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    Written by: Betty Quinn   Produced by: John Holmes   Directed by: Alister Smart

As Wayne stares at his father, Charlie suddenly comes into the lounge room from the kitchen, holding a tray of cups, and says, "Looks like our little secret is out, Wayne." Wayne turns to look at her and she adds that coffee won't be long. Gordon tells her, "Never mind the coffee. What secret?" Charlie hesitates before saying that, well... she's the mysterious backer. A hint of a smile crosses Wayne's face as she asks Gordon not to be cross, as she only did it for his sake. Looking surprised, Gordon queries, "Mine?" Charlie goes on that she knows how much stress and worry Karen has caused him and that's the last thing he needs. Gordon, looking grateful, says he doesn't know what to say - but obviously 'thankyou' to begin with. Charlie tells him to think nothing of it - although why Karen jumped to conclusions and thought it was Patricia, she'll never know; surely she knows the poor darling is penniless? Wayne smiles at her more broadly! Gordon turns to his son and says to him that it seems he owes him an apology. Wayne mutters that it's OK - he's used to not being trusted. Gordon then asks him how come Patricia was staying in the flat. Wayne quickly looks at Charlie, and she tells Gordon that she's afraid that was her idea, too. Gordon comments, "You have been a busy little girl!" Charlie shrugs and suggests that she'd better tell him the whole story...

At Barney's shack, Mitch is eating breakfast - a plate of beans and toast. Amanda has a plate in front of her, but she pushes it away. Mitch immediately growls that he's sorry - it's the best he could do. Amanda tells him that it's not the food; they have to go back to Sydney - people will be worried about them. Mitch glares at her and growls that he thought she understood - she agreed to stay. Amanda tells him that she understands what he's trying to do, but it won't work. Mitch suddenly yells that it will if she gives it a chance; all they need is time to work things out; if she goes back, they'll interfere and she'll just get confused again; he needs her. Amanda cries that she wants to help him, but she can't - not the way he acts; she'd give anything to think differently, but she doesn't. Mitch yells, "No! You do care about me; I know you do." He goes on angrily that they were good together - right from the start; and it'll work out... if they just stay together. Amanda, looking slightly frightened, pacifies him by saying that, alright... she'll stay... She then adds that he makes her so nervous carrying that knife around; can't he get rid of it? - it's only them there and she wouldn't do anything to hurt him...; how can she relax and think about things clearly? Mitch pauses and then takes out the knife from its holster, which is now tied around his waist. As he stares at the knife in his hand, he murmurs, "You meant it, didn't you? You will stay?" Amanda stares at the knife and assures him, "Yes." Mitch puts the knife down on the table and then unstraps the belt from his waist. As he does so, Amanda comments that she may even be able to eat something now.

In the lounge room at Dural, Gordon, a look of surprise on his face, remarks that Dr. Newman seems a decent bloke; why would he be working for Carlyle? In response, Charlie asks, "Who knows?" and she then suggests that perhaps Roger had something on him; anyway, Patricia is convinced he is. Gordon comments that the sooner she's found, the better; maybe then they can sort out fact from fancy. He stands up and asks to be excused as he has some papers to sort out. He leaves the room, closing the doors behind him. When he's gone, Wayne says gratefully, "Thanks, Charlie." Charlie smiles at him and tells him that she thinks she gave a very convincing performance; she can't wait for Karen to find out! Wayne mutters that as long as he can keep her out of the way permanently - and that son of hers: he's tarred with the same brush - especially now that he's moving in on Katie. Charlie remarks that Katie seems a sensible girl - she'll see through him. Wayne, though, asks if she reckons: one minute she's giving him the full virtuous-young-lady routine and the next, he walks in on her and Brandon, and it was pretty obvious what had been going on. Charlie asks him if he gave her a chance to explain, as things aren't always what they seem. Wayne retorts, "You know what one picture's worth..." Charlie smiles and muses that he sounds just like her second husband - or was it her third?! She quickly goes on that, anyway, she couldn't look sideways at another man - sometimes, the simplest things can be completely misconstrued: take the young man who came to demonstrate the water bed they had to deliver: all they were doing was bouncing about, getting the feel of it, when her husband walked in; well, the sky fell in and she doesn't know who he threw out first - the bed or the salesman - but the whole thing was completely innocent! Wayne laughs and then says he must admit that he was surprised, knowing Katie - Brandon is such a creep. Charlie tells him that there he goes: he should stop sulking and ask Katie what really happened.

Katie is dusting in the lounge room at Beryl's house while Heather stands talking on the 'phone and says, "She's here. Just a moment, Wayne." Upon hearing his name, a look of disgust crosses Katie's face, but she takes the call nonetheless. She immediately snaps, "I'm busy." Wayne quickly assures her that he won't keep her a minute - he just wanted to apologise for the other night - the way he behaved. Katie snaps that it's a bit late for that. Wayne asks if she'll let him explain. Katie points out that he wouldn't let her explain. Wayne says he knows he was wrong - he admits it; that's why he wants to apologise. He pleads, "Katie..." Katie just snaps, "What?" Wayne begs, "Please... I want to make it up to you; hear your side of the story." Katie, calming down, tells him that, alright, she accepts his apology. Wayne, sounding relieved, says that's great - she must feel better already! Katie sarcastically agrees, "100%." Wayne then says, "Tell me." Looking surprised, Katie asks, "What about?" Wayne replies, "You and Alan." Katie points out that she's told him already: nothing happened. Wayne tells her that she's got to admit that it looked pretty funny. Katie, becoming annoyed again, growls that she's not in the habit of lying; she told him: she was trying to push Alan off. She then snaps that she thought Wayne said he was sorry. Wayne assures her that he is. Katie, though, snaps that no he isn't - he's just got his nose out of joint because he thinks someone touched what's his property. Wayne snaps that that's rubbish, but Katie snaps back that he and Alan aren't so different - they're both interested in the same thing; but she's sure they can get plenty without bothering her. Wayne angrily asks what's wrong with her. Katie snaps, "Nothing." Wayne retorts, "Bull." He then adds nastily, "You're scared someone's going to find out what your real problem is: that you're a stupid, frigid bitch." He slams the 'phone down. At Beryl's, Katie stands there, looking shocked, as she slowly hangs up the receiver. She suddenly cries "I'm not..." Heather walks over to her and gives her a hug. She asks what Wayne said, Katie just cries, "I'm not... I'm not..."

At Dural, Charlie tells Wayne that she's sorry. Wayne, though, sourly comments that at least he knows where he stands. Charlie tells him not to be like that - he'll just have to try again. Wayne growls that there's no way - he's got his fingers burnt too many times: Jill... Amanda... and now Katie. Charlie assures him that he'll bounce back. She adds that he should believe her: she's had her share of rejection - but when the right girl comes along, he'll fall in love all over again. Wayne smiles weakly and comments that she's always the optimist, isn't she? Charlie replies, "Perhaps..." She adds that she knows that, after everything that's happened, she'd love to have a good, caring man back in her life. Wayne wishes her luck. He then goes on that he's going to take a page out of Alan Brandon's book: as of now, it's number one and no one else.

Mike carries a wooden beam out of the barn at the country house and looks surprised as he suddenly spots Andy walking towards him. He comments that he didn't hear him pull up. Andy offers him a hand, but Mike replies that he's pretty right. He then goes on that he actually wanted to speak to Andy about Katie. Andy asks how she is, and Mike tells him that she isn't good - she and Wayne busted up. He then asks Andy what he's doing in the next couple of days. Andy replies that he isn't sure - he hasn't got any jobs lined up. Mike comments that he and Katie are pretty good friends; could he spend some time with her and try and cheer her up a bit? Andy smiles and says, "Sure!" Mike then asks him not to tell her that they've spoken. Andy assures him, "No worries." Mike starts sawing the wood.

A while later, Andy is standing in the lounge room at Beryl's, with Heather. Katie walks into the room and a broad smile crosses her face as she tells Andy that it's good to see him. Andy explains that he thought he'd pop in and say 'hello'. Katie tells him that she's glad he did - she's feeling bored with her own company. She asks him if he has any bright ideas as to what they can do. Andy suggests that they could go to the Morrell house, play some music and catch up on a few things. Katie says it sounds like fun! Andy adds that he's got to see a few mates now, but he'll pop back at about lunchtime. Katie suddenly puts her arm through his and, smiling at him charmingly, comments that it'll be nice - just the two of them; she's got lots to tell him... Andy, looking bemused, tells her that he'll see her then. As Katie escorts him to the door, Heather looks worried.

Ross is driving his car along a road. He pulls into the side of the road, parks, turns off the engine, takes off his seatbelt and gets out. He closes the driver's-side door and locks the car. He then starts to cross the road, heading for a building on the other side, but as he does so, another car suddenly comes out of nowhere and starts heading straight for him. As Ross spots it, he dives forward onto the opposite pavement; the car only just misses him. The driver of the other car brings the vehicle to a halt with a squeal of brakes and Ross angrily gets up and starts running towards him, yelling, "What in hell do you think you're doing?" The driver of the other vehicle is Carl, and he explains menacingly that it's a message from Mr. Carlyle, to keep Ross on his toes. Ross snaps at him that he damn near killed him. Sounding completely unconcerned, Carl smiles, "Did I...?" Ross snaps at him that Patricia has disappeared - he told Roger that. Carl retorts that Mr. Carlyle thinks that perhaps he tipped her off - but they'll find her and he'll operate as planned. Ross goes on that it's not that easy: people are getting suspicious; if she dies on the operating table, they're going to ask some very awkward questions. Carl menacingly tells Ross that that's his problem. He then goes on that Ross should just do as he's told, or next time he won't miss... He drives off, leaving Ross standing in the middle of the road, looking worried.

Gordon is standing in the hallway at Dural, talking to Barbara on the 'phone. He tells her impatiently that the money was transferred this morning; if there's a delay, it's the bank's. Wayne walks past and heads into the lounge room as he goes on that he doesn't know what the rush is; he said it would be done and, quite frankly, he's surprised she thought she had to ring and check. Wayne rejoins Charlie in the lounge room, and she asks him who Gordon's talking to. Wayne explains that it's Barbara. Charlie says she wonders what she wants. Wayne tells her that it sounded like she's hassling Gordon for money. Charlie muses that it's very sad, the way things have worked out. She adds that she knows he's there and she knows he's very fond of his father, but Gordon has never really bounced back from his heart attack; he's sort of got a lost, lonely look. Wayne mutters that his father has been about as lucky with women as he has. He then adds that Charlie's right: Gordy does need someone - but how to find her is a different story. Charlie tells him to give it time - Gordon is a very attractive man and a very kind one; a kind man is about the nicest thing that can happen to a woman. Wayne smiles and replies that this might surprise her, but if someone like that turned up, he'd be the first one to welcome her. Charlie assures him that she believes he would. A twinkle suddenly appearing in her eye, she then adds that, of course, Gordon would be bound to be wary after everything that's happened to him...; perhaps if there was someone he'd known over the years... someone he already looked on as a friend... She goes on that some of the best marriages are based on friendship and mutual respect. Wayne sits there, looking as if he's miles away as she continues that she thinks that's what has always been lacking in her relationships. Wayne just murmurs, "Mmm..." and so Charlie tells him that she's glad they had this little talk; it's funny - sometimes, you just can't see the woods for the trees. Wayne suddenly stares at her and says he doesn't quite follow. Charlie tells him that she's always loved Gordon's house and he's absolutely right: it just needs the right woman's touch. Wayne smiles at her, apparently not having listened to a word she said!

At the shack, Mitch is sorting out his reel in order to go fishing, and he comments that it'll be great to eat something decent; it'll be a change from all that canned stuff. Amanda smiles stiffly and agrees that, yeah, it will - but can he let her prepare it, as she's sick of his cooking?! Mitch remarks that there's something about fishing - even if you don't catch anything, it's peaceful just sitting there, looking at the water, not thinking too much about anything. Amanda tells him that it sounds like just what she needs. Mitch, looking around, says he wishes he could find some better tackle, though - he thought Barney would at least have a fishing rod. He suddenly notices a suitcase hidden under the couch in the middle of the floor and he suggests that there might be something in there. He pulls out an old, battered, brown case and pushes open the top. Inside are a number of old exercise books and papers - and a rifle lying on top. Amanda stares at it. Mitch ignores it, instead taking out one of the books. He opens it and starts reading. He then smiles and says he didn't know Barney fancied himself as a writer. Amanda suggests that maybe it's private. Mitch ignores this, instead going on that it's all about Vietnam. Amanda just stares at the rifle as Mitch takes out another book and starts reading.

A while later, Amanda is serving up two plates of food heated up from cans, and she sourly comments, "So much for going fishing." Mitch is still reading the books he found in Barney's suitcase, but he suddenly throws one of them down furiously. Amanda jumps and asks what's wrong. Mitch yells, "Barney's a stinking, lousy hypocrite, that's what's wrong. And he preaches at me. There's things in there..." He points at the suitcase as he continues, "I'd almost have trouble sleeping at night." Amanda asks why. Mitch snaps that Barney is a liar and a cheat and he's got no right to preach at him. He suddenly snaps, "I need shells." He picks up the rifle and Amanda, beginning to look scared again, asks what Barney has done that's so bad. Mitch ignores her, though, and just snaps, "That's all I needed." Amanda, trying to remain calm, suggests that they discuss it, and she warns him that he shouldn't go off and do something crazy. Mitch angrily asks what she thinks he's going to do: take a shot at her? Amanda cries at him that he gets so angry; he's got to just stop and think; he's going crazy. Mitch retorts that she would, too, if she'd had the kind of deal he'd had: it was alright to be a mongrel in Vietnam - that's what you were trained to be - but he wanted things to be different when he got out; they would have been, too, if he hadn't ended up in the nick. He asks Amanda angrily if she has any idea what it's like to be locked up with animals. Amanda doesn't respond, and he goes on that, when he got out, he wanted to make a new start... then he met her and he couldn't believe his luck; she even said she loved him. Amanda, looking guilty, murmurs that she's sorry. Mitch snaps that he'd been locked up for too long - he'd forgotten that people on the outside were the same as everyone else: out for themselves and to hell with who they stepped on. Amanda reminds him gently that he knows how badly she thinks about that - but he can trust her now. Mitch yells, "I trusted Barney." He goes on furiously that he wishes he'd read those books of Barney's a long time ago. All-of-a-sudden, he grabs Amanda's arm, pulls her towards the door and snaps that they're going to get some shells. Amanda cries at him that he can leave her there - she won't try and leave; she promises. Mitch, though, angrily asks her if she thinks he's stupid as well as crazy. He growls, "I'm going to get the shells... and then we're going hunting..." Amanda stares at him fearfully, and he adds, "For rabbits..."

Outside, Mitch pushes Amanda towards her car. Amanda cries, "Mitch... please..." Mitch yells at her to shut up. Amanda tries to suggest that they go fishing instead, but Mitch ignores her. He pushes her into the car, then gets into the driver's seat, starts the vehicle and puts his foot down.

A short time later, Mitch pulls up the car outside a row of small stores. He snaps at Amanda to stay put and he gets out and walks over to a nearby shop. Amanda looks at a 'phone box a few yards away. As Mitch heads into the store, she opens her car's glove compartment and rummages around until she finds a coin. She then leaps out of the car - looking around carefully as she does so, and heads into the 'phone box. She deposits the coin and dials a number, sighing heavily as she waits for the call to be answered. Fiona eventually comes on and Amanda cries that it's her. Sounding surprised at the tone of Amanda's voice, Fiona asks her where she is. Amanda just cries that she's so scared... She doesn't notice Mitch coming out of the store. He spots her immediately and starts running towards her. Amanda pants at Fiona that she's at Barney's with Mitch - he won't let her go. She suddenly squeals in pain as Mitch pushes open the 'phone box door, squashing her against one of the sides. Fiona overhears as Mitch snaps, "You lying bitch." She then listens to the sounds of scuffling, which eventually fade away...

Back at the shack, Mitch pushes Amanda onto the couch and snaps at her that he might have known he couldn't turn his back on her. Amanda cries that she told him she just wanted to go back to Sydney. Mitch yells at her to shut up - he's sick of her lies; she's got to get it into her head that she's not going anywhere - not without him. He suddenly opens up the rifle and sticks something down one of the barrels. Amanda stares at him nervously and asks him what he's doing. Mitch retorts, "Cleaning the rifle." Amanda asks, "Then what?" Mitch retorts that, well, if she's not even going to try to make a go of it, then what's the use of going on? - he may as well use it on both of them. Amanda looks terrified.

Wayne opens the front door at Dural to find Charlie standing on the step. She tells him excitedly that she just has to let him know: Patricia is safe. Wayne exclaims that that's great and he asks her how she knows. Charlie, though, tells him that there's more: she had this most peculiar call from Fiona: she sounded terribly jumpy and told her to check outside to see if Barney and David were anywhere about. Wayne, looking surprised, asks, "What?" Charlie explains that Fiona wanted them to get in touch with her urgently; none of it made any sense to her, but she went outside and there they were. Wayne, looking surprised, says, "Watching your place?" Charlie replies that they were spying on her to see if she'd lead them to Patricia. She adds that he should have seen their faces - they were so embarrassed! She goes on that, anyway, she gave them the message and they took off; they didn't give her a chance to tell them that she'd heard from Patricia. Wayne asks where she is. Charlie explains that the telegram was from Perth. Looking shocked, Wayne asks what she's doing there. Charlie says she doesn't know - but Patricia needs her help; she was in the middle of packing when Fiona rang. Wayne exclaims that Patricia is crazy - she's walking right into Roger's hands. Charlie suggests that perhaps he wouldn't think of looking for her right under his nose. Wayne comments, "Let's hope so." He asks if there's anything he can do. Charlie asks him to get a message to David and tell him where Patricia is and that she wants him to go back to Melbourne and wait; she'll contact him when she goes back for the trial; and tell David not to worry - she'll be with Patricia and she'll fix everything. She then continues that, now, she must say 'goodbye' to Gordon. She heads into the lounge room and Wayne follows her. She sits down next to Gordon on the couch and tells him gently that she can't go into it now, but she has to go away. Gordon asks, "Where?" Charlie explains that she's going to see Patricia - but she promises she won't be away long. Gordon asks her if she knows where Patricia is. Charlie says she does - but the important thing is that he takes care of himself while she's away. She adds that he can believe her: if there was any other way, she wouldn't leave him for a moment - but Wayne will look after the company and she'll be back as soon as she can. She gives him a kiss on the cheek, leaving Gordon looking startled. He tells her to have a nice trip wherever she's going. Charlie, though, says she'll hate every minute of it - but he and she are so alike: she can't let a friend down when she's really needed. She tells him, "Take care, my dear," before giving him another kissing and waltzing out. As soon as she's gone, Gordon looks at Wayne in shock and asks what on earth has got into the woman. Wayne says he doesn't know. A smile suddenly crosses his face, though, as realisation dawns, and he corrects himself that he thinks he does know. Gordon curtly asks him to explain. Wayne tells him, "Brace yourself, old man. Charlie has decided you need a woman in your life. She's just elected herself!" He bursts out laughing!

Heather is sitting in the lounge room at Beryl's when Katie walks in, dressed up to the nines in a bright pink dress, black tights and high heels. Heather stares at her and exclaims that she's not going out looking like that, is she? Katie indignantly asks what's wrong, adding that lots of girls go out looking like that, these days; it's time her mother realised she's not a kid anymore. Heather curtly asks her why she's acting like one, then. Katie retorts that she isn't. She then tells her mother that she knows she and her father mean, but they've smothered her for too long; things might have worked out better with Wayne if she hadn't been so dumb and inexperienced, and she's not letting that happen again. There's suddenly a knock at the front door and Heather goes to get it. Andy walks in and stares at Katie in surprise as she says, "Hello!" He comments that he's early and thought she mightn't be ready. Katie, though, assures him that she's ready and she suggests they go. Andy turns to Heather and says, "See you, Mrs. O'Brien." The two of them head out. Heather stands there and sighs.

At the shack, Mitch loads two bullets into a clip and then places it into the barrel of the rifle. Amanda nervously says to him that he's not still planning to go shooting...? Mitch growls, "Why not"? Amanda asks if it isn't better to do it in the early morning. Mitch snaps that he's in the mood now. Amanda warily says she doesn't think he should - not while he's so angry. Having loaded the rifle, Mitch puts it down on the table. Amanda instantly grabs it and aims it at straight at him, her finger poised over the trigger. She cries, "Mitch... please. We have to talk." Mitch glares at her and then makes a move towards her. Amanda warns him, "Keep away." She then tells him that she doesn't want to hurt him, but this has to stop. Mitch goes to move towards her again, but the rifle suddenly fires. Amanda stands there, looking horrified.


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