The auction for No. 30 coming to an end. Des discovering that the mystery bidder - an elderly woman - is Sharon in disguise!
The auctioneer - Mr. Varney - asks angrily if this is some kind of joke. Sharon says she's made a dumb mistake - she's got to go now. She tries to walk off. Des, however, stops her and asks her tersely what she thinks she's doing. A few yards away, Jane comments to Mike that she hopes Sharon realises how serious this is. Nick tells them that he'll see them later, and he heads off. Penelope asks Des how long he's known Sharon. Mr. Varney growls that Sharon has turned the whole morning into a waste of time and money for everyone; he could have her up in front of the Children's Court. Des, however, explains:
DES: She's the niece of the client I'm representing. I imagine she thought in some way she was helping.
He asks Mr. Varney if there's some way they can sort this out. Mr. Varney replies that he'll discuss it with the vendor's solicitor. He and a man standing with him walk off. Des then turns back to Sharon and snaps that he's still waiting for an explanation. Sharon tells him that she was just trying to push the price up out of her Aunt's range. Jane realises suddenly that Sharon is wearing her nan's clothes! Mr. Varney returns with the client's solicitor, who says:
SOLICITOR: Under the circumstances, there seems little point in taking legal action.
SHARON (relieved): Oh wow, thanks. It won't happen again, I promise.
Des asks Jane and Mike to take Sharon home. As Penelope stares at him, he then asks Mr. Varney and the solicitor what he can do to sort this out.
Nick is telling Jim that he figured he'd better shoot through before it turned really heavy. Jim frowns and asks what prompted him to shoot through. Nick admits that he sort of knew Sharon was going to try it, but he didn't help - well, not really. Jim sighs that this ought to be a lesson with him not to get involved in any of Sharon's schemes. He then announces that, with all these hassles, a couple of hours on the golf course might be exactly what the doctor ordered. Beverly smiles:
BEVERLY: Especially if the doctor goes with you!
She asks Nick if he'll be all right by himself and Nick nods that he'll probably check out what Todd and Katie are doing.
Henry is using a handheld food whisk to mix the plaster of Paris in the mixing bowl, and Todd tells him that Madge is going to go off her block! There's mess everywhere, but Henry tells Todd to just quit worrying! He turns off the whisk and says he thinks the mixture is ready to pour. He carries the bowl over to the kitchen table and starts pouring the plaster into one of the moulds - the mixture going everywhere. He then names the gnomes Simon and Garfunkel! Having poured the mixture, Henry tells Todd to clean the bowl at the sink and start mixing up the next batch of plaster. Todd points out that they've only got two moulds; it'll take ages for them to dry. Henry, however, tells him:
HENRY: No, no, this is that new quick- setting plaster. You just stick it outside for half an hour and they'll be right!
Bronwyn is asking Sharon in horror what she thinks Aunt Edie's going to do when she finds out; she'll have Sharon back in Narrabri in two seconds flat. Sharon cries that Bronny can't tell her; she did it for *both* of them. Bronwyn sighs that the best she can do is that if no one else mentions it, *she* won't. Mike, however, points out that there's not much chance of that: Des is Aunt Edie's agent, so he's going to *have* to tell. At that moment, Des comes in with Penelope and Sharon asks him what happened. Des just goes to the 'phone and starts dialling a number. Sharon asks Penelope what happened. Penelope tells her that they came to an agreement - but she refuses to tell her what it is, as it's confidential. Mike comments:
MIKE: If Des's price was around the reserve, I'd say they've accepted it.
SHARON (horrified): Letting Aunt Edie have the house? No! They wouldn't do that... would they?
At that moment, Des hangs up and says:
DES: Well, your aunt will be here on the first flight tomorrow morning, to inspect her new property. She says she was looking forward to seeing you both.
BRONWYN: So they've accepted?
DES: Yep. We've got ourselves a new neighbour.
Mike - who has his camera in his hand - takes a photo of the look of horror on Sharon's face!
Sometime later, Sharon is ranting to Bronwyn and Jane, asking what they've done to deserve *this*. Bronwyn, however, tells her that Aunt Edie is coming there and there's nothing they can do. Sharon points out that she may want them to move in with her. Bronwyn tells her that that's the whole idea. Jane muses that it'll be quiet there with just her and her nan again; they won't even have the kittens anymore. Bronwyn says Aunt Edie is only coming for a look; she can't move in for a while. Sharon says she hopes Des doesn't say anything to her about the auction; maybe she could throw herself on his mercy and beg him not to say anything? Jane tells her:
JANE: You're lucky *nan's* not here. If she knew you took those clothes...
Bronwyn lets out a sudden:
BRONWYN: Ut- oh...
SHARON (warily): What?
BRONWYN: Aunt Edie doesn't know we're here on our own. The minute she finds out, we're history. She'll either drag us back to Narrabri or move in here on the spot.
She adds that if only she could come up with some way to impress her; maybe draw up a list of the house rules Mrs. Mangel gave her when she first moved in. She goes on that they'd better all pitch in and tidy up No. 32, as Aunt Edie hates a mess.
There are two completed plaster gnomes on the kitchen table! Todd comes in through the back door and tells Henry that he's put the last two out to dry. Henry beams at him that he's got a good feeling about this! Todd asks him if they shouldn't start cleaning up, as they're supposed to be over at Mrs. Mangel's, doing the lawn. Henry says they'd better go. Todd asks what they're going to do with all the leftover plaster. Henry takes the mixing bucket and tips the contents down the sink. Todd tries to remove the plaster from the kitchen counter but discovers that it's stuck fast. Henry tells him that they'll clean it up when they get back!
Outside the Waterhole
Beverly and Jim are having lunch, Beverly chuckling about beating Jim at golf! She tells him that they should try to find more time to do things - being together and having fun. Jim smiles:
JIM: Assuming your idea of having fun is not humiliating your husband on a public golf course!
Mike emerges from the Coffee Shop suddenly and dashes over to Beverly, asking her to come inside as Mrs. Brownley has had some sort of attack and can't seem to breathe. Beverly leaps up and dashes towards the shop, calling to Jim to get her bag out of the car.
Penelope is looking at some bank papers while Des tries to read the newspaper. She asks him questions about why they're still using old systems when Gordon Hemmings has developed a new system. She tries to hand him a sheet of paper containing details of the new system. Des, however, says agitatedly:
DES: Look, I've, um, tried to be polite about this, but you're not getting my message: this is not the way I want to spend my weekend.
PENELOPE (frowns): But I thought we agreed it would make next week easier?
DES: *You* agreed. I wasn't even asked to *vote*. It's as if you're practically living in my house, following me around, questioning everything I do. I work damn hard all week and I don't think it's too much to ask for a bit of peace and quiet on my days off.
PENELOPE (coolly): I'm sorry. I'm probably too used to working with people who have enthusiasm. Gordon Hemmings says that a Bank Manager should—
DES (irritated): That is another thing: I don't want to know what Gordon Hemmings says. Every time you open your mouth, you mention that man.
PENELOPE (hurt): I just can't do a thing right, can I?
DES: Look, I'm sorry. Normally I'm a bit more tactful, but after this morning I just need some time to unwind.
Penelope tells him curtly that she can work just as well at her hotel; the atmosphere there isn't as hostile. With that, she marches out,
Penelope marches to her car, climbs in, starts the engine and goes to drive off - but then stops. She climbs back out and looks at the front driver's- side tyre: it's deflated.
Mrs. Brownley is being wheeled on a stretcher into an ambulance. Beverly tells the ambulancemen that she'll follow them. She joins Jim and Mike and asks Jim if he'd mind dropping her at the hospital. Jim replies:
JIM: Nope. I'm impressed!
MIKE: Yeah - you saved Mrs. Brownley's life.
Beverly explains that it was a matter of diagnosing her condition as an asthma attack and giving her that shot as quickly as possible. Jim smiles that he's proud of her!
Des is reading the newspaper and drinking a beer when there's a knock on the front door. He sighs heavily and goes to answer it. He finds Penelope on the step, and she tells him that she's sorry to bother him but her car's got a flat and there's no jack handle. Des tells her that he'll change it for her. Penelope, however, retorts that she's perfectly capable of doing it herself if she can just borrow a jack. Des takes his car keys out of his pocket and, handing them over, tells her tersely that his car's in the drive, the jack's in the boot, so help herself.
Jane is looking at the list of rules Sharon has drawn up, but she comments that her nan never suggested they should be in bed by 9:30pm every night! Sharon explains that she's embroidered the rules Mrs. Mangel set out a little bit. Jane points out that no one changes their bed sheets every second day and vacuums three times a week. Bronwyn replies that Aunt Edie does! Sharon adds that Aunt Edie won't be around long enough to see if they do it or not; they just have to *convince* her that they do. Bronwyn tells Sharon that there's only one rule for her to follow from now on: keep out of trouble.
There's suddenly a knock on the front door and Sharon goes and answer it to Nick, who heads inside and asks her if she got into much trouble for this morning. Sharon retorts that it's not over yet; if Des tells her Aunt Edie, she's dead. Nick comments that if he does, he supposes Sharon will be grounded from going to the school dance. Sharon mutters:
SHARON: If she finds out, I'll be grounded from going anywhere, ever, for the rest of my life!
Nick comments that it would be a shame if she couldn't go to the dance. Sharon asks him why he's so interested in it. Nick says quickly:
NICK: No reason.
SHARON (smiles): You weren't thinking of asking me...?
NICK (admits): Yeah, I was, kind of - but if you can't go; I mean, even if you wanted to—
SHARON: You've got yourself a date!
Nick asks about Aunt Edie. Sharon smiles that she'll just have to find a way to get around her; it's what she's best at!
Driveway of No. 28
Penelope is unscrewing the wheel nuts when Des wanders up. She asks him in irritation what it is now. Des tells her that he just thought he'd see if she needs any help. Penelope retorts that she told him: she's perfectly capable. Des goes to walk off, muttering that he's sorry he bothered her. Penelope, however, stands up and says quickly:
PENELOPE: Mr. Clarke. Des. This is ridiculous. We're going to have to work together whether we like it or not. Unless we make some sort of effort to clear the air, we're in for a very uncomfortable week.
DES: That's sort of why I came out.
PENELOPE: I'm sorry you don't like me, but there's not much I can do about it - except try not to let it affect our working relationship.
DES (insists): It's not that I don't like *you*; it's more the way you *do* things.
PENELOPE: I do them the way Mr. Hemmings trained me to.
DES: Well, that's it: why? You're intelligent. You've got a mind of your own.
PENELOPE: Des, I don't always agree with Gordon Hemmings' methods, but if it means the difference to my career then I'd rather go along.
Des murmurs that he can't blame her for that. He then suggests that she let him change the tyre for her - it'll save her clothes. Penelope smiles and thanks him. He leans down to start undoing a nut - and finds himself unable to turn it!
Todd, Henry, Jane and Bronwyn walk into No. 24 through the back door. Bronwyn and Jane look at the mess, aghast! Bronwyn asks Henry what this incredible thing is that he has to show them. Henry starts washing his hands as he points out the Genuine Henry Ramsay Garden Gnomes on the table! He adds that he's giving the girls first chance to buy. Jane smiles that she seems to remember giving him the idea in the first place. Todd, however, insists that these are originals: Simon and Garfunkel! Henry, leaving the kitchen tap running as he dries his hands, says:
HENRY: Handmade originals created by myself and my talented junior partner here, and destined to become collector's items!
Jane, however, says she thinks they'll pass: she wouldn't want to make her nan's gnomes jealous! Changing the subject, Bronwyn asks Henry how he'd feel about looking after the kittens while her Aunt Edie's there, as she doesn't like them inside and they haven't got anywhere else safe for them. Henry says he'd love to help, but he's the only one there and he's working most of the time and couldn't look after them properly. Jane suddenly notices that the kitchen sink is overflowing! Bronwyn cries that he's left the plug in. Henry, however, picks up the plug from beside the sink. He then buries his head in his hands and cries:
HENRY: The plaster. I tipped it—. Oh no! I can't believe I did that!
Jane and Bronwyn make a quick escape through the front door, followed by Todd!
A short time later, Todd is telling Jim that there was water all over the place and Henry is never going to get that pipe unclogged; he'll probably have to take it out and replace it! Jim smiles that it's probably not a good idea to get involved in any of Henry's harebrained schemes; they have a habit of coming off the rails! At that moment, Beverly arrives home, a glum expression on her face. Jim asks what's wrong. Beverly sits down at the kitchen table and tells him:
BEVERLY: Mrs. Brownley died on the way to hospital.
JIM (sympathetically): Oh... I'm sorry, love. But you did everything you could. If you hadn't been there, she might have been dead before the paramedics got there.
Beverly, however, says:
BEVERLY: That's just it, Jim: it's what I did that probably killed her.