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    Written by: Alister Webb    Produced by: John Holmes   Directed by: Graeme Hodgson

Back at the country house, David is telling Mike in the kitchen that, apparently, it was some office worker knocking off work early - and of course, whoever was supposed to pick up the money would have skipped when they saw the police. As he says this, a man wearing a smart suit in a suit walks in and starts fiddling with the telephone. Mike comments to David that it's rotten luck. David muses that maybe he shouldn't have gone; Beryl asked him not to and-- Mike interrupts him and points out that he only did what he thought was right - and he's sure Beryl will realise that when she calms down. The man at the 'phone suddenly turns and asks David if he's got a power adapter. David says, "Umm..." The man tells him that it's OK - he's got one in the car, he thinks. David says to him that that he doesn't think the kidnappers will really call him, does he? The man replies that it's hard to say, but they're not taking any chances. He heads outside. Mike says to David that Heather tells him David thinks Ross has a hand in this. David explains that he's the only one he can think of; he knows them and he'll do anything for money - but he was there at the house when Robert was taken. Mike comments that that struck him as pretty weird: he was only there for about two minutes. He turns to Katie, who's working at the sink, and asks her what she thinks: was Ross just there to be seen? Katie, though, murmurs that she doesn't think so - they had a couple of things to talk about. David chips in that, anyway, the police said they'll keep an eye on Ross, so if he is behind it, he's bound to put a foot wrong sooner or later. Katie suddenly says to her father that if it's OK with him, she'd like to borrow the car for a couple of hours; she promised a girlfriend she'd drop over and see her. Mike says, "Sure," and he hands over the keys. Katie goes. Alone with Mike, David growls, "I still can't believe that out there somewhere there's a mongrel willing to put a baby's life on the line for a few lousy bucks..."

In Ross's office at the hospital, Ross picks up the name plate on his desk and throws it in his briefcase. There's suddenly a knock on the door and he calls impatiently, "Yes, alright, I'll be gone in a minute. Tell Gibson to get off my neck." The door opens and a female voice says, "It's me." The visitor is Katie. Ross asks her curtly what she's doing there, and Katie tells him that she wanted to see him. Ross mutters that he supposes she's been talking to David Palmer. Katie replies that he said a few things, but she doesn't believe him. Ross snaps, "My moment of glory..." He then pushes down the lid of his briefcase and adds, "The end of a brilliant career." Katie walks over to him slowly and says quietly, "It doesn't have to be the end of us, does it?" Ross points out that it sounded pretty final the other night, but Katie murmurs that she guesses she overreacted; now, she's had time to think about how she feels... Ross asks, "And?" Katie tells him that Mr. Palmer and her dad were talking about the kidnapping... Ross growls, "I see." Katie cries that it was so unfair; they knew he couldn't have had anything to do with it and yet somehow they still think he did; she got really upset... and she realised that she wouldn't care as much if she didn't still love him... Ross warns, "Katie..." Katie insists, "I do." Ross asks, "Even after that thing with Barbara?" Katie nods slowly. Ross gently places his hands on her and they start kissing, passionately. When they pull apart, Ross smiles and says, "I love you, too." They hug.

Amanda and Andy are walking along the verandah at Toorak, approaching the front door. Amanda, looking worried, says she hopes Aunty Barb's alright, and Andy agrees that so does he. Amanda goes on that, if she is, she thinks she'll go back to Sydney tonight. She adds, "Poor Cheri... all those arrangements we made and we're not even there to meet her." They reach the front door and pause. Andy says, "Well?" Amanda sighs, "No point in putting it off."

There's a knock on the door, and Barbara goes to answer it, putting her hand to her head momentarily before she does so. When she sees who's standing there, she says a cheery, "Oh, hello!" Amanda smiles and explains that they just thought they'd drop by before going back to Sydney. Andy adds that they were passing by anyway. Barbara muses, "I see. Just keeping an eye on Aunty Barb, are we? Making sure she hasn't fallen to pieces lately?" Amanda assures her that it's not like that, but Barbara tells her that she needn't worry - the patient is coping very well. She then asks the two of them what time their flight is, but Amanda replies that they can take any - they'll go standby. Barbara suggests that maybe they can stay for dinner, then - it'll only be about an hour. Amanda asks Andy if that's OK with him, and he replies that it's fine. Barbara ushers them into the lounge room and tells them to help themselves to a drink and she'll go and put some more vegetables on. Amanda asks her if she needs some help, but she assures her that everything is under control and she walks off. Looking pleased, Amanda comments to Andy, "Well, she seems to be back to her old self again, doesn't she?" Andy, looking more dubious, murmurs, "Yeah, maybe..."

Mike is sitting at the kitchen table at the country house. The man who was working on the telephone is sitting there as well, drinking a cup of tea. David is pacing the floor. Mike suggests to him that he sit down, as wearing a hole in the floor isn't going to help him... The 'phone suddenly starts ringing and David rushes to answer it, but the man who was working on the 'phone tells him to hang on, and he dashes up from his seat and goes and switches on a reel-to-reel tape recorder. He then allows David to answer the call. A woman comes on and asks, "Is Betty van der Bildt there, please?" David asks, "Betty who?" The woman repeats, "Van der Bildt." She then adds, "Is that the guide dog training centre?" David mutters, "No," and the woman says she's terribly sorry - she must have the wrong number. She hangs up and David does likewise. He then tells Mike that it was a wrong number, and he adds that he's going to go to the hospital to see Beryl - she must be worried sick. Mike asks if that's a good idea; what if they ring and he isn't there? David points out, "And what if they 'phone the hospital and Beryl's alone? I mean, you're here... the 'phone's tapped... I'll be better off with her." Mike wishes him luck and he goes.

A short time later, at the hospital, a nurse comes out of Beryl's room. David is standing in the corridor, and he demands, "What's going on?" The nurse tells him that she's afraid Beryl is refusing to see him. David snaps that, for God's sake, he only wants to talk to her, but the nurse says she's sorry - it would only upset her more and she's already on sedatives. David growls that there's a bloke out there who's got their kid and he could 'phone Beryl at any time; someone should be with her. The nurse assures him that there's no need - the police are monitoring all her calls. She then suggests that perhaps he could come back a bit later when she's feeling stronger. David sighs, "Yeah... Just tell her I'm thinking about her, will you?" The nurse replies, "Of course," and she walks off. David turns and starts walking out, but a door suddenly shuts nearby and he stops in his tracks and he sees Ross and Katie come out and walk along the corridor that runs at right angles to the one he's standing in. He steps back, so as not to be seen, and watches then walking off. He then moves off again, looking thoughtful.

It's dark outside. In the lounge room at Toorak, coffee is being drunk and Amanda is telling Barbara that, for a put-together meal, it was quite something! Barbara smiles that she thought they'd appreciate some good old Aussie tucker after being away for three months! She then adds that she made some cookies this afternoon, and she asks them if they'd like some. Amanda thanks her and Barbara goes to get them. As soon as she's gone, Amanda says to Andy that he can't still be having doubts about her - she's the calmest she's seen her in months. Andy, though, retorts that she's too calm; where are all the withdrawal symptoms?. He adds that she heard what Heather said she went through and Barbara's hands aren't even shaking. Amanda suggests that maybe it doesn't affect some people, but Andy replies that there's one way to find out, and he stands up and picks up Barbara's handbag, which is resting on the coffee table. Looking shocked, Amanda cries, "Andy, you can't." Andy assures her that he'll be the first to apologise if he's wrong. Amanda insists that he's got no right to go sticking his nose in-- Andy lifts out a bottle of pills and says, "I hate to say 'I told you so'..." Barbara walks in at that moment and, looking furious, demands, "What the hell do you think you're doing?" Amanda tells her that it's not what it looks like, but Barbara yells, "Isn't it? I think it's time you both left." Andy, though, tells her, "Oh no, you're not getting out of it that easily. You're still taking these, aren't you?" Barbara orders them again to get out, but Andy retorts that there's no way - they're not budging until she admits that she needs help.

A short time later, Barbara smiles that of course she's still taking a few - you can't go off them straight away. Andy snaps that that's rubbish. Amanda suggests that maybe she's right, but Andy interrupts her and snaps that she's not cutting back; if she was, they could tell - she'd have the shakes and she wouldn't be able to concentrate properly. He accuses, "You're just as hooked as you were last week." Barbara denies it, retorting, "I am not." Andy asks her why she won't let them help her, but Barbara retorts that she doesn't need any help. Andy tells her that if she just admitted she has a problem, they could do something about it. Barbara, though, asks indignantly, "What do I have to say? I am coping very well." Andy points out that that's what he used to say when he got mixed up with the cult; does she remember what she had to do to get him out of that mess? Barbara retorts that there's no point in arguing - she doesn't need those pills and he can sit there all night and watch her, if he likes. To her obvious shock, Andy comments that he thinks they might just do that. He sits down, and Amanda does likewise. Barbara stands there, an air of dismissive resignation on her face.

David is sitting at the kitchen table at the country house, while Mike stands by the stove. Katie walks in through the back door and Mike immediately growls, "You've got some explaining to do, young lady." Katie looks at him and David explains, "I saw you at the hospital." Katie, realising she's been caught-out, murmurs, "Oh..." Mike snaps at her that he thought she'd woken up to Ross Newman, but Katie tells him that it wasn't what it looked like. Mike snaps, "Wasn't it?" Katie explains that she was only trying to help: she thought about what he and David said and she thought that maybe Ross is mixed up in it somehow. Mike growls that that's all the more reason to stay away from him, but Katie cries that she might be able to find something out - overhear a 'phone call... see something...; he trusts her. Mike tells her that Ross is dangerous; if he thought for one minute that she was spying on him... David chips in that Mike is right - and he'd hate it if something happened to her. Katie assures him, "He's not that dangerous. If he is involved, I'd know in a day or two, and if he's not, then nothing's lost." Mike stares at David and suggests that maybe she's got a point; it is David's baby's life they're talking about - and if they kept an eye on Katie while she was with Ross... David retorts that it's too risky; if Newman's capable of kidnapping, they can't let Katie anywhere near him. Katie pleads, "Please, David, just let me try," but David tells her that he's sorry: the best thing they can do is sit tight and let the police handle it.

At Dural, Leigh opens the front door to find Fiona standing there, and she invites her in. Fiona thanks her. Gordon and Alan emerge from the lounge room, Gordon saying to Alan as they do so that apparently, there's a whole series of them, one for each novel. He suddenly spots Fiona standing there, and Fiona says she hopes she's not interrupting. Gordon assures her that she isn't - he was just going to show Alan the Dickens print. Alan says he can see it later, and Gordon tells him that it's only in the study; he can pop in any time. Leigh tells Gordon that she's finished cleaning the kitchen, if he'd like her to put some coffee on. Fiona says, "Not for me, thanks," and Gordon declines as well. He then tells Fiona to come on through, and they head into the lounge room, Gordon closing the doors behind him." Alone with Alan, Leigh comments sarcastically, "Dickens print. Sounds exciting." Alan just looks at the ground, glumly. Leigh asks what the matter is, and Alan explains that it's just the house - it gets so depressing. Leigh comments, "Nothing to do with me, I hope?" Alan smiles and replies that it's just that coming back from a good time with Jill to a load of people dragging their chins around gets to him. Leigh tells him that it's not much fun going home to an empty house while Charlie's away, either. Alan asks when she gets back, but Leigh responds, "Who knows?" She then asks knowingly, "Hey, why don't you come home with me tonight? We could keep each other company..." Alan muses, "Oh yeah?" Leigh tells him that he doesn't have to if he doesn't want to, but Alan replies, "Alright. Let's go." Leigh heads out. Alan follows her, an intrigued smile on his face.

In the lounge room, Gordon pours Fiona a scotch and tells her that that should take the edge off. Fiona thanks him. She then asks how Leigh is working out, and Gordon replies that she's a godsend, truth be known - a hard worker... she never complains... Fiona smiles and says she takes it Wayne hasn't been cleared. Gordon tells her that he hasn't been formally charged - they're still looking for the body; it's a matter of time, he supposes. Fiona says to him, "You don't honestly believe he did it?" Gordon muses that he doesn't know: Karen swears he's making it up, but if he is, where's Mitch?; nobody's seen him. He goes on that he wishes they'd find something one way or the other - it's not easy, worrying all the time. Fiona assures him that she can understand how he feels - she just doesn't know what's going to happen when Barney's book goes on sale. Gordon tells her that she's shown great courage in going ahead with it, but Fiona admits that she's nervous now. Gordon remarks that it's ironic: both of them in the same position. Fiona replies, "We'll help each other. We always have."

Alan is sitting on the couch in the lounge room at Charlie's. Leigh walks in, kisses him on the cheek and asks, "Feeling better?" Alan assures her, "Much," and Leigh replies that that's good. She goes and sits down next to him, and adds that she knows how that place can get to you at times; it gets to her, too. She then goes on that, actually, if it wasn't for him being there, she probably wouldn't have stayed on. Looking intrigued, Alan replies, "Yeah? I'm glad you are there - I like having you around." He starts stroking her shoulder. Leigh tells him, "I was hoping you'd say that..." Alan asks, "Were you...?" They lean towards each other and start kissing passionately. Leigh suddenly becomes aware of someone standing in the doorway and she pulls away from Alan and exclaims, "Charlie!" Alan groans, "Oh, not again..." Charlie demands curtly, "What is going on?" Leigh replies that it's nothing, but Charlie snaps, "Nothing, my foot." She then tells Alan that she thinks he'd better leave. Leigh tells her that they were only kissing, but Charlie tells her that she wants to talk to her - alone. Leigh asks angrily if it can't wait, but Alan tells her that it's alright - he'll talk to her tomorrow. He gets up and hobbles out. Leigh growls at Charlie, "Got a great sense of timing, haven't you?" Charlie retorts that it's just as well - that man has got enough troubles without having to deal with her. Leigh snaps, "Oh, I haven't finished with him, yet, I can assure you." Changing the subject, she then asks, "Well? Have you got it?" Charlie gives her a look and she goes on, "Patricia's money." Charlie replies, "There isn't any. Patricia's dead." Leigh, looking surprised, retorts, "She can't be," but Charlie insists that it's true; it was a car accident - so Leigh won't be getting anything. She adds, "In fact, I want you out of my house - immediately." Leigh says curtly that she doesn't believe Patricia is dead at all - the two of them cooked it up in Rio; well, it won't work; she won't let it work. Charlie takes a piece of paper out of her handbag, and snaps, "Stupid girl. If you want proof, there's the death certificate. Margaret Stone was the name she was using, and as you can see, she died two weeks before I arrived." She grabs the certificate back and goes on, "So pack your bags - and don't bother saying goodbye to the Hamiltons. By the time I've finished telling Gordon what you've been up to, he won't let you past the front door." Leigh glares at her and threatens, "You think you've got me cornered, don't you? Well let me tell you something, Charlie: you breathe one word about me to anyone and I'm going straight to the police. You've helped a wanted person leave the country on a false passport; I'd say that's worth a few months in jail, wouldn't you?" Charlie stares at her open-mouthed as she adds, "And it'd give your posh lady-friends something to natter about - not to mention David... Gordon..." Charlie, looking shocked, snaps, "You wouldn't dare," but Leigh asks, "Wouldn't I?" Charlie snaps, "One day you'll meet your match, Leigh Palmer," but Leigh retorts that she shouldn't hold her breath - and in the meantime, she thinks she will live somewhere else, as Charlie bores her. Charlie snaps that the feeling's mutual. Leigh goes on, "As for Alan, well he might be a cripple, but he has a very healthy bank account; I'd say that more than compensates for losing Patricia; wouldn't you?" Charlie glares at her.

The next morning, Gordon and Alan are sitting in the lounge room at Dural with Leigh, as she tells them, "Which is another way of saying I'll have to resign; I'm thinking of heading back to Melbourne." Alan points out that last night she said-- Leigh interrupts and replies that she's sorry, but she's got no choice. She goes on that she's always found Charlie a bit eccentric, but since she's come back from Rio, she can't seem to put a foot right. Gordon tells her that Charlie rang and told him what happened in Brazil; perhaps if Leigh gave her a bit more time to get over it...? Leigh points out that to get over it, Charlie needs to be alone, and as long as she's around, it'll only upset her. Alan comments that it doesn't seem fair to take it out on her, and Leigh agrees, "No, but that's the way it is." She then stands up and says she'd better go, as she has to start packing. Gordon stands up as well and tells her to hold on: she doesn't have to go back to Melbourne; if she'd like to stay there for a while, no one's using the guest room. Putting on an expression of surprised innocence, Leigh insists that she couldn't, but Gordon asks why not, as it would be a shame to lose her. Leigh tells him that she doesn't want to impose, but Gordon replies that that's nonsense - it would be a pleasure. He asks Alan what he thinks and Alan, standing up, assures her, "Sounds perfect to me." He hobbles out of the room. Leigh, a smile of delight on her face, says to Gordon, "OK. Thanks."

Alan hobbles out into the hallway to find Karen coming downstairs, and he comments that he thought she was sleeping in. Karen, looking exhausted, replies that she can't sleep at all much, lately. Alan asks her if she's still worrying about Wayne, and she tells him that she can't seem to think of anything else. Alan assures her that she'll be right: the police can't charge Wayne without a body and there isn't one; it's as simple as that. Karen mutters that she wishes it was - they still don't know what Mitch is playing at, and in the meantime, her husband is drifting away from her. Alan suggests to her that if she's not going to tell Wayne the truth, she should at least show him that she still cares: do something for him; take him somewhere; it would probably do them both the world of good to get out of the house for a while. Karen, though, shakes her head and says sadly that it wouldn't solve anything. Alan points out that it sure couldn't hurt, and he adds, "Please? For me? Go on a picnic or something. See the world again." Karen smiles at him lovingly and murmurs, "Alright."

Later that day, Karen and Wayne are sitting by a pond as ducks swim round, and Karen comments that they should do this more often - it's beautiful there. Wayne, though, is miles away, and so Karen repeats, "Wayne?" He comes back to earth and says, "Sorry?" Karen tells him that she was saying how beautiful it is. Wayne just agrees, "Mmm..." Karen then tells him that she wishes he wouldn't shut himself off like this; it's important that they share things - good and bad. Wayne muses that he hasn't been much of a husband to her - but it means a lot to know that she still loves him. Karen tells him, "I'll always love you - and we'll always be together - believe me." Wayne points out that he's about to be marched off to prison, but Karen tells him that if they haven't found the body now, there's every chance they never will. She goes on that he's done everything he can: he's 'phoned up... he's told the truth...; but he can't spend the rest of his life torturing himself - he's got to start putting it behind him. Wayne moves in closer to her and suggests, "Then maybe it's time I started appreciating the woman who helped me survive?" They start kissing, passionately.

Amanda walks into the lounge room at Toorak and hands Andy a cup of tea. As she does so, she says to him that she's glad Aunty Barb's sleeping in this morning - she seemed to spend most of the night walking round the house. Andy asks if she woke her up too, and Amanda admits, "A few times." Andy suggests that it could be a good sign - he reckons insomnia is one of the first withdrawal symptoms. Amanda says she was worried she might have been getting pills from another hiding spot somewhere, but Andy replies that he doubts it: he found three bottles last night and practically turned the place upside down. Amanda comments that you never can be too sure. Barbara suddenly walks in and says a curt, "Morning." Amanda smiles and says, "Hi, Aunty Barb!" Barbara, looking slightly unsteady on her feet, asks how everyone is. Andy replies, "Great. And you?" Barbara snaps, "Fine." Amanda offers her some breakfast, but Barbara declines. She then suggests that, as they've satisfied themselves now that she doesn't need babysitting anymore, isn't it about time they both left for Sydney. Andy, though, replies, "Well, if it's all the same to you, we wouldn't mind hanging round a bit longer." Barbara snaps, "Look, hasn't this game gone on long enough?" Andy retorts that he doesn't think so; if they left now, she'd simply go out and get another prescription; they want to be really sure she's kicked the habit.

A few moments later, Barbara snaps, "No, I am telling you I have had enough. You've no right to treat me like a child." Andy retorts that, if they stay, she's scared she won't be able to handle it. Amanda insists that they only want the best for her. Barbara half-yells and half-cries, "The best? Oh that's a good one. You'll drive me to pills the way you're both carrying on." Andy persists that they're talking about a problem, not a crime; no one's blaming her - it's just something she's got to face. Barbara suddenly bursts into tears and cries, "I know... I know... I don't want to take those stupid pills, but I have to... I need them." Andy tells her gently, "No you don't. It'll be easier now you're being honest with yourself. That's always the hardest part." Barbara cries, "Oh, God, I hope so." Amanda holds her and assures her she won't be by herself; they'll be there every step of the way. Barbara stands there, sobbing heavily.

At Charlie's, Leigh is holding Charlie's dog, and she says, "Bye bye, Isabella. You're a lovely little thing, aren't you? Wish you were coming with me." The front door suddenly slams shut and Charlie walks in, carrying a number of bags. She says to Leigh curtly that she was hoping she might be gone by now. Leigh assures her, "Just going - but don't worry, I won't be far away: I'm moving in with the Hamiltons." Charlie glares at her and says she thought she'd be going to Melbourne. Leigh replies that she was - until Gordon offered her the guest room. Charlie snaps, "Why, you little--" Leigh interrupts her and says, "Uh uh - be nice, now." She adds that it's a pity Charlie couldn't have seen the look on Alan's face when Gordon made the offer - he could hardly believe his luck. Charlie starts going through the pile of mail that she's picked up on her way in, and she stops in surprise and says, "Amanda? Why would anyone send her mail here?" Leigh asks who it's addressed to, and Charlie replies that it's addressed to Amanda Morrell - not that it's any of Leigh's business. Leigh snatches the envelope from her and retorts, "Isn't it, just?" To Charlie's horror, she starts ripping open the envelope, and Charlie tells her angrily to give it back; it's not for her. Leigh takes out the letter inside and replies, "Oh yes it is. Remember those ads in the papers? One of them must have paid off." Charlie asks if it's from Mitch, and Leigh nods. Charlie muses that there's no point going on with that old scheme - everyone would be a lot happier if she tore that letter up. Leigh smiles nastily and says, "Oh no - I've just hit the jackpot..."

Wayne and Karen are walking back towards Dural. Wayne has his arm around his wife and he suggests, "Let's go to the Barrier Reef for a few days. What do you say?" Karen smiles that she can feel the sand under her feet already! They reach the front door to find Leigh standing outside, waiting for them. She asks Karen if she can talk to her for a minute, and Karen says, "Sure." Leigh goes on that she means alone, if Wayne doesn't mind. Wayne leaves them to it and heads inside. Karen asks Leigh what she can do for her, and Leigh hands her the letter and says, "I think you'd better read this." Karen looks at the paper and says, "It's for Amanda." Leigh tells her to keep reading. As Karen does so, Leigh goes on that it's a confession of sorts, from the 'late' Bob Mitchell; there are a lot of interesting details about how much Karen paid him to play a corpse to Wayne's murderer - all there in black and white. She adds that, naturally, that letter is a photocopy. Karen asks what this is all about, but Leigh retorts that she's a smart woman - she's sure she can guess. Karen glares at her and retorts, "I see. Our sweet young housekeeper's playing amateur blackmailer, is she? Well let me tell you something: you've got one hell of a lot of growing-up to do if you think you can get away with tricks like this." Screwing up the piece of paper, she adds, "And you'd better start looking for another job." She throws the piece of paper down on the ground and goes to head inside, but Leigh bends down, picks up the paper, unscrews it and says, "I wonder if Wayne would like to read this?" Karen stops in her tracks and retorts, "You haven't got the nerve." Leigh tells her, "Haven't I? I don't care if you lose your darling husband; he means nothing to me. But what does he mean to you?" Karen glares at her.


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