Kerry is waiting with Sky in the bus shelter when Joe's car pulls up next to it. He leaps out and cries to Kerry that he thought he'd missed her. Kerry tells him softly that she's glad he didn't. He asks her where she's heading. Kerry just shrugs:
KERRY: Anywhere away from dad.
Joe reminds her that he said she could stay at *his* joint - but points out that she said she couldn't. Joe sits down next to her and declares:
JOE: It's time to get fair dinkum. You hang around... we'll get hitched.
KERRY (looking astonished): You mean *married*?!
JOE: Yep. Hitched!
Kerry asks Joe if he's serious. Joe points out that he wouldn't have asked her if he wasn't. He then tells Kerry that he reckons the three of them could make a go of it as a family. Kerry sighs that she's never believed in marriage or any sort of lifetime commitment; she has to feel free enough to take off if she wants to; she can't be tied down to one person. She adds with a smile:
KERRY: Oh Joe... I like you a lot; but I'm not sure if it's love; and I'm not sure it's enough to build a marriage on.
Joe tells Kerry that he's learnt a lot having Toby, and he could be a good dad to Sky too. Kerry insists that she knows he could. Joe pleads that they could be a good team: she's got options other than shooting through. Kerry tells him:
KERRY: All right - I'll come home with you and we'll talk; and I'll give it a lot of thought. But Joe, I can't promise you anything.
Joe nods that he understands. He gives Kerry a kiss.
Helen is talking on the 'phone to Sergeant Mooney. When she hangs up, she asks Jim - who's arrived home with Nick - and Beverly that Sergeant Mooney said the postman delivered the bundle of newspaper to the empty house at Anson's Corner a couple of hours ago, but no one's picked it up yet. She adds that the police think the extortionist might try and pick it up under cover of night. Nick suggests that they should tell Todd and Katie why they're being chauffeured to and from school. Jim, however, says he doesn't think there's any point in frightening Katie when it could still be a hoax.
Mike is sitting with Jane, asking how long she thinks she'll be gone. Jane sighs that it depends on whether her grandmother pulls through. Mike insists that she's a battler - and if anything *does* happen, *he'll* be there if Jane needs him. The front door opens suddenly and Des comes in. He looks surprised to see Jane there, and he asks her mutedly how she is. She nods that she's fine. He then asks after Mrs. Mangel, and Jane tells him that she and Joe are flying out in the morning. She then announces that she'd better head off, as she has lots to do. Left alone with Mike, Des mutters:
DES: 'Life, be in it.' What a joke...
Mike asks what's wrong. Des explains wearily that Hemmings is still on his back and Jane and Joe are still down on him; he doesn't seem to go out or do anything... He then adds that he's taking a day off work tomorrow: he'll spend some time with Jamie and do some thinking.
MIKE: What about?
Harold and Madge are having dinner, Harold sighing that the house is very quiet without Kerry and Sky there. Madge says she wishes Harold had talked her into staying. Harold murmurs sadly that he wonders if Kerry will even let them know where she is.
Kerry is sitting on the couch at No. 32 as Joe paces the room and tells her that he still thinks she's copping out. Kerry just retorts that she doesn't believe in making commitments that she may not be able to live up to. Joe accuses her of being gutless: she hasn't got the guts to put herself on the line and take a risk. Kerry, however, snaps that she took a risk when she came back there to see her father, but they both hurt each other again.
JOE: That's what it boils down to, eh? Just because you can't make a go of it with your old man, you won't even try with me?
Kerry tells Joe that she's never had a relationship that's lasted more than a year or so. Joe suggests that maybe she hasn't met the right person. Kerry, however, reminds him that she's already said that she's not absolutely sure how she feels about him. She adds that his trip to London will give her time to think without him pressuring her - and maybe she can sort through her feelings before he gets back.
JOE: Will you be *here* when I get back, though?
KERRY: I'll be around. I'm not going back to dad's, though.
Joe tells her that she can stay at No. 32 - give her a chance to get used to the place!
KERRY (smiles good-naturedly): You just don't give up, do you?!
The next morning, Helen asks Beverly in concern if it's safe for Katie to go to the sports carnival. Beverly reminds her that Sergeant Mooney told them that life should go on as normal. The doorbell rings suddenly and Jim opens it to find Sergeant Mooney on the step. He invites him in and Helen asks if anyone tried to pick up the envelope. Mooney replies that there wasn't a soul. Helen asks if the place is still being kept under surveillance. Mooney, however, tells her that he thinks it was just a hoax; as long as they take sensible precautions with the kids, they shouldn't have to worry. Helen doesn't look convinced.
Jane emerges from her bedroom, a suitcase in hand, and asks Joe if he's packed yet. He grins that he'll do it after breakfast. She heads into the lounge room with Kerry, commenting that she can't believe Joe proposed to her, after what happened with Noelene. She adds that she's glad Kerry has decided to think it over. Kerry replies that she's got to be sure - about *everything*; and she doesn't want to hurt Joe *or* herself. Jane says she's glad Kerry agreed to stay in the house, and she asks if she's told Harold yet. Kerry admits that she hasn't. Jane points out that Harold will be worried about her - and so will Madge and Scott. Kerry shrugs reluctantly that she supposes she should let them know she's there.
Hilary has turned up at No. 28. Des is still in his dressing gown as she tells him that Harold is bringing the Coffee Shop books up to date, so *she's* opening the Coffee Shop and therefore needs the keys. As Des gets them, Hilary, looking at his attire, asks him if he's running late. Des explains that he's not going in today. Hilary remarks disapprovingly that he doesn't seem very sick. Mike chips in that Des is sick of *work*, that's all.
HILARY (tersely): If *everyone* who felt that way stayed at home, we wouldn't have a workforce, would we?
DES (sighs): It's only one day, Hilary. Besides, I'm not going to waste it; I've got some thinking to do.
HILARY: Goodness me, that *does* sound serious.
DES: Well, if you want to change your life, you've got to think about it.
Hilary tells Des that she changed *her* life recently: she took long-service leave so that she could stay on there in Erinsborough and help out Mrs. Chubb. Des asks her interestedly what made her do that. Hilary explains that she knew Mrs. Chubb was very concerned about leaving the girls and the house, and *she'd* been feeling rather bored with Adelaide over the last few years, so she suddenly thought 'why not'? Des asks if she'll go back eventually. Hilary, however, replies that nearly losing the use of her legs made her think further: even though Sharon has given her some problems, she's quite enjoyed getting to know her and Bronwyn; plus she has friends and relatives there. Des remarks:
DES: So there were things that you wanted to change about your life and things that you didn't?
HILARY: Yes, I suppose you could say that.
DES (looking thoughtful): I might take some long-service leave myself; think about things that I want to change and things that I don't.
Hilary tells him that she's never regretted it.
Madge is looking at the newspaper and she comments to Harold that there's a 'Good friends, Good neighbours' competition in there: she thinks she'll enter them and the Robinsons. Kerry suddenly comes in through the back door. Harold looks at her in astonishment and then tells her sincerely that he's so glad she's back. He asks where Sky is, and Kerry explains that she's at Joe's: they're going to be living there. Looking horrified, Harold starts to protest that she *can't*. Kerry, however, retorts coolly that they *can* - and besides, Joe and Jane are going to England.
HAROLD: But what will you do when he gets back?
KERRY: I'm not sure - we may stay on.
HAROLD: But Kerry, if you—
MADGE (warns quickly): Harold!
Kerry goes on that she only came over to say that she and Sky are all right; Harold needn't worry about them.
HAROLD (aghast): Living with Joe Mangel... you call that nothing to worry about?
Madge sighs and asks when on earth the two of them are going to accept each other as they are. Kerry just retorts that Madge shouldn't hold her breath. Turning back to Harold, she tells him that he knows where she is, but she thinks it would be best if they kept out of one another's way. She then heads out, leaving Harold to murmur to himself:
HAROLD: It's always the same...
Helen is sketching. Beverly looks at what she's drawing and Helen explains that she's trying to design a T-shirt, adding that if Nick can do it, why can't she? The 'phone starts ringing and Helen goes to answer it. She then frowns as she says to the caller:
HELEN: Who *is* this? ... But I don't *have* $20,000. Will you please *listen* to me? ... Yes, yes, I understand; but I want to explain about the money—
She then hangs up, though, looking upset. Beverly asks who it was. Helen tells her that it was obviously the man who wrote the threatening letter, because he knew the envelope she sent was full of newspaper. She adds that he said that if she doesn't send *real* money, priority paid, today, something's going to happen to Todd and Katie.
BEVERLY (gasps): He knew their names?
HELEN (grimly): Yes - and the threat seemed very real to me.
A short time later, Helen is talking to Sergeant Mooney on the 'phone, asking what she should do. Jim comes in and Beverly asks him quickly if they should get the kids from school. Jim suggests that they wait and see what Bill Mooney has to say. Helen hangs up and tells Jim and Beverly that the Sergeant wants them to do nothing; he thinks they should leave it to the police. She adds that he's taking it much more seriously now - but he thinks they're all safe until the money has time to arrive; except that he doesn't want them to send any. Jim points out that the police are the experts in these things. Helen says curtly that whoever it is called Todd and Katie by name, and they weren't even *mentioned* in the article about her inheritance.
JIM: Well, then, it must be someone who *knows* us.
HELEN (looking worried): Yes... and someone who knows how to get to the children. I'm so frightened for them, Jim.
Driveway of No. 32
Jane, Kerry, Sky, Joe and Bouncer are heading down the driveway, Joe giving Kerry instructions on looking after Bouncer while he's away. He also suggests that she pop in and see Clarkey, as he's been a bit down in the dumps. A taxi pulls up and Joe starts packing his suitcases into the boot. While he does so, Kerry looks at Jane and remarks that Joe has changed his tune! Joe then walks back over to Kerry and says seriously:
JOE: You remember: you promised to do a lot of thinking while I'm away.
KERRY (nods): I will.
Joe then kisses Kerry and gives her a warm smile before walking over to the taxi and climbing in. Jane joins him, and Kerry and Sky wave them off as they head down the road.