Daphne finally arriving at the church but Paul telling her that Des has gone.
Daphne is sitting on the couch with Zoe. Helen hands her a cup of hot sweet tea. Daphne, however, just sits there, tears in her eyes, not saying anything. Zoe sighs at her:
ZOE: I can't *stand* this! Scream and shout about how you'd like to wring his neck, but don't just sit there! *Say* something – please, Daphne?
Daphne just murmurs:
DAPHNE: I want you to go into that house next door and get all my clothes.
ZOE (astonished): You're moving out?
HELEN (looking concerned): Isn't that being rather hasty?
DAPHNE (tersely): No. I'll never put another foot in there again.
HELEN: But Daphne, he—
DAPHNE (snaps): Helen, I know what I'm doing. [To Zoe] Would you go, please?
As Zoe goes to head out, Paul comes in and Zoe asks him if he's seen Des. Paul sighs that he's just disappeared. Zoe leaves. Paul goes and sits down on the couch opposite Daphne and says:
PAUL: I'm beat. I searched *everywhere* for him.
DAPHNE (mutters): *He* chose to run off. I don't know why you bothered.
PAUL: Because he's *upset*.
DAPHNE (snaps): How do you think *I* feel?
PAUL (curtly): Daphne, Des almost went to *pieces* when he thought that you'd stood him up.
DAPHNE (cries angrily): I did *not* stand him up, Paul. Any other man would've known something stupid happened when the entire bridal party didn't show up.
PAUL (shrugs): Well I thought that you'd had second thoughts about it myself – and the others were trying to talk you into going through with it.
HELEN (warns quietly): Paul, that's enough.
DAPHNE (yells at Paul): You're as bad as that lunatic that held us up.
Tears in her eyes, Daphne asks Helen if she can go somewhere quiet. Helen helps her to the bedroom. As she does so, the ‘phone starts ringing and Paul answers it. Shane comes on and asks Paul if he had any luck. Paul sighs that he didn't. He then asks Shane if he heard about the robbery at the Wharfdale bank this morning: three guys dressed as gorillas.
SHANE: No. Well the guy that pinched my limo must have been tied up with that lot.
Shane adds that he still can't believe that Des would be so stupid as to think that Daphne would stand him up.
PAUL: You can't blame him: I mean, she left him standing there like a goose.
SHANE: He should've waited.
PAUL: Yeah, well, let's not fight over who's wrong or right; the main thing is to just find him, now.
Shane accepts this. He then asks after Daphne, and Paul tells him that she's OK. Shane nods that they'll talk later.
As Shane hangs up the ‘phone, Madge asks him if he got a good look at the man.
SHANE (shrugs): The guy was dressed in a gorilla suit and he was hairy. What else is there to say?
MADGE: What about his voice?
SHANE (sighs): Look, Aunty Madge, the police asked me all these questions when I reported the theft of the limo.
Madge, who's sitting in one of the armchairs, muses to Max, who's sitting on the couch, that Des seemed such a nice person too.
MAX: Yeah, well there's got to be something wrong with a bloke who walks out on a sheila as nice and pretty as Daphne.
Madge then asks how the gorilla came to get in the car.
SHANE: I thought it was Danny.
MADGE (surprised): *Danny*?
MAX: Yeah, you still haven't told us *why*.
MADGE: I thought Danny had left for the wedding.
SHANE: He got offered a job.
MAX: *What* job?
Shane sighs and mutters that Max is going to find out anyway. He then reveals:
SHANE: Danny's been working part-time delivering animalgrams for Clive Gibbons ... I warned him about being late for the wedding, and when I saw the gorilla running along the side of the road, I naturally thought it was *him*.
MAX (growls): *I'll* give him a message he'll never forget...
Shane, however, warns his father that they don't know whether this has anything to do with Clive and Danny. Madge comments that it's Eileen that *she* feels sorry for.
Eileen is sitting at the dining table at No. 28, folding up the three unused wedding dresses, tears flowing down her cheeks as she does so. Zoe joins her and Eileen sobs:
EILEEN: It's an omen: each dress a symbol of a woman who has stood Desmond up. It's tragic.
ZOE: Yeah. It is when you think he's going to be all alone in this lovely house.
EILEEN: Yes, well, the only thing a mother like myself can do is move in and look after him. That is, of course, if he ever shows his face in Ramsay Street...
There's suddenly a knock on the front door and Zoe opens it to find Jim on the step. He explains that Helen asked him to come across and give her a hand with Daphne's stuff. Zoe invites him in and he joins Eileen. He asks if there's any word from Des. Eileen sniffs:
EILEEN: Not a word. He could be dead, now, for all we know.
JIM (gently): Oh, I think you're over-reacting. He just got confused and panicked.
ZOE (trying to help): Yeah, you would've heard by now if he'd done anything drastic.
Eileen and Jim both turn to look at her!
Shane and Max are sitting at the kitchen table while Madge potters around in the kitchen. There's a knock on the front door and Madge goes to get it while Shane asks Max why Des would agree to another wedding with *his* track record. Madge opens the door to a man who says he wishes to speak to Shane Ramsay. Shane recognises the man as Mr. Sanderson, and he invites him in and introduces him to Madge and Max. Sanderson then says coolly:
SANDERSON: You seem to be in big trouble, young man.
SHANE: I was unlucky, that's all.
SANDERSON: Oh, I know the feeling, having been in the middle of lunch at my club when the news came through. Now, what exactly happened?
SHANE (shrugs): I've already given the details to the police and Head Office.
SANDERSON: Were you on company business?
SHANE: No, we were going to a wedding.
SANDERSON (pointedly): A wedding. How nice. And who gave you permission to use the limo?
SHANE: Well, Mrs. Fielding has always told me I can bring it home whenever I wanted to.
SANDERSON: Unfortunately, Mrs. Fielding no longer *runs* things, *does* she?
SHANE: I suppose not, but I can—
SANDERSON: I think you'd better get on with the sordid details.
MAX (snaps): There was nothing sordid *about* it. I mean, this gorilla poked a gun in Shane's face...
Shane relates the story, which Max concludes by explaining about how Des walked out on Daphne. Sanderson listens and then says coldly:
SANDERSON: Fascinating, fascinating, yes. I recall a similar incident, though not nearly so far-fetched, a few years ago.
SHANE: With one of the firm's limos?
SANDERSON: Yes, a young chauffeur happened to take his lady-friend to the beach one weekend and I saw them. Of course, it was my duty to report them.
Madge asks what happened.
SANDERSON: They sacked him.
SHANE (sighs): Did he get a good reference?
Des sits down on a bench, still wearing his wedding suit, the carnation in its buttonhole. He stares into the distance, looking upset.
Daphne has taken off her wedding dress, and she asks Helen if she thinks any of her charities would be interested in it. Helen looks at Jim and then suggests to Daphne that they have a word with her friend at the boutique when they take the other three dresses back.
ZOE (smiles ‘helpfully'): Yeah, you're going to need plenty of cash now you're moving out of Des's place.
Jim and Helen look at her! Daphne then asks if there's any *word* from Des. Jim tells her that he reckons Des must have hitched a ride right out of the area, otherwise someone would have seen him.
DAPHNE (tersely): You know, I'll never forgive him for what he's done – but at the same time, I can't help worrying about him, either. I never thought he'd do something like this to *me*; I thought I *knew* him.
JIM (softly): Well you're welcome to stay here as long as you like.
Daphne, however, insists that she can't impose. Zoe suggests:
ZOE: Why don't you move into Clive's place, with me?
DAPHNE: Do you think he'd mind?
ZOE: Well I haven't talked to him yet, but I'm sure he'd jump at the chance of some extra rent – and there's plenty of room.
DAPHNE: That sounds perfect!
Eileen is standing in the middle of the lounge room, looking devastated, dunking a teabag in a cup absentmindedly. There's a knock on the front door and Madge comes in, explaining that she came to offer her sympathy. She adds:
MADGE: I've only just heard the whole distressing story – and now it seems that Shane's likely to lose his job through doing Des and Daphne a *favour*.
EILEEN: How *is* Daphne?
MADGE: Well I haven't been near the Robinsons' yet, but I expect she's in hysterics.
As Madge helps Eileen to the couch, Eileen says distantly:
EILEEN: You know, Daphne was the best of *all* the women Desmond nearly married.
MADGE: Yes, he does seem to have had more than his fair share of trouble with women, doesn't he?
Madge sits down next to Eileen as Eileen then says;
EILEEN: Madge, I feel I can tell you this. It's... it's the Clarke Curse.
MADGE: The what?
EILEEN: The Clarke Curse. One of my husband's ancestors was deported during convict days for... [an embarrassed pause and a knowing nod of the head] ...with the Squire's daughter.
MADGE: Oh... Go on...
EILEEN: Well, the story goes that as the shop was sailing, the Squire stood on the dock, yelling down a curse on Eli Clarke and all his descendents.
MADGE: Mmm... A *lot* of Australian men seem to carry a curse – including my husband.
EILEEN: But I thought you were *happily* married, Madge.
MADGE: That's because I prefer not to talk about it.
EILEEN: Oh, you poor thing. I understand. You know, I *am* glad I got to know you: Desmond and I are going to need all the friends we can get.
MADGE (grimly): After hearing *Max's* version of today's events, I'd say *any* friends you can get.
Des is walking slowly across the park. He finds a ‘phone box, takes a coin out of his pocket and walks into the box.
Eileen is telling Madge that beautiful women have always been Desmond's downfall. The ‘phone starts ringing and Eileen gets up hesitantly to answer it.
DES (sounding surprised): Mum?
EILEEN (looking relieved): Desmond! Where are you? I'm worried sick about you. When are you coming home?
DES: I'm not. I'll be too embarrassed to face everybody.
EILEEN: Oh it's all right; don't blame yourself: it's the Clarke Curse, Desmond.
DES (sighs): Oh don't start that rubbish again. I'd just like to know what I've done to deserve this. Every girl I've loved has... walked out.
EILEEN: Well *Daphne* didn't.
DES (in a tone of disbelief): Sure.
EILEEN: No, no, no, she arrived at the church minutes after you left.
Looking stunned, Des lets the telephone receiver fall away from his ear as Eileen tries to explain. He then hangs up, cutting Eileen off mid-flow. He buries his head in his hand.
A car pulls up in the driveway of No. 24.
Inside the house, Max hangs up the ‘phone and tells Shane, who's lying on the couch, that the lawyer reckons that if the company wants to sack him, they can.
SHANE (bitterly): Oh great. Some crook holds up the limo and *I* get the bullet. Sanderson'll make sure of that – he never *did* like me.
There's suddenly a knock on the front door and Max mutters;
MAX: Strewth. After what's happened today, this can only be good news.
He opens the door to find a man standing on the step who introduces himself as Sergeant Harris from ‘B' Division. Max lets him in and introduces him to Shane. Madge joins them and asks what's happened *now*. Harris explains:
HARRIS: I heard some garbled story down at the station about a gorilla hijacking your car on the way to a wedding.
SHANE: We've already told them everything that we could down at the station, Sergeant.
HARRIS (to Max): I'm really here about Danny Ramsay, your *other* son. I believe he's been in trouble with the police a few times before?
MAX (looking agitated): Now hang on, Sergeant. I mean, I don't know what he's done now, but these other times weren't his fault, but.
HARRIS: Does your son, Danny, wear a gorilla suit, to your knowledge?
MAX: Well yeah... I only just found that out.
SHANE (sounding incredulous): You can't think that the hijacker's *Danny*.
MAX: Yeah, you got to be joking. Danny wouldn't do a thing like that, would he?
HARRIS (coolly): That remains to be seen.
MAX: Yeah, well you can ask him yourself when he gets in.
HARRIS: He won't be coming in, Mr. Ramsay: he's down at the station with your neighbour.
MADGE: Clive Gibbons?
HARRIS: Correct. When he and Danny were detained, Mr. Gibbons was dressed as a chook.
Max sighs heavily.
Sometime later, Daphne is with Shane in the lounge room at No. 24 and she asks in concern if it's true that he might lose his job because of her.
SHANE: Oh, I could never blame *you*, Daphne. Guess we'll just have to wait and see what the boss decides.
Tears welling-up in her eyes, Daphne sobs suddenly:
DAPHNE: I swore I wouldn't cry...
Shane puts his arms around her and insists that it's all right.
DAPHNE: I'm sorry about everything.
SHANE: It hasn't been a top day for *everyone*, has it? Imagine how poor old Des must feel: you know how *I* think about matrimony.
DAPHNE (sniffs): Yeah, you always play the field.
SHANE: That's how it *used* to be with me...
The two of them sit down on the couch as Daphne asks:
DAPHNE: What's *that* supposed to mean?
SHANE: I guess I'm glad the wedding's off, Daphne. Maybe it's time I re-thought my attitude to marriage.
DAPHNE (curtly): That's up to you, but don't plan on ever getting *me* to the altar. I'll never degrade myself by going through *that* again. I do value your friendship, though, Shane. Can we just keep it at that?
With that, Daphne gets up and walks out, still looking upset. Shane looks disappointed.
Eileen is sealing some boxes on the dining table at No. 28 when Zoe and Paul come in. Zoe explains that Paul offered to give her a hand with some of Daphne's things. Paul asks Eileen how she's doing.
EILEEN: Coping. Just coping, Paul. At least we know Desmond is all right.
PAUL: Yeah. I wish he told us where he was when he ‘phoned, though. I still blame myself for not going after him.
EILEEN (looking distressed): I'll never be able to set foot in that church again.
PAUL: Oh come on, they'll be very understanding. These things happen.
EILEEN: Especially to Desmond...
Eileen then asks Paul and Zoe if they can lock up when they've finished there, and she heads out. Zoe asks Paul to get Daphne's stuff from the bathroom. As he does this, Zoe stares at the dress that Daphne wore. When Paul comes back, he asks:
PAUL: So, is this everything?
ZOE (distantly): Everything I've ever *wanted*...
PAUL (blankly): What is?
ZOE: A place like this.
PAUL: Really? Daphne said the same thing; look where it got *her*.
ZOE: Daphne wanted a wedding ring on her finger. I wouldn't demand *that*.
PAUL (muses): You could be just the girl I'm looking for: no demands and all of that; what do you reckon?
ZOE (pointedly): There's one thing I forgot to mention: I would have to *love* the guy.
Paul bursts out laughing and mutters:
PAUL: *Love*? That's the greatest con-trick ever invented. From now on, the only girl I'm ever getting involved with is one who wants a good time and nothing else.
ZOE (sarcastically): Yeah, well, I hope you'll both be very happy.
Helen and Jim are sitting at the kitchen table, Helen saying:
HELEN: I know it's awful of me to admit it, but when Eileen chased Des along the aisle, I almost had hysterics!
Jim remarks that there's one thing you can say for Des: once he's made up his mind, wild horses wouldn't change them. Paul and Zoe come in through the back door and Helen asks how Eileen is. Zoe replies that she's about the same – and she's gone back to her unit, in case Des goes there. She adds:
ZOE: I'm still convinced they were right for each other.
PAUL: Ha! Des get his knickers in a twist, didn't he. His reputation's not too good around Ramsay Street.
ZOE (pointedly): More cynicism, Paul?
PAUL (to Jim and Helen): ‘Cynicism' she calls it! You know, I've discovered how Little Miss. Modern Australia here is a romantic who'll only get involved with a man she *loves*.
JIM (coolly): Well it's a pity *your* attitude wasn't the same.
PAUL (snaps): Want me to join a monastery, do you?
JIM (sighs heavily): All we want, Paul, all we want is for you to stop behaving like a bear with a sore head.
PAUL (tersely): I'm an *animal* now?
JIM (retorts): You *behave* like one sometimes.
JIM (snaps): What about that Carol person?
PAUL (mutters): I was *wondering* how long it would be before you bring that up again.
ZOE: Who's Carol?
PAUL (sharply): An acquaintance.
The ‘phone starts ringing and Helen goes to answer it. Max comes on and asks to speak to Jim. Helen hands over the phone, telling Jim that Max sounds a bit upset. Jim takes it and says:
JIM: Max? What's wrong?
MAX: We're in a bit of trouble down here, mate.
JIM: You're still with the police, I take it?
MAX: Yeah. Listen, would you mind coming down to the station?
JIM: Sure. Is it Danny?
MAX: It's not exactly Danny, no
At the police station, Max is handcuffed to Sergeant Harris. He admits to Jim:
MAX: No, it's *me*.
Des is still wandering aimlessly through the park. He passes a tramp, who watches him meander into the distance, across a bridge.
Madge and Jim are sitting in the lounge room with Max, Madge telling her brother that she was sure the police were going to keep him overnight after he threatened that Sergeant.
MAX (mutters): All right, so I lost me temper. Des Clarke's got a lot to answer for, but.
On the other side of the room, Shane comments that Des has been blamed for *enough* today. Jim tells everyone that Helen wants them all to go over for something to eat.
SHANE: Well *one* thing's for sure: nothing *else* can go wrong today.
The food that was planned for the reception is set out in the lounge room at the Robinsons'. The Ramsays and Jim come in and Helen asks where Danny is. Madge explains that he's still at the police station. The front door suddenly opens and Nikki comes in. She smiles:
NIKKI: Hi, Aunt Helen.
HELEN: Nikki! What are *you* doing here?
NIKKI: You invited me over, remember?!
Helen smiles that she does. She then asks everyone for quiet and she introduces Nikki to the assembled guests. Paul says pointedly:
PAUL: Hello, Nikki, you're just in time for the wedding breakfast.
PAUL: And Daphne's the blushing bride.
DAPHNE (coolly): More red-faced than blushing...
NIKKI: Congratulations! I bet it was fantastic!
PAUL (muses): That's *one* way of describing it.
HELEN (tersely): Paul... will you shut up?
PAUL: Where's your sense of humour, gran?
Jim suggests they eat. Paul says:
PAUL: Then we can toast to our absent friends, can't we!
Nikki asks where the groom is. Daphne just murmurs sadly:
DAPHNE: Good question, Nikki. Very good question.
Des takes the carnation out of his buttonhole and drops it into the river beneath the bridge. He stares at it as it hits the water. The tramp he passed earlier shuffles up to him and says:
TRAMP: Thinking of jumping?
TRAMP: You know: ending it all.
Des just stares at him. The tramp goes on:
TRAMP: If you *are* going to jump, will you do me a favour? The suit: can I have it? And the watch... and those shoes: they look new.
Des stares again at the tramp and then walks away, looking lost and lonely...