Jonathan Whiting collapsing at the surgery. Beverly ordering her receptionist to call an ambulance.
Reception area at the Robinson Corporation
Jane hangs up the ‘phone as Gail emerges from the office and, looking surprised, remarks to Jane that she thought she'd gone to see Des. Jane smiles that she didn't have to: he came there instead. Gail comments:
GAIL: Can't keep you two apart these days! The next thing you know, he'll be wanting you to quit work so he can have you all to himself!
JANE: Wow, Gail, I think this pregnancy's made you psychic!
Jane goes on to explain that that's exactly what she and Des were talking about: they had a few different ideas about what's going to happen once they got married – career versus family, that sort of thing. She continues that Des wants to start a family fairly soon and *she's* not quite ready for motherhood – but she talked to Des and explained that she wanted more time for herself, and he understood. Gail smiles that that's terrific. She adds that they're *both* pretty lucky in that respect: Paul has been understanding personified lately! Jane remarks that communication is key: you just need to talk things through. At that moment, Paul comes in from outside and heads for the office. Jane tries to hand him some messages, but she he mutters irritatedly:
PAUL: Can't *you* handle them, Jane?
JANE: No, not all of them. The insurance man ‘phoned and he wants to speak to you personally; and the police ‘phoned.
PAUL: What – have they recovered the cars?
JANE: No, I don't think so.
PAUL: What are they bothering *me* for, then?
Gail points out that it *is* his name on the report; if they'd known where to contact him—. Paul interrupts and snaps:
PAUL: Gail, do I have to account to you for every move I make? Well, do I?
GAIL (murmurs): No.
Paul quickly apologises, explaining that his stomach's playing up again. He heads into his office, leaving Gail to muse to Jane that she *knew* that Chinese food would have its revenge one day!
Helen comes in through the back door, holding a basket of washing, to find Beverly standing in the kitchen looking downcast. She asks what's wrong and Beverly replies glumly that it's Jonathan. Helen sighs:
HELEN: What new and wondrous disease has he cooked up *now*?
BEVERLY: Oh, Helen, this time it's *real*. He came in complaining of pains in his side and I just thought he was bunging on another act. I wouldn't even listen to his symptoms.
HELEN: Well, what's actually wrong with him?
BEVERLY (cries): He's at the hospital now, undergoing surgery. It looks very much like a burst appendix – and I kept him sitting in the waiting room *all day*. I thought I'd teach him a lesson.
Helen points out that Whiting has cried wolf once too often. Beverly, however, retorts that that doesn't excuse her lack of concern: he's a patient who's entitled to care, and she let her personal feelings get in the way; if he dies... Helen remarks that surely there's no likelihood of *that*? Beverly tells her:
BEVERLY: There's always the chance of complications: infection... peritonitis... Doctor Layman wouldn't even let me observe the op.
HELEN: Yes, well, I'd say that was a very wise decision. I think you're too closely involved to be of much use.
BEVERLY: It's a pity I wasn't involved *sooner*, then maybe Jonathan wouldn't be at risk *now*...
Toby and Katie arrive back from school and Toby calls to Joe that he's home. The two of them head into the lounge room, where Toby tells Katie – who's carrying a full plastic bag – that he still reckons she should have got that Transformer. Katie, however, points out that it was *her* money and she got a rubber bone for Cujo. Toby sighs that he's got to have some toys: he must get really lonely down in the store room all by himself. Joe comes in and, noticing the rubber bone, says to Katie in concern that she didn't buy it for Bouncer, did she, ‘cos he'll swallow it. Katie, however, replies quickly that it's for Rupert. Joe exclaims:
JOE: Rupert? The rabbit?!
JOE: Oh. Whatever you reckon!
With that, Joe says he's got to go and see Kerry, and he tells the kids to stay out of trouble. He heads out. When he's gone, Toby takes a video tape out of the bag Katie's carrying and puts it in the player.
Des opens the front door to find Joe on the step. He asks if Kerry's in and Des lets him through. After he's said hello to Kerry, Sky and Jamie, Joe asks what the plan is tonight: is *she* cooking or *him*? Kerry tells him that *he's* doing it. Joe grins:
JOE: Yeah. Bangers and mash!
KERRY: Oh sure, yeah!
JOE: No! *I'm* the cook, *I* choose the menu!
KERRY: All right. *I'll* cook dinner. Vegetable curry.
JOE: I'll cook the snags, then, to go with it!
Des offers Joe a beer and Joe accepts. He then grins:
JOE: Hey, Jane tells me you want kids straight away!
DES: Well... *I* thought it would be good for the nipper, but, um, we decided not to rush.
Joe chuckles and tells Des to save those dirty, stinking nappies for as long as he can! Kerry muses:
KERRY: And I'm sure *you* changed *Toby's* nappies all the time!
JOE: Occasionally! Had my fair share of sleepless nights, too. Still *having* them, as a matter of fact.
KERRY: What – Toby not sleeping?
JOE: Nah, nah, something scratching under the house.
He adds that it's probably mice – and he's going to get an exterminator in and get rid of them. Kerry tells him he could set box traps for them and set them free somewhere else. Joe, however, replies that if *she* wants to trap them, *she* can look for them!
Katie and Toby are watching the video Toby recorded for Noelene using Joe's camera. Cujo appears on-screen and Katie smiles the dog really likes being outside! She then appears on-screen herself, pretending to be a Hollywood movie star! As she walks around past some shops, she addresses the camera and talks to Noelene, telling her that Toby's got a girlfriend – one of the smartest kids in the whole grade! All of a sudden, she tells Toby to pause the video. Toby does so and Katie points out Paul's car on-screen, outside a garage with ‘Murdock Panels' on a sign above it. The two of them suddenly hear the front door bang and Kerry and Joe come in. Kerry asks the kids what they're watching, but Toby shrugs that it's nothing much. Joe tells him to turn it off, then. Toby does so, but he doesn't take the tape out of the player. Joe and Kerry leave the room. When they've gone, Katie smiles at Toby:
KATIE: This is *amazing*!
TOBY: What do you mean?
KATIE: We know where Paul's car is! If we tell the police, they could catch the thieves! We could become heroes!
Back yard of No. 32
Bouncer is whining outside the door of the store room under the house. Kerry and Joe creep down the outside steps, Joe looking nervous. Kerry tells him to come on: the mice won't hurt him. Joe, however, asks why Bouncer's carrying on like he is: dogs can sense danger. Kerry grins that he's scared witless! She then says:
KERRY: Look – what did you learn about flying?
JOE: Uh... to conquer you fear you have to face up to it.
KERRY: Right – so get in there! Go on!
Joe takes a few hesitant steps towards the store room door, but Bouncer barks at the door suddenly and Joe recoils in fear! He mutters at Kerry that she said *she* was going to do this! Kerry says straight-faced:
KERRY: Do you expect a mere woman to do a man's job? It's very brave, Joe; very macho! Now, get in there. Go on!
Joe takes a few steps forward again. Kerry tells Bouncer to sit. Joe opens the store room door and steps inside. He closes the door behind him and tries to turn the light on, but the bulb's not working. He starts creeping around in the dark, picking up a golf club as he does so. He looks behind a bag in one corner – and Cujo darts out. Joe doesn't see that it's a dog, though, and he just drops the club and runs out in terror! Out in the yard, Kerry looks at the expression on his face and exclaims:
KERRY: Joe, you're as white as a ghost. What's wrong?
JOE: It's not mice, Kerry, it's flamin' rats – *huge* ones.
KERRY: Oh come on, you're exaggerating.
JOE: Like hell I am. There is one monstrosity of a rat in there. It's like Alien! I'm getting the poison to it.
KERRY: Oh Joe, but that's cruel; you *can't*.
JOE: It would be cruel if it bit one of the kiddies, wouldn't it – give them rabies or the bubonic plague or something.
With that, Joe runs back up the steps, telling Kerry not to tell the kids as it'll frighten the lights out of them.
Inside the house, in the lounge room, Toby tells Katie that they can't tell anyone that they know where Paul's car is because then Joe will know that they've been using his camera. He adds that the cops must be close to finding the car thief now, anyway. Katie, however, retorts that he doesn't *know* that. Joe dashes in suddenly and says he's just going down the hardware shop; Kerry's in the kitchen if they want anything. He dashes out again. Left alone with Katie, Toby says:
TOBY: What about Cujo? *He's* on the tape.
KATIE: That's true...
TOBY: They wouldn't let us keep him. They'll probably send him to the pound.
TOBY: You know what happens to dogs *there*, don't you...
With that, Toby draws his finger across his neck. Katie sighs that he's right again: they don't tell a soul.
Office of the Robinson Corporation
Paul hands Gail some files to put away. Gail looks miles away, though. Jane walks over and asks her if she booked the Blue Room for a Conservationists' Council meeting tonight. Gail nods that she did. Jane tells her that they've got a major problem then, because the same room has been booked for a fur and fashion parade. Gail exclaims that she can't believe she did that. Looking annoyed, Paul says:
PAUL: *I* can. You've just been so vague lately, Gail.
Gail says she'll sort it out. Paul, however, tells her that the way she's been behaving lately, she'll only make a worse hash of it; *he'll* talk to them. Gail tries to insist, but Paul says tersely:
PAUL: I said *I* will do it, Gail. Just take the Statement of Assets round to gran, and then please take the rest of the afternoon off.
GAIL: And *you're* going to *walk* home?
PAUL: Yeah. Mind you, it's a nuisance only having one car.
A look of guilt crosses Jane's face. Gail heads out. When she's gone, Jane asks Paul if he wasn't a little *tough* on his wife. Paul retorts:
PAUL: Yeah, probably. But at least in her condition she has an *excuse* for making stupid mistakes. It's a shame I can't say the same for others...
Beverly is sitting on the couch in the lounge room, fidgeting and swaying back and forth. Helen is trying to sketch her, but pleads with her to stay still otherwise the picture's going to turn out like a Picasso! Beverly sighs that she's sorry, but she keeps willing the ‘phone to ring with news of Jonathan. Helen says:
HELEN: I know you're concerned, but you should try to distance yourself.
BEVERLY: That's what I *did* and look how it turned out. If only I'd *listened*.
HELEN: But you *have* been listening. For *weeks* you've been at that man's beck and call and he's never had so much as a common cold.
BEVERLY: That doesn't excuse—
HELEN: Hindsight is always a perfect vantage point. Now, think about it logically: you had no reason to believe that his symptoms were genuine this time.
BEVERLY: Helen, I took an oath to care for my patient, and with Jonathan I *ignored* that oath. What kind of a doctor does that make me?
HELEN: A human one?
The conversation is interrupted by the doorbell ringing. Helen opens it to Gail, who hands her the Home James accounts. She then smiles at Beverly and asks how the Ramsay Street medico is going. Beverly sighs:
BEVERLY: Reconsidering her vocation.
Helen opens the accounts and then asks Gail in surprise since when Home James has had an inventory of soap and towels! Gail looks at the accounts and exclaims in horror that that's the *housekeeping* inventory: she must have left Helen's figures at the office. Helen grins:
HELEN: Talk about Vera Vague!
GAIL (groans): Don't *you* start!
Office of the Robinson Corporation
Paul is having a heated telephone conversation with the man from the insurance company, telling him that he needs immediate action on these claims: he's got guests who need cars. He listens and then snaps:
PAUL: I don't give a *damn* about your backlog. ... Oh, well, I'm sorry you don't care for my language; *I* don't care for the way you run your *business*. Just expedite those claims or you can forget about your next lot of premiums, ‘mate'.
With that, Paul slams down the ‘phone. He winces suddenly and put his hand to his chest. Jane comes in and asks in concern if he's all right. He retorts that he'd be fine if he hadn't just been told it'll be six weeks before he gets a car again. Jane murmurs:
PAUL (coldly): That's all you can say, is it? ‘Oh'? Jane, you are aware that my inconvenience and that of our guests is a direct result of your incompetence?
JANE: Yes, but that wasn't—
PAUL: You know, you didn't even *try* to check this Grace character out. You took him on face value alone; what sort of judgement is *that*?
JANE (curtly): Paul, I made a mistake. Look, I'm sorry and I'm not excusing myself, but while you're lecturing about character judgements, why don't you just remember Kevin Harvey? Huh? Think about what *that* little personnel decision almost cost you. It wasn't covered with insurance and it almost landed you in *jail*.
With that, Jane throws some papers down on Paul's desk and snaps:
JANE: File these yourself – I've had enough.
Sometime later, Jane is at Des's, where Des comments in surprise that she told Paul a few home truths. Jane just retorts:
JANE: You know what he's like: *he's* right and the rest of us are all idiots.
She then admits that perhaps she shouldn't have sounded off at him like that. Des, however, tells her that of *course* she should've: sometimes he carries on like Attila the Hun. Jane muses that Des might end up with a housewife after all! Des, however, tells her that *he's* the home-maker in this family!: he had a long talk with Jamie and worked out a schedule: when Jamie sleeps or plays, *he* works. Jane comments that it sounds like a good program: she just hopes there aren't any bugs in it. Des says:
DES: I'll have you know there are no bugs or vermin in this house of any kind – unlike *some* I could name...
JANE (blankly): What?
DES: Doesn't matter!
Office of the Robinson Corporation
Gail is standing in the office with Paul as he mutters:
PAUL: For Pete's sake, Gail, can't you just follow simple instructions?
Gail insists that it wasn't that big a deal: Helen didn't mind. Paul, however, retorts that *he does*: he's trying to run a business. Gail mutters that sometimes it seems more like a dictatorship... Paul apologises, but tells Gail that she has to admit she's not their most valuable asset of late. Gail says she doesn't do these things intentionally. Paul nods that it may be hormonal or something, but he can't have her mixing up bookings and annoying their clients. Gail tells him:
GAIL: I'm OK. I'll just have to try harder to concentrate.
PAUL (gently): No, Gail – I think the time has come for you to give it away.
GAIL: What do you mean?
PAUL: I want you to take your maternity leave.
GAIL (exclaims): I've got *months* to go yet.
PAUL: Look, don't you think it would be in all of our interests if you just stay at home and put your feet up?
GAIL: Paul, you're making me sound like an *invalid*.
PAUL: Well, that's not what I meant – but I just think that you should consider it, OK?
Gail stares at Paul in disbelief.
Helen and Beverly are preparing dinner. Beverly is grating cheese at the kitchen table, but she catches her finger on the grater and Helen tells her to leave it before *she* ends up in hospital as well. Beverly sighs that perhaps the Charge Nurse forgot she said she'd call. The ‘phone rings at that moment, though, and Beverly dashes to answer it. She listens and then asks about Jonathan's condition. She listens again before hanging up and telling Helen in relief that Jonathan's out of surgery and is going to be fine. With that, she picks up her bag and goes to head out. Helen asks in surprise:
HELEN: Where are you going?
BEVERLY: To the hospital, of course!
HELEN: But he doesn't need you now.
BEVERLY: He'll be out of the anaesthetic within the hour. I intend to be at his bedside.
HELEN (warily): Do you think that's wise?
BEVERLY: Well, after the way I've neglected him, it's the *least* I can do; the *very* least.
With that, she heads out, leaving Helen looking worried.
Katie and Toby are playing Pictionary in the lounge room, and Katie's winning. Toby asks if they can go and play with Cujo now. Katie asks him where his dad is and Toby replies that he's in the kitchen with Kerry; they'll be right if they're quiet. With that, he goes to get a jumper, as it's cold down in the store room. Katie starts packing up the Pictionary board, but one of the pieces rolls under the couch. She lies down to look for it. Kerry comes in suddenly and starts to ask Katie if she wants to stay for dinner – but seeing Katie lying on the floor, she asks her what she's doing. Katie tells her that the diamond has gone behind the couch. Kerry crawls behind the couch to look for it – meaning she's out of sight when Toby comes back in and says to Katie:
TOBY: Hurry up – we can't play with Cujo in the dark.
Katie quickly puts her finger to her lips, but it's too late: Kerry stands up from behind the couch and asks:
KERRY: Who's Cujo?
There's silence from both kids. Kerry says suspiciously:
KERRY: Toby, you're up to something, aren't you? Well, come on – you'd better come clean.
TOBY (sheepishly): Cujo's a little Chihuahua. He *was* for Doctor Marshall, but we knew she wouldn't keep him – so *we* are, in the store room.
Kerry's face drops as Katie pleads:
KATIE: Please don't tell on us, Kerry – he's only a little dog.
Kerry, however, cries:
KERRY: Oh God... Joe thinks it's a *rat*. He's putting poison down for it right *now*. Come on – quick.
The three of them dash out.
Back yard of No. 32
Joe is reading the instructions on a packet of rat killer. He pours some on a plate – but Toby, Katie and Kerry run down the steps suddenly, Toby crying:
TOBY: Don't do it, dad!
Joe retorts that there are *rats* down there. Kerry, however, explains that the kids have been hiding a Chihuahua in the store room. Toby opens the door and adds that the dog's really cute! Joe puts the plate of poison down on the steps and the four of them head into the store room, where Toby picks Cujo up and hands him to Joe. Kerry smiles that he's sweet. Toby comments that the rat poison would have carked him, wouldn't it? Joe nods:
JOE: Probably – there's enough out there to drop a *horse*. But before *that*, you've got some big explaining to do.
Outside, Bouncer trots up the steps and goes and sniffs the plate. He then starts licking it and lapping up the poison...