Dean and Jane going to see Mrs Mangel at No 32
Jane challenging her grandmother about the true reason for her dismissal telling her that she doesn't want to know her any more.
The next day at No 26
Helen and Jim are at the table. Jim is scratching inside his plaster with a knitting needle, Helen is eating toast and Scott is getting a bowl of cereal. He breaks the news that they may be needed to help Paul out again. Jim groans and says that surely these people don't expect to feast every night, to which Scott explains about the plane being held up in Fiji.
Jim picks up his bowl of cereal, but before eating declares that if they have to do it all again, he isn't going to miss out, broken leg, or not. Helen chuckles and when Jim indignantly asks why, she replies that the thought of Jim with his broken leg in the midst of all the carnage is just too much.
Scott tells Helen that it's just great – he was looking for a name for the new band and “Carnage” is it. When they ask, “What new band?” he replies that that he's getting one together at school, to which Jim replies, emphatically, “No, you're not! It's because of side issues like bands that you're still at school.” He takes another mouthful of cereal. Scott says that he knows he has to study this year, but as he's done it all before, it's heaps easier the second time around. His voice rises as he tells Jim that he also needs some sort of relaxation.
As he takes his bowl to the sink, Helen sighs, Jim mutters and returns to itching under his plaster with the knitting needle. Scott goes on to say that he and Mike were too middle-of-the-road, and that “Carnage” will be a reflection of today's youth: how they think and how they feel. Jim responds by taking a gulp of tea. Helen says, somewhat dryly, that she supposes there's nothing like a teenager to know how a teenager really thinks and feels. Scott, missing the dry tone, agrees.
Scott, busy buttering toast, says they'll go with all the latest trends, and even get their ears pierced. Jim rises to that and declares that no son of his is wearing earrings. Scott can't see what's wrong with that – heaps of guys at school have their ears pierced. Jim, getting up and using his crutches, says that it's more fool them – and their parents. Scott is not doing it – that's final. He walks away as Scott brings his toast to the table.
Helen comments that the joke went down like a lead balloon. Scott asks who said anything about a joke? Helen mentions that it's April 1st – which Scott had forgotten. He remembers that last year, Jim had set all the clocks forward by an hour. The result, as remembered by Helen was that he and Lucy were too early at school and she argued with her hairdresser about the time of her appointment. Scott suggests that maybe this year, it's his father's turn to ‘cop it', then decides it might not be a good idea, as Jim might not see the funny side of it.
Helen leaves the table, picking up a mug of tea and carrying it through to Jim, who is sitting on the couch reading the paper and still using that knitting needle. She says that she knows that he is fed up with ‘that great lump of plaster' on his leg, but asks that he doesn't take it out on Scott. Jim assumes that she is talking about the ear piercing business and that he'd feel the same way even without the broken leg. The phone rings and as Helen goes to answer it, he calls after her that anyway, it's only an affectation and Scott will thank him in a couple of months.
It's Jane on the phone to Helen, who listens, then asks if she has thought ‘this thing' through. Another pause and she says that it's no problem, but she was thinking that it might make her grandmother even worse. Another pause, then she says that if Jane is sure, it's all right. She hangs up. As she turns to Jim, he says he assumes there's more trouble at the Mangels, and Helen agrees, saying she is only too happy to do Jane a favour, but this time, it will make their position very difficult,
Harold is seated in an armchair reading the paper and Jane, in an apricot pink trouser suit, is in the hall, with a heavy suitcase. She greets him and he turns.
HAROLD: Morning Jane. Sleep well?
MRS MANGEL: (coming in with a glass of orange juice, which she sets down for Harold) Planning a holiday, are we?
JANE: (coming into the room) No, Nan. I'm leaving for good.
MRS MANGEL: (as Harold turns to look at Jane properly) I see. How are you going to support yourself? You'll find your salary won't go very far.
JANE: (fiddling with the strap of her white shoulder bag) I mean it, Nan. I've arranged for somewhere to stay till I can find a place of my own.
MRS MANGEL: (rubbing both hands in her flowered apron) Oh, this is ridiculous. All families have arguments. They blow over.
JANE: Not this time. I always knew you were (pauses) insensitive to other people's feelings, but I never realised how vindictive you can be, till last night. (Harold looks most embarrassed)
MRS MANGEL: (raising her voice) Don't you speak to me like that! I'm your grandmother.
HAROLD: (rising from his chair, still clutching the paper) If you'll excuse me, I'll …
JANE: (stepping forward and interrupting) There's no need for you to go. In fact, I don't think it'd be a bad idea if an outsider did hear what's been going on.
MRS MANGEL: (as Harold sits down again) You've put Mr Bishop in a very awkward position!
JANE: And what did you do to Paul Robinson when you spoke to Derek Morris?
MRS MANGEL: I don …
JANE: There's no defence, Nan! You weren't tricked into selling that story to Disclosure. You saw an easy way to make some money, and you took it. Too bad if you hurt other people's feelings.
MRS MANGEL: And what about Scott Robinson's article?
JANE: Well that just makes it worse. You knew how upsetting something like that could be, yet you deliberately did the same thing to Paul.
MRS MANGEL: I said I was sorry!
JANE: And you proved just how sorry you were by lying about it to Dean Bartholomew and giving Paul even more problems. Nan, I could have coped with all that, but what I couldn't handle was the way you gloated. You just lapped up every detail of the mess you caused at Lassiter's. (She turns and goes to pick up her case)
MRS MANGEL: (following her into the hall) How dare you speak to me like that! The impertinence of it! (Harold is looking very embarrassed again) After all I've done for you, you ungrateful girl!
JANE: I couldn't leave without telling you why, and I was hoping you'd see how unfair you've been. But nothing I can do will make any difference, will it? (She picks up her case and overnight bag) G'bye, Mr Bishop.
HAROLD: (looking deeply concerned) Oh yes, goodbye, Jane.
MRS MANGEL: (as Jane opens the front door) You'll soon realise how well off you've been. A roof over your head, food on the table… (fiddling with her wedding ring) If you leave this house now, there'll be no coming back, my girl.
JANE: (with sob music playing gently in the background) It's not that I don't love you, Nan. I do. It's just that I don't respect you any more, and I'd be a hypocrite to stay living in the same house.
MRS MANGEL: (with a break in her voice) But where will you go?
JANE: To stay with the Robinsons. (She walks away.)
MRS MANGEL: (voice full of 1930's movie pathos) Jane, come back! (One hand on the doorpost, looking longing after her) Jane!
Paul's Office At Lassiter's
Paul, dressed in a white suit, is sitting slumped in a chair, a mug in one hand, some papers in the other, looking miserable. Gail comes in, dressed in a peach dress with black belt, greeting him with a cheery good morning. He grunts in reply and she asks, “Jane couldn't get through to her grandmother?” Paul confirms this and says that Jane rang him, and that Mrs Mangel actually enjoying all the trouble she has caused. Gail sits down, makes sympathetic noises and says they'll just have to call up the troops again that evening. Despondent, Paul disagrees with a tired, “No, no.” He's got some temporary staff.
Gail thought that he was more concerned about Dean and a possible picket line, but Paul replies that Mr Elliott will find out sooner or later, that Dean is probably on his way already, full of all the juicy detail. Gail says that Paul must get to Mr Elliott first and tell him the truth – she is sure that he will understand. Paul gives her ‘a look' and suggests that they must have made quite a night of it. Gail examines her nails as she replies that they did – she took him to every swinging night spot in town.
Paul's face is a picture and Gail says, defensively, that he told her to butter him up. Paul suggests that perhaps she should explain things to him, as she seems to get on so well with him. She responds that it's the boss's job to do the dirty work, that there are some things that you just can't delegate. In a sarcastic tone as he gets out of his chair, Paul thanks her, then adds, “Seriously, thanks for all your help last night.” as he walks into his office and clicking footsteps announce Helen's arrival.
Helen goes to her desk while Jane goes to Paul, followed by Gail.
JANE: Paul, I'm really sorry. I did everything I possibly could, but Nan just wouldn't budge.
PAUL: (leaning forward across his desk) Jane, never mind. I'm going to need your smiling face more than ever today. Do you mind going back into the hotel reception for me?
JANE: No, no, of course not.
HELEN: (dryly) All hands on deck again?
PAUL: No, I've got some temporary staff in to fill most areas, but there are still some gaps, the kitchen being the biggest one.
JANE: Are you going to lose a lot of business because of Nan?
PAUL: Jane, will you stop feeling responsible? Mrs Mangel may be your grandmother, yes, but you're not her keeper. I think it'd take more than a whip and a chair to stop her causing trouble at the moment.
Mrs Mangel is in the sitting room, by the window, holding a cup and saucer. Harold walks in, also carrying a cup and saucer.
MRS MANGEL: Jane should never have taken that job with Paul. (She lifts the net curtain to look out.) Working with him all day, and now living with those wretched Robinsons. (She turns away from the window) No wonder her mind's been poisoned against me.
HAROLD: (who was about to take a sip from his cup, but at this last, pauses) Oh no! Oh, no, no, no. (Puts the cup on the saucer and walks towards her) I don't think they'd do that! (He walks past her and puts his cup on the mantelshelf)
MRS MANGEL: Well how else can you explain the way she's turned on me? Her own flesh and blood!
HAROLD: (sighs) Well, I don't know the whole story, but Jane obviously feels very strongly about the situation. It's none of my business, of course but couldn't you … err … re-examine your stand?
MRS MANGEL: (indignant and waving a finger at Harold) I am the victim here, Mr Bishop. (she walks in front of him to sit down in the red chair) Hounded unmercifully by the whole Robinson family. (sighs deeply) However, as a woman of Christian principles, perhaps I could have been a little more forgiving (Harold's face is a picture!) Not meekly and ‘turn the other cheek', mind, but, well, it's possible that I could have been more … charitable.
HAROLD: Ah, charity! Yes. A very worthwhile sentiment. But as we know, not an easy one to put into practice.
MRS MANGEL: (sanctimoniously) Ah, how true.
HAROLD: But you are the one person who, I am sure, will give it your best shot. (Mrs Mangel's face assumes that ‘nose in the air' look) Now take Jane, for instance. It is entirely due to your influence that she is the mature, err, the responsible young person that she is, and whatever her reasons for leaving the house, she was just showing the …the courage of her convictions. (deeply earnest, he walks towards her). So don't you think that you could … could reassess the whole situation from her point of view?
MRS MANGEL: We-ell (her hand creeps up to her heart, in ‘that' gesture) I suppose she did feel she had to make a stand (her voice suddenly stronger), however misguided it might have been.
HAROLD: Well talk to her, Mrs Mangel. (He sits down, takes a deep breath) Reason with her. And if you can find the slightest hint of justification for what she has done, well then, it's up to you to put it right, eh?
Mrs Mangel, hand to her mouth, sighs.
Paul, mug in hand is leaning against a stack of files. Gail is at her desk, browsing the phone book. She is looking for a good restaurant to take the travel agents that evening. She says that it's not going to be easy to get such a large booking at this late stage. Paul agrees, going on to say that it's also going to cost an arm and a leg with nothing to show for it in the end.
Mr Elliott comes in, wearing dark glasses. He perches on the edge of the desk, takes off his dark glasses and wearily asks how she can be so full of life after being out till two in the morning. Can this be the same girl? She stands as she replies that yes, she is the same girl and she did warn him that the last bottle of champagne was not a good idea. He says not to remind him of it, but that he can't deny that it was fun and she was a great companion.
Gail makes a mock curtsy, thanks him, and adds that he is a great dancer. However, he is not sure which hurts the most – his head or his feet. Paul breaks in to say that if he's feeling up to it, he (Paul) has some things he'd like to discuss with him. Gail says she had better leave, but Paul stands closer to her, saying that there is no need for her to leave, as after all, she may be able to explain some things better than he can.
Mr Elliott moves across the office, saying that he will be more than happy to listen to anything they have to say to him, but not until he has had a cup of coffee. He sits down carefully, saying that his brain isn't even in first gear yet. As Gail tells him that there's one large coffee coming up, and asks if she should make it a large one, Paul disappears into his office and closes the door.
Helen is at her desk, and he perches on its edge as she says, “Bernard Elliott.” in a very thoughtful matter. Paul confirms it, saying that it is Bernard Elliott with a king-sized hangover. Helen suggests that this may help, as he won't feel up to ranting and raving. Paul agrees and tells her that Gail is out there softening him up with some coffee and some tender loving care. Helen suggests that Mr Elliott didn't appear to be an unreasonable man, saying that every business is liable to industrial trouble.
Paul replies that Bernard Elliott is a perfectionist and that if he thinks that he (Paul) can't control his staff, there's no way he will give a good report. He says that word travels fast in this industry, and that if Bernard Elliott gives the thumbs down, it's a bet that every travel agent from there to Timbuctoo will know by tomorrow.
Helen says that surely Mr Elliott wouldn't do that, but Paul replies that although they have got away with the strike so far, once Mr Elliott finds out that his ‘old mate, Dean' has been locked in his own pantry … Helen sees his point and he walks away to sit at his desk.
Jane, in uniform now, collects and tidies a newspaper. Dean stalks along the corridor, approaches her.
DEAN: All right, all right. Where's Mr Elliott?
JANE: In his room, isn't he?
DEAN: He's not, and you know it.
JANE: (walking round to the back of the reception desk) I'm afraid that if he isn't in his room, then I can't help you. (She sits at the computer).
DEAN: Hmm. Well, I wouldn't put kidnapping beyond you and the rest of the scab labour, not after the way that I was locked into the pantry last night.
JANE: No-one's been kidnapped … Nan! What are you doing here?
MRS MANGEL: Mr Bartholomew, I want to talk to you.
DEAN: I'm sorry, it'll have to wait. (turns back to Jane, clasped hands resting on the top of the desk) Now, are you going to tell me where he is (leaning forward and using a threatening tone), or do I have to ring the police to say there's been a kidnapping, eh?
MRS MANGEL: A kidnapping? Who's been kidnapped?
DEAN: Bernard Elliott, who else? And your granddaughter is in it up to her pretty neck.
JANE: No-one's been kidnapped, and if you don't stop carrying on like this, I'll be the one calling the police to have you escorted off the premises.
DEAN: Well then, where is he?
JANE: Well it's a big hotel. He could be anywhere.
DEAN: Well I'll find him, and when I do, he'll get the full facts on the way this place is being run. (He turns to walk away)
MRS MANGEL: (grabbing his arm) You're not going anywhere until you listen to what I've got to say.
DEAN: Later, Mrs Mangel, later. You don't want Robinson to get away with this, do you?
MRS MANGEL: This whole business has got right out of hand. If you don't listen to me, then you're going to make a bigger fool of yourself than you already have.
She exchanges looks with Jane.
Lassiter's, Paul's office
Paul is rehearsing his speech to Mr Elliott in front of Helen.
PAUL: Therefore I feel that I was fully justified in the action that I took … Oh, that's no good! It sounds like I'm crawling.
HELEN: For goodness sake, darling, go out there and get it over and done with. The reality can't be any worse than the anticipation.
PAUL: Oh, I hope you're right, Gran. (He takes a deep breath as he walks to the door) Here goes!
HELEN: Good luck.
Lassiter's outer office
Gail and Mr Elliott are still drinking coffee, and laughing together as they recall the previous evening. Paul comes out of his office. He tells Paul that he is feeling quite human again, ready to take on the world. What was that matter he wanted to talk about? Paul glances towards the door as Mr Elliott gets up from his chair.
MR ELLIOTT: Dean! There you are, my friend! Good to see you again. (Gail gets up and joins Paul by the office door as the two shake hands)
DEAN: Err, yes, well, you, too, Bernard.
MR ELLIOTT: That meal you prepared last night … you really surpassed yourself. Pity I never had the chance to eat it.
DEAN: Yes, well, good of you to say so.
MR ELLIOTT: Very disappointing about that party being held up in Fiji. Still, they'll have an opportunity to sample your superb cuisine tonight.
DEAN: They certainly will. In fact, all the staff are looking forward to their arrival. We're looking forward to showing them just how good Lassiter's is. (He gives a telling look to Gail and Paul, who are standing by the door, stunned.)
The Coffee Shop
Scott is sitting at a round table outside. He is talking to two girls in school uniform and all three have drinks with straws in tall paper cups. The girls leave and Helen approaches, sitting down with Scott. She asks how school is. He says that it's about the same as usual. He comments that it's pretty quiet around there, when he'd been expecting everyone to be running round in circles. Helen explains that Mrs Mangel has had a change of heart, has told Dean the truth and all the staff has gone back to work, that Paul is relieved.
Scott suggests that it should be Jane that Paul thanks, as he thinks that her leaving home had a lot to do with Mrs Mangel's change of heart. He suggests that she'll be going back now. Helen says not to be too sure, that although Jane is glad that Mrs Mangel's told the truth now, she hasn't entirely forgiven her for causing all the trouble in the first place.
Scott says it's a pity in a way, and when Helen asks why, he laughs and says that he was looking forward to seeing his father waiting on tables with his leg in plaster. When Helen says that he appears to have an odd sense of humour, he replies that it's pretty hard to find anything to laugh about at home at the moment.
Helen agrees, saying that she would do anything to see a smile on Jim's face, let alone get a laugh from him. Scott remembers that it's April Fool's Day, but Helen reminds him that it's supposed to finish at noon. Scott, stirring his drink with the straw, says that he doesn't care, as anything's worthwhile that will put his father in a better mood. Helen looks at him and asks exactly what does he have in mind?
Jim hears a sound and asks if it is Scott. It is, and he is getting a drink from the fridge. As he walks through, he tears the top off with his teeth as Jim, who is sitting on the couch, says that he's bored sitting around at home, but he did manage to get to the letterbox. There is a parcel from Lucy. Scott is pleased and says maybe she has sent him one of those black berets, but Jim says that they should wait till Helen gets home before opening it. Scott agrees.
He gets up, picks up the phone book, and still gulping his drink, goes into the kitchen. He sits on the worktop near the phone, flips through for a number and reaches for the phone to dial. Meanwhile, Jim can hear the noise and looks questioningly in that direction. Scott dials a number, then, looking toward the sitting room, talks to the person on the other end.
SCOTT: (loudly) Hello! Is that the tattoo parlour?
HELEN: (at her desk in Lassiter's office with Paul leaning over her, listening and grinning) Ye-es. (Adopts an odd accent) This is the tat-toe parlour. (She and Paul smother their laughter)
SCOTT: Yep. Ok then. I'll be down straight away. No problem. See ya!
He hangs up, slides off the worktop, closes the phone book, grabs his drink and disappears out through the kitchen as his father calls to ask what he's up to. There's a clunk as he calls his name again, then he swings though to the kitchen on his crutches.
JIM: (yelling) Don't you leave this house! (Too late. Scott is gone. Jim mutters) Tattoo? I'll ground him for a month. No, a year! SCOTT!
Jane is at the computer, and turns to Helen, saying her name. Helen comes across, and Jane asks if it is still all right for her to stay with them. Helen says of course it's all right, though she'll understand if she wants to change her mind, as Dean knows the truth and the staff have gone back. Jane says that her Nan wasn't the least sorry for all the trouble she caused and only told Dean so that she would go home. She supposes that Mrs Mangel is wondering how she will manage without Jane's board money.
She gets up and takes a file through to the outer office to put it away. Helen follows, saying that her grandmother is a very proud woman and she thinks she had a lot of courage, owning up to Dean, that she wouldn't have done it if she didn't care, and want Jane back very badly.
The phone rings. Jane answers. It's Jim, who wants to speak to Helen. She hands the phone over, saying who it is, to which Helen replies, “Surprise, surprise!” and adds that Jane is welcome to stay as long as she likes, but to think about what she (Helen) has just said.
HELEN: Erm, hello, hello, Jim (removes her earring). I'm just leaving.
JIM: Helen, you've gotta find Scott and stop him.
HELEN: Er, what are you talking about? I thought he was going to have his ear pieced?
JIM: I heard him on the phone, booking in somewhere for a tattoo. He was out of the door before I could stop him.
HELEN: (scratches the back of her head) Oh, well, I'll try and track him down, but I'm not very au fait with tattoo parlours. (Jane grins delightedly) Oh yes. There is one at Anson's corner. That's probably where he is (grins at Jane).
JIM: Can you get down there? And hurry, or it'll be too late.
HELEN: Yes, Jim, but calm down. And if I am too late, I hope he chooses something tasteful… A rose might be nice. See you then.
She puts the phone down before Jim can reply and she and Jane laugh delightedly.
Jim is pacing across the sitting room as Helen walks in, followed by Jane.
JIM: Did you find him? (He spots Scott behind Jane.) Oh, thank goodness! And you! (to Scott, as the three stand in a line looking sheepish) take that sulky look off your face and be thankful that you grandmother found you in time to stop you doing something you'd regret for the rest of your life.
HELEN (as Paul comes in, too): Jim, it's too late. We had trouble finding him and ..
PAUL: Sorry, Dad. We tried. Come on Scotty. You'd better show him the damage.
SCOTT: (very quietly, as he begins to unbutton his shirt) Sorry, Dad. It's a bit bigger than I thought it was going to be. (We don't get a clear view of the ‘tattoo', but it almost covers his chest)
JIM: (explosively!) Oh, it's revolting!!! Of all the idiotic, brainless things to do. (he moves to sit on the couch) Paul did some stupid things as a teenager, but nothing to match this!
PAUL: (who has been fiddling with his shirt cuff) Well, actually Dad, when I saw Scott's … it was so good that, err… (he rolls up his sleeve to reveal a female figure on the inside of his elbow) Pretty nifty, eh?
JIM: (shouting, to Helen) Have you gone out of your minds? How could you let them do this?
HELEN: Well he was such a nice man – he was so persuasive. So I'm afraid that I, err, I gave in to temptation (lifts her skirt to reveal a blue butterfly ‘tattoo' just below her real, red frilly garter).
Jane is the first to lose her straight face and they all laugh as Jim realises that he has been set up. He begins to laugh as they all chorus, “April Fool!”
HELEN: Well at least he's laughing now. That's what we set out to do.
JIM: You mean this whole thing was just an elaborate hoax just because…
He is interrupted by a ring from the door bell. Helen goes to answer it.
SCOTT: Come on, Dad, you don't think I'd really get a tattoo, do ya?
JIM: Well …
It's Mrs Mangel at the door and as she comes in she says, hesitantly, that she wonders if she might have a word with Jane. Jane turns and walks away.
HELEN: I'm afraid she doesn't want to talk to you.
MRS MANGEL: (distraught) But I've done what she wanted. I've told Dean the truth. They're all back at work. (she is almost in tears, wringing her hands) What more can she expect?
HELEN: Nell, I think you'll have to work this out between the two of you. Give her a little more time.
MRS MANGEL: (in tears) She can't turn her back on me. She's all I have. What am I going to do?
Jim and Paul exchange concerned looks as Mrs Mangel cries.