Madge is cycling up the close as Jim steps out between parked cars. She stops in time and Jim expresses amazement that she cycles. Madge explains that she is on his team for the Big Race. Jim is bewildered.
MADGE: Yes! It's you, me, Charlene and Scott against Des, Mrs Mangel, Mike and Jane.
JIM: Mrs Mangel?
MADGE: Yes! It's become a relay. Only this time (leans forward and touches Jim on the arm) the Robinsons and the Ramsays are on the same side.
JIM: Mrs Mangel? (laughs)
Jane is busy at the computer, dealing with the Disclosure file and looking worried. Paul enters from the outer office and asks how she is getting along. Jane says she's doing all right, and Paul comments that there's more too it than he thought. Helen calls him and he returns to the outer office.
Jane opens the rings and takes out the incriminating page, folds it in four and stuffs it into her pocket. Paul returns, and asks her if she thinks she will get it finished that day. She looks very guilty – but luckily, he is preoccupied, reading a file. She says she will do her best.
Des is working with dumbbells while Daphne watches.
DAPHNE: I really like men with muscles …
DAPHNE: But I love you anyway!
She goes over to kiss him as Jim jogs in and runs on the spot.
DES: I thought you only worked out once a day?
JIM: I do, normally, but I don't mind doing a bit extra when there's a big race coming up.
DES: Well, some of us need it, I suppose.
JIM (still running on the spot): We'll find out tomorrow who that is, too.
DES (still working the dumbbell): Don't expect me to make it easy for you like I did last time.
JIM: Aw, come on, Des, I could have read the morning paper waiting for you to finish!
DES: Only showing respect for my elders.
He gets up and moves across to the exercise bike. Daphne follow and says resignedly that she supposes she should go home and make herself a flag to wave as she isn't allowed to do anything ... because she is pregnant. Des assures her that once the baby is born, she can climb Mount Everest if she likes.
Jane is still at the computer and Paul rolls his chair across, looking over her shoulder as she closes the file and holds it to her chest. She asks if he wants to check something, but he says it's time to go home and he just wondered how she was getting on with the accounts. She tells him that she is finished, and when he says she doesn't look too happy about it says she is fine and asks if he still wants her to work the next day. He says if she doesn't mind, he does.
Helen is at her desk, fixing her earring and reminds Jane that she intended to practice her skating next day. Paul says he used to be pretty good on skates himself, burning down the drive into Ramsay Street. Helen gently reminds him of the truth – and how he had a pillow attached to his derrière! Paul says he was only seven years old and arranges to show Jane some of his moves the next day after work. Helen continues to mock gently.
Jane is about to leave when Gail comes in. Jane says she will bring the pillow and Paul tells her not to forget her skates. Gail asks if this is Paul's new way of getting Jane to do the errands more quickly and Helen explains that he is having his second childhood – men have them all the time!
Gail hands over the file for the travel agents' conference and Paul asks if anyone's been stealing the towels. Gail replies that everyone's been behaving themselves this week except Dean, the chef – he's not the most approachable of people. Paul says he will talk to him later. Helen leaves, telling Gail not to let him work her too hard.
Gail says that Paul has a lovely family and Paul responds that they have their moments – she knows what families are like. Gail says she does – he knows what Rob is like. Paul responds that unfortunately, he does.
PAUL: I've been meaning to talk to you about him.
GAIL: (looks resigned) Should I be sitting down?
Mrs Mangel is there to collect her cycle. She leans over the back wheel and says she doesn't remember that bolt being there. She knows what mechanics are like – doing extra jobs to add to the bill. Rob says he will remove it if she wants, but he doesn't think she'll get home before the wheel falls off. He picks up a spanner but Mrs Mangel says it won't be necessary – a simple explanation would have sufficed.
She turns away and Rob, with an exasperated expression, raises the spanner as if to hit her with it. Gail comes along as Mrs Mangel puts her bag into the bicycle basket (slowly!).
GAIL: (takes him by the hand and leads him a few steps away) I want to talk to you, NOW.
MRS MANGEL: Is anything the matter, Miss Lewis?
GAIL: Nothing that concerns you, thanks, Mrs Mangel.
They move a few steps further away.
ROB: What's your problem?
GAIL: Are you trying to get me fired?
GAIL: Then what possessed you to go and harass Paul Robinson like that?
(Mrs Mangel is ‘all ears' in the background.)
ROB: I just wanted to talk to him about … (Sees Mrs Mangel, clutching her bag) Just a minute…
He goes across and asks what she wants. She asks about her bill. It isn't ready. She says she will wait, but Rob suggests that she comes back the next day. She doesn't want to and in exasperation he says there will be no charge – there wasn't much to do, anyway.
MRS MANGEL: Mr Lewis …
ROB: (annoyed) You want me to charge you or not, Mrs Mangel?
MRS MANGEL: (flushed and annoyed) Well!!!
She rides away.
Gail tells Rob he has the shortest of fuses and he says Mrs Mangel deserved it – just like her boss. Gail tells him off about this and he says he was only trying to protect her. He'll ring up and sort it out. Gail tells him that she is a big girl now, able to fight her own battles and can't be dependant on him all her life.
ROB: You're my daughter! Of course you can!
GAIL: Not in the way you want me to! Why do you think Jeremy and I moved to Queensland?
ROB: (looking very upset) I didn't know.
GAIL: (touches his shoulder) Aw, don't be like that, Dad. Just promise me you won't interfere any more. Let me make my own mistakes.
ROB: Gee, that's funny. If remember asking my old man the same question once. All right – you're on your own.
GAIL: You were also rude to Mrs Daniels. Part two of the promise is that you go and see her and apologise.
ROB: Yeah, yeah, yeah. All right. I don't mind her. She can't help having a grandson that …
Mangel House, sitting room
Jane is doing some sewing. It's Mrs Mangel's uniform. Jane looks pensive. Mrs Mangel comes in and asks if she is finished. She thinks that a large organisation like Lassiter's would have their uniforms properly made – she has hardly worn that one a month….
Jane comments that her Nan is lucky to have a uniform at all. Mrs Mangel sits down and says she appreciates what Jane has done for her. Jane says she has difficulty over what she has done and she can't justify it. Mrs Mangel sighs that that it was difficult, she, too, has had to compromise her principles.
Jane asks, “What about mine?” She says she has betrayed Paul's trust and feels like a criminal. She hands over the page and tells her Nan to do what she wants with it.
JANE: I hope you can sleep well tonight, because I know I won't!
She leaves the room.
Des is pumping the dumbbells again while Jim is on his back on a bench doing weights. Henry comes in, holding an open folder. Des asks what he is doing there, to which Henry replies that he is just passing and he saw the light on. Jim asks him for the real story and Henry admits that a couple of guys at the pub want to put on a bet. Des and Jim aren't happy. Des looks over Henry's shoulder and is not happy with the odds on him.
Jim gets up and says he enjoys a bet occasionally, too, but this is a friendly race. He doesn't want to be responsible for other people's money resting on how well his team performs. but Henry says if he doesn't run the book, someone else will. All he cares about is that it is done properly and fairly.
Night time in Ramsay Street: The Robinson House
Helen opens the door to Rob, who thrusts a bottle of car polish at her and asks, “Truce?” Helen is taken aback, but recovers and asks him in. He apologises for barging into her office and that he didn't mean to upset anyone. The beer he is carrying is for Jim. Helen calls him. Meanwhile, Rob is singing the praises of the car polish.
Jim comes through and Rob says the beer is to cool Jim down. Seems like he (Rob) has been causing some tempers to boil lately. Jim accepts the beer and asks Rob to stay for a drink and goes to get some glasses. Rob says the can's ok for him and Jim throws him one.
Rob and Helen sit down and he apologises again) Helen suggests that he should apologise to Paul and he replies that he phoned him before coming to see her. He asks anxiously, “Gail won't be losing her job or anything, will she?” Helen reassures him. Jim comes in with a glass of wine for Helen and a glass and a beer for himself. They open the cans.
ROB: One thing I learned in the army is that you can't have enough friends. (getting up and leaning across) Here's to mate-ship.
He clinks Jim's glass and Helen and Jim, bemused, reply, “To mateship”
Rob asks Jim if he was in Vietnam and Jim replies that he was an engineer. The conversation moves to Rob's reminiscences.
The Clarke House
Daphne is serving the meal as Des comes through, supposedly at a slow jog, but this is to disguise an aching back. He tells her the food smells good and they sit at the table, where Des's meal is already in place. It is chopped raw vegetables. When Des protests, Daphne says she has read about this famous marathon runner who always ate raw vegetables before a race. Des is not impressed and asks what is for dessert. Daphne replies, “Unsweetened goats milk yogurt and wheat germ.”
The Robinson House
Helen is dozing on the settee next to Jim as the two men are still reminiscing. They are talking about the Blue Café, where the Yanks had a good time. Rob begins a blue story, remembers Helen's presence and changes the story. He says Helen would have liked Lola – everyone did. Helen stirs and looks puzzled. Jim suggests maybe it is time for bed and she agrees, saying he shouldn't be long, as he ahs a big day tomorrow.
ROB: he'll be right. We'd be lucky to get 4 hours sleep back in ‘Nam.
JIM: Don't worry about me, Helen. Rob and I won't be far behind you.
Helen bids them goodnight. Rob shakes his can and Jim asks if he'd like another beer. He would.
Next morning - The Robinson House
Paul arrives as Helen is cooking breakfast. He has come to collect his skates. Helen asks if hotel cooking is getting him down and he replies that he ahs always preferred hers. She teases him some more and then tells him where to find them. He turns to go and bumps into Jim, who is rather frail.
HELEN: Your father drank his way through the entire Vietnam war last night with Rob Lewis.
PAUL: (Laughing) Apocalypse Now, eh? What was he doing here anyway?
HELEN: He came to apologise for his outburst in the office, with a carton of beer for your father and a bottle of car polish for me.
PAUL: Don't knock it! All I got was a brief phone call.
While holding a plate of ‘Full Aussie' breakfast, Helen yells for Scott. Jim asks her to keep the volume down. Helen is not sympathetic. Jim sits at the table with his glass of tummy-settler and Helen plonks the plate in front of him.
JIM: (groans and holds his head) Aww, you're a cruel woman, Helen Daniels. A cruel woman.
Helen isn't sympathetic but Jim defends Rob, saying he is good company once he relaxes a bit and the race isn't till the afternoon. Paul has found his skates and is heading back to the office.
HELEN: (calls after him) Pa-ul, go easy on Jane. She may not be up to your standard.
Paul puts is head back round the door and laughs. Helen yells again for Scott and Jim, sipping his drink, winces.
The Mangel House
Enter Jane, carrying skates. Mrs Mangel emerges from her room in a warm, deep red dressing gown.
JANE: You're up late. I've given Mr Bishop his breakfast and he's gone for a walk.
She brushes past her Nan on her way out.
MRS MANGEL: Jane, please… Wait a minute. I want to talk to you about last night.
JANE: (tiredly) There's nothing to say. I'd rather just forget about it.
MRS MANGEL: Well I can't. You were right. I couldn't sleep. Oo-oh, it should never have involved you. Here … (takes the paper from her pocket and gives it to Jane) Put it back where you got it from.
JANE: But Nan, what about your job? Paul's bound to see it sooner or later.
MRS MANGEL: Mmm. It's my problem – not yours.
JANE: Oh, Nan. (hugs her)
MRS MANGEL: Oh…
Jane is sitting at the computer with the folder in her hands as the outer door opens and Paul comes in. She switches off the monitor and returns the file to the drawer. Paul comments that she as in early and she says she just wanted to check something in the Disclosure file. Paul replies that she didn't need to do that. The only people interested in it now are the accountants. As far as he is concerned, it is yesterday's news.
Jane relaxes and says she thought he was too businesslike to be seen on skates. He replies that he is allowed to have a little fun. Confirming that she has hers, he says, “Let's go.” Jane asks about all the work he wanted done. He says, “It' Saturday. A little exercise will help to clear the cobwebs. Let's go!”
Enter Mrs Mangel. There is no-one else there. She deposits her bag in a corner and starts to work out on the exercise bike, smiling. Enter Henry, sucking his pencil, with his folder open. Mrs Mangel reminds him that the gym is for Lassiter's people only, not riff-raff like him. He says he thought Des and Mr Robinson might be there but they aren't, to which Mrs Mangel replies, drily, “That's evident.”
He suggests that she has left her practising a little late. She replies that she was riding in competitions before he was born. Henry's face reflects his feelings. She tells him that it takes a special sort of technique to win races and he looks at her with that sideways Henry-look.
HENRY: With those legs, you'd need it. (He turns and leaves, laughing.
MRS MANGEL: (stops pedalling) WELL! Of all the insolence!
But her words fall on fresh air. Henry is gone.
Out of doors
Jane and Paul are having a race on skates. Jane's technique isn't smooth or confident but Stefan does a great job of flailing arms and all-over-the-place legs to indicate that Paul is not good at this. Jane mocks him and he says he stopped by the kitchen to speak to the chef. Jane retorts that she didn't see him.
Jane, while doing some cross-over backwards stuff, says that is because she was too far in front of him. Paul, almost over-balancing admits defeat and Jane demands her milkshake before asking what Dean wanted. Paul says it was to tell him that Dean had had a row with her grandmother. Something about a change of food supplier. Jane says she will race him to Daphne's. Paul thinks she's kidding and they stumble off.
Henry is at a table in an otherwise empty Coffee Shop with that folder and his calculator. Daphne approaches.
DAPHNE: Hope you're not turning my shop into an SP Bookie's joint.
HENRY: Just working on the final odds before I take any bets.
DAPHNE: Would you mind ordering while you're here?
HENRY: Black coffee.
Daphne walks behind the counter to pour the coffee.
HENRY: There. All done. Thanks for the use of the shop. Mum would have thrown a mental if I'd done this at home.
DAPHNE: Don't think I approve of gambling, either.
HENRY: You're right. It's a mug's game. The only winners are the bookies. And I plan to make a packet.
Daphne brings his coffee. She asks what odds he is offering on Des and he explains that as it's a relay you can only bet on the first race or the outcome. When she asks what odds he is offering on Des's team, she's disgusted when he recommends that she backs Jim's team. Henry explains his reasoning.
DAPHNE: You will be!
She refuses to place a bet as Paul enters. He orders two double chocolate milkshakes – one for Jane.
PAUL: She beat me at roller skating. Bt that's only because I had to stop and talk to the chef about Mrs Mangel.
DAPHNE: Upsetting the applecart is she?
PAUL: And the horse!
Paul asks Henry who he's backing and is pleased to hear it's Jim's. Daphne comments that she will be glad when this race is over.
Enter Mrs Mangel. She half-staggers to the counter and in a hoarse whisper asks for a iced water, not from the tap.
Paul says he wanted to see her and asks if he can talk to her in the office. Mrs Mangel is wiping sweat from around her neck as she replies, breathlessly, “Yes, yes of course.”
Daphne hands him two large cardboard cups of milkshake and the two leave together.
HENRY: (approaches the counter) Looks like Mrs Mangel's in strife! Should give Mum the psychological edge, I'd say.
Jane collects a paper from the filing cabinet and sits at the computer as Paul and Mrs Mangel walk in.
PAUL: (hands her the milk shake) There we go. To the victor, the spoils.
Jane thanks him. He tells Mrs Mangel to take a seat but she says she would rather not.
MRS MANGEL: Before you say anything, I know why I'm here and, er… you have every reason to be slightly upset.
At the computer, Jane lifts her head, listening…
MRS MANGEL: I don't ask for sympathy. What I did doesn't deserve it. What I do ask is that you er .. try to understand.
An anxious Jane is now on her feet.
JANE: Er, Nan …I don't think that …
MRS MANGEL: Jane, please, I have to say it. I know perfectly well what I'm doing.
PAUL: (looking a little perplexed) Mrs Mangel, if there's
MRS MANGEL: Let me go on… I realise that I was in the wrong. I never should have spoken to Mr Morris.
JANE: (as Paul sits up very straight and looks at Mrs Mangel) Erm …You mean Mr Bartholomew. Dean Bartholomew the chef? That's what Paul wanted to speak to you about?
PAUL: (Looking grim) I don't think that's what you mean at all, is it, Mrs Mangel? Now perhaps you'd care to tell me exactly what you did mean?