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    Written by: Ray Kolle   Produced by: Posie Jacobs   Directed by: Alister Smart

Donna and Brett join Beryl, Spider and Tim and Brett asks what's going on. Tim explains that Leigh has locked herself in. Spider tells Brett to break the door down. Everyone stands aside and Brett and Tim both thump their shoulders into the door and push it open. They find Leigh standing in the bathroom like a zombie, staring into space. Beryl looks at her in shock and cries, "Oh my God..." She grabs the bottle of pills from Leigh's hand, looks at it and then tells Spider to get an ambulance and tell them that it's sleeping tablets. She adds, "She's taken the whole lot of them." Spider dashes off. Beryl then tells Brett to go and make some coffee so they can keep her awake. He goes. She then asks Tim to get the blankets. He runs off. Donna remains behind and Beryl asks her to help Brett in the kitchen. She then turns to the vacant-looking Leigh and tells her gently, "The ambulance is coming. They'll know what to do." Leigh just murmurs, "I wanted to die." Beryl cries in distress, "Oh Leigh..."

In the kitchen, Brett takes the kettle off the stove. Spider is talking on the 'phone in the lounge room, saying, "222 Canterbury Road, Albert Park. Yeah, quick as you can." Donna grabs the tin of coffee and Brett snaps at her to hurry up. She tries to get the lid off, but struggles and the tin spins out of her hands. Brett snaps, "Donna, watch it." She glares at him and then bursts into tears. Brett goes to comfort her, but she lashes out and pushes him away, snapping, "Don't touch me." Brett tells her that this is no time to start fighting. Donna, though, snarls, "I hate you. I don't want you anywhere near me." Brett looks taken aback.

In the lounge room at Charlie's, Charlie is folding up some clothes and saying to Alison, "If the girl's grandmother was dying, why would she lie?" Alison, though, asks how on earth she should know. Charlie comments that it is rather strange. Alison retorts that she's not denying it's strange; she's just saying it's not true: Mary isn't her daughter. Charlie remarks that the girl didn't strike her as a schemer. Alison suggests that maybe she's putting on a very good act. She adds that perhaps she heard the Hamiltons had money and thought she'd cash in on them. Changing the subject, she then asks Charlie why she's got all her dresses out. Charlie explains, "They're last year's. I left them here when I went to Melbourne; thought I'd give them to the Salvation Army." Alison quickly says, "I'll have them." Charlie looks at her in surprise and asks, "You wearing cast-offs? Darling, you have changed!" Alison retorts that she's got very little money; after buying all those shares, she's pretty well on her uppers. Charlie comments that she'll get that back now the company's being wound-up, won't she? Alison, though, a smile on her face, explains that that won't happen: Gordon and his partners should have received a very generous offer for their shares by now; she's pretty sure they'll sell, so the company will stay intact." They suddenly hear Wayne coughing out in the hallway. He comes in and sits down, and Charlie asks him how he's feeling. Wayne replies, "A little better." Looking back at Alison, Charlie asks her if she's really sure she wants the dresses. Alison replies that she is, and so Charlie tells her that she'll put them on her bed. She goes to head out, adding as she does so that she's going to pop over and see Barbara. Wayne asks her if she can ask Gordon to come and see him later, and Charlie says she will. Once she's out of earshot, Wayne turns to Alison and asks her, "Why did you, when you first turned up, concoct all that rubbish about knowing Cynthia Hemingway instead of just saying you were a friend of Patricia's?" Alison tells him, "Well, Patricia said she hadn't done all that well in the popularity stakes, recently, so I thought if I said I was a friend, it might put me offside with everyone straight away." Wayne mutters, "You think you're a pretty smart lady, don't you? Well, you've fallen flat on your face where the shares are concerned: I'm going to tell dad I'll support him. Once he knows that, there's no way he'll wind up the company. Your 2% won't mean very much then." He adds, "With most of the Directors voting in agreement, you won't hold any power." Alison glares at him and then shrugs, "Looks like I lost the upper hand, then, doesn't it." Wayne stares at her in surprise. There's suddenly a knock on the front door and Charlie goes to get it. She finds Caroline standing on the step and she asks if Wayne is up. Charlie replies that he's in the living room - and Alison's with him. Caroline comments sourly, "Oh, there's always someone who wants to spoil your day, isn't there...?"

Gordon is talking on the 'phone at the bar at Dural as Barbara tidies up around him. Gordon is saying, "It's a very good offer, Roland; we'll be sorry to refuse. I've spoken to Beryl and she's agreed to sell; there's a representative coming over shortly. They're very keen to part with their money." There's a knock on the front door and Barbara goes to get it. Charlie is standing there and Barbara invites her in. She asks her if she enjoyed the party yesterday and Charlie smiles, "Very much." She adds that she's glad she saw Jenny and Stephen before they left. They head into the lounge room, where Gordon is just hanging up the 'phone. Barbara asks him if Roland has decided to sell, and Gordon replies that he thinks so. He then adds that he's got some things to do in the study, and he goes. Alone with Barbara, Charlie says to her quietly, "It's true, then? Someone is taking over the company?" Barbara, though, tells her that no one has actually signed anything yet. Charlie comments that Gordon won't know what to do with himself. Barbara, though, explains that he wants to buy Woombai; it's up for auction and it's part of the deal. Charlie asks if he'll be able to afford it. Barbara tells her, "That's hard to say, Charlie. That's why we've put this house up on the market and hope for a quick sale." Charlie stands there, looking thoughtful.

Alison is standing in the doorway to the lounge room at Charlie's as Caroline snaps at Wayne, "Where does that leave me?" Wayne retorts that he has to stand by Gordon. Caroline snaps, "The other Directors will freeze me out when they they have your support." Wayne mutters, "They won't do that." Caroline, though, demands, "How are you going to stop them?" Wayne retorts, "Look, I'm not going to argue with you. I'm throwing in with dad, and that's that." He then walks out, saying he's going to lie down. Alison stands there, smiling. Caroline glares at her and growls, "I don't know why you're looking so smug. Wayne switching sides means you're left without power entirely." Alison just muses, "Like you. We're partners in distress." She then adds that she thinks it's time they called a truce, adding that there is a way round the problem. Caroline, though, snaps, "I wouldn't trust you an inch." Ignoring this, Alison tells her, "I've been in touch with a businessman who's just made the other Directors a very good offer. If he buys them out, the balance of power will be restored. You and Wayne will have 49% and he'll have 49%." Caroline muses, "And you get your controlling vote again..." Alison points out, "At least you wouldn't be frozen out." Caroline pauses but then shakes her head and says, "No, they won't sell. Not with Wayne being onside now." Alison tells her, "They don't know that, yet. If we can stop Wayne talking to Gordon..." Caroline asks how they're supposed to do that. Alison tells her, "I can - if you're prepared to work with me..." Caroline looks away in annoyance. Alison smiles, "It's the lesser of two evils, wouldn't you say...?"

In a corridor at a hospital in Melbourne, a doctor is telling Beryl and Spider that they had to pump Leigh's stomach. Beryl asks if she'll be alright. The doctor nods, "Oh yes." He adds that he'd like to keep her in overnight. He then goes on that, personally, he thinks she needs counselling. Beryl asks if they can see her, and the doctor nods, "Yes, but take it quietly." Spider says he'll wait outside. Beryl heads into Leigh's room to find Leigh lying in bed, looking upset. Beryl asks her gently how she's feeling, and she murmurs sarcastically, "Terrific." Beryl tells her that Tim stayed home with Shane. She sits down on a side-chair and then asks, "How could you do it, love? Didn't you think of Shane?" Leigh looks at her and then looks away again and cries, "I'll be in jail soon. He won't even know me by the time I get out. It would have been better for everyone if I'd just died. I wish you'd let me..."

Donna is washing up in the kitchen at Beryl's. Brett comes in and grabs a tea-towel, saying as he does so that he hopes Leigh's OK; he thought she was a lot tougher. He adds that it was a pretty silly thing to do. Donna stops what she's doing and, glaring at him, snaps, "You wouldn't know what she's been going through. You don't know what it's like to be hurt. Maybe one day, if you grew up, you just might find out." Brett insists, "I hurt. People hurt me." Donna, though, snaps sarcastically, "Aren't you a tough guy?" Brett suggests that they not talk about it now, as she's still upset over Leigh. Donna snaps angrily that of course she's upset about her. She then goes on, "I suppose you hoped I'd get upset enough to lose the baby. That would solve everything, wouldn't it?" Tim comes in through the back door as Donna snaps, "I'm keeping it, Brett, whether you want me to or not. In fact, I don't care what you want anymore; I just wish you'd go away and leave me alone." Brett stares at her and then storms off. Alone with Donna, Tim tells her gently not to let Brett get to her. Donna mutters that she just doesn't know what she's going to do, that's all. Tim offers, "If there's anything I can do..." Donna, though, tells him that he's got his sister to worry about, and she insists that she'll be OK.

At the hospital, Beryl tells Leigh, "I'll speak to the solicitor; I'm pretty sure you'll be able to have Shane with you in jail. Some of the time, anyway." Leigh, though, cries that that will only make things worse when he's taken off her. She adds, "God, if only I hadn't taken Robert..." Beryl murmurs, "Yes, well..." Leigh looks at her and says, "You'll never be able to forgive me, will you?" Beryl tells her softly, "I can forgive you, Leigh, but I can't forget." Leigh replies, "I don't blame you." Beryl goes on that at least Robert brought some happiness to Mike and Heather. Leigh mutters that she supposes Mike knows. Beryl, though, explains that she told the police it was her decision to let Robert stay there, and as far as they're concerned, it's got nothing to do with Mike. She then asks Leigh if she'd like her to let David know what's happened. Leigh, though, quickly says, "No, don't. Please." She turns away and Beryl asks her if she's tired. Leigh nods. Beryl stands up to go. As she does so, Leigh says, "Beryl... I'm so sorry. Thankyou." Beryl smiles at her, weakly.

A while later, Beryl is back home and Tim is saying, "I want to go and see her." Beryl, though, tells him to leave it for a while. Spider tells him that he'll go in with him later. Beryl asks Donna how she is and she replies that she's fine. Beryl then says she must ring Charlie; she's been good to Leigh and she should know what's happened. She goes to the 'phone and starts dialling.

Caroline is alone in the lounge room at Charlie's when the 'phone starts ringing. Charlie comes in and answers it. STD pips sound and Beryl then comes on and says it's her. Charlie smiles, "Hello, darling. Well aren't you in the money these days?!" Beryl, looking surprised, asks, "Am I?" Charlie explains, "Selling your shares. Gordon told me." Beryl comments, "Oh, yes, well, with all the wheeling and dealing going on, it seemed the sensible thing to do." There's suddenly a clicking noise on the 'phone and the line goes dead. Looking surprised, Charlie asks Beryl if she can hear her, but she gives up after a few seconds and comments to Caroline that they seem to have been cut-off; the line's gone absolutely dead. She hangs up. Alison comes in to the room, wearing a pair of gardening gloves, and Charlie looks at her in surprise and comments that she didn't know she'd taken up gardening. Alison tells her, "I'm sorry, Charlie, I've cut your telephone wire." Charlie, looking at her in surprise, exclaims, "What?" Alison tells her, "It's important Wayne doesn't talk to Gordon for a while." Charlie glares at her and snaps, "But you can't go around cutting people's telephone wires." Alison retorts, "I'll have it repaired as soon as the share deal is finalised." Caroline chips in that she knows it seems a but much, but it really was necessary. Charlie snaps suspiciously that the two of them suddenly seem to be in cahoots. She adds that it's no wonder Beryl's fed up with all the wheeling and dealing; it's starting to affect her in the same way. With that, she storms off to her room. When she's gone, Caroline asks Alison what they'll do if Gordon comes across. Alison tells her that she'd better make sure he doesn't. Caroline points out that she's not very welcome in the Hamilton house at the moment. Alison, though, tells her, "I came up with the plan. I think the least you can do is your part." Caroline glares at her.

A short time later, Caroline is sitting in the lounge room at Dural. Gordon is staring at her and asking, "Why on earth should I sell to you?" Caroline points out that he's already selling to someone he doesn't even know, so surely she should have the right to the first option? Gordon tuts, "Why? They're private shares." Barbara adds, "My God, Caroline, you've got a hide. After all the trouble you've caused, you expect--" She breaks off and sighs, "I don't believe this." Caroline goes on that she's sure she could better any offer that's been made; she doesn't have the cash in-hand, as she's just bought a town house, but she could raise it if she was given a little time. Gordon tells her curtly, "I need it now. That's the whole point: I want to be able to bid for Woombai." He then goes on, "I might as well tell you now that I'm going to advise Wayne to get out of the company as well. There's no reason for him to miss out on a small capital gain." Caroline, standing up, mutters that there's obviously no point discussing it any further. She adds that she's sorry they can't be friends, and she goes to walk out. She pauses, though,and then turns back and tells Gordon, "Oh, I wouldn't bother Wayne for a while. I dropped in at Charlie's on the way here and he was just going off to bed. He seemed quite exhausted." Gordon says he'll leave it until this afternoon, then. Caroline comments that she hopes that doesn't upset his timetable. Gordon, though, assures her that there's no need for them all to sign together. Upon hearing this, a look of worry crosses Caroline's face.

Later that day, Alison is standing with Caroline in the lounge room at Charlie's. She looks at her watch and comments that the papers should be signed by now. Caroline mutters that she'll be glad when it's over. Wayne suddenly storms into the room, followed by Charlie, and snaps, "Charlie says dad's going to sell his shares. Is that true?" Charlie chips in that she's sorry; if they didn't want her to tell him, they should have said so. Wayne growls at Alison and Caroline, "He doesn't know I've left your team, does he?" Charlie mutters that she's going shopping, and she storms out. Wayne walks over to the 'phone and picks it up. Alison asks, "What are you doing?" Wayne retorts, "Calling dad." Alison, though, taunts, "The 'phone's not working, Wayne..." Wayne glares at her and snarls that that's pretty convenient." Alison just shrugs. Wayne then asks her if she'll go and give Gordon a message. Alison shakes her head and says, "No. Doesn't suit my interests." Wayne glares at her and Caroline and snarls, "You pair of bitches. I'll have to do it myself." Alison points out, "You can't." Wayne, though, retorts, "I can make it as far as next door," and he storms out to the hallway. Alison and Caroline follow him and tell him not to go out; he's not ready. Wayne insists that he has to. Caroline pleads with him to come back into the living room. Wayne, though, opens the door and takes a tentative step outside. Caroline warns him that he's not doing himself any good. He starts panting heavily, and Caroline puts a comforting hand on his shoulder. He pushes it away, though. Caroline tells him, "Let Gordon and the others sell. You can always sell your shares to me." Wayne, though, snarls, "I wouldn't sell to you if you were the last person on Earth." He stares outside, continuing to pant heavily and looking terrified. Alison cries, "Oh for God's sake, Wayne, you can't do it." Wayne turns to look at her. Caroline tells him to stop trying before he collapses completely. Wayne reluctantly heads back inside the house and makes for the lounge room. Alison closes the front door and stands there, a hint of a smile on her face. Caroline murmurs that it was awful, adding, "We are a pair of bitches." Alison smiles, "Well-matched, aren't we?!" Caroline glares at her.

A businessman is standing in the lounge room at Dural with Gordon and Barbara, and Gordon introduces him to Barbara as Paul Hudson. Hudson tells her that it's nice to meet her. He then indicates his briefcase and, looking at Gordon, adds that he has all the papers there. The two of them sit down and Gordon comments to Hudson that he's never heard of the company he's representing. Hudson explains quickly, "It's newly-formed, Mr. Hamilton. A good, solid financial base. I think you'll admit we've made you an excellent offer." Gordon assures him, "Oh, I do. I've advised Mrs. Palmer and Mr. Armstrong to sell as well." Hudson says, "I know. Representatives are calling on them, too - probably at the moment." Gordon comments to him that, whoever his Managing Director is, he certainly doesn't waste time. Hudson agrees, "No." Gordon then asks, "Who is he? I might know him." Hudson, though, replies, "The gentleman would prefer to keep a rather low profile - for the time being." Gordon accepts that that's fair enough. Hudson hands him a sheet of paper and a pen and says, "If you'd like to look everything over before you sign..."

Wayne is drinking a glass of scotch in the lounge room at Charlie's. Caroline is with him, saying she's sure the drink isn't necessary. Wayne just tops his glass up further. Alison comes in and tells the two of them that someone just left from the Hamilton house; the share deal must be finalised. She adds that perhaps they should have a little celebration. Caroline, though, growls, "I won't. As far as I'm concerned, our 'truce' is over." Wayne snarls, "Why don't the two of you just get the hell out of here?" Alison, though, retorts, "I'm a house guest. I'm afraid you're stuck with me." She then reminds him, "You can hardly leave, can you?" Wayne glares at her. Caroline tells him that she wishes he'd reconsider her offer to buy his shares. Wayne, though, growls, "No way. I'll throw in with the new man. You won't have a hope." Looking at Alison, he adds, "Neither of you will. He and I will be the major shareholders." Alison smiles and tells him, "Wait 'til you see who the new man is. You might both end up wishing you'd got out." Wayne demands, "Who is it?" Alison, though, replies, "All in good time. He's promised to call around this afternoon..."

In Melbourne, Leigh is lying in her hospital bed, staring into space. Tim and Spider come into her room and Tim tells his sister that he's glad she's OK; she had him worried. Leigh murmurs, "Sorry." She then asks Spider weakly how he is, and he replies that he's OK. Leigh murmurs, "Guess I wasn't thinking of anyone else." Tim pleads, "Promise me you won't try that again." Leigh murmurs, "I haven't got much to look forward to." Tim takes her hand and says, "Promise me, Leigh. Please?" Leigh murmurs, "Sure." Spider tells her that, a little while longer, she'd have got away before the cops arrived. Tim tells her, "Adam only found you because he knows us. I reckon it's pretty low using your friends like that." Leigh, though, murmurs, "Tim... it doesn't matter now." She lies there, tears welling in her eyes.

Adam emerges from the police station with his colleague. Tim suddenly walks up to him and snaps, "I hope you're satisfied." Spider follows him as Adam says that if it's about him charging Leigh, he should forget it. Tim snaps, "Leigh's in hospital. She tried to kill herself this morning." Looking shocked, Adam murmurs, "Oh hell..." His colleague, though, tells Tim and Spider that Adam can't be blamed for that. Adam says he'll go and see her. Tim, though, snaps at him to stay away from her; he's the last person she'd want to see. He adds, "I should flatten you." Adam's colleague tells Tim that they don't want any trouble. Adam takes Tim's arm and starts to tell him that he's got to understand-- He breaks off, though, as Tim suddenly lashes out and punches him in the stomach. He drops to the ground. His colleague grabs Tim, who starts struggling. Spider cries that Tim is very upset about his sister; there's no need to charge him. The second officer, though, tells Spider you don't bop a police officer and get away with it. Adam, standing up, asks his colleague to let him handle it. The second officer, looking annoyed, lets Tim go. Adam tells Tim that it was a pretty stupid thing to do. Tim, though, spits, "You deserved it." Spider grabs Tim's arm and tells Adam and his colleague that he'll get him home. He then starts to lead him away, telling him that he's got to behave himself or he'll have them both locked up.

Alison is sitting on the couch at Charlie's. Wayne is standing by the drinks cabinet, sipping from a glass of scotch. Caroline, standing behind him, tells him that drinking isn't going to help. Wayne just mutters that she sounds like a cracked record. Caroline turns away from him. Alison suggests to her that there doesn't really seem much point in her staying. Caroline, though, retorts that if their new business partner is going to call, she'll wait and meet him; she thinks he'll be far more interested to meet a major shareholder than someone who owns 2%... Alison reminds her, "But who still has the deciding vote in any dispute." She smiles. Caroline points out, "Only in a three-way dispute. I think you're kidding yourself, Alison. You've been to an awful lot of trouble, but your shares still aren't worth much." There's suddenly a knock on the front door and Alison, standing up, says to Caroline, "Well, if you want to meet him, this could be your chance." She goes to let the person in. Caroline looks at Wayne. Out in the hallway, Alison opens the front door. She looks surprised to find Gordon standing there, and she tells him that she was expecting someone else. Caroline emerges from the lounge room and heads up the hallway, in the opposite direction to the front door. Gordon asks Alison if Wayne is awake, and Alison replies that he's in the living room. She invites him in and then asks how Mary is: still convinced that Patricia's her mum? Gordon replies that she's afraid so. Alison says she'd like to talk to her again, as she might be able to persuade her it isn't true. Gordon sighs that he wishes someone could. With that, he heads into the lounge room. He finds Wayne with a glass of scotch in his hand, and Wayne explains sourly, "It's been a rough day." He then asks Gordon if he's sold his shares, and Gordon replies, "Yep." Wayne tells him that he wanted to let him know that he didn't have to; that he'd support his decision; but they stopped him. He adds, "The 'phone isn't working, and I couldn't make myself leave the house. I tried, though. I really did." Gordon assures him that it's alright. He then goes on that he got a good offer and, in many ways, he's glad to be out of the company. He adds that he thinks Wayne should get out, too. Wayne, though, snaps, "No. They're not having it all their own way." He goes and sits down, and Gordon pleads, "I wish you'd come home." Wayne, though, retorts, "How can I? It's ridiculous: I can't even force myself outside the door." Gordon looks at him and tells him that he'll arrange a psychiatrist for him, if it would help him. Wayne just takes a sip of his scotch.

Beryl is walking down the path outside her house in Melbourne. A businessman is with her, and he comments that that was pretty painless. Beryl remarks that the people in Sydney seem to be in a rush to finalise it. The businessman, though, tells her that all he's concerned about is his commission! He adds that it was a very good deal for her. Beryl assures him that she's very happy, but it's just going to be a bit strange being out of the company. They shake hands and the guy heads off.

The front door opens at Charlie's and Charlie walks in. She finds Alison standing in the hallway and she comments to her sourly that she hopes she and Caroline have finished their plotting and scheming. Alison replies that Caroline is still there, but she's keeping out of the way: Gordon is talking to Wayne in the living room. She then adds that she's sorry about the 'phone. Charlie, though, explains that it's not just the telephone; when Alison was away, she became quite close to the Hamiltons - and Beryl; they're nice people. Alison tells Charlie that she could see that, and that's why she didn't tell her everything. There's suddenly a knock on the front door and Alison tells Charlie that it's probably the new partner. Charlie smiles that she'd better let him in, then. She goes to open the door. As she does so, Alison starts to warn her, "Charlie, it's going to be a bit of a shock." Charlie opens the door. As she sees who's standing there, a look of horror crosses her face...


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