Sons and Daughters logo
    Written by: Greg Stevens   Produced by: Posie Jacobs   Directed by: Gaye Arnold

Later that evening, Beryl picks up the 'phone in her lounge room and dials a number. STD pips sound and Irene comes on. Beryl tells her that Fiona has told her and David about her cancer and she's decided to have the operation. Irene smiles that that's the best news she's had all week. She asks what brought it on. Beryl explains that Fiona collapsed after Robert's christening this afternoon and she and David finally badgered it out of her. Irene asks, "And convinced her to have the op?" Beryl nods, "After several attempts, yes." She goes on, "She's coming back to Sydney; she's going to see a Dr. Robertson - a specialist, I believe." Irene agrees, "A damn good one." Beryl adds that she's coming up with Fiona. Irene thanks her, adding, "You've done Fiona a great service." With that, they say their goodbyes and hang up. At the boarding house, Irene joins Andy and Kelly at the table in her flat and tells them that that was Beryl. Andy asks what she wanted. Irene replies, "She had some wonderful news about Fiona."

At Beryl's, Beryl joins David and Fiona in the kitchen. They have a set of cards out, and as Fiona shuffles them, she asks Beryl what Irene said. Beryl replies, "She said you've made the best decision and she's very happy." Fiona mutters, "I bet she is..." Beryl asks her if she's not glad she made the decision. Fiona sighs, "I suppose I am; I'm just nervous, that's all - I keep thinking of all the things that can go wrong." David, however, suggests that she thinks of everything that's going to go right. Fiona smiles, "Like positive thinking?" David nods, "Why not?" A card suddenly flips out of the pack in Fiona's hand and lands on the table. It's the ace of spades. She looks at it in horror and quickly places her hand over it. Beryl asks her if she's alright. Fiona replies nervously, "I just had a bit of a twinge..." She then suggests to David that he cut the cards and deal.

Wayne is at the Morrell town house, and as Samantha lets him in, he asks Caroline - who's sitting on the couch, a drink in her hand - how things are. Caroline murmurs, "Coping." Wayne goes on that he's sorry he didn't come straight back after Amanda's service; he figured she'd want some time to herself. He then continues, "There are a couple of things I'd like to talk to you about regarding the company. I'm sure Alison's out to cause trouble." Caroline, though, snaps, "I couldn't care less about Alison - or about the company, for that matter. You can all fight it out amongst yourselves for the next hundred years, if you like." Samantha quickly asks Wayne to come and give her a hand making some coffee, and they head into the kitchen. Out there, Samantha growls at Wayne that he's got a great sense of timing: he knows what her mother's been through and he turns up there wanting to talk about the company; she's on the edge and drinking as if prohibition starts tomorrow. Wayne, suddenly looking very thoughtful, murmurs, "That's no good..." Samantha suggests that he go back and talk to Caroline and see if he can cheer her up, somehow. Wayne heads back to the lounge area and says to Caroline, "Very difficult to get her out of your mind, isn't it? I feel the same." He then indicates her glass and adds, "Need a top-up?" Caroline hands him the glass and he walks over to the drinks tray a nasty smile on his face. As he pours another drink, he comments, "Helps you forget, doesn't it...?"

The next morning, Fiona has arrived back in Sydney, and she joins Irene, Andy and Kelly in Irene's flat at the boarding house. She tells Irene that Beryl is just settling Robert down. Irene gives her a hug and tells her that it's good to see her. Andy asks her, "Why didn't you tell us you were sick?" Fiona explains, "I didn't want anybody fussing around." She sits down. Andy announces that he's got to go and see a bloke about a disco job. Kelly heads out with him. When they've gone, Fiona muses, "They're nice kids... their whole life in front of them." Irene insists, "Come on... so have you... you've got nothing to worry about, Fiona. It's going to be alright - honest."

Out in the corridor, Andy is telling Kelly that he wanted to give Fiona some time alone with Beryl and Irene. Kelly asks, "How did she look? From her voice, I got the feeling she was trying to put on a front." Andy explains, "I think, deep down, she's pretty tense. Who wouldn't be? I hope she's going to get through it." Kelly murmurs, "Me too. She's a wonderful person. I couldn't stand it if anything happened to her."

Inside Irene's flat, Irene is telling Fiona, "I've made all the arrangements. Dr. Robertson had a last-minute cancellation on his operating list, so you're going in first thing tomorrow morning." Fiona looks at her in shock and mouths, "Tomorrow?" Irene points out, "The sooner you get it done, the sooner you're on the road to recovery." Fiona asks Irene if she'll be there. Irene replies that she'll be assisting. Fiona warns her, "You just make sure Dr. Robertson doesn't make any mistakes." Irene sighs, "You're determined to think the worst; I've never met anyone like you!" Fiona cries, "I'm scared." Beryl suddenly emerges from the kitchen and announces that she'll make the tea before she gets back to Robert. Fiona ignores this, though, going on, "Last night, a card came up." Beryl asks in surprise, "What card?" Fiona explains, "When we were going to play canasta, I was shuffling the cards and one dropped out; it leapt out. It was the ace of spades." Irene sighs, "Which, if you're a voodoo mystic, symbolises death." Fiona cries, "I didn't make it up, Irene; it really happened." Irene asks sarcastically, "What did the tea leaves say?" Fiona, though, cries at her not to make fun of her. She goes on, "A lot of the things that I read in the tea leaves have come true. The cards are the same: they can predict the future." Irene retorts, "And doctors can't?" She then points out, "Fiona, we've been through your tests. Except for your kidney, you're a very healthy woman. You're going to have that operation and it's going to be a success." Beryl adds, "She's right, Fiona. Everything's going to be fine." Fiona sits there looking worried.

Wayne arrives at the Morrell town house again and sits down outside with Samantha. He asks her how her mum is, and Samantha replies that she's nursing a sore head. Wayne asks if she's up to discussing company business. He adds that it really does have to be sorted out - and he figures it's a way of taking her mind off Amanda. Samantha nods, "Just go carefully, that's all." She then stands up and says she's going to make some lunch. Caroline comes out and joins Wayne at the table. He tells her that Samantha is worried about her - and so is he. Caroline looks at him suspiciously, and he goes on, "I came over to discuss some business matters with you, but if you don't feel up to it...; in fact, if you'd like some time off - and it's perfectly understandable if you do - what I was going to suggest was if you give me control of your shares, I could look after things for you. A break would probably do you the world of good." Caroline smiles muses, "You're all heart, Wayne." She then goes on tersely, "I wouldn't let you near my shares if my life depended on it. I don't trust Alison; I trust you even less." Wayne sighs, "OK. I didn't come over here to cause trouble. In fact, I've got a little present for you." With that, he hands her a bottle and tells her, "To replace the one we polished off last night." Caroline, looking surprised, comments that she doesn't remember drinking with him last night. Wayne replies, "You did, I'm afraid. Made quite a mess of ourselves. The least I can do is restock your bar." Caroline tells him, "It's not necessary, but thankyou - although the way I'm feeling this morning, I don't think I'm ever going to touch another scotch again." With that, she picks up the bottle and takes it inside, leaving Wayne looking thoughtful.

David and Tim are working in a shed in the grounds at the country house when Donna walks over to them and asks David if he's got Fiona's number in Sydney as a guy called 'Gillings' or someone called. David explains that that's the person Fiona has invested through. David heads off inside and Donna calls after him that the number's by the 'phone. Tim then suggests to Donna that they have Spider and Jess over for dinner tonight. Donna points out that they were there last night. Tim insists that it'll be good for her to be round people her own age - like Jess. Donna acknowledges, "She is fun to be with..." Tim tells her to give Jess a call, and Donna smiles, "Alright!" With that, she heads off inside, leaving Tim looking very happy...

Inside the house, in the kitchen, David is saying on the 'phone, "I'd better get on to Fiona and Beryl straight away; Irene too - and tell them what's happened." At the other end of the 'phone, Maynard Gilling says he'd be very grateful if David would. They hang up and David looks up a number in the 'phone index and starts dialling.

Andy opens the door to Irene's flat at the boarding house, saying excitedly to Kelly as he does so, "How about that, eh? A disc jockey on a cruise ship! You reckon I'll pull it off?" Kelly smiles, "You've got as good a chance as any." She adds, "Do you think I'll land the singing job?" Andy nods, "You deserve it; you're good." The 'phone suddenly starts ringing. Andy picks it up, STD pips sound and David comes on. He asks if Irene's there, but Andy explains that she's doing house calls. David asks if Beryl is there. Andy says he thinks they've headed to Manly. David sighs, "Dammit. Get one of them to call me as soon as they come in, will you?" Andy says, "Sure." He then asks if there's anything he can do in the meantime." David, though, replies sadly, "No, cobber. No." He hangs up, looking worried.

Fiona and Beryl are walking along the beach at Manly, Fiona commenting as they do so, "Sad to see the old boarding house gone." Beryl points out, "It burned down." Fiona replies, "I know. It's still sad, though. The people I knew there... that's what makes a place special: the people." She continues distantly, "Bunty and Thel... my God, it's ages since I've seen them. And the twins: Johnny and Angela... oh they were so beautiful when they were born; so small... not that Johnny stayed that way for too long! He really shot up. Before he went to live with you and David, I used to read to him. He had a favourite story: The Gingerbread Man. If I read him that once, I read it a thousand times! Oh, I do love that boy..." Beryl suggests, "We could get in touch with him - ask him to come down in time for the operation." Fiona, though, says quickly, "No, no, he's settled now; it would be unfair to disrupt his life." Beryl insists that she doesn't think he'd mind. Fiona murmurs, "Maybe not, but I would rather leave it that way." Tears suddenly start welling in her eyes, but Beryl quickly says, "Hey, now, don't go sad on me all-of-a-sudden. Think of all the money we're going to make out of our coffee futures. We'll travel the world and really kick our heels up." Fiona just stands there and stares out to sea. She then says to Beryl, "Let's walk back and buy an ice cream. I feel like an ice cream."

Irene is dialling a number on the telephone in her flat. As she does so, she asks Andy if David said what it was about. Andy replies that he didn't. He adds that he sounded pretty uptight, though. David answers the 'phone and Irene says it's her. David thanks her for calling. He then asks her if she, Fiona and Beryl have tied up that business about the coffee futures. Irene nods, "Yeah - signed, sealed and waiting for delivery. Why?" David sighs, "Brace yourself: Maynard Gilling's been on the 'phone. He reckons there's been some sort of army takeover where the stuff was growing. He reckons the crops been nationalised. He says you don't own it anymore." A look of shock crosses Irene's face. She asks, "You mean we've done our dough?" David replies, "Sounds like it: every last cent."

A while later, Beryl joins Irene in her flat, saying that Andy said Irene wanted to see her. Irene tells her to take a seat. Beryl does so, and Irene explains, "Bad news: I'm afraid we've lost all the money we invested. Some bloodthirsty colonel from the Tanganian army organised a little coup and nationalised the coffee crop." Beryl murmurs, "There's no chance...?" Irene sighs, "No - I spoke to the broker. All gone." Beryl comments, "That was all the money I had left - or most of it." Irene points out, "At least you own your house. I've got to service half the mortgage on this place." She looks around to indicate the boarding house. Beryl asks about Fiona. Irene replies, "Worse off than either of us, I'd say." Beryl retorts, "Then she mustn't be told until after the operation."

Jess, Spider, David, Tim and Jess are sitting around the kitchen table at the country house, and Donna is laughing about Tim always being in trouble at school. Spider, though, suddenly snaps at everyone about making so much noise. He goes on, "A man loses his life savings and all you can do is talk about your old school days." He adds bitterly, "I don't know how Fiona got tied-up with a fool like that. What sort of a name is it anyway? 'Maynard Gilling'." Quickly changing the subject, Donna tells Spider that he left his shirts there last night. Jess says she'll put them in the car now. Donna tells her that they're in the lounge. Tim quickly says he'll get the keys and open the car. He follows Jess into the lounge room. She starts picking up Spider's shirts. Tim picks up the keys and then tells her, "I've been waiting for the chance to talk to you alone. I don't want to hurt Donna, but after last night..." Jess pleads, "No, Tim, stop." Tim insists, "You felt the same way; I could see it. I've never felt this way about a girl before." Jess retorts, "You're married. We'll just have to pretend nothing happened - that way, no one will get hurt: you me or Donna." Tim stands there, looking upset.

Fiona is pouring glasses of champagne for herself, Irene and Beryl in her flat. Irene asks what the occasion is, but Fiona laughs that there was just a bottle in the 'fridge and she thought 'why not'?! She then changes the subject and asks Irene and Beryl what they were talking about downstairs. Irene tells her, "You! It's much more fun when you do it behind somebody's back!" Fiona laughs and then asks, "What shall we drink to? Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow--" Irene interrupts and completes, "For tomorrow, I live." The 'phone suddenly starts ringing and Fiona goes to answer it. Maynard Gilling comes on and Fiona asks him how he is. He replies wearily, "Shattered. I'm sorry I had to let Mr. Palmer drop the bad news on you, but I didn't have your number until now." Fiona glances at Irene and Beryl, looking puzzled, but playing along she replies, "That's alright. Maybe you could go over the details yourself?" Maynard tells her, "There's nothing to report, I'm afraid. The coffee crop's been nationalised. We've lost our investment. I feel it's all my fault: I was the one who talked you into it. I just hope it hasn't left you in too much of a financial mess." Fiona sighs, "I've managed before. I'm sure I will be able to again." She then thanks him for calling and the two of them hang up. Turning back to Irene and Beryl, Fiona tells them, "Maynard Gilling." Irene murmurs guiltily, "Oh." Fiona mutters, "Obviously you knew." Beryl explains that they didn't want to worry her because she's got enough on her mind. Fiona, however, retorts, "Well, there's no longer any reason for your concern because there'll no longer be an operation. For one thing, there's no way I afford it..."


    Links:  Episode 711    Episode Index    Main Index    Episode 713