Sons and Daughters logo
    Written by: Valda Marshall   Produced by: Posie Jacobs   Directed by: Russell Webb

Debbie cries down the 'phone, "I don't know who you are, or what you want from me, but I don't want anything to do with you. Right?" With that, she slams down the handset and stands there, panting heavily. She murmurs to herself, "Don't panic..." She then starts hunting around for her keys. She finds them and runs to the front door. As she goes to open it, someone knocks on it from outside. She jumps back in horror, her hands clamped to her mouth. She then reaches over to the nearby shelf and picks up a vase before starting to approach the door slowly. A male voice calls from outside suddenly, "Debbie, are you there?" Debbie recognises the voice and cries, "Frank?" She goes and opens the door to find her neighbour standing there, a newspaper under his arm. She cries in relief, "Frank, thank goodness it's you!" She lets him in and closes the door behind him, quickly. Frank asks in surprise, "Who were you expecting? The boogeyman?!" Debbie just cries, "Don't let them get me." Frank assures her, "No one's going to get you." Debbie cries hysterically, "He keeps calling me on the CB and he's saying things--" Frank interrupts and asks, "Who?" Debbie cries, "I don't know. There's this man and he..." Frank soothes, "Calm down." He then asks, "The same man?" Debbie pants, "Yes... that's why I was freaking when you came in the door. He's ringing me on the 'phone, now: he knows where I live and..." Frank asks, "Are you in the book?" Debbie tells him, "No, no, we've just been connected." Frank insists, "Then you're perfectly alright." With that, he pulls out a chair for her at the kitchen table and she sits down. He does likewise, going on, "It's one thing to get your telephone number, but your address is a different matter; they don't give out that kind of information." Debbie murmurs, "I wish Craig was here. I thought he'd be there, but he's bound to have gone by now." Frank asks, "Where?" Debbie shrugs, "I don't know. He's delivering pamphlets with Andy." Frank says, "I'll tell you what: I was just in my room doing the crossword and needed a pen. Had to borrow one from you and... what say I stay here with you until you calm down, hmm?" Debbie sighs in embarrassment, "This is so stupid..." Frank, however, rubs her arm with his hand and tells her, "You're certainly in no condition to be in on your own. You can help me do the crossword." Debbie smiles at him and says gratefully, "Alright. Thanks." Frank tells her, "My pleasure."

Susan arrives back at Beryl's and walks into the lounge room - to find Stuart Lane sitting waiting for her. He says coldly, "Hello, Susan." Susan stares at him in shock and demands, "How did you get in?" Lane tells her, "You left the window open. Very careless, don't you think? Someone might get in and hurt you." Susan asks, "What do you want?" Lane retorts, "My money." Susan protests, "You said you'd give me time to pay." Lane tells her, "You can have 'til this afternoon." Susan gasps, "How am I going to find $500 in a few hours?" Lane just shrugs, "That's your problem." Susan snaps, "It's impossible. I can't do it." Lane, however, warns, "Listen, sweetheart, I'm not mucking about. I need that money and I need it now." He stands up and starts approaching her. Susan says quickly, "I'm sure I can get an advance on my salary. Please - I just need a few more days." Lane, however, retorts, "I'm sorry, lady. This afternoon, alright? I'll be back." With that, he heads out, leaving Susan looking worried.

Janice is sitting up in a hospital bed at Park Ridge Hospital. Fiona is sitting at her bedside. Janice tells her aunt, "I'm sorry I've put everyone to so much trouble. I was so silly. I don't know what got into me; I should've looked where I was going." Fiona just suggests gently, "Why don't you put it all behind you?" The door to the room opens suddenly and Michael walks in, smiling, "How's our star patient today?" Janice mutters, "Feeling like an idiot." Michael, however, insists, "I don't think so. I'm sorry." Janice asks quietly, "Do you think I could've hurt the baby?" Michael sits down on the edge of her bed and says, "That's what I wanted to talk to you about." Janice asks in horror, "What's wrong? Something terrible's happened!" Fiona soothes, "Calm down." Janice just cries at Michael, "You're keeping it from me, aren't you? The baby's dead." Michael, however, tells her, "There is no baby." Janice stares at him and sobs, "I've lost it." Michael, however, explains, "There was nothing to lose. Janice, you're not pregnant." Janice asks in surprise, "What are you talking about? Of course I'm pregnant." Michael just shrugs, "I'm sorry." Janice insists, "I must be. I did the test myself. It was positive." Michael tells her, "Those mail-order kits aren't always accurate." Janice demands, "What about all my symptoms? My morning sickness and..." Michael explains, "It's what we call a 'phantom pregnancy'. It happens sometimes - especially when a woman is very anxious to have a child." Janice snaps, "That certainly wasn't my case, I can assure you." Michael tells her, "All I'm saying is that the body can do strange things when it wants to." Janice cries, "It's so stupid. I was upset because I thought I was pregnant and now I'm upset because I'm not." Michael tells her gently, "Have a good cry. You'll feel much better. I'll look in later." With that, he stands up and leaves the room. Left alone with Fiona, Janice snaps, "Alright. Say it." Fiona asks softly, "Say what?" Janice retorts, "'I told you so.'" Fiona just sighs, "Janice, darling, after all you've been through, why on earth would I say that?" Janice tells her matter-of-factly, "I deserve to be pregnant." Fiona mutters, "In heaven's name, what are you talking about?" Janice retorts, "God meant that child to be a living reminder of the sins of the flesh." Fiona sighs, "Darling, you're talking about a baby as though it was some kind of curse." Janice tells her, "If I'd been an unmarried mother, that's what it would be. Now I'll have to be punished some other way." Fiona sits there and looks up to the ceiling, murmuring to herself, "I do give up!"

Wayne is sitting on the couch in the lounge room at Dural, snapping down the 'phone, "I don't know. You're the enquiry agent. Start by finding out where she went for the two weeks before our money went missing." He stands up and walks over to the bar, going on angrily, "Just start moving on it. Stop wasting time." With that, he slams down the 'phone and hangs up. He then picks up the decanter of scotch from the bar and pours himself a glass. Ginny walks in from the hallway and comments, "Starting a bit early, aren't we?" Wayne snaps, "What I drink is my business." Ginny murmurs, "Only making conversation. No need to jump down my throat." Wayne tells her quickly and more calmly, "Sorry. I'm a bit on edge." Ginny asks, "What's biting you, anyway?" Wayne growls, "Alison." Ginny comments, "Getting up your nose again, is she?" Wayne mutters, "The woman's a maniac. Susan... Richard... all of my money... She's taken everything from me." Ginny asks, "What do you mean about Susan?" Wayne starts to snap, "If it hadn't been for Alison--" He then breaks off and sighs, "Let's just say she helped wreck my marriage." Ginny murmurs, "I'm sorry." Wayne just says, "It's water under the bridge now. I'm sorry I snapped your head off. It's just that I'm feeling a bit alone at the moment." Ginny points out, "You've got me." Wayne smiles, "I know. I appreciate it, too. You don't know what it means to have someone to talk to - and trust." Ginny smiles at him, knowingly...

There's loud music playing in Craig and Debbie's flat. Craig, Debbie and Andy are all sitting at the table when the front door opens and Frank sticks his head around. Debbie smiles at him, "Come in, Frank." He steps inside. He then hands Debbie a whistle and tells her, "I brought you this. Next time that idiot rings, give him a blast with that." Debbie smiles, "Thankyou. I will." Craig stands up and says to Frank, "Deb told me that you stayed with her this morning. Thankyou." Frank assures him, "My pleasure. I enjoyed the visit." With that, he heads off again. Debbie sits back down and tells Craig, "You see? I've got nothing to worry about: Frank's right next door." Craig mutters, "I still don't like it." Debbie smiles, "I'll get a watchdog!" Craig grins, "We'll be out on our ears!" Debbie indicates the whistle and comments, "Then this is the next best thing. Please - go and do the round with Andy." Craig asks, "You sure?" Debbie insists, "Of course I'm sure. The next time that creep rings, he's going to get a busted eardrum."

Doug is sitting on the couch in the lounge room at Caroline's, counting some money. Caroline is standing at the front door with Susan, commenting in surprise, "I didn't expect you back today." Susan explains, "Just something I wanted to see Doug about." Caroline lets her in and Susan heads into the lounge room - where she stares at the money in Doug's hands. He finishes counting and declares, "$975. Not bad for one morning's advance sales!" Susan sits down and remarks, "Sounds like you're on the way!" Doug tells her, "Not one knock-back. They all said it was the best idea since sliced bread!" Susan pauses and then says hesitantly, "Could I talk to you for a minute - about my job?" Doug, however, stands up and replies, "Talk to my partner, will you? I've got to dash." With that, he grabs his briefcase and heads out. Susan looks at Caroline and says nervously, "I was wondering whether I could have some money in advance - on my salary, I mean." Caroline smiles, "Sure! When did you want it?" Susan tells her bluntly, "Now." Caroline reaches into her handbag, takes out her purse, removes some notes and says, "$50. Will that tide you over?" Susan takes it, but looks worried. Caroline asks, "Something wrong?" Susan says quickly, "No, no, that's fine, thanks." She stares down at the pile of Doug's money on the coffee table...

Debbie is sitting at the kitchen table in her and Craig's flat when the front door opens and Craig comes in. Debbie smiles at him, "Hi! Where's Andy?" Craig replies, "In the van. I thought I'd pop up and see how you're doing." Debbie tells him, "I'm fine." Craig asks, "No more funny calls?" Debbie replies, "No, not one. I think I scared him off." She then indicates a covered basket that Craig is carrying and asks, "What's in there?" Craig tells her, "A surprise. Shut your eyes." Debbie does so. Craig places the basket on the table and then removes the item in there. It's a wind-up cuddly dog! He sets it going and it starts crawling along the floor, making metallic barking noises! Debbie beams at Craig, "I love it! I love it! Where did you get this?!" She picks it up as Craig explains, "One of our customers owns a toy shop." Debbie turns the toy off and then declares, "I'm going to call it Aloysius." Craig asks in astonishment, "Why?!" Debbie explains, "I've got an Uncle Aloysius and they've got the same nose!" With that, Craig picks up his keys again and, with a smile on his face, goes to head back out. Debbie calls after him, "I love you."

Susan is sitting in a chair in the lounge room at Caroline's, looking agitated. Apparently not noticing, Caroline is saying keenly, "It's wonderful to see Doug looking so enthusiastic again." Susan just murmurs, "Yes." Caroline adds angrily, "That rotten agent took him for such a ride. When I think of him skipping off with Doug's money..." Susan asks in surprise, "What agent?" Caroline replies, "The one I told you about." Susan murmurs distractedly, "Sorry - I'd forgotten." Caroline goes on, "Doug was fit to be tied. I've never seen him so angry." Susan says suddenly, "Caroline..." Caroline, however, just continues, "He's a battler. I'll say that for him." She then offers Susan a cup of coffee. She accepts. Caroline stands up and heads off to the kitchen. When she's gone, Susan looks down again at the money on the coffee table. She stands up, checks the coast is clear and then picks up the bundle of money. She puts a couple of notes back down again. Looking guilty, she then calls to Caroline quickly, "On second thoughts, I'll skip the coffee, Caroline. I'd better be getting home." Caroline, however, comes back into the room with two mugs and insists, "Rubbish! You've got time for one cup, then I can drive you back." Susan tells her impatiently, "Please. I can catch a cab." She picks up her cardigan and uses it to cover up the money she's holding. As she does so, she accidentally knocks against the mugs that Caroline is holding, and the coffee spills over the cardigan. Caroline gasps, "I'm sorry, Susan. Give it to me - I'll sponge it before the stain sets." Susan starts to protest nervously, "No, no, it's alright." Caroline, however, pulls the cardigan out of her hand - and the money falls onto the floor. Caroline looks at Susan suspiciously. She then looks down and notices the reduced pile of money on the coffee table. Susan murmurs in horror, "God, I'm so ashamed..." Caroline demands, "How could you, when you know how hard Doug has been working?" Susan insists, "I'm sorry." Caroline snaps, "How did you expect to get away with it?" Susan murmurs, "I don't know. I just wasn't thinking." Caroline says in a suddenly softer tone, "Would you like to sit down and tell me what all this is about?" Susan retorts, "I can't." Caroline, however, warns, "Either that, or I tell Doug." Susan stares at her and then sits down, saying as she does so, "I'm broke." Caroline comments in surprise, "Again?" Susan explains, "I lost it... I gambled it. There was this man at the pub. He talked me into a silly shell-game. I know it was stupid. It's just one of those things, I guess. Then today, he came over to the house, wanting his money." She adds, "Caroline, I'm scared." Caroline stares at her, but then says soothingly, "Don't worry - I won't let anyone hurt you." She sits down with Susan and rubs her arms, comfortingly. Susan, however, cries, "You didn't see him. He's going to do something terrible - I know it." Caroline asks, "How much do you owe?" Susan admits, "Five hundred." Caroline, looking shocked, muses, "Some shell-game." Susan insists, "It just happened. I don't know what came over me." Caroline asks, "When is this 'person' coming over to collect his pound of flesh?" Susan tells her, "This afternoon." Caroline nods at her and then says, "Alright. I'll lend you the money. Just this once. But I want you to promise me something." Susan says quickly, "Anything." Caroline tells her, "That you will never gamble again." Susan replies, "I promise." Caroline warns, "I mean it, Susan: if you blow it this time, you're on your own." Susan insists, "I won't." Caroline accepts this and says, "We'll got to the bank after lunch." Susan sits there, still looking worried.

Michael is wheeling Janice - who's sitting in a wheelchair - along a corridor at the Park Ridge hospital. They pass a woman walking along, carrying a baby, and Michael smiles at her, "Hi there. I looked in on your friend; she's doing fine." He then indicates the baby and asks, "Is it yours?" The woman nods, "Yes." Michael asks, "Boy or girl?" The woman replies, "It's a girl. Her name's Stella." Janice stares at the baby and asks, "Could I have a nurse?" The woman smiles, "Of course!" She hands Stella over and Janice cradles the small child her in her arms, staring at her lovingly. She asks the woman, "Is she a good baby?" The woman replies, "She's wonderful!" Janice comments, "She must be a lot of work." The woman tells her, "Sometimes - but I don't mind: she's worth it." Janice hands Stella back to her mother, saying as she does so, "Thanks, Mrs..." The woman, however, tells her, "It's, um, Miss. Simpson." Janice nods uncertainly, "Thanks anyway."

Susan is standing outside a building in a street in Melbourne. Caroline walks over to her, smiling, "Sorry I took so long - there were a lot of people in the bank." Susan just asks, "Did you get it?" Caroline hands over a wad of notes. Susan takes them in relief and says, "Thanks, Caroline. You don't know what this means to me." Caroline asks, "Would you like me to come back home with you?" Susan, however, insists, "No, I'll be alright." Caroline asks in concern, "What if he turns nasty?" Susan assures her, "He won't - not now that I've got the money." Caroline murmurs, "If you're sure..." With that, she adds, "I'll see you later," and she walks off. Susan starts walking in the opposite direction. As she does so, she passes a TAB and stops outside, looking worried. She then watches as a man walks out through the door, counting his winnings. He looks at Susan and smiles, "My lucky day! Sometimes you're hot!" Susan stands there and looks at the money in her hand - and then heads inside...

Ginny is whispering down the 'phone in the hallway at Dural, "No, I haven't... I'm trying, aren't I? Just quit bugging me, Alison." With that, she hangs up sharply. She then sighs and heads into the lounge room, where Wayne is sitting looking at a file of papers. She smiles, "Hi!" Wayne looks at her and replies, "Hi, there." Ginny asks, "You want to go for a walk or something?" Wayne, however, tells her, "Too much work to do." Ginny pushes, "Anything important?" Wayne replies, "Nothing for you to worry your sweet little head about." Ginny asks, "Still trying to get back at Alison?" Wayne tells her, "Sure. She'll keep. Why?" Ginny says quickly, "Just wondering. Thought you might have something in mind." Wayne just says lightly, "Yeah... I've got one or two things." Ginny asks, "Like what?" Wayne, however, just smiles, "Why don't you go and watch telly or something?" Ginny, however, says quickly, "Oh... I think I'll have a game of cards."

Stuart Lane is standing outside the front door at Beryl's when Susan arrives back there. She stares at him and comments, "I didn't expect you this early." Lane just demands, "The money." Susan sighs, "I did have it. Something happened." She unlocks and opens the door, adding as she does so, "I need just a few more hours." Lane snaps, "Not good enough, girlie." Susan heads inside and Lane follows her. He marches into the lounge room, where Susan cries, "I'll pay it back. I promise." Lane retorts, "That's what you said this morning." Susan insists, "Just a few more hours." Lane, however, grabs her arms and says coldly, "You've had all the time you're getting." Susan asks in horror, "What are you going to do?" Lane snaps, "I'm going to show you that Stuart Lane doesn't get messed around by anybody - including you." He starts shaking her. She cries, "No! Please, don't!" The front door bangs suddenly and Doug storms in. He yells at Lane, "Take your hands off her." Lane lets go of Susan and looks at Doug, who demands, "What's going on?" Lane retorts, "A private business transaction. None of your business." Doug looks at Susan and says tersely, "Is this ape threatening you? 'Cos if he is, I'll call the police." He starts to walk to the 'phone. Susan, however, cries, "No! Please - don't do that." Doug suggests, "Then I think one of you had better come up with an explanation - and make it good." Lane tells him, "The lady owes me some money. I came around to collect." Doug asks, "How much money?" Lane tells him, "Five hundred." Doug looks at Susan and asks in surprise, "How did you run up a bill like that?" Susan cries, "I can't explain, now. I just owe it, that's all." Doug reaches into his jacket pocket, takes out his wallet and sighs, "Lucky for you a couple of customers came good this morning." He takes out $500, hands it to Lane and snaps, "Now get." Lane mutters, "I wouldn't've touched her." He heads out. When he's gone, Susan murmurs to Doug, "I don't know how to thank you." Doug tells her, "There is one way: just don't let it happen again." Susan insists, "I'll pay it back - I promise." Doug says, "What I'd like to know is how the hell did you get into this mess in the first place?" Susan shrugs, "I owed some money... and then when Caroline lent it to me, I lost it at the TAB." Doug groans, "When are you going to get it through that head of yours that betting's a mug's game?" Susan cries, "I'm sorry." Doug tells her, "I'm really trying to help you, Susie." He then goes on, "I tell you: I'm dead against this pretending-you're-dead rubbish. I'm only going along with it to keep Caroline happy. She's the one in there batting for you - and you go and pay her back by throwing away her money." Susan insists, "It won't happen again." Doug asks, "Is that a promise?" Susan nods earnestly, "Yes." Doug comments, "I guess I'm going to have to start trusting you sooner or later. Just lay off the gambling, OK?" Susan tells him, "I promise." She then asks, "Why'd you come around?" Doug explains, "I was going to get you to bank that five hundred." Susan looks away, guiltily.

Debbie is playing with the toy dog on the couch at the flat. As she turns it off, she smiles, "You wouldn't let anybody hurt me, would you?" The 'phone starts ringing suddenly. Debbie stares at it, looking nervous. She then stands up and approaches it, murmuring to herself, "Please let it be somebody else." She picks up and says, "Hello?" There's no response. Debbie sighs, "Hello. Who's there?" The cold, menacing voice comes on and starts taunting, "I'm here today, I'm here to stay, Please don't send your friend away." Debbie looks around her and picks up the whistle. She gives it a shrill blast down the telephone. The voice, though, just says, "That wasn't very nice, Debbie. I just want us to be friends." Debbie yells, "Could you just go away and leave me alone?" She then slams down the 'phone and stands there, looking upset.

Ginny is sitting on the floor in the lounge room at Dural, playing cards on the coffee table. Wayne is sitting on the couch. He closes a file of papers and announces, "I've got to go out for a while... Maybe we can go for that walk when we get back?" Ginny smiles, "Any time." Wayne stands up, puts on his jacket and says, "See you later." He then heads out into the hallway and opens the door. As soon as Ginny hears it close, she stands up and walks over to the bar, where Wayne has left a pile of papers. She starts going through them. She doesn't realise that Wayne is still standing in the hallway... She picks up the telephone on the bar and dials a number. When the call is answered, she says, "Alison? It's Ginny." She isn't aware of Wayne peering through the gap in the open lounge room doors. Ginny tells Alison, "It's alright: he's just gone out. I think I've got something. There's a letter from someone called G. Miller, Enquiring Agent. It says he's following through instructions to follow the movements of Miss. Alison Carr during the last three weeks." Wayne stands in the hallway, looking annoyed. On the 'phone, Ginny says curtly, "Yeah, that's all it says." She listens and then snaps, "I'm doing my best, aren't I? If you don't like it, you can get someone else." With that, she slams down the 'phone. Wayne steps into the lounge room and stares at her...


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