Office of the Robinson Corporation
Gail tells Paul that she rang the riding school and they're booked in for ten o'clock in the morning. Paul doesn't sound enthusiastic, though, sighing that he keeps thinking about the amount of work that'll be waiting for them on Monday. Scott comes in and asks Paul if he could run an article he's written off on the hotel copiers, as he's missed a deadline and needs some copies urgently. Gail says she's going over to the hotel now, and she takes the sheets of paper from him. She heads out, leaving Paul and Scott to have a coffee out in the reception area. Paul remarks that it's not like Scott to miss a deadline, and he asks what the problem is.
SCOTT: Two guesses... Poppy.
PAUL (looking surprised): *Still*?
SCOTT: Paul, it's nothing to do with her and me; it's just that I'm genuinely concerned about her marrying this Stavros guy on the rebound.
Scott adds that Poppy told him she doesn't even *like* the guy. Paul asks Scott if he's sure he's not even a *little* bit jealous. Scott insists that he's positive. Paul asks if he's tried talking some sense into her.
SCOTT: I haven't had the chance to catch up with her – but I will... eventually...
Jim and Helen are sitting at the kitchen table, Jim sighing that if you know a crime's been committed, you have a responsibility to tell the police. Helen, however, points out that the kids have been going through hell with their parents already, and what would it do to them if Bob went to jail? She then mutters:
HELEN: Oh, let Bob Landers rob us blind. I paid that money to make sure that Todd and Katie wouldn't be hurt. The terms of the bargain may have changed, but we're still achieving the same result.
Jim muses that it's becoming an expensive business raising happy, healthy kids. Todd comes into the kitchen at that moment and asks Jim and Helen if they'd dobbed his dad into the coppers yet. Jim replies that they haven't, and they're not sure they will. Helen adds:
HELEN: Todd, call them ‘police': this is Erinsborough, not Chicago!
The ‘phone starts ringing suddenly and Helen gets up and answers it. Meanwhile, Todd sighs at Jim that he can't believe it was his dad who was the blackmailer. After a few seconds, Helen hangs up the ‘phone and tells Jim that that was Sergeant Mooney. She then turns to Todd and says sincerely that she's sorry, but the police picked his father up a few hours ago; they were going along on their lead that it could be someone connected with the Post Office, and they caught him red-handed and have charged him with extortion. Todd stands there looking shocked. After a few seconds, he murmurs that he's heading out the back.
Ramsay Street/Back yard of No. 26
Katie and Beverly arrive home after school and Katie dashes into the back yard to play with Rupert. She finds Todd sitting in the cubby house and she orders him to come down, exclaiming that he's a bit too big for a cubby! Todd, however, just tells her to come up, as he's got to talk to her about something. Katie does as Todd requests and then asks what's wrong.
TODD: Look, dad's been arrested. They found out he was the blackmailer.
KATIE (quivering): Toby and I *wondered* about that. Don't really want to believe it.
TODD: Yeah, well you can believe it all right. He might even have to go to jail.
With that, tears well-up in Katie's eyes and she collapses into Todd's arms, sobbing loudly.
Poppy is showing Bronwyn an engagement ring that Stavros has bought for her, and Bronwyn exclaims that it's huge! She then asks Poppy to tell her about him, as she's never even heard him mention his name before!
POPPY: We practically grew up together. He's been after me to marry him for ages, so I finally decided to give in.
Bronwyn asks Poppy if *Scott* was pleased for her. Poppy, however, murmurs that she doesn't know: they finished the stuff they were working on and they haven't spoken since. She adds that she's a bit disappointed he hasn't called her. Bronwyn asks if *she* should tell Scott about the engagement.
POPPY (shrugs): If you see him, I guess.
Bronwyn then asks if there's going to be an engagement party. Poppy replies that she didn't think it was necessary. Bronwyn insists that she and Henry will have to take her and Stavros out tomorrow night and buy a bottle of champagne at least. She suggests they meet at Lassiter's. Poppy smiles at her, gratefully.
It's evening-time. Katie, Todd, Jim, Beverly and Helen are having dinner at the kitchen table. Katie asks Helen sadly:
KATIE: Gran, why did dad try to blackmail you?
HELEN: Well, I'm not sure exactly, darling.
BEVERLY: Katie, I've known your father for a long time, and I'm absolutely positive he would never have done anything to hurt you or Todd.
TODD (bitterly): He still tried to rip-off Helen, though.
HELEN: Oh, he probably heard about my inheritance and thought I was suddenly quite rich – just as *everyone* did at the time.
Todd sighs that his dad reckoned he wanted to change his life; start over again. Jim comments that he must have been pretty desperate. Todd asks how long he'll have to go to jail for. Jim shrugs that he doesn't know, but the courts regard extortion as a pretty serious offence. Katie, looking upset, asks if she can be excused, as she's not really hungry. Todd goes after her, to see if she's all right. When they've gone, Beverly tells Jim and Helen that she spoke to Annette just before dinner: she told her that the magistrate has set bail, but Annette refuses to do anything to help him. Helen asks Beverly if she thinks *they* should. Jim, however, exclaims in horror:
JIM: What? Pay the bail? You can't be serious! They're still holding the ransom money as evidence.
HELEN (points out): The *kids* would certainly appreciate it.
JIM: Yeah, but what about all the *worry* he's caused us?
BEVERLY: He *is* still my brother-in-law, Jim.
HELEN: *And* their father.
Jim sighs heavily and mutters that they've got to be mad. He then adds reluctantly:
JIM: All right, all right – cut me in for a third
Todd and Katie are having breakfast the next morning as Helen potters around. The front door bangs suddenly and Beverly and Jim come in with Bob Landers. Katie runs to her father and jumps into his arms, exclaiming that she's missed him! Todd joins them reluctantly and says quickly:
TODD: I didn't dob you into the cops – honest: they found out for themselves.
BOB: Yeah, I know. It's all right.
Bob then looks at Helen and says:
BOB: You must be Helen.
HELEN: Yes, I am.
BOB (meekly): I don't know what to say.
HELEN: ‘Sorry' will do.
BOB: No it won't. You've got every right to despise me – I just don't believe how generous you people are.
Jim explains to Bob that they bailed him out because of the kids: they thought they might like to spend some time together. Bob nods that they would. He then looks at Todd and sighs that he's really let him down – does Todd reckon he could ever forgive him? Todd just stands there, looking unsure.
Gail and Paul are out riding in some woods, but as Gail's horse canters along, Paul's trots at a sedate pace some way behind! Gail comes to a halt and calls to Paul to come on. Paul catches up eventually, muttering:
PAUL: I don't know what Mr. Hopkins was doing giving me a horse called ‘Starfire'. Who does he think I am: Roy Rogers or something?!
GAIL: Darling, that horse was named about twenty years ago. I'd say the fire has long since burnt out!
Gail then smells the air and smiles that it's wonderful. Paul just mutters that he supposes so.
GAIL (sighs): You're going to turn out to be a really boring old man, if you're not careful!
PAUL (retorts): Sure – if I get to make it through the rest of the day!
With that, Gail canters off again!
Todd is sitting with Scott on the kerb out in the street. They both have their skateboards with them. Scott remarks to Todd that his dad's at home, is he? Todd explains that he's helping Katie fix one of her toys. Scott asks Todd how he *feels* about his father being there.
TODD: I was a bit suss at first – you know: all the stuff he's done – but it's sort of good having him around. He reckons everyone's entitled to *one* chance.
Scott nods thoughtfully and then stands up and says he'd better get back to his typewriter. As he walks off, Todd calls out to ask him if he could give him a few skateboarding tips, as Nick's been practicing a lot and he still wants to be able to beat him. Scott starts showing Todd some moves. All of a sudden, though, Scott sees Poppy's car pulling up outside No. 22 and he dashes over to her and asks her if they can talk. Poppy just retorts:
POPPY: Have Henry and Bronwyn moved into *your* place yet?
SCOTT: They've, um... yeah, they've started to, but they're out at the moment.
POPPY: Well can you give them this, please? [She holds out an envelope] It's a wedding invitation.
Poppy goes to climb back into her car. Scott, however, grabs her arm and exclaims that this is crazy. He goes on angrily:
SCOTT: Why can't you hear me out? Why the hell are you marrying Stavros?
POPPY (cries): *You* didn't want me.
With that, Poppy gets in her car and drives off, leaving Scott looking shocked.
In the lounge room, Bob has finished fixing Katie's toy. Katie goes to help Beverly in the kitchen, leaving Jim to remark to Bob that he seems to be making quite an effort with the kids.
BOB: Just glad to get the chance, you know? After all your generosity, I'm tempted to say I'm a lucky man, but I don't feel like it much at the moment.
Jim asks Bob why he *did* it. Bob shrugs that he doesn't know: he felt cheated, he supposes: the Robinsons have plenty of money and the kids, and *he* was dumb enough to think that the world owed him that twenty grand. Jim retorts that what his family has, they've worked for. Bob sighs that he tried that but got stymied at every turn. He adds:
BOB: All started after I got back from Vietnam, I reckon.
JIM (tersely): The War was over a long time ago, mate.
BOB: Yeah – but I came back different, didn't I: one minute angry... the next minute depressed... No career to speak of. People just didn't appreciate what we were doing there, you know?
Jim nods sincerely that he knows. Bob goes on:
BOB: Then Annette thought that having kids would help me to pull myself together, but it just added to the pressure; I couldn't support *myself*, let alone a wife and two kids – so she gave up on me, not that I blame her. Did at the time, though.
JIM: So where have you been staying since you came over here?
BOB: A private hotel over in Elliott Park. Flophouse, really: things were no better *there*. When I read about your windfall in the paper, I thought ‘that's my ticket out'.
JIM: Well, I hate to have to tell you this, Bob, but all that stuff in the paper turned out to be a non-event: Helen had to *borrow* all the money to try to pay you out. She didn't end up with a cent.
BOB (gasps): You're joking...
JIM: Afraid not.
BOB (mutters at himself): What a loser, eh? Still, I suppose I'm consistent...
Gail and Paul are lying back on the ground, staring up at the sky. Gail comments that that was a nice lunch that Mr. Hopkins provided them with. Paul remarks that it's a pretty good set-up Hopkins has got back there: he's got information on all his past clients on his little computer – he knows what sort of horses they want and everything. He adds that a little more organisation like that in the office would make life easier while Jane's away. Gail listens but then points out that they promised not to discuss the office this weekend! Paul smiles and rolls over so that he's leaning over Gail. She smiles back at him, but then asks if he wants to head back.
PAUL: Do we have to?
GAIL: You can bring the blanket!
The two of them stand up and clear up their picnic things. Gail then heads round a corner to the horses – only she then calls for Paul, who joins her and stares at an empty clearing. He asks where the horses are. Gail replies that they must have wandered off.
PAUL: But hang on, weren't you supposed to tie them to a tree?
Gail points out to Paul that *he* was the last one to get there.
PAUL (snaps): Great. Great! So here we are, stuck in the middle of a National Park, and we're, what, seven or eight kilometres from the stables, wouldn't you say?
GAIL (nods): About that, yes.
Paul puts his head on Gail's shoulder, wearily. Gail just muses:
GAIL: Oh, I hate it when you cry!
Scott is typing at the kitchen table when he sees Bronwyn emerge from the bedroom area and go to head out. He dashes after her and hands over the wedding invitation. He adds that he wanted to talk to Poppy but she was in a hurry and raced off before she had the chance. Bronwyn remarks:
BRONWYN: It's a wonder she just didn't give this to us *tonight*: Henry and I are taking her and Stavros out for a drink.
SCOTT (lying): That's right: she *said* something about that. Where are you guys meeting?
BRONWYN: Just down at the Waterhole. I'll see you later.
With that, Bronwyn heads out, leaving Scott looking thoughtful.
Paul and Gail have arrived home, Paul muttering about how Gail said horse-riding would be great! There's a knock at the front door and Paul opens it to find Beverly on the step with some dinner. She heads inside and Gail smiles at her that she's a godsend! Paul then explains about how their horses moseyed on back to the stables without them! The three of them go and sit down and Paul smiles that tomorrow he and Gail are going sailing, and that's going to be infinitely less strenuous! Gail then asks Beverly how things are with *her*, and whether they've heard anything more about the blackmailer. Beverly nods that they've heard quite a lot, actually: they now know who's been making the threats.
BEVERLY: You're not going to believe it...
Bronwyn pops the cork off a bottle of champagne. She's there with Poppy and Stavros, and Poppy asks if they shouldn't be waiting until Henry gets there. Stavros smiles that they'll buy another bottle! Bronwyn pours the champagne and proposes a toast to the happy couple. As the three of them clink glasses, the door to the Waterhole opens and Scott comes in. He walks over to the table slowly and says coolly:
SCOTT: G'day everyone. Stavros.
STAVROS (demands): What are *you* doing here?
SCOTT (retorts): Just trying to stop a friend from ruining her life.
STAVROS (standing up, warns): Look, I'd stop right there, if I were you.
SCOTT: Don't you realise what she's *doing* to you, mate? She's marrying you on the rebound. You're both going to end up unhappy.
STAVROS (curtly): Look, we won't be ending up *anything*, smart guy – except *you'll* be ending up with a smack in the head.
SCOTT: Well that won't change the *truth*, will it?
Stavros walks round the table and stands in front of Scott.
POPPY (fearfully): Stavros...
Stavros tells Poppy to be quiet, adding that it's time Scott learned to mind his own business. He then gives Scott a shove. Bronwyn warns the guys that this is silly, but it's too late: Stavros lashes out and punches Scott in the stomach. Scott collapses to the floor. Poppy runs over to him and asks him in concern if he's OK. Stavros stares at her in astonishment and demands:
STAVROS: What are you doing? You're supposed to be worried about *me*, not *him*.
One of the Waterhole staff grabs Stavros and escorts him off the premises, leaving Poppy tending to the injured Scott, looking upset.