Sons and Daughters logo
    Written by: Peter Pinne   Produced by: Posie Jacobs   Directed by: Andrew Howie

Abbot walks in and demands, "Well?" Craig explains, "I'm looking for some info. on my mother. She used to work for you." Abbot asks, "What was her name?" Craig replies, "Ruby. Ruby Hawkins." Abbot snaps, "These are private files, you know." Craig sighs, "I know you could call the cops if you really wanted to, but I'm telling you the truth. I was just looking for the card." Abbot comments, "If you're Ruby's son, you can't be all bad." Craig asks him what he means. Abbot replies, "She was a good worker; a born saleswoman. She had the knack of being able to talk to anyone on any level - and what's more important, get information from them without them realising it. Yes, she was one of the best. I wish she was still with us." Craig muses, "So do I..." Abbot tells him, "You made a mistake and you owned up to it. It showed character - something your mother had. That's why I want you to work for us full-time. You've got the qualities that we're looking for in young blokes." Craig says he'll have to think about it. Abbot warns him not to take too long about it. With that, Craig heads off.

The next morning, Caroline hands Craig a cup of tea and snaps that he's very lucky he's not on a breaking-and-entering charge. Craig points out that he got the information he wanted: the card had a couple of names and addresses where Abbot could get in touch with Ruby. Caroline mutters that she hopes it's worth all the trouble he's gone to. She goes and switches on the radio and listens in surprise as the news comes on and the newsreader says, "Thieves last night broke into five more homes in the Altona area, bringing the break-and-enter total to 22 in the past week." Caroline looks at Craig and asks him if that wasn't where he was working yesterday. Craig just mutters, "I don't know - I'm not too familiar with Melbourne yet." He goes and turns the radio off. Caroline demands, "What exactly did you have to do?" Craig shrugs, "Just meet people. Find out when our salesmen can call on them, that's all." He then announces that he's having a sickie and he asks Caroline to cover for him at the supermarket. Caroline asks what he's doing. He just replies that he has something else on. Caroline growls, "Like working for Mr. Abbot? It seems that earning a few more dollars has more appeal than a regular job in a supermarket." Craig retorts, "There's nothing wrong with going after the bucks, is there?" Caroline growls, "No - provided it's all above-board." Craig mutters, "I might look for mum, too. Just tell them I'm sick, will you?"

Sometime later, Craig is standing in Abbot's office and Abbot is telling him that he's made the right decision. He adds that he's raised Craig's retainer to $100 and his commission on each appointment to $20. Craig smiles that that's great! Abbot tells him, "Good to have you aboard. We're going to be good for each other..."

At the mansion, May is talking on the 'phone in the manager's office, trying to win a competition. Fiona, though, comes in and sighs that she doesn't know why May wastes her money. May hangs up. Fiona tells her that her job isn't made any easier by May being on the 'phone all day. May, though, retorts that she found Fiona a new tenant and she's organised Neville to fix the boiler in the wash-house. Looking aghast, Fiona gasps that Neville doesn't know anything about boilers. May mutters, "He should - he's English, and the maker of the first steam engine was English." Fiona muses that they'll be lucky if Neville doesn't do any more damage to the thing. At that moment, there's an explosion and Fiona and May dash off to see what's happened.

Outside, Janice is cradling Neville, who's lying on the ground, unconscious.

A short time later, in the manager's office, Janice is giving Neville some sips of brandy. He begins to come round. Fiona orders May to help them clear up the mess, seeing as she got them into it. She leads May out to the boiler room, leaving Janice and Neville alone. Janice asks Neville softly, "How are you feeling?" Neville murmurs, "I'm still here." Janice tells him earnestly, "I prayed like I've never prayed before." Neville smiles weakly, "I couldn't ask for a better nurse."

Beryl opens her front door to find Caroline standing there. She demands, "What do you want?" Caroline explains that she's come to apologise: it was wrong of her to encourage Craig to go on searching for his mother. Beryl points out curtly that she tried to tell her that. Caroline then appeals to Beryl to talk some sense into Craig about the door-to-door selling racket. Beryl, however, retorts, "If he has got himself involved in something crooked then it's your fault, not mine. You talk to him." She adds, "If you do want to do something for the boy, call David: I'm sure he'd come running to help you." With that, she shuts the door in Caroline's face.

A while later, Abbot opens the door of his office. Caroline is standing there and she tells him that she'd like him to fire Craig. Abbot demands, "Who are you? His guardian?" Caroline replies, "You could say that." Abbot invites her to sit down and then tells her that it's nice to see her taking an interest in Craig, but there's no need to be worried: theirs is a reputable concern and he can see Craig having a big future with them. Caroline insists that, at this stage in his career, Craig would be better off in some other field. Abbot suggests smarmily that they let it simmer for a few hours and talk about it over dinner. Caroline, though, retorts that she doesn't think that's a good idea at all. Abbot sighs that Craig has got talent and they should let him prove it. He suggests that Caroline think it over and call him again tomorrow morning. With that, Caroline leaves. When she's gone, Abbot goes to the 'phone on his desk and dials a number. When it's answered, he says, "Hello. It's Barry. I've got a new shipment of stuff. When can you offload it?"

Craig is talking to a young kid swinging on the gate at the end of his garden. He finds out from the kid that his mum is out three mornings a week.

Beryl has turned up at the country house and is telling Caroline in the kitchen that she's come to apologise: whatever their differences may be, they shouldn't get in the way of helping Craig. Caroline tells her that she went to see the man who runs the company this morning: he's a real smarmy type who gave her some spiel about his company having a good reputation. She goes on, "When I left him, I asked somebody else in the building how long he'd been there, and this woman said he'd been there a month - which seemed suspicious to me. Obviously, he likes to keep on the move." She continues, "If he's operating on the wrong side of the law, Craig could find himself in an awful lot of trouble unless we point out what he's doing; what he's getting himself into." Beryl sighs that it's not going to be easy. Caroline, though, insists that they've got to try. There's suddenly a knock on the back door and Caroline opens it to find two police officers standing there. One of them says, "Sorry to disturb you, ma'am, but we'd like to talk to Craig Alexander Maxwell." Caroline asks, "Why?" The officer just replies, "Sorry, it's a police matter."

A short time later, Caroline is pouring tea for the two officers. The back door suddenly opens and Craig walks in. The officers stand up and one of them tells Craig, "We came to thank you for putting us on to Abbot - and for giving us enough evidence to take him in. We caught him handing over some of the stolen goods to his fence." Craig smiles, "Great!" The other officer adds, "Thanks to you, a lot of people in the area are going to get their TVs and videos back." Craig smiles, "I'm glad you nailed him." With that, the two officers head off. Beryl shuts the door behind them and Craig grins at her and Caroline, "How about that, eh?" He adds, "I'm sorry I made you worry - but they told me I couldn't tell anybody what was going on. I went to tell them this morning and they said to go back and work for Abbot until I could find something on him." Caroline tells him that she and Beryl were very concerned about him. Craig suggests, "I'd better go back to looking for mum, now I've got some more leads." Caroline, though, warns him, "You've got to go back to work in the supermarket first. I covered for you today, but Doug's not going to buy any more sickies." Craig sighs, "I suppose you're right." Beryl chips in, "If you are still determined to go on searching for your mum, you shouldn't do it alone. I'd like to help in any way I can." Craig, though, tells her, "Thanks, but I don't think I'll need it. I reckon that if I can handle someone like Abbot, I can handle anyone."

At the mansion, Wayne is about to head into the manager's office when Neville approaches him and tells him that he tried to fix it, but the boiler in the laundry blew up. Janice quickly runs down the corridor and says, "But you did fix it!" Neville asks in surprise, "What about the explosion?" Janice shrugs, "I don't know, but it's working now. Go and have a look." Neville heads off to do so. Wayne lingers with Janice and comments knowingly, "There's only one handyperson round here, isn't there?" Janice retorts, "If you dare tell him, I'll--" Wayne asks, "What?" Janice snaps, "Just keep quiet."

Fiona is talking to Charlie on the 'phone in the office, making arrangements for Neville's party. She hangs up as Wayne walks in and tells him that he owes her $35 for seven new tenants. Wayne takes out some money and hands it over. Fiona goes on that she's been through the place with a fine toothcomb and made a list of all the repairs that need doing. She adds that the boiler needs fixing: Neville tried but he only made it worse. Wayne, though, explains that it's done: Janice is not only chief cook and bottle-washer, she's also a plumber! Fiona starts listing the other repairs that need doing. As she does so, though, she suddenly grimaces in pain and clutches the table. Wayne quickly asks her if she's alright. Fiona insists that she's fine. Wayne, though, looks at her in concern as she goes on with her list, and he tells her to slow down a bit. Fiona starts to say, "I work better when I'm under--" She breaks off as she suddenly collapses into Wayne's arms...

A short time later, May walks into the manager's office and tells Wayne that Fiona is all tucked up in bed. Wayne insists that Fiona has to be watched like a hawk - and if she tries to overdo it, he wants to know. He adds quickly by way of explanation, "I only care about this place - I can't afford to have a manager who's sick all the time." May, though, retorts, "You care as much about Fiona as I do." Wayne sighs, "Just sit down and see what else has to be done for this party."

Outside, Neville and Janice are walking outside and Janice is explaining what a barbecue is. She adds that Neville might get a tan. Neville suddenly stops walking and says sincerely, "You know, I really do have a lot to thank you for. I must admit I was a bit nervous about coming out to Australia, but you've made things so much easier for me. I feel I've been accepted and it's all due to you." Janice smiles at him as he adds, "I'm delighted I came to Australia now." She replies, "I'm delighted you did, too."

Doug is pacing the floor of his hotel room, looking at some figures. He asks a man who's sitting on the couch what he thinks. The man replies that it looks good to him. Doug tells him that he may need some international information a little later on. The man replies, "Whenever you're ready, just give us a yell." There's suddenly a knock on the door and Caroline walks in. Seeing Doug with his guest, she says, "I'm sorry. I'll come back later." Doug nods, "Yeah, if you could - it's rather confidential." Caroline, looking put-out, leaves the room again.

It's nighttime, and Neville is sitting with Janice on the stairs at the mansion. He tells her that he surprised himself, fixing that boiler: he's never been good with his hands before. Janice stares at him lovingly as he continues, "Except when it comes to playing cricket. I made the District team once, back home - first change bowler. I was on top of the world for ages after that - rather the way I feel now. Doing my boy scout bit in the laundry has really made me feel good." He looks at Janice and adds, "Of course, meeting someone I can talk to has been just wonderful. It doesn't happen to me a lot." Janice says quietly, "Same here." Looking away and staring into space, she goes on, "When I was younger, I used to think by the time I got to my age I'd be happily married with children." Wayne appears in the hallway and overhears as Janice goes on, "But the right man hasn't come along. I know it sounds like fairytale nonsense, but I still believe he will - one day." She adds, "Who knows: you might even be the prince I've been waiting for. I'd like to think you are." She looks round at Neville again, but an expression of sadness crosses her face as she finds his head has lolled against the wall and he's fallen asleep.


    Links:  Episode 746    Episode Index    Main Index    Episode 748