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    Written by: Greg Haddrick   Executive Producer: Don Battye   Directed by: Clive Fleury

The front door opens at Caroline's. Doug steps inside and calls, "I'm home!" There's no response. He heads into the lounge room and calls, "Caroline?" He's holding a newspaper. Caroline walks in from the hallway and says to him, "Sorry - I was in getting changed." She's wearing a smart blue dress, leading Doug to ask, "What's the occasion?" Caroline explains, "A public relations dinner party. My publisher wants to--" Doug interrupts and muses, "Make a quick buck out of you?" Caroline retorts, "Create public awareness. He says that my new book's going to be twice as big as the last one. He's organised a simultaneous release in London and New York, and TV interviews, magazine interviews, that sort of thing - not that I'm too keen on them building a whole industry around Angela Johns, but at least it'll get me a few free meals!" Doug smiles, "Put it like that, I guess I'd better jump in the shower and dust off the old dinner suit!" Caroline, however, tells him quickly, "Oh, er, actually the invitation's just for me. It was all organised; there was nothing I could do about it. I'm sorry, honey." Doug sits down and shrugs, "Truth be known, I've been on my feet all afternoon. I'm bushed. A few quiet beers with my feet up in front of the telly won't hurt me." He then asks, "How are you getting there?" Caroline replies, "By car - with a man called Damien Rutherford. He's a press agent. I think he intends 'creating an image' for me." Doug frowns, "What's wrong with the one you've got?" Caroline explains, "I don't think it's in line with how they intend to sell the book." She then looks in her handbag and says, "Oo, I won't be a second; I forgot my necklace." With that, she heads out of the room. Doug sits there, looking thoughtful.

Michelle and Craig are sitting at the dinner table at Beryl's. Michelle asks Craig, "Is it going to be enough to frighten them?" Craig declares, "It'll do more than frighten him." Michelle says in concern, "It can't go wrong, can it? I mean, we will catch the guy we want?" Craig assures her, "Red handed!" The front door bangs suddenly and Debbie walks in. She gives Craig a kiss as he comments, "You're home early." Debbie points out, "It's quarter to seven." Craig remarks, "It's earlier than last night." Debbie explains, "Bill sent me home in a taxi." She then collapses into an armchair and sighs, "I do not know how people do it." Craig asks, "What?" Debbie laughs, "Work!" Michelle chips in, "We were thinking that you might like to come and see a movie with us." Debbie, however, says wearily, "Thanks, but if it's alright with you--" she looks at Craig "--could we have an early night tonight?" Looking disappointed, Craig nods, "Sure." Debbie then asks, "Is there anything to eat?" Craig nods, "Yep." Michelle stands up and says, "I'll get it." Debbie insists, "No, that's OK." Michelle assures her, "No troubles; that's OK." Debbie, however, snaps suddenly, "Michelle... I can do it." With that, she stands up and heads into the kitchen. Michelle looks at Craig and asks in surprise, "What have I done? She's had enough of me, hasn't she?" Craig insists, "She's just tired, that's all." Michelle suggests, "I'd better be going." She heads over to the kitchen and calls to Debbie, "I'll be off now, Deb." Debbie just calls back, "OK. I'll see you later." Michelle then looks back at Craig and tells him, "See you at school tomorrow." Craig smiles, "Sure will - bright and early." Michelle murmurs, "Until then..." She then heads out. Debbie emerges from the kitchen and smiles at Craig, "Congratulations! The casserole smells good." Craig just retorts tersely, "Michelle made it; not me." He then stands up and demands, "What's wrong with you tonight?" Debbie murmurs, "Nothing." Craig points out, "Michelle's supposed to be your friend and you're acting like you're sick of her." Debbie mutters, "She just seems to be spending half her life around here at the moment." Craig retorts, "She's not. She's going through a hard time at school and I'm trying to help her out. That's what you wanted me to do, isn't it? Help her out." Debbie growls, "I'm the one who's getting up at 5am and working a nine-hour day. All you two have to do is go to a few classes. She's not the only one finding life tough, Craig." With that, she marches back into the kitchen, leaving Craig looking puzzled.

Damien Rutherford is standing with Doug in the lounge room at Caroline's as Caroline potters around, getting herself ready. He's saying to Doug, "You know Caroline's a good writer. I know she's a good writer. But it's not us we have to convince, is it? It's the public. He or she is staring at a wall of books in his or her local newsagent's, looking at the authors, looking at the titles and trying to decide which book to buy. That's who we have to convince." Caroline declares suddenly, "OK. Ready." She gives Doug a kiss as Rutherford adds, "Put yourself in that position, Doug: how would you spend your money?" As the two of them head out, Doug mouths to himself, "I'd buy the one with the naked lady on the cover, no matter who wrote it!"

The next morning, Caroline is standing in the kitchen at her house, wearing her dressing gown and she telling a suited Doug, "People who read my books want to believe that they really are women who live in a whirl of wine, men and parties; women who do have money to burn and live exciting, dangerous lives; and they want to know that the author is part of that world." Doug points out, "You are. That's the point: it's not fiction." Caroline agrees, "Well, no, it's not fiction, but it certainly is history - and, as Damien said last night, they want to know what my life is like now, not then. I mean, residing quietly with your husband in a suburb of Melbourne isn't the most exciting dust-cover blurb you've ever come across, is--" She breaks off as Doug gives her a wary look. She says quickly, "I'm sorry. I didn't make it sound like... I wouldn't swap you for anything, you know that." Doug asks sharply, "What exactly is going on the dust cover?" Caroline, however, tells him, "It hasn't been decided yet. I'm going to have lunch with Damien and we're going to write out a whole new biography." Doug asks in surprise, "In one lunchtime?!" Caroline nods, "It's only going to be a couple of pages." Doug comments sourly, "This public of yours is pretty easily satisfied, isn't it...?"

Debbie has arrived at the airfield belonging to Sanders Air Charter. As she heads towards the office, Sanders walks towards her, looks at his watch and remarks, "One minute to spare!" Debbie smiles at him. She then reaches into her handbag, removes a sheet of paper and says to Sanders, "Here's the cab docket from last night. Thanks a lot." Sanders looks it and gasps, "Where did he take you? Via Albury?! Twenty-two bucks?!" He then carries on, "You'll be pleased to know, Debbie, that I've been giving this problem a bit of thought. 'Bill,' I said, 'you've got yourself a good girl there: smart, keen, ready to tough it out with Harry Barker. You've got to do the right thing if you want to keep her.'" Debbie looks at him and gasps, "Are you trying to chat me up?!" Sanders frowns, "That's charming, isn't it? Here I am, offering you a company car--" Debbie interrupts and exclaims, "A car?!" Sanders points out an old beat-up car parked nearby and he smiles, "Just feast your eyes on that." Debbie stares at it dubiously. Sanders adds quickly, "Don't turn your nose up. Her name's 'Melba', after my grandma. She mightn't look the most modern thing on four wheels, but she's still got plenty of ticker, believe me." They walk over to the car. Debbie peers inside before looking back at Sanders and smiling, "Thankyou!"

The two guys responsible for taunting Michelle at the college appear in the alleyway nearby. They stop in their tracks as they spot Michelle sitting there, on a bench. Craig is sitting on another bench a few yards away. He and Michelle look at each other before Michelle then stands up and puts the book she's holding down on the bench very carefully. She then walks away. As soon as she's gone, the two guys run over to the book and pick it up. A few seconds later, there's a loud bang! One guy says to the other in shock, "You OK?" The other guy growls, "It could have blown my hand off. That bitch! Where is she?" Craig walks over to them suddenly and snaps at the guy with the hurt hand, "So, you're the artist, huh? How's the hand?" The guy snaps, "I'm still lucky to have it." Craig tells him, "Relax, mate. Just to scare you, that's all. Good joke, don't you think?" The guy mutters, "Yeah, real funny." Craig goes on curtly, "Lay off the funny drawings, buster. If you don't, we won't be joking next time." From where she's hiding behind a pillar a short distance away, a broad grin crosses Michelle's face.

Susan is standing by the bar at Dural talking on the 'phone as Wayne stands and watches. She's saying wearily, "I'm sorry, Fiona; some other time maybe... No, I can't make it next week, either. I've got all these bookings: dinner parties, that sort of thing. I'll let you know, OK?... Alright. Bye." She hangs up. Wayne walks over to her and says coldly, "There. That wasn't too difficult, was it?" Susan doesn't respond. Wayne goes on, "The sooner you stop fighting it, Susie, the sooner we can both settle down to a nice, contented marriage." Susan turns and glares at him. Wayne just smiles, "See you tonight." With that, he turns and heads out. Susan leans against the bar and sighs heavily.

A while later, Susan is sitting on the couch, holding a book but staring into space. She sighs heavily as she puts the book down and sits up.

A while later again, Susan is pacing the lounge room floor, looking bored and distracted. She sits down again.

Later still, Susan puts a newspaper down onto the coffee table before reaching across and switching on the radio. Racing commentary comes on, and she quickly switches the radio off again. A few seconds later, though, she appears to have a change of heart and she switches it on again, listening as the commentator says, "...leads a field of eight after the scratching of Rainbow Lad. This should leave the field clear for Glendale to show what a fine sprinter he is in the dry conditions." Susan stands up suddenly and heads over to the bar. She heads behind it and opens one of the drawers. She pulls out a sheet of paper and a pen and then heads back over to the coffee table, where she starts making notes on the commentator's remarks...

Wayne is standing with Gordon in Fiona's room at the mansion. He says to his father, "Ron Lawler called yesterday. We had quite a chat. He asked how you were; how you were doing. In fact, he was quite persistent. I didn't know what it was all about, so I didn't say much." Gordon asks coolly, "And he didn't say what it was about?" Wayne replies, "No." Gordon looks at him and then explains, "I asked him for a job." Wayne raises his eyebrows and muses, "Oh..." Gordon growls quickly, "There is no need to sound patronising, Wayne, pretending you haven't thought of the obvious." Wayne just asks, "Did I do the right thing?" Gordon retorts, "I don't care what you did; I simply asked him for some work until Beryl is proven innocent. Now, this might come as something of a shock to your newly-acquired sense of importance, but I didn't put forward your name as a reference. As far as I'm concerned, you could have told him what you pleased." A grin crosses Wayne's face suddenly as he asks, "You short of a bob?" Gordon retorts, "I wanted something to do, that's all." Wayne takes out his wallet and carries on, "If you are, I can--" Gordon interrupts and snaps, "I am not short of a bob, Wayne, I am short of something to keep my mind active." Wayne holds out some notes and says, "Here, take a few hundred." Gordon, however, snaps coldly, "Put it away. I don't need your help, I don't need your money and I most certainly don't need your sympathy. Is that clear?" Wayne stares at him. He then turns and heads towards the door. He looks back at his father, but neither of them says anything.

Susan is standing at the bar in the lounge room at Dural, talking on the 'phone, saying, "What about 'Illustrious'? 2-1... And 'Dad's Delight'? 4-6? Alright, give us 'Illustrious' for $500... No, make it for a win. Thanks, Tom." She makes some notes on a pad as she then snaps, "Of course I've got the money... Well, I can't get it to you right now... Look, win or lose, I'll settle it up tomorrow, OK? Don't worry, I can cover it." She listens again before snapping, "I get the message. Bye." She hangs up, looking annoyed. She then takes a sip from a glass of scotch and, looking up to the heavens, sighs, "Give us a bit of luck - for once... Please?"

Craig and Michelle are sitting at a table outside the college, eating lunch. Michelle is saying, "I know you only helped me because Debbie asked you to, but I still appreci--" Craig interrupts, however, and assures her, "Debbie had nothing to do with it. I like you, alright? We're friends. We got off on the wrong foot, maybe, but now we're mates. All for one and one for all!" Michelle smiles, "I appreciate it even more, then." She goes on, "It's amazing the gadgets you can find in joke shops, isn't it?!" Craig comments, "At least it did the trick." Michelle, however, says enthusiastically, "It did more than that. Before my last tute, I had three girls who hadn't even said 'hello' to me before come up and be as nice as pie." She puts on a shrill girly voice as she parrots, "Do you know Craig Maxwell? Wouldn't happen to have his 'phone number, would you?'" She then goes on teasingly, "You've only been here a couple of weeks and you're already famous without knowing it!" Craig asks, "Did you tell them I was engaged?" Michelle, however, replies, "Are you kidding? They'd go right back and wouldn't talk to me. I want to get to know them first; make a few friends. If they ask me point-blank I'll say 'yes', but none of them expect you to be engaged, so they're not going to ask." Craig asks, "So what did you say?" Michelle smiles, "I said that your mother hated having girls ringing and that you're moving out in a few weeks and to hang around me and I'd help!" Craig chuckles before saying, "Why don't you just cut out the middle-man and introduce me?" Michelle gasps, "No way! You're spoken for. Imagine what Debbie would say!" Craig murmurs, "True, true. Ah well, those were the days!"

Bill Sanders is taking off his flying jacket in the office at the airfield as Debbie tells him the current movements of various pilots. She then hands him a piece of paper and adds, "Here's the cargo manifest for tonight's run to Forsham." Sanders looks at it and remarks, "Neat writing!" Debbie smiles, "I'm a neat person!" Sanders tells her, "You're an organised person." Debbie shrugs, "It's only paperwork." Sanders comments, "It used to drive me crazy!" Debbie smiles, "You stick to flying and leave the rest to me!" Sanders then hands her a sheet of paper and says, "Here's a list of what I just brought in. Could you stack them out the back and check they're all there? Someone's picking them in about an hour or so." Debbie nods, "Yeah, sure." She goes to walk across the office - and then recoils in horror as she spots a lobster lying on the floor! She cries, "Where did that come from?!" Sanders looks at it and gasps, "Hell. That's what I was carrying." As more semi-live lobsters crawl out of a box, Debbie asks, "What are we going to do?" Sanders, however, smiles, "Don't panic! It's a proven fact that people are smarter than lobsters. You divert them and I'll pick them up!"

Doug is sitting in the lounge room at Caroline's, looking stony-faced as Caroline reads, "'Though resident in Melbourne, Angela still spends at least a few months every year in New York and Paris. She's always where the action is, epitomising the modern career woman: fast, elegant, exciting. Angela's first book, My Sister My Love, was published by Mobury and Lee earlier this year.'" With that, she a sheet of paper down on the coffee table and smiles, "What do you think?" Doug retorts, "I think it sucks." Caroline's face falls as he goes on angrily, "It's all bull. You don't want that on the back of your book." Caroline cries, "Damien said it'll help to sell it." Doug mutters, "Who cares about the truth when money's at stake, eh?" Caroline stares at him and gasps, "You can talk!" Doug just goes on, "What's the photo going to be? 'Angela' reclining on a leather sofa, wearing a silk dress?" Caroline retorts, "Don't be ridiculous. It's taffeta, not silk!" Doug gasps, "You're not seriously thinking of reclining on a leather sofa, are you?" Caroline smiles, "I don't know, Doug - but I'll soon find out: I've got a photo session at 3pm. They're not exploiting me; it's called 'marketing'." Doug picks up the sheet of paper containing 'Angela's' biography and mutters, "I notice I didn't crack it for a mention." Caroline murmurs, "I'm sorry. I was a bit worried about that, too, but you're my private life; this is my public persona. I think it is better if we kept them totally separate." Doug mutters sourly, "Says Damien."

Susan is standing in the lounge room at Dural, listening eagerly to a horse race on the radio. A horse called 'Sir Tom' wins the race, just beating 'Illustrious'. A look of horror crosses Susan's face as she hears the result. She sits down on the couch and buries her head in her hands. She picks up the radio and switches it off. She then stands up, marches across to the bar and takes a sip from a glass of scotch. She then picks up her handbag, which is lying on the bar, removes her purse and takes out a couple of notes. She looks at them, wearily.

Gordon opens the door to Fiona's room at the mansion to find Susan standing on the step. Looking taken-aback, Susan says, "Oh. Gordon. Is Fiona in?" Gordon, however, replies, "I'm sorry - she's still at the zoo. Can I help in some way, or did you just come in for a chat?" Susan murmurs, "Yes." Gordon adds, "Fiona said that you told her you had a big day planned." Susan replies quickly, "I did. I mean I do. Well, it has been, but I was in town so I thought 'why not pop by'?" She steps into the room as Gordon asks, "Are you sure I can't help in some way? You look a bit down." Susan murmurs, "I'm just a bit tired - and I need some money." Gordon asks in surprise, "Some what?" Susan replies, "Not much. Not for long. See, I've overspent my allowance a little. I thought Fiona might be able to give me a loan." Gordon asks in surprise, "What allowance? What happened to all your money?" Looking suddenly worried, Susan says quickly, "Please. If you don't want to help--" Gordon interrupts, though, and retorts, "No, you tell me what's going on, first." Susan insists, "Nothing's going on. It's just all in fixed deposits. I can't get to it. I need five hundred, that's all." Gordon asks, "What for?" Susan doesn't respond. Gordon goes on, "Look, I'm after a job myself. I've got legal debts up to here." He indicates his neck. Susan mutters, "Forget it, then." Gordon, however, growls, "I'm getting a little bit tired of you expecting everything for nothing. If you tell me what's going on, then maybe I can help - but if you expect people to close their eyes and just hand over five hundred, you're in for a big surprise." Susan stares at him. She then shakes her head and rushes out of the room. Out in the hallway, she runs her hand through her hair, thoughtfully. As she does so, she catches her engagement and wedding rings. She pulls her hand out of her hair, but then begins to to stare at the rings, thoughtfully...

A while later, Susan is talking on the 'phone at the bar at Dural, saying curtly, "Of course I've got it. I said I did, didn't I?... Yes, in cash. You'll get it tomorrow." She hears a noise at the front door suddenly and she says quickly, "I've got to go." She hangs up as Wayne calls, "Susan?" Susan picks up a glass of scotch and calls back sourly, "In here, darling heart." Wayne walks in and smiles, "Been at the bar all arvo, have we?" Susan growls, "That's what happens to housebound wives; haven't you heard?" Wayne just grins, "You? Housebound? Never!" He goes to kiss her, but she pulls her head back and mutters, "How was your day?" Wayne asks, "Don't I get a kiss?" Susan doesn't respond. Wayne then tells her, "My day was just fine." Susan mutters, "Glad to hear it." Wayne takes her left hand and goes to kiss it - but he spots immediately that her rings are missing and he demands, "Where are your rings? This some petty act of defiance, is it? Susan's little symbol of rejection?" Susan nods quickly, "Yes, actually, it is." Wayne accepts this. He lets her hand go and walks off. Susan sighs in relief.

It's evening-time. Doug is sitting at the kitchen table at Caroline's as Caroline stands and tells him, "I won't be seeing the negatives for another couple of days, but they all said it looked marvellous - and I wasn't 'reclining on a sofa'!" Doug just mutters, "There's some tucker in the oven, if you're hungry." Caroline, however, replies, "Thanks, but I think I'll wait a while: we went out and had a drink afterwards and I ate a whole bowl of nuts." Doug demands, "Who's 'we'?" Caroline replies, "Damien and I." Doug growls, "Uh huh. What were you drinking?" Caroline tells him, "A cocktail. It's called 'Death in the Afternoon'. Earnest Hemingway invented it." Doug rolls his eyes before then asking, "What's on the agenda for tomorrow?" Caroline, however, replies, "You mean the next fortnight. Damien's arranged interviews, social lunches, after-dinner speeches... It's going to be so much fun." She sits down at the table as Doug declares suddenly, "I want to pull my weight, too. I was wrong before: you're right to go chasing the publicity, so I've decided to back you to the hilt." A broad smile crosses Caroline's face. Doug then carries on, "To prove I mean business, I'm going to go with you to all these dos!" The look on Caroline's face begins to fade as Doug continues quickly, "I'll keep mum about being your husband, but I'll be there, supporting you all the way. What do you say?" Caroline replies hesitantly, "I'd love you to, naturally, but I'm not sure how it's going to fit in with Damien's plans." Doug just shrugs, "Tough. He's a clever guy. I'm sure he can adapt." Caroline looks away, warily.

Wayne and Susan are sitting at opposite ends of the dinner table at Dural. Wayne comments, "Lamb's good." Susan mutters, "There's plenty more. We can have it cold tomorrow night, if you like." Wayne, however, tells her, "We're going out tomorrow night. There's a big party. Lots of people I'm dealing with are going to be there, so you, my dear, will have to be there too - complete with happy smile and witty conversation. And you'll be wearing your rings." Susan looks up at him and replies quickly, "But I can't. They're in for cleaning." Wayne retorts, "Then get them back." Susan cries, "But it'll take at least a week." Wayne, however, snaps, "Susan, it is perfectly simple: when you step foot out that door, you are my wife. Now, I am being very patient with your private little displays of temper, but tomorrow night - whether you have to get those rings back at gunpoint - you will be wearing them. Clear?" Susan stares at him, looking worried.


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