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    Written by: Don Battye   Executive Producer: Don Battye   Directed by: Mark Piper

Andy is standing in a public callbox, snapping down the 'phone, "He did not realise it was there... Yeah, well there's been a mistake, hasn't there?... No, it has got nothing to do with the police... Look, the baby belongs to a really good friend of mine and I am going to be in a lot of trouble if anything happens to it... Her. Yeah. If I give you an address, can you send him there and I will meet him there, OK?... Right."

Beryl and Gordon are sitting in Fiona's room when the door opens and Fiona comes in with Pamela. Fiona smiles, "Look who's here!" Beryl stands up and beams, "Pam! It's so good to see you!" The two women hug and Pamela smiles, "Welcome to the land of the free! You look terrific - apart from this." She indicates Beryl's eye, adding, "What happened?" Beryl explains, "Ruth - but if you think this looks bad, you should go and pay her a visit!" Fiona says to Gordon, "Why don't we leave these two to have a bit of a gossip?" Gordon nods, "Good idea." He and Fiona head off into the kitchen. As Pamela and Beryl sit down on the couch, Pamela calls out to Fiona and Gordon, "We promise not to talk about you!" Beryl, however, says hesitantly, "Actually, that's what I do want to do." Pamela queries in surprise, "Talk about Fiona and Gordon?" Beryl explains, "No: Alison and Gordon." Pamela sighs, "What's she been up to?" Beryl tells her, "Apparently Gordon stayed at Charlie's last night. Alison couldn't wait to tell me - with the definite suggestion they'd slept together." Pamela sighs, "Sounds like the sort of trash she'd come up with. You don't seriously think Gordon would be unfaithful to you? Come on, he's too decent. She's just trying to rattle you." Beryl points out, "Don't forget: they were married once." Pamela comments, "You think she might be playing the old 'the way we were' trick...?" Beryl nods, "Yes - even though the marriage wasn't exactly what you'd call a happy one." Pamela shrugs, "In that case, why would he fall for it?" Beryl sighs, "Whether we like to admit it or not, Pam, she's like a magnet with men. I saw the way she and Gordon were behaving." Pamela asks gently, "Are you sure this isn't just the way that you're looking at it?" Beryl insists, "No. There's a sort of bond between them that I haven't been aware of before - and she did put up the money so he could become part of Doug's airline deal. We both know she doesn't do that sort of thing out of the kindness of her heart." Pamela muses, "She certainly doesn't..." Beryl carries on, "I think she's doing it to spite me; to try and get Gordon away from me. It wouldn't be the first time she's pulled that sort of thing." Pamela comments, "She's doing exactly the same thing to Nick and I at the moment: everything was fine until she butted in." Beryl mutters, "As I said, it wouldn't be the first time she's done that sort of thing..."

Alison is pacing the lounge room floor at Charlie's, looking at a magazine. Nick walks in, suddenly, and smiles, "Hello. Door was open. I thought I'd see how you were placed for dinner tonight." Alison stares at him and retorts, "What makes you think I'd be interested?" Nick tells her, "I thought we could let bygones be bygones." Alison muses, "Again?" She then tells him, "I'm sorry: I don't know what I'm doing tonight." Nick says, "I'm asking: how about dinner?" Alison snaps suddenly, "I'm not in the mood for making decisions, Nick." Nick looks at her and asks, "What's wrong?" The two of them sit down as Alison sighs, "Me. Me and my big mouth." Nick smiles, "What have you done this time?!" Alison retorts, "It's not funny. I lost my temper earlier on today and I gave Beryl the impression that I was sleeping with Gordon last night." Nick asks, "And did you?" Alison laughs, "Don't be ridiculous!" Nick then says, "I don't see why you're so upset about hurting Beryl: it's not your usual form." Alison, standing up and heading to the drinks cabinet, retorts, "I couldn't care less about Beryl. It's Gordon: I just don't want to make life any more difficult for him than it is already." Nick suggests, "Beryl's not that bad, surely?" Alison mutters, "You want a bet?" She then goes on, "Anyway, that's not it: it's just that I managed to get Gordon back onto the rails to a degree last night - made him feel a bit more confident about himself - and I'd hate to see him slip back." She pours herself an orange juice as Nick muses, "What's this: compassion from Alison Carr?!" Alison tells him bluntly, "I was married to Gordon for a long time - long enough to care about what happens to him. You know, there's not a rotten bone in that man's body. He was very good to me - and I gave him absolutely nothing - except trouble; so my debt to him is long overdue." Nick asks, "Anything I can do?" Alison, however, replies, "Not really. I want to ring up and apologise, but if I do call, it's sure to get back to the dreaded Beryl and she'd go off like a rocket." Nick remarks, "Still, I think it's a good idea. What's the number?" Alison indicates a sheet of paper and tells him, "It's by the 'phone. I was going to call before you arrived, but I couldn't pluck up the courage." Nick stands up and goes and picks up the 'phone. He begins to dial as Alison suggests, "I suppose if I asked him not to say anything to Beryl..." Nick just smiles, "As I'm doing the calling, if anyone else answers, you're covered." He then puts the 'phone to his ear and comments, "That is if it wasn't engaged." He then adds, "I can't stay around, but do it. OK?" Alison smiles, "And I'll think about dinner tonight; let you know later." With that, Nick heads out, leaving Alison looking thoughtful.

Beryl is sitting at the desk in Fiona's room at the mansion, talking on the 'phone, saying, "Would you put Craig on again, please, love?" There's a pause and Beryl then tells Craig, "I was just saying to Debbie I have to wait until they set a date for the retrial... Yes, it is hard to accept, love... Yes, they were her fingerprints on the gun... I don't know, love; I suppose that'll be up to the police... Yes, he's here. Just a tick." She then turns to Gordon and hands him the 'phone. Across the room, Fiona murmurs to Pamela, "Beryl's very tense, isn't she? Pamela nods, "It'll take her a while. She'll probably never be quite the same again." Fiona points out, "You managed to come out of it and you were in there for a heck of a lot longer than she was." Pamela smiles, "Even a month is a long time, believe me!" There's suddenly a knock on the door and Fiona goes to answer it. She finds Andy crouching down in the corridor, fussing over Madonna, who's lying in her basket on the floor. Fiona asks Andy in surprise, "What on earth are you doing with the baby? Where's Janice?" Andy sighs, "It's a long story. I nearly lost her." Fiona asks, "Who: Janice?" Andy explains, "No, the baby. I put her in a cab to come back here and the stupid driver would not accept the docket Janice had given me - then he drove off with Madonna in the back. I rang the cab company and met the driver outside." Fiona sighs, "I bet he got a shock." Andy retorts, "Not half as much as me." Fiona comments, "Oh dear, what is Janice going to say?" Andy cries quickly, "Oh please, whatever you do, don't tell her. It's been bad enough as it is." Fiona remarks, "Looking after a baby is no fun." Andy, however, explains, "Oh no, she's been fine; she has." Fiona chuckles in surprise, "That's a change of attitude." Andy just says stiffly, "Whatever you might think of me, Fiona, I'm a darn sight more sensible than her mother; I mean - she goes and dumps her baby on the doorstep of a Crisis Centre and then vanishes." Fiona muses, "And you go and put her in the back seat of a taxi. Terrific!" Andy growls, "At least I cared what happened to her. It wasn't really my fault anyway. I was off my face worrying about her - so don't you say I don't care about her, because I do." He crouches back down to Madonna and soothes, "Don't worry, kid: now that you're back with me you're on Easy Street. Uncle Andy is going to look after you - much better than your mum did, anyway." Fiona stands there, a smile on her face.

Janice dashes into the Crisis Centre, sits down at the desk and unwraps a sandwich that she's just bought. As she takes a large bite, the 'phone starts ringing. She finishes chewing quickly and sighs, "I was looking forward to that." She picks up the 'phone and a voice comes on, saying, "Hello? It's Jodie Frazer." At the centre, Janice says, "Hello, Jodie... Yes, we found your little girl. She's being well looked-after." From a public callbox, Jodie replies, "That's all I was worried about..." She listens before exclaiming, "Your friends? I thought you'd give her to the police or someone... " Janice tells her, "Not until we've had a talk about it. There are lots of support groups for single mothers, you know. I'm sure if you knew more about them you'd think again about giving up your baby. Why don't you come in and I can give you some names to contact? Perhaps even introduce you to someone?" Jodie, however, murmurs, "No, I don't think so. How do I know you won't call the police? I could get in trouble for leaving her there." Janice insists quickly, "It'll be alright, honestly." There's suddenly silence at the other end of the 'phone. Janice says, "Jodie... Jodie?" She then hangs up and mutters, "Blast. You handled that really well, Janice!"

Gordon, Fiona, Beryl and Pamela are sitting around the table in Fiona's room at the mansion. They finish eating and Beryl smiles, "That was very nice, Fiona. Now it's my turn to do my bit." Fiona insists, "Don't be so silly!" Pamela gives a quick, subtle shake of her head, though, and Fiona tells Beryl quickly, "On second thoughts I accept. Might as well save my legs!" Beryl says to Gordon, "Will you give me a hand, please?" Gordon nods, "Of course." He and Beryl stand up and head out to the kitchen. When they've gone, Fiona says quietly to Pamela, "You wanted to say something?" Pamela tells her, "I've been watching Beryl and you're right: the strain really is getting to her - worse than I thought. I thought it would be a good idea if she and Gordon were alone tonight." Fiona gasps, "The thought never occurred to me. It should've. Oh, I can fix that." At that moment, Gordon and Beryl emerge from the kitchen again and Fiona says quickly, "Gordon, I was going to visit with some friends this evening and I would like to stay over the night." Gordon smiles, "We'll miss the pleasure of your company." Fiona chuckles, "Oh, you'll have had enough of me by then. Anyway, it'll give you two a chance to spend some time together." A look of concern appears on Beryl's face...

Sometime later, Fiona is standing out in the hallway as Andy comes downstairs, holding Madonna. He tells Fiona, "I was coming to see you." Fiona asks, "Is the baby alright?" Andy replies, "Yes and no..." Fiona asks, "Can I help?" Andy tells her, "You can, as a matter of fact. I know you've got visitors and all that, but I think there is something wrong with the acoustics in this place. I can hear everything that is going on in your flat and it's making it very hard to get Madonna off to sleep." Fiona mutters sarcastically "I am sorry!" She then suggests, "Why don't you use Michael's bedsit while he's at work? I can't stop people talking, you know; after all, it is Beryl's 'welcome home'." Andy nods, "Michael's place will be fine. Thanks." He heads off in there. When she's alone, Fiona drops a coin into the 'phone box at the bottom of the stairs and dials a number. When the call is answered, she says quietly, "Hello... Is that you, Bunty? It's Fiona Thompson here. I was wondering if you could do me a favour: how would you like to have a house guest for the night?"

Janice yawns as she stands up from her desk at the Crisis Centre and heads for the door. A young woman - Jodie - walks in suddenly. Janice smiles at her, "I was just about to leave!" Jodie murmurs, "It doesn't matter, then." Janice, however, insists, "Don't be silly. Come in. Sit down. I'm here to listen." Jodie tells her, "I was just curious when you said on the 'phone about people supporting me. What exactly did you mean?" Janice realises, "You're Jodie!" Jodie nods at her. Janice invites her to sit down. She then sits down opposite the girl and says, "For a start, I can't tell you what to do." Jodie comments, "I thought that's what you were here for." Janice replies, "In a way - but what I'm saying is I don't want to make any decisions for you. What I can do is give you the options and then it's up to you to make a choice of what you think would be best. OK?" Jodie nods at her. Janice then goes on, "The first choice is to have her adopted." Jodie murmurs, "I don't know if I really want that." Janice, however, says quickly, "Hang on, I haven't finished yet." She continues, "The second choice is to have her fostered - where a couple would look after her for a while; a sort of permanent babysit, just until you get yourself back on your feet again. And the third choice is that you keep her; look after her yourself." Jodie cries, "How can I do that? That's why I left her here in the first place - so she'd be better off." Janice tells her, "It might not be quite as bad as it looks. If you decide to keep her, I can put you in touch with people who are experts - like church groups... government welfare agencies..." Jodie stands up suddenly and cries, "I don't want anything to do with the government." Janice assures her, "They're not going to put you behind bars, or anything dramatic like that, Jodie. They know how to help single mothers; that's what they're there for." Jodie murmurs, "I don't know. It's so hard to decide. What would you do?" Janice, however, tells her, "As I said to you, I can give you the options - but it's up to you to make a choice. Why don't you give it a bit of thought and I'll make us a cup of something?" With that, she heads off to the kitchen.

Andy is standing in Michael's room at the mansion, fussing over Madonna, waving her cuddly toy at her. He doesn't hear as the door opens and Janice steps into the room. He tells Madonna, "You're real pretty - except you should do something about your hair!" Janice comments suddenly, "You seem to have a fetish about changing young ladies' hair!" Andy says quickly, "Just keeping her happy." Janice smiles, "She's got even more reason to be happy now." Andy queries, "Yeah?" Janice explains, "Her mum's outside. We had a talk and she's decided to keep the child." Andy, however, says quickly, "Hold on! Not so fast! How do we know she's not going to do the same thing again?" Janice retorts, "I think she's sincere." Andy growls, "She might be now, but who's to say what's going to happen in a couple of days? And even if she does keep her, how do we know she's going to look after her properly?" Janice points out, "She is the child's mother." Andy retorts, "You wouldn't know that the way she's behaved." He picks Madonna up as Janice says tersely, "Don't you trust my judgement? If I think that Jodie's ready to look after the baby again, don't you believe me?" Andy mutters, "I guess." Janice then asks, "Do you want to see her mum - Jodie?" Andy looks at her and remarks, "Jodie... It's funny: I knew a Jodie once." He then hands Madonna over to Janice and she heads to the door. Andy remains in the room, looking disappointed. Janice steps out into the hallway. Jodie is sitting on the stairs and Janice hands Madonna to her, smiling, "Here she is: all safe and sound." Jodie starts fussing over her daughter, cooing, "My poor little darling. What did I do to you...?"

Beryl and Pamela are sitting alone in Fiona's room. Pamela is telling Beryl, "Come on, you've got to fight for what you want." Beryl sighs, "I don't think I've got any fight left in me, Pam." Pamela, however, insists, "Of course you have. You've put Alison in her place before; why let her win this time?" Beryl explains, "Because I think I'm already behind the 8-ball with this." She indicates the bruise around her left eye. Pamela just shrugs, "That's easily fixed. I've got some make-up that'll cover that up." She stands up as she adds, "By the time I'm finished with you, you're going to look a million bucks!

It's evening-time. Fiona's room is in semi-darkness. Beryl lights a candle set out on the table as someone knocks on the door. Beryl calls, "Come in." The door opens and Gordon steps inside. He's wearing a smart suit and he hands Beryl a bunch of flowers, telling her, "I thought we should do it the right way." Beryl smiles, "They're lovely. Thankyou." Gordon tells her, "And so are you." He then adds, "Hello, Mrs. Hamilton. It's nice to see you again." Beryl smiles happily, "It's nice to be here."

Later that evening, Gordon is refilling his and Beryl's glasses as Beryl tells him, "The only way out of a situation like that is to hit back. I never realised I packed such a good punch..." Gordon comments, "Must have been horrific." Beryl, however, murmurs, "No, a lot of it was just plain boring." She goes on, "I'd be locked-up by now, if I was still inside. In fact, a couple of times while we've been talking, I've wondered if it was all a dream and I'd wake up and still be in there." Gordon assures her, "Believe me: you're here." Beryl continues, "The mornings were always just the same: I'd get up, have breakfast - if you could call it that - scrub floors, then out into the exercise yard, where you did your best to stay out of trouble." Gordon says gently, "It's all behind you now. All you can do is remember what it was like before and readjust." Beryl murmurs, "I realise that." She then says, "You can understand why I had to toughen myself up, don't you? It was the only way I could survive." Gordon nods, "As I said, it's all over now. It's going to be different from now on; in fact, thanks to Alison it's going to be better." Beryl growls, "Yes... Alison." Gordon goes on, "I couldn't believe she made that offer. I think deep-down she really cares when it matters." Beryl mutters, "If she wants something, you mean." Gordon, however, insists, "No, no, I think she really wanted to give me a hand." Beryl mutters pointedly, "I wonder why." Gordon just says, "I admit that there's usually a reason where Alison's concerned, but I think this time she's really genuine." Beryl stares at him and then growls, "She certainly got to you last night, didn't she?" Gordon looks at her in surprise and remarks, "I think that's a bit unfair." Beryl retorts, "Do you? She has taken great pleasure in telling me that you spent the night at her place. I don't want to do this, but I have to ask: did you go to bed with her?" Gordon stares at her, looking shocked. Beryl comments, "I can see by your reaction that the answer is 'yes'." Gordon, however, gasps, "Do you believe that, Beryl? I did everything in my power for you. When you were being so difficult, I tried to understand, and you come back with a question like that. Well I'm not going to give you an answer; it doesn't deserve one. And the fact that you asked in the first place doesn't say very much for the strength of our marriage." With that, he stands up and storms out of the room. Beryl sits at the table, looking worried.

A short time later, Gordon is standing with Alison in the lounge room at Charlie's. He asks tersely, "Did you intimate that we spent the night together?" Alison sighs, "Yes, I did. I'm sorry - I did it without thinking. But it wasn't without Beryl throwing me a rather large bait." Gordon nods, "I do admit that Beryl's been a bit difficult, but it's true she's been through one hell of an ordeal." There's suddenly a knock on the front door and Alison tells Gordon, "I won't be a sec." She heads out to the hallway, opens the door and finds Nick standing on the step, dressed in a tuxedo. He smiles, "Hello. You didn't get back to me about dinner." Alison replies, "Er, no, Nick, I'm sorry; I didn't - but now's not the right time: I've got a friend here who needs some support; I can't just walk out on him." Nick muses, "Right. Can't interrupt, can I? Be in touch." Alison nods, "Yes. Sorry. Bye." As she closes the door, a broad grin crosses her face! She then heads back into the lounge room and tells Gordon, "Sorry about that." Gordon just retorts curtly, "I want to make one thing very clear: if you think that your investment in Sanders Air Charter entitles you to interfere in my private life, forget it." A smile crosses Alison's face and she says, "If you'd been as tough with me when we were married, things might've turned out quite differently!" Gordon comments, "We'll never know, will we?" He then adds, "I'd better get back; I don't want to make things worse." Alison tells him, "I'm sorry again - I really wasn't trying to cause trouble." With that, Gordon heads out. Alison sighs heavily. She then goes to the cabinet leaning against the back wall of the room, opens the door and takes out a photograph of Pamela. She goes and sits down and starts staring at the photo...

Pamela is lying on the couch in the lounge room at Dural, her head on Nick's lap as he sits next to her. An expression of concern crosses her face, suddenly, and she sits up, looking worried. Nick asks, "What's wrong? What's the matter?" Pamela just murmurs, "Nothing..."

Next door, Alison is stare straight ahead of her, concentrating hard...

At Dural, Nick tells Pamela, "You've gone as white as a sheet." Pamela murmurs, "It's her. Alison. She's trying to psych me out." Nick smiles, "You serious?!" Pamela turns to him and snaps, "You know I'm damn well serious." Nick tells her, "Ignore it. Concentrate on me." Pamela, however, growls, "This isn't funny, Nick." Nick asks, "Who said anything about it being funny?"

At Charlie's, Alison is still staring ahead of her. A hint of a smile crosses her face...

At Dural, Pamela whispers, "I wish she'd get out of my head..." She puts her hands to her temples, looking agonised.

Sometime later, Alison walks into the lounge room at Charlie's and switches on the lights. She goes and pours herself a drink and then sits down on the couch. She looks pleased with herself.

At Dural, Pamela snaps, "Damn her. Damn her." Nick holds out a drink and says, "Here. Now settle down." Pamela, however, retorts, "I don't want it. Just leave me alone." Nick remains standing there. Pamela snaps, "Stop staring at me like that. I'm not some 'thing' for you to examine." Nick shrugs, "OK. If that's the way you want it." He puts the drink down on the bar and heads out to the hallway. Pamela leaps up quickly and follows him, crying, "Nick, please, don't go. She's just got to me, that's all." Nick stares at her and then says coldly, "Pamela, you really are becoming a bit boring." With that, he turns and heads out. Pamela stands there, looking furious.

At Charlie's, Alison pours herself another drink. There's suddenly a knock on the front door. A smile crosses Alison's face. She pauses before going to answer it. She then heads out to the hallway and opens the door. Nick is standing on the step and Alison smiles at him, "I knew you'd come!" Nick steps inside and closes the door. He follows Alison into the lounge room, where she offers, "Scotch?" Nick just says, "I started to drive home. I drove round in circles. I had to come back; I couldn't help myself." As Alison hands him a drink, she smiles, "Good..."


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