A short time later, Debbie and Caroline are sitting back down
at the table. Debbie is pouring coffee. As she fills Caroline's
cup, she asks, "Anyone else for a coffee?" Michelle
holds out her cup and says, "I'll have another cup,
thanks, Deb." Caroline looks at her and says coolly, "Planning
a late night? With all this coffee, you won't be able to sleep..."
Doug suggests quickly to his wife, "We might make a move,
eh?" He looks at Debbie and adds, "You don't mind if
we don't stay around and do the dishes?" Debbie stands up
and laughs, "Of course I don't expect you to do
the dishes." Michelle stands up quickly and says, "I'll
give you a hand." Debbie assures her, "Don't be silly
- Craig can help me." Michelle, however, insists,
"It's alright. I don't mind. I don't have classes to attend
tomorrow, so it doesn't matter if I sleep in." She looks
at Craig and comments, "You don't start 'til late either,
do you?" Craig muses, "Thank goodness. Still, I should
do my share..." He goes to stand up. Michelle, however, puts
her hand on his shoulder and tells him, "You sit down. Cleaning
up is women's work." Caroline asks in surprise,
"Since when?" Michelle replies, "Always was in
our house." Doug chuckles, "Not in ours."
Caroline adds grimly, "Nor should it be." Michelle
retorts, "Craig's had a hard day at Tech. He shouldn't be
expected to come home and start work again." Craig smiles,
"I'm not going to argue with that!" Michelle then says
to him, "I was wondering if I could ask a favour." Craig
nods, "Ask away." Michelle says, "Would you mind
if I stayed the night?" Debbie rolls her eyes as Michelle
goes on, "It is late, and I've been having trouble with my
car lately, and I'd hate it to break down and for me to be stranded."
Craig tells her, "OK by me. Deb?" He looks at his girlfriend.
Debbie asks Michelle tersely, "Couldn't you get a cab home,
maybe?" Michelle just points out, "That'll cost a fortune.
I am a student, remember?" Craig insists, "The
spare bed's made up; it wouldn't be any trouble." Caroline
says suddenly to Michelle, "We could give you a
lift home." Michelle comments, "That would be out of
your way." Caroline, however, insists, "No, we could
cope. Come on... if it's a choice between putting Craig and Debbie
out and a lift home, I'm sure it's not too difficult to decide."
Michelle, looking annoyed, mutters, "No... of course not.
I'll just get my things." She heads out of the room. Debbie
looks at Caroline gratefully. Caroline smiles at her, "Problem
The next morning, Caroline walks into the kitchen at her house.
Doug is talking on the 'phone, saying, "Yeah, OK. Thanks
for the call, mate... I will. Bye." He hangs up. Caroline
asks him immediately, "Excited?" Doug asks blankly,
"About what?" Caroline reminds him, "Our publicity
trip to Sydney. Executive 'planes, stretch limos, first-class
hotels... Anybody would think we were going into LA, rather than
Sydney!" Doug just tells her bluntly, "I can't come."
Caroline gasps in surprise, "Since when?" Doug
explains, "Just now; that 'phone call. There's a problem
with the T-shirts; I have to go in and sort it out." Looking
annoyed, Caroline says curtly, "I had to move heaven and
earth to get you to come on this trip after you made such a song
and dance about not being invited in the first place. I'm going
to look a complete idiot if you don't turn up now." Doug
suggests, "Just tell them I'm sick." Caroline, however,
snaps, "I am not going to tell them you're sick, because
you are coming with me." Doug retorts, "I can't
come and that's all there is to it." Caroline looks at him
and cries, "Doug, I want to impress these guys and
you are not helping. I'm supposed to be a professional,
not some two-bit opportunist trying to grab whatever she can."
Doug mutters, "You're over-reacting, Caroline. You're sounding
like a child." Caroline glares at him and growls, "Huh!
You should have heard yourself yesterday, at that meeting, sounding
like a child. All that petty jealousy over Damien." Doug
insists, "It wasn't petty and it wasn't jealousy. The guy's
a straight-out fink; I wouldn't trust him as far as I could spit."
Caroline remarks coolly, "And it seems I can't trust you
to keep a promise." Doug tells her, "I didn't
promise; I just said I wanted to go - and now I can't. I don't
understand what you're so upset about." Caroline snaps, "No,
you wouldn't, would you? That's your trouble, Doug: you don't
understand. You just don't understand..." With that, she
storms out of the room, leaving Doug sighing heavily.
Alison is pouring coffee in the lounge room at Charlie's when
Pamela walks in and says, "Morning. Feel like pouring me
one of those?" Alison picks up another cup and pours some
coffee. She looks annoyed as she hands it to Pamela. Pamela takes
it and comments, "I thought you'd be sleeping-in
after last night." Alison mutters, "I wasn't out late."
Pamela, sitting down on the couch, goes on, "That's right:
you came home quite early, didn't you." Alison stands there,
sipping her coffee, not responding. Pamela then probes, "Er...
have I done something wrong? You don't seem terribly friendly
this morning. Is something upsetting you?" Alison looks at
her and snaps, "You know perfectly well what's upsetting
me." Pamela shrugs, "Do I? What have I done wrong? Found
another chequebook in the bottom of my bag? Missing some more
jewellery, are we?" Alison glares at her and hisses, "Let's
get one thing straight: there are some things in life I do not
share - not even with my sister." A smile crosses
Pamela's face as she muses, "This little bee in your bonnet
wouldn't come under the general heading of 'trespassing', would
it?" Alison snaps, "You know damn well it does
- and if you don't back off, you're going to find out just how
close love and hate really are." Pamela leaps up
from the couch, suddenly, and snarls, "Listen sister, dear,
you're talking to the expert when it comes to love and
hate, so don't threaten me or I can guarantee you you will well
and truly find out the meaning of the word 'hate'."
With that, she marches out of the room. Alison stands there, looking
Caroline has arrived in Sydney. She's standing with Fiona in
her room at the mansion, as Fiona comments with a smile, "Oh
my: executive 'planes... we are doing well for ourselves!"
Caroline beams, "And loving every minute of it!" Fiona
then probes, "And what about your book? Am I going to love
every minute of that?" Caroline muses, "Let's
just say I don't think you'll have any reason to sue
me." Fiona asks, "Meaning others will?"
Caroline shrugs, "We'll see." At that moment, Gordon
emerges from one of the bedrooms, putting on a jacket as he does
so. Caroline smiles at him, "Hello, Gordon. On your way out?"
Gordon nods, "Yeah, a job interview." Caroline then
changes the subject and says, "Tell me: do either of you
know if there's any reason for Susan being upset with me now?"
Fiona replies, "No. Why?" Caroline explains, "It
seems as if she wants to shut me out. I called up yesterday and
again this morning and it's as though she doesn't want to know
me." Fiona says grimly, "You and everyone else.
It seems Wayne has got her under lock and key these days, and
he's put out an order that she's not to see any of her old friends."
Gordon sighs, "She's got nobody else to blame but herself.
I told her not to go back to Wayne; he'd just make life hell for
her. But she wouldn't listen; that's just the mess she has to
sort out for herself." With that, he heads out, saying as
he does so, "I hope this interview goes well; I've had so
many rejections lately..." He goes, leaving Caroline to ask
Fiona, "What's happened to Gordon's confidence?"
She and Fiona both sit down as Fiona explains, "It's taken
a bit of a battering lately; he's not doing too well on the employment
front, I'm afraid." Caroline murmurs, "It shows."
She then says, "I really want to go and see Susan; talk to
her; find out what's wrong. The only trouble is, if Wayne's
there..." Fiona, however, smiles, "Oh, don't you worry
about Wayne. You leave him to me. You'll get to see Susan..."
Wayne is sitting on the couch in the lounge room at Dural, reading
a newspaper. The 'phone starts ringing suddenly. As Wayne stands
up to answer it, Susan walks into the room, looking dishevelled
and wearing her nightclothes. Wayne snaps at her, "Pull yourself
together, Susan. Go and put some decent clothes on. And do something
with your hair; it's a mess." Susan stares at him.
She then shuffles out of the room again. Wayne goes to the bar
and answers the 'phone. He listens and then mutters, "What
do you want?" At the other end of the 'phone, Fiona tells
him, "I don't want anything; it's just I am worried
about your father... He seems to have lost all interest in himself:
he's not eating properly, he's not sleeping, he just... oh, I
don't know... he just doesn't seem to care about anything
anymore." Wayne asks sharply, "What do you want me
to do? I offered him money, if that's the problem, but he wouldn't
take it." Fiona, however, says quickly, "No,
no, it's more than that - and two heads being better
than one, I thought you and I might have some lunch together and
see if we can't work out some way that we might be able to help
him. You do want to help him, don't you?" Wayne
retorts, "Of course I do - but I don't want to discuss it
over lunch. I could come over to the boarding house." Fiona,
however, says quickly, "No, no, you might bump into him there,
and he might asks questions. What about Le Figaro at
one o'clock?... Yes. Bye. I'll see you then." With that,
she hangs up. She then turns to Caroline and smiles, "There
you go: it's all done. The coast is clear."
Alison is clearing away the coffee things in the lounge room
at Charlie's when Pamela walks in and announces, "I'm off
to work." She's holding a brown paper bag. Alison looks at
it and asks, "You taking your own lunch?" Pamela, however,
retorts, "No, they're a couple of gifts for Beryl. I'm seeing
her this afternoon. Any messages that you'd like me to pass on
while I'm there?" Alison just stands there. Pamela smiles,
"Silly me, I forgot: you're not exactly the best of friends,
are you? Traditional enemies and all that!" Alison muses,
"You have been reading the book, haven't
you!" Pamela smiles, "I like to keep abreast of quality
literature!" She then goes on, "Come to think of it,
you're not exactly the best of friends with anyone, are
you - except Charlie, and she's hardly what you'd call discriminating."
Alison points out curtly, "She put a roof over your
head, so maybe she's not - and speaking of freeloaders,
maybe you could find somewhere else to live? I suddenly
feel it's a bit overcrowded here. You know what they say: last
in, first out." Pamela stares at her. She then looks at her
watch and mutters, "I'd better get going; I'll be late."
As she heads out, she adds pointedly, "I won't come home
empty-handed; I like to feel I'm contributing."
A short time later, there's a knock on the front door at Charlie's.
Alison goes and answers it to find Caroline standing on the step.
Looking annoyed, Alison mutters, "Not today, thanks,"
and she goes to push the door shut. Caroline, however, pushes
it back open and says, "We have to talk." Alison retorts,
"No we don't." Caroline just steps inside and insists,
"Yes we do. It's important. It's about Susan."
A while later, Alison is sitting in the lounge room at Charlie's.
She's saying incredulously, "You're telling me that Wayne's
hidden the gun that proves that Beryl was innocent and that Susan
was the one who shot him?" Caroline, who's standing by the
french windows, nods, "Exactly - and as long as he has it,
Susan's forced to live with him as his wife; for the next twelve
months, anyway." Alison exclaims, "God, he doesn't change,
does he?" She then declares, "We have to find that gun.
If Susan's as bad as you say she is, Wayne's going to destroy
her before the year's out." Caroline sighs, "The question
is: where's he hidden it? Nowhere we're going
to find it, that's for sure." Alison, however, standing
up, tells her, "We do have one thing in our favour:
despite his cleverness, Wayne's a creature of habit; he does tend
to repeat himself - only in this case, he's made the
same mistake twice." A grin crosses her face as she says,
"I know exactly where he'll have hidden that gun..."
A waiter serves Fiona and Wayne with glasses of wine at Le
Figaro. Fiona asks Wayne, "Have you decided what you're
going to have, yet?" Wayne mutters, "I'm not hungry."
Fiona, however, insists, "You've got to eat something;
you're going to fade away to a shadow, if you don't."
She then tells the waiter, who's hovering, "I'll have the
deep-fried camembert with cranberry sauce, and for a main course
I'll have quail." The waiter looks at Wayne, who says, "I'll
have a toasted cheese sandwich. You do make them?"
The waiter mutters, "Yes." Wayne tells him, "Then
that's what I'll have." The waiter leaves them. Wayne then
turns to Fiona and says, "Down to business." Fiona replies
hesitantly, "Well, er, yeah, well, your father is at rock-bottom,
both financially and physically." Wayne retorts, "I
know that: you already told me. And I also told you I visited
him this morning and offered him some money, which he refused
to accept." Fiona sighs, "Do you think he's going to
take charity from you? Of course he wouldn't.
He wants a job. Somewhere to get his self-respect back.
Somewhere to get money." Wayne asks, "So what's stopping
him?" Fiona explains, "It's not so easy. Everybody seems
to be hiring young-bloods these days, not someone who's had years
of experience." Wayne points out, "It's happening everywhere,
Fiona." Fiona retorts, "Yeah, well, it's not making
it any easier for your father." Wayne, removing his wallet
from his jacket, says, "I'll see what I can fix up. I'll
be able to pull some strings somewhere down the line." He
then places some cash on the table. Fiona asks, "What's that
for?" Wayne explains, "The cheese sandwich - I don't
feel like it after all. But you stay; enjoy your meal. I'm just
glad I don't have to pay for it - it's not the cheapest
place in town, you know!" With that, he walks out, leaving
Fiona looking astonished.
Pamela is standing with Michael in Fiona's room at the mansion.
Michael tells her, "Gordon shouldn't be too long - Fiona
said he'd be back around one." Pamela nods, "Good. I'll
wait." She then asks, "Where's Robert?" Michael
smiles, "Asleep, thank goodness!" Pamela glances around
and remarks, "He's certainly got a lot of toys!" At
that moment, the door to the room opens and Gordon walks in. As
his foot hits a small crate on the floor, he snaps, "I wish
to goodness someone would teach Robert not to leave his toys lying
around; I'm sick and tired of picking up after him." Michael,
beginning to tidy up, asks, "How did the interview go?"
Gordon just mutters, "Don't ask." Pamela says to him,
"I'm just on my way to see Beryl and I wondered if there
was anything you'd like me to take to her." Gordon, however,
retorts, "No. Just give her my love and tell her we're all
A while later, Gordon is sitting out in the grounds, looking
thoughtful. Michael walks over to him, saying as he does so, "Things
aren't as bad as they seem. That's what they tell me." He
sits down next to Gordon as Gordon responds, "And you believe
them?" Michael says in reply, "I just put his lordship
down. He went off to sleep no trouble. He's a great kid, Gordon,
even if he is a bit of a messy eater and makes a mess with his
toys." Gordon muses, "I was a bit hard on him, wasn't
I? I shouldn't've sounded off like that; it's not his
fault." He goes on wearily, "It's strange, isn't it?
One moment life is going along without a hitch - all plain sailing,
not a worry in the world - and then chaos reigns supreme and you
wonder what in God's name went wrong - and if it'll ever sort
itself out." Michael tells him, "I'm sure it will
- and if that sounds fatuous, it's not meant to be." Gordon
sighs, "The question is, Michael, what happens after
things have sorted themselves out? Will they ever be the same
again? I don't think so. Beryl's changing... no doubt I'm
changing... We used to have so much and now I'm scared we've lost
it. But you know what frightens me most of all? I'm scared I'll
never be happy again." He asks Michael suddenly,
"You happy?" Michael shrugs, "I suppose
so - by and large." Gordon comments, "I remember I was
happy when I was growing up, and with my first wife, Mary - but
ever since then, whenever I've had the chance of happiness, I've
lost it: Patricia... Barbara... now Beryl... How many
chances in life do you get, and have I used all mine up?"
Michael says sincerely, "I don't think so - because I don't
think you've lost Beryl." Gordon cries, "Oh
God, I hope not. I don't know that I could go on without her."
He then stands up and announces, "I'm going for a walk."
Michael says quickly, "Are you sure that's wise?" Gordon
asks, "Why?" Michael replies, "You're obviously
depressed. You need to be around people that are going to cheer
you up. In your frame of mind, you're your own worst
enemy." Gordon just shrugs, "Right now, Michael, I doubt
such people exist - but I'll keep your advice in mind."
With that, he walks off, leaving Michael looking worried.
Caroline and Alison are drinking afternoon tea in the lounge
room at Charlie's. Caroline is saying, "If the gun is
in Wayne's safe deposit box--" Alison interrupts and says,
"Which it's bound to be. Anything Wayne wants to hide, that's
what he uses; he's done it a hundred times." Caroline
points out, "We still need a key to get into it." Alison,
however, tells her, "No, no, Wayne's signature on a letter
of authority will do the trick." Caroline muses, "Wayne's
going to agree to that, isn't he!" Alison admits,
"That part's not going to be easy, I'll grant you..."
Caroline retorts, "Easy? It's going to be well nigh
impossible - unless we enlist the services of some first-class
forger, and they don't list themselves in the Yellow
Pages." Alison looks at her sharply and says, "That's
it!" Caroline asks blankly, "What's it?"
Alison just replies, "It's going to kill me to ask, but I
certainly know who to ask." Caroline says tersely,
"Alison, I haven't got the faintest idea what you're talking
about." They hear a noise at the front door, suddenly, and
Alison says, "You soon will." Pamela walks
in and says coolly, "Hi." Alison looks at her and says
to a shocked-looking Caroline, "I'd like you to meet my sister
- Pamela." Caroline stares at her.
Michael is sitting in Fiona's room at the mansion when Fiona
arrives home. She asks him, "Did Gordon come back?"
Michael nods, "Yes. He's gone for a walk. He didn't get the
job." Fiona sighs, "Oh dear." Michael adds, "At
least, I don't think he did. He was pretty touchy when
he arrived home; refused to even talk about it."
He then indicates a brown paper bag that Fiona is holding and
asks, "What's in the bag?" Fiona tells him, "One
roast quail. Leftovers from lunch. It cost so much I was determined
not to waste any of it." She sits down as Michael asks, "Didn't
Wayne offer to pay?" Fiona retorts, "No. He
skipped off early, didn't he? If I'd known that, I wouldn't
have ordered the most expensive thing on the menu! You know, I
thought that I was going to be washing dishes there for a while!"
Michael comments, "I take it lunch wasn't a success, then."
Fiona, however, replies, "Oh no, no, no. Quite the reverse.
I think we are going to see Wayne doing the right thing for once
in his life..."
Susan is sitting on a stool at the bar at Dural, running her
hands through her hair wearily, as Wayne stands behind her and
muses, "Fixing dad up with a job could be my big chance to
get things back on an even keel with him." Susan just mutters,
"You always see it from your point of view, don't
you." Wayne asks, "What are you talking about?"
Susan retorts, "I'm talking about you. Wouldn't
it be great if, for just once in your life, you did someone a
favour where there wasn't something in it for you? Everything
you do, Wayne, is judged on how you're going to benefit."
Wayne, however, insists, "That's not true. Anyway, there's
no way he's going to find out, is there? Fiona was right:
if dad gets a whiff of charity, he's going to run a mile."
Susan sighs, "Then how is setting him up with a job going
to get you and him back on an even keel?" Wayne explains,
"If dad's happy, he'll be more inclined to see reason where
I'm concerned, won't he?" Susan asks, "What
if it doesn't work out? All be a waste of time from your point
of view, won't it?" Wayne, however, retorts, "No it
won't. See, Susan, I happen to love my dad, and I'll
do anything for him. If this does get us back together,
I'll be the happiest man in the world; but if it doesn't, well,
at least I'll know he's got one less thing to worry about, and
that'll make me happy too." Susan looks at him and sighs
as she says, "I don't think I'll ever understand you, Wayne;
I really don't. Sometimes you can be so mean...; other times--"
Wayne interrupts and smiles, "I can be so good?" Susan
just asks, "Why can't you be good to me?" Wayne
tells her, "Because right now, you don't deserve
it. Simple as that." With that, he walks out of the room,
leaving Susan looking tired and upset.
Caroline is sitting on the couch in the lounge room at Charlie's.
Alison and Pamela are standing either side of her as she says,
"I just couldn't believe it. It was as though Patricia
was standing there; I mean Alison. You know what I mean!"
Pamela assures her, "I go through this whenever I meet one
of Alison's friends. I'm used to it." She then indicates
a cake box she's holding and says to Alison pointedly, "Something
for dinner - as promised. Is coffee still hot?" Alison nods,
"Yes." Pamela says. "I'll get myself a cup."
She heads out of the room. When she's gone, Alison sits down next
to Caroline and says conspiratorially, "When she comes back,
let me do all the talking." Caroline asks in surprise, "Why?"
Alison explains, "Because my sister happens to be rather
a tricky customer, that's why. And if you hear me tell one or
two white lies, don't even blink." Caroline shrugs, "If
you say so." At that moment, Pamela comes back in with a
cup. As she pours herself some coffee, Alison says, "So,
how was Beryl?" Pamela replies, "A bit depressed. A
dose of the prison blues, I think. One of those times when you
realise just how long it's going to be before you get out."
She sits down as Alison remarks, "Yes, well, I guess that
makes it even more important." She then explains, "Caroline's
a friend of Beryl's. She wants to do something to help
- and Susan too, for that matter." Pamela mutters, "Oh
yes?" Alison carries on, "The lawyers have told Gordon
that, if they could get a retrial, Beryl would have a much better
chance of getting out; but the problem is Gordon had to borrow
money to pay for the first trial and now he simply doesn't have
any to pay for a second round." Pamela comments,
"And Caroline's offered to pay?" Alison, however, replies,
"No, no, it's not as simple as that. You see, Gordon's the
old-fashioned type: he won't accept charity. He does have
money - quite a lot, in fact - but he just can't get
his hands on it." Pamela asks, "Why not?" Alison
tells her, "It's in the form of bond certificates, and Wayne's
got them locked away in a safe deposit box." Pamela asks,
"Why doesn't he just cash them in?" Alison replies,
"Because he won't hand them over. It's throwing good money
after bad, as far as he's concerned. If it was made a police
matter, he'd simply deny they existed. No, it's his safe
deposit box and he's the only one who has access to it."
Pamela says blankly, "I still don't understand why you're
telling me." Alison explains hesitantly, "There
is one way we could get our hands on it; at least, Susan
could, as Wayne's wife. If she had a letter from Wayne, signed
by him, she'd automatically be given access to the deposit box."
Caroline looks at Pamela. Pamela is sitting there open-mouthed.
She then asks in surprise, "Are you suggesting what I think
you're suggesting?" Alison replies, "Possibly."
Pamela goes on, "You want me to forge Wayne's signature."
Alison nods, "Yes." Pamela bursts out laughing! She
then growls, "I don't believe this. One minute you
accusing me of embezzlement and the next minute you're asking
me to break the law. Oh, but of course, this is different,
isn't it? You want a favour; that makes it alright. And
there's another thing that bothers me: why would you,
of all people, want to do something for Beryl? You hate
the woman." Alison just retorts, "No one should be in
jail if they don't deserve to be. Besides, Susan's a good friend.
If I can do something decent for her mother, I'll be doing something
decent for her." Pamela mutters, "How very
noble of you." Alison says curtly, "Look, just tell
me: are you in or not? I can do without the rest."
Pamela hesitates for a few seconds before smiling, "Alright.
Count me in..."