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    Written by: Bevan Lee   Produced by: Posie Jacobs   Directed by: Alister Smart

Beryl emerges from the O'Brien house, holding Robert and smiling at him that he's a handsome little boy! Inside, Heather is talking on the 'phone, telling the person at the other end that she'll be straight down. She then hangs up, heads to the french windows and calls outside to Beryl that she's going to the hospital for Mike's test results. Beryl turns to look at her and then turns back to Robert and says to him quietly, "We'll be able to go home soon. Won't be long, darling..." She kisses him, happily.

A short time later, Beryl is back inside as Heather brushes her hair before going out. Beryl asks her if they gave her any idea what's wrong, but Heather shakes her head and replies that that's what worries her. Beryl tells her not to upset herself until she knows something definite. Heather gives 'Jamie' a kiss and tells him to be a good boy for Aunty Beryl. A look crosses Beryl's face... Heather then tells her that she can't thank her for all her help - especially with Jamie; she feels bad about keeping her from her work. Beryl tells her not to worry about it. With that, Heather dashes out, almost banging into Leigh on the way. Leigh looks at Beryl and says to her, "They were both criers last night. Stereo babies." Beryl just looks at Robert. Leigh adds, "It's nearly over, then." Beryl, though, retorts that it could be just starting; if Mike's results are bad, it's going to be twice as hard to tell Heather she's taking Robert. With that, she announces that she's got to put him down. Leigh suggests that they give the babies a walk afterwards. Beryl, though, snaps, "No." Leigh pleads, "Beryl..." Beryl snaps, "What?" Leigh tells her, "I'm trying to be friendly." Beryl, though, snarls, "No amount of being friendly will ever make up for what you've done." Leigh asks what she can do to make it up, but Beryl suggests curtly, "You'll have to wait and see, won't you?"

Colin enters the house at Dural, walking into the hallway with a backpack. He puts it down and heads into the lounge room, where Stephen is sitting on the couch. Stephen asks how it went, and Colin replies mutedly that it wasn't good; he felt sorry for her. Stephen suggests tersely, "She probably gave you the Caroline Morrell 'forgive me' routine; I've fallen for that myself." Colin, though, explains that she said he was better off out of if - and so's Samantha. He adds that Caroline was sort of 'pathetic'. Stephen mutters, "Forgive me if I don't sympathise." Looking at the electronic chess set in front of Stephen, Colin changes the subject and asks him how he's doing. Stephen moves a piece and murmurs that he thinks he's about to lose... After a moment, he concedes, "Thought so!" He then adds that the chess set is a bit like Caroline, actually: looks harmless, but shrewd as they come, underneath. He tells Colin, "Don't waste your pity on her." Colin, though, retorts, "She was a good friend. I loved her - well, in a way. I hate feeling angry with her." Stephen mutters that she asked for it. He adds that maybe he should play Colin at chess next time, rather than the machine! Colin asks why the sudden interest in chess, and Stephen muses, "Anything to keep my mind off Jenny." Colin stares at him and Stephen explains, "It looks bad. Irene's having some more tests done." Colin asks what she thinks it is, and Stephen replies, "Hodgkin's Disease." He then stands up to go and get a proper chess board from the study. As he heads out to the hallway, Jenny comes downstairs and asks if she heard Colin. Stephen tells her that she should be in bed. Jenny, though, groans that she's bored up there. Stephen gives her a hug as she adds that she hopes it isn't glandular fever; if it is, she'll be in bed for weeks. She then adds, "What's a few weeks out of a lifetime, eh?" Stephen, looking worried, murmurs, "Right..."

The television is on in the lounge room at Woombai. A newsreader is reporting, "The recent murder of a Victorian couple and the disappearance of their granddaughter had a surprise sequel yesterday. Police have released details of the reappearance of Mary Reynolds, hundreds of miles from the Victorian home where her grandparents were slain. It appears she fled to Scone in New South Wales, seeking the support of relatives. According to police sources, the girl was woken in her room by raised voices. Hearing two gunshots, she hid under the bed and saw the boots of the intruder when he entered her room. When he left, she ran to the nearest farm for help for her dying family. A police spokesman--" The report breaks off as Gordon switches off the TV set. Barbara pleads, "Oh, darling..." Gordon, though, points out tautly that it's nothing they don't already know - and he doesn't want Mary getting more upset; they've had enough upsets for one day... Barbara assures him that they'll work it out. Gordon tells her that he's worried about the business, of course, but Wayne...: the hatred... He continues that their relationship's always been a leaky old boat; it's going to sink one day. Neither of them notices Mary appearing in the doorway behind them as Barbara smiles to Gordon, "You ever heard of salvage operations?!" Changing the subject, she goes on that the police told her that the Reynolds family were a bit of a mystery in the area; they kept very much to themselves - and according to some of the locals who knew Mary, there was something a bit unstable about her; something about 'tantrums'. She adds, "You don't think she really did do it, do you?" Mary stares at her from the doorway and so does Gordon. She then suggests, "Maybe there never was an intruder. She's a very strange girl, Gordon." She then laughs and smiles that maybe she's been reading too many Agatha Christie novels! Gordon assures her that the police would never have left Mary at Woombai if she'd been under suspicion. Barbara muses, "I suppose not." Mary turns and walks away, looking worried...

Tim, Leigh and Beryl are having dinner at the O'Brien house when the front door bangs and Heather walks in very slowly. After a few seconds she announces with a devastated look on her face, "The fall created a clot in Mike's brain. It's inoperable. It could move at any minute. If it does... he'll die..." She starts sobbing, heavily. Beryl looks at her, sympathetically.

The next morning, Heather is sitting in the lounge room, knitting, when Beryl comes in. She muses that she thought she was the first one up, but Heather explains that she's been up since 4am. She adds that she had some wool, so she thought she'd knit a sweater for Jamie. With that, she stands up and says she'll start breakfast. Beryl, though, says sharply, "Heather..." Heather turns to look at her but Beryl, looking guilty, quickly says, "It's nothing. I'll have a shower and give you a hand." Heather thanks her and turns away again. Beryl shakes her head, looking worried.

Gordon emerges from the Woombai homestead and stands on the verandah, surveying the grounds. He then goes and starts looking for something, but apparently can't find it! He suddenly spots a car pulling up, and two detectives climb out. As they approach, one of them asks Gordon if he's lost something, and Gordon agrees, "Mmm. Something that does not smell too good. Must have crawled under the verandah and died!" The second detective then asks if Mary is around, as they have a statement typed up and they'd like her to sign it. Gordon replies that she's inside, and the two detectives head for the door.

A few minutes later, the detectives are inside with Mary and Barbara, and one of them is showing Mary a folder containing some sheets of paper and saying that they just want her to read it through and make sure they've got it right, then sign it. Looking fearful, Mary asks if she has to. The detective assures her that it's just a formality, and he adds that it's the last they'll have to worry her until they've caught the man, Mary looks at the paper and, just glancing at it for a second, says, "That's what I said, yes. You got a pen?" Looking surprised, the detective tells her to read it carefully, but Mary insists that she's a fast reader. Barbara looks at her suspiciously. The detective then hands her a pen and Mary places the folder on the table and starts writing. She writes the letters of her name out one at a time, with space between each one, much as a young child would do. As she does this, she murmurs that she must have sprained her wrist or something... She eventually finishes writing and the detectives thank her. Barbara goes to show them out, leaving Mary standing in the lounge room, a pained expression on her face.

As Barbara and the detectives emerge from the house and step outside, Barbara asks the detectives if Mary's a suspect. The first detective says, "Why do you ask?" and Barbara explains that it's just that her behaviour's been a bit odd. She adds that her husband's not a healthy man and it worries her that Mary's being there might cause trouble. The detective replies that Mary has been considered a suspect, but everything points to her story being true. He adds that if anything comes up that makes Barbara suspicious, she shouldn't hesitate to tell them. Barbara says she won't, and the detectives walk off. Gordon suddenly calls, "Barbara..." Barbara turns to look at him. He's holding a torch and he walks towards her. He then grabs her arm and pulls her away from the front door. Barbara starts to protest, "Look, all I did was--" Gordon, though, interrupts and retorts that he heard what she told them. Barbara snaps that Mary acted very strangely about signing those statements, and she's only thinking of his health. Gordon demands, "Would you have told me?" Barbara retorts, "Told you what?" Gordon replies, "Would you have told me what you told them if I hadn't overheard?" Barbara snaps, "No. And do you blame me? Look how you're reacting. I'm only doing what I thought was right - and I'm not being unreasonable. She is not your daughter so stop defending her as if she is." Gordon stares at her and she adds, "I'm sorry, but that's exactly what you're doing." She then storms off, leaving Gordon staring at her.

Spider is walking along a road in Sunbury, when he becomes aware of a car coming along the road behind him. He holds out his arm and the car pulls to a stop. Spider hurries over to it and tells the driver that he's just going half a mile down the road. The driver tells him to hop in. Spider does so and the driver goes to start the car engine again. It refuses to ignite, though, and Spider comments that it sounds a bit sick. The guy, still trying the engine, asks Spider where he's off to, and Spider replies, "My girlfriend's!" He then indicates a parcel he's holding and adds, "Got her a present. Spent a lot on it, too. She's a rich girl, see, so got to spend a lot to give her something she really likes." The driver - suddenly looking interested - asks, "Expensive, eh...?" Spider smiles, "You can believe that!" The engine suddenly roars into life. The driver sits there, a nasty smile on his face...

Sally, Adam, Charlie and Brett are having breakfast in the kitchen at the country house. Sally tells Charlie that she and Adam will move back into town now that Alison's there. Charlie assures her that they don't have to, but Sally insists that it's OK; it'll be too crowded if they don't. Charlie thanks her, adding that she would like Alison to be comfortable. Adam remarks that that's a change of attitude, as Charlie reckoned Alison was trying to con her, before. Charlie quickly blusters that it was all a misunderstanding: Alison's a friend of Cindia, not Cynthia; that's what comes of having two friends with similar names! She goes to pour milk in her tea, but discovers that there's none left in the carton, and she smiles that she'd better go and get some more. Brett asks where Alison is this morning, and Charlie replies that she's in town, she thinks. She then asks if anyone wants anything else at the shops, but Adam says he'll go; he feels like a walk. With that, he heads out.

Spider is sitting in the car with the driver, but the driver is threatening him with a wrench and snarling, "It doesn't worry me if I use this or not. Should worry you, but. Now hand over the package or I'll split your skull open..."

A few moments later, Adam is approaching the car when the driver pushes Spider out of the passenger-side door. The driver then pulls off down the road. Spider, a look of fear on his face, stands there, now without the parcel in his hand. He spots Adam approaching him and immediately tells him, "That bloke ripped me off. He stole the present I got for Charlie." He suddenly notices that the car has stalled a few yards further on, and he tells Adam to go and get him. Adam, though, smiles, "Come on, Spider, I didn't come down in the last shower! Tell your mate to forget about it!" Spider, though, insists, "Will you get after him?" Adam warns, "You're having me on, Spider." Spider, though, retorts, "Does it look like I am? Come on, you stupid sod. Chase him!" Realising Spider is serious, Adam starts running towards the car, but as he does so, he starts experiencing flashbacks to the shooting, and he slows down. However, he suddenly regains his momentum, and he speeds up, reaches the car, rips open the driver's door, pulls the driver out and punches him in the stomach. He then grabs the guy's arms and twists them behind his back. As the guy stands there, struggling, Adam snarls, "You picked the wrong mug this time, fella."

A while later, Spider is standing with Charlie and Sally in the kitchen at the country house, telling Charlie that she's got a hero for a son! Sally asks where Adam is now, and Spider explains that he's taken the bloke down to the station; he reckons he's got his confidence back. He then hands to Charlie the parcel that he's regained, explaining that that's what caused it all. Sally, a smile on her face, quickly says, "I'll leave you both to it... I've just got to go and get my car from the garage..." Charlie, looking worried, pleads, "Don't rush, darling. Don't you want to see what's in it?" Sally, though, smiles, "Show me later!" With that, she heads out, leaving Charlie looking uncomfortable. She tells Spider that he shouldn't have spent his money on her. Spider, though, assures her, "I reckon you're worth it. Every brass razoo." Charlie looks worried.

Brett is outside, tinkering with the engine of a ute, when Sally approaches. He comments that it's good that Adam's got his confidence back again, and Sally agrees, "Yeah, it's great." Brett goes on that he was thinking: does she want to go to the movies tonight? Sally, though, quickly says she can't. Brett points out, "Look, I told you, it's over between me and Leigh now." Sally, though, explains, "It's not that. It's just that... there's something between me and someone at university." Looking surprised, Brett asks when that happened, and Sally smiles, "Just the last few days!" Brett smiles that she can't blame a bloke for trying! With that, Sally walks off.

Inside, in the kitchen, Charlie is staring at an ornament that Spider has bought for her, telling him that he shouldn't have. Spider explains nervously that it seemed sort of appropriate; and he might as well spend his money on his friends - especially ones like her: she's about the best he's ever had; lady-friends, anyway. Charlie pleads, "Spider..." but Spider goes on, "I know what you're going to say: it cost a lot. But that doesn't matter - not where you're concerned." Charlie, looking increasingly uncomfortable, says, "But I thought you knew." Spider asks, "Knew what?" Charlie reminds him, "We talked about it in Sydney. I like you--" Spider interrupts and says, "No, no, you've got to take it. I want you to have it." Charlie persists, "What I'm trying to say is... I'm glad we're friends, but that's all we can be. Please don't start getting romantic again." Spider, suddenly looking disappointed, murmurs, "I know I've got a few years on you, but you know what they say: 'there's plenty of fine tunes played on an old fiddle'. And you seem different down here, away from your rich friends. I just thought I might have a bit of a chance. You're a fine woman." Charlie assures him genuinely, "I treasure your friendship and I'll treasure this, but..." She breaks off before indicating the ornament and saying, "I'm sure this will go beautifully in the living room. I'll see what it looks like." With that, she hurries off out to the hallway. Spider sits down at the kitchen table, a glum expression on his face. Brett comes in from outside and goes to the sink, where he splashes water onto his face. Spider tells him gruffly not to be such a grub. Looking surprised, Brett comments to Spider that he thought he was on top of the world. Spider retorts, "I was. Woman trouble." Brett smiles, "Join the club, mate!" Spider goes on, "It's alright for you. You can easily go out and get someone else. It's not so easy to find the right bunch for people my age." Brett suggests brightly, "Be like me: when they say 'no', hang in there." A look of intrigue crosses Spider's face and he murmurs, "Yeah, maybe you're right..."

Heather is sitting on the couch at the O'Briens', knitting, when Leigh, Beryl and Tim all come in, looking uncomfortable. Heather stares at them and asks nervously, "What is it?" Tim pleads quietly, "Aunty Beryl..." Beryl, though, tells him, "It has to be done, Tim." She then turns back to Heather and explains, "Leigh has something to tell you. I, um... I tried to tell you earlier, but I couldn't. She created the situation; it's up to her..." Heather stares at Leigh.

A few moments later, Leigh is explaining nervously, "We stuck the birth mark on with dye - to convince Beryl she was wrong. It is Robert." Tim adds, "I only did it because I thought it was best for Aunty Beryl." Leigh pleads, "Don't blame Tim, please. Don't blame anyone except me. I'm sorry. I was different then. I hate myself when I think about it." Heather stares at her as she insists, "I really am so sorry..." Beryl suddenly breaks down into tears as she tells Heather, "The last thing I wanted to do is hurt you, but you have to understand my situation... He's my son." Heather suddenly stands up from the couch and slaps Leigh's face, crying, "You're a vindictive little--" She breaks off before going on, "We all tried to help you. I can't lose Jamie and Mike. I can't..." With that, she runs out. Tim asks Beryl if she's going to go after her, but Beryl shakes her head and bursts into tears. Tim then snaps at Leigh, "I hope you're happy." Leigh, though, retorts, "Don't be stupid. I feel terrible."

Gordon is crouching down on the verandah at Woombai, tying up a bag. Mary comes out from inside and asks, "Found it?" Gordon explains that it was a huge rat; Alan's been laying bait. Mary says, "We used to have rats at home. Nan--" She breaks off, and Gordon comforts that it's alright. Mary then asks, "What was my mother like?" Gordon tells her that she can't be sure that Patricia was her mother, but Mary insists, "What was she like?" Gordon replies, "She was..." He hesitates before continuing comfortingly, "She was a very nice lady." Mary smiles, "I'm glad. I wish I'd met her." With that, Gordon, looking uncomfortable, says he'd better get rid of the rat. He goes to walk off, but Barbara suddenly calls to him from inside and asks for a word with him. He puts down the bag and heads inside and into the lounge room. In there, Barbara tells him that the police just called and they want them to keep Mary as close to the property as possible. Gordon asks why, and Barbara explains that, apparently, the paper in Brolga played the story up and said Mary actually saw the killer - and the police think he might be coming after her. Gordon muses, "I hope that puts paid to your idea that she's a suspect?" Barbara turns away, sheepishly. Gordon goes on, "I don't see how he can know exactly where she is." Barbara growls that she doesn't like it: Mary's going to cause a lot of trouble before all this is over. Gordon retorts, "Maybe. Who knows? However, I can't turn my back on her." With that, he turns to head outside again, leaving Barbara looking worried.

Heather approaches the O'Brien house and heads inside. Robert is sitting in his highchair in the lounge room. She goes and picks him up and hugs him. She then suddenly becomes aware of Beryl standing behind her and she turns to face her. Staring at her, she growls, "I don't care what the truth is, Beryl. We adopted Jamie. He's ours. I won't let you have him back."


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