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    Written by: Greg Stevens   Produced by: John Holmes   Directed by: Alister Smart

Irene sits down in the lounge room at Toorak, a drink in one hand and a magazine in the other. There's suddenly a knock at the front door and she sighs as she stands up again to answer it. The visitor is David, and Irene looks delighted to see him, telling him cheerfully, "Come on in!" They head into the lounge room and Irene asks David if he isn't supposed to be in Sydney, trying to find Patricia. David explains that she's on her way back - the police called him at Fiona's. Irene asks where they found her. David tells her that they didn't: she found them - she was hiding out at Woombai and a couple of Roger Carlyle's blokes caught up with her; she thought it was best to 'phone the cops for protection and they're flying her straight back to the hospital; she'll have her knee operation tomorrow. Looking surprised, Irene asks if it's that bad. David replies, "Apparently." Irene smiles and comments that it's all happening! David agrees, "Yeah!" Irene then asks him if he's eaten, and David assures her that he's fine - he had some on the 'plane. He goes on that he more-or-less just called in to let her know how things are going before he headed off to the hospital - the police are going to keep an eye on Patricia round the clock, but he'd just like to be there to make sure she settles in OK. Irene, trying to change the subject, tells him that she was expecting to see him in Sydney, actually - she's flying up tomorrow; she's finished everything she had to do-- David isn't listening, though, and he interrupts her and says he'll tell her what: he can't tell her how relieved he was to hear that Patricia was safe; he's been worried sick the last couple of days. Irene's face drops and she nods sadly. David continues that, this time tomorrow, Patricia will be over a lot of her trouble: he spoke to Ross and he's going to do the operation; he'll fix that knee once and for all. He then suggests that he'd better get going, as Pat will be at the hospital pretty soon. Irene, looking surprised, says he's not staying there all night, is he? David assures her, "No." Irene tells him to drop back for a coffee on his way home - it'll do him good. David smiles and says he will - if Pat is OK. He adds, "See you," and goes, leaving Irene looking upset.

A while later, David is sitting in the corridor at the hospital when a nurse and a policeman help Patricia hobble round the corner. The nurse comments to her that they should have put her in a wheelchair. David stands up and cries, "Pat!" He goes to hug her, but the policeman immediately growls, "Excuse me, sir." Patricia quickly explains that he's her husband! David smiles at her lovingly and tells her that he was starting to think he wasn't going to see her again. Patricia says she's sorry - she wanted to let him know where-- She breaks off as she suddenly spots Ross standing a few yards away and, panic in her eyes, she screams, "What's he doing here?" David asks her who she means. Ross walks over to them, smiles and says charmingly, "Hello, Patricia." Patricia snaps at the policeman, nurse and David to get Ross away from her. David, looking surprised, says, "Come on..." The nurse tells Patricia that Dr. Newman is her surgeon. Patricia, though, snaps, "Like hell he is." She goes on that she doesn't want him anywhere near her. The policeman soothingly assures her that it's alright - no one is going to hurt her. David adds that of course they aren't. He then asks the nurse to settle Patricia in. Patricia stares at him and asks if he'll stay with her. David tells her that of course he will - he'll be there in a few minutes. The nurse helps Patricia to her room. David remains behind with Ross and tells him that he's sorry about that. Ross assures him, "Don't be." David goes on that he thought she'd be a bit more stable - Charlie gave him impression that she was. Ross suggests, "Let's just get that knee fixed, shall we?" David looks at him gratefully and says, "Sure."

A short time later, Patricia is sitting up in bed as the nurse plumps up the pillow behind her. She tells the nurse that she'd like a cup of tea if possible, but the nurse says she's sorry, but there's to be no food or liquids until after the operation. There's suddenly a knock on the door and the nurse calls, "Come in." David walks in and asks cheerily , "How's the patient?" Patricia just replies, "Resting comfortably." The nurse says she'll be back in a few minutes, and she tells David not to stay too long. She goes. David sits down on the edge of Patricia's bed. She immediately asks him if Ross has gone. David, looking surprised, exclaims, "Oh Pat..." Patricia insists that she's serious - she doesn't want him to do the operation. David points out that the bloke has gone out of his way to try and help her; why is she suddenly up in arms against him? Patricia cries that he's trying to kill her. Looking astonished, David tells her, "Come on..." Patricia, though, cries that he is - he's working for Roger Carlyle. David asks her how she knows that. He adds that Charlie told him that she was getting herself together a bit, but carrying on like this... Patricia tells him that she understands how it must seem to him, but he can see the man upsets her; isn't that enough to make sure he stays away? She continues that she doesn't want Ross to do the operation; she wants him to arrange for somebody else to do it - is that too much to ask? David, looking thoughtful, agrees, "Nah." He then tells her that, OK, they'll get someone else. Patricia asks him if he promises. David assures her that he does, and Patricia thanks him gratefully.

Ross is sitting in an office at the hospital, looking thoughtful. After a few seconds, he picks up the telephone receiver and dials a number. The 'phone at the other end rings, STD pips sound and Roger Carlyle comes on. Ross tells him that it's him: he's run into a problem: Patricia has managed to talk David into insisting that someone else does the operation. Sounding annoyed, Roger asks Ross curtly what he's going to do about it. Ross replies that he's still got the anaesthetist on-side, but he had to organise a Dr. Ritter to perform the actual surgery. Roger suggests that they'll have to make sure the good doctor is late for his appointment, then. Ross asks him if he can organise that. Roger replies that he thinks so. Ross then asks if there's any other way. Roger curtly asks him if he can think of one. Ross goes on that it's just that Patricia has made some pretty vicious accusations; if she dies on the operating table, it's going to look mighty suspicious. Roger retorts that that's his problem, adding, "It's either Patricia's life or yours." He then tells Ross to just do what he has to and he hangs up. Ross sits there looking worried. He hangs up from his end and buries his head in his hands.

It's late evening, and Barbara is talking to David on the 'phone in the lounge room at Toorak. She tells him that she'll let Irene know, and she hangs up. Irene walks in as she does so, and asks, "Let me know what?" She then asks if David is still coming, adding that surely she hasn't tarted herself up for nothing. Barbara assures her that he's still coming; he's just going to be a little late, as he wants to spend a bit more time with Patricia. Irene sourly asks what's new. She goes on bitterly that she's never seen anyone so devoted. Barbara growls that her nibs certainly doesn't deserve it - but from what David said, she still seems pretty mentally unstable: the latest is that Ross is working for Roger Carlyle and that he wants to kill her. Irene, looking thoughtful, asks, "How?" Barbara replies "On the operating table - and after all the man's done for that woman." She goes on angrily that Ross has been so good to her. Irene suggests, "Maybe too good..." Barbara, looking surprised, asks what that means. Irene explains that there may be something in what Patricia is saying. Barbara, looking astonished, snaps at her that she's as bad as Patricia is - she's talking rubbish. Irene, though, says, "Not necessarily." She then goes on that, at first, Patricia didn't want to have the operation - which was her right - but if she's mentally incompetent, she's had no say in the matter. Barbara impatiently asks, "So?" Irene continues that it's one way of getting her onto the operating table - and a good surgeon and an anaesthetist could do a very neat job without arousing too much suspicion. Barbara stares at her and asks her angrily how she can talk such rubbish: Ross would never do anything like that - not in a million years. Irene says she knows Barbara likes Ross, but she also happens to know that the man has gambling debts - and people can be bought. Barbara snaps that there's no reason for anyone to buy Ross, because in a few days he won't have any gambling debts - she's lending him the money to pay them all off, so she'd appreciate it if Irene kept her crazy theories to herself before she does the poor man any more harm. She storms out, leaving Irene looking shocked.

In the lounge room at the Fisher house, Karen is pouring herself a glass of scotch. Jill and Alan are in the room with her, and she asks them where they're off to. Alan replies, "A nightclub." Karen comments that it's a bit late, isn't it? Jill explains that the show doesn't start until 11pm. Alan tells Karen bluntly that he doesn't know why she's drowning herself in booze just because Wayne doesn't want to know her; he's not worth it; she should go and find someone decent; forget him. Jill stares at Alan and curtly suggests that, if he'd ever been in love, he might understand. Karen thanks her, a slur in her voice as she does so. Jill suggests to Alan that they come on, so they can make sure they get a table. They head out. Karen takes a sip of her drink, a thoughtful look on her face. She then walks over to the couch, sits down and picks up the 'phone. She dials a number and the 'phone rings at the other end. Wayne comes on and Karen slurs, "It's me." At Dural, Wayne growls that he's got nothing to say to her. Karen slurs at him to please not hang up. Wayne asks why he shouldn't. Karen slurs that he doesn't understand: she only told Gordon about Patricia being his backer because she was hurt. Wayne mutters, "My heart bleeds." Karen goes on that she knows it was a dreadful thing to do, but he's got to give her a chance to make it up to him Wayne curtly asks what he has to do to get it through her thick skull: it's over; finished. Karen cries, "But I need you. I love you. I can make you happy." Wayne snaps that the only way she'll make him happy is if he sees the back of her. He adds that he'll be over tomorrow to collect his papers and after that she can drop dead for all he cares. He slams the 'phone down. Karen, still with the 'phone to her ear, half-slurs and half-cries, "Wayne... Wayne... For God's sake... Please..." She bursts into tears.

Barney is standing with Fiona by the front door of her flat. He's holding one of her hands in his and he smiles as he tells her gently that it's been a wonderful evening. Fiona smiles back and whispers, "Yes... it has." Barney tells her that he'll call round and see her tomorrow. Fiona smiles, "Not too early, I hope!" Barney asks her if she'll give him his answer when he comes round. Fiona smiles, "Yes, I will." They then both say 'goodnight' and Barney gives Fiona a tender kiss on the cheek. He goes and Fiona shuts the door behind him. As Barney heads out into the corridor, he comes across Mitch just leaving his bedsit. He immediately asks him curtly how he talked his way out of the bullet wound. Mitch, who has a bandage on his forehead, growls that he convinced the doc that he grazed himself in a hunting accident. Barney snaps, "More fool the doc." Mitch tells him to get nicked. Barney then asks him where he's going. Mitch retorts that he's going where the cops or Barney or anyone else won't find him. Barney growls that the police aren't looking for him - Amanda wouldn't press charges - as much as he tried to convince her that she should. He then tells Mitch that he's no good - he should be locked up where he can't hurt anyone. Mitch glares at him and snaps that he's a hypocrite: he read his books on Vietnam - about what he and his mates got up to. He asks Barney nastily if he's going to let his new girlfriend have a read of them. As Barney glares at him, he goes on that he bets he won't - but Barney isn't to worry: he won't say anything; now he knows what Barney is really like, he wouldn't want to be around to even spit on him. He storms off, leaving Barney looking annoyed.

Barbara and David are in the lounge room at Toorak. Irene comes in with a tray of tea things. Barbara asks David if everything is set for tomorrow, and David replies that, yeah, it is - finally. He then thanks Irene for the tea as she hands him a cup. Barbara goes on that Ross isn't too upset that he's not doing the operation, is he? David replies that he was pretty good about it, actually - he said that if that's what Pat wants, it's fine by him. Barbara muses, "Oh, I see..." Irene looks at her. Barbara stares back at her and comments, "Puts paid to one particular theory, doesn't it?" She then adds that she's rather tired and she thinks she'll go up. David says, "Goodnight," and she goes. When she's out of earshot, David asks Irene if everything is alright between her and Barbara. Irene explains that it's a misunderstanding, that's all. Changing the subject, she continues that she's sorry to be going back to Sydney in a way - she's enjoyed her time down there... spending time at his place: it's nice up there - she likes it. David comments, "So did I..." Looking surprised, Irene queries, "What?" David explains that he might have to sell it now. Irene, looking astonished, asks, "Whatever for?" David tells her that he's got to get some money together: he wants Patricia to have the best lawyer she can get; he reckons the bloke she's got now isn't that crash hot. Irene asks if there isn't some other way, as that farm is what he always wanted - he can't sell it. David, though, replies that he can if it means keeping Pat out of jail for something she didn't do. Irene suddenly stands up from where she's sitting and cries, "For God's sake." David stares at her as she goes on and asks him when he's going to stop throwing his life away on that woman; she's not worth it; what he needs is someone more down-to-earth like him; someone who'll enjoy the farm, pitch in and make it a real home; the trouble is that he's too damn blind to see what's right under his nose. David asks, "What's right under my nose?" Irene sighs and then comments that, after that little outburst, she supposes there's no point in pretending anymore. She then goes on that Patricia was right when she said that she loves him; it was true: she's loved him almost from the first moment she met him - so... what does he think about that? David stares at her.

A few moments later, David sighs and comments that, jeez... that would be the last thing he expected her to say. Irene tells him that maybe she shouldn't have, but it's done now. David explains that he had no idea; he never knew. Irene sadly assures him that she believes him. David tells her that, the way he feels about Pat, he could never-- Irene interrupts him and says she realises ... she knows... She sadly adds that she just wishes she'd kept her big mouth shut. David points out that there's no reason they still can't be mates. Irene agrees, "Course not..." She then adds that it'll have to be from a distance, though, as she's going overseas. David, looking surprised, says, "Yeah?" Irene goes on that she's thinking of going back to medicine - researching all those places while she was seeing where to spend Amanda's money sort of got the old juices going again. David comments that that's easy to understand. Irene continues that something in research would probably suit her best, as she wouldn't have to put on any airs and graces. David agrees, "No..." Irene goes on that that's why she's going overseas: to catch up on all the things that have been happening while she's been out of action... David puts his hands in her shoulders and tells her, "You're a terrific person, Irene." Irene just stands there, looking upset. David then tells her to look after herself, and she replies that she will. David walks off, and Irene stands there, trying to avoid tears.

There's a near-empty bottle of scotch on the coffee table in the lounge room at the Fisher house. Karen is sitting on the couch, a glass in her hand, staring into space. A shadowy figure suddenly appears in the doorway: it's Mitch. He growls, "We gotta talk." Karen turns to stare at him, clearly startled, and asks him what he wants. Mitch growls that she owes him. Karen snaps, "Go to hell." Mitch snaps back that the cops have got a description of him from their little robbery; if he's caught and put in a line-up, he's history; he needs money to disappear. Karen snaps at him that she's not getting any from her; as far as she's concerned-- Mitch suddenly grabs the lapels of her top, yanks her towards him and snaps, "You bitch." He then growls that if he goes under, so does she; no one plays him for a sucker anymore, so she can just pay up or else. Karen stands there, a look of terror on her face.

The next morning, Karen is sitting at the table, sipping black coffee. Alan wanders into the room and comments that she's only having coffee - there's no bacon and eggs. Karen turns to glare at him and she comments that she didn't hear him and Jill come in last night. Alan tells her that they snuck in about 3am. He adds that Jill is still in bed - all that dancing they did must have worn her out - or something must have... Karen muses sourly, "Aren't we the stud?" Alan replies that plenty of women would think so - and by the time he gets back from Melbourne, he reckons Katie will be one of them. Karen suddenly looks at her watch and Alan asks her if she's expecting someone. Karen replies that she isn't - she just has to be at the bank early, that's all. She then goes on that she doesn't think he'll get very far with Katie - from what she understands, the girl is a professional virgin. Alan, though, tells her to believe it: the right wine... the right music... he reckons he can change all that. Jill suddenly appears in the doorway and sourly says, "Morning." Alan turns to stare at her and Karen, making a hasty exit, announces that she's just off to the bank. She goes. Jill immediately snaps at Alan that he didn't say anything about seeing Katie when he went to Melbourne. Alan lightly says, "Didn't I?" Jill asks him if he is going to see her. Alan agrees that he sure is. He goes on that nobody owns him - so if that's what she's thinking, she's making a big mistake; she shouldn't expect him to offer her something that he can't give. Jill retorts that she didn't say she was expecting anything, did she? Alan tells her, "As long as you understand." Jill mutters, "Sure. Fine by me." She looks upset, though.

Patricia is lying in bed in hospital. David is with her as a nurse administers an injection. Patricia asks her what it's for and the nurse explains that it's just to make her relax before they take her in. She pulls the needle out of Patricia's arm and then tells her that she'll start to feel a bit groggy soon. Patricia says to her that Dr. Ritter is still doing the operation, isn't he? The nurse confirms that he certainly is. Patricia then turns to David and says, "That's right?" David assures her, "Yeah... Scout's honour."

Dr. Ritter is walking down the path from his house, heading for his car. He gets in, turns on the ignition and starts reversing out onto the road. All-of-a-sudden, a car which is parked a short distance away pulls out and heads straight for his car. It goes into the back of him at a fair speed. Dr. Ritter rocks backwards and forwards in his seat before hitting his head on the steering wheel and passing out...

In her room at the hospital, David asks Patricia how she's feeling. She replies that she's a little sleepy. David tells her that there's not much longer to go. There's suddenly a knock on the door and the nurse comes in and asks David if she can see him. He agrees, "Sure." He then turns back to Patricia and laughs that the nurse probably wants to know if she's covered by health insurance! He heads out into the corridor. Ross is out there with the nurse and Patricia's police guard. David asks him what he's doing there, and Ross explains that there's been a problem. The nurse chips in that they've had a call: Dr. Ritter has been in a car accident and he's too shaky to go ahead and operate. Ross tells David that they could cancel it, but everything is set to go: Patricia has had her pre-op - and as he was originally scheduled to do the operation, they wondered if David had any objections to him continuing. Looking worried, David says he doesn't know. He adds that they know the way Patricia thinks. Ross explains that that's why they need his permission; Patricia would never know anything about it until it was over. David retorts that that's not the point: what happens if she recognises him in the operating theatre? The nurse chips in that it's hardly likely - Dr. Newman will be wearing a mask and Mrs. Palmer will be very groggy. She goes on that she's aware of his wife's attitude, but she doesn't think they can let that stop her going ahead and having a badly-needed operation. David sighs, "Yeah..." Ross assures him that it is in his wife's best interest. David mutters, "Yeah, OK." Ross, looking relieved, heads off to scrub up. David stands there looking worried.

A short time later, Ross walks into the operating theatre, wearing his gowns. The anaesthetist is already in there and Ross asks him if he's clear on the procedure. The anaesthetist curtly tells Ross to take care of his part and he'll take care of his. Ross points out that there's got to be no reason for suspicion - the woman has already been telling people that he's out to get her. The anaesthetist assures Ross that he knows how to do his job, and he then tells him to just make sure the money comes through. Ross stares at him.

Karen walks into the lounge room at the Fisher house, followed by Mitch. He asks if they're alone and Karen retorts that she made sure everyone was out. Mitch then asks about the money. Karen retorts that she's organised that, too - as much as she could, anyway. Mitch snaps at her that they agreed on $1,000. Karen, though, tells him that $300 is all she could raise. Mitch, glaring at her angrily, snaps that it's not enough; she said-- Karen interrupts and retorts that she said she'd do what she could; Alan is the one with the money. She then asks about his friends: can't they help him? Mitch snaps, "What friends?" He then goes on that, thanks to her dragging him into knocking off the Brandon place, he's lost his best mate and discovered that the bloke he's looked up to for half his life is nothing but a mass murderer.

Fiona opens the door of her flat to find Barney on the step. He smiles and says, "Not too early, am I?" Fiona smiles back and assures him that of course he isn't. She invites him in and he hands her a bunch of flowers. Fiona tells him that they're beautiful. Barney replies that he reckons flowers always brighten up a place a bit. Fiona says she'll put them in water and she heads into the kitchen. Barney follows her, and, as she goes to a cupboard, he asks her if she had a chance to think over what he said last night. Fiona says, "Yes..." She then turns to face him, continuing, "And the answer is..."

Patricia is lying on a trolley in the corridor at the hospital. David is there, along with two nurses and the policeman. Patricia tells David groggily, "I love you." David smiles and says, "I love you, too." He kisses her and she's then wheeled off around the corner. David stands there, still looking worried.

At the Fisher house, Mitch is counting the money that Karen has given him. Karen curtly tells him that he doesn't have to count it: she said $300 and that's what there. She goes on angrily that he's not to think he can blackmail any more out of her, either. Wayne suddenly walks into the room and breezily asks Karen if she's got the rest of his papers sorted out. Karen indicates them on the table and he snaps, "Good." Karen curtly asks him if he doesn't know how to knock. Wayne retorts, "Not when I've got a key." He adds that she can have it back, though, as he won't be needing it anymore. He turns round to leave, and suddenly notices Mitch standing there. A nasty smile crosses his face and he snarls, "Look who it is: our big hero." He then asks him if he's held any more people at knife-point lately. Mitch growls, "No - get lost." Wayne goes on that it's hardly surprising, though, is it: threatening people is they only way he can get them interested in him. Mitch snaps, "You would know." Wayne tells him to stay away from Amanda from now on - she's not interested. Mitch snaps back at him that she's a damn sight more interested in him than she is in Wayne. Wayne yells at him that he should be locked up: Long Bay is just about the only place he's fit for. Mitch growls, "Just shut up." Wayne suddenly lashes out and punches him in the stomach. Mitch bends over double and then collapses to the ground, falling down by the couch. Wayne glares at him and says, "Come on. Come on - get up." Mitch doesn't move, though. Karen cries, "God... you've knocked him out." Wayne snarls that it's what he deserved. Karen bends down over Mitch and starts trying to revive him. She then comments that he must have cracked his head. She takes his wrist and, after a few seconds, cries, "God, there's no pulse. He's dead." Wayne stares down at him in shock.

Patricia is lying in the operating theatre. The anaesthetist asks her, "What's your name?" Patricia quietly replies, "Patricia Palmer." The anaesthetist asks her, "And what are you here for?" Patricia tells him, "Knee operation." The anaesthetist asks, "Which knee?" Patricia says, "Right knee." The anaesthetist says that's good. He then tells her that she's just going to feel a small prick in the back of her hand. Patricia lies there as he administers the anaesthetic and says, "There we go..." Patricia comments that it feels cold. Ross is standing by the door, out of Patricia's sight. A nurse is helping him make sure his gown is tied tightly, and, as she does so, she comments, "Didn't expect to see you here this morning, Dr. Newman. Just as well you were here to take over." A look of horror crosses Patricia's face as Ross walks over to her and comes into view. She cries weakly, "No... No... please..." Ross stands over her and soothes, "It's alright, Patricia. It'll all be over soon." He's still looking down at Patricia as her vision becomes blurred and she passes into an unconscious blackness...


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