Sons and Daughters logo
    Written by: Bruce Hancock   Executive Producer: Don Battye   Directed by: Alister Smart

Fiona is sitting on the couch in her room at the mansion, staring into space, glumly. The door to the room opens suddenly and Janice walks in, smiling, "Hello, Aunt Fiona!" Fiona just mumbles sadly, "Hello." Janice muses, "I'm thrilled to see you, too!" She stares at her aunt and then sits down next to her, going on more seriously, "I gather the mansion's been sold. I'm sorry." Fiona whispers, "So am I." Janice then asks, "Have you had dinner?" Fiona, however, sighs, "I'm not hungry." Janice suggests, "Why don't we go for a walk or something? You shouldn't really sit round in your room; it'll make you feel worse." Fiona raises her voice, suddenly, and snaps, "I can't help it." Janice tells her, "Aunt Fiona, the mansion isn't the only place in the world..." Fiona, however, cries, "It's my home, Janice. It's my home. It takes a long time for the house you live in to feel like that." Janice smiles, "Don't worry - it'll happen again. We'll go looking first thing tomorrow. You wait: by lunchtime we'll have found somewhere you've fallen in love with." Fiona, however, whispers, "No, I don't think so." Janice insists, "Of course we will." This leads Fiona to growl, "Would you please give it a rest, Janice? Please? And if you don't mind, I would like to have a little time to myself." Looking put-out, Janice nods, "If that's what you want." With that, she gets up and heads out of the room, leaving Fiona sitting there, sighing heavily.

Ron Pryor is sitting with Wayne on the couch in the lounge room at Dural. Wayne is looking through a file of papers and smiling, "Perfect." Pryor tells him, "It's all there: credit ratings, debts... everything you wanted." Wayne beams, "You've done a great job! I'm surprised he even owns his own name!" Pryor, however, tells him, "I'm not sure he does. Douglas Fletcher won't be worth a brass razoo if all his creditors call in his debts." Wayne smiles gleefully, "That is how it looks..."

Fiona is still sitting in her room at the mansion, staring into space, when the door opens and Janice comes back in. Fiona turns to her and snaps, "Didn't you hear what I said before?" Michael follows Janice into the room as Janice replies, "Yes." Fiona demands, "Then why didn't you take any notice?" Janice explains, "Because Michael and I have been trying to work out how we can help." Fiona mutters, "You just never give up, do you?" Michael then asks Fiona, "Do you still want to move into a home?" Fiona retorts, "I have no choice. The question is: what sort of a home? I haven't seen anything so far I could afford." Janice tells her, "Michael was saying he knows one you might like." Michael adds, "It's not bad: well-run... clean... good staff. Would you like me to show it to you?" Fiona, however, mutters, "What's the point? Beggars can't be choosers. If you think I can afford it, just book me in." Michael nods at her, "I will." He then looks at Janice, knowingly. Janice tells her aunt, "We'll have to put a deposit down, so don't go changing your mind when you do see it."

Doug is lying asleep on the couch in the lounge room at Caroline's. The room has been cleared of the printing equipment. Caroline walks into the room, wearing her dressing gown. She stops and looks at Doug fondly. He begins to stir. As he opens his eyes, he looks at her and murmurs, "Morning." He sits up and rubs his neck, groaning, "I feel like I've been slugged with a crowbar!" Caroline sits down on the arm of the couch and starts massaging his shoulders. Doug smiles, "What have I done to deserve this?!" Caroline murmurs, "I'm not sure." She then sighs, "I guess I'm a bleeding heart. Even though I did tell you to sleep on the couch, I don't like to see you wake up looking so tired." Doug asks, "Does this mean that we're talking again?" Caroline murmurs, "Maybe..." Doug gives her a look. A smile then crosses Caroline's face and she smiles, "Oh alright, we are talking again! Goodness only knows why!" Doug leaps up off the couch and, giving Caroline a kiss, beams, "You've got no idea how good that makes me feel!" He then goes on, "Speaking about people looking tired, you look like you could do with a bit more sleep yourself." Caroline, however, tells him, "Oh I slept beautifully. I must have had nine hours." Doug muses, "It doesn't look like it. In fact, I think we could both do with another kip - together!" Caroline jumps back from him and sighs, "You are hopeless! We have been on speaking terms for a full 30 seconds and you're playing up already." Doug shrugs, "I'm worried about you. I just don't want to see you running yourself down." Caroline, however, tells him, "I hate to disappoint you, but I am feeling wonderful. Besides, I've got an appointment with my publisher in forty minutes; I don't think he'd appreciate it if I walked in in a dressing gown!" Doug shrugs, "If I was him, I'd love it!" Caroline just gives him a look before saying, "Go and make us some breakfast!"

Beryl is standing with Gordon in the lounge room at her house. She's wearing a black shirt and trousers and she says to Gordon, "What do you think? It's my flying gear." Gordon just muses, "The gear is fine; it's the flying I'm worried about." Beryl muses, "Come on - you're the one that coaxed me into it in the first place, telling me what an excellent pilot Terrie was. You practically had to drag me onto that 'plane!" Gordon retorts, "Being a passenger is one thing; flying it is quite another." Beryl just shrugs, "You can't change your tune now - it's too late: I've got the bug." She then looks across at Craig, who's sitting at the dining table, studying. Turning back to Gordon, she says quietly, "Have you told him yet?" Gordon murmurs, "No, not yet." Craig looks at them both and smiles, "OK - what's going on?!" Beryl looks at Gordon before saying, "Er, Craig... we both know how much you're missing Debbie." Craig chuckles, "You don't have to remind me!" Gordon goes on, "How would you like a free, return ticket to America, to visit her?" Craig gasps in astonishment, "You serious?!" Gordon nods, "Absolutely." Craig sits there, open-mouthed. He then beams, "I'd be rapt!" Gordon tells him, "It's all yours!" Craig stands up slowly and tells Gordon, "I don't know what to say!" Gordon replies, "All you have to do is arrange your passport and you're set." Craig says, "That's great - but who's paying? I know you and Beryl aren't too flash at the moment..." Gordon explains, "An air courier company: we act as agents for them and there's a delivery coming up and we need someone to travel with it for security reasons." Craig mouths, "Oh!" Gordon adds, "All you have to do is make sure the documents get delivered to the right people." Craig beams, "That's great! When do I go?" Gordon tells him, "In a few weeks. I believe you've got a break from Tec coming up, so it all fits in rather beautifully. All we've got to do is make sure you get your passport." Craig says, "I'll duck into town right now." Beryl looks at Gordon and smiles, "Looks like two of us can't wait to jump into an aeroplane!" As Craig packs away his books, he smiles, "I can't wait to tell Deb!" He heads out of the room, leaving Gordon to remark to Beryl, "There goes one very happy boy!"

There's a knock on the front door at Caroline's. Doug goes and opens it - to find Wayne standing on the step. Wayne says, "Good morning." Looking annoyed, Doug frowns, "What do you want?" Wayne, however, says quickly, "Hang on - it's a friendly visit. I came to ask how dad is." Doug mutters, "Why not ask him yourself?" Wayne sighs, "Come on, lay off - you know he doesn't want to talk to me." Doug retorts, "Neither do I - so what's the real reason you're here?" Wayne insists, "I just told you: I want to know how dad is - honest. I want to know if he needs anything." Doug pauses before then asking, "What could you possibly give him that he'd accept?" Wayne explains, "I was planning to do it through someone else - like you. I realise the old man doesn't think too highly of me, but that doesn't mean it's a two-way street: I care for him as much as I always did. Will you just find out if he needs anything? Money... it doesn't matter how much. Anything he needs." Doug demands suspiciously, "Why the sudden generosity?" Wayne, however, tells him, "It's not sudden - I've wanted to repay him for a long time - but after everything that's happened between us, it's taken me a while to work up the courage." Doug just retorts, "You've got nothing to worry about - he's in top form." He goes to shut the door. Wayne says quickly, "I'll leave you my number anyway - it's the motel where I'm staying." He takes out a pad and writes the number down, adding as he does so, "Remember: anything he needs. Anything. Just ask. It's his." He hands over the number and then turns and leaves. Doug closes the door behind him.

Gordon and Beryl are walking across the airfield. Beryl looks around and asks, "Can you see Terrie?" Gordon replies, "No, not yet." He then asks, "You're not getting nervous, are you?" Beryl smiles, "Of course not! I'm impatient; raring to go!" They carry on walking and Gordon murmurs, "I hope she got a weather report." Beryl just sighs, "Will you stop worrying? The fog is going to clear." They stop by another 'plane and Beryl remarks, "She should be here by now." Gordon nods, "She should be - we're ten minutes late ourselves. Maybe I should see where she is? Why don't you go over those books you've been reading - particularly the chapter on emergency landing!" With that, he walks off. He doesn't notice Wayne sitting, watching from his car, which is parked nearby...

Craig is showing Caroline into the lounge room at Beryl's. She's saying to him, "It doesn't matter - I just wanted to say 'hi'; I'm on my way home from the publisher's." Craig says, "I don't know when she'll be back. She's gone for a flying lesson, so a couple of hours, maybe." Looking astonished, Caroline exclaims, "My goodness, Beryl is turning into a thrill-seeker! Before you know it, she'll be skydiving! Still, good luck to her - she needs a bit of fun in her life." Craig, stands there, stony-faced, and asks coolly, "Do you want to leave a message?" Caroline trills, "Just tell her that the boring little writer friend of hers popped in!" Craig mutters, "Sure." Caroline looks at him and asks, "Are you OK?" Craig admits, "Not the best." Caroline asks, "What's the matter?" Craig pauses before explaining, "This morning, Gordon offered me a free ticket to America, to see Debbie - except when I went to get my passport, they wanted me to track down my birth certificate." Caroline comments, "I don't understand. What's the problem?" Craig picks up a piece of paper from the dining table and retorts, "The problem is my birth certificate. It has my father's name and address on it." Caroline stares at the sheet of paper and remarks, "He lives in Melbourne." Craig replies, "He has the whole time. I never knew." Caroline asks in surprise, "Didn't you look at the certificate when you were trying to trace Ruby?" Craig shrugs, "I didn't think there was any point. I had a photo of her and it ended up being all I needed. Besides, I assumed that my father would be listed as 'Unknown'." Caroline asks, "You never had any idea who he was?" Craig tells her, "I didn't try to find out. I must've pestered Ruby the whole time, but she spun more lies than a used-car salesman. The only part she got right was his first name: Peter." He sits down in the armchair. Caroline sits down on the couch, opposite him. She then asks, "Do you want to see him?" Craig sighs heavily before replying, "I don't know. On the one hand I do... but after what I went through with Ruby, I couldn't handle a rerun of all that." Caroline points out, "You might not have to; he could be a perfectly nice man." Craig mutters, "How do I find out? Front-up on his doorstep? I can just imagine what he'd think: 'Hi, I'm Craig. You're my father'." Caroline muses, "Yes, well, I wasn't suggesting you do it quite like that!" Craig goes on, "Ruby probably didn't even tell him that I existed." Caroline stares at him for several seconds before saying gently, "You don't have to make a decision right away. Think about it. All that's important is that you do what you want."

At the airfield, Wayne climbs slowly out of his car. He watches as a 'plane takes off. He then reaches back into his car, takes out his car 'phone and dials a number. When the call is answered, he says, "Ron? It's Wayne Hamilton. Listen, I want you to go to the finance company that's bankrolling Doug Fletcher's printing equipment. Give them a copy of his credit status." He listens before saying, "Yeah, that's right. Tell them that Doug is in debt to Hamilton Industries and they're ready to foreclose. If I owned a finance company, that would be enough to make me run a mile." Pryor, who's standing in an office, smiles, "Me too! I reckon the moment the word's out, Doug Fletcher's name's going to be mud." Wayne retorts, "I hope so - not that I'm after Doug; it's Alison Carr I want to burn." He listens again before nodding, "Yeah, it's working like a dream. When Doug's stranded, the first person he'll run to is Alison - right about the same time she'll be explaining how the sale of the boarding house fell through. Doug's going to get a little fright when he finds out she hasn't got the money she promised." He listens again before smiling, "Yeah, mate, that's exactly what I was going to do. I'll let him sweat a bit and then I'll make him an offer. By the time I'm finished with Doug, he'll think I'm the Archangel Gabriel..."

Fiona is packing her clothes into a suitcase in her room at the mansion. Janice is standing with her and she says, "Don't forget your evening dresses." Fiona just sighs, "It's been a while since I wore those." Janice insists, "You will again." Fiona, however, retorts, "Will I? Where? I can't imagine where; it's not as if I'll be going to any more parties." Janice shrugs, "I don't know - some of those old people's home sometimes throw the odd function - like bingo: that would be worth getting dressed up for." Fiona stares at her. The door to the room opens suddenly and Michael walks in, smiling at Fiona, "You can stop packing. We don't have to move out!" Janice stares at him blankly and asks, "What are you talking about?" Michael explains, "The boarding house sale fell through." Fiona gasps, "Who told you?" Michael explains, "Sarah. I bumped into her at the gym - she was having lunch with Andy." Janice beams, "That's wonderful." Fiona, however, says glumly, "I don't think it's going to make any difference." Michael asks, "How can you say that?" Fiona tells him, "It mightn't have sold this time, but it will the next. Alison's made her decision; it's just a matter of going through the motions." Michael sighs, "So you're still going to move into the home?" Fiona shrugs, "I've got to move at some point; I might as well get it over with." Michael looks at Janice, who says, "I suppose you're right. No use putting it off." Michael says to Fiona, "Do you want a hand?" Fiona just murmurs, "No - I can manage."

Doug is talking on the 'phone in the lounge room at Caroline's, snapping, "They didn't give you any reason?... Wouldn't credit it." Caroline walks in as Doug growls, "No, I understand - we'll just have to hold out for a while, that's all... No, don't blame yourself; it's not your fault... Righto... Yeah, fingers crossed. Bye." He hangs up. Caroline asks immediately, "Who was it?" Doug tells her, "Alison. The boarding house sale fell through." Caroline asks in surprise, "Why?" Doug explains, "The buyer gave her a rubber cheque. It's still bouncing." Caroline asks, "If they didn't have the money, why did they bid in the first place?" Doug shrugs, "You tell me." Caroline then asks, "How does this affect the charter company?" Doug sighs, "Badly. It means that we can't buy the new jet - well, not for a while yet. The money was coming from Alison; Alison's money was coming from the boarding house. Meanwhile, Bill sits and twiddles his thumbs in the States." Caroline comments, "Hopefully not for too long. I mean, there must be other people interested in the mansion; the auctioneers will just negotiate with the next-highest bidder." Doug murmurs, "We'll just have to sit tight for a while, that's all. It's frustrating, though." He then chuckles, "Poor Bill - he'll be as mad as a cut snake when he hears this!" Caroline muses, "Oh, I wouldn't worry about him - it'll give him a chance to see the sights; he'll be having a ball!" Doug smiles, "I hope he steers clear of Las Vegas - we'll find our little enterprise turning into a pile of roulette chips!" Caroline assures him, "You'll be safe with Debbie on his tail: she'll keep him in line!" Doug then says, "Seeing as it's only a matter of time before we get the money, I think I'll start spending it now." Caroline asks blankly, "How?" Doug explains, "Credit, sweetheart! That ingenious little arrangement whereby a group of generous people get together and pay for something you buy - then they hold you by the throat for the rest of your life..." Caroline asks warily, "What are you going to buy this time?" Doug replies, "Paper and supplies for the printer!" He then gives her a kiss! Caroline stares at him and gasps, "You never stop, do you?" Doug just shrugs, "There's nothing like a little risk to keep you on your toes!" With that, he heads out, leaving Caroline looking worried.

Craig is doodling on a pad on the dining table at Beryl's. He then picks up his birth certificate and stares at it for several seconds. He apparently makes a decision, and he folds the certificate up, stands up and heads out.

A short time later, Craig is standing in a street, staring at a nice-looking house. He hesitates before then heading up the driveway. He pauses again outside the front door. He goes to ring the bell - but then pulls his hand back. He takes a couple of steps back and then turns and walks back down the driveway. As he does so, he looks at a van parked in the driveway. On the side of it is a sign: 'Peter Elliot. Plumber. Ph 562 3493.' Craig stares at it.

Caroline is tidying away the sheets from the couch in her lounge room when there's a knock on the front door. She goes to answer it and finds a young man standing there, wearing a leather jacket. He says coolly, "Good afternoon." Caroline replies blankly, "Hello." The man goes on, "Doug Fletcher live here?" Caroline says, "He's not in at the moment, I'm afraid." The man tells her, "That's alright - I only have to collect something." He steps inside and heads into the lounge room. Caroline glares at him and snaps, "If you don't mind, would you care explaining what you're doing?" The man tells her coldly, "I'm here on behalf of the finance company Mr. Fletcher deals with. They're repossessing his printing machines." Caroline growls, "You have no right to barge into our house without authority." The man, however, retorts, "If he can't make the payments, then it's legally our equipment. Do you mind telling me where it is?" Caroline snaps, "I will do nothing of the sort. Get out. This is a private residence. If you have legal rights to enter, then come back when you've got official documentation to prove it." The man just shrugs, "I'm sorry, love, I'm here to collect the equipment. The sooner you let me know where it is, the quicker I'll be gone." Caroline glares at him and snaps, "You take one item out of this house and I will call the police." The man just says threateningly, "Do you want me to get the bailiff round to take it? I can if I want to." Caroline snaps, "I don't give a damn what you do. At the moment, you have no right in my house. Get out." The man stares at her and says coolly, "I'll be back - though I assure you: it could get a lot uglier next time." With that, he walks out, slowly. Caroline stands there, looking worried.

Craig is back at Beryl's. He walks into the kitchen and starts looking through the cupboard under the sink for something. He apparently doesn't find what he wants, though. He then looks at a potted plant on the window sill, picks it up and tips it into the sink. He turns on the tap and runs the water on top of the earth so that the sink begins fills up. He doesn't hear as Beryl walks in and smiles, "Hi!" Craig turns round quickly and says nervously, "Hi! How did it go?" Beryl beams, "It was wonderful! I can't tell you what a thrilling experience it is to fly a 'plane by yourself! And Terrie was so patient: she wouldn't even growl at me when I made a mistake!" She then looks at the sink and asks, "What happened?" Craig murmurs, "I, er, had an accident. I was trying to clean the place up before you got home, and I bumped the pot." Beryl insists, "Oh that's alright. It's only a cutting; there's plenty more outside." Craig tells her, "I'm stuffed the drain, though. It's clogged." Beryl walks over to look at the sink as Craig goes on, "I-I was just about to call a plumber and--; don't worry - I'll pay for it." Beryl smiles, "You don't have to - these things happen." Craig, however, insists quickly, "No, really - I'd feel much better about it. Um... I know a bloke who's, um, great and he'll fix it in no time. Really." With that, he backs away into the lounge room. Beryl stares at him, a puzzled expression on her face. Out in the lounge room, Craig removes a piece of paper from his pocket. He then picks up the 'phone and dials a number. When the call is answered, he says, "Yeah, hello. I'd like to speak to Peter Elliot, please..."


    Links:  Episode 953    Episode Index    Main Index    Episode 955