Sons and Daughters logo
    Written by: Ysabelle Dean    Produced by: John Holmes   Directed by: Mark Piper

The next morning, in the corridor at the hospital in Melbourne, a nurse tells David that she's sorry, but Mrs. Palmer can't be disturbed. David asks angrily if that goes for all visitors or just him. The nurse retorts that Beryl is too upset to see anyone - she didn't sleep well last night. David snaps that that makes two of them. In her room, Beryl listens as David tells the nurse that he wants a couple of minutes to talk to her. A plain clothes policewoman joins them and tells David that she knows how worried he must be about his baby, but they're keeping an eye on things and they'll 'phone him as soon as they have any news. The nurse suggests to him that he go home and try and get some rest, but David asks her tetchily if she could rest if it was was her kid missing. The policewoman tells him that there's nothing more he can do to help them - honestly. Beryl suddenly emerges from her room and tells the nurse that it's alright - David can come in. The nurse starts to protest that she doesn't think Beryl should have any visitors, but Beryl interrupts her and assures her that she'll manage. She walks back into her room and David follows her. As Beryl gets back into bed, he comments that the nurse out there is a bit of a toughie. He sits down on the seat next to the bed and then goes on that he guesses he's the last person she wants to see; he shouldn't have called the police without telling her. Beryl murmurs that she doesn't feel up to discussing it. David cries that Robert is his kid, too; he called them because he thought it was their only hope of getting him back. Beryl points out, "We didn't, though, did we?" David insists, "We will."

In her apartment, Gloria sits down with Robert and goes to feed him a bottle of milk. She's interrupted by the 'phone starting to ring, and she goes and answers it. Ross comes on and tells her that it's him. Gloria just mutters, "Oh." Ross snaps at her that she could try to sound a bit more pleased about it - he's got some news. Gloria asks if it can wait, as she's busy, but Ross retorts that, no, it can't - he's been up all night trying to work out ideas for getting money out of Beryl Palmer. Gloria retorts that she thought he'd have brains enough to quit while he's ahead - the hospital must be crawling with cops by now. Ross replies that it is, and he's still being watched, but he's managed to catch up on the latest news. Gloria asks, "What?" Ross explains that Beryl didn't call the police, David did - he must have gone behind her back; they had a big row about it last night. Gloria points out that it doesn't make any difference now - they can't contact Beryl without the police finding out. Ross, though, says he thinks they can - and as long as Beryl keeps her mouth shut, he thinks they're set. Gloria asks, "Suppose she doesn't? What do we do with the baby?" Ross tells her that it won't come to that - if they just hold out for a little bit longer, that baby will be out of their hair by this afternoon. Gloria warns him that if anything goes wrong, she won't let Ross hurt Robert, but Ross tells her to relax - the kid will be alright. He suggests they go over what she's got to do, but Gloria retorts that she can't do it now - she's feeding the baby. Ross growls, "Let him wait," but Gloria insists that he's hungry. Ross asks her tautly if she doesn't think she's taking this mother bit just a little too far, but Gloria snaps, "No, I don't think so. He is your meal ticket, after all," and she hangs up. Ross does likewise, looking annoyed. In her apartment, Gloria goes and sits back down with Robert and fusses, "Nasty man made you wait for your breakfast."

Barbara and Gordon head out through the front door at Toorak. As they stand in the driveway, Barbara looks in her handbag and says she thinks she's left the house keys upstairs; she'll just go and check. Gordon, though, tells her that she doesn't need them - Andy and Amanda are inside; they'll let them in when they get back. He then looks at his watch and tells her to come on, as they're running late. Barbara cries, "What if we don't get back? I mean, what if he wants to lock me away somewhere, this doctor? I don't think going to the clinic's a very good idea--" Gordon interrupts her and tells her to calm down; nobody is going to lock her up. He goes on that she's come through withdrawal fine so far and he'll see her through the rest. Barbara cries that she's scared... Gordon tells her not to be; he'll be with her.

In Beryl's hospital room, David is ranting that he's surprised the police haven't put someone in the room with her; he thought they wanted to listen in to any calls. Beryl retorts that there are two of them on the switchboard and there's a plain clothes woman in the corridor; he's not to worry - if the kidnappers try again, the police will know. David says to her that she's still mad at him for getting in touch with them, isn't she? Beryl just replies that it's all over and done with now; she just hopes that the woman who has her baby wants the money bad enough to try again. David insists that she will - and when she does, the police will get her and anyone else involved. Beryl murmurs that she wishes she could be so sure. She adds that, if they'd done what the kidnappers asked in the first place, she'd be holding Robert right now. David stands up and snaps at her that she doesn't seem to understand that these people can't be trusted to keep their word. Beryl, though, retorts that they didn't keep theirs, so what does he expect? David retorts that they had no choice. There's suddenly a knock on the door and the nurse comes in and asks if everything is alright. Beryl replies, "Yes, thankyou." The nurse is carrying a box of chocolates, and she tells Beryl that they were left at reception. Beryl asks if she knows who they're from, and the nurse replies that the card says 'Katie'. Beryl comments that that's nice of her. The nurse tells her that the policewoman outside had a little peek, just to make sure they were chocolates. Beryl opens them and offers one to the nurse, but she declines and goes. Beryl then offers David one and he accepts. He walks over to the bed and picks up the envelope containing the card that came with the chocolates. He opens it as Beryl eases herself into a sitting position and says she'll try and find the ones he likes. David muses that she knows his weaknesses! As he reads the card that came with the chocolates, Beryl lifts up the top layer of chocolates - to reveal a typed message on a piece of paper lying on the bottom of the box:


Beryl stares at the note in shock and then quickly replaces the chocolates. David reads the card and comments, "Nice." He then asks Beryl if there are any chocolates there that he likes. Beryl tells him that there aren't, and she hands him one that she thinks he'll like. He thanks her. He then asks her if she's not having one. She just replies distantly, "In a little while." Noticing that she's suddenly appearing to be slightly agitated, David asks her if she's OK, and she replies that she's fine - she just wishes she'd asked the nurse to get her some magazines. David says he'll go and get them, and Beryl thanks him, explaining that they help keep his mind off things. He goes. Beryl immediately lifts out the top layer of chocolates again and pulls out the piece of paper at the bottom.

Barbara is sitting in the passenger seat of her car, her eyes closed. Gordon opens her door and says to her, "Hey! Wake up! We're home!" Barbara comes-to and explains that she was just thinking about what the doctor said. Gordon comments that it wasn't as bad as she expected, was it? Barbara agrees that he was very sympathetic. She adds that she just hopes she doesn't have to go back there, that's all. Gordon assures her that she won't - not if she's a good girl and takes progressively smaller doses. Barbara retorts that she doesn't like that idea - she'd rather not take any. Gordon points out that she's got to give her body time to adjust. Barbara muses sadly, "Whenever I think of how I got hooked in the first place...; even now, when I take just one..." Gordon assures her that it won't happen again. He then suggests they go and tell Amanda and Andy the good news, and he helps Barbara out of the car. As they walk up to the house, Barbara says she bets Andy and Amanda will be pleased; she doesn't think babysitting her has been their scene, even though they were very good at it; she's sure they're dying to get back to Sydney. Gordon tells her that she's in for a change of scenery herself. Barbara looks at him, and he goes on, "Nothing strenuous. Just a quiet drive in the Dandenongs... lunch at a cosy restaurant. How does that sound?" Barbara replies, "Really nice." They head inside.

Beryl is reading the instructions from the kidnappers when David bursts back into the room, and she quickly hides the piece of paper under the bed covers. He hands her a couple of magazines and sits down next to her again. Beryl starts flicking through one of the magazines and then says casually that she's been thinking: is the ransom money still available at the bank? - they may have to get it out in a hurry if the kidnappers do 'phone. David replies that it's there, but they won't have to use it - the police will give them the dummy notes again. Beryl murmurs, "Of course. I'd forgotten." David tells her to just relax. He starts yawning, and Beryl comments that he must be worn out, if he didn't get much sleep last night. David remarks that he doesn't suppose she's too bright, either. Beryl suggests to him that he go home and get some rest, as it's pointless them both sitting by the 'phone. David, though, retorts that he thought they'd been through all that: he'd rather be there with her. Beryl tells him that it just seems so silly - he's practically dead on his feet and the police will let him know-- David interrupts her and says curtly, "I'm not going home, Beryl. We're in this together." Beryl looks annoyed.

Alan hobbles into the hallway at Dural, from the flat, wearing his dressing gown. Leigh comes out of the lounge room and comments that he sure can sleep; she was just coming to wake him. Alan tells her that he didn't feel like doing much this morning; he's been reading in bed. Leigh asks him if he doesn't feel well, but Alan retorts that he's alright; he's just embarrassed about last night, that's all - he's sorry things didn't work out. Leigh assures him that it wasn't his fault, but Alan demands, "Whose, then? Yours?" Leigh replies that she thinks it must have been: if she knew more about what to do... Alan snaps at her to come off it: she did what she had to; it was him. Leigh tells him that there's no need to get upset about it - she's sure it will be better for them next time. Alan stares at her incredulously and snaps, "You're not seriously suggesting we try again?" Leigh, looking surprised, asks why not - she thought they liked each other. Alan tells her that he does like her, but things shouldn't have gone as far as they did - it wasn't fair on Jill. He adds, "God, if it had happened with Jill, I couldn't have looked her in the face again." Leigh tells him that he doesn't have to be embarrassed with her; she can help him. Alan, though, snaps at her to just drop it. There's suddenly a knock at the door, and Leigh goes and answers it. Jill is standing on the step and she says a cheery, "Hi!" She then notices Alan standing in the hallway and, looking relieved, exclaims, "There you are!" She walks in and tells him that she came as soon as she could. She asks what was wrong last night, but Alan shrugs and says it was nothing - he just had a lot on his mind. He adds that, still, it's always great to see her. They kiss. Leigh interjects that she heard about Robin, and she asks Jill if she went to the funeral. Jill replies, "Yes, this morning." Leigh comments that it must have been very upsetting for her, and Jill agrees that it was; she's getting over it, though. Alan suggests that they go out to the flat, as it's time they had a talk. Jill smiles, "Lead the way," and they walk off, leaving Leigh standing there, a sly look on her face.

As Jill and Alan enter the flat, Jill comments to Alan that something's getting him down, isn't it? Alan agrees that she could say that. He invites her to sit down and he then tells her that there are a few things they've got to get straight about their relationship. Jill points out that they've already discussed it; she knows he doesn't want to make things permanent, but she can wait. Alan suddenly asks, "Why this attraction to lame dogs, Jill? First Robin, then me. Now, considering the way I've treated you in the past, I just can't work that out." Jill stares at him in surprise and asks what's got into him. She adds that maybe things weren't so hot between them before, but they're OK now. Alan snaps, "Are they?" He goes on, "Look, I'm a cripple, Jill. Don't pretend you haven't noticed, 'cos I know that's why you're still here. You feel sorry for me, don't you?" Jill cries, "No," but Alan goes on, "Oh, you must. Look, I can't offer you a real relationship, so why else would you be hanging around?" Jill stands up and cries, "Because I love you - and it's certainly not out of pity. You've got as much to look forward to in life as anyone else. I was in love with you before you were hurt and I still am." Alan looks down at the ground. Jill tells him, "I think you love with me, too. I just wish you'd admit it." Alan stares at her and comments that she means all that, doesn't she? Jill replies that of course she does - and what's more, she's proud of him: three months ago, no one ever thought he'd get out of that wheelchair - but he's shown a lot of courage; instead of getting depressed, why doesn't he give himself a pat on the back? She tells him gently, "Don't be scared of needing me a little, Alan." Alan insists that he's not. He then goes on that she's right: he's got to keep fighting; the doctors said he wouldn't improve any more, but he'll show them. Jill tells him to take him slowly, as the doctors warned him not to overdo it. Alan, though, retorts that they're always too cautious; with the right physio, he can become 100% fit again. He goes on, "I do love you Jill - and I want things to be perfect for us." Jill smiles at him and assures him that she's not expecting a miracle cure, but Alan tells her that things have to be perfect; nothing less. Jill nods, looking slightly worried.

Leigh is vacuuming the lounge room in the main house when Jill wanders in. She turns off the vacuum and comments to Jill that she looks a bit down. She asks if anything is wrong, but Jill sighs that she doesn't know: Alan is acting very strangely. She asks Leigh if she knows what's bugging him, but Leigh very quickly says, "No." Jill pushes, "You do, don't you?" She then pleads, "Leigh, if you do, please tell me. He's got some bee in his bonnet about getting off crutches. If he tries too hard, he could end up worse than he is now." Leigh tells her that it's not the crutches he's worried about. Jill persists, "Please, Leigh, I need to know." Leigh, putting on a serious expression, replies, "Well maybe you should. You might say something wrong. I just wished he'd told you himself." Jill, looking frustrated, asks, "Tell me what?" Leigh pauses and then says slowly, "Last night, he tried to make love to me - but couldn't." Jill looks at her in shock as she goes on, "The way he was talking afterwards, he didn't ever want to try it again. Not with anyone."

A while later, back at the boarding house, Jill growls that, at first, she wanted to scratch Leigh's eyes out for encouraging him; then when she saw how upset Leigh was, she knew it couldn't all have been her idea. Cheri sympathises that she probably didn't want to hurt Alan's feelings by knocking him back. She adds that she's amazed at how well Jill is taking this; if a boyfriend of hers went off with another girl, she'd be really hurt. Jill insists that she is hurt: it's just that she knows what he used to be like - he used to think he was Casanova's brother - and she's sure he was only using Leigh to prove to himself that he's still attractive to other women. Cheri comments that at least Jill knows now why he was so anxious to improve his physical condition. Jill giggles! Cheri tells her that she'll have to make Alan take it easy; he's got nothing to gain by rushing into things. Jill says she'll try, but Cheri doesn't know how pigheaded Alan can be - she doesn't think he'll settle for anything less than an overnight cure - especially after what happened with Leigh...

Alan, still wearing his dressing down, hobbles across to the table in the flat at Dural and says to himself, "Right. Lesson Number One: how to stand." He puts one of his crutches in front of him and goes to let go, but quickly realises that he's going to lose his balance by doing that, and he quickly grabs onto the crutch again. He then hobbles over to the wall and says, "OK, legs. Let's try it over here." He leans against the wall and takes his hand out of the strap on his right crutch. He then removes his hand from the left crutch and stands there, just leaning on the top of them, panting heavily from the effort. He murmurs, "OK - now we're getting somewhere."

David is pacing the floor in Beryl's hospital room. Beryl suggests to him that he go to the cafeteria and get a sandwich, but David declines, saying he couldn't force it down. Beryl asks him if he'd mind staying still while she tries to eat hers, then, as he's giving her indigestion. David says he's sorry. He then looks at his watch and comments that they should have heard by now. Looking impatient, Beryl snaps at him, "For heaven's sake, David. You're giving me the creeps. Go and get some fresh air, or something." She goes on, "If the kidnappers do call, there's nothing you can do - the police are handling everything." She then asks him if there isn't something he can do in town, and David admits, "Reapply for my truck licence, yeah. Guess I could do that." Beryl tells him curtly that it makes more sense than hanging around there. David asks about the nurse outside, adding that she's worse than a watchdog; she might not let him back in. Beryl snaps at him not to be ridiculous - she'll tell her that it's OK. David asks her if she's sure she doesn't mind being on her own for a bit, and Beryl retorts, "Positive." David says he should be back in an hour, and he goes. As soon as the door shuts behind him, Beryl, looking relieved, climbs out of bed and goes to the wardrobe. She takes out a dress.

Gloria lets a blonde teenage girl into her apartment, and the girl tells her that she was rapt when her mum told her that she needed a babysitter - she spent all her money on the pinnies. Gloria tells the girl - calling her Trudie - that Robert is very young and she's got to be very careful with him. Trudie goes and picks him up and asks if he cries much. Gloria replies that he doesn't very often, but there's a bottle all made up and some fresh nappies in the linen cupboard. She adds that she won't be gone long - just a couple of hours. Trudie comments that Robert is so tiny, and she adds that she didn't know Gloria had a baby. Gloria retorts that he's her sister's - she's sick and she's looking after him. She goes on that she'll be sorry when she has to give him up. She quickly adds, "I mean, when my sister's well enough to have him back." Trudie comments that they're so cute when they're little, and she asks Gloria if she ever wishes she had one of her own. Gloria replies that she did - once. Trudie asks what happened, and Gloria tells her that he died when he was a few months old. Trudie says she's sorry. Gloria muses that it was a long time ago - but still, minding Robert is almost like having him back again...

Beryl leaves her hospital room - wearing her dressing gown - and tells the female plain clothes officer in the corridor that she's just going to freshen up. The officer accepts this and tells Beryl that she'll have her paged if anyone calls. She sits down and Beryl wanders off down the corridor.

A while later, a nurse is telling the policewoman that one of the other nurses found Beryl's dressing gown in the cleaner's room. David approaches them as the officer asks, "Didn't she leave a note or anything?" The nurse retorts that they couldn't find one. David asks what's happened. The nurse replies, "Mr Palmer. I'm afraid your wife's gone." David stares at her incredulously and asks her what she's talking about; doesn't she know where she is? The officer explains that she walked out an hour ago, just saying she was going to freshen-up, but now it looks as if she'd heard from the kidnappers. David asks why no one followed her, but the officer retorts that she had her dressing gown on; she didn't think she was going out of the hospital; the first they heard she had was when the bank told them she'd just withdrawn the ransom money. She adds, "Where she went with it is anybody's guess." David stands there, looking worried.

Beryl opens a set of double doors and walks into a church. She's carrying a brown paper bag. She starts walking slowly down the aisle and then goes and sits down in one of the pews to her left, placing the bag of money next to her. She puts her hands together and prays quietly, "Please, God, give my baby back to me." She then picks up the bag and puts it down underneath the pew. She stands up, looks around and walks out slowly, passing one or two other people as she does so. Gloria is sitting at the front of the church, her hair wrapped in a scarf. She looks round, watching Beryl as she goes. She looks worried.

On the 'phone in his apartment, Ross asks, "Did you get it?" Gloria assures him, "No probs." Ross sighs, "Thank God. I've been on tenterhooks all afternoon." Gloria points out that it isn't quite over yet; what about the baby? Ross reminds her that she knows what to do. He goes on that Beryl has been told to get to the football ground by four o'clock; if Gloria has the baby there by 3:30pm, she'll have plenty of time to get away. Gloria retorts that she can't leave him alone for half an hour, and she asks Ross if he can't think of something better. Ross snaps that it's too late - Robert will be perfectly safe until his mother gets there. Gloria cries that anything could happen, but Ross insists that it won't. He then tells her to stay put for a while, as he's coming over and they'll split the money. Gloria comments that she thought he said the police were watching him, but Ross explains that there's a fire escape that takes him around the back; they'll never even know he's left the apartment. Gloria tells him that she can't risk him being seen. She then pauses before going on that she'll leave his share in a safety deposit box and mail him the key. Ross snaps that it'll take too long - he needs the money to get out of the country this afternoon. He adds that he'll be there in twenty minutes and he hangs up. Gloria cries, "No, Ross..." but it's too late. She turns to look at Robert, and then picks up a bundle of the ransom money. She stuffs it back in the brown paper bag, together with several other bundles, and then takes down a suitcase from the top of a wardrobe.

In the lounge room at Dural, Leigh listens as Alan talks on the 'phone on the bar, complaining that the exercises he was given are too easy; he's already had to work out some of his own. A woman - his physiotherapist - on the other end asks, "Such as?" Alan replies, "Practising how to stand, that sort of thing." The physiotherapist warns him that standing unaided puts direct pressure on the lumbar spine; he might improve his balance for a while, but he'll weaken his damaged vertebrae. Alan insists that he knows he's getting better - he can feel it. The physiotherapist retorts that she'll be the first to admit it: she's amazed at the porgies he's made - but he shouldn't push it; he should be satisfied with what he's managed to achieve. Alan snaps that he'd hardly be ringing her if he was satisfied. The physiotherapist tells him, "You were an active man before your accident and it's hard for you to get used to the idea of being on crutches, but you need to give yourself more time." Alan snaps that the only thing he needs is a better physiotherapist, and he slams the 'phone down. He then mutters to Leigh that he always suspected that woman was an idiot; now, he's sure of it. Leigh walks over to him and asks him if he wants her to look up some other physios, but Alan bitterly asks what the use would be, as they'd all say the same thing - just like they all said he'd never get out of a wheelchair. He goes on that he can do his own exercises. Leigh comments that you'd think doctors would encourage their patients, but Alan retorts that all they care about is their nice fat fee; well, he'll show them. Leigh tells him that she'd like to help if she can. Alan replies, "Thanks, but..." Leigh insists, "Please..." Alan gives in and says, "Well, as long as you don't get the wrong idea. What happened last night just made me realise how much I care about Jill. Now, I like you, Leigh, but that's as far as it can go." Leigh glares at him and says she thought he didn't want Jill's kind of love; it's pity, more than anything. Alan muses that maybe some of it is, but Jill cared about him long before this happened; he just used to be so busy chasing anything in a skirt that he didn't have much time for her, but not any longer - he knows how much she means to him now, and for her sake, he has to get better.

A sheet of green writing paper is lying folded on the counter in Gloria's apartment. It has 'Ross' written on it. There's a knock on the door, but no one comes to answer it. After a couple of seconds, the door opens and Ross walks in. Looking worried, he glances around, looking for Gloria, and he loosens his tie. He suddenly spots the note and sits down to read it:

'Ross, By the time you get this, I'll be gone. You'll never find me or the baby. When it came to the point of actually having to give him back, I couldn't go through with it. I've taken all the money, too; I'll need it to make sure he has the best of everything in his new life. You won't understand this, but having a baby around has given me something to live for. You didn't deserve all that money anyway - I decided that when I realised you were quite prepared to dispose of Robert if Beryl Palmer didn't pay up. Got to go, Gloria.'

Ross sits there, looking shocked. He folds up the piece of paper and screws it slowly into a ball.

Beryl is at the football ground, sitting on a bench in one of the stands, holding the kidnappers' instructions. She looks at her watch: it's 5:10pm. She stares back out at the centre of the football ground, waiting and hoping...


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