Henry is washing up wearing blue marigolds. The doorbell rings and Madge answers it. Henry hides behind the oven unit.
MADGE: Oh, Ivan!
Henry slinks further back behind the unit as Ivan comes in.
IVAN: G'day Madge. It's that son of yours I'm after. (He moves further into the house). I can see ya, ya little weasel!
MADGE: No! You can't just come barging in here like this!
IVAN: C'mon, Madge, none of the blokes blame you for what he's done, but (moves across so he can see Henry more clearly) Steve and me want our money, and I'm not goin' till I geddit.
HENRY: (moving out into view) Look, Ivan, mate, I haven't forgotten that I owe you and Steve. You'll get your money …
IVAN: (cutting him off): Too right we will! (Moves forward menacingly) Cos you're gonna give it to me, now!
HENRY: I'm still trying to figure out how much I owe people, what with the race being called off and everyone hassling me…
IVAN: I want me money and I'm gonna get it if I have to thump it outta ya.
MADGE: (moves to come between them) Oh no, you won't! Now I'm not gonna put up with this sort of behaviour in the Waterhole and I'm certainly not going to put up with it in my own home.
IVAN: Come on, Madge. He owes us.
MADGE: (folds her arms and looks stubborn) You've got a short memory, Ivan. If it wasn't for me, you would have been thrown out of the Waterhole for good ‘n all. And how many times have I put you in a cab to send you home when you were so drunk you didn't even know who you were, let alone where you were going!
IVAN: I've got nuthin against you, Madge.
MADGE: Well I suggest that if you want any more drinks in the Waterhole, you'd better learn some manners.
IVAN: A bet's a bet.
MADGE: (lifts her chin and looks at Henry) Give him something on account, Henry.
HENRY: (pulls a note out of the pocket of his tight jeans and hands it to Ivan) There. There you go.
IVAN: Steve's not gonna like this.
MADGE: Steve'll get his money and so will you. You have my word.
IVAN: I know you're a straight-shooter Madge. (Looks at Henry) And I'm telling you. You'd better pay up quick, mate, cos next time, y' might not have y' mother's skirts t' hide behind.
Henry gulps, Madge sees Ivan out and closes the door.
Henry sits at the table, smiles and thanks Madge, telling her she was great, but Madge reads him the riot acts.
MADGE: And another thing. You are never to gamble again, is that understood?
HENRY: You can bet your bottom dollar on it, Mum.
MADGE: Ha. Funny, Henry.
She walks away and leaves Henry to give a big sigh.
Jim and Helen are clearing up uneaten party food.
HELEN: Interesting, isn't it? The young ones do their utmost to reunite Ramsay Street while their respective parents are sitting at home sulking like children.
They continue to put away the uneaten food. Jim asks if she means that the older generation should take the hint and Helen says they should, but Jim responds by saying that Mike wasn't too happy when Scott beat him in the swimming. Helen points out that he soon bounced back and that Charlene would have won her race if she hadn't stopped to help Jane.
Jim admits that they were the ones who caused the feud in the first place and Helen interrupts to say that they've had more than enough of those over the years. Jim suggests that after the race between him and Des next day, the whole thing can be forgotten, but Helen suggests that he can do better than that – cancel the race!
Jim says he can't do that to des and when Helen questions why, says that if she knew what Des had put himself through to get this far, shed understand. Helen says that he could at least ask Des. Jim responds that he couldn't do that – anyway, Des wouldn't quit now!
The Des Res
Des and Daphne are together on the sofa. The television is on quietly.
DAPHNE: Y' know sometimes I think men just never grow up. (sounds of shooting from the television distract Des). Do y' have to go on that run tomorrow?
DES: (with a sigh) Well, it's important t' Jim. Reckon he needs t' know that he can still beat a younger bloke.
DAPHNE: And it's important to you to prove that he can't.
DES: (Quietly determined) Daff, I'm going. So no more arguments.
DAPHNE: So why don't you settle it like the boys did, ten laps of the pool instead?
DES: It's a good idea. There's just one hitch … I can't swim.
Daphne is so struck by this she gets to her feet and repeats what he said. Des replies that he's never really given himself the chance to learn as he is scared still of the water. When Daphne says he's been to the beach with her loads of times, he says that she's just never noticed that he never goes out of his depth. He's never told her because it isn't the sort of thing a bloke likes to advertise.
He explains that when he was about six, his father took him t the lake near their home and threw him in. When Des screamed for help, he thought it a great joke. He tells the indignant Daphne that yes, he almost drowned.
DES: I guess it's what's called, “Making a man out of ya.”
Daphne apologises for bringing it up and Des says in fairness to him, it's how his dad learned to swim. Daphne promises not say another word. Des replies that he'd rather run than swim!
The Des Res (next day)
Daphne is packing a blue backpack for Des, who is wearing a grey tracksuit doing stretching exercises. She tells him she was right – all he needed was a good night's sleep. He says she can take over his coaching any time. He likes her methods. She smiles.
Into the bag go a small bottle, a warm jumper, flask of water and a towel. Des, still doing side bends, thinks she may be over-doing it as Jim said, “Basic emergency kit.” She adds his lunch – an apple, orange and sandwich. Des notes this and tells her, that that is important.
The doorbell rings. While Daphne goes to answer it, Des dives for the fridge, takes out a couple of large Mars bars and puts them in the pocket of the bag. Enter Helen and Jim, who also carries a heavy-looking back pack. Daphne asks of they are going secretly on a fishing trip. Jim assures her that it's just the bare essentials, Daphne, just the bare essentials. Helen says that's because she packed it. Jim says, as he pretends to drop it, that from the weight of it, you'd think that she had packed a boy scout, just to be sure.
Daphne says that sounds like a good idea, but Des assures her that they have promised to stick to the roads, then asks Jim whose car to take. They agree to take Des', but Daphne says she still doesn't know why she and Helen can't at least drive them there.
JIM: (comes to pat her on the shoulder) Now you don't want to see your boy lose, do you?
DES: Fa-mous last words.
Helen and Daphne encourage the men to be sensible and if they felt they can't do it, to drop out. Jim protests about them being treated like a couple of old crocks. Helen says she will have the liniment ready, and after some banter, they leave, saying that they will be back about six.
DAPHNE: (leans against the front door) I wish we could've talked them out of it.
HELEN: Don't fret. They'll be all right.
DAPHNE: Well, maybe it's my delicate condition, as it's called, but I don't like it. I don't like it one little bit.
The Mangel House
Nell and Harold are preparing for church. Jane is sitting on the sofa and asks if Nell is up to going to church. Nell says tartly it would take more than a little stiffness to keep her away. Harold, buttoning his shirt cuffs, looks at her over his glasses and tells her to ease up – she is sure to be a little sore after all the cycling yesterday.
Nell, dressed in red, says that she is a little sore, and would Harold mind driving to church, just this once? Harold, donning his jacket and setting the collar straight, says the gentlemanly thing, that of course he doesn't mind. Nell looks at him coyly and thanks him. Harold says he will just go and tell Madge, to which Nell responds that she is sure Madge will understand. He gives her a quizzical look and, saying that he won't be long, leaves the room. Jane looks anxious.
JANE: Nan, I know you're feeling a bit creaky after your bike ride, but Mr Bishop normally walks Mrs Mitchell to church.
MRS MANGEL: If Madge Mitchell hasn't got the decency to allow Mr Bishop to do me a good turn, then she has no right to be going to church. (Thoughtfully) Perhaps it's time that Mr Bishop saw that woman in her true colours. He just might have second thoughts.
Madge, in a blue and white dress, is preparing for church. Henry is at the table, with some papers, calculator and a notebook and the remains of breakfast.
MADGE: Oh dear, what have I done with my gloves?
HENRY: Haven't got a clue, Mum.
MADGE: It wouldn't hurt you to come with me, Henry.
HENRY (busy with a calculator): I think I'd better try and get square with Ivan and the other blokes before I try and get in a good word Upstairs.
MADGE: Don't be blasphemous! (walks forward to lean over his shoulder) How's it going?
HENRY: If I can get a few odd jobs I might be able to pay the blokes back in five weeks or so.
MADGE: (fervently) I hope so. I don't want the likes of Ivan making regular house calls. (She is still looking for her gloves)
HENRY: (gets up from the table) I must admit, Mum, you really put the skids under him.
MADGE: Yes, I did, didn't I!
HENRY: A year ago, he'd have scared the pants off ya.
MADGE: Henry! Actually, you're quite right. Working at the Waterhole's taught me a few things.
HENRY: Like you always said to us as kids … Life is one long lesson, (looks at her from ‘under his lashes') and we must never stop learning, must we Mum?
MADGE: Whaddya getting at, Henry?
HENRY: Well, you were pretty rough on Harold yesterday.
MADGE: Ah. Don't you start, please! (Finds her gloves on the kitchen top and pulls them on) I've already had enough from Charlene.
HENRY: (quietly) well, you were.
MADGE: Well he asked me to marry him, right? And when I lose my bike race, does he console me? Ho, no. He's all over that Mangel woman like a rash.
HENRY: Well p'raps he's trying to get her to cut back on his board. Seriously, Mum. You were rough.
MADGE: Yeah, I suppose I was a bit.
HENRY: He really likes ya – and he's a good bloke.
MADGE: (smiling) Yes. I know he is. I don't know why I'm bothering to go to church. I've already had a very interesting sermon from my son.
They laugh together as Harold calls to her from the back door. Madge says she's ready. After exchanging greetings with Henry, he asks how Madge is. She says she is very well, and looking forward to a little more gentle exercise than yesterday, asking, “How's the weather for walking?
HAROLD: Ah! I thought we'd drive.
MADGE (disappointed): Oh. Must we?
HAROLD: We-ell, Mrs Mangel isn't feeling herself so I said I'd give her and Jane a lift.
HAROLD: You don't mind, do you?
MADGE: No, no, Harold, by all means give the poor old thing a lift. But if you don't mind, I'd prefer to walk, myself.
HAROLD: I couldn't refuse her, Madge.
MADGE: (wryly) No. No, obviously. Very Christian of you, Harold, I'm sure.
She plonks her blue hat on her head and walks to the front door. Harold raises one hand, helplessly.
Road through woodland
A car comes round the corner. Des asks Jim if he is sure that he read the map aright. Jim says he did, and they pull over, then get out of the car. Des, fiddling with his backpack, remarks that eh hasn't been this far from civilisation since his mother sent him to scout camp when he was twelve. Jim tells him to just follow the road and he'll be fine. Des asks what he is doing as he is taking things from the backpack. Jim says as Helen tends to go overboard, he's sorting out the essentials, and advises Des to do the same. Des agrees.
Jim checks with Des that he has his water bottle. Des, pulling things from his bag, hands Jim a chocolate bar. Jim accepts and Des is surprised that Jim thinks chocolate is good for runners. Jim explains that chocolate is full of sugar, which is full of energy, and they will need all that they can get before the day is over.
Jim pulls out, then puts back the First Aid kit. Des asks if he's out to demoralise him before they even begin. Jim says it's just a precaution. He peeps a whistle gently, saying that it is essential.
DES: You're kidding!
JIM: Well how am I going to find you when you get lost?
DES: Me? No chance!
JIM: Well I hope neither of us get lost.
They put the unwanted kit back into the car and lock it. Donning their backpacks, they are ready to go. Jim gives the off and as they run, Jim takes the lead, calling, “See you back at the car park!”
Mrs Mangel and Jane have just returned from church.
MRS MANGEL: It was bad enough that Mitchell woman refusing to drive with us, but to ignore us throughout the whole service (they sit down), well! I certainly don't call that Christian behaviour.
JANE: But it was a good service, though, wasn't it.
MRS MANGEL: Well it was wasted on her. She doesn't know the meaning of turning the other cheek.
JANE (tongue in cheek): You do, don't you, Nan.
MRS MANGEL: (after a momentary pause) My whole life has been placed on just that principle. Let the Robinsons slander and malign me. (Lifts her chin and looks away from Jane) I hope I have the spiritual dignity to turn quietly away.
JANE: Does that mean you've changed your mind about sitting for Mrs Daniels?
MRS MANGEL: Most certainly not! She's no better than the rest of the Robinson clan. (opening her hymnbook and flipping through it.) They're all tarred with the same brush.
JANE: I suppose after what you said yesterday, she's already painting something else for her art exhibition.
MRS MANGEL: Well, (puts her hymnbook down) that's no concern of mine.
JANE: (holding her bag tightly on her lap) It's a shame really. I mean, a portrait of you in an art exhibition could've become quite valuable and Mrs Daniels was going to give it to you. (Mrs Mangel's interest is caught) Oh well, an unfinished painting isn't really worth very much.
MRS MANGEL: (slowly and thoughtfully) Not much at all, I shouldn't think.
JANE: (working hard at this!) I don't blame you Nan. I mean … turning the other cheek as far as the Robinsons are concerned isn't very easy for you. (gets to her feet) Would you like me to make lunch?
MRS MANGEL: (obviously taken with what Jane has said) Perhaps I was a little hasty with Mrs Daniels yesterday. (Harold moves across behind Jane to the bookcase, where he stands looking at a book, head slightly turned to listen) After all, she's not responsible for her grandson's despicable behaviour towards his employees. (gets to her feet) Yes … perhaps it is better to forgive, even though it's not always easy to forget. Oh, Mr Bishop, will you be eating with us, or lunching with Mrs Mitchell?
HAROLD: I'll have lunch here, if that's no trouble.
MRS MANGEL: No, no. No trouble at all. Jane will see to it. I must go and see Mrs Daniels. (she leave the room)
HAROLD: (to Jane) I take it that your grandmother has decided to sit for her portrait after all. (Jane nods, grinning) That's very decent of her.
JANE: Yes, it is, isn't it.
Helen opens the door to Nell and they exchange greetings.
MRS MANGEL: I felt I should let you know I will continue to sit for my portrait.
HELEN: (dryly, hands in her pockets) Well, I wouldn't want you t do it against your will.
MRS MANGEL: I'm aware that you've put in a lot of work and time, valuable time. It would be wrong to see that wasted.
HELEN: Well, I'm glad you see it that way, Nell. Well, it's about time we forgot about this ridiculous race and let bygones be bygones.
MRS MANGEL: (sits down without being asked) I realised in church this morning that I had a duty towards you – but (raises her hand) that doesn't include the rest of the Robinson household.
HELEN: (still standing) So, was it a good service?
MRS MANGEL: Very. It's a pity you missed it.
HELEN: I had to get Jim off for an early start for his run with Des.
MRS MANGEL: Oh. Mmmm. One would have hoped that two grown men would have something better to do on the Sabbath, but (superciliously) some people don't seem to know how to grow old gracefully, do they.
An orange car draws up at a phone box. Two men get out, one with a crow bar in his hand. He says that this one might not be worth doing over, and his companion replies that it might be enough for a few beers. Green shirt Smashes a pane of glass as Jim comes into view and shouts, “Hey!!!” Grey shirt tells him to “Rack off, Grandad!” Jim protests that these boxes are for emergency use, not for fools to smash up when the mood takes them. Grey shirt threatens him with the crowbar and suggests that Jim should keep running, if he knows what's good for him. Jim says he isn't going to let them smash up the phone box. Grey shirt gets close and asks how he intends to stop them, “Old Man.”
Green shirt supports him and waves his crowbar. Jim asks if this is how they get their kicks, ganging up on blokes, with iron bars. Grey shirt replies that there's not much else to do around there on a Sunday morning.
Des comes up and also shouts, “Hey!” The men are derisive.
JIM: How far behind are the others?
DES: (looks blank.) Huh?
JIM: The others. How far behind?
DES: (Light dawns!) Oh! About 30 seconds.
JIM: (turns to the men) Tight. So do you want to take the two of us on, and twenty other guys, twenty seconds behind?
JIM: Thirty seconds behind?
The two men rush to their car and drive off in the direction Jim and Des arrived from.
JIM: Thanks, mate.
DES: What were they after, you, or the phone box?
JIM: (slight laugh) Both.
DES: Well, I hate to say this, but it gave me a chance to catch up with ya. What do we do now?
JIM: I guess we start off even. I owe you that much.
DES: Suits me.
They take marks and this time, Des sets them running.
Meanwhile, back along the road, the two vandals have realised that they'd been had. They decide to go and ‘get them' as “It's about time someone taught that old joker a lesson.” They reverse and drive off after the runners.
Helen and Nell have both changed and Helen is seated at her easel, with Nell sitting a little stiffly on the settee. She rubs her legs with a sigh, and Helen says that she really must sit still.
MRS MANGEL: My leg's cramped and I really do feel a little bit faint. (plaintively) Would it be too much to ask for a cup of tea?
Helen, resigned, agrees and heads for the kitchen while Nell stands up and rubs her leg.
The kitchen, where Helen is making tea and Madge comes in from the back door.
MADGE: Oh, I have just got to let off steam to someone!!!
HELEN: What's wrong?
MADGE: I could cheerfully screw Mrs Mangel's neck …
MADGE: (in full flow) Do you know she pushed Harold into driving her to church and then she made sure she found a pew where there was no room for me. Well, you'd swear she was trying to drive a wedge between us!
Mrs Mangel hears this.
MRS MANGEL: If you wish to make wild accusations against me, Mrs Mitchell, I'd prefer you did it to my face!
MADGE: (turning and crossing her arms) Well, you've just saved me the trouble, haven't you.
MRS MANGEL: I can assure you that Mr Bishop was only too happy to drive Jane and myself to church. He is so good natured. But he needs to be to put up with the likes of you and your children.
HELEN: (coming round from behind the worktop) Please! Stop this, both of you!
MRS MANGEL (regressing to a three-year-old): I didn't start it. And I have no wish to associate with any member of the Mitchell family. They've brought nothing but disgrace to Ramsay Street.
MADGE: (hitting below the belt in her turn) At least I didn't get sacked from my job. (Touches Helen's arm) See you later, Helen.
MRS MANGEL: Oh, by the way, don't bother to set a place at lunch for Mr Bishop. He's dining with Jane and me.
Madge leaves, Helen looks resigned, Mrs Mangel, smug.
Madge is hammering out a piece of meat as though it were Nell Mangel's head. Henry shouts above the din for her to take it easy. Madge says she wishes it was Mrs Mangel's neck. Henry gets up and goes to her, trying to get her to ease off. She spits fire about Mrs Mangel and Henry suggests that she should calm down before Harold arrives for lunch.
MADGE: He isn't coming. He's eating with his landlady. Good! At least we can have some decent food for a change. I hope he chokes on his string beans!
HENRY: Now come off it! You like Harold!
MADGE: If Mr Bishop prefers to share his meals with that poisonous old crone, well that's fine by me. So she can do his washing and do his ironing and look after his digestion. I don't know why he wants to get married at all, with all that tender loving care being poured all over him by the bucketful. No, no. He can stay there for keeps. (While Henry watches and listens, she begins to bash the meat again) She's welcome to him, the old biddy!
HENRY: And you were going on this morning about how smart you were.
MADGE: Don't start, Henry.
HENRY: I wouldn't dare while you have that mallet in your fist!
MADGE puts down the mallet and gives him ‘a look'.
If looks could kill, Henry would be …but he's not. He continues:
HENRY: You know you're playing right in to Mrs Mangel's hands, don'tcha. I can just imagine the version she's giving him of what went on at the Robinson's.
MADGE: Oh, Harold knows me better than that!
HENRY: I donno. You've given him a couple of shocks lately. He's not too sure how things stand.
MADGE: (thoughtfully) Ye-es. She's poisoned more suspicious minds than Harold's.
HENRY: I reckon, if you want him to stick around, you should be a bit kinder to old lady Mangel.
MADGE: A-Hah! No. She's not gonna get off the hook that easily.
HENRY: Well, it's up to you, Mum, but I wouldn't waste too much time making up my mind. He's not going to hang around forever.
Madge says nothing, but returns to bashing the meat – a little less viciously this time.
Jim is running along the road, fiddling with his bag. He glances behind as the orange car approaches, drives him off the road and over the edge. The car goes a little further, turns round and as Des runs along, swerves towards him, missing him as he sidesteps. The car drives on and Des, after a look over his shoulder, runs on, not seeing Jim lying very still at the bottom of a ten-to-fifteen foot drop.