Park behind Ramsay Street
Still stuck up the tree, Edie tells Sharon curtly that this is no time to be discussing trivial matters. Sharon just shrugs and goes to walk off. Edie, however, calls after her to do something responsible for the first time in her life and get her down. Sharon asks if she can go on seeing Nick. Edie retorts that she said she'd discuss it when she comes down. Sharon repeats her question. Edie tells her that she's made herself perfectly clear on that matter. Sharon shrugs:
SHARON: OK. Good luck up there tonight.
She goes to walk off again. Edie, however, calls after her to wait. She then sighs:
EDIE: You leave me no choice. You can *see* the wretched boy.
Henry is lying on the disaster- stricken lounge room floor, talking on the 'phone to his mum and laughing that the house is fine; it's like a showroom! There's suddenly a knock on the front door and Henry tells Madge that he has to go. He goes and opens the door to Nick, who says to Henry that he was wondering when he wanted him to paint the gnomes. Henry, however, mutters that the grinning snowmen have cost him hundreds and he hasn't even *sold* one yet. Nick asks if he can help, but Henry sighs that he'll just have to say goodbye to his savings for that electric guitar. Nick offers to paint the gnomes for free, but Henry tells him that they shook on the deal.
Park behind Ramsay Street
Edie is climbing slowly down the ladder as she snaps that she's been blackmailed; held to ransom by her own niece. She warns Sharon never to do a thing like that again. Sharon replies that she won't, now that Edie has told her that she can see Nick. Edie, however, tells her that she can only see Nick under *her* presence and supervision, and that's final.
Paul comes downstairs, smiling that there's nothing like a good shower! Gail is sitting at the table and Paul asks her how dinner is going. Gail replies flatly that it'll be about ten minutes. She then says:
GAIL: Paul, you told me something before that's not true, and I want to know why.
PAUL (blankly): Sorry?
GAIL: Keith Franklin? You couldn't've seen him this afternoon - he's been in Perth for the last two days.
PAUL (breezily): Did I say Keith Franklin? I meant Bob Stanton. Oh, you know what it's like when I'm trying to do a million things at once.
GAIL (frowns): Are you saying you saw Bob Stanton this afternoon?
PAUL: Yeah. What's wrong with that? He's doing the Anderson contracts, remember?
GAIL: Then why did you say Keith Franklin?
PAUL: I don't know. Probably because he's doing the Udagawa contracts and I'm hanging out for him to finish them.
Paul then changes the subject and comments to Gail that she didn't tell him how she finished up at the Waterhole. Gail replies that that tourist bus ended up staying all afternoon; she won't be sorry when Madge gets back. Paul asks her if she'll be filling in again tomorrow. Gail nods that she'll be working the afternoon shift - the hotel's heavily booked, so she'll be flat out again. With that, Paul goes to check on dinner. Gail sits at the table looking worried.
Sharon walks into the lounge room and asks Jane if she should streak her hair! There's suddenly a knock on the front door and Sharon goes and answers it to Nick, who asks if there's any chance he can come in. He asks if her aunt's there. Sharon tells him that it's all right: she made a deal with her aunt that they can see each other - but they have to be supervised... They head through to the lounge room where Sharon sighs that it's better than nothing; her aunt just has to see if they can behave. Nick asks angrily why they have to prove *anything*; she could try *trusting* them. Jane chips in:
JANE: You have to be patient. I got the same treatment from nan when I was 16. Take it as a challenge!
Nick comments that his grandmother *always* trusted him. Sharon hugs him and assures him that they'll be all right; he's allowed to visit her, that's the main thing. Edie comes in at that moment and says to Nick coldly:
EDIE: Oh, it's you.
NICK: Oh, hi, Mrs. Chubb. Look, I really appreciate you letting me visit Sharon.
EDIE: Yes, well I was coerced, rather than persuaded, young man, and I shall expect polite behaviour at all times.
NICK: You got it! I mean - you need have no worries!
Nick then asks if he can take Sharon over to the Ramsays' house, as he's doing a bit of a job for Henry and he wants to show her what he's done. Edie, however, tells him that she's afraid not; first they'll put music on, then they'll start those obscene gyrations of the hips they call dancing. Jane offers to go with them, but Edie insists that that's not necessary. She adds that Sharon knows the conditions under which she can see Nick: he can visit her at No. 32, in her presence, and that's all.
Paul is talking on the 'phone, saying:
PAUL: Yeah, any time in the afternoon's fine. ... Yeah, well, Gail said she's doing another shift at the Waterhole and Jane can cover for me at the office. Shall I come over to you?
Unknown to Paul, Gail is standing on the stairs, having had a shower, listening as Paul tells the person:
PAUL: Well, if you think we're going to get interrupted, you come over here. ... No, no, no, she said she'll be busy all afternoon. ... Pardon? ... No, she doesn't suspect a thing.
He then tells the person that he'll escape from the office after lunch, and he hangs up. Gail comes downstairs at that moment and asks Paul who that was. Paul replies that it was Bob Stanton: he just wanted to change some of the wording. Gail asks coolly if it couldn't've waited until tomorrow. Paul tells her that Stanton wanted to process it first thing in the morning. He then suggests that he pours them both a liqueur and they take it to bed with them.
The next morning, Des walks into his office, where Penelope Porter is looking through some of the bank's books. She comments that they do more business in personal loans than she'd have expected for a small branch. Des tells her that he doesn't always say yes - and she can see for herself that there aren't many bad ones. Penelope smiles that that got her thinking that she could get to *like* living in a place like this - although she might take a harder line than Des! Des tells her that there's a bloke outside; why doesn't he leave Penelope alone with him to make her own assessment? - although he'd better mention that he's a neighbour and a good friend. Penelope smiles that she'll do her best. She moves into Des's seat and Des goes out to bring Henry in! He introduces Henry to Penelope and Henry puts a painted gnome down on the desk! Henry shakes Penelope's hand and welcomes her to the neighbourhood. They sit down. Des leaves them to it. Henry looks concerned at the fact that he's leaving, but Des assures him that Miss. Porter will look after him. Penelope then says:
PENELOPE: So, what can we do for you, Mr. Ramsay?
HENRY (beams): Or is it a case of what *I* can do for *you*?
PENELOPE (frowns): I thought you wanted a loan.
HENRY: Yes, but the question is: which question shall I give my business to: this one or your competitor down the street?
Penelope looks at Henry's bank details and comments that he keeps a personal and a business account and both accounts are nearly in the red. Henry explains that he needs a bit of cashflow; he's had a bit of bad luck and he wants to fix it up before his mum gets back from Brisbane. Penelope comments:
PENELOPE: Bad luck?
HENRY: It all started because I wanted an electric guitar.
PENELOPE: Oh - so you're a musician?
HENRY: Well, I'm learning. I picked it up while I was inside.
PENELOPE (queries): Inside?
HENRY: ...one rainy day! Anyway, I've got an acoustic guitar and some of the boys and me have done a '50s gig and I'm sort of ready to expand myself, musically- speaking.
PENELOPE: So you need the money to buy a guitar?
HENRY: Well, no. Well, yes. But I did work out a way to earn some extra cash, and what I came up with was Garfunkel. [He indicates the gnome!]
PENELOPE (bemused): Garfunkel?
Henry explains that he's there on the spot, helping people beautify their home by selling them gnomes. Penelope asks how many he's sold so far. Henry admits:
HENRY: None. But everyone needs one, don't they. I mean, have you got one?
She then asks Henry why exactly he needs a loan. Henry explains:
HENRY: Well, I made half a dozen as a test run, you see, but accidentally I poured some plaster of Paris down the sink and I blocked up the pipes.
PENELOPE: So you need the money for plumbing?
HENRY: You haven't heard the worst of it! I put Garfunkel and his mates out by the pool to dry, but on Saturday there was that thunderstorm...
PENELOPE (starting to giggle): Yes.
HENRY: ...so I raced out and brought them in, but they were hardly set, and I put them on the floor to dry - on newspaper of course; well, you'd do the same thing, wouldn't you? Anyway, the problem was that they sort of stuck. When I came to move them, I had to give them a yank to shift them and they left round holes all over the carpet.
PENELOPE (laughing): Round holes?!
HENRY: Have you ever heard such mongrel luck?! I've got to replace that carpet before mum gets back or I am dead meat - so please: to stop my mother killing me, can I have a bank loan?
Penelope sits there in floods of laughter!
Jane walks into the Waterhole with a bag of change for Gail. She tells Gail that Paul asked her to bring it; he thought he'd save Gail the trouble of going back to the office to get it. Gail asks Jane warily if she's noticed anything strange in the way Paul's been behaving in the last couple of days. She then quickly tells Jane to forget it; she's probably imagining things. Jane, however, presses:
GAIL: Remember you told me Keith Franklin was in Perth? Well, Paul told me he was going to see him and then later he changed his story. Last night I overheard him on the 'phone.
GAIL: He was making a date with someone and it wasn't business.
JANE: Who was it?
GAIL: I don't know, but I think it was a woman.
JANE: Surely you don't think Paul's having an affair? Gail, that's impossible, you *know* it is. Paul wouldn't do anything like that; he *loves* you.
Gail asks Jane if she could check Paul's diary for this afternoon. Jane, however, retorts that she's not spying on her own boss. She adds that there has to be an ordinary explanation; nothing else makes sense.
Henry is signing the papers for a bank loan, saying to Des and Penelope that he thought he'd have Buckley's, especially without having any collateral. Penelope comments that she can be flexible about these things! She tells Henry that she'll have his account credited with the funds this afternoon. With that, Henry says he'd better get out and earn some money so he can make those repayments! He heads out, leaving Penelope to smile at Des that he could have warned her! Des looks at his watch and suggests that they take an early lunch. There's suddenly a knock on the office door, though, and one of the bank workers comes in and tells Des that there's a Mrs. Chubb there to see him. Des tells the worker - Larry - to send her in. Penelope offers to go on ahead to lunch. Des says:
DES: No, it's OK, Penny. Is it all right if I call you Penny?
PENELOPE: Yeah, I wish you would!
Penelope leaves the room and Edith Chubb comes in. Des asks her if there are any problems with the house. Edie replies that she shall be having that faulty window catch repaired as soon as possible, after the break- in. She adds that it was a most unpleasant shock discovering her niece and that boy behaving in that manner. Des remarks:
DES: Yeah, well, dancing has changed a bit from what it used to be.
EDIE (exclaims): Dancing?! It looked more like some heathen mating ritual! I can't think what's happened to moral values these days, especially in the cities. If Bronwyn and Sharon were still in Narrabri, they wouldn't be living so loosely.
DES: Bronwyn is a sensible girl. I wouldn't be letting her look after Jamie if I didn't trust her.
Edie just suggests that they get down to business matters.
Outside the Coffee Shop
Paul emerges from the office to find Penny sitting at a table outside the Coffee Shop. He joins her and asks her how her first morning went. She smiles that it was fine - except her first job was to interview a man who wanted a loan and he was nutty as a fruitcake: sort of landscape gardener cum wacky entrepreneur cum would- be rock star! Paul laughs that it sounds like Henry Ramsay! Gail suddenly comes out of the Waterhole with a tray of drinks and she spots Paul sitting at the table and laughing with Penny. A look of shock crosses her face.
Nick and Sharon head into No. 32 and Sharon calls for her Aunt Edie, but there's no answer. They go and sit on the couch and Sharon takes out her Maths textbook. Nick asks her if she can teach him algebra, as it's his worst subject. Sharon asks him if he's going to stay on at school next year. Nick shrugs that he doesn't know; he'd like to study Commercial Art at Tech. The front door suddenly opens and Edie comes in. Seeing Nick and Sharon there, she snaps at her niece that she expressly forbade her to see the boy. Sharon insists that they had a spare period and came home to study Maths. Edie tells Nick curtly that he can get back to school. He walks out. When he's gone, Sharon snaps at her aunt that she and Nick came home to study Maths, and if Edie's not there to supervise, it's not her problem. She goes on angrily:
SHARON: Why do you have to think the worst of me? If you don't start trusting me, one of these days I'll prove you right, then you'll *really* have something to worry about.
She storms out.
Gail is clearing tables, clearly agitated, slamming ashtrays down as she walks around. Jane comes in and comments that Gail will go through the bar! Gail, however, snaps that she's not in the mood for jokes. Jane asks if something's happened. Gail retorts that she doesn't know what the hell is going on. Jane asks if she still thinks Paul is up to something. Gail snaps that she's not just thinking it; she *knows* it; he's not even making an effort to *hide* it. She asks where he is right at this moment. Jane replies that he looked into the office and said he was going home for a while. Gail quickly says she's going home too. She picks up her handbag and heads out, leaving Jane looking worried.
Penny walks into Des's office, where Des apologises to her for standing her up for lunch. Penny tells him that Paul Robinson kept him company - he's nice. Des explains that his wife, Gail, runs the Lassiter's Complex. Penny says:
PENNY: I must look her up and congratulate her. The service was great and the restaurant was first class. I ate there last night.
DES (surprised): *Alone*?
PENNY (slightly embarrassed): Yes, actually. I don't like eating alone, much. I took a book and read it between courses.
DES: That's no good. Look, would you, um, would you like to eat with *me* there tonight?
PENNY: Do you think Gordon Hemmings would approve?
DES (smiles): I'm not asking Gordon Hemmings! He can have dinner by himself!
Penny thanks him and says she'd like to; if they decide to spend time together after work, that's *their* affair.
Driveway of No. 22
Gail races up the street in her car and pulls it to a screeching halt in No. 22's driveway. She climbs out and storms up to the house - but is stopped in her tracks by Paul coming out through the front door and asking her what she's doing there. Gail snaps that she thinks *he's* the one who should be answering some questions. She demands:
GAIL: What is going on in there?
GAIL: Don't you give me that. There's someone in there with you, isn't there, hm?
PAUL (smiles): Gail, what *is* this?
GAIL (furiously): I didn't come here to be fobbed off with lies, Paul. I want to see if you are involved.
PAUL: I'm not involved with *anyone*. You're imagining things.
GAIL: I didn't imagine seeing you all over that woman at lunchtime.
PAUL: I wasn't all over *anyone*.
GAIL: I *saw* you. *And* on the 'phone last night: "Oh, why don't you come over here? Gail doesn't suspect a thing."
PAUL: You have got this all wrong, Gail, believe me.
GAIL: Well, then, if you've got nothing to hide, why won't you let me in?
With that, she pushes past Paul and heads into the house. Paul stands there with a resigned expression on his face.