Sons and Daughters logo
    Written by: Ian Coughlan   Produced by: John Holmes   Directed by: Brian Lennane

Karen suggests brightly that they all go in the lounge room and sit down, but Leigh snaps, "You sit down. I'm leaving." Karen, though, retorts, "Not until we've heard about Charlie's trip you're not. Sit down." Leigh puts her bags down and reluctantly goes and sits on the couch. Karen then says to Charlie, "Tell me about it," and Charlie replies, "Maybe you'll feel sorry for her when I do - it's not a nice story." The two of them sit down as well, and Karen muses that she can always send out for extra tissues! Charlie stares at Leigh and says, "Well, Leigh found out she was pregnant. The boy was the son of a rich farmer." Karen muses that that would be right, and she asks Leigh what it cost him to keep her quiet. Leigh retorts angrily, "You don't know anything about it," but Karen smiles that she's enjoying finding out, though. She looks back at Charlie, who continues, "Leigh told the boy that she was having his baby. Well, he didn't want any more to do with her. Well, Leigh was upset; she said she'd tell everyone that the baby was his. He told her to do what she liked; he'd make sure that no one believed her." Leigh sits there, staring into space unhappily, as Charlie goes on, "Then she got a message saying he'd changed his mind; that he wanted to meet so they could talk. She agreed, but the boy never turned up. Some others did, though." Karen muses, "So, you tried to blackmail him and he called your bluff?" Leigh, tears beginning to well in her eyes, cries, "No... All I wanted was for him to keep his promise. He was going to marry me; that's what he said before he got me pregnant. I thought, if I threatened to tell people, he'd realise I was serious and marry me like he promised. Instead, he had those mates of his waiting for me." Charlie explains that that's the part she doesn't understand: why didn't she go to the police? Leigh replies sadly that they wouldn't have believed her. Karen mutters sarcastically that she wonders why not. Leigh turns to face her and tells her that she never did anything with anyone until she met Richard; she just used to like making people think she did. Charlie asks sympathetically, "Why?" Leigh explains that it was a way of getting at her stepfather - it embarrassed him; if she couldn't hurt him any other way, she could at least do that. Karen says she sees: so Richard knew that, even if she did tell anybody what happened, nobody would believe the baby was his. She adds, "The boy's clever. I'll give him that." Leigh snarls, "Yeah? Pity you weren't in the car with him. You could have kept each other company." Karen looks at Charlie, who explains that Richard was in a car crash; he was badly hurt - someone had disconnected the brakes. Karen turns to Leigh and murmurs, "Really?" Leigh growls, "He deserved it." Charlie goes on that Leigh's brother was seen near the car before it crashed; he took the blame and spent nine months in a Youth Detention Centre. Karen snaps at Leigh, "You really are pathetic. You can't even do your own dirty work; you have to get your little brother to do it for you." Leigh sits up and cries, "I was the one who cut the brake lines. Tim was just keeping lookout. I didn't even want him to do that, but once he knew what Richard did to me, there was no way he'd stay out of it." Karen growls, "And you let him take all the blame?" She pauses before continuing that she wonders what would happen if the police heard about this; the case would be reopened. She goes on that she she wonders what the charge would be: attempted murder? Charlie comments that it does explain why Leigh has got such an awful chip on her shoulder. Leigh leans forward in a panic and cries, "Please..." Karen ignores her, going on, "Attempted murder. Should put you away for about... ten years?" Leigh suddenly stands up and runs out of the room. Karen smiles at Charlie and says triumphantly, "Well. One for our side." Charlie asks if they're not being a bit hard on her - the poor girl has had a dreadful experience. Karen, though, stands up and snaps that Charlie's not to tell her what she's been through; after what she did to Alan, she deserves whatever she gets. With that, Karen storms out, leaving Charlie looking worried.

Karen picks up Leigh's cases and carries them over to where Leigh is sitting on the stairs. She tells her angrily not to sit there blocking the way; she wants her out of the house - now. Leigh asks where she's supposed to go, but Karen retorts that she couldn't care less. Charlie joins them and points out to Leigh that she was ready to leave when she arrived, so she must have had somewhere in mind. Leigh retorts that she did, but - and she looks at Karen - she expected to have some money. Karen tells her tautly that it just goes to show: you shouldn't count your chickens. Leigh picks up her cases and retorts, "Well maybe you're counting yours a bit. I could still tell Wayne the truth about you and then disappear so the police will never find me." Karen muses, "Could you? Do you really think you could spend the rest of your life knowing that any minute you can make a wrong move or just an unlucky one? I don't think you could: you're too hungry for the good life, and you can't have that and keep your head down at the same time. Now take your things and get out of here." Charlie suddenly chips in and suggests that it might seem strange to Gordon if Leigh just disappears. She goes on that it might be better all round if Karen just let Leigh stay long enough to make some excuse. Karen, staring at Leigh, reluctantly replies, "Alright. But you'd better be gone before Alan gets home tomorrow." Leigh tells her not to worry - she will be; it won't be the first time she's slept on park benches. Charlie suggests to her that she could go back and stay with David for a while, but Leigh snaps, "Come off it. I'd go off my brain stuck at that dump. I'll find somewhere - you don't have to worry about me." With that, she storms back upstairs, carrying her cases.

Mike is sitting at the kitchen table at the country house while Heather works at the stove. David stands next to Mike and asks if Katie got away alright. Mike, looking at his watch, replies that she'd be halfway to Sydney by now. He then asks how Beryl is and David replies that she's not real good: all the way from the hospital, she just stared out the window and hardly said a word. Heather asks if she didn't want to come back there, and David shakes his head. Mike comments that at least being back in her own home might help her get over things, but Heather, looking worried, says she doesn't know - not if she's there by herself with no one else to help take her mind off things. David, sitting down at the table, says he doesn't like it either, but that's what she wanted; he even said he'd stay with her for a while, but she didn't want to know - she got really worked up about it. Heather suddenly suggests that she could stay with her until she's settled in, if he thinks it would help. David tells her that he'd feel a hell of a lot easier if she could - although he knows it's asking a bit with Katie just gone. Heather assures him that it's alright - she's glad to have something else to think about. With that concluded, she heads off to pack a few things. Alone with David, Mike says, "Still no word on your son?" David sighs and replies that Beryl's convinced she'll never see him again; the worst thing is, she could be right...

At Beryl's, Beryl picks up the Yellow Pages and starts looking through for a number - for a Detective Agency. She's staring at one of the adverts in there when there's suddenly a knock at the door, and she throws the directory down and runs to answer it. She looks disappointed to find Heather standing there. Seeing the look on Beryl's face, Heather says she's sorry - she didn't mean to startle her. Beryl tells her that it's alright - she thought it was the police. Heather realises she should have 'phoned, but Beryl explains, "No, no, I jump every time I hear that, too." Heather tells her that she just came to see if there was anything she can do. Beryl, though, replies that she has everything she needs. There's a pause, which Beryl breaks by suggesting to Heather that, as she's there, why doesn't she come in? The two of them head into the lounge room and Heather says she doesn't want to intrude or anything, but she just thought Beryl might like some company. Beryl insists that she's alright - really. Heather goes on that she was glad to get out of the house for a while herself. They go and sit down and Heather notices the Yellow Pages lying open on the floor. She asks carefully, "You still haven't heard anything?" Beryl murmurs, "No..." She then goes on that she got tired of sitting around waiting and not doing anything; she's got money and if that can help her get Robert back... Heather, looking worried, replies, "But private detectives... do you think that's a good idea?" Beryl retorts that it can't make things worse, can it? Heather continues that she didn't mean that Beryl shouldn't try everything, but you read about people spending all their money on private investigators and keeping them searching long after there's any real hope... She suggests that maybe Beryl would be better off just leaving it with the police. Beryl, though, tells her that she doesn't have to worry about her building up false hopes; she's quite resigned to the possibility of never seeing Robert again - but she has to try. Tears begin to well in her eyes, and Heather quickly sympathises, "Of course you do. Everything I say is coming out wrong. But the main thing is that you don't bottle up your feelings, and I think that's what you're doing a bit. Maybe you'd feel better if you let them out." Beryl, staring into space, snarls slowly, "The only thing I feel is hate - and believe me, I will happily let it out if I can just get my hands on the animals who took my baby." She stands up and dashes out to the kitchen, leaving Heather looking worried.

Leigh is leaning against a tree in the grounds at Dural, looking thoughtful. She suddenly appears to make a decision, and she heads back towards the house.

Inside, Barbara is talking on the 'phone in the hallway, and she asks the person on the other end - sounding incredulous as she does so - if they're sure that's really necessary. Leigh walks past her and heads into the lounge room, where Gordon is sitting, looking at some papers. Leigh asks him if he's got a minute, and he tells her that of course he has. He invites her to sit down and asks what the matter is. Leigh replies that something's come up and she's going to have to leave. Gordon, looking surprised, tells her that he's sorry to hear that. He then asks, "When you say something's come up...?" Leigh explains that it's sort of a personal thing. Gordon says to her that if she's in any kind of trouble... Leigh, though, quickly replies that it's nothing like that... not really; it's Alan. Gordon asks her how she means. Leigh tells him not to mention it to Karen or anything - she doesn't want anyone being embarrassed - but he's been chasing her a bit. Gordon stares at her as she goes on that he's really nice, but she's just not interested, and it makes everything a bit awkward, so she wanted to leave before he gets back. Gordon comments that he thought Alan and Jill-- Leigh interrupts and explains that that's why it's awkward. Gordon muses, "Oh." He then adds that it hardly seems fair that she should be the one to go, but Leigh tells him that it's the best way - she doesn't want to cause any trouble. Gordon asks her where she'll go, but before Leigh can answer, Barbara walks in and says, "Poor Beryl - don't think she wants to talk about it. She said--" She breaks off as she suddenly notices Leigh sitting there, and she apologises and asks if she's interrupting something. Leigh quickly assures her that she isn't, and she asks if there's any news. Barbara replies that there's nothing; she thinks Beryl wants to get a Private Investigator in. Gordon comments that that would cost a fortune and it's not likely to do any good, but Barbara tells him that she doesn't think money is any consideration - Beryl is willing to spend her last cent to get that baby back, and if she were in her position, she'd do the same. A look of interest crosses Leigh's face as Barbara says this... Gordon, changing the subject, tells Barbara that Leigh has just told him that she wants to leave them. Upon hearing her name, Leigh comes back to reality. Barbara looks at her and exclaims sympathetically that she thought she was happy there. Leigh assures her that she is; it's nothing to do with the job - it's a personal thing. Barbara sits down and tells her that it's a terrible shame. She adds that she's to let them know if they can do anything to help, and Leigh replies that she will. Gordon asks Barbara if she wants to ring an agency about somebody else, or will he? Barbara, though, tells him that it's been very nice to have Leigh there, but now that she's going, she thinks she can manage on her own. Gordon reminds her that she's supposed to take it easy, but Barbara smiles that that's nonsense - the best thing she can do is keep occupied. With that, she stands up and heads to the kitchen. Gordon comments to Leigh that she hasn't told them where she's going. Leigh replies, "Melbourne." Gordon asks her if she has a job lined up, but Leigh tells him, "No, I'm going to stay at Uncle David's. He must be feeling really awful about the baby; I want to do whatever I can to help him - and Beryl..."

Karen is coming down the stairs out in the hallway when Barbara comes in through the back way and says to her that she doesn't know if she's interested, but Leigh has just told them that she's leaving. Karen says she'll organise a replacement, then, but Barbara tells her curtly not to bother. She goes on that she didn't say anything before because she likes Leigh and didn't want her to lose her job, but having a housekeeper there is quite unnecessary. Karen mutters that she wouldn't have thought so, but Barbara retorts that if she's so worried about it, she'll try and help by running the house herself - and if it turns out that she does need some help, she'll arrange it. Leigh joins them and announces that she's just going over to see Charlie, if that's OK. Barbara puts a hand on her shoulder and smiles, "Yes, of course." Leigh goes. Karen says to Barbara, "Well, if it means so much to you to reassert yourself, by all means do so. Making beds and sweeping floors is one way of earning your keep, I suppose." She walks off, leaving Barbara looking bemused.

Charlie escorts Leigh into the lounge room at her house. As she does so, Leigh says to her that she'll only be there a minute, adding, "I just wants to say what I thinks of you." Charlie tells her to wait on; whatever Leigh might think, she didn't enjoy all that carry-on this morning - she doesn't particularly want to see Leigh thrown out on the streets; if she doesn't want to go back to Melbourne, she can stay there for a few days until she finds somewhere. Leigh glares at her and spits, "I wouldn't stay here to save my life." She then goes on angrily that the only way Charlie could have found out about her was from Tim, and he wouldn't have said anything unless she tricked him. She continues that she supposes Charlie is proud of that, fooling a kid into trusting her. Charlie snaps, "Don't try and make me feel guilty, Leigh. You brought it on yourself, trying to blackmail people. I don't condone for a moment what those dreadful men did to you, but I thought it might at least have learnt you a lesson." Leigh exclaims, "A lesson?" Charlie snaps at her that if she tries to extort money from people, she's asking for trouble. Leigh, looking surprised, asks, "Is that what you think? That I was after Richard's money?" She goes on, "His father hated me. If we'd got married, we would have been cut off without a cent. But I still wanted to marry him and have his baby - at least, until I found out the sort of person he really was." Staring at Charlie and smiling nastily, she adds, "But you're right, though, I did learn a lesson: I learnt that if you've got money, you can walk all over people - and if you haven't, you get walked on." Charlie mutters that if Leigh believes that, she feels sorry for her. Leigh, though, retorts that it's the truth: Charlie just proved it. Charlie glares at her and snaps, "If you want to get anywhere, Leigh, you're going to have to lose that chip. It's not my fault that Richard dumped you and you lost your baby. Or Karen's, either." She sighs heavily. Leigh asks, "What do you mean, 'lost the baby'?" Charlie stares at her in surprise and says, "But... when you were attacked. I assumed..." Leigh retorts bitterly that she couldn't be that lucky - she didn't come anywhere near losing it: they made her have it - but they couldn't make her keep it. Charlie recalls, "There was a baby - at your parents' place." Leigh snaps that that's where it can stay, as far as she's concerned; it's Richard's kid, not hers; she doesn't care if she never sees it again.

Beryl is on the 'phone at home in Melbourne, and she thanks the person at the other end and says she'll come down straight away. She hangs up. Heather comes into the room and Beryl asks her if she's going into town, by any chance. Heather replies that she does have to do some shopping... Beryl explains that she's just been on to one of those agencies; he sounded very professional and he said she could come down straight away, so... Heather sighs, "Oh, Beryl, I still think you're getting your hopes up. If anyone can find Robert, it's the police." Beryl mutters at her that she doesn't have to - she can get a taxi. Heather, though, assures her that of course she'll drive her - they can do their shopping on the way back. Beryl smiles at her and thanks her, adding that Heather doesn't know how good it feels to be finally doing something.

As Beryl and Heather head outside, they don't notice Ross sitting in a car just up the street, watching them. They climb into Heather's car and pull away.

Standing in the grounds at Woombai, next to a car, Fiona tells Stephen that she'd like him to meet Chris, Barney Adams' nephew. Stephen shakes Chris's hand and tells him that it's good to meet him. He then asks him if his luggage is in the boot, and he and Chris walk round to the back of the car. As they do so, Chris comments that Fiona told him that they've got some good horses up there. Stephen replies, "Yeah. You ride?" Chris tells him, "Every chance I get," and Stephen assures him that he should get plenty of chances there! As Chris opens the car boot, Fiona asks how Bonnie is, and Stephen smiles that she's as bad-tempered as ever! Fiona indignantly laughs that she's not bad-tempered, but Stephen tells her, "Maybe not with you. She is with everyone else!" Chris asks who Bonnie is, and Stephen explains that it's Fiona's favourite mare. Fiona tells him that it's just that Bonnie knows when people are nervous with her, and that makes her nervous. Chris tells her that she wants to be careful - one thing he's learnt about horses is that they're unpredictable. Fiona laughs that that's nonsense: it just takes a little bit of trust on both sides. With the men carrying the bags, the three of them start heading for the homestead.

A few moments later, as they walk into the lounge room, Stephen says to Fiona that he gathers from what she said on the 'phone that she'd prefer not to advertise the fact that she's there. Fiona tells him that she doesn't think it's all that serious - she's sure whoever it is will give up once they know she's left town. The three of them sit down, and Stephen muses, "Maybe. Best not to drop your guard too soon - I heard what happened when Patricia came up here to get away from Roger Carlyle." Fiona says she doesn't know who it is who's trying to frighten her, but she's sure it's not a Roger Carlyle! She then pats Chris's leg and smiles that she's got him looking after her - he's been a real tower of strength through all this. Chris smiles back and comments that it's almost a family obligation: somebody to take care of her!

At Charlie's, Leigh snaps, "The last thing I need's a kid hanging round my neck." Charlie retorts that if she really felt like that, she'd put him up for adoption. She sits down and Leigh tells her that she was going to, but her mum said she'd take him, so she let her - mainly because she knew George didn't want her to. She adds, "It's funny, don't you reckon? Two guys I hate most in the world: one of them's stuck with the other one's kid." Charlie snaps that she thinks it's natural for a mother to love her baby no matter how it's conceived, and she's sure deep-down Leigh is no different. Leigh raises her eyebrows in disbelief. Charlie then goes on that, anyway, Katie O'Brien is coming up from Melbourne this afternoon and she's staying there, so Leigh will have someone else to talk to apart from her. She adds that Katie is planning on building up a computer business - and she might even offer Leigh a job. Leigh snaps, "I don't want a job." Charlie warns her, "You're going to have to start thinking about a career sometime, darling, and if I can help, I will." Leigh retorts nastily, "Well, 'darling', you know what you can do with your help and your pity. I've decided I am going back to David's, but not just to sit round and rot. I've got things all worked out - and if you think I got uptight when you talked about the baby, you're right - but only because I hate it so much." Charlie stares at her and she goes on, "You don't know as much about people as you think, do you?" She walks out, leaving Charlie looking shocked.

Fiona, Stephen and Chris are standing with a couple of horses by the stables at Woombai. Fiona is wearing her riding gear, and Chris comments that Bonnie has got that look in her eye - he doesn't know that he'd like to get offside with her! Stephen replies that she seems quiet enough today - and Fiona is right: she and Bonnie do seem to have an understanding. Fiona is stroking Bonnie, and she soothes that she's a sweetheart; she wouldn't even hurt a fly. She leads the horse off, and Chris walks over to the other horse, picks up the reins and climbs onto the saddle. The horse trots away. Fiona follows on Bonnie, and Stephen calls after the two of them to enjoy themselves, adding that he'll see them when they get back. Chris waves at him. Stephen waves back.

Beryl and Heather leave the office of the Private Investigators. As they head outside, they pass a plaque on the wall saying 'McAuliffe & Partners, Inquiry Agents. 1st Floor'. Beryl says to Heather that she doesn't know why she didn't think of it earlier, instead of as a last resort. Heather points out that that's what it is, but Beryl reminds her that Mr. McAuliffe seemed very hopeful. Heather comments that she couldn't give him much to go on, but Beryl retorts that he wouldn't have taken the case if he didn't think he could do something. Heather quietly sighs, "No." She then suggests that they'd better get some shopping done, or it'll be beans on toast tonight, and they start walking back to Heather's car. As they do so, Heather takes out a list and says she has to go to the supermarket first and then she has to pick up a few things for Mike from the hardware store. Beryl is staring straight ahead of her, though, her attention miles away, and she doesn't listen as Heather asks her if she has to go anywhere else, apart from the supermarket. A baby is crying, and Beryl suddenly starts running towards it. Heather looks at her in shock and asks, "What's wrong?" Beryl runs up to a pushchair; there's a baby lying in it, and she bends down to have a look at it. Heather warns, "Beryl!" A woman suddenly runs out of a nearby shop and demands, "What are you doing?" Beryl, looking slightly ashamed, stumbles, "Er, er, nothing - I was just wondering why--" The woman snaps at her not to bother, adding that she's scaring her son. She quickly wheels the baby away, and Beryl murmurs that she's sorry. Heather tells her that she can't go to pieces every time she hears a baby cry. She then offers to take her home, but Beryl insists that she's alright, and she suggests they do the shopping.

Fiona and Chris are leading their horses along a field in the grounds at Woombai, and as they walk along, Fiona is saying that it's funny: Bonnie has got people she likes and people she doesn't like, and she supposes she knows that she'd never hurt her - and she never would. She then goes on that it's so fresh and clean up there - they must be out of their minds to live in the city! Chris just mutters, "Yeah..." He suddenly spots some thistle heads lying on the ground, and, as Fiona walks on ahead, she doesn't notice him pick one up and test its sharpness. He looks at her, nastily...

Beryl and Heather are preparing lunch in the kitchen at Beryl's, and Beryl is saying to Heather that when she was in the hospital after Robert was taken, she used to think she could hear him cry at night. Heather tells her that it would have been one of the other babies in Maternity, but Beryl retorts, "No, no - the nursery was at the other end of the building. I must have imagined it." She walks over to the table, and places a board of chopped meat on there. She suddenly realises that she must have forgotten to get some celery. Heather says she'll dip down to the corner to get some, but Beryl tells her not to worry. Heather insists that it's no trouble, and so Beryl asks her if she can get some rice as well, adding that she's not very organised at the moment. Heather says she'll get some milk, too - she noticed that was a bit low. She goes to walk out, but Beryl stops her and tells her that she's sorry she was rude when she arrived - she does appreciate the company. Heather replies that she knows. She then adds that she brought a few things with her in the car, just in case Beryl wanted her to stay over. Beryl smiles that she'd like that.

A few moments later, Heather walks down the path and heads off down the street, past the old O'Brien house. As soon as she's out of the way, Ross gets out of his car and approaches Beryl's place, putting his jacket on as he does so. He pauses, takes a deep breath and then heads towards the house.

In the kitchen, Beryl is wiping up the chopping knife that she was using to cut the meat. She turns back to the table in the middle of the room, folding up the tea-towel as she does so, and she doesn't notice Ross appearing behind her, at the kitchen window. He pauses to look in and he then walks to the back door and opens it. Upon hearing the noise, Beryl and stares at him, in shock. He smiles nastily and says, "I can tell you where your child is." Beryl backs away as he adds, "I know exactly where she would have taken her. All I want is enough money to get out of the country now." Beryl picks up the telephone receiver, but Ross threatens, "You call the police, you'll never see your son again - that is a promise." Beryl hesitates and he adds, "Last chance, Mrs. Palmer. What's it going to be?" Beryl stares at him in horror.

At Woombai, Fiona is feeding Bonnie some grass, and she pats the horse's mane, lovingly. Chris walks over and comments that she loves it. He pats Bonnie as well, and Fiona warns the horse, "Don't get too upset - it's only Chris. There's a good girl." Chris is still holding the thistle head in his hand and, when he's sure Fiona isn't looking, he lifts up Bonnie's saddle slightly and places it underneath, so that the thistle is in direct contact with her mane. As he does this, Bonnie becomes slightly restless, and Chris quickly backs away, laughing that he knows when he isn't wanted. Fiona says she thinks the horse is ready to go back - and so is she! She adds that she hasn't ridden for months and she has a feeling that, tomorrow, she's going to be paying for it! She puts her foot in the stirrup and goes to climb on. Chris watches intently as she pushes down on the saddle to give her some leverage, causing the thistle to push itself into Bonnie and inject a shot of pain into her. This causes her to buckle and the action results in Fiona being thrown back onto the ground. Bonnie then rears up, and as Fiona rolls over to get up, she realises fearfully that the horse's hooves are heading straight for her. She puts her hands up in front of her to try and protect herself.


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