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    Written by: Foveaux Kirby    Produced by: Posie Jacobs   Directed by: Andrew Howie

Beryl asks Fiona in surprise, "What do you mean you can't afford it? You've got private health cover." Fiona, though, explains, "I never took it out. I didn't think it was necessary. I was always so healthy." Irene suggests that her friends would bend over backwards to lend her the money. Fiona, though, asks how she'd pay them back. Irene snaps, "Alright, we'll take a second mortgage out on the boarding house." Fiona, though, retorts, "It's bad enough with the first mortgage. And I'm not going to leave you with a great debt hanging round your neck." Irene snaps, "You're not going to be leaving me with anything. You're talking about something that isn't going to happen." Fiona, though, retorts, "For God's sake, Irene, why don't you face facts? So OK, I have the operation and it is a success. How do you know the cancer hasn't spread? Then there'll be another operation - and another one. And if you think I'm going through all that, you're wrong." She then announces that she's going to her room and she walks off. Beryl and Irene glance at one another.

That night, Beryl is sitting with Barbara and Gordon in the lounge room at Dural, telling them, "I thought you'd want to know." Gordon asks why Fiona didn't say something. Beryl reminds him that Fiona likes to keep her troubles to herself. She then goes on, "Irene's arranged the operation to have the kidney removed, but Fiona doesn't think she can afford it. She's just lost all her savings on a business deal that went wrong. Irene and I were involved too; I'll tell you about it later - so we can't help out, either." Gordon offers, "I can cover the costs for her." Beryl warns him that Fiona won't accept charity. Gordon, looking thoughtful, suggests, "Let's make it look as if the money really belongs to her: uncollected profits from Woombai." Beryl asks if he could convince her of that. Gordon winks, "Old silver-tongue like me? You just watch!"

Caroline is lying back on the couch at the Morrell town house when there's a knock on the front door. She goes to answer it and finds Wayne standing there. He asks if he can come in. Caroline mutters, "If you must." He walks in and goes and stands by the drinks tray, looking upset. Caroline asks what the matter is. Wayne tells her quietly, "Amanda... I needed someone to talk to. I realised you must be feeling the same way, so..." He breaks off. Caroline comments, "It has hit you hard, hasn't it?" She then goes on, "I understand how you feel, but I don't want to talk about her. What's happened has happened; we've all got to get on with our own lives." Wayne accuses, "You're going to forget her - just like that?" Caroline, though, retorts, "Of course not - but I can't go on in mourning forever." She then suggests that she make some tea. Wayne, though, says quickly, "There was something I wanted to show you - but I don't suppose it matters now. You're obviously coping so well; I wouldn't want to set you back." Caroline insists, "I don't think it would; not now." She asks what it is. Wayne reaches into his jacket pocket and takes out a photo, explaining that it's of her with Amanda when she was six. Caroline stares at the photo. Tears suddenly start to well in her eyes. She doesn't notice the smirk that appears on Wayne's face. He asks lightly, "Do you mind if I get a drink?" Caroline murmurs, "No." Wayne adds, "I think I need one, the way I feel. What about you?" Caroline mouths, "Yes - please." Wayne starts to pour, looking pleased with himself.

The next morning, Samantha emerges from her bedroom to find her mother slumped back on the couch, the remainder of the drinks on the table in front of her. She sighs, "Oh mum... you've got to stop doing it to yourself." She rouses Caroline and then, noticing the photo on the table, asks her mother where she got it. Caroline murmurs, "Wayne brought it round last night. Everything came flooding back... I miss her, Samantha - and it hurts..."

Irene and Beryl are sitting with Fiona in her flat. Irene is saying, "Alright, I'll postpone the operation for a few weeks and then we'll see how you feel." Fiona, though, retorts that that won't make any difference at all; she wants Irene to cancel it. There's suddenly a knock on the door and Beryl goes to get it. She finds Barbara and Gordon standing there and she invites them in. Gordon tells Fiona that he and Barbara had some business to attend to in the area and he thought they'd drop in. He adds that he's glad everyone's there together. Fiona asks, "Why?" Gordon, taking some envelopes out of his jacket pocket, explains, "I have a little windfall for you: profits from your share of Woombai." He hands round the envelopes and Irene smiles, "Couldn't have come as a better time, as far as I'm concerned"" Fiona, though, says to Gordon suspiciously, "Wait a minute: we sold all our shares back to you." Gordon lies, "I've just had the books audited. There was a mistake in the last dividend; they underpaid us all." Fiona comments, "You've never made a mistake in your account." Gordon laughs, "There's always a first time!" He adds, "Actually, I'm sorry to give the money away." Fiona snaps, "But you wouldn't be if it would make someone have an operation you were told they couldn't afford?" Gordon asks 'innocently', "What operation?" Fiona, though, retorts, "This phoney profits story is nothing but charity in disguise." Barbara chips in, "Then we'll lend you the money with interest, if it'll make you feel any better." Gordon adds, "If any of us were in the same position, you'd be the first one to write out a cheque. You've got to take the money; for goodness sake, how long have we been friends?" Fiona, however, retorts, "That doesn't make a scrap of difference. No one has the right to force a decision on someone else. I am sick and tired of being argued with and pressure into changing a decision that only I can make - and if you don't stop it right now, I'm not going to have anything to do with any more of you." With that, she rips up the cheque and storms off to her bedroom.

Caroline is sitting staring into space at the Morrell town house. Samantha joins her and Caroline asks her, "Is that offer of yours to go up to the mountains still open? I don't think I can cope by myself today." Samantha tells her, "You'd feel a lot better if you got out of yesterday's clothes and had a shower." Caroline, though, says, "It'll take more than a shower to make me feel better." Samantha sighs, "Alright. I'll give Irene a call." Caroline heads off to get changed while Samantha goes to the 'phone. She dials a number - and the 'phone rings at Dural. Wayne answers it in the hallway and Samantha immediately snaps, "I don't know what you think you're up to, but just stay away from mum, OK?" Wayne asks 'innocently' what he's done. Samantha retorts that he must have known that photo of Amanda would upset Caroline. Wayne retorts, "I was married to Amanda, remember? I was upset last night; I wanted to be with someone who knew her as well as I did." Samantha asks, "Why bring the photo round?" Wayne retorts, "I thought Caroline would like it." Samantha sighs, "It only made her feel worse. She was drinking until all hours of the morning." Wayne tells her, "I'm sorry - I really am." He then adds that Caroline is too strong to let alcohol take over; she'll come out of it in couple of days. Samantha cries, "I hope you're right - I'm starting to wonder." Wayne assures her, "If there's anything I can do, just let me know." Samantha says, "I will. I'm sorry for snapping." With that, they hang up. Wayne stands in the hallway at Dural looking very pleased with himself.

Alison is talking on the 'phone in the lounge room at Charlie's, saying to the person on the other end that she'll be in touch as soon as she's talked to her business partner. She then hangs up and tells Charlie, "They like the idea." Charlie muses, "No reason why they shouldn't. It's a pity your motives aren't all that honourable." Alison retorts, "The children will benefit. So will Woombai." Charlie remarks, "Regular Mary Poppins, aren't we? I'm sure Gordon will be impressed." Alison says she thinks she'll drop over and put the proposition to him now. She heads out. As she does so, Adam comes in and tells Charlie that he might go and pick up some brochures for the Europe trip. Charlie, though, tells him that they don't show the real Europe; leave that to her!

Gordon and Barbara arrive back at Dural to find Alison waiting for them. They let her into the house and head into the lounge room, where Barbara asks her curtly what they can do for her. Alison announces, "I'd like to open Woombai to a group of underprivileged children." Barbara, looking astonished, asks suspiciously what brought on this burst of generosity. Alison explains, "I got the idea when I realised what you'd both done for Mary. If it hadn't been for you two, she'd have ended up another homeless kid on the streets. And there are a lot of kids, just like Mary, who've never been out of the city." Barbara demands, "What's in it for you?" Alison retorts, "Nothing - except that the spin-off in goodwill from the community will help business in the long-run." Barbara remarks sourly, "But of course your main concern is the children?" Alison explains, "I've already contacted a school and they're all for it. Now it's up to you." Gordon remarks that it sounds like an excellent idea but he'd like some time to think about it. Alison tells him to let her know what he's decided. With that, she goes. In the lounge room, Barbara comments to Gordon, "Now I've heard everything." Gordon muses, "I don't see any harm in the idea." Barbara retorts, "No, nor do I. But the question is: what's Alison really going to get out of it?"

Fiona is walking along the pavement outside the boarding house when she spots Kelly coming towards her, using her stick to guide her way. Kelly calls to her, "Fiona!" Fiona stops and asks, "How did you know that was me?!" Kelly explains, "Listening to your footsteps: you take a longer step with your left foot than you do with your right." Fiona laughs, "You learn something new every day!" Kelly then goes on, "I heard you're not going to have the operation." Fiona sighs, "I don't want to discuss it." Kelly, though, reminds her, "When mum died, you made me talk about her." Fiona mutters, "That was different. If I am going to die, I want it to be in my own bed, not on an operating table." Kelly cries, "If an operation would make me see again, I'd take the chance. I understand, Fiona; I know how you feel. I felt the same when mum died - but you and Andy and everybody talked me out of it. I'm OK now - and you will be, too, if you give yourself the chance." Fiona just murmurs, "I'm not having the operation, Kelly, and that's final." She walks off.

At the Morrell town house, Samantha asks her mother if she's ready to go. There's suddenly a knock on the door, though, and Samantha goes and opens it to find Wayne standing there. She mutters, "You again." Wayne explains that he's there to see Caroline. He walks over to her and tells her that there's a meeting on at the house tomorrow afternoon: they're going to talk over some new financial options for the company and Gordon will be officially handing over his Power of Attorney. He adds, "I'll be happy to take your proxy if you don't feel up to it." Caroline glares at him and snaps, "You never give up, do you? I'm coming to the meeting and I'll be doing my own voting, thankyou. It's about time I got back into the swing of things." Wayne suggests, "In that case, why don't we have lunch first? I'll be in the city, then we can both go to Dural." Caroline comments, "As long as you don't organise a case of food poisoning..." Samantha warns, "Mum!" Caroline assures her, "Only joking, darling. Wayne's so intent on looking after my shares, I don't want to encourage him." Wayne insists, "Only thinking of you." Caroline smiles, "I'm sure..."

At Dural, Barbara is saying, "I don't understand these people who have this fear of operations." She's sitting in the lounge room with Gordon and Irene, but Irene tells her, "Don't be too hard on her - she comes from a generation when operations were a lot more risky than they are now." Wayne comes in as Gordon asks how long Fiona has if she doesn't go to hospital. Irene replies, "Six months. Less if she doesn't slow down." Wayne asks what's wrong with her. Irene tells him, "Cancer. Kidney." Wayne just murmurs, "Oh." Irene comments that he doesn't seem upset about it. Wayne retorts, "I'm not." Gordon warns, "Wayne..." Wayne, though, asks curtly, "What's the point pretending sympathy for someone I've never liked?" Barbara points out, "She's never done you any harm." Wayne laughs, "She would given half the chance. If it was me she wouldn't be spilling any tears." Gordon suddenly stands up and snaps, "You couldn't be more wrong: that woman doesn't have an evil bone in her body." Wayne mutters, "Think that if you like." Gordon snaps, "I do - and I'll thank you to keep your views to yourself. If you haven't got the guts to say it to her face, don't say it behind her back - at least, not in this house. Is that clear?" Wayne murmurs, "Yes." Gordon snaps, "Keep it in mind."

Next door, Alison is pouring herself a drink in the lounge room when Charlie comes in, loaded down with bags and smiling, "Winter in Europe!" She takes out a fur coat and Alison exclaims that it's beautiful. Charlie then asks how things went with Gordon. Alison replies, "Very well. As long as Barbara doesn't talk him out of the idea, he's all for it." Adam suddenly comes in and hands Charlie some brochures, saying, "Read these. See what you think." Charlie takes the brochures and reads the titles: "Himalayas on Foot. Inner Mongolia by Bicycle." Adam tells her, "That's the one." Charlie gasps in shock, "But I'm all dressed for winter in Europe!" She indicates her new bags of clothes. Adam points out, "We hadn't definitely decided on Europe." Charlie, though, retorts, "I had." Adam insists, "Mongolia's an adventure." Charlie continues looking at the brochures and suddenly exclaims, "There's a camel!" Adam explains that that's the camel trek across the desert. Charlie smiles, "Camels are much more romantic than bicycles!" Adam insists, "I still like the idea of the bicycle tour. The organiser is showing a film tonight; I think I'd like to go." Charlie muses, "I've got a very chic safari suit I wore in Egypt. I wonder if that would be right for Inner Mongolia?" Adam looks at Alison and rolls his eyes!

Beryl is sitting with Andy and Kelly at the dinner table at Fiona's flat, commenting that Fiona wouldn't say where she was going. Kelly asks if she's got any family. Beryl replies, "There's a brother in Sydney but they lost touch years ago; her family disowned her." Kelly asks, "How could we find him?" Beryl comments, "I'm not sure. Bunty and Thel might know." Kelly suggests, "If they found out she was sick, they might talk her into having the operation." Beryl, though, explains, "Not in Fiona's case, love. Old hatreds run very deep in her family, I'm afraid." Kelly insists, "We don't have anything to lose. I say let's give it a go." Andy chips in that agrees. He asks Beryl if she wants to come. Beryl retorts that she still doesn't think it's a good idea to go looking for Fiona's family. Kelly, though, cries, "If they convince Fiona to have her operation, then everyone will think it's a good idea. We have to give it a try."

Sometime later, Andy and Kelly are approaching a grand-looking house. Kelly asks, "What does the place look like?" Andy replies, "Nice and neat and tidy. They must trim the garden with a pair of scissors!" They walk up towards the front door and Andy helps Kelly up a step. He then knocks on the front door. Kelly comments, "It feels empty to me." A male voice suddenly calls out, "They're not in." Andy looks around to see a man approaching from next door. The man goes on, "I take it you're not friends of the Reids?" Andy replies, "No." He asks the man if he knows when they'll be back. Kelly adds that it's very important they talk to them. The man hesitates and then says, "George will be in around six - and Janice, his daughter, comes in around four." Andy asks Kelly if she wants to wait. Kelly nods. The man, pointing back down the path, snaps, "In the street, if you don't mind." Andy helps Kelly back down the path, commenting that the man must think they're druggies wanting to knock the place over!

Alison wanders into the lounge room at Charlie's. Adam is in there and he comments that she looks happy. She explains that she's just had a call from James: he's thinking of putting in a manager so he can spend some time with her in Sydney. Charlie suddenly waltzes in, dressed in her safari suit, and she smiles, "Can't you just see me in the Gobi? Riding along on the ship of the desert?" Alison muses, "Not really!" She adds that she honestly thinks Charlie would be better off on the bicycle tour. Charlie, though, sighs, "Trouble is, darling, I never learned to ride a bicycle." Adam insists that she's got plenty of time to learn before they go. Charlie sighs that she'll go and change! When she's gone, Alison muses to Adam, "I detect a certain conflict of interest between you and your mother." Adam sighs, "Yeah!"

In her flat at the boarding house, Fiona is showing Beryl some photos in an album. They also have various other items spread out, and Fiona comments that a lot of the stuff goes back to before the war. She then hands Beryl a coat and tells her that she'd like her to have it. Beryl, though, tells her to keep it for herself. There's suddenly a knock on the door and Fiona goes to get it. Wayne is standing out in the corridor and he smiles nastily, "Hello, Fiona. I heard you weren't too well." Fiona snaps, "So you've come to pass on your sympathy, huh?" Wayne grins, "You should know me better than that!" He adds, "One thing, though: I never took you for a coward. Poor old Fiona's going to lay down and die because she's too scared to have an operation." Beryl warns, "Wayne..." Wayne, though, continues, "Strange, isn't it? Someone you always thought had more guts than half the US Marine Corps. But when it comes down to it, she just can't hack it." Beryl snaps, "That is enough, Wayne. We're not really interested in what you have to say." Fiona stands there, looking indignant. Wayne laughs, "Least of all Fiona, eh? She's a bluff-artist; she certainly had me bluffed all these years. One threat after another and I fell for them. Now I find out she's just a frightened old woman." Beryl snaps at him, "Get out." Wayne, however, spits at Fiona, "Just don't expect me to send flowers to your funeral. I wouldn't waste my money." With that, he goes, leaving Fiona standing there looking thoughtful.


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