Daphne telling Des that there's no point in talking about things. Des trying to explain about the wedding, but Daphne ignoring him.
Madge passing Douglas Blake at the hotel.
As she presses the button for the elevator, Madge ‘accidentally' drops her handbag. A moment later, Douglas is standing behind her and he picks up the bag and hands it to her. Madge smiles:
MADGE: Thank you.
DOUGLAS (nods charmingly): My pleasure.
With that, Madge enters the lift.
Des is standing on the front step and Paul invites him into the house. Des sighs that he can't take much more of this. Paul offers him a beer, but Des retorts that that's the *last* thing he wants. Paul suggests to him that he move overseas for a while: maybe ten years; people might have forgotten about him by then!
DES (gloomily): With my mother around to remind them?!
The front door opens suddenly and Jim comes in. He joins Paul and Des and Paul comments that he thought Jim would take *longer* to find Scott. Jim replies that he talked to the people in the town, but as soon as they heard what he was asking about, they clammed up. Paul mutters sarcastically:
PAUL: Yeah, well you did your best, didn't you, dad. That's the main thing.
Jim glares at his son. Paul glares back, and after a few seconds sighs:
PAUL: OK, maybe we should call a truce? This isn't helping Scott.
JIM (sourly): It's a bit late to be showing brotherly concern, isn't it?
JIM (snaps): Forget it. I'll do it myself.
With that, Jim marches off, leaving Des to ask Paul if Jim is still crook at him for bringing that bird home.
PAUL: Yeah, that and about four million other things. He just doesn't trust me.
DES: It's not *that* bad, surely?
PAUL: He doesn't like me much, either.
DES: Course he does. He's just upset about Scott; he'll get over it.
PAUL: Yeah, well, it's his problem, not mine.
Des then murmurs that he supposes this isn't a good time to ask.
PAUL: Ask what?
DES: Well, I was just wondering if you knew how Daphne really feels about me.
PAUL (looking astonished): You kidding?! She wants to nail your head to the coffee table!
DES: Yeah, apart from that! I mean... do you think if I went over there... talk to her... say I'm sorry?
PAUL: ‘Sorry'? Are you kidding me? Des, this is the best thing that's ever happened to you!
DES: How do you figure *that*?!
PAUL: Because you're free again! You're as free as a bird! You're single! Your life's your own again, mate. Just thank your lucky stars you got out in time.
Des doesn't look convinced.
Jim is standing by the counter talking to Mike and saying:
JIM: So you couldn't find out anything?
MIKE: Nobody knows where Scott is; he just shot through.
JIM: But what about what happened up there? Someone must know something.
MIKE: The kids don't want to talk about it.
JIM (sounding annoyed): *Nobody* wants to talk about it.
Zoe joins them and starts making some coffees. Jim asks her how she's enjoying the job. Zoe smiles that it's great. She adds that she knows it's awful to say, but she half wishes Daphne wasn't coming back, so she could run the place herself! She heads back off to serve the coffees, leaving Mike to say to Jim quietly:
MIKE: The three kids that were with Scott that night, they're all back now. I might be able to get them to talk to you.
JIM: When – tonight?
MIKE: Maybe tomorrow morning. I can't promise they'll have anything to say.
JIM: Well they can talk to me in the strictest of confidence. I just want to find out about Scott.
Zoe rejoins them and announces that she's got to get to the market. She heads out. Mike says to Jim:
MIKE: No promises, OK?
Clive is sitting on the couch adding up some figures when Danny walks in through the front door and says assertively:
DANNY: Clive, I don't want any excuses this time. I've come for my pay.
CLIVE: Danny, I had to close down the business. We got arrested, remember?
DANNY: Yes, but that wasn't *my* fault – and I did the job.
CLIVE: Look, I'll be honest: I'm short of cash, all right?
DANNY: So am I. I've hardly got enough to take Marcie out for *dinner*, let alone go to Surfers Paradise. Even when you pay me, Clive, I'm not going to have enough.
Danny sits down next to Clive as Clive comments that that's bad luck. He then adds, though, that he bets if they put their heads together they could come up with a Plan B.
DANNY: What's Plan B?
CLIVE: Something cheaper and better than Plan A. Now let me think.
Clive stares into space for a few seconds and then declares that he's got it: Danny could rent a cabin in the mountains for next to nothing.
DANNY (groans): Marcie's not going to want to go to the mountains; she wants to go to *Surfers*.
Clive insists that the mountains are fabulous this time of year: Danny and Marcie can watch the early-morning sun lift the fog out of the valley; and in the evening they can watch the sunset holding hands.
DANNY (looking suddenly thoughtful): A cabin...
CLIVE: It'll be cold at night, too: you'll have to snuggle up together, in front of a log fire.
Daphne comes in suddenly. Seeing Danny sitting there, she glares at him and then slams the front door and marches upstairs. Danny says to Clive meekly:
DANNY: Think she's forgiven me?
CLIVE: Sure! It'll take a while to get it out of her system, but she'll be OK. Now, let's check the weather forecast!
Douglas is walking through the hotel. Madge is standing in a telephone kiosk near the reception desk, watching him while she's waiting for her call to be answered. When it is, she says:
MADGE: Hello Helen, it's Madge. I've made contact with your Mr. Blake ... Oh yes, he's interested; in fact, he even made enquiries about the length of my stay ... Yes, who would have thought espionage would be something I would be good at?! ... No, no, no, I won't push the pace ... Our Mr. Blake will end up with just enough rope to make a nice tidy noose ... I will ... Bye bye.
With that, Madge hangs up, a sly expression on her face.
Clive and Danny are still sitting on the couch. Daphne opens the front door to find Des standing on the step, holding a single red rose. She stares at him for a moment and then cries:
DAPHNE: Go away!
She slams the door in Des's face and yells tearfully:
DAPHNE: I never want to see you again.
She then runs off back upstairs. A few moments later, Clive heads to the front door and opens it. Des is still standing there holding the rose, which is now minus its flower. He hands the stalk to Clive, who nods at him and takes it!
A blonde girl walks up to the counter, where Mike is serving. A moment later, the door to the shop opens and Danny comes in. He walks up to the girl and says:
DANNY: Marcie, hi, it's me!
MARCIE (distantly): Hi.
DANNY (enthusiastically): I'm glad you're here. Marcie, I've arranged everything; it's all booked: a holiday in the mountains; a whole weekend. We can take the train there and we're staying in a little wood cabin with a view. It'll be wonderful: we can go for walks... we can sit around the pot-belly stove...
MARCIE (incredulously): A weekend in the mountains?
DANNY: It'll be better than Surfers
MARCIE (sounding irritated): Danny, have you met Duane? That's him over there.
Marcie indicates a young man sitting at one of the tables. She then continues:
MARCIE: Do you know where he's taking me? Fiji.
DANNY (looking astonished): *Fiji*?
MARCIE: For ten days. And we're staying in the best hotels and we're flying first-class all the way.
Duane stands up and joins Marcie. He indicates Danny and asks:
DUANE: Is this nerd bothering you?
MARCIE: Let's just go, Duane. We really ought to start packing – for our holiday. [She looks pointedly at Danny]
Danny sits there glumly. He then mutters under his breath:
Des is making himself a cup of tea when the front door opens and Eileen bustles in, calling:
EILEEN: Oo-oo! Desmond!
DES (under his breath): Oh no...
Eileen walks over to her son, who asks wearily:
DES: What's going on?
EILEEN: Well I heard you were back – from someone else, of course: *you* wouldn't *dream* of relieving my anxiety, would you? Never mind, my son, I *can* forgive you for that, but what I *cannot* forgive you for is *you*.
DES (blankly): Mum, what are you talking about?
EILEEN: Your behaviour. I cannot possibly begin to understand what explanation there could be; however, I have begun to give notice on my unit and once I have moved in here--
DES (quickly): Oh no, if you think you're moving in here--
EILEEN (ignoring the interruption): ...there will be plenty of time for your excuses – for I have a duty, Desmond, and I will not shirk it. Oh, I know things look black now, but you can put the chaos and despair behind you, for I will take care of you.
DES (sighs): Mum, would you just stop talking and listen to me? You are *not* moving in here – and don't call me ‘Desmond'!
EILEEN: Oh, Desmond(!), you are so distraught, you poor boy! I know it is always black around you, but I have a responsibility and I will not turn from it.
The two of them sit down on the couch. Des insists curtly:
DES: I don't want you here.
EILEEN: When I think of the trauma your father gave me when he left... The very seeds of it were planted in you to relive the same devastation.
DES (insists): I am *not* suffering from trauma, and all this business *wasn't* my fault.
EILEEN: Desmond, you are so like your father. Please, do not avoid the responsibility; you've caused too much damage as it is.
DES: Mum, you can't move in here; I don't *want* you here.
EILEEN: But we are mother and son, Desmond. In a time of crisis, we must see it through together, come what may.
At that moment, the front door opens and Zoe comes in, smiling:
ZOE: Hello, Mrs. Clarke.
Des, seeing an opportunity suddenly, says quickly:
DES: Zoe! [Turning to Eileen] See, mum, this is what I've been trying to tell you: thanks for your kindness, but, um, the spare room has been taken – by Zoe.
EILEEN: But Desmond--
DES: You see, Zoe lost her room at Clive's place – because Daphne's living there.
EILEEN (looking puzzled): Clive has such a *big* house – four bedrooms, at least.
DES (hesitantly): Yeah... yeah... but each one of them are chock-a-block – aren't they, Zoe?
ZOE (catching on): Yeah! Yeah!
EILEEN: There is no hope for you, Desmond. None. You're your father's son.
With that, Eileen marches out. When she's gone, Des thanks Zoe for going along with him. Zoe just shrugs:
ZOE: Today OK?
DES (blankly): OK for what?
ZOE: Moving in.
DES: Zoe, no—
ZOE (ignoring him): Great!
Two schoolboys have turned up and Jim lets them in the back door. The three of them sit down at the kitchen table and one boy introduces himself as Colin and the other boy as Brian. Jim says to them gently:
JIM: What I'd like you to do is tell me about this excursion of yours. All I've heard so far are rumours.
COLIN (warily): What *kind* of rumours?
JIM: Well, it's all pretty sketchy, to be honest, and, frankly, a little hard to believe. All I've heard so far is that you were at a party, that Scott met a girl and took her outside, and the girl's father turned up – and then Scott vanished. Any comments?
The two boys sit there in silence. Jim presses:
JIM: I have to know. I won't repeat anything you say, I promise. Is it true, the story? Did Scott--; did he force himself on this girl?
COLIN: No. Look, Scott never touched her.
Jim asks what *did* happen then.
COLIN: Scott fancied this chick, right? So they went outside. We sort of went outside after them.
BRIAN: Only for a bit of fun – just to rag them a bit.
COLIN: She took it seriously; she got scared. Then her father rolled up and, er, well, she started screaming.
BRIAN: She said he'd call the cops.
COLIN: But none of us touched her, honest. Scott just bolted. He'll turn up.
JIM: Where is he?
COLIN: We don't know. Your guess is as good as ours.
Jim looks worried.
Daphne is working behind the counter at the Coffee Shop when Eileen comes in. She says sadly:
EILEEN: Daphne, dear, I had to see you. Words cannot express my sense of guilt.
DAPHNE (looking puzzled): *Guilt*?
EILEEN: Yes, guilt. I'm a failure as a mother. Could you find it in your heart to forgive me?
DAPHNE (sharply): Shouldn't you be telling this to your *son*?
EILEEN: Well I need to know that *you* understand how I feel. Daphne, I am the mother of a man who's been rejected by every woman he has ever known. Have you thought about that? How would *you* feel?
DAPHNE (shrugs): It's got nothing to do with *me*. I'm not *anyone's* mother, and I never will be. [Beginning to sound upset] And I didn't reject Des; it was him who--; oh go and talk to *him*, would you?
EILEEN: I can't. I can't even talk to him *alone* now that your friend's moved in.
DAPHNE (blankly): *What* friend?
DAPHNE (astonished): Zoe?! Where did you get a crazy idea like *that*?
EILEEN: Daphne, dear, it's true. Desmond told me himself. I saw her there.
Looking furious at the apparent betrayal, Daphne slams the knife she's holding into a carrot on a chopping board in front of her. Eileen murmurs that she'd better go and she heads out. Daphne then starts hunting around under the counter, snapping loudly:
DAPHNE: Where's the sharp chopper? Why doesn't anyone put things where they're supposed to be?
Mike emerges from the kitchen, just as Daphne finds something unexpected under the counter. She holds it up and asks Mike curtly:
DAPHNE: What's this?
MIKE (meekly): A sleeping bag.
DAPHNE (angrily): Yeah, well, I can see that! What's it doing *here*? Is it yours? Are you sleeping here?
MIKE (admits): Yeah. It's only been a few--
DAPHNE (yells): Well that's *wonderful*, isn't it. What do you think it is? A hotel?
Mike stares at Daphne as she goes on more sadly:
DAPHNE: It's really rotten of you, Mike. I give you a job so's I can help you out, and all you do is take advantage. It's all *anyone* does is take advantage.
MIKE: Daph, let me explain. It's only been a few times—
Mike is interrupted by Zoe coming in. Daphne indicates the sleeping bag and snaps at her:
DAPHNE: Did *you* know about this?
ZOE: Well yes. I was going to tell you, but so much has been happening.
DAPHNE (mutters): So I hear. Congratulations – traitor.
DAPHNE (snaps): You're like a vulture, you know that? I'm not even moved out properly and you're already in.
ZOE: I was going to tell you about it. I only just found out. It was Des who offered me the room. After all, *you've* got *my* room; I've got to move *somewhere*.
DAPHNE (exclaims): Anywhere would be better than *there*.
ZOE: Daphne, *please*...
DAPHNE (snaps): Just forget it, would you?
With that, Daphne storms off, leaving Zoe to glance at Mike in concern.
Eileen bustles into No. 28 and, looking around at the messy state of the place, sighs at Des – who's opening a beer – that it's not even mid-morning. Des points out that it's *only* a can of beer.
EILEEN: It was your *father's* decline that started with a can of beer.
DES (wearily): Is this another ‘like father, like son' talk?
EILEEN (retorts): *You* may not see the pattern, but *I* certainly can.
DES (sighs): *What* pattern?
EILEEN: For history repeating itself. Families reliving patterns throughout the generations.
DES: Where did you get *this* drivel?
EILEEN: It's true, son: there are family curses which we cannot escape. Now, I made you what you are, so it is up to you to let me make you whole again.
DES: Oh, I get it: you figure if you can move in here, you can reprogram my personality. Well, nothing doing; like I said, Zoe's moved in.
DES (corrects): *Des*.
EILEEN (grudgingly): *Des*. Look, I do understand. I know that you only let that flibbertigibbet--
EILEEN: That girl. You only let her move in here to keep me away.
DES (admits quietly): Yes, I did.
EILEEN: Without knowing anything about her.
DES: She's Daphne's friend.
EILEEN: So you want to live with a constant reminder of that rejection?
DES (sighs): It *wasn't* a rejection; it was a stupid accident.
EILEEN: An accident or the Clarke Curse?
DES (insists): An accident.
EILEEN: You don't want me to move in?
DES: No, I don't.
EILEEN: You mean it?
DES: I mean it.
EILEEN: Very well, Desmond: I shall simply stop running after you. If you want me, you can call me. [Snaps] However, I may not always be available.
DES (shrugs): That's OK.
With that, Eileen storms over to the front door and heads out. Des lets out a sigh of relief.
Mike is working behind the counter while Daphne sits the customer side, calculating some figures. Mike turns to her and says hesitantly that he's really sorry: he hasn't had a chance to say this – about her wedding and everything; he just wishes everyone would stop fighting about everything. He adds warily:
MIKE: I mean *you*. You see, you're taking it out on all of *us*: Mrs Clarke and Zoe and--
DAPHNE (tersely): Mike, I went off at you because you're *sleeping* here. As for everyone else, that's *my* business, not yours.
MIKE: But you keep dragging up the past.
DAPHNE (sadly): I can't forget what's happened. God knows I'd like to.
Daphne pauses before then saying:
DAPHNE: Would you tell me something? Why are you sleeping here when you've got a home to go to?
Mike doesn't respond, though. He just turns away, looking worried.
Zoe is packing her things into a suitcase in the lounge room when Paul comes in through the front door and asks where all the hordes are. Zoe tells him that they don't have an overcrowding problem anymore: she's solved it. Paul sits down and says:
PAUL: Listen, did you enjoy dinner the other night?
ZOE: I told you: it was fun.
PAUL: Does that mean I could interest you in coming out again?
ZOE (coolly): I said I'd *consider* it.
Clive comes in through the back door, a towel wrapped around his lower regions, smiling:
CLIVE: Beautiful relaxing soak: a rubber duck, some exotically-scented bubble bath and half an hour to do absolutely nothing!
PAUL (mutters): What's so special about *that*?
CLIVE: It's special when you live in an overcrowded house.
Zoe tells him quickly that she's solved the problem: she's moving into Des's place. Clive insists that she's welcome to stay with *him* as long as she likes. Zoe, however, smiles that it's all arranged. Clive asks warily if *Daphne* knows about it. At that moment, Daphne comes in through the front door and says:
DAPHNE: Zoe... I'm sorry. I've been a bit uptight lately and I was just letting off my temper at you in the shop.
ZOE: That's all right. I understand.
DAPHNE: If Des offered you a room in his place, it's nothing to do with *me*.
She then warns Zoe to make sure she keeps the bathroom clean!
ZOE: I'll remember!
DAPHNE: He likes his meals hot – and not too many fancy sauces or gravies. And make sure his coffee's strong, otherwise he--
ZOE: Daphne, I'll look after him. I promise!
Zoe asks Paul for a hand with her cases and the two of them head out. When they've gone, Clive tells Daphne:
CLIVE: That was very strong of you and very brave. I really admire you, Daphne.
DAPHNE: Oh, I hate her. I *hate* her!
Daphne manages to smile weakly, though.
Jim is writing a note on the desk in the lounge room when Paul comes in through the front door and exclaims:
PAUL: You would not believe what is going on in this street. You know Zoe's moving in with Des? Daphne's fizzing like a firework about to explode. I don't want to be too close when those two decide to tear each other's eyes out! Hey, what's for dinner? I'm starved.
He heads into the kitchen. Jim follows him, slowly, an annoyed expression on his face. He says coolly:
JIM: What does it take to get through that thick skull of yours? The world does not revolve around *you*. What about Scott? Don't you *care* about your brother?
PAUL: You *know* I do.
JIM (snarls): Then why aren't you helping me *find* him?
With that, Jim walks off again, leaving Paul looking annoyed.
Daphne is sitting reading a magazine as Clive tells her that, like it or not, her life has changed: she has to make an effort to *forget* about Des. Daphne sighs:
DAPHNE: How *can* I? He lives across the street; I'm going to see him every day.
CLIVE: You know what I mean: you have to start a new life – without him.
DAPHNE: I can't just wipe him out of my mind and pretend he doesn't exist.
CLIVE: He's not the *only* man in the world.
Daphne, standing up, snaps:
DAPHNE: No. You're as bad as the others. You're driving me crazy – all of you.
She storms off.
Zoe is looking in various kitchen cupboards and the ‘fridge, but finds there's no food. She turns to Des and asks if they're always this empty, or does he keep the food somewhere else?! She adds that she'll go to the corner shop and stock-up on a few essentials. She heads out the back way just as someone knocks on the front door. Des answers it to find Daphne on the step. She asks him quietly if he's alone, adding that, if he is, she'd like to come in. Des indicates to her to do so. Once inside, she says:
DAPHNE: Des, I think we should come to some sort of agreement. We can't go on the way we are, just snapping at each other; and we can't avoid seeing each other – so I think we should come to some sort of civilised arrangement.
DES (nods): Yeah, I agree.
DAPHNE: Well, as long as we both keep our cool and remember our manners, then the rest of the street will think we're coping perfectly well with the situation.
DES (looking confused): Is that what you want? – that we just act politely to each other?
DAPHNE: Isn't it the best solution?
DES (hesitantly): I suppose so.
DAPHNE: You agree then?
DES (sounding less than keen): OK – if that's what you want.
DAPHNE (murmurs): Yeah. Thanks.
With that, Daphne heads out again, leaving Des standing looking disappointed.