Des and Penny kissing passionately.
The next morning, Gail is serving breakfast at the kitchen table at No. 22 – but she's caught Paul's cold, and as he joins her, she tells him, sounding bunged- up:
GAIL: I have only one thing to say: thanks!
Paul – who still has *his* cold – apologises sympathetically. Gail says she hates to mention it, but what about the office? Paul sighs that he'd better go. Gail tells him that he's too sick, and so Paul suggests that that make a compromise – and he tosses a coin! Gail, however, points out that Beverly said they should both stay home, rugged- up; they can sit on the couch and cuddle up. Paul smiles that he'll go and ring Jane!
Jane steps into the hallway, wearing her dressing- gown, as Mrs.Chubb emerges from the lounge room with a pile of newspapers. Jane asks what they're all for and Mrs.Chubb explains that they're reading matter for Mrs.Mangel when she returns; she's sure she'll want to know what's happening. The ‘phone starts ringing and Jane goes to answer it. She listens and then tells Paul that she can come in, but it won't be until after her nan's home. She adds that maybe Mrs.Daniels can help in the meantime. With that, she adds that she hopes he and Gail both feel better and she hangs up. She heads into the lounge room and tells Mrs.Chubb that Paul's cold sounds really bad. The two of them suddenly hear a noise at the front door and Mrs.Chubb asks in concern what it is. Jane frowns that she doesn't know. She heads to the door and calls:
JANE: Hello? Is there someone there?
Mrs.Mangel calls back that of *course* there is! Jane opens the door to her and Mrs.Mangel groans that they always make those wretched keyholes so tiny. Jane gives her nan a hug and tells her that she's missed her. Mrs.Chubb joins them and tells Mrs.Mangel that she looks in the pink. Mrs.Mangel smiles:
MRS.MANGEL: Thank you! Visiting Isabel was certainly worthwhile, but they do say there's no place like home. [Warily] I take it there's been no major catastrophe?
MRS.CHUBB: Oh, not as such – well, nothing we couldn't handle. Just the misspent exuberance of youth.
MRS.MANGEL (queries): Nothing you couldn't handle? If there's news, I want to *hear* it.
With that, Mrs.Mangel walks into the lounge room, leaving Jane standing in the hallway with a smile on her face!
Des's office at Pacific Bank
Des is sitting working at his desk when the office door opens and Penny comes in with a cup of tea. She hands it to him and tells him that she didn't know how he likes it; she *thinks* she knows so much about him, but she doesn't really know much at all. Des takes a sip of the drink and nods that it's fine. Penny tells him that she won't hold him up; she just wanted to say thank you for last night. Des smiles awkwardly that it was beaut. Looking at him uncertainly, Penny asks if something's wrong. Des, however, replies:
DES: Wrong? You kidding? I should be the one thanking *you*. No, you were really good. [Quickly] Good company, I mean! I really needed it.
She hesitates before telling Des that she has some transfer documents for the Robinsons to sign; she'll take them over. With that, she heads back out of the office, leaving Des looking worried.
Beverly is pouring herself an orange juice in the kitchen when Jim comes in through the front door and beams that Spring has well and truly sprung! He's holding a pile of mail that he's brought in with him, and he sits down at the kitchen table and starts looking through it. Most of the mail is bills, but he holds Beverly a letter addressed to her, which she tells him is from the medical journal she subscribes to. She opens the letter and then gasps:
BEVERLY: Oh no... They've accepted my thesis! They're going to publish it!
JIM (eagerly): Let me see!
BEVERLY (showing Jim the letter): Remember my thesis on the aging process?
JIM: Uh huh.
BEVERLY: Well, it's finally paid off! This is the best news!
She gives Jim a hug, adding that it's honour and prestige... She adds that she wants to frame the letter and asks Jim humorously how much 18- carat costs these days! Jim pulls her into his arms and tells her that this calls for lunch somewhere deserving of a person of her considerable eminence!
Des's office at Pacific Bank
The door to Des's office opens and Penny comes in with Mike. She tells Des that she hopes he doesn't mind. Mike tells Des that he knows he shouldn't just have dropped in, but it's official. Des asks what the problem is. Mike says:
MIKE: I mentioned it a couple of days ago – you know: about getting some money out of my trust account to fix the bike.
DES: Oh yeah... the bike repair...
Penny looks hesitantly at Mike and then Des and says she'll leave them to it, then. When she's left, Mike asks Des if he and Penny have had a fight or something; he thought Des *liked* her. Des stands up and sighs:
DES: Mike... what sort of a bloke do you reckon I am?
MIKE: I don't know. Fair? Reasonable? Most of the time you're *too* reasonable. I don't know... you're a good mate.
DES: That isn't the way I'm *feeling*.
MIKE: You've done something you're not too proud of, right?
Des nods. Mike presses:
MIKE: Something to do with Penny?
DES (nods): I really like her. I just feel like I'm taking *advantage* of her.
MIKE: Well, does *she* think that?
Des shrugs. Mike says:
MIKE: And you feel lousy?
Des nods. Mike goes on gently:
MIKE: Des, painful as it may seem, we both know Daphne's not coming back.
DES: Yeah. Yeah, I know.
MIKE: And you know how lonely you've been lately. Now that you've met someone—
DES: It doesn't *work* that way. Penny wants more than I can give her. Whenever we talk or touch... if we kiss... I just think, ‘This isn't Daph'; and then today I couldn't even *look* at her. I just don't know what to say.
MIKE: Well, I guess all you can do is *tell* her.
Des raises his eyebrows and muses that *that* cheered him up! Mike tells him that he could do something else as well: close his eyes and think of what Daphne would've wanted. He adds that he thinks Des knows what that'd be. Des doesn't respond. Mike goes on fondly:
MIKE: No matter what, *I* still think Des Clarke's a pretty good bloke.
Mrs.Chubb and Mrs.Mangel head into the lounge room with some tea things, Mrs.Mangel commenting that it's always good to spend time with family, though of course there are *happier* occasions. Mrs.Chubb comments that Mrs.Mangel's sister *will* get better, won't she? As the two women sit down, Mrs.Mangel replies that she hopes so, but it has brought home to her just how vital one's health is, so she plans to ‘phone Dr. Marshall this afternoon to arrange for a check- up. The front door bangs suddenly and Jane comes in. Mrs.Mangel comments to her that she looks run off her feet. Jane sits down and explains:
JANE: It's just really hectic in the office. I don't remember Paul and Gail ever being off on the same day before. I left Mrs.Daniels in there.
Mrs.Chubb tells Jane to settle herself and she'll get her some lunch. She leaves the room. When she's gone, Mrs.Mangel tells Jane:
MRS.MANGEL: We were just discussing Isabel. The visit wasn't quite as good- humoured as I've indicated. She had a rather unfortunate falling- out with her daughter, Mary- Anne.
JANE: Oh, that's right, they were feuding, weren't they?
MRS.MANGEL: Mmm – as if there was a brick wall between them. Well, I tried my best to intercede, but Isabel can be very stubborn.
JANE (muses): Nan, doesn't that situation strike you as just a little familiar...?
MRS.MANGEL (sighs): Oh, of course – it's exactly the same as my relationship with Joe.
MRS.MANGEL: And I found myself giving the same advice to Isabel as I should've been giving myself. As I looked at her in her sickbed, I realised just what a precious thing family is.
JANE: Does that mean you'll talk to him?
MRS.MANGEL: It means that I'll give the matter consideration. It *also* means that I'm very, very happy to be home again with *you*!
With that, Jane gives her nan a loving kiss.
Beverly is sitting at a table in the Coffee Shop, staring into space. Mike walks over with a coffee and tells her that if she's still worried about that malpractice suit, she should forget it: she did everything she possibly could. Beverly, however, murmurs that it wasn't enough. She adds that she's lucky she has a witness, and she asks Mike if he's sure he doesn't mind. Mike tells her that the only thing that worries him is that it happened so fast – but he'd be quite happy to tell everything that he saw. The shop door opens and Jim comes in. Mike leaves him and Beverly to it. As Jim sits down, he looks at the expression on Beverly's face and asks what happened to his little sunflower! Beverly murmurs:
BEVERLY: She wilted.
JIM (grins): Well, that's just not good enough, young lady!
BEVERLY (muses): You're absolutely right! I am a doctor for the *right reasons*. I had all the proof I needed at the surgery this morning. Remember I told you about a patient's nerve rash?
JIM: The one that had been to see three specialists?
BEVERLY: And tried umpteen creams and lotions: you name it, she tried it – different treatments... diets... Well, it turned out it *was* stress- related. She's quit her job and she's never felt better.
JIM: *Your* diagnosis?
BEVERLY (declares): Absolutely. I *am* a good doctor.
She goes on that something like this can destroy your confidence, but she refuses to let it; she's sorry for what happened to MRS.Brownley, but she did everything she could.
Gail and Paul are both sitting on the couch, staring at files of papers, but Gail sighs through a bunged- up nose that she can't focus on the figures. There's a knock on the front door and Paul goes to answer it. He finds Penny standing on the step and she exclaims that he looks terrible! She then explains that she's brought some papers over from the bank for him to sign. The ‘phone starts ringing and Paul goes to answer it. Gail stands up and offers Penny a cuppa, which she accepts. As the two of them head through to the kitchen, Gail says:
GAIL: Sorry for deserting you guys last night. How did things work out with Des?
PENNY (warily): Er...
GAIL: Oh, I'm sorry – it's none of my business.
PENNY: Oh, no, really, I'd appreciate someone to talk to, actually – especially someone who knows him a bit better than I do.
The two of them sit down at the kitchen table and Gail remarks that it sounds like it wasn't all smooth sailing. Penny replies:
PENNY: Oh, but it *was*. We had the most fantastic time together – or at least, that was *my* interpretation. Des is everything I've always looked for in a man: he's kind... and compassionate...
GAIL (smiles): You don't have to convince *me*!
PENNY (sighs): But, somewhere, somehow, I've obviously upset him. Last night seems like years away. Today at work he's almost a different person.
GAIL (mouths): Oh.
PENNY: What – he's done it before?
GAIL: No. No, certainly not that *I* know of. It's... well, it's just that Des comes as a package: there's Des and there's also a lot of hurt. He was very much in love with his wife.
PENNY: Yes, I understand that.
GAIL: Well, that doesn't stop him from feeling cold at night, or wondering what on earth he's meant to be doing here – and I suspect it's maybe made him a little scared of relationships. And knowing Des, he's probably feeling guilty, as though he's being disloyal to Daphne.
PENNY: That's ridiculous – I don't want to *replace* her; I respect him for his loyalty *to* her.
GAIL: Then somehow that's the message you've got to get through to him – because believe me: you're the best thing that's happened to him in ages.
PENNY: I don't feel like it *today*...
GAIL: Well, that's not the *real* Des. I'm sure he's feeling just as badly as you are.
At that moment, Paul hangs up the ‘phone and comes in. He tells Gail that that was Helen on the ‘phone: the cosmetics company wants Jane to do some modelling this week – maybe three or four nights. Gail groans:
GAIL: Now *that's* what I call timing...
Jane and Mrs.Mangel are sitting in the lounge room, looking at a photo album. Jane points out a picture taken at her first tap class. Mrs.Mangel smiles that Jane danced her little heart out! She then points to a photo of a young Joe, smiling that he was a scallywag even in *those* days. Jane says:
JANE: It's never too late, you know, nan – you told me that yourself.
MRS.MANGEL (cries): It's a matter of *pride*, Jane. I can't beg him to come back; he wouldn't respect me at all.
JANE: You have to find some common ground. I know Uncle Joe feels the same way.
MRS.MANGEL (firmly): Then I want him to come forward and apologise.
JANE: Nan *you* should be the one—
MRS.MANGEL: And if he does, then I'm prepared to forgive and forget. But it has to be something that *he* wants, too. It's the only way.
A vague look of despair crosses Jane's face!
Outside the Coffee Shop
Mike is clearing a table when Penny emerges from the Coffee Shop and approaches him on her way back to work. He tells her that Des said he was in a bit of a grumpy mood this morning, but she shouldn't worry about it: he has one bad day in every four hundred! Penny smiles that he's only human! She walks off again. Jane then approaches Mike and remarks that he looks run off his feet, adding that it must be the season for it! She asks him if he's seen Henry. Mike replies sourly:
MIKE: Isn't he the guy who circles above the ground, waiting for unsuspecting couples to break up?
Jane comments that that isn't very fair. Mike mutters:
MIKE: That's what *I* think. Anyway, it didn't stop Henry, did it? Couldn't *wait* to move in on Bronwyn.
JANE: I'm sure that isn't the way it was – and Henry and Bronwyn are just good friends. Besides, you honestly think he'd do that to *you*? Henry's just a big, dopey puppy dog; he's very loyal.
Mike sighs that he guesses he was just angry and wanted to take it out on someone. Jane goes to walk off. As she does so, Mike calls after her that that new Rob Lowe movie's on tonight: they could grab a pizza if she likes... Jane, however, turns back and tells him that she can't, as the agency wants her to start work tonight. She adds that it's thanks to him and the Lassiter's Girl photos: they've come a long way! With that, she heads off. Mike watches her go.
Des's office at Pacific Bank
Des hangs up the ‘phone just as the office door opens and Penny comes in with some sandwiches for him. She hands them over and asks awkwardly if he's had a busy morning. Des just shrugs and nods. Penny then says she wondered if they could have a talk. She sits down opposite Des and goes on:
PENNY: The way I see it, I have two options. I can forget about last night and pretend it didn't happen; or I can confront you about the way you've been treating me today. I'm aware that you've had a pretty difficult time since your wife died—
DES: Penny, please.
Penny stops talking and looks at Des. He tells her:
DES: You're right. I feel embarrassed and ashamed. It's not *your* fault; it's *mine*. If you... if you'd known Daphne, you'd understand how irreplaceable she is.
PENNY: Of *course* she is – but I don't want to be another Daphne. I'm *me*. Penny. Rightly or wrongly I *like* being me – especially when you let me close enough to be your friend.
Tears begin to well- up in Des's eyes and he murmurs that bank managers aren't supposed to cry! Penny stands up and walks round behind the desk. She puts her hands on Des's shoulders and smiles warmly:
PENNY: Says who?
Des replies gently:
Mrs.Mangel is sitting reading the newspaper in the lounge room as Mrs.Chubb potters around doing some cleaning while commenting that Bronwyn is a sensible girl, but *she* thinks she could do much better. Mrs.Mangel tells her that Mike isn't the *worst* of the bunch, but she supposes one could be concerned with the fact that he rides a motorcycle; *she* was. Mrs.Chubb remarks:
MRS.CHUBB: That's right – he spent some time with Jane, didn't he?
MRS.MANGEL: Some *considerable* time. I was most unhappy about it – particularly when he got himself involved in a very nasty incident.
She breaks off as she comes across as newspaper article about the bowls competition. She reads:
MRS.MANGEL: “The senior mixed- doubles pennant was taken by Mr. John Worthington and MRS.Emily—“
She breaks off and Mrs.Chubb asks if something's wrong. She adds:
MRS.CHUBB: Didn't you tell me that *you* were in that competition? Wasn't your partner's name John?
MRS.MANGEL (flatly): One's partners vary – and it was, er, quite a *tiresome* game, really.
She turns to another page and exclaims suddenly in shock:
MRS.MANGEL: Good gracious!
MRS.CHUBB: What's wrong?
MRS.MANGEL: This scandal! Surely it can't be true?
MRS.CHUBB: What is it, Mrs.Mangel? What have you found?
Mrs.Mangel just stands up and folds the newspaper open at the page she's looking at, saying curtly as she does so:
MRS.MANGEL: There must be some explanation for it. This is an *outrage*.
Beverly and Jim walk into the lounge room with drinks, just as the doorbell rings. Beverly sits down, so Jim has to go and answer it! He opens the door to find Mrs.Mangel standing on the step. She's holding the newspaper and she tells Jim quickly that it's his *wife* she wants to see. She walks into the house and says to Beverly tersely:
MRS.MANGEL: It's an outrage! A slur on the community!
MRS.MANGEL: Oh yes, the innocent I *don't* think. Obviously there's an inquiry pending. Surely you're not—
Jim interrupts and suggests to Mrs.Mangel that perhaps she could be a little less cryptic. Mrs.Mangel retorts that she hardly thinks the article in the paper will be difficult to understand. She hands it to Beverly, who stares at a headline which says ‘LOCAL G.P. TO BE SUED FOR MALPRACTICE'. Mrs.Mangel adds coldly:
MRS.MANGEL: And to think that I was coming to you for a check- up tomorrow. Huh! Well, I'd say that was highly unlikely *now* – wouldn't *you*?
With that, she marches out. Beverly calls after her, but it's no good. Jim closes the door behind Mrs.Mangel and then turns to Beverly, who cries:
BEVERLY: Oh Jim, they wouldn't... This is awful. It's going to ruin me...