Paul and Gail walking with Mr Elliott across the wooden bridge. The conversation leads to the shock for Paul and Gail that Mr Elliott knows Dean Bartholomew personally, which leaves Paul doing his fish-mouth impression.
Mr Elliott asks again where is the kitchen, while Paul whispers frantically to Gail to stall him. He tells Mr Elliott that he has remembered that he needs to go to the office after all as he's expecting a telex confirmation of a booking and he wants to check that it's there. He will only be a few minutes and he assures Mr Elliott that he is leaving him in very capable hands. A smiling Mr Elliott says he needs no convincing of that.
They turn to walk away, but Gail turns back and says to Paul, rather pointedly, that on the way to the kitchen, she may point out a couple of landscaping featured that Mr Elliott might find interesting.
Lassiter's Banquet Room
Des, Madge and Helen are busy preparing the table as Paul walks in and speaks to Des. Des reminds him that he is Dean, but Paul says, not any more as the situation has changed. Daphne comes in bearing two pavlovas and announces that Gail has just brought Mr Elliott in by the backway and tells Des that for goodness' sake he must get out there and start acting like a chef. There's immediate panic. Des pulls on his chef's hat, Helen says he knows her as the chauffeur and so can't see her there. They scatter, leaving Paul to reassure Des, who is panicking over his appearance.
Enter a laughing Mr Elliott and Gail. He asks, mildly, if Dean is not around. Des says yes, but Paul says no, adding that Desmond is Dean's assistant. He introduces the two men, who shake hands, Mr Elliott saying he is pleased to meet Desmond. Paul tells Des that Mr Elliott is an old friend of Dean's, and Daphne and Madge, standing close by, exchange glances.
DES: Ah! That's … nice.
PAUL: It's a shame that Dean had to go out, actually,
MADGE: He's in the Bar!
DAPHNE (simultaneously): He's in the dining room!
MADGE: To the bar on the way to the dining room.
DAPHNE: That's right.
MR ELLIOTT: Well, I expect I'll catch up with him sooner or later. He is a superb chef. (He moves off, with Gail following.) I'm really looking forward to sampling his food again.
MR ELLIOTT: (turning) There's one in particular. Chicken fillets with a superb natural asparagus sauce. For the life of me, I can't remember what he called it.
DES: (as Daphne sighs in relief) Chicken asparagus … (Paul digs him in the ribs – hard)
PAUL: (like a conjuror pulling a rabbit out of a hat) Elegance Supreme.
MR ELLIOTT: (triumphant) That's the one! A marvellous marriage of flavours. (To Des) I suppose you have one of your specialties, too?
DES: (lost for words till Paul turns and gives him ‘a look') I, um, I imagine so.
DAPHNE: Desmond is being very modest, Mr Elliott. He has a very wonderful chicken dish himself. A, um, type of lemon chicken.
MR ELLIOTT: (not too convinced) Lemon chicken?
DAPHNE: Yes, Chicken Lassiter, he calls it. Well, you really have to taste it to know how wonderful it is.
MR ELLIOTT (smiling): Well, I hope I soon have the privilege. (Turns to Paul) I must say, Robinson, I'm most impressed with the staff and the kitchen. Dean still knows how to run things efficiently.
PAUL (somewhat breathless, grinning like a chimpanzee and rubbing his hands together): Yes. Yes he does.
MR ELLIOTT: Which is how it should be. After all, it reflects on the whole hotel, doesn't it.
PAUL: Yes. (They move towards the door and he glances back) Yes, very much so.
Mrs Mangel and Eileen come from the front door into the main room.
EILEEN: … and they were in the most frightful MESS!
MRS MANGEL: Really?
EILEEN: Of course, I tried to help, but then, you know what the young ones are. They simply would not be told. (she is about to sit down on the couch)
MRS MANGEL: (still standing) Although one wonders why you were offering help. Given the circumstances, I would have hoped for a little more … loyalty, Eileen.
EILEEN: (blustering, sits down) Oh no, you see, I went over there to see what was going on. I thought that you'd want to know!
MRS MANGEL: Well, yes, but from what you've been telling me, you were being more than a mere observer.
EILEEN: Oh, Nell! That's a wicked thing to say!
HAROLD: (off screen) Mrs Mangel, I'm afraid I've run out of writing paper (he comes in) I was wondering if I could borrow some?
MRS MANGEL: Oh yes. Of course.
She goes to the desk as Harold sees Eileen and apologises for disturbing them.
EILEEN: Good evening Mr Bishop. How nice to see you again.
HAROLD: And you. You keeping well?
EILEEN: Yes, thankyou, As well as can be expected, all things considered. I don't like to complain.
Mrs Mangel intervenes, offering Harold some paper and asking if it will be enough. He thanks her and excuses himself, hoping that he hasn't interrupted. The ladies reassure him and he leaves as Mrs Mangel seats herself in the armchair. Eileen turns to Mrs Mangel and says, “What a nice man.” Nell laughs.
EILEEN: (fishing in her handbag for a handkerchief) I do hope Madge Mitchell realises how lucky she is.
MRS MANGEL: (as Eileen blows her nose on a red and white spotted mansize handkerchief) Well, as it happens, their involvement is over.
MRS MANGEL: Yes. Of course, I always knew that for Harold, Madge wasn't quite … (turns her finger in the air)
EILEEN: Good enough?
MRS MANGEL: Exactly.
EILEEN: She must be dreadfully upset.
MRS MANGEL: Mmm. One assumes so. As for me, well, I have to face the possibility that Mr Bishop might leave now. But then, I'm no stranger to financial hardship, largely due to Paul Robinson (Eileen looks sympathetic and nods). He deserves everything that's happening to him.
EILEEN: Oh, I agree. Absolutely. Absolutely.
MRS MANGEL: (thoughtfully) I wonder what Dean Bartholomew would think if he knew what was going on in his kitchen.
EILEEN: Well, he certainly wouldn't like it.
MRS MANGEL: (getting up) No. No, he wouldn't, would he.
EILEEN: (anxiously, as Mrs Mangel walks across the room) Nell … Nell! Where are you going?
MRS MANGEL: To ring Dean and tell him.
EILEEN: Would you think that that's the thing to do?
MRS MANGEL: It's the right thing to do, Eileen. And surely that's the only thing that matters?
Madge, Daphne and Henry are busy at the long table as Helen walks in and asks if it is safe. Madge says that it is – for now. Henry says that Gail has taken Mr Elliott to the bar, so Helen asks what is to be done. Daphne says that the rice can go on, and Madge points to the cupboard. Daphne hands Henry a plate of food and tells him to take it out to the buffet, then asks Madge to keep an eye on the sauce. She goes to check it.
Lassiter's banqueting room
With a look of intense concentration, Des is arranging a plate of food. Henry comes in and puts his platter on the table as Charlene asks Daphne, who has brought through another platter, for more serviettes as Mike has used most of those she had to clean the glasses. Daphne tells her not to panic, but she says she can't help it, as Paul is on his way over and he'll give them all heaps if things aren't ready. Daphne and Charlene go back to the kitchen.
Henry is fiddling with the platter of crudités and Des comes to see. He takes a piece.
DES: Look, mate, if you cut em any smaller, they're gonna need tweezers to eat em.
HENRY: This is the way you're supposed to do it. I used to do kitchen duty at the jail all the time. (As Des turns away) You couldn't cook toast.
DES: (turning back, puts his hands on his hips) Yeah?
DES: (pointing at Henry) Let's get this straight. I could cook you under the table, any time (as Paul comes in), day, or night.
Paul asks how it's all going and Henry walks round the table. He puts his hands in his pockets, hips forward, and tells Paul that everything's ok, boss, everything is under control. Paul is relieved and Henry asks if the travel agents have arrived yet. They haven't. Paul thinks that they must have been held up in customs, “or something” but they will arrive soon. Daphne, who's come back in, tells him not to worry – they'll be ready. Paul thanks them and says that he really appreciates all this, thanks them again and leaves.
Des claps his hands together and, moving purposefully, says it's back to the grindstone. Henry copies the hand clap and follows him. The three of them go back to the kitchen.
Henry goes back to chopping crudités and Charlene moves a dish of food. Daphne goes to check the sauce and is not happy. She exclaims, “”Oh no!” Whatever is wrong, she will have to start again. She kicks the stove and hurts her toes. Des takes a cleaver and chops through a handful of celery and Dean comes in by the service door. (Cue a dramatic piano chord or two)
DEAN: (at the top of his voice, pulling off his glasses) What the hell is going on here? (He walks forward as they all freeze, like a game of statues) This is my kitchen and I want you out of here immediately.
HENRY: (knife in hand, approaches Dean) We're not going anywhere, mate.
DEAN: (as Madge and Charlene approach him) Scabs! You're nothing but scabs, the whole lot of you.
CHARLENE: We are not. You called an illegal strike.
MADGE: (raucous) Yeah! You tell him, love.
DEAN: (as Charlene moves off and Des takes her place, swinging a cleaver) Very well. I'll see what Mr Bernard Elliott has to say about this.
DES: (waving the cleaver) Actually … (Dean looks at him) … We'd rather you didn't.
Henry is standing on the other side of Dean, waving his knife and Dean looks anxiously at him, while Des is still waving his cleaver.
DAPHNE: We've done a lot of hard work here and I think it's pretty mean of you to want to ruin it.
HENRY: (politely) So we would like you to reconsider.
DEAN: No chance.
Charlene is standing by a door, arms folded. The door has a large bolt on it. As Dean commands Henry to get out of his way, Charlene pulls the bolt. As Dean turns to leave, Henry gently stops him.
HELEN: (quietly) We really would prefer to talk about it sensibly.
HENRY: But … as you won't, I guess we'll have to give talking a miss.
He takes Dean by the arms and manhandles Dean into the cupboard and Charlene bolts the door on a protesting Dean. Madge, worried, reminds Henry that he is still on parole. Charlene tells her that it was self-defence as Helen asks what they've all done. She thinks it's kidnapping.
HENRY: Kidnapping. Assault. False imprisonment? Take your pick.
DES: In for a penny, in for a pound, hey, Henry?
HENRY: Right. Only we've got six witnesses to say it never happened, including a bank manager (Des looks pleased) and a grandmother (Helen looks aghast) and a woman with child (Daphne looks delighted).
DAPHNE: That's me.
HELEN: I think it's gone too far. We'll have to let him out of there.
CHARLENE: Why? He's a rat!
HENRY: A rat in a trap.
MADGE: (as Dean bangs on the door, yelling) I think Helen's right. And we will … immediately after the dinner.
HELEN: (as Henry and Charlene exchange happy, wicked glances) We can't just leave him there!
MADGE: Why not? He can't come to any harm in there. No, no! We've worked to hard on this dinner. We're not gonna let him spoil it.
As Dean continues to shout and bang, she turns back to work.
DAPHNE: I'm with you Madge, and so is Des. Anyway, (walks off to get to work) it was Dean's fault to start with. He's the one who called the stupid strike.
CHARLENE: Course he did! (Turns to Dean, whose face is at the round window) And you'd better make yourself at home, cos you've got a long wait.
Dean's response is to kick the door.
Eileen is seated on the couch, sitting straight, her feet neatly together, hands in her lap. Mrs Mangel comes in bearing cups of tea.
MRS MANGEL: (with a light laugh) Oh, I'd have liked to be a fly on the wall when Mr Bartholomew took them to task. (She sits in the armchair)
EILEEN: Well, er, maybe he didn't.
MRS MANGEL: Oh, he would have. When I told him what was going on, he was extremely angry. And, of course, grateful that I had done my duty by telling him.
EILEEN: (nervously) Maybe we shouldn't have told him. After all, we don't want to cause any trouble.
MRS MANGEL: How could you say such a thing after the wretched way I was treated by Paul Robinson!
EILEEN: Yes, but, I mean, the others had no part in that. I don't want … for instance, Desmond … to suffer.
MRS MANGEL: Well, he's hardly an innocent party. None of them are, after the way they sided with my ex-employer.
EILEEN: But that's not fair! Desmond was only doing what he thought was right, Nell.
MRS MANGEL: I think that it's become a sad world when anyone can claim that hurting an innocent woman is right.
EILEEN: Oh, Nell! It wasn't like that at all!
MRS MANGEL: There are none so blind, Eileen, as those that will not see!
EILEEN: (puts down her cup and stands up, clutching her handbag) Well, I can see. I can see perfectly well that it is you that has lost sight of the truth!
MRS MANGEL: (also gets to her feet) Indeed! Well if that's the way you feel, then I think that you should leave. Go and join your friends if that's what you want.
EILEEN: Yes. That is what I want! Don't bother to show me out!
She turns and leaves.
Lassiter's banqueting room.
Madge and Daphne are checking the food as Charlene lights the candles on the candelabra. She says that she doesn't care what anyone else says, she thinks it looks great. Madge agrees. She says she thinks they have done very well, and that includes Charlene and Henry. Charlene says that it's about teamwork and asks where the rest of the team is. Henry says that Mike and Scott have gone to the Waterhole to get more glasses, adding that they will probably break them. Madge tells her they've enough disasters on their hands without that. She slaps Henry's hand as he fiddles with the food as Charlene asks, “Do you mean in the pantry?”
MADGE: Charlene, it is no laughing matter. What Paul's going to say, I shudder to think!
DAPHNE: Maybe it's better we don't tell him till later.
HENRY: (hands in pockets) Yeah. Let's leave it for a few years.
DAPHNE: At least until everyone eats.
CHARLENE: There's no point in ruining the dinner, is there.
DAPHNE: (sees Paul as he saunters in, whispers to Charlene) Here's Paul now, Not a word about Dean, ok?
CHARLENE: (to Paul) Well, what do you think?
PAUL: Well, I reckon you've saved my neck. I hadn't realised you were all so talented.
MADGE: (tiredly) Paul, I don't know if this thing's going to keep the food hot enough. I do wish those travel agents would get a move on!
PAUL: So do I. (Mr Elliot comes in) I don't know what the hold-up is.
MR ELLIOT: Ahhh. Most impressive! Most impressive indeed! I must congratulate Dean.
DAPHNE: (with a note of panic in her voice as he heads towards the service door) Mr Elliot! Do you think the guests will be arriving soon?
MR ELLIOT: I hope so. Perhaps I should contact the airline. There's obviously been some sort of delay. I hope it's short-lived!
PAUL: Well, either way, I think we should find out now.
MR ELLIOT: (heading out of the room) Yes. Do give my apologies to Dean, won't you? He'll think I'm deliberately avoiding him.
PAUL: I'm sure he'll understand.
They all breathe a sigh of relief. Paul says he hopes that Dean won't make a sudden reappearance now, and Charlene says, with confidence, that he won't. Paul comments that she sounds pretty definite. Charlene passes it off as woman's intuition.
In the kitchen, Dean is still hammering on the cupboard door while Des is pacing to and fro and Helen is sitting on a scrubbed table eating a banana. Des says he doesn't like it, and Helen agrees, saying that she would be furious if she were in there. Des suggests that maybe if they could explain to him about Mrs Mangel, they could let him out – couldn't they? He suggests that if he knew that they weren't the bad guys he might be more reasonable about what they have done to him. Helen says it's worth a try – anything is worth a try at this stage.
Des goes to the cupboard, where Dean is now quiet. He says who he is and says he wants to talk to him. Dean replies that it's nothing compared to what he wants to do with Des. Des says he understands that Dean is angry, but that he might not, if he knew the full story behind what they are doing. Dean says he knows what they are doing – they are breaking the strike. Helen says there shouldn't be a strike as Paul had every reason for firing Mrs Mangel.
Dean states the obvious – that Helen would stick up for Paul as she's his grandmother, to which Des says that he's no relation, and he thinks that she should have been fired; that she deliberately sold those stories to the magazine. Dean replies that she did it because she was tricked. Helen replies angrily that she did it because she was greedy, then apologises to Des, who reassures her before turning back to Dean. He tells him that Mrs Mangel made it all up to get him on side. Dean is not amused, telling them not to nag him – kidnappers!
HELEN: Don't you understand? She's been using you. She's been lying to you all along.
DEAN: What do you think I am, stupid, or something?
HELEN (shouting): Yes! (To Des in an undervoice) Sorry, I've done it again.
DES: Ye-es. Well there's no point in talking to him if he doesn't want to listen.
Lassiter's banqueting room:
The team are waiting around when Mr Elliott returns to tell them that the news is bad. The plane had a problem and it had to return to Fiji. The delegates won't be arriving till the next day. He apologises for the inconvenience, but it just can't be helped.
A little later, the team and Paul are sitting in dejection in the banqueting room. Henry says, “What a waste of time.” Charlene replies, “And food.” Paul adds, “And money.” Des snuffs out a candle with his fingers and says it's the last time he does any cooking. Paul says he wishes there was something he could do about it, but there isn't. He adds that he doesn't like the idea of all the food being thrown out, either.
Helen asks if it needs to be thrown out. Daphne says there's a limit to what they can eat, and she is sick of it already. Helen replies that she thought they might throw a party for the local senior citizens. It wouldn't cost the hotel any more than it has already. Paul likes the idea and suggests the retirement village where Kelly works. He sends Helen off to organise it. Charlene comes in.
CHARLENE (to Henry): I err, think Dean's about to knock down the pantry door.
PAUL: (sitting up) What's that about Dean?
MADGE (with an embarrassed laugh): We, er, locked him in the pantry.
DES: We had to, Paul. He found out what we were doing.
CHARLENE: He said he was going to tell Bernard Elliott what was going on.
PAUL: (standing up) Oh great! What am I supposed to do now? Leave him in there all night?
HENRY: If you let him out, he'll run straight to his old mate, Bernard.
GAIL: But he can't go to his old mate Bernard if he doesn't know where his old mate Bernard is.
CHARLENE: Well it won't take him long to find out, will it. Everyone knows he's here.
GAIL: He needn't be for long. Not if I can lure him away.
PAUL: You think you can?
GAIL: Just watch me. Now he should be back any minute now – I've sent him off to the bar to get me a drink. Now, can you all go back to the kitchen and make sure Dean doesn't escape.
PAUL: (as they all scuttle away to the kitchen) You betcha. I've had just about as mush as I can stand of this guy.
As they disappear, Mr Elliott returns bearing two glasses of tropical fruit punch, asking if that's all right. Gail thanks him and takes the drink as he turns, looks at the food and says that the travel agents really don't know what they are missing. Gail says that they'll have a chance to find out tomorrow – after all, Lassiter's caters to this standard every day of the week. He replies that it's very impressive, but it doesn't seem right (helps himself to a grape) that no-one will enjoy the feast tonight. Gail says they will, and explains about the senior citizens, saying she thinks they'll have a good time, doesn't he agree? He says it seems ideal, and how clever it is of Paul to have organised something like that at such short notice. Gail responds that he's used to dealing with problems – you have to be, in this business. He agrees.
GAIL: At the moment, we've only got one problem left.
MR ELLIOTT: Oh?
MR ELLIOTT: Me?
GAIL: Well now that the others won't be arriving till tomorrow, you must be at a bit of a lose end. I was wondering if you would let me show you some of the local night spots.
MR ELLIOTT (his eyes lighting up): Miss Lewis, I'd be delighted!
GAIL (laughs): But there's a condition attached.
MR ELLIOTT: Oh?
GAIL: It's not ‘Miss Lewis'. It's Gail.
MR ELLIOTT: Gail. (Gallantly) That is not a condition. That is a privilege. (He holds out his arm.) Shall we?
She smiles, takes his arm and they leave. Paul, Charlene and Madge heave huge sighs of relief and head for the kitchen
Lassiter's kitchen, where Des, Daphne and Henry are leaning on the table looking exhausted :
Paul come sin, crosses his fingers, saying, “Well, here goes for nothing.” and walks across to the cupboard. He unlocks it and releases Dean, who is breathing smoke and fire.
DEAN: Don't you dare think you're going to get away with this. I could have you all charged! I'm now going to see Bernard Elliott and tell him the whole sorry story. Good-bye!
He stalks away and Paul follows him through the dining room, where Charlene and Madge are covering the uneaten food. Paul tells Dean that he can't tell Mr Elliott, as he isn't here and as the travel agents are stuck in Fiji, he can't tell them, either. Dean retorts that he'll be back and when he is, Paul can't stop him telling him everything, unless she intends to lock him up again. Jane enters as he says this, saying that Charlene has told her everything and she thinks that she can convince Dean. Folding his arms and looking sceptical, Dean retorts that he doubts it.
Jane explains that Mrs Mangel is her grandmother, that she knows the reason she was sacked, and it isn't what he thinks. Dean tosses his head and snaps, “Rubbish!” He says that all that matters to Jane is that Paul is the boss and “keeping in sweet” with him, and that they are all the same. Paul turns towards Madge and Charlene with a typical shrug of the shoulders gesture
PAUL: What's the use, he isn't going to believe us.
DEAN: You're damned right, I'm not! There's only one person that I believe, and that's the one telling the truth. Mrs Mangel.
Paul and Jane exchange resigned looks.
Mrs Mangel is tidying the shelves in the sitting room and turns as Harold asks if he might have a word with her. Taking off her glasses, she invites him to sit down. He perches on the edge of an armchair.
HAROLD: I hope this doesn't cause you too much inconvenience, but I may be leaving Erinsborough soon.
MRS MANGEL: (shocked) How soon?
HAROLD: (with a sigh) Within the week. You see, I've decided against opening a business in this area.
MRS MANGEL: But surely there's no need to leave just because things weren't working out with Madge Mitchell? I thought that you were comfortable here.
HAROLD: Yes, yes, I am, but it would be too difficult for me to stay. I'd keep running into Madge and that would be too painful for both of us.
MRS MANGEL: Well, I wouldn't dream of interfering, but don't you think it would be better not to rush into a decision of this nature?
HAROLD: Thank you for your concern, Mrs Mangel, but I'm afraid that the decision has been made.
MRS MANGEL: Is there nothing I can do to make you change your mind?
HAROLD: No, no. I'm afraid not.
Jane is at the front door with Dean. She stops him from following her in, asking him to wait for a minute so that she can have a word with her grandmother.
DEAN: (cynically) Oh yes? So you can force her to change her mind?
JANE: No, not the way you think. Please, Dean, it's personal, and it won't take long.
Dean agrees to wait but warns her to be quick. She goes into the sitting room, where Harold and Mrs Mangel are still talking. She interrupts, explaining to Harold that she doesn't wish to be rude, but asking for a word with her grandmother in private. Harold goes to his room, and Mrs Mangel tells Jane that she thinks she knows already what she has to tell her, but that it bears repeating, that she could do with some good news.
JANE: (puzzled) Good news?
MRS MANGEL: Well, the chaos at the hotel, of course. Tell me (leans forward, waving her folded glassed towards Jane) was it really as bad as Mrs Clark suggested?
JANE: You want it to be bad?
MRS MANGEL: Yes, I do! I hope the whole thing falls apart round Paul Robinson's ears, dreadful piece of work that he is.
JANE: (quietly) How can you say that?
Mrs Mangel looks puzzled.
JANE: Never mind. I've brought someone home to talk to you.
She fetches Dean, who comes in eagerly as Mrs Mangel expresses her surprise at seeing him. Jane tells her that she wants her to tell Dean the truth about why she was sacked. Mrs Mangel insists that she has, that she has told him all about Paul's unreasonable attitude.
JANE: (insistently) The real truth, Nan.
MRS MANGEL: Now stop this, Jane. You're behaving very badly.
DEAN: You certainly are! Fancy trying to pull the wool over my eyes. Well, it's not going to work, young lady, because first thing tomorrow, I'm going to tell Bernard Elliott exactly what happened.
JANE: (quietly determined) My grandmother isn't telling you the truth.
MRS MANGEL: How dare you!
DEAN: I'm sorry, Mrs Mangel. I'd no idea she was going to pull a stunt like this. I won't disturb you any longer. (Turns to Jane) You! You should be ashamed of yourself!
MRS MANGEL: And just what was the meaning of that little outburst, young lady?
JANE: I have defended you, and defended you, but no more. How can you live with yourself after all the trouble you've caused?
MRS M: Jane!
JANE: It's over, Nan. I don't even want to know you any more.
She leaves the room, leaving Mrs Mangel looking perturbed.