Sons and Daughters logo
    Written by: Don Battye   Produced by: John Holmes   Directed by: Mark Piper

Leigh storms into Dural, shuts the front door and leans against it, holding her face as it throbs in pain. Someone suddenly knocks on the door and Leigh calls out angrily, "There's no one home." She feels the door pushing against her, though, and Charlie barges in, a stern look on her face. She snaps, "I want to know what's going on, young lady. I saw the ambulance leaving. When I was halfway up the drive, I saw Karen slapping your face. Well?" Leigh, looking shocked, and with tears welling in her eyes, explains, "Alan had an accident. He fell." Charlie asks her what connection she had with it, but Leigh insists, "Nothing." Charlie glares at her and retorts, "Karen just felt like slapping you, did she? Not that I blame her. Come on - what did you do?" Leigh replies quietly, "I was using Alan to get at Karen. I didn't want to hurt anyone - not physically." Charlie growls that it's a pity it takes somebody else suffering to make her find a conscience. Leigh snaps at Charlie that it's none of her damn business anyway, but Charlie retorts angrily that she was the person who was stupid enough to introduce Leigh there in the first place, so whether Leigh likes it or not, it is her business. She turns and storms out, leaving Leigh looking upset.

A display of promotional posters for Your Own Worst Enemy is on display in a bookshop window. A young man in his twenties is standing looking at it. A cab pulls up outside the shop and Andy and Fiona get out. Andy pays the driver. The two of them approach the shop, but as they do so, a middle-aged man holding a notebook stops them and introduces himself as a reporter from the Daily News. He goes on that he wondered if he could ask Fiona a few questions. Fiona replies, "Yes?" The reporter goes on that he heard it was her who was mainly behind Your Own Worst Enemy being published, and he asks her how exactly she was involved. Fiona explains that she had access to some material on which the book was loosely based, and she just felt the general public should be allowed to read it. The reporter asks what she means by 'loosely': is the book an actual account? - he heard it's now in the hands of the army. Fiona hesitates before replying that she really doesn't know anything about that side of it. Three men suddenly approach them and one calls out, "Hey - Mrs. Thompson." Fiona, looking slightly nervous, suggests to Andy that they'd better get inside, and they go in. The three men join the reporter, who tells them that she doesn't seem too keen on answering any questions. One of the men retorts that he's not surprised - he reckons she's having trouble with her conscience. The reporter comments that he sounds as if he's got a bit of an axe to grind, but before the man can say anything, one of his colleagues tells him to come on - this is between them and her. They head off down the road. The reporter walks into the shop.

Inside the shop, the book's publisher tells Fiona that he'd like her to meet Geoff Cook, and he introduces the two of them. The man goes on that if Cook says nasty things about the book, they're sunk! Cook, though, tells Fiona, "Oh, hardly! No, I believe it has the potential to become a best-seller - and not just because of the sensational elements." Fiona muses that she wouldn't have thought it was sensational, but Cook tells her that there are elements which could be construed as such; the secret of the book is its basic honesty - it's not all that well-written, but it's so immediate; honest. Fiona curtly retorts that she's very glad he thinks like that. Cook goes on that he also thinks she's done a great service to the memory of Sergeant Adams by pushing for the publication of the book; it's a pity he couldn't be with them. Fiona agrees sadly, "Yes. Yes, it is." No one notices the young man who was looking in the window standing watching them, his jacket draped over his shoulder...

Charlie is standing in the driveway between her house and Dural when she spots Karen approaching in her car, and she flags her down. Karen stops and asks irritatedly what it is, adding that she hasn't time. Charlie explains that it's very important, and so Karen sighs and stops the car. Charlie goes on that she knows about Alan, and she asks how he is. Karen replies that he'll never walk again: he fractured a vertebrae and it cut his spinal cord. Charlie, looking shocked, cries, "Oh no..." She adds that Leigh was behind it, wasn't she? Karen agrees that she certainly was. Charlie continues that she thinks it's about time they put a stop to that girl - that's why she waited for Karen. Looking surprised, Karen muses that she can't quite see why Charlie is interested in putting a stop to her - she thought Charlie was on her side. Charlie admits that, to be honest, Leigh is holding something over her the same as she is with Karen. Karen stares at her and snaps, "I beg your pardon?" Charlie quickly retorts that she doesn't know what it is and she doesn't want to know... She goes on agitatedly that if Patricia was there, she'd know how to handle the little monster; she's just not made that way. Karen tells her, "I am - and it so happens that I've decided to do something about her, too." She gets out of the car suggests, "Perhaps if we worked together we might speed things up?" Charlie smiles and replies that, as a matter of fact, that's rather what she had in mind...

Leigh is looking out of the window in the lounge room at Dural, an expression of worry on her face.

Outside, Charlie tells Karen that she does have Patricia's personal effects to give David; she could use that as an excuse to go down there. Karen points out that David knows more about Leigh than anyone; they need to hope it includes some juicy bits. She adds that she can't believe a girl like that hasn't got something to hide, and Charlie agrees, "Nor can I." She goes on that she'll go down to Melbourne on the five o'clock flight - it'll give her the greatest pleasure in the world to put a spoke in that young lady's wheel...

Leigh is pacing the lounge room at Dural, looking worried, when the front door bangs shut and Karen walks in. Leigh immediately asks, "How's Alan?" Karen glares at her and retorts, "Crippled for life." Leigh looks shocked. Karen adds, "I hope you're satisfied." She then asks if Wayne's home, but Leigh tells her, "Not yet." She then comments that Charlie seemed pretty chatty with Karen outside. Karen muses, "Yes. It's surprising how having a common enemy can bring people closer together. We've got you to thank for us seeing eye-to-eye for a change." She threatens, "You shouldn't have made enemies of us both, Leigh, because you're going to regret it..." She walks off.

At the bookshop, Fiona is sitting behind a pile of copies of Your Own Worst Enemy. Andy and Geoff Cook are standing next to her. A group of people are gathered in front of the table and the publisher stands up and asks for their attention. As they look at him, he goes on that they're not going to bore them this afternoon with long speeches, but he's sure Mrs. Thompson would like to say a few words, so he'll hand them over to the lady whose efforts have made possible the publication of Your Own Worst Enemy. He then introduces Fiona and there's a ripple of warm applause as she stands up. She thanks everyone, unwrapping a piece of paper as she does so. She then goes on, "When I first read Barney Adams' diaries, I didn't want to have anything at all to do with them - and, to be quite honest, neither did Barney. But he decided he wanted to have them published - perhaps as another lesson to all of us of the horrors of war. It was never Barney's wish, or mine, that any individual be hurt or embarrassed by the book: that's why the story was fictionalised and the names changed." The newspaper reporter suddenly sticks his hand up and points out that there are a few people who've worked out what the story is, aren't there? Fiona laughs awkwardly that she doesn't know. The reporter tells her that that's what the talk is around town. Fiona asks quietly, "Is it?" The reporter asks her if she isn't worried that the real names of the people involved could come out. Fiona blusters that she hopes that doesn't happen-- The reporter interrupts her and asks her what she's going to do if it does. Before she can answer, the publisher stands up again and points out that Mrs. Thompson can't be expected to comment on something that hasn't happened. He goes on that he just thinks she should be congratulated for carrying out Barney Adams' wish for having his book published. There's another round of applause. Fiona, looking flustered, folds up her notes, picks up her handbag and heads for the shop door. Andy follows her. The three men who approached the shop earlier are standing out there, and one of them tells Fiona as she comes out, "You're not going to get out of it as easy as all that. All that bull you went on about in your speech about not hurting anybody: what about the families of the blokes in that book?" One of the other men warns the first one - calling him Harry - that they agreed to no publicity. Harry ignores him and goes on at Fiona, "You've ruined our lives, you know that? Well you're going to get what's coming to you, lady." Andy suggests to Fiona that they'd better go. The man snaps that he bets they had. His mate warns him, "Come on, Harry..." Harry glares at Andy and asks him what he's getting out of it. He adds that he bets Andy is doing alright, making money out of other people's miseries. The young man with the jacket over his shoulder suddenly walks out of the shop and tells Harry's colleague that he thinks he'd better take his mate home. Harry glares at Fiona and asks, "And who's this? A friend of yours, eh?" The young man tells him to just clear out - nobody wants any trouble. Harry points a finger at Fiona and warns her that she hasn't heard the last of them. He's then is led off by his two mates. Fiona thanks the young man, adding that that was very embarrassing. Andy thanks him as well. The man tells them not to worry about it. He then introduces himself as Chris Adams - Barney's nephew. Looking surprised, Fiona exclaims that she didn't know Barney had a nephew! Andy offers him a lift, which Chris accepts, and the three of them head to the car. Just along the road, the reporter approaches Harry and his mates and asks what the word is, adding that he'll help them if he can. As Harry lights a cigarette, one of his mates tells the reporter that it's private; he can forget it. Harry, though, growls, "There are a lot of people who won't be able to forget it..."

A cab pulls up outside the boarding house and Fiona, Andy and Chris get out. There's a white truck parked in the driveway and Fiona cries, "What on earth is going on?" She marches over to a man standing by the truck, unloading some bags of sand, and she tells him to hold on. The man asks innocently what the trouble is, and Fiona asks what he thinks he's doing. The man replies that he thought that was obvious. Fiona tells him that she didn't order any of this. The man takes out a docket, looks at it and then asks Fiona if she's Mrs. Thompson. Fiona replies that she is, but none of this is hers. The man replies that he's only doing what he was told. Fiona snatches the docket and looks at it to find out what the company's name is. She then marches inside and says she'll go and give them a ring. Andy and Chris follow her. The man with the van sits down on a little side-wall.

A few minutes later, inside, Fiona is on the 'phone, and she curtly thanks the person at the other end and hangs up. Andy asks her if she wants him to tell the driver, but Fiona explains that the company is going to radio him. She adds that it must have been a mistake, even though they said it wasn't. Andy suggests that it was a practical joke, then, but Fiona snaps that it's not very funny in her book. She suddenly brightens up and, turning to face Chris, tells him that she just wanted to say how happy she is that he helped out - those guys at the bookshop were beginning to get nasty. Chris explains that he didn't know whether to cut in earlier - but when that guy wasn't going to give up... well, Uncle Barney would have wanted him to do something. Fiona agrees that, yes, he would have. She then goes on that she had no idea that Barney had a brother - he never mentioned him; she'd have been in touch when he died if she'd known... Chris explains that the army let dad know - they were all very upset; he's only sorry he couldn't get across to the funeral, and so is his dad - he's not in the best of health these days and Adelaide is a bit of a hike. Fiona agrees, "Of course." Chris adds that the flowers arrived, though, he hopes...? Fiona, looking sheepish, agrees that they must have - there were just so many... Chris goes on that it's sheer coincidence he was at the book launch - he only arrived yesterday, on the lookout for a job; he saw it mentioned in the morning paper. Fiona tells him that she's so glad he did, and Andy chips in that he didn't know if he would have been able to handle all three guys if they'd decided to have a go. Changing the subject, Fiona offers Chris a drink, but Chris declines, saying he'd better find a bed somewhere - there's not much left of the day. Fiona smiles at him and tells him that she could help him out there, as long as he didn't think she was-- Chris interrupts her and says, "Serious?!" Fiona smiles and assures him, "A nephew of Barney's? What else could I do?"

Outside, Jill walks up the driveway to the boarding house, and she waves her hand in front of her nose as the truck driver loads the sacks of sand back into the vehicle. Cheri is standing in the driveway watching him, and Jill joins her and asks what's going on. Cheri replies, "Search me!" Jill just looks at the truck and goes to head inside. Cheri suddenly calls after her and asks her if she's OK. Jill turns back to face her and explains that it's Alan: it's awful - he was trying to walk and he fell; the doctors reckon he's done permanent damage. Looking sympathetic, Cheri exclaims that that's awful. She then adds that, from what Jill said, he was trying too hard; it was bound to happen sooner or later. Jill muses that that doesn't make it any easier - and Alan hates being cooped up in hospital, especially after Melbourne and the bomb blast. Cheri comments that he'll just have to get used to it for a while. Jill goes on that Karen is thinking of hiring a private nurse so that she can get him home as soon as possible, and she asks Cheri if she'd be interested. Cheri replies that she could have been, but she's on her way now to an interview for another private job. Jill sighs and tells her that it would make such a difference if it was a friend looking after him, rather than a stranger. Cheri points out that that would depend on Mrs. Hamilton, but Jill assures her that Karen would be more than happy. Looking thoughtful, Cheri remarks that it sounds as if Alan needs more help than this invalid she's going to see. Jill pleads with her to please say yes. Cheri replies that she'd really like to, but she's got to be fair and go and see this man first. She walks off.

Andy is preparing drinks in Fiona's flat as Fiona sits and tells Chris that, having promised to help out with the accommodation, now she feels embarrassed. Chris tells her not to worry about it - he'll find a cheap hotel. Andy, though, tells him not to do that: he can bunk in his bedsitter for a few days, if he doesn't mind sharing. Chris comments that it doesn't seem right, but Andy smiles that it'll be good to have a bloke around the place for a few days - he's starting to feel taken over by all these women! The 'phone suddenly starts ringing, and as she gets up to answer it, Fiona exclaims, "Thankyou very much! Charming!" Chris tells Andy that if he's sure he doesn't mind, that would be great. On the 'phone, Fiona says, "Hello. Fiona Thompson." A man comes on and asks nervously if that's Fiona. Fiona replies that it is. The man goes on, "I, er, just wondered if I could make a booking for a full body massage." Looking bemused, Fiona says, "I beg your pardon?" The man repeats, "A massage." Fiona laughs and tells him that she thinks he must have the wrong Fiona and the wrong 'phone number. The man, though, replies that he hasn't according to the ad in this morning's paper. Fiona's face drops and she says, "Oh, I see. That must be somebody's idea of a joke. Goodbye." She hangs up.

A few minutes later, Fiona is looking at a small ad in the newspaper that reads:

'For complete relaxation and satisfaction give Fiona a ring. Full massage my speciality! Ph. 925 8662'

She demands, "What the hell is going on? Oh dear God..." Andy asks to have a look and Fiona hands it over. Andy reads the ad out for Chris's benefit. Fiona comments that someone has definitely decided to get her and there's no way it doesn't have anything to do with the book. She goes on that Colonel Bainbridge did threaten her, but from what his wife said, he's hardly able to do much at the moment - and anyway, it just doesn't seem like his style. Andy points out that there were those guys at the launch, and Fiona muses that that makes a lot more sense - and they were probably responsible for that truckload of sand, too. Chris takes the newspaper and asks Fiona how on earth you stop something like that. Fiona, though, tells him that she's had a lot worse things happen to her than a couple of nuisance 'phone calls; no - they'll go away in a day or two. The front door suddenly opens and Jill walks in. Seeing the expression on her face, Fiona cries, "Jill... Darling... What on earth is wrong?" Jill bursts into tears and Fiona gives her a hug.

Charlie has arrived in Melbourne and is in the kitchen at the country house with David and the O'Briens. She tells them that she didn't mean to interrupt their dinner, but Heather assures her that it's alright - they've finished. Charlie then tells David that she was terribly sorry to hear that the police hadn't managed to find his little boy. David replies that they haven't given up yet. Charlie says quietly, "Of course not..." She then takes an envelope out of her handbag and tells him that she's brought him Patricia's things - there's not a great deal, she's afraid. As David takes it and starts opening it, Heather suggests to Mike and Katie that they go and watch a bit of TV, and they all leave the room. Charlie sits down. David takes out Patricia's wallet, opens it and stares at a big photo of Margaret and a smaller photo of him that are stuck inside. Charlie tells him that she picked them up at the hospital - they didn't know where to send them. She adds gently that she's sorry she took a while to get them to him, but she wanted to bring them herself. David then takes the death certificate out of the envelope and says quietly, "I'll always miss her." Charlie sympathises, "We both will." Changing the subject, David suggests they go and join the others, but Charlie quickly says she wouldn't mind catching up with a bit of news first. She then asks how Gordon and Barbara are, adding that she didn't like to get in touch without checking, considering the trouble Barbara's had. David replies that Gordon 'phoned not long ago - they're both going back to Sydney now that Barbara's well. Charlie smiles that that is good news. She then adds that, at least when Barbara gets back home, she'll be able to put her feet up - having Leigh working there will take a lot of the strain off her. David just mutters, "Yeah." Charlie goes on that Leigh is a sweet girl - although she must admit that there were times when she was living with her that she didn't quite understand her. David looks at her and asks, "Why? What did she do?" Charlie assures him, "Nothing, really. It's just that she never talked about her background. You know me: I was curious, that's all." David tells her that he doesn't think it's anything out of the ordinary. Charlie probes, "Like what, for instance?"

In the lounge room, Mike and Heather are watching TV when Katie walks in and asks if she can interrupt for a sec. She sits down and goes on that Charlie's coming there has made her think of something she's been wanting to talk to them about: she'd like to go back to Sydney. Mike looks at Heather as Katie explains that she'd just like to get away from Melbourne and try and forget everything; forget Ross. Heather tells her gently that they don't want to see her go, but she thinks they understand. Katie explains that she has to make her own life. Mike assures her that they're not going to buy into it - it's her decision. Katie smiles at him, gratefully.

At the kitchen table, David is telling Charlie that he doesn't know much about the stepfather, George; when his brother died, he didn't keep much in touch with the family. Charlie comments that, from the little Leigh said, she gathers she didn't have much time for the man. She adds, "You don't think he would have, um...?" Realising what Charlie is implying, David quickly assures her that he doesn't think so. He then goes on that there was something a while back: Frannie wouldn't talk about it, but he's sure it had something to do with Leigh's young brother, Tim. Charlie muses, "The family secret, eh?" David replies that he doesn't know, but it was obvious they didn't want to talk about it. Charlie pushes that she supposes the family name would have changed, wouldn't it? David tells her that Frannie changed her name to Henderson but the kids wanted to stay Palmers. Charlie smiles that she sees. She then goes on that the one thing Leigh did talk about was the town she came from in Queensland... David supplies, "Ceedum?" Charlie smiles, "That's right: Ceedum." She sits there looking pleased with herself.

Jill and Cheri are sitting in the lounge room at Dural with Karen, and as Karen hands Cheri a cup of tea, she asks her why she didn't take up the other job. Cheri explains that she's a nurse, not a companion - that's all they wanted her for, really: someone to sit and chat all day. Karen points out that there's nothing wrong with people needing companionship, and Cheri quickly says she knows, but it's not for her, she's afraid; she's more interested in looking after Alan. Karen tells her that that's fine by her - she was wondering where to start looking for a nurse. Cheri replies that she's got all her references there-- Karen interrupts her and tells her not to worry about references - if she's a friend of Jill's, that's fine by her. She then goes on that she's trying to arrange for her son to be home in the next couple of days, and she asks Cheri if that's too soon. Cheri assures her that she's ready to start when Karen likes. Karen, suddenly sounding more dubious, says she thinks she should warn Cheri that Alan can be very difficult - it's going to take a lot of patience and a lot of understanding; that's why she wanted to get in a nurse to help out. Jill smiles that she doesn't think there's anything they can tell Cheri, but Karen retorts that she thinks she should know what Alan is like; when she was at the hospital earlier, he was even talking about being better off dead. Cheri stares at her as she quickly adds that, of course, that's nonsense, but she can see how difficult it's likely to be. Cheri tells her not to worry - she's nursed all types of patients. Karen explains that it's so important for Alan to realise that he's not the only person in the world who's incapacitated. Cheri assures her, "Oh, I agree - he's got his whole life ahead of him. I hope I can help him see that..."

A car pulls up outside a pub called the 'Ceedum Royal' and Charlie climbs out. A bunch of blokes are sitting outside, drinking, and they start wolf-whistling when they see Charlie standing there, smartly-dressed. Charlie approaches them and says, "Good afternoon, gentlemen. I wonder if you could tell me where the Henderson house is." One of the blokes leers that it's out of town a bit, and he asks Charlie if she's a friend of George's. Charlie replies that, no: actually she's a friend of his stepdaughter, Leigh. One of the other blokes laughs knowingly, "Oh yeah? We all know Leigh, don't we fellas?!" Charlie snaps, "If you could just give me directions, please."

A while later, Charlie is walking up the path to a house, and she knocks on the front door. There's no answer, though, and so she calls out, "Hello! Is there anyone there?" She walks round to the back of the house, where a fierce-looking dog is lying on the verandah. She smiles and says, "Hello there, nice doggy," but it suddenly bares its teeth and growls at her. Charlie stares at it in shock.

Andy is laying the table at Fiona's, and he asks her if she wants any soup spoons, but Fiona tells him that they're not having any soup. She then asks if Chris said when he'd be back. Andy explains that he's gone sight-seeing, but he said he'd be there for lunch. Fiona asks Andy if he was alright last night, adding that she's sorry she doesn't have a room free for Chris at the moment. Andy suggests that he could always move in with Amanda, back at the apartment, but Fiona tells him that that there's no need to move - it shouldn't be for too long and she's sure Chris doesn't mind bunking on the floor, as long as he's OK. Andy assures her that it's fine. Fiona goes on that she's got a feeling that Chris is used to roughing it - just like his Uncle Barney. The front door suddenly opens and Chris walks in. Fiona laughs, "Speak of the devil!" Chris walks in, carrying under his arm a parcel wrapped in brown paper. Fiona asks him if he had a good day, and he replies that it wasn't bad: he went on a ferry cruise round the harbour; it was interesting. He then hands her the parcel and tells her that he found it on the front step - it's addressed to her. Fiona looks at it in surprise and she then starts opening it, saying as she does so that she wonders what it is. She undoes the wrapping to find a box inside. She lifts up the flaps of the box - and finds a snake writhing around inside. She recoils in shock and fear, knocking the box to the floor. The snake falls out and starts wriggling around on the floor. Chris quickly tells her not to panic - it's only a carpet snake. He picks it up, and Fiona cries at him to get it out of there. Chris tells her that he'll let it loose in the bush. Fiona yells that she doesn't care what he does with it - she just wants it out of there. Chris tells her to calm down - it's all under control. Andy puts a hand on Fiona's shoulder and asks her if she's OK. Fiona gasps that she's never been so scared in all her life.

A few minutes later, outside, Chris is standing at the end of the driveway, and he hands the snake - in its box - to a man standing waiting for him. He tells him, "Thanks for the loan," and he adds, "Worked like a charm. Didn't quite give her a heart attack, but it was a good start..."

In the flat, Andy hands Fiona a drink and sits down next to her on the couch. As she sips the drink, he suggests that they should get hold of the police. Fiona, though, shakes her head and says that whoever is behind all of this is being very childish and stupid and she refuses to give him the satisfaction of making a fuss about it. Andy growls that he nearly died when he saw that snake. Fiona, looking shaky, replies, "You nearly died? I was holding the box." Andy goes on that he has to admit: he was glad Chris was there to handle it; he knows he couldn't have. Fiona muses, "You know, that's the second time he's come to the rescue. I think I'm going to be very glad to have him around..."


    Links:  Episode 550    Episode Index    Main Index    Episode 552