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    Written by: Bevan Lee   Produced by: Posie Jacobs   Directed by: Julian McSwiney

At Charlie's, Wayne is sitting in the lounge room, about to eat some takeaway, when there's a knock at the door. He goes to answer it and finds a blonde-haired woman standing there, wearing dark glasses. It's Patricia. She stares at Wayne, looking surprised, and then blusters, "Oh. I was wanting to see Charlie Bartlett. Is she home?" She steps inside as Wayne explains that Charlie is in Melbourne; he's minding the place. Patricia takes off her glasses and asks Wayne when he expects her back. Wayne, though, replies that he has no idea; she's sort of half moved down there. He then asks, "You a friend of hers, are you?" Patricia, looking delighted at not being recognised, tells Wayne, "An acquaintance." Wayne offers her the telephone number to contact Charlie, and Patricia asks if she can ring from the house. Wayne assures her that that's fine. Patricia goes on, "I was hoping to stay, actually. When I met her in London, Charlie offered me an open invitation. She said any time I was in Sydney, her home was my home." She then asks, "Would you get my bags, please?" Wayne, looking surprised, picks them up and places them in the hallway. Patricia wanders into the lounge room and starts looking around. When Wayne comes back in, she comments, "Very nice. Charlie has taste." Wayne asks her if she hasn't been there before, and Patricia replies, "No." She then tells him, "I've just come in from London." Holding out her hand, she introduces, "Alison Carr." She adds, "You're?" Wayne introduces himself and tells Alison that he's pleased to meet her. Alison asks, "Husband? Boyfriend?" Wayne, though, laughs, "No!" He then explains that he used to live next door, but he had a bit of a barney with the family, so he moved in there. Alison comments wryly, "Some things never change." Wayne looks at her sharply and asks what she said. Alison quickly tells him, "I said Sydney hasn't changed." Wayne hands her the number of the country house, and Alison remarks that the number is under the name of David Palmer. She quickly adds that she wouldn't want to bother any of Charlie's friends, ringing so late. Wayne, though, assures her that it's OK - he's not there at the moment. Alison asks sharply, "Where is he?" and Wayne replies, "On holidays." Alison asks if he's away for long, adding quickly that she just wondered if she can expect Charlie back. Wayne suggests that it would be easier if she asked Charlie. Alison murmurs, "Yes. Right."

A short time later, Charlie is talking on the 'phone in the kitchen at the country house as Beryl washes up at the sink. Charlie is saying, "Your voice sounds slightly familiar, darling, but... oh dear, I must sound so rude... well I just can't place you." Alison tells her - as Wayne listens on - "Cynthia Hemingway's party in Belgravia. Last year. Don't you remember? You told me any time I was in Australia, I could stay. We talked for quite some time - you told me about your involvement in the fashion business. It was fashion, wasn't it?" Charlie confirms that that's right. Alison goes on, "Cynthia promised she'd call you and tee it all up for me. I feel so embarrassed turning up out of the blue like this." Charlie, though, insists that she's the one who's embarrassed; she can't even put a face to the name. Alison 'reminds' her that they took a bottle of Dom out to the conservatory and discussed the shows in Paris. Charlie smiles, "Oh look, darling, I hate to see you put out." Alison suggests to her that obviously Cynthia tried to call her but couldn't. Charlie agrees, "Obviously." She then tells Alison to make herself comfortable and if she doesn't get down to Melbourne, well, maybe they can have a few chats on the 'phone? Alison asks her if she doesn't expect to be back in the near future. Charlie replies, "Oh, no, I'm minding the house for a friend while he's in Rio." A look of shock crosses Alison's face. Charlie goes on, "He won't be back for ages." Alison, looking concerned, asks, "Really?" Charlie asks if there's any reason he should be, adding that she loses track of all the fighting that goes on in these places. Alison quickly replies, "Oh, no, it's nothing like that. I was... well, a little bit envious, I suppose. Let's face it: Rio de Janeiro... who wouldn't be envious?" She then asks if he's just on a holiday, but Charlie replies that it's personal; private. Alison assures her that she didn't mean to pry. Charlie then tells her that she's welcome to the house if she wants it. She adds that she's sure Wayne won't interfere with her - he's a sweetie, but he does have his funny little ways! A smile crosses Alison's face, and she tells Charlie that she can't thank her enough. Charlie says, "If you don't get down to Melbourne, have a nice stay, and perhaps I'll catch up with you when you're in London." Alison, though, assures her, "Oh, I'm sure we'll meet before then." She then thanks Charlie, and they hang up. At the country house, Beryl immediately asks Charlie if she really knows who Alison is or if she's just pretending. Charlie explains that her voice sounded familiar and she obviously knew all about her, so she supposes she has met her...

Sometime later, Alison joins Wayne in the lounge room at Charlie's, having changed and freshened up. Wayne offers her something to eat, but she says she doubts there's much in the 'fridge from the look of what he was eating when she arrived! Wayne tells her that he can go and get her something, but Alison says, "Don't bother - it's so far to the shops." She quickly clarifies, "At least, I didn't see any on the way in. Obviously, I don't know the neighbourhood..." She then thanks him for offering. Changing the subject, she tells him that Charlie mentioned her friend in Rio: David...? Wayne replies, "Palmer." Alison asks what he's doing there, and Wayne replies, "Looking for his wife. That's where he thinks she is. She did a flit rather than face a murder charge." Looking worried, Alison comments that he obviously loves her, to chase after her like that. Wayne mutters, "More fool him. Patricia's trouble; always has been." Alison remarks that that's not a very nice way to talk about someone, but Wayne retorts, "She's my stepmother - or was, until she married David. I was glad to see the back of her. Everyone will be a lot better off if David comes home alone." He then suggests that they forget her, and he asks Alison to tell him about herself. Alison muses, "Alright. If Patricia's that unsavoury, I make a much better topic of conversation..."

In the kitchen at the country house, Charlie says to Beryl that she hopes Alison does get down to Melbourne, as she'd love to catch up with some London gossip; she feels so isolated down there in the country, sometimes - she does like a bit of sophistication every now and then. She then clasps her hand to her mouth and quickly apologises to Beryl for that comment, but Beryl assures her that she knows what she means! She then announces that she may partake of some of the simple pleasures and watch some tele with the boys! She goes to head off to the lounge room, but as she does so, she bumps into Sally, who's coming in with some books. She tells Beryl that she's got to get stuck in to her assignment. Beryl laughs that it's good to see someone making themselves study; the trouble she had with her three when they were young...! She heads off and Sally goes and sits down at the table. She then comments to Charlie that Beryl doesn't seem to talk much about her children. Charlie, though, assures her that she misses them. She explains that Kevin's overseas and John's up north and Susan's in the country... She then tells Sally, "I didn't talk about you and Adam over the years. It hurt, so I understand Beryl." She then looks at Sally's books and comments that she thought she was studying Art Conservation. Sally replies that she is, but it's handy to know a bit of chemistry, which means doing a year of maths as a co-requisite. Charlie laughs, "When I studied mathematics at school, one and one made two - and I only learnt that because I thought it sounded vaguely romantic!" Sally, squeezing Charlie's hand, invites her to come along to one of her lectures with her and see what it's really like. Charlie muses, "My God. Educating Charlie. You never know: I might run into Michael Caine!"

Leigh, Adam and Brett are all sitting on the couch in the lounge room and Beryl is sitting in an armchair. The four of them are watching a fight in a film on TV, but Adam is looking increasingly uncomfortable, and after a few seconds, he stands up and dashes out. He storms into the kitchen and heads outside, leaving Charlie and Sally looking surprised. Beryl comes into the kitchen after him and tells Charlie and Sally, "Brett chose the worst possible film he could: cops and robbers." In the lounge room, Brett turns off the TV and mutters, "Stupid. Why didn't I think?" Leigh comments sourly that it looks like she's not the only one round there who hurts people. Brett, though, growls, "At least I don't mean to." He storms out.

Adam is sitting just outside the kitchen door. Charlie comes out and, sitting down next to him, explains that Beryl told her what happened. She adds that it's hard for her to understand... Adam tells her that she couldn't understand. Charlie insists that she could try. She then tells him that she and Sally were discussing mathematics when he came through, and she asks how that is for his mum making an effort. Adam, though, retorts that it's hardly the same thing. Charlie then suggests that she could give him some money and he could take a break from the force and go overseas perhaps. Adam, glaring at her, snaps, "You think money's the answer to everything, don't you?" and he stands up and storms off.

In the lounge room at Charlie's, Wayne is pouring drinks for himself and Alison, and he comments to Alison that, from the sound of things, she's having a very open-ended holiday. Alison replies that she's taking it as it comes; if she likes Sydney, she'll stay for a while. Wayne, handing her a drink, assures her, "You'll like it." He then adds flirtatiously, "It'll like you, that's for sure." Alison asks dubiously if that's the Australian charm she's heard so much about. Wayne smiles that he guesses so, adding, "It comes naturally to some of us!" Alison raises her glass and says, "Chin chin." Wayne suddenly stares at her in surprise and comments, "Chin chin? Patricia used to say that. It always sounded funny to me." Alison comments that, from the sound of Patricia, she hopes that's all they have in common. Wayne smiles, "I'm sure it is. You're very attractive..." Alison quickly tells him, "Then I'm obviously not looking like I feel! Travelling's fine; the only bad thing about being away from home is I miss my man. We're very close." Realising what she's implying, Wayne laughs, "Don't tell me I'm that obvious?" Alison retorts, "You're not subtle!" Wayne points out that she can't blame a bloke for trying! Alison assures him that she's flattered, and she suggests they leave it at that. Wayne agrees, "OK - for tonight." He then suggests, "You're on holidays. You might feel differently once you relax." Alison, though, says she doubts it very much. Changing the subject, she suggests, "Anyway, tell me all about yourself and your family. You sound like a fascinating group of people." Wayne, though, snarls, "They're a pack of idiots."

Andy and Colin arrive back at the Morrell apartment after a game of squash. Andy is enthusing that he likes those new glass-backed courts, as you don't miss any of the talent! He then says to Colin, "Still, I don't know why you didn't want to check out that blonde and her friend!" Colin tells him warily, "No... she was interested in you, but her friend wasn't too keen on me." Andy tells Colin that he didn't even smile! Looking around, Colin comments that it looks like Caroline and Sam are still at the movies. Andy says he's been thinking: if Colin being there causes any hassles for Caroline, he can move into the boarding house; one of the rooms will be free soon, and Colin can share with him until then - unless, of course, he's got his eye on someone; he wouldn't want to cramp his style! Colin mutters quietly, "I wouldn't worry about that." Andy, not hearing him, asks, "Sorry?" Colin tells him, "I said, um... I said I wouldn't worry about that. I'm not chasing Sam. I'm not chasing any girl." Andy laughs, "You sure weren't tonight! I tell you, it's all in the smile!" Colin, looking nervous, persists, "Andy. What if you prefer smiling at men?" Andy, suddenly looking shocked, stares at him and murmurs, "What?" Colin asks, "So you still want to share the room with me?"

Gordon stands up from where he was sitting in the lounge room at Woombai, commenting as he does so that tonight has made him feel very old! Stephen, who's sitting with Jenny, asks why, and Gordon explains that, once, he would have dragged Stephen out for a raging buck's night, but look at them: a glass of warm Horlicks and a nine o'clock bedtime! He then wishes them goodnight and heads off to his room. When he's gone, Stephen remarks to Jenny, with a smile on his face, "Gordon's right: I am mellowing." Jenny asks him if that bothers him, and Stephen admits, "Yeah." He then quickly adds, "But I've got you, haven't I?!" Jenny warns him humorously that if he turns into one of those men who lets themselves go after they're married, there'll be big trouble!

Caroline and Samantha arrive back at the Morrell apartment to find Colin sitting on the couch, a glum expression on his face. Caroline asks him how the squash went, but he just sits there and murmurs, "So so..." Caroline looks at Samantha, who says she'll catch them in the morning. She then heads off to bed, leaving Caroline to ask Colin, "Is it a general downer or a specific downer?" Colin sighs, "I told Andy. I felt I had to - I couldn't handle the 'let's be blokes together' thing anymore." Caroline, sitting down, asks, "And he took it badly?" Colin explains that he didn't carry on or anything; it's just that his jaw hit the carpet and he got out as soon as he could. He adds sadly, "I don't think there'll be any more squash games." Caroline tells him that he has to expect a certain amount of surprise. Colin, though, cries that it was as if he was suddenly a different person to Andy; you want to be honest about yourself and people just don't want to know. Caroline, taking his hand, assures him, "I do - and if you agree to letting me tell Samantha, I'm sure she will, too. That makes two of us." Colin smiles weakly and tells her, "You're a great lady. No wonder I wanted to love you." Caroline suggests, "That's the trouble, though, isn't it? You wanted to love me. You can't force those things." She then tells Colin to give Andy a chance - she's sure he'll come back to it again. Colin mutters, "I won't hold my breath." He then leans towards Caroline and kisses her on the lips, before pulling away and saying, "Stephen's lucky having mum, but I reckon he was nuts letting you go." He then adds, "Sure. Yeah, you can tell Samantha." With that, he stands up and heads off to his room.

Adam is lying asleep on the couch in the lounge room at the country house, having a nightmare about the shooting. As he relives the bullet being fired, he wakes up and lets out a yell of fear. He sits bolt upright and starts panting heavily. The light suddenly comes on and Charlie walks in. Looking concerned, she asks him if he's alright, but Adam explains that it was a bad dream. Charlie, going and sitting down next to him, tells him that she heard him come home earlier; she was going to come in but thought better of it. She then goes on that the help she offered him before... she didn't mean it to sound as if she thought money could buy everything; she knows it can't - and certainly not happiness. Adam tells her, "It's the funeral tomorrow. I'm one of the pallbearers. I'm freaked about it. I keep thinking... I keep thinking it could have been me. They tell you about the dangers, but you never think you're going to die." Charlie gives him a hug, but Adam assures her that it's OK. Charlie sighs, "Being a mother doesn't come easily to me - not like it does to, say, Beryl. I can only do what seems right at the time." Adam nods that he knows. Charlie then tells him that she's his mother and she loves him and she's not going to apologise for it. She continues, "Sleep tight, and if you have any more bad dreams, wake me. That's what mothers are for." She kisses him on the cheek and then returns to her room. Adam sighs heavily and mutters, "What are you going to do? Sing me a lullaby?"

The next morning, Beryl is out the front, sweeping the verandah. Adam is lying fast asleep on the couch in the lounge room. Leigh comes in, looks at him and straightens the blanket that's covering him. She then heads outside and joins Beryl. She comments that it looks like Adam slept with the light on last night - she thinks he's pretty mixed up. Beryl murmurs that she feels sorry for him. Leigh suggests that she should have a word with him, but Beryl asks her to leave it to Charlie; she thinks she wants to handle it. Leigh mutters that it's pretty crazy her trying to advise someone; she can't even handle her own problems. Beryl asks if Brett is still anti, and Leigh replies, "Unless a miracle's happened since last night." She then heads off to collect the eggs for breakfast.

A few moments later, Leigh opens the gate to the chicken coop and stops in shock. There's a dead chicken lying there. Leigh looks horrified.

A short time later, Leigh is standing in the coop, tying up a black plastic bag. Brett comes out of the nearby shed and asks what's going on. Leigh explains that a fox or something got into the chook house, and three are dead. She asks him if he didn't hear anything, but Brett retorts that he's the world's heaviest sleeper; it takes a bomb to wake him. Leigh growls, "It must. There would've been a hell of a racket." Brett snaps, "Don't make it sound like it's my fault. If I had've heard anything, I would've come out." Leigh mutters that she's sorry: she's upset, that's all; it wasn't fun cleaning up. She goes to head off to throw the carcasses in the incinerator. Brett calls after her to ask if she's OK, but Leigh asks angrily, "What would you care?" Brett tells her that he knows how she felt about them. He then asks if any of them were the new chicks. Leigh replies, "One. My favourite: Oscar." Brett comments that it must be tough. He then suddenly notices something in the distance and, pointing, says, "No. It wasn't a fox. Look." Leigh looks across to where he's pointing: Patch is gnawing at another chicken carcass. Brett tells her, "Dog's turned hen-killer." Leigh runs over to the dog and cries in disappointment, "Oh, Patch." Brett suggests that he take Patch to his owners and tell them. Leigh asks what will happen to him, and Brett replies that they'll probably have to put him down. Leigh cries that he doesn't know he's done anything wrong. Brett, though, snaps that that doesn't mean he can be allowed to go on doing it. Leigh snarls, "I don't expect you to understand, but Patch has been a good friend to me. He stood by me when others around here wouldn't give me the time of day." Brett says he doesn't have any other answer. He then suggests that they go and see old Patterson together. Leigh glares at him.

Alison is sitting on one of the couches in Charlie's lounge room, flicking through a magazine. Wayne wanders in, wearing his dressing gown and sipping a glass of orange juice, and comments that he thought Alison would have slept 'til all hours. Alison, though, explains that she's still on London time. She then asks Wayne how he is, and he mutters, "Terrible." Alison comments that that's hardly surprising. Wayne asks sourly what time the party broke up last night, and Alison tells him that he toddled-off at about 1am. She adds, "You like a drink when you're down, don't you?" Wayne mutters, "Yeah, well. I wasn't getting any other company." Alison smiles, "Not bad for a man with a hangover!" Wayne sits down and says he hopes he didn't bash her ear too much. Alison suggests that they just say she knows him a lot better this morning than when she arrived. Wayne groans, "What did I go on about?" Alison tells him, "Oh... being accused of rape... about how angry you were with your father and Stephen... all about the wedding today..." Looking thoughtful, she then adds, "So... he's tying the knot again?" As Wayne gives her a questioning look, she quickly adds that he seems like an old friend: Wayne talked about him a lot; he Patricia's ex-husband, right? Wayne nods, "Yeah. The second poor mug she gave the run-around to." Alison sips from a mug and then tells Wayne, "Last night, you were all for going to the wedding and causing a commotion." Wayne groans, "Oh no. Listen, I go on a bit when I've had a few to drink." Alison, though, tells him that she had a feeling he meant it - so she gave the matter some thought and, if he's interested, she's come up with an idea that's a little more 'subtle' than just crashing in on them. She adds, "I'll just go and get a top-up and we'll talk about it." She heads out of the room, leaving Wayne sitting on the other couch, looking puzzled.

Samantha is ironing a dress at the Morrell apartment. Caroline and Colin are standing nearby, and Caroline tells Colin that she wishes he'd change his mind: his mother wants him to be there and she thinks he ought to be, no matter how he feels at the moment. Samantha tells him, "It'd make her really happy. You can come with Andy and me - he's picking me up any minute." Colin mutters, "I doubt he'd be too keen on me tagging along," but Samantha assures him, "He's your friend, whatever you think. I'm sure you're misjudging him." Colin stands there in silence for a few seconds and then sighs, "Alright, I'll go. Be a good chance to tell mum the truth about me, I suppose." Caroline, suddenly looking worried, quickly tells him that that wouldn't be fair - not today. Colin asks if she doesn't have a right to know. Samantha chips in, "Yes - and I think she'll understand - but you have to give her a chance to come to terms with it. The middle of her wedding day isn't exactly the most tactful time. It's the same with Andy - you have to give people a while to adjust." Colin sighs that, OK, he'll go to the wedding and he won't say anything; he'll save the 'good news' for a more appropriate occasion. Caroline smiles, "Good. I'll give them a ring and let them know." She heads off to make the call. Samantha smiles at Colin.

Alison returns to the lounge room at Charlie's, another mug of coffee in her hand. Wayne is sitting with his head in his hands, but Alison places her hand on his forehead and pushes his head back so that he's looking at her. He asks her, "OK, what's your idea?" Alison, though, replies, "In a minute." Wayne then asks, "Why are you doing this, anyway? You hardly know me, and you don't know Stephen and the others at all. Why are you willing to help me hit back at all the others?" Alison explains, "You look like you could do with some help." She then adds, "I'm not quite doing it out of the kindness of my heart, though. As it happens, I'm a little short of money." Wayne nods and smiles, "I can relate to that." He then tells her, "If you come up with something feasible, I'll make sure it's worthwhile." Alison tells him, "Consider it a deal." Wayne then asks, "So, what's your famous idea?" Alison replies, "It seems like a nice day for a trip to Woombai..." As Wayne stares at her, she adds, "You said you've got an invitation to the wedding. I think you should go." Wayne murmurs, "For heaven's sake, why?" Alison, a sly smile on her face, tells him, "Because I've got an idea that's going to be far more eventful than anyone's expecting..."


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