Sons and Daughters logo
    Written by: Maureen Ann Moran   Produced by: Posie Jacobs   Directed by: Julian McSwiney

Mary is in Chris's bedsit at the boarding house, asking Chris what he's going to do about his dad now that he can't bring him to the boarding house. Chris mutters that he doesn't know. Mary points out that Fiona does have other people to consider. Chris, though, retorts that that's a cop-out. Mary suggests that he could book his father into a motel for the weekend. Chris, though, says he's flat-out trying to make ends meet as it is. He then reaches into his pocket, takes out a note and adds, "Look, my entire capital. I can't even take him out for his birthday." Mary asks when it is. Chris tells her, "Today. I wouldn't have remembered if his doctor hadn't reminded me. He said that's probably why he came looking for me; didn't want to spend the whole day with a bunch of strangers." He goes on sadly, "Dad threw some terrific parties for me. I wish I could do the same for him." Mary tells him that she could lend him some money. Chris, though, retorts that he was brought up to pay his own way. Mary then suggests that, maybe if he told Fiona it was his father's birthday...? Chris, though, mutters that it wouldn't make any difference. He pauses, then snaps, "To hell with it. I pay my rent. I should be allowed to bring anyone I like here. That includes my own father."

Samantha walks into the Morrell town house. Caroline, looking surprised, tells her that she shouldn't be out of bed yet. Samantha, though, insists that she's fine; she's shaken whatever she had. She puts some milk in the 'fridge, explaining that they were out of it, and Caroline muses that she never did much like being a housewife. Samantha sits down at the table as Caroline goes on, "Look, I know I'm not a model mum, either, but I do try." Samantha mutters, "I'm not in the mood for deep-and-meaningfuls." Caroline, though, glares at her and snaps, "And I'm getting rather tired of your Cold War tactics." Samantha retorts, "Then you'll be glad to know I'm moving out - just as soon as I find a place of my own." Samantha asks haughtily, "Because your boyfriend preferred me?" Samantha glares at her, and Caroline quickly murmurs that she didn't mean that. Samantha snaps, "I couldn't care less what you meant." She stands up and Caroline growls, "I think you're being very unfair. I had no idea how you felt about Chris." Samantha, though, retorts, "Chris isn't the reason I'm leaving. You told me to get out if I didn't like the way you live, and I don't, so I am." Caroline insists that she was just letting off steam. Samantha retorts, "Well, the pressure's off. If you want to see Chris, go right ahead, but don't expect me to stick around and watch you make a fool of yourself." With that, she storms off, leaving Caroline looking exasperated.

Irene and Barbara are sitting in the grounds at Woombai. Barbara is looking into the distance, intently, but Irene tells her that it's rude to stare. Barbara growls, "If he upsets Gordon, I'll give him another gammy leg." James and Gordon are walking along together in the distance, and Irene points out, "Do they look as if they're fighting?" Barbara muses, "If they're not, I'm sure James is thinking about it." A short distance away, Gordon is saying to James, "I'll never forget the look on dad's face when he caught you polishing off his best sherry!" James laughs, "Neither will I; I've still got the scars!" Gordon then suggests that the morning's getting on; he supposes they should go inside and start working out what they'll do when James takes over. James, though, asks, "Who said anything about me taking over?" Gordon looks at him in surprise. James then asks, "You still play cricket?" Gordon, though, laughs, "Golf's my game!" James smiles, "The old man would turn in his grave! I never forget the lecture that he gave me when I refused to play the stupid game: 'Cricket's not just a game, boy, it's a way of life. Teaches sportsmanship... endurance... team spirit.' Too bad I was a born loner." Gordon looks at his brother fondly and says, "I think he realised he was wrong in trying to change you." Looking surprised, James asks why. Gordon explains, "When he was dying, he asked me to look after you after he'd gone." James muses, "So that's why you turned the will over in my favour, eh? Guilty conscience. Yeah, well, I doubt if I'd have done the same thing." Gordon tells him, "I think you would have." He then smiles, "I'm glad you're home." James smiles back, "So am I."

A while later, in the homestead, Irene is checking Gordon's blood pressure. As she does so, she asks him if James dropped any hints about the future. Gordon, though, tells her that they were too busy talking about the past. He adds, "I think we're finally getting to understand each other." Irene finishes his medical and tells him that his blood pressure is almost back to normal. Gordon smiles that she's made his day! Irene tells him, "It would make my day if James agreed to go you halves in Woombai!" Gordon comments, "We can all dream..."

Barbara is walking with James in the grounds outside, and she remarks to him, "Now you've seen the place, I suppose you've made all kinds of plans?" James agrees that he's got a few ideas. He then goes on, "It's a lot different from the real outback; it's different out there." Barbara suggests pointedly, "It must be nice knowing you'll never have to rough it again. It's Gordon's turn now, isn't it?" James points out, "What I decide is between him and me." Barbara tells him, "I'm his wife." They stop walking and James turns to look at her and asks, "How did you ever hook him? You're not Gordon's type." Barbara stares at him as he goes on, "He ever talk to you about his first wife, Nancy? What a lady. She was everything a woman should be. I don't think Gordon ever got over her." Barbara glares at him and snaps, "If you've quite finished..." James, though, retorts, "I haven't even started yet, lady. You think you can browbeat people into doing anything you want. Well not this boy. You tried to cheat me out of my inheritance. And now you're trying to shame me into--" Barbara interrupts him and snaps, "You know your father never meant you to have that money - morally, you have no right to it." James, though, retorts, "Legally I've got every right. You keep pushing it, sweetheart, I'll promise you one thing: Gordon's not going to get a penny." With that, he walks off, leaving Barbara looking worried.

Chris is at the Morrell town house, saying to Caroline that he doesn't know why Samantha is being so aggro about them being friends. Caroline replies that she'll get over it - but she does think they ought to cool things until she's feeling a bit more reasonable. Looking disappointed, Chris tells her, "I don't want to stop seeing you. You're the one person I can really open up to. If I couldn't talk to you..." Caroline asks him if he needs to talk, and he admits, "Yes." Caroline invites him to sit down, and he does so. She then asks what the problem is. He explains, "Dad. I'm bringing him home for a visit today and he's bound to ask me why mum hasn't been anywhere near him." Caroline asks, "Why hasn't she?" Chris tells her, "She's taken the kids over to Perth to live with her sister - and mum doesn't want dad to know where she is." Caroline asks, "Couldn't you stall him until he's well enough to handle it?" Chris, though, explains, "It's his birthday today - and when she doesn't show or send a card, he's bound to ask why." He asks what he should do about it. Caroline tells him that it's hard to say, without knowing his father. Chris says, "I thought maybe I could introduce you. We could drop-in on the way to the boarding house." Looking uncomfortable, Caroline tells him, "I really wouldn't like to make snap decisions. Chris, you know him best; why don't you play it by ear? I'm sure it'll sort itself out." Chris muses, "I suppose you're right. I'll give it a bash."

A while later, Chris pulls up in his car outside the boarding house. He walks round to the passenger door and opens it, saying, "We're here, dad." He helps the Colonel out of the car. He then opens one of the rear doors and doesn't notice his father start wandering out into the street, staring straight ahead of him. Mary suddenly comes along and spots what's happening. She runs over to the Colonel and tells him to come onto the footpath. She guides him back to safety as Chris joins them, holding some wrapped gifts. He tells Mary that he's sorry. Mary assures him, "That's OK. Have a nice party." The Colonel murmurs, "Party...?" Chris explains to Mary, "He's bombed out on tranquillisers." He then asks if Fiona is in. Mary replies that she's going to the hairdresser's, but she doesn't know whether she's left or not. Chris says, "If she hasn't, could you keep an eye on her for a minute, so I can get dad in?" A look of worry crosses Mary's face, and Chris tells her not to worry about it; he'll take his chances. The Colonel suddenly points to Chris and says distantly, "He's my son. He's taking me out for the weekend. Can we go soon?" Chris tells him, "We're already here, dad." Mary looks at them with pity and then says, "I'll keep Fiona out of the way."

A few moments later, Mary runs into Fiona's flat and calls for Fiona. Fiona emerges from her room but says she can't stop and talk as she's running so late. Mary quickly says, "Before you go, I'm really stuck: there's a couple of words I'm having trouble with." Fiona assures her, "We'll look at them first thing when I get back." Mary insists, "It won't take long." Fiona sighs, "Alright, I guess we can't put off a keen student!"

Out in the corridor, Chris opens the door to his bedsit and invites his father to make himself at home. He doesn't notice Andy come along the corridor, a look of shock suddenly appearing on his face. The Colonel walks into the room and stares at Chris's neatly-made bed. He comments, "Just like mine, at the hospital." Chris tells him, "You always insisted on hospital corners when I lived at home." The Colonel stares at him and asks, "Did I?" Chris tells him sadly, "We'll make you well again, dad. I promise."

Fiona emerges from her flat, telling Mary that she really has run out of time. Andy suddenly comes along the corridor, a look of worry on his face, and Fiona comments to him that he looks as though he's lost a dollar and found sixpence! Andy explains, "Yeah, I'm not too keen on having a schizo around the place." A look of guilt crosses Mary's face as Fiona asks Andy what he's talking about. Andy tells her, "Chris's dad." Fiona, looking shocked, asks, "He's here?" Andy asks, "Didn't you know?" Fiona snaps, "No, I most certainly did not."

In Chris's bedsit, there's a cake sitting on the table, with one lit candle burning on top. Chris goes to pour some tea for his father, saying as he does so, "I'm sorry there's no beer, but with all the pills you've been taking..." There's suddenly a gently knocking on the door, and Fiona calls out, "Open up, Chris." Chris tells his father to stay very still and he then goes and opens the door. Fiona and Andy walk in and Fiona growls, "I want your father out of here immediately." Chris asks if they can talk about this outside, so they don't upset him. Fiona, though, snaps, "I told you not to bring him here in the first place, and I meant it. Now, either your father leaves, or I call the police." Chris retorts, "On what grounds? Disturbing the peace?" Fiona snaps, "He could turn violent. We've seen it happen." Chris, though, insists, "It won't happen again, now that he's back on medication." Mary wanders in, but Fiona asks her to please stay outside. She then turns to Andy and adds, "Please keep your eye on him, Andy." The Colonel suddenly murmurs, "I knew an Andy once. We called him 'Handy Andy'." Fiona glares at Chris and asks, "Is he leaving, or do I call the police?" Mary cries, "Please don't - it's his birthday." Chris explains guiltily, "Mary saw us outside. I talked her into keeping quiet." Fiona, looking annoyed, mutters, "Oh, I see, yes, and keeping me occupied while you could sneak him in." Andy chips in, "It's not Mary's fault. Chris knows she's a soft touch and he used it. He's the real trouble-maker." Fiona growls, "I know - and I've had just about enough of it." She then tells Chris, "I want you to pack your bags and be out of here at the end of the week - and if you don't want your father upset, then you'll get him out of here now." Chris sighs, "OK, we'll go." He walks over to his father and, helping him up from his seat, tells him, "Come on, dad. We're going for a picnic in the park." Mary appeals to Fiona, "I wish you wouldn't let him go." Fiona retorts that she has an obligation to the rest of her tenants. Chris, though, suddenly roars, "Obligation from what? He's no threat to anyone and you know it. And you're so prejudiced against him, you won't even admit you could be wrong." Andy gasps, "You should talk about prejudice." Chris, though, snaps, "At least I tried to overcome my hang-ups, 'mate', but she's not even prepared to try." He then glares at Fiona and snaps, "Fiona, you're a hypocrite and I shall be glad to see the last of you."

Later that day, the Colonel is sitting on the couch at the Morrell town house as Chris tells Caroline, "When we got to the park, we ran into a bunch of kids. It didn't take them long to figure out dad wasn't the full quid. They had a great time, treating him like a freak show." Caroline comments that it's been a rotten day. Chris assures her, "I can take it. But I really wanted it to be a nice day for dad. That's why I took a punt on finding out if you were in or not. He doesn't want to go back to the home yet, so if he could stay here for a while..." Caroline replies hesitantly, "I'd like to help, Chris - really - but it is a bit awkward. You know how difficult Samantha's been, and this could make it worse." Chris growls, "Samantha's really got to you, hasn't she? If you want to call it quits, say so." Caroline stares at him as he goes on, "Dad always told me I had to learn to be self-sufficient. It's taken me this long to realise he was right." He then walks over to his father and tells him gently, "Change of plan, dad. You're looking a bit tired, so I think we should take you back to the home." The Colonel, standing up, murmurs, "Already?" Chris assures him, "We'll have plenty of time together when I get my new place." The Colonel cries, "I don't want to go back yet." Caroline stares at him and sighs, "Then stay here for a while." Turning to Chris, she adds, "I know what it feels like to be let down by someone you care for. Friends again?" Chris smiles in relief, "I knew today couldn't be all bad."

Gordon and Barbara are dressed-up as they stand in the lounge room at Woombai. James is sitting on the couch and Gordon asks him if he's sure he won't change his mind and come to lunch. James, though, insists that he'll stay home and keep Wayne company. Gordon asks Barbara if she can persuade James to change his mind. Barbara, though, says sourly that she thinks James is very wise to stay at home and rest his leg. She then heads out of the room, saying she'll go and tell Irene they're ready. James asks Gordon who they're having lunch with. Gordon replies, "The Harpers." James laughs, "Just as well I'm not coming - I still owe Colonel Harper a tenner!" He then suddenly gets up from the couch, goes to the fireplace and sticks his hand up the chimney, saying, "That reminds me!" Gordon, looking bemused, asks him what he's doing, and he explains that he's revealing one of his secret hiding places. He removes a brick, which he hands to Gordon, and he then takes out a pound note, showing it to Gordon and saying, "Ta-da! Do you recognise it?" Gordon assures him that he still remembers what a pound note looks like! James, though, tells him to take a closer look. The note is covered in ink, and James asks Gordon if he remembers how he always used to doodle on his money. Gordon, looking surprised, asks how it got in the chimney. James explains, "Yours truly. I borrowed it from you without telling you! When you came looking for it, the old man caught me; threatened to thrash me if I didn't own up." Gordon comments, "So you took the thrashing and hid the money?" James nods, "Yeah, well, I mean, I only borrowed it. I was damned if I was going to own up! See, I always intended to give that back when the dust settled, and then, well... out of sight..." Gordon smiles, "I'll put it in my scrapbook!" He goes to head out of the room as Barbara comes back in and announces that Irene's ready. She then notices the state of Gordon's hands and asks him tersely what on earth he's been doing. Gordon smiles that he's been reminiscing. He heads out. Barbara approaches James and asks him what he's holding. James slaps the object into her hand and says, "That is a brick. Put it back, there's a good girl!" Barbara stands there, looking annoyed.

Irene is standing outside by the car when James wanders out, and she comments that he's looking very pleased with himself. James explains, "I get off on taking snobs down a peg or two!" Irene muses, "You haven't upset one of the guests, have you?" James, though, assures her, "Nah, just put on the boxing gloves with her ladyship." Irene tells him, "You're getting your wires crossed, you know? Barb's really great when you get to know her." Barbara comes out at that moment and snaps at James, "You're not coming with us now, too, are you?" James looks at Irene and asks, "What was that you said about madam...?!" Gordon joins them and tells James to stay out of mischief! James says he thinks he'll go and introduce himself round. Gordon, Barbara and Irene climb into the car and head off. James then walks over to where Alan Pascoe and another man are working nearby, and he asks them what they're up to. Alan tells him that there are a couple of maintenance jobs need doing. James tells him, "Drop that, will you? Come inside and have a beer and bring me up to date. Go and round up the rest of the blokes, will you? Tell them I want to meet them." The second guy tells him that they're all pretty flat-out, and Alan suggests that he could take James round and introduce him to everyone. James, though, retorts, "My leg's giving me hell. I'm the new boss round here; I'm going to be giving the orders. Now round up the blokes, tell 'em I'm shouting."

Charlie is sitting at the kitchen table at David's country house in Sunbury, painting her fingernails, when there's suddenly a knock on the back door. She calls, "Entrée!" The door opens and Alison walks in, saying, "How did you know I wasn't an axe murderer?!" Charlie laughs, "They hardly ever knock!" She then asks Alison where she's been - and how did she know she was in Melbourne? Alison explains, "I went to see Duncan." Charlie, looking puzzled, asks who Duncan is and what she wanted from him. Alison replies, "Some information about good old 'Ace'. He delivered, too. Gordon's baby brother's been a very naughty boy. If he doesn't want anyone to find out about it, he's going to have to do exactly as I say, from now on..."

A short time later, Alison is pouring herself a drink, as Charlie insists, "You can't tell me that much and no more!" Alison, though, explains, "I want to deaden the pain, first." Charlie muses, "I could have sworn you were feeling no pain!" Alison explains, "Prickly heat - you get that in Quilpie." Charlie, looking surprised, asks, "You've been to Quilpie?" Alison tells her, "The men have only got two things on their mind: beer and women - in that order. It made Duncan a pushover." Charlie points out, "You still haven't explained..." Alison tells her, "He was one of the locals I managed to get on-side with. He and James were like 'that'" - she crosses her fingers - "apparently. Anyway, he told me I should ask him about Ben Simmonds." Charlie asks who he is. Alison replies, "He's a missing person who was with James the last time anyone saw him alive. By all accounts, he and James hated each other's guts." Charlie stares at her and asks, "How on earth did you get Duncan to confide in you?" Alison explains, "I just kept buying the drinks until he was drunk enough to talk. What he told me would make things very dicey for James if I went to the police." Charlie queries, "If...?" Alison asks, "Why should I give away my bargaining power?" Charlie gasps in shock, "You're going to blackmail James?" Alison explains, "I need his help to patch things up with Mary - and I want those shares." Charlie gives her a look of disgust. Alison, doesn't notice it, though, and she just asks her if she's got her chequebook. Charlie looks at her, blankly, and Alison reminds her, "You promised me the money for the shares if he'd sell." Charlie muses, "Oh yes..." Alison tells her, "Come on, Charlie, I've got a 'plane to catch. And if I hurry, I'll just get the connecting flight to Woombai." Charlie stands there, and sighs heavily.

Gordon, Barbara and Irene arrive back at Woombai to the strains of loud country music playing inside and a young couple staggering around outside, looking drunk. Gordon muses that he did tell James to have fun! They head off inside.

In the lounge room, James looks at the new arrivals and smiles, "Perfect timing!" Barbara glares at him as he prepares Irene a Quilpie Slammer. He then tells his brother, "Great bunch of blokes you've got here, Gordon." Barbara snaps, "Then how come they all think they've got the day off?" She gives him a look, which he ignores. He instead turns to Gordon and says, "What about a partnership, Gordon, eh? You and me: fifty-fifty. What do you say?" Barbara tells James, "That's very decent of you." James, handing her a Quilpie Slammer, smiles, "Then get a decent drink into you; celebrate the new regime." He hands Gordon a drink, too, and then tells him to propose a toast. Gordon says, "To a new start - for both of us." They all clink glasses, but Barbara still stands there unhappily.

A while later, Barbara is clearing up some glasses. James, Gordon and Alan are talking by the fireplace. Irene joins Barbara and points out that she told her that it would all work out. Barbara snaps that they still have to contend with James. With that, she picks up her tray of empty glasses and storms off to the kitchen. Alison suddenly walks in and says to Irene, "I knocked, but no one answered." Irene smiles and calls over to James, "Hey, Ace - you'd better lock-up your valuables. Madam Lightfinger's back in town!" With that, she heads off to join Barbara in the kitchen. Alison wanders over to Alan, Gordon and James and comments that they all look very happy. James, putting his arm around Gordon, tells her, "You are looking at the Brothers Hamilton, Inc." Alan says he thinks it's time to call it a night. Gordon tells him that he'll show him out. They head off. Left alone with Alison, James comments to her that he thought she shot through. Alison, though, explains that she's been away on business. She adds, "Nice town, Quilpie." James suddenly stares at her, looking worried. She goes on, "I met a friend of yours: Duncan. Fascinating man. Tells some wonderful stories. Especially the one about Ben Simmonds." James mutters, "What are you getting at?" Alison retorts, "You know what I'm getting at. And if you want to stay out of prison, you'll do exactly as I say. The party's over - 'Ace'." She smiles at him, gleefully.


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