A short time later, Pamela is standing in Michael's room at the
mansion, saying to him, "Guess who's going to shout you dinner!"
Michael, however, replies apologetically, "Guess who's just
bought dinner!" He adds quickly, "So why don't
we make it my shout instead?" Pamela smiles, "You've
won me!" She heads across to the table and looks at a pile
of plastic takeaway dishes. She asks in concern, "You sure
there's enough?" Michael nods, "There's enough for four!
My eyes are bigger than my tummy, as mum used to say!" Pamela
looks across at a photo on the desk and she asks, "Is this
your mum?" Michael replies, "Yes." Pamela remarks,
"She looks nice." Michael tells her, "She is!
She's your all-purpose, kind-hearted, country mum: sews, cooks,
makes jam..." Pamela muses, "Lucky you. Your dad looks
nice, too. You're really their son, aren't you! Nick must be a
throwback!" Michael murmurs, "Every family
has its black sheep." They sit down at the table and Pamela
says, "So, how does it feel having nothing to do?" Michael
sighs, "No alarm dragging me out of bed... no worry about
my patients... Fantastic!" Pamela comments, "You're
really determined for Nick to be the only doctor." Michael
nods, "Yes." Pamela carries on, "Funny how things
turn out, isn't it? I would've picked you as the dedicated
one, not Nick. I can imagine him getting into all sorts of trouble
when he was younger - especially when he discovered girls!"
Michael smiles, "He thought he was a cross between Errol
Flynn and Harrison Ford!" He then adds, "Why are we
talking about my least-favourite subject?!" Pamela tells
him, "The more you let out the aggro, the better you'll feel."
Michael shrugs, "Maybe. I'll need a few glasses of wine first."
Pamela picks up a bottle and smiles, "I'll keep pouring!"
Janice is standing out in the corridor when Andy brushes past
her, whistling as he heads for the front door. Janice stops him
quickly and says sharply, "You're not going out,
are you?" Andy retorts, "What if I am?" Janice
demands, "Are you sneaking off to meet one of those disgusting
women?" Andy sighs pointedly, "Look, Janice, will you
please get off my back?" Janice snaps, "Somebody
has to be your watchdog." Andy snaps back, "Yeah, well
you're not qualified; you still have to learn to be a human
being!" Fiona wanders down the corridor towards them
suddenly and sighs, "Alright, alright, that's enough you
two." Janice retorts, "I'm only trying to sure that
he keeps his part of the bargain." Turning back to Andy,
she adds, "You're supposed to be on the straight-and-narrow
now." Andy retorts, "And you're supposed to
be loosening-up a bit." Janice points out, "You still
haven't answered my original question: are you or are you not
on your way to meet one of those women?" Andy looks away
and doesn't respond. Janice says triumphantly, "Thought so."
Fiona tells her wearily, "Forget him, Janice; he's not worth
worrying about. Obviously he hasn't got the guts to carry through
on a deal." Andy turns to her and snaps, "You think
so? Just watch me!" Fiona mutters, "I'll believe it
when I see it."
Gordon is standing in Fiona's room, looking at some books, when
Fiona comes in and sighs heavily. She asks Gordon, "Do you
feel like a cuppa?" Gordon, however, replies, "No, not
at the moment - I haven't read Robert his bedtime story."
Fiona suggests, "Let's have a drink, then. I could certainly
do with one after refereeing between Andy and Janice!" Gordon
muses, "Ah, the challenge!" Fiona sighs, "Not one
of my better ideas." She picks up a bottle of scotch and
pours two glasses. Gordon goes and sits down on the couch. As
he does so, Fiona comments, "You look tired."
Gordon explains, "Stave-panic time, I'm afraid: I got the
barrister's bill today." Fiona murmurs, "Oh... Was it
a whopper?" Gordon nods, "And then some." Fiona
asks, "You going to have the money to pay for it?" She
hands him his scotch and sits down as he replies, "I will
have once I organise a loan." Fiona tells him, "No need
to do that; Susan would be only too happy to
pay for that." Gordon says sharply, "I'd rather not
ask her." Looking surprised, Fiona asks, "Why on earth
not?" Gordon replies, "Beryl is my wife. She's my responsibility.
Besides, the income from Woombai will cover it." Fiona points
out, "You're going to need that money to live on."
Gordon, however, insists, "I'll get a job." Fiona chuckles,
"Oh, Gordon!" Gordon just tells her, "It's as good
as done. I'm having lunch tomorrow with Ron Lawler; we've done
business together for years and he's always said he'd jump at
the chance to have me on his Board." Fiona smiles, "You've
got everything worked out, haven't you!" Gordon, however,
says, "I'm not making a martyr of myself - really;
I'll be glad to get back to work; I need to be occupied."
Fiona says gently, "You're still worried about Beryl, aren't
you?" Gordon nods his head. Fiona goes on, "There's
no need to be; I'm sure there'll be no more trouble. She'll follow
on Pamela's advice." Gordon just murmurs, "I'm sure
she'll try - but from all accounts, she's made some bad enemies."
He then stands up and sighs, "It's time for Robert's bedtime
story." He heads off to his stepson's bedroom, leaving Fiona
Beryl is sitting in her cell at the Bendala Detention Centre,
writing a letter. A female voice behind her demands suddenly,
"What are you writing? Your will?" Beryl looks
round to find Ruth striding towards her. She has a large bruise
on her face. Beryl retorts, "You think I should?"
Ruth mutters, "Better to be sure than sorry, I always say."
She goes to walk out again. Beryl says quickly, "Don't go
- I want to talk to you." Ruth demands, "What about?"
Beryl tells her, "I owe you an apology; I should never have
lost my temper and hit you. I was thinking of my husband--"
Ruth interrupts and growls, "Crawling won't get
you out of trouble." Beryl, however, insists, "I am
not crawling; I'm just trying to explain how I felt at
the time." Ruth mutters, "You'll have to do better than
that if you want to put me off-guard." Beryl sighs,
"I don't blame you for being suspicious, but I'm really not
out to challenge you. I don't want to move up in the pecking order
around here; I just want to get home and be with my family."
Ruth growls, "In one piece?" Beryl nods, "Yes."
Ruth sneers, "Could be arranged. You see, Beryl, I can make
your life difficult - or I can make it easy; it's up to you."
Beryl asks quietly, "What do you mean?" Ruth goes on,
"From what I've heard, some of your friends are pretty well
off. They'll probably be coming here and bringing you little pressies..."
She picks up a box of toiletries from Beryl's table and adds,
"Like these... So, if we can come to some arrangement...:
every time you get something, I do, too; you
might find life that much easier." Beryl muses, "Blackmail,
you mean?" Ruth retorts, "You're the one who wants to
leave here in one piece, sweet-lips. So is it a deal?" Beryl
nods and murmurs reluctantly, "Alright." Ruth growls,
"Good. Glad you think that way." She goes to walk out.
She then turns back, though, and adds, "One word of warning:
don't you try to hold out on me - because you'll be sorry if you
do." With that, she walks out. Beryl stands there, looking
Pamela picks up a full glass of wine from the table in Michael's
room at the mansion. She takes a sip and then asks Michael, "You
made any plans for the future?" Michael, however, admits,
"Not yet. Can't put it off too much longer, though - I'm
running out of money." Pamela comments, "We can't have
that. We'll have to find you some exciting job with lots
of lovely money!" Michael muses, "The question is: what?"
Pamela asks, "What about another branch of medicine, like
Research?" Michael, though, retorts, "No way: medicine
is out." Pamela asks, "Don't you miss it?"
Michael just laughs, "Are you kidding?! No more long hours...
no more study... I feel like a kid let out of school!" He
stands up and picks up a bottle of scotch from the bookcase as
he goes on, "Do you realise I spent half my life studying?
HSC... uni... And when you do eventually qualify, the
study still doesn't stop: there's papers to be read, new discoveries
being made..." He pours two glasses of scotch as he adds,
"From now on, medicine is strictly a spectator sport for
me." Pamela asks, "You told your folks you're quitting?"
Michael replies, "Not yet." Pamela asks, "Think
they'll be upset?" Michael hands her a glass of scotch and
says, "Why do you think I'm putting it off? I was supposed
to be the blue-eyed boy." He sits down at the table again
as Pamela asks, "What about Nick?" Michael replies,
"They always knew he'd get on: he was the
one with drive... ambition..." Pamela comments, "Now
that he's reached the top, he's determined to stay there."
Michael nods, "You'd better believe it! He loves the prestige...
the status..." Looking interested, Pamela asks, "Too
much to give it up for a woman?" Michael gives her an inquisitive
look. Pamela carries on quickly, "Let's just say he fell
in love with some woman who was real trouble; someone who could
wreck his career." Michael mutters darkly, "Men like
Nick don't fall in love." Pamela presses, "Yeah,
but if he did?" Michael shrugs, "He'd ditch her. His
career would always come first." Pamela looks at him, a nasty
smile on her face...
Later that evening, Pamela is back at Charlie's. She's standing
in the lounge room, and is listening to Nick and Alison standing
by the front door. Nick is saying to Alison, "You look like
a little kid with that wet hair!" Alison smiles,
"I should never have let you talk me into your jacuzzi!"
Nick asks, "Why? Scared the neighbours will send the pictures
to the papers?!" Alison, however, tells him, "Don't
laugh: I have to protect my lily-white reputation!" Pamela
rolls her eyes. In the hallway, Nick, who has his arm round Alison,
asks, "Would it help any if I told you my neighbour was short-sighted?!"
Alison chuckles, "You'd say anything to get what
you want." Nick looks into her eyes and says sincerely, "I
had to wait years to get you." Alison asks, "Was
it worth it?" Nick replies, "Why else would I have this
silly grin all over my face?" He then asks, "When will
I see you again?" Alison tells him, "Soon." Nick
suggests, "Tomorrow night? My place?" Alison smiles,
"I'll bring my water-wings!" With that, Nick gives her
a soft kiss and heads out. Alison wanders slowly off to her bedroom.
In the lounge room, Pamela mutters derisively, "Lily-white
The next morning, Pamela is sitting in the lounge room, reading
the newspaper, when Alison wanders in in her nightclothes, yawning.
She says, "Morning!" Pamela glances up and replies brightly,
"Morning. Sleep well?" Alison smiles, "Very!"
Charlie walks in with Isabella and comments to Alison, "Don't
we look pleased with ourselves! I can't wait to hear
all the juicy details!" Alison muses, "Not in front
of the dog!" Charlie presses, "Tell me: did you--"
Alison interrupts and says, "Charlie, it's all happening.
End of story." Charlie sighs, "That's not fair. The
world's full of women who kiss and tell and I'm
stuck with someone who's as silent as my telephone between men!"
Alison laughs, "Just be happy for me!" Charlie insists,
"You know I am, darling - even if I am just the
teensiest bit jealous." She then looks at Pamela and sighs,
"Couldn't you just die that she snucked him up from
under our noses?" Pamela asks blankly, "Who?"
Charlie retorts, "Nick, silly! Didn't you know the
romance is on again?" Pamela just mutters, "I've been
too busy working to catch up on all the gossip."
Alison gives her a look. Charlie tells her, "Not that you
missed much - it's very slim pickings around here this
morning." With that, she leaves the room, saying to Isabella
as she does so, "I don't know why we bothered getting out
of bed early!" When she's gone, Pamela comments to Alison,
"Lives in a world of her own, doesn't she!" Alison replies,
"Her heart's in the right place. In fact, she's
too generous for her own good." She goes and pours
herself some coffee, adding as she does so, "And you shouldn't
have taken advantage of it; you shouldn't have used her to get
that job." Pamela exclaims in astonishment, "It was
her idea!" Alison retorts, "You put
the idea into her head, didn't you?" Pamela retorts,
"She wanted to help; what's wrong with that?"
Alison snaps, "I just don't want to see it backfire on her."
Pamela gasps, "You think I'm out to rip him off, don't you?"
Alison doesn't respond. Pamela assures her, "I'm not going
to make the same mistake twice." Alison retorts,
"Mistake? Then why did you keep quiet about doing time?"
Pamela snaps, "Because he wouldn't have given me the job.
I'm going to be handling large sums of money." Alison nods,
"Precisely." Pamela sighs and goes on more calmly, "Look,
I am not trying anything on; I've had enough of being inside to
last me a lifetime." Alison retorts, "I just had to
be sure. I'm very fond of Charlie; I don't want to see her hurt."
Pamela mutters, "Oh - my feelings don't count."
Alison tells her, "Of course they do - but it was
worrying me, alright? I had to clear the air." Pamela
murmurs, "You've made your point." With that, Alison
heads out of the room. Pamela picks up a copy of My Sister
My Love from the coffee table and mouths, "Your turn's
Janice and Andy are standing in the reception area at the gym
when a woman in her forties walks in. Janice looks at Andy and
growls, "Is this one of your lady friends?" Andy just
looks across at the woman and smiles, "Hello, gorgeous. How
are you?" Janice mutters, "I thought so. Don't weaken."
Andy walks over to the woman and says, "I'm glad you turned
up early: it'll give us enough time to have the gym by ourselves
for a while." The woman smiles flirtatiously, "Just
what I had in mind...!" She and Andy head off into the main
room. Janice follows them. In there, the woman asks Andy,
"What shall we do first?" Andy tells her, "Warm-ups:
three minutes on the bike, then we can move onto the heavier weights."
Janice marches into the room and says sharply, "Excuse me,
Andy, could I have a word?" Andy tells her, "Not right
now, Janice." Janice snaps, "It's important." Andy
retorts, "I'm about to show Mrs. Hansen how to use the heavier
weights, if you don't mind." Janice, however, looks at Mrs.
Hansen and tells her, "He's not going to show you anything,
anymore." Looking astonished, Andy gasps, "Janice!"
Janice just goes on at Mrs. Hansen, "He doesn't want to see
you anymore - outside gym hours, I'm talking about. The trouble
is he just doesn't have the gumption to come right out and say
so." Andy looks at Mrs. Hansen and starts to tell her, "Seriously
- I can explain exactly what--" Mrs. Hansen just interrupts
and retorts, "It's alright: you don't have to say anything;
I get the message." With that, she marches out. Andy goes
to follow her, calling, "We have to talk." Janice grabs
his arm, though, and orders, "Just let her go." Andy
goes to give her a shove, snapping, "Get out of the way."
Janice, however, performs a martial arts move on him and pushes
him to the floor. She then sits on top of him! Andy snaps furiously,
"Get off me." Janice retorts, "As soon as she's
off the premises." Andy snarls, "I'm warning you."
Janice snaps, "I'm just trying to help you keep your word
to Aunt Fiona. Imagine how silly you'd feel if you had to explain
to her how you caved in so easily." Andy rolls over suddenly
and pushes Janice off him. He stands up as Janice adds, "I
won't let on it was touch-and-go for a while." Andy mutters,
"That's very big of you." Janice goes on, "Together,
we'll make short work of the others. You'll see." Andy glares
Nick is standing out in the reception area when Pamela walks
in. She smiles at him, "Nick! You waiting to be served?"
Nick nods, "I'm after my exercise card. Is there a bell or
something?" Pamela shrugs, "I don't know; let's have
a look." She goes to peer over the reception desk - but as
she does so, a copy of My Sister My Love that she's carrying
under her arm 'accidentally' hits the edge of the desk and drops
to the floor. Nick bends down quickly to pick it up. He looks
at it and asks, "Fan of Angela Johns?" Pamela, however,
tells him, "Hardly! No, I just wanted to see what sort of
a hatchet job she'd done on Alison. Now I'm reading it, I can
understand why she's so upset about the Pamela character. But
you can't sue somebody for printing the truth..."
Nick asks sharply, "What? The book's based on Alison's life?"
Pamela gasps in 'surprise', "Didn't you know?" Nick
replies, "No." Pamela murmurs, "Oh Lord... me and
my big mouth!" Nick smiles, "Relax! I won't dob you
in!" He then looks around and comments, "Bit slack round
here, aren't they?" Pamela tells him, "I'll go and find
someone." She heads off to the main room. She then peers
back round the corner to find Nick glancing inside the copy of
My Sister My Love...
Fiona is standing in Michael's room at the mansion, tidying up
his bed, when Michael walks in, panting. Fiona smiles, "Did
you have a good run?" Michael replies, "Not bad. Spotted
a gorgeous blonde in the park; almost caught up with her, too!"
Fiona notices a pile of literature on the desk, suddenly, and
she comments, "Medical books! You having a spring cleaning?"
Michael, however, tells her, "Nope! I'm going to flog them
off. Getting rid of Oscar, too." Looking shocked at the skeleton's
potential demise, Fiona gasps, "I never thought you'd throw
him on the scrapheap." Michael just shrugs, "Why
hang on to it when some student could put him to some use?"
The two of them hear Gordon's voice, suddenly, calling, "Fiona?"
Fiona calls back, "I'm in here." Gordon comes into the
room and tells Michael, "I'm sorry to interrupt." He
then turns to Fiona and says, "I have an appointment with
the finance company in half an hour; it's the only time they can
fit me in." Fiona says, "That's alright: I
can take Robert to playschool." She then adds quickly, "Oh,
no, I can't - not until after the plumber comes." Looking
at Michael, she asks, "Would it be stretching the friendship
a little bit too much if I asked you to take him to playschool?"
Michael smiles, "Just give me time for a quick shower."
He heads out of the room. When he's gone, Gordon remarks to Fiona,
"I didn't know you had the plumber coming today." Fiona
admits, "No, I'm not. That's a big fib - but it's all in
a good cause." Gordon looks at her. Fiona explains, "You
see, there is a very attractive girl who runs Robert's playschool
and she is just dying for somebody like Michael to walk
into her life." Gordon smiles, "You can't help matchmaking,
can you!" Fiona, however, insists, "Oh no, there's more
to it than that: while he's chasing her, he'll forget about wanting
to sell these--" she indicates the medical books "--
and he's going to need them again when he comes to his senses
and gets back to medicine." Gordon muses, "And we men
kid ourselves that we run the world!"
Charlie is standing behind the reception desk at the gym, throwing
some yellow cards down in disgust. Andy emerges from the main
room and says, "You wanted to see me?" Charlie retorts
sharply, "Yes. How come we've had four cancellations this
morning?" Janice follows Andy out of the main room and declares
triumphantly, "Five! You can add Mrs. Vita to the
list." Charlie gasps, "But she was one of our most enthusiastic
members." Janice retorts, "Only because of Andy."
Andy explains to Charlie, "I make an extra effort with those
people who I think need it - encouragement, I mean, like--"
Janice interrupts and growls, "She didn't need any
encouragement." She turns to Charlie and adds curtly, "She
was just a silly woman; old enough to be Andy's mother."
Looking annoyed, Charlie snaps, "I don't care how
old she was. If business doesn't start picking up, I'm going to
be in trouble paying the wages." With that, she marches off
to the main room. When she's gone, Andy looks at Janice and says
curtly, "Will you do me a favour? Whenever Charlie is around,
shut your mouth." Janice mutters, "You're being a bit
unreasonable, aren't you?" Andy, however, retorts, "I'd
call it self-preservation, Janice. Your mouth can do more damage
than a car bomb!"
Michael has arrived back at the mansion. Fiona follows him into
his room and smiles, "What took you so long?" Michael
replies, "She was about five foot five, very pretty, runs
Robert's playschool - and I'm taking her out to dinner tomorrow
night!" Fiona laughs, "You're a fast worker!" Michael
replies, "Dad always told me never to let an opportunity
pass you by!" Fiona then says, "Listen, how would you
like to come and have some lunch with me?" Michael, however,
tells her, "I've got a better idea: why don't I
take you to lunch?" Fiona smiles, "Like your dad said:
never let an opportunity pass you by!" She then indicates
Oscar the skeleton. She's dressed him up in white T-shirt and
a gorilla mask! Michael laughs, "Very fetching!" Fiona
explains, "I thought he deserved to go out in style!"
Michael murmurs, "Good old Oscar: I'm going to miss
him; we've burnt a lot of midnight oil together." Fiona whispers
quickly and conspiratorially, "Why don't you keep him? He
doesn't take up much room." Michael just asks, "Why
are you whispering?" Fiona replies in another whisper, "Because
I don't want him to know that you're thinking of selling him!"
Michael bursts out laughing, "You're as silly as a wheel
- and it's catching!" He then picks up a stethoscope and,
putting it around Oscar's neck, declares, "From now on, Oscar,
you're the doctor in the family. Anything you need to
look up, be my guest." He indicates the medical books. Fiona
remarks, "I thought you were thinking of selling them."
Michael shrugs, "I'll get around to it one of these days."
Unnoticed by Michael, Fiona gives Oscar a knowing wink!
A few moments later, Fiona and Michael emerge from Michael's
room. Fiona indicates the hall table and says to Michael, "I
think there's some mail there for you. Why don't you have a look
while I get into some glad rags?" She heads off to her room,
leaving Michael looking through a pile of envelopes. The mansion's
front door bangs suddenly and Pamela walks in. Looking at Michael,
she announces, "Just the man I wanted to see!" Michael
tells her, "Fiona and I are just about to go and have lunch.
Why don't you join us?" Pamela, however, replies, "I'm
sorry, I can't: I've got to go and close a sale in half an hour."
She then asks Michael, "Would it turn you on to manage a
health farm?" Michael looks at her blankly and says, "Pardon?"
Pamela explains, "A friend of Charlie's has a place not far
from us, and when she mentioned that Sandy was looking for someone
to manage it I thought of you. Interested?" Michael nods
eagerly, "Very. Who do I contact?" Pamela, however,
tells him, "No one. Charlie's invited Sandy for dinner tonight,
so just turn up about seven. You'll be able to convince her that
you're the man for the job - if it appeals." Michael asks,
"And if I don't appeal to her?" Pamela just
smiles, "I'm sure you will. See you tonight!" As she
goes to head out, Michael calls, "Thanks for thinking of
me." Pamela calls back, "One good turn deserves another."
Looking surprised, Michael asks, "What have I done for you?"
Pamela just tells him enigmatically, "More than you'll ever
Charlie waltzes into a restaurant - and spots Nick sitting at
a table by the wall. She heads over to him and beams, "Nick,
darling! What a pity I didn't see you earlier; we could have had
lunch together!" She then asks, "How are you
enjoying your sessions at 'Bumps and Grinds' these days?"
Nick points out, "I've only been twice so far." Charlie,
however, insists, "Exercise does you the world of good -
but it pays to watch your diet too--" She breaks off suddenly
as she spots a copy of My Sister My Love on the table.
A look of horror crosses her face. She says quickly, "I must
fly. Do have the slimmer's platter!" With that, she heads
off, leaving look looking surprised.
Pamela arrives back at Charlie's to find Alison sitting on the
couch. Alison looks at her and comments, "I thought you were
working." Pamela explains, "I closed the sale
in two seconds flat." She then indicates a box she's holding
and adds, "I brought us a Black Forest cake for dessert."
She sits down as Alison asks, "Does my piece come with or
without arsenic?!" Pamela smiles, "I'd have brought
some humble pie, but they didn't have any!" Alison looks
at her and Pamela adds, "You were right to have
a go at me about the job." Alison muses, "I probably
could have used a little more tact, though." Pamela shrugs,
"I could've used a little more understanding."
Alison asks, "Friends again?" Pamela points out, "I
brought you the cake, didn't I?!" The front door bangs suddenly
and Charlie bursts in. She looks at Alison, who is standing up
and heading to the drinks cabinet, and cries, "Darling, I've
got terrible news." Alison muses, "You've gained six
kilos!" Charlie, however, tells her, "No. Nick is reading
the book." Alison stops in her tracks. Pamela asks 'innocently',
"What book?" Alison sighs, "My life story."
Charlie tells her, "He was about quarter of the way through
when I saw him at lunch. He couldn't wait until I left so he could
get back to it. He was positively devouring it."
Looking annoyed, Alison snaps, "How in hell did he get hold
of it? He's not the type to go out and buy a trashy novel."
Pamela chips in, "Unless someone told him about
it." Charlie gasps, "Who'd do such a thing?"
Pamela shrugs, "I don't know... The woman who wrote it?"
Alison tells her quickly, "No, no, she doesn't even know
Nick's alive." Looking thoughtful, Charlie declares,
"But Wayne does." Alison sighs coldly, "Yes,
that would be right. Yes, he hates my guts enough to do something
like that." Pamela has a smirk on her face as Alison declares,
"This time he's hit the jackpot. When Nick's finished reading
that book, our romance will be as dead as a dodo..."