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    Written by: Greg Stevens   Produced by: Posie Jacobs   Directed by: Graeme Hodgson

There's silence, and James comments, "Gone very quiet, all of a sudden, haven't you? If you're trying to think up an excuse, it had better be good." Gordon eventually murmurs that there's no excuse. James suggests curtly that he'd better go and talk to his solicitor; see what else they've been trying to hide from him. Barbara says sourly, "I'll have your bags ready by the time you get back." James snarls, "What's the matter, Barb? All the fun gone out of it, for you?" Barbara retorts, "The fun went out the minute you walked in." James laughs, "And I thought we were getting on so well together...!" Turning to Wayne, he adds, "And you were in it right up to your ears, weren't you. Woombai was supposed to be the biggest-losing proposition of all time, according to you." With that, he goes to storm out. He pauses, though, and says to Gordon bitterly, "That's a son you can be real proud of, Gordon." He goes. Wayne immediately mutters, "The trouble with Charlie is her tongue waggles at both ends. Why'd she have to let the cat out of the bag?" Gordon, though, says quietly, "It doesn't matter how he found out; the fact is: he knows. We should never have tried to deceive him; it only made things worse." Barbara points out, "You didn't lie to him." Gordon, though, tells her, "Might as well have. Didn't try to stop other people pulling the wool over his eyes." With that, he heads off to the study, leaving Barbara and Wayne looking uncomfortable.

Next door, Charlie is fussing over Isabella 2. Alison wanders in and asks Charlie if she's thought any more about buying Roger's shares, as she's going to have to know fairly soon. Charlie, though, retorts that she doesn't want to be rushed into something she's not sure of; it's a big decision; she wants time to think it over. Alison accepts this, reluctantly. She sits down and, changing the subject, asks, "Have you seen the clothes Barbara's been dressing Mary in lately? I saw her when I was out walking." Charlie muses, "I don't imagine she was parading around in her Sunday best." Alison retorts, "Even so, her ordinary day clothes..." She pauses before adding, "Then again, Barbara was never renowned for her taste!" Charlie laughs that it's not that bad. Alison, though, says she's just concerned for Mary: she was obviously never taught anything about style during her upbringing and madam next door is certainly not helping. Charlie sighs, "So, you're going to step into the breach, are you?" Alison replies that someone has to. Charlie comments, "Sounds like a clucky mother at work, to me!" Alison asks, "What if I am? David's obviously forgotten me. I need someone to concentrate my energies on." Charlie warns her not to be obvious about it. Alison insists that she'll be careful. Charlie smiles that she thinks it's wonderful - and anything she can do to help, she'll be only too willing. Alison tells her, "Buying Roger's shares will be just--" Charlie interrupts, though, and sighs, "Oh, darling..."

A while later, Charlie is at Dural and Mary is holding Isabella 2, smiling that she's such a tiny little ball of fluff! Charlie laughs that she knows. She then tells Mary that the reason she popped over was to see if she's free later this afternoon. Mary replies that she has nothing planned. Charlie smiles, "Good! Lisa, my fashion designer, sent me a whole pile of clothes, but they're all too small. It's very flattering of her, of course, but what can I do with them? I can hardly send them back, so I thought 'why not offer them to Mary'?" Mary, looking surprised, exclaims, "Me?!" Charlie laughs that someone may as well get some wear out of them. The lounge room door suddenly opens and Wayne emerges into the hallway. He tells Charlie that he thought he heard her voice and he asks if he can see her for a moment. She joins him and Barbara in the lounge room and Wayne immediately says curtly, "I just wanted to thank you, Charlie, for giving James the guided tour of Woombai." Charlie smiles, "The pleasure's all mine, darling." Wayne snaps, "Really? Thanks to you, he now has a fair idea of what the property's worth, and he's not going to sell." Charlie, looking surprised, asks him if he's sure. Wayne snarls, "Course I'm sure; I wouldn't say so, otherwise. He was just using you and, true to form, you couldn't see past your nose." Barbara warns him to stop it. Charlie, suddenly looking shocked and upset, cries, "I can't believe my outing with Ace was a set-up. The man seemed absolutely charming." Wayne growls, "He'll probably throw us out of the house." Charlie insists that surely it won't come to that. Barbara, though, tells her, "There's a very good chance, Charlie." Charlie tells her that, if that does happen, they can all come and stay at her place - rent-free. Barbara, rolling her eyes, replies sarcastically, "Thankyou. And if the caravan parks are full, we might just take you up on your offer."

Back at her own place, a while later, Charlie muses to Alison that she doesn't know whether Barbara was being sarcastic or not. Alison mutters, "Sarcastic, probably. She's a creature of habit." Charlie goes on that she can't get over James using her like that. Alison points out that he knows his rights: he's entitled to Woombai, plus compensation for all the years that Gordon lauded over what really belonged to his brother; maybe the Hamiltons will end up destitute, but James does have the law on his side - and as far as using Charlie goes, he wasn't the first one to throw the rule book away: Wayne thought he was being very clever, convincing James that Woombai was practically worthless. Charlie sighs that she had such high hopes of getting to know James better, but she can't be disloyal to the Hamiltons: if he is going to cut them off without a cent, she won't have anything more to do with the man. With that, she stands up and says she'd better pop over to Lisa's Hornsby shop to pick up the dresses. Alison suggests, "It's a pity about loyalty, isn't it? - how it gets in the way." Charlie stares at her and she explains, "Well, there you are, giving up on a house and a wealthy man because of something you feel for the house next door." Charlie, though, retorts, "You might see it in those terms, darling, but I don't." She walks out.

Gordon walks into the lounge room at Dural as Barbara asks Wayne if he thinks James would consider taking on a partnership, with Gordon managing the property and James simply taking a share of the profits. Gordon mutters that he doubts he'd agree to that. Barbara tells him that they can't just sit back and do nothing. Gordon, though, retorts that that's exactly what they're going to do. Barbara asks in exasperation why they can't take it to court. Gordon tells her that they haven't got a legal hope in hell - and apart from that, he hardly wants the fact that he tried to cheat his own brother made public. He adds that they're not going to ask James to leave the house until this is settled, either. Wayne cries, "You're kidding. Three months from now, he'll be kicking us out." Gordon agrees, "Possibly." Barbara points out, "If he's around, he's going to be gunning for you all the time." Gordon, though, asks, "Who can blame him? We started it." With that, he walks off to the kitchen. When he's gone, Barbara tells Wayne, "Don't worry, I'll talk to him. Maybe I can make him change his mind." Wayne, though, muses, "He won't. I think our best bet is to concentrate on dear old Uncle Jimmy. If I can get into his good books... Everyone has a weak spot, haven't they? Maybe I can find his?"

James has turned up at Fiona's flat t the boarding house, and as she lets him in, he explains that he just wanted to meet some of the various partners in Woombai. Fiona invites him to sit down and tells him that, if she can be of any assistance... James explains that he needs some advice: he doesn't know whether to sell Woombai or keep it. He adds, "Gordon's made me an offer: $200,000. I want your opinion - whether that's a fair price or not." Fiona, though, shrugs, "Well, I don't know very much about valuations. I generally leave that sort of thing to Gordon." James presses that she must have some idea. Fiona nods, "Yes, but..." James asks, "Too high or too low?" Fiona tells him, "Not necessarily..." James laughs and asks, "What sort of an answer's that?!" Fiona replies, "Quite frankly, I think the offer is extremely generous - and I also think it's very good of you to consider selling Woombai back to Gordon; it means an awful lot to him." James growls, "It must do, seeing as most of his friends are prepared to lie to make sure he keeps it." Fiona stares at him as he goes on, "Woombai isn't worth two hundred grand; it's worth five times that amount. I was testing you, Mrs. Thompson - see if you'd tell me the truth or not. If you'd told me the truth, I'd have made sure you got your money back. But as it is, you've just done your dough cold, lady. Same as my brother." He stands up and goes to walk out, but then turns back and adds, "Oh, I heard about Roger Carlyle's plans to turn the place into an amusement park. It's not a bad idea. If you play your cards right, I'll give you a job with big brother, selling balloons and fairy floss." He then heads out, leaving Fiona looking worried.

At Charlie's, Mary stares at herself in the lounge room mirror. She's wearing a fancy silvery-white frock, and she laughs that it feels funny; she never thought she'd own something so lovely. Alison muses sourly, "Yes, well that's what comes from living with Barbara." Mary glares at her and retorts that Barbara has been very good to her; there's nothing wrong with the clothes she's bought. Alison insists, "I just like to see you look pretty." Mary, though, retorts that Barbara also gave her a job as housekeeper when she didn't even need one. Alison, looking wrongfooted, murmurs, "Yes, I know." Charlie quickly interjects and, handing Mary another dress, suggests that she go and try it on. Mary heads off to change. As soon as she's gone, Charlie whispers curtly to Alison, "I said you'd have to be careful." Alison just snaps, "Sad, isn't it? Mary thinks more about Barbara that she does her own mother."

Wayne and Gordon emerge from the study at Dural, Wayne telling Gordon as they do so that he made the right decision about not chucking James out; it's best not to antagonise him. Barbara is talking on the 'phone in the hallway, but she hangs up, and Gordon asks who the caller was. Barbara replies that it was Fiona. She then tells Gordon that he really does look tired, and she suggests that he have a lie down. Gordon asks curtly what Fiona wanted. Barbara smiles, "Just some troublesome guest at the boarding house." She then urges him again to go for a lie down, adding that there's enough time before dinner. Gordon asks what's on the menu, and Barbara tells him that it's roast lamb. Gordon recalls, "If my memory serves me correctly, that's James's favourite." With that, he heads off upstairs. When he's gone, Barbara tells Wayne, "James went to see Fiona this afternoon. He wants to resurrect Roger's idea of turning Woombai into an amusement park. Do you still want to welcome him into our humble abode?" Wayne retorts, "Now, more than ever, if that's what he's up to. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar." Barbara spits, "I'd rather poison the mint sauce!"

Next door, Charlie hands Mary a bundle of dresses, and Mary comments that she feels guilty taking the lot. Charlie, though, assures her, "If you didn't, someone else would." Mary adds that it would have taken her years to save for dresses like those. Alison chips in, "Look, if you're ever in need of money, you only have to ask. I'd be more than prepared to help out." Mary, though, retorts, "I can manage." Alison says she just thought she'd offer, that's all. Mary glares at her and then heads out. When she's gone, Charlie points out to Alison that no one said it would be easy. Alison snaps, "I can't seem to put a foot right - with you or with Mary." Charlie asks indignantly, "What have I done?" Alison, though, reminds her, "I promised I wouldn't raise the matter," and Charlie sighs, "Oh, money for Roger's shares." She adds that, if she was sure it was the right thing to do... but now it's even more complicated. Alison asks blankly, "How?" Charlie asks, "What if James does force Gordon and Barbara into some sort of financial crisis?" Alison retorts, "They get the money and I don't." Charlie assures her, "You'll manage. You always do." Alison glares at her and says tersely, "Thanks a lot. I thought we were supposed to be friends." Charlie tells her, "We are - but I'm friends with the Hamiltons, too." Alison snaps, "Really?" She then goes on, "Charlie, let me tell you a few home truths about the Hamiltons. Barbara can't stand you; she barely tolerates the sight of you. Oh, she smiles at your face and then she does a hatchet job as soon as you're out of the room. Gordon runs for cover the minute he knows you're heading in his direction." She continues, "Don't tell me what great friends the Hamiltons are; to them, you're a joke. Look, I may have done one or two things in my time that I'm not particularly proud of, but by God, what I have done is stick by you through thick and thin. Now, Charlie, you're going to have to make a choice." Charlie stares at her.

A few moments later, Charlie, looking upset, says, "I'm sure you're wrong, darling. I saved Gordon's life, remember? And Barbara's tongue can be a bit sharp at times, but that's just her way." Alison snaps at her to stop making excuses for them. Charlie insists that she isn't. Alison, though, snaps, "Alright, what if the worst does come to the worst and you have to put a roof over their heads? Where do I go: the YWCA?" Charlie mutters that now she's just being silly. Alison sighs that all she's asking for is a little consideration; there are plenty of people who can help the Hamiltons - they've got dozens of friends; all she's got is Charlie. She pleads, "Please, Charlie. Look, you told me I have to stop brooding about David... and nothing seems to be going right with Mary. Owning those shares would at least give me... I don't know... a sense of direction. I won't be moping round the house all day." Charlie sighs and murmurs, "If it means that much to you..." Alison says, "Thanks." Charlie adds that she'll keep her fingers crossed that she won't live to regret it.

Mary is standing in the hallway at Dural, wearing one of her new dresses. Wayne admires it and then comments that Charlie might have a big mouth, but she does have good taste! He then asks when they're going to go out on the town again. Mary smiles, "Seriously?!" Wayne laughs, "Yeah - dance the night away in the latest hot discos!" Mary exclaims that that would be great! Her face then drops, though, and she says she'd better get into her ordinary things. She goes to head upstairs, just as James comes in through the front door. He lets out a wolfwhistle and asks, "Where you off to, beautiful?" Mary mutters, "To change." James smiles, "Let us know if you need a hand!" Mary runs upstairs, leaving James to ask Wayne where his bags are. Wayne explains, "I managed to talk Barbara and dad out of giving you your marching orders. It all seemed a bit petty." He adds, "I also thought I'd give you a hand running Woombai; obviously you'd be the boss, but everyone needs a good 2IC. It's up to you." James stares at him and muses, "The apple never falls far from the tree, does it? Your old man was a crawler, too." A sheepish look crosses Wayne's face, but James then tells him, "You never know - it could be a good idea. It's always good to have a lackey on hand." With that, he heads off to the lounge room, leaving Wayne glaring at him.

At Charlie's, Charlie hangs up the 'phone and tells Alison that she was too late: the shares have already gone. Alison splutters, "You're joking. Who on earth would want to buy Roger Carlyle's shares?" Charlie replies that her stockbroker didn't know; he just said that a buyer had already been found. Alison muses that they certainly didn't let the grass grow under their feet. She then says she wonders how they knew the shares were up for grabs... She pauses before suggesting suddenly, "Caroline." Charlie shrugs, "Don't ask me." Alison comments, "I wonder if Wayne knows...?"

Barbara and Gordon are coming downstairs at Dural, and Barbara is telling her husband that James is back and is in the study, talking to Wayne. There's suddenly a knock at the door and Barbara goes and opens it to find Alison standing there. She invites her in and they head into the lounge room. As they do so, Alison says, "Charlie told me about you losing Woombai. I'm sorry." Gordon mutters that there's nothing he can do about it. Alison adds, "And you'd also prefer not to talk about it?" Barbara retorts, "Yes - it is rather painful." Out in the hallway, James and Wayne emerge from the study, James saying that he thinks he'll head up to the country the day after tomorrow; Wayne can drive up in the morning and pave the way for the new boss. Wayne nods, "Sure. Whatever you say." James agrees, "That's right: whatever I say." He heads into the lounge room and, looking at Alison, smiles, "James Hamilton." Alison shakes his hand as she introduces herself. James recalls, "Charlie's friend." He adds, "Come to pay your respects, have you? You might say there's been a loss in the family; it's a wonder Barb's not wearing black." Ignoring this, Alison turns to Wayne and tells him that someone bought Roger Carlyle's shares. She asks him if he has any ideas who the mystery buyer might be. Wayne, though, shrugs that he hasn't the faintest. James chips in and asks if they're talking about Gordon's old company. Barbara snaps, "Yes. Why?" James replies lightly, "Oh, it's just that I bought some shares today. Anybody want to guess who the previous owner was?" Alison stares at him.

A few moments later, Barbara says to James that she thought he was broke. James replies that he is now. Gordon asks why he bought them, then, and James tells him that they seemed like a good investment. Alison says she'd like to know how he knew they were up for sale. James, though, snaps, "What is this: twenty questions? Somebody mentioned it at breakfast this morning... I made a few enquiries, set the wheels in motion... now the shares are back in the family where they belong." He adds, "Isn't that right, Gordon?" Gordon mutters, "So it seems." James then tells Barbara that he won't stay for dinner; he's got a big night on the town. He goes to head off. Alison quickly stands up and says she'll make a move, too. Barbara offers to see her out, but Alison tells her that it's alright, and she goes. Gordon says to Barbara bitterly, "You know why he did it, don't you? James is determined to go one better than me in every way he possibly can. Taking over Woombai wasn't enough; he had to get his grubby little hands on the company that I started from scratch. He's done it - and there's not a damn thing I can do about it."

The front door opens at Charlie's and Alison walks in, followed by James. He tells her that he can't stay too long, as he's got a hot time planned on the town tonight. They head into the empty lounge room, and Alison suggests that he's got time for a couple of beers, surely? James points out that he wouldn't be there if he didn't! Changing the subject, he asks Alison how come she was sniffing out Roger's shares in the first place. Alison explains, "I was after them myself. I own 2%; I wanted to increased my holding." James suggests, "Should have got off the mark a bit sooner, huh?" Alison offers him a drink and he says, "How about a Quilpie Slammer?" Charlie suddenly walks in, smiling that she's just going to take Isabella 2 for a walk. She stares at James as she suddenly spots him standing there. He says brightly, "G'day, Charlie. When are we going to take to the skies again?" Charlie, though, retorts curtly, "Not for quite some time, I suspect, Mr. Hamilton." With that, she asks Alison for a moment and she storms out into the hallway. Alison follows her and Charlie snaps, "How dare you bring that man into my house?" Alison explains, "He bought Roger's shares, Charlie. He's a partner in the company; I can hardly ignore him." Charlie snaps, "You can round my neck of the woods." Alison points out that he's not going to go away; they'll have to learn to live with him. Charlie, though, retorts, "You might. I don't. As far as I'm concerned, you're making a huge mistake having anything to do with him." Alison muses, "Really? I call it making the best of a bad situation." With that, she heads off to rejoin James, leaving Charlie to sigh heavily.

Barbara, Gordon, Mary and Wayne are sitting at the living room table, having dinner, at Dural. Gordon gives up on his, though, and sighs that he's not hungry. He adds that he thinks he'll have an early night, and he stands up and heads off to bed. When he's gone, Barbara mutters, "James won't give up, will he? First Woombai... now Gordon's company..." Mary says she wishes there was something they could do. Barbara tells her, "You and the rest of us." A shriek suddenly rings out from the hallway, and Gordon yells, "Barbara..." Barbara, Mary and Wayne all run out to see what's wrong. Gordon is leaning on the bannister rail at the bottom of the stairs, clutching his chest. Barbara holds him and then tells Wayne to get on the 'phone to Irene. Wayne dashes over to the table and starts dialling. Barbara helps Gordon into the lounge room. She tells Mary to get Gordon's heart pills from the telephone table. Mary runs out to get them. Wayne is hanging up the 'phone and Mary asks him if he didn't get through. Wayne retorts, "No, she wasn't in the surgery." Mary cries, "I hope he's going to be alright." Wayne starts dialling another number as he replies through gritted teeth, "So do I. Whatever happens, Uncle James is going to be sorry for the hell he's put my father through."

The lights are dimmed in Charlie's lounge room. Charlie is sitting with Alison as James stands by the drinks cabinet and offers Alison one last Quilpie Slammer. Alison, though, tells him that she has too much respect for her body! James mutters, "Huh. Live dangerously!" He then downs two drinks, explaining, "Tequila neat. Beer chaser." Alison comments that she doesn't know how he does it. James explains, "Cast iron stomach." He then announces that he'd better be off, adding, "Tonight on the tiles... into town tomorrow to pay for my shares." Looking suddenly surprised, Alison remarks that she thought all that was finalised. James replies that it will be; he's just got to go and fix up a few things. Alison asks, "So the shares are actually on hold at the moment?" James tells her, "You could say that - but there's no problem: I'm going to take them up. Just my method of payment's a bit different from the ordinary." Alison goes to see him out, but he tells her that he can see himself out. He bids her and Charlie, "Adieu," and goes. Once the door has banged shut, Alison asks Charlie, "What do you think he meant, his form of payment's a bit different from the ordinary?" Charlie, though, retorts that she doesn't know and she doesn't care. Alison, looking intrigued, smiles, "This could be just the chance I need." Charlie asks, "What?" Alison replies, "Cutting James off at the knees." Charlie warns her that she'll have to be quick. Alison, though, tells her, "Charlie, I can move faster than greased lightning if I have to. If it means I end up with the shares, just watch me..."


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