file of papers, when Tick steps in through the open french windows.
Alison looks at the expression on his face and asks, "What's
the matter with you?" Tick retorts, "I hate
him." Alison asks, "Who: Wayne? What's he done
now?" Tick murmurs, "He wouldn't take me fishing."
Alison says sympathetically, "I'm sorry." Tick cries,
"He promised." Alison muses, "Yes, well,
I'm afraid promises have never meant very much to Wayne."
Tick then asks, "Can I play in the pool?" Alison queries,
"You'd like to spend the day here, would you?"
Tick nods at her. Alison agrees, "OK. You know where Charlie
keeps the towels." With that, Tick turns to head back out
through the french windows. As he goes, Alison says quickly, "Tick...
you mentioned some people to me: Mr. and Mrs. Carter... remember,
you saw them at the home? You don't happen to remember what his
first name was, do you?" Tick replies, "Mr.
Carter? Harry. Why?" Alison just tells him, "No particular
reason." With that, Tick heads outside, leaving Alison sitting
on the couch, looking thoughtful.
Fiona is sitting in the reception area at the gym, her head buried
in her hands! Glen is standing next to her, preparing a drink
made of fresh oranges and eggs! Charlie is standing with them,
exclaiming loudly, "I think it's a wonderful idea,
darling! We'll have suppleness competitions and arm wrestling
and weight-lifting competitions and prizes can be free classes
at the gym! It's going to be sensationally superb and such
good publicity!" Fiona just groans quietly, "Charlie,
would you please keep the volume down?!" Charlie whispers,
"Sorry, darling, I forgot!" She then adds, "You
drank all three bottles on your own?" Fiona nods
at her. Glen hands her the drink and smiles, "There you go:
get that in to you. Guaranteed to stop a hangover dead
in its tracks!" Fiona lifts up her head and groans, "When
I've had this, I'm going to hit the sauna." Glen
smiles at her. He then turns to Charlie and tells her, "Heat's
the answer to your problem, too." Charlie asks in
surprise, "What do you mean, darling?" Glen goes on,
"Forget all those competitions to make sure people have a
good time at the promotion. Gyms are the singles bars of the '80s.
Just invite a spunky crowd, turn up the heating and you'll have
the best draw-card there is: sex appeal." Fiona says quietly,
"Sounds like a good idea to me." Charlie cries
to Glen in excitement, "Oh, darling! You're not just a pretty
face, are you? I love it!" Fiona winces
at the noise! Charlie goes on, "I must ring Ginny; see how
she's going with my outfit for the night. It's going to be fabulous!"
At Charlie's, Alison escorts Mrs. Carter into the lounge room,
saying, "I've made some coffee. Would you like some?"
Mrs. Carter replies, "Thankyou. Milk. No sugar." She
sits down and Alison starts pouring the coffee. As she does so,
she goes on, "I don't want you to feel nervous; I'm not trying
to force some form of commitment out of you. I just wanted to
tell you the whole story about what's been happening to Tick,
and thought you could make up your mind from there." Mrs.
Carter points out, "I'd have to talk to my husband."
Alison nods, "Of course." Mrs. Carter adds, "We
did think about Tick, but he said he was with his father
now: Mr. Hamilton? They seemed very happy." Alison tells
her, "'Seemed' is the right word. You see, Tick's totally
miserable. The fact is Wayne's been neglecting him. I really think
he needs a proper home." Mrs. Carter says uncertainly,
"If Mr. Hamilton is his father, I don't see--"
Alison interrupts and explains, "That's just it: at the home,
they believe Wayne is Tick's real father. He's not.
I'm afraid it's a very long and complicated story..." Mrs.
Carter stares at her.
The front door opens at Dural and Ginny heads inside, just as
Wayne emerges from the study. He says to Ginny, "There
you are. Where's Tick?" Ginny turns to look at him and comments,
"I thought you were supposed to be with your accountant all
day." Wayne explains, "There were some papers I forgot.
I was going to call you to get them sent over by cab, but you
weren't here." Ginny tells him quickly, "Something came
up. I felt like getting out for a while." Wayne goes on,
"Tick's nowhere around. I thought he might be with you."
Ginny replies, "Oh, I saw him over at Charlie's pool on the
way back from the shops. He didn't look too happy." Wayne
frowns, "He's over there with Alison...?" Ginny
shrugs, "I don't know if she's there or not."
Wayne just growls, "No way I'm going to let her
make it worse." With that, he opens the front door and heads
In the lounge room at Charlie's, Alison is saying to Mrs. Carter,
"That's about it. To give Wayne his due, I really
do think he loves the boy - but in his own way. You see,
he's a rather selfish and bitter man. He's clinging on to Tick
as if he's some sort of emotional lifeline - when it suits him.
At other times, he tosses the boy aside like an old dish-mop;
not a healthy situation for any child." Mrs. Carter
asks in surprise, "Why don't you tell all this to the people
at the home?" Alison replies, "I'd rather not
get involved personally. That's why I contacted you:
I thought that if you were interested in Tick, you could
explain the situation, they could investigate and hopefully award
custody to you. All I want is to see Tick part of a happy
family." Looking wary, Mrs. Carter murmurs, "I'm not
sure... I'd like to help the little chap, but it does
seem such a complicated situation to get involved in." There's
a sudden loud hammering on the front door. It stops and is then
repeated. Alison comments to Mrs. Carter, "Whoever it is
isn't taking 'no' for an answer. Excuse me." She heads out
to open the door. Mrs. Carter sits in the lounge room and listens
as Alison opens the door and Wayne snarls at her, "I suppose
you've been making the most of it." Alison sighs,
"What are you talking about?" Wayne snaps, "Tick:
you've been stirring him up against me." Alison
mutters, "Don't be so paranoid; I just let him play in the
pool." Wayne snaps, "I'm taking him home." He marches
into the house. As he heads into the lounge room, he threatens
Alison, "And don't interfere in our lives again." He
then notices Mrs. Carter sitting there. He looks back at Alison
and adds quietly, "You do, I'll make you so sorry you were
ever born." He then storms over to the french windows and
yells, "Tick, get out of there. There's a pool at home
you can use." Alison looks at Mrs. Carter.
A short time later, back at Dural, Wayne drags Tick into the
lounge room, telling him curtly as he does so, "I don't want
you running across to Charlie's every time something goes wrong
for you here." Tick retorts, "I was just swimming."
Wayne, however, snaps, "No you weren't: you were sulking."
Tick cries, "You can't make me stay here. I hate
you." Wayne just sets him down on the couch and snaps, "Sit
there and listen." He sits down with the boy and goes on,
"I know you don't hate me. You're just upset because I let
you down - and I don't blame you. Anything I can to make it up
for you, I will - but a family sticks together... and that's what
we are, now, Tick: a family. Maybe I'm not your
real father, but I feel like it. You get angry with me,
you have it out with me. Don't go running across the road, because
that doesn't solve anything - because whether you know
it or not, Alison is not your friend, and she's certainly not
mine. There was nothing I could do about cancelling the
accountant today. If I could have, I would." He adds, "I
reckon we've both got a lot of growing-up to do. Reckon we could
help each other?" Tick shrugs at him. Wayne assures him,
"I'll get home as soon as I can. I might even be home as
early as two; that would still give us a bit of time to get some
fishing in." Tick asks eagerly, "Promise?" Wayne
nods, "Cross my heart." He then holds out his hand.
Tick shakes it. Wayne smiles in relief, "The sooner I get
going, the sooner I'll be back. Have your rod ready." With
that, he heads out.
Beryl is sitting on the couch, staring into space, in Fiona's
room at the mansion. Fiona is waltzing around, vacuuming and exclaiming,
"It was the best hangover cure that I've ever tried! Glen
was quite sure that it was his fruit concoction, but uh-uh, it
was the steam. Next time I over-imbibe, it's down to the steam
room at Charlie's: lay back, drift off and let the vapours do
their work!" She goes on, "It's even made my thinking
on the mansion a little clearer; I'll be very upset if
it was sold, of course, but it's not the end of the world! Who
knows? I might even be at the beginning of a whole new adventure!"
She turns off the vacuum cleaner and looks at Beryl still staring
into space. She then comments to her, "You haven't heard
a word I've said." Beryl turns to look at her and Fiona adds,
"You're miles away!" Beryl murmurs distantly,
"Oh... sorry..." Fiona sits down with her and asks,
"You alright?" Beryl explains, "I'm worried about
being a burden to Gordon." Looking surprised, Fiona smiles,
"Don't be so ridiculous! As if you could ever be a burden
to anyone!" Beryl, however, clarifies, "I mean
now - in the flat. Robert and I have the bedroom and
poor Gordon's stuck out there on the couch." Fiona gives
her a look and Beryl adds quickly, "That is the way we prefer
it at the moment, until after we are married." Fiona points
out, "I didn't say anything!" Beryl tells her,
"You raised your eyebrows!" Fiona asks innocently, "Did
I?!" Beryl smiles at her! She then goes on, "I was thinking
of suggesting we move down to Melbourne... move into
my house. There's plenty of room. But... you know how
Gordon is: he's so proud, and it's hard enough for him walking
away from his own home, without him thinking he's relying
on me for a roof over his head." Fiona comments,
"You know: I think you underestimate him. Why don't you bring
him back to lunch? I'll give you moral support if you like."
Beryl, looking thoughtful, murmurs, "I'll see. But don't
you push it: unless I bring the subject up, leave it alone, alright?"
Fiona just says innocently, "What? Me interfere?!" She
and Beryl burst out laughing!
Wayne opens the front door at Dural from outside. He steps into
the hallway accompanied by Mr. Simms. He tells Simms, "You're
lucky to catch me... I've been out most of the day."
Simms replies, "I rang. Tick said you'd be back by two."
They head into the lounge room and Wayne asks, "What can
I do for you?" He adds quickly, "If it's about another
donation, I've got a few financial worries--" Simms interrupts
and retorts, "It's something much more serious than that,
I'm afraid. You've been misleading us, Mr. Hamilton. From what
I've been told, Tick isn't your son at all - and if that
is the case, I'm afraid he won't be able to stay with
you." Wayne stares at him in horror.
A few moments later, Wayne is snapping at Simms, "I don't
see what harm I've done. I've given him a proper home."
Simms retorts, "Tick is an abandoned child. It's up to the
state to decide what is and isn't a fit home for him."
Wayne indicates Dural and mutters, "This isn't a fit
home?" Simms tells him curtly, "It takes a lot
more than possessions to keep a child happy. A good family
environment is most important." Wayne snaps, "I'm
as good a father as anyone else could be." Simms
says quickly, "Getting upset isn't going to help. We'll find
a good family for Tick - and you can be sure that wherever we
do place him, he'll be just as well off as he would be
here... if not better. In fact, we've received a report
that you've been mistreating the boy." Wayne stares
at him in shock and growls, "What are you talking about?"
Simms says, "If you could just get Tick for me."
Wayne, ignoring this, snaps, "Who told you I was mistreating
him? For that matter, who told you I wasn't Tick's real father?"
Simms insists, "It's not important." Wayne, however,
demands, "Alison Carr?" Simms retorts tersely, "Mr.
Hamilton, I can understand your being upset. But I obviously can't
divulge my source." Wayne threatens, "I'll take it to
court." Simms tells him, "You wouldn't have a leg to
stand on. Let's face it: there's nothing you can do by being aggressive
except make the parting harder for Tick." He goes on, "I'm
not a monster. If you want time with the boy to say your goodbyes,
I'll wait." Looking downcast, Wayne murmurs, "So that's
it, then: no hope." Simms tells him, "I'm sorry."
Wayne, looking beaten, says quietly, "I'll have to pack his
things." Simms assures him, "Take all the time you want."
He adds, "I really am sorry, Mr. Hamilton. You may be a bit
hot-headed, but you seem a decent enough sort of chap to me."
Wayne just mutters, "A lot of good it did me."
With that, he heads out of the lounge room and off upstairs.
Fiona and Beryl emerge from the kitchen at Fiona's, holding trays
of food. Beryl tells Fiona, "I'm sorry he's so late - I have
no idea what's keeping him." Fiona insists, "That's
alright. Nothing will spoil." As they put the trays down
on the dining table, Beryl sighs, "I can't stop worrying
about where we're going to live." Fiona suggests, "Why
don't you leave it to Gordon? Trust him." There's
suddenly a knock on the door. Fiona tells Beryl, "That'll
be him now. Now, you bring it up right away so you don't ruin
your appetite by worrying." Beryl smiles at her, weakly.
Fiona then opens the door. Gordon is indeed standing there and
Fiona says to him quickly, "I won't be a minute: I'm just
running to get some milk!" She heads out of the room. Gordon
steps inside and, giving Beryl a kiss, says, "Sorry I'm late;
I got roped into thrashing things out with Wayne and the accountant."
Beryl asks, "What happened?" Gordon replies, "A
lot of unpleasantness. It's much worse than I thought: Wayne has
really sent us down the drain." Beryl asks, "Can you
do anything about it?" Gordon shrugs, "Start again -
from scratch. But I don't know if I've got the energy..."
Beryl assures him, "I'll be around. Anything I can
do to help..." Gordon smiles, "You help just being
around. We'll see it through; don't worry." Beryl insists,
"I really do mean it: I would like to help."
Gordon nods, "I know that - but it's important for me to
do the right thing by you and Robert. Makes me feel I'm still
worthwhile." With that, he gives Beryl a warm hug.
A while later, Gordon and Beryl are wandering down the front
path outside, Gordon commenting as they do so, "You were
very quiet over lunch." Beryl explains, "Lots to think
about." Gordon queries, "Oh? Anything worth telling?"
Beryl replies, "I'm not sure." They stop walking and
Beryl turns to face her fiancé. She then says, "I
don't want you to misunderstand what I'm about to say, because
I know how important it is to you to feel that you're accepting
the role of provider - but there are practicalities.
I think we should move to Melbourne." Gordon raises his eyebrows.
Beryl goes on quickly, "Before you say anything: the house
is there; it's not as big as Dural, but it's comfortable. I know
it's my environment and not yours, but I'm sure we'd be happy
there. And besides, I'm homesick; I miss having my own
things around me. And I'd like to feel that you're as much a part
of my life as I am of yours - but I don't want you to feel that
I'm taking your pride away by suggesting it. I'd never
do that." Gordon continues to stare at her. Beryl then tells
him, "That's it." Gordon looks at her fondly and says,
"Wherever you want to be is fine by me." A
smile crosses Beryl's face and she says happily, "I really
do love you." Gordon gives her a hug and replies fondly,
"And I love you."
Wayne and Tick walk downstairs slowly at Dural. Mr. Simms is
standing in the hallway, waiting for them. At the bottom of the
stairs, Wayne crouches down to Tick and says softly, "Maybe
I can't be your dad, but you always know where to find
a friend if you need one." Tears welling in his eyes, Tick
murmurs, "I don't want to go." Tears in his
eyes as well, Wayne tells him gently, "You have
to. Do it like a man, huh?" Tick stares at him. He then shakes
Wayne's hand and gives him a hug. Wayne puts the boy down, sadly,
and Mr. Simms leads him out through the front door. Wayne calls
after him, "Make sure he gets the best." Simms assures
him, "We will." Wayne stands there, looking emotional.
Alison is standing in the lounge room at Charlie's, about to
head outside to do some sunbathing. There's a sudden loud hammering
on the front door and she muses to herself, "I'd know that
knock anywhere!" She then calls, "Come in,
Wayne!" The front door bangs and Wayne storms in, a look
of fury on his face. Alison tells him quickly, "Before you
say anything, I did it for Tick's sake." Wayne snarls,
"I should throttle you. I never thought you'd use
a child against me." Alison starts to protest, "I
didn't. I had--" Wayne interrupts and goes on angrily,
"You ruined a kid's life just to have a cheap shot at me."
Alison snaps, "He'll be a hell of a lot better away
from you." Wayne growls, "What would you know
about it?" Alison retorts, "I know what I saw. Tick
wasn't happy; that's all that matters." She then adds lightly,
"Now, you can see yourself out." She turns to head out
through the french windows. Wayne, however, grabs her arm and
spins her back to face him. He then snarls, "There's not
much I can do when I'm broke, but I'm telling you: you've taken
everything from me: my money... dad... Richard. Well,
I'm not going to stop until I've done the same to you.
I don't care how long it takes: one of these days I'm going to
be back on top of the heap again - and you'll be in the
gutter where you belong. When I see you there, I'll step on your
face and push you down even further. That's a promise, not a threat..."