Hilary telling Joe, Kerry and Toby that Bouncer has killed one of their chooks and will have to be put down now that he's got a taste for blood.
Jim joins Todd, Nick, Beverly and Helen for breakfast and starts trying to talk about his rocks, but Beverly interrupts quickly and comments that Katie left bright and early this morning! Helen adds that she went to meet some friends so she wouldn't have to walk to school with Toby after he ruined the kite she made for him. Jim then remarks to Nick that he looks a bit tired today. Nick explains that he was up late working on a painting, and he tells Helen that he hopes she likes it. Helen remarks in reply that he's been working very hard, and everyone needs a break now and then so why doesn't he change his mind and go to the school dance?
NICK: Well, to tell you the truth, I've been *thinking* about that - but I don't know if I have a date.
BEVERLY: Oh? Has Sharon moved away or something?
NICK: No. Well, we had a bit of a difference whether she should go with Matt or not. Well, really, it's an ultimatum: either she breaks the date or we're finished.
Looking surprised, Jim comments that that's drastic. Nick, however, snaps:
NICK: You reckon? First the guy gets me a week's detention for something I didn't do, and then Sharon jumps at the chance to go to the dance with him.
Jim points out that Matt's only been in town a few weeks: maybe he doesn't feel confident enough to ask some other girls out? Nick just mutters that Matt didn't have to ask *his* girlfriend.
Toby is crying:
TOBY: You *can't* kill him. I'll nick off with him if I have to, but you can't do it to him.
Kerry says sympathetically that there's no need to run away: they'll sort something out. Joe, however, tells Toby that the trouble is that they reckon that once a dog's got a taste for blood they can't shake it. Toby suggests that they could tie Bouncer up, but Joe points out that that would be cruel. Kerry suggests that they could maybe find a farm for him to live on, but Joe asks what farmer's going to want a dog on their property that's got a taste for blood. Toby cries:
TOBY: Are you going to kill him like Miss. Robinson wants?
Joe just stands there, not sure what to do.
Hilary is muttering at Matt and Sharon - who are having breakfast - that she *told* Joe no good would come of letting that dog run wild. Changing the subject, Matt asks if they can have dinner early tonight so that he has more time to get ready for the dance. Hilary nods that they can: she adds that she has to go to the school hall early anyway to set up the refreshment stand. She asks Matt and Sharon if they'd be willing to assist, but Matt tells her that if he agrees to help she'll keep him there all night, and the dance is too important to him for him to be stuck behind some counter serving drinks. Sharon asks how come.
MATT: Well, it's my first real chance to mix, you know? Strut my stuff!
SHARON: I wouldn't get *too* excited if I was you. It's only a school dance, and the DJ's the biggest dag. It's probably not worth going at *all*.
Matt tells her to have some enthusiasm! Sharon, however, says she just doesn't think it's going to be much fun. Matt insists:
MATT: Sharon, you are going to have fun, OK? And thanks for agreeing to come with me, too.
SHARON (looking worried): My pleasure.
With that, Hilary asks Matt to take out the rubbish. Matt heads towards the back door - and finds Arthur, lying in his basket, covered in feathers. He picks up the basket and, showing it to Hilary and Sharon, tells them that there's a chicken bone in there too. Sharon exclaims:
SHARON: *He* must have killed the Mangels' chicken.
HILARY (looking shocked): Well, that's nonsense: *Bouncer's* the culprit.
MATT: You try telling the judge that!
HILARY: Well perhaps Arthur mauled it in between the time Bouncer killed it and we discovered it?
MATT: No, you told me that Bouncer was still sniffing around when you found it. Now, Arthur wouldn't have gone anywhere near it with the dog there.
SHARON: Yeah - and remember the time Kerry let the birds out of the aviary? Arthur killed a finch. I don't think you can blame Bouncer any more.
HILARY: That's absurd. Now, I don't want either of you to say anything about this until I've had time to think about it.
SHARON (snaps): You told Joe Mangel to have Bouncer put down; he could be doing that right this very minute.
MATT: That's right. It's not fair.
Hilary just retorts coolly:
HILARY: I don't want to discuss this any further.
With that, she walks off, looking somewhat guilty.
Jim picks up a magazine that Todd's looking at and Todd explains that it contains pictures of the kind of wheels he's going to get when he first gets his licence.
JIM: Not if *I'm* paying, you won't!
TODD (excitedly): You're going to buy me a car?!
JIM: Oh, it's a sort of tradition round the place: when people get their licence, I fork out for a car; nothing fancy, though - just wheels to get you around.
Todd exclaims that he knew Jim got *Scott* one, but *he* wasn't expecting anything. Jim assures him that he and Katie and Nick are all part of the family now. Todd asks if he can to the workshop sometimes after school to learn about engines and stuff. Jim smiles that he doesn't see why not. There's a knock on the back door and Sharon comes in. Nick goes to get his bag, but Sharon stops him and asks if he's decided yet whether he's going to come to the dance or not.
NICK (coolly): That depends.
SHARON: What on?
NICK: On whether you care enough about us to tell Matt he's been dumped.
SHARON: I couldn't exactly *dump* him.
NICK (tersely): What - so you're still going with him? Well thanks a lot, Sharon - at least I know where we stand, now.
Sharon, however, says quickly that of *course* she didn't mean that: she's not going with Matt - she's *Nick's* date. Nick smiles that he knew she'd come through. Helen asks Sharon if she has something special to wear and Sharon replies that she's been trying to save for this really great dress, but she's still about $20 short. Beverly suggests that *she* could help out as a reward for Sharon doing so well on the diet she set her. Sharon insists that she couldn't, but Helen says that of course Sharon can: she'll chip in too. Nick smiles:
NICK: I bet I'll be going with the best-looking chick of all!
Sharon smiles gratefully, but looks worried.
Hilary walks down the path of No. 30 and out onto the street. She spots Mike emerging from No. 28 and heading to his motorbike and she walks across to him. Mike asks if she's all set for the big dance tonight, and she nods that she is. She then goes on that she wanted to make sure Mike knows to bring a torch. Looking surprised, Mike asks what for. Hilary explains that it's for outside patrols: schoolchildren seem to think they're far too adult, and social events such as the dance bring these urges out, so it's up to *them* to put a stop to it. Mike thanks Hilary for the advice! With that, he starts up his bike and roars off. As he does so, Toby strides across the street and asks Hilary if he can speak to her. Hilary says quickly that she doesn't have the time. Toby, however, cries:
TOBY: But you *have* to listen. Bouncer didn't kill that chook - he's the best dog in the world. And even if he did, he won't do it again - I promise. I'll watch him every minute.
HILARY (curtly): I'm sorry, Toby, I have to go.
TOBY: I *love* him, Miss. Robinson. He's my best friend. Please don't make dad kill him; *please*, Miss. Robinson.
Hilary starts to walk away, but she looks upset.
Joe is talking on the 'phone. He hangs up and tells Kerry that his mate reckons his place is a menagerie as it is, so he can't take any more animals. There's suddenly a knock on the front door and Joe goes to get it. He finds Hilary on the step and he demands angrily to know what she wants. As she heads inside, Hilary tells him that she's just getting ready to leave for work, but wanted to have a quick word about Bouncer. Joe snaps:
JOE: Look, we've done everything we can. I don't know... you must have an ice block inside you, or something, but you've broken that little guy's heart in there [he indicates the bedroom]: he's sobbing away. Now, let me tell you: we're not putting Bouncer down, eh? We're not putting him down: not for you or anybody else. Now, we'll send him away somewhere where he's no problem—
HILARY: That won't be necessary, Mr. Mangel. I have reason to believe that... Bouncer was not responsible for killing that chicken.
A look of surprise crosses Joe and Kerry's faces and Kerry asks what's happened. Hilary, however, retorts:
HILARY: There is no need for me to elaborate, suffice to say some doubt has been cast upon the situation.
A smile appears on Joe's face and he calls to Toby:
JOE: Toby, come here, mate. Come on! Hilary's not going to kill your dog!
Toby bursts out of his room, looking delighted, and he goes and cuddles Bouncer. Hilary asks that in future they keep Bouncer away from her aviary: she doesn't want to put temptation in his path. She goes to walk off, but Joe stops her and asks if she doesn't think someone deserves an apology. Hilary retorts that she should have thought Toby would have happy been enough with the outcome. Joe, however, explains that he isn't talking about Toby, he's talking about Bouncer!
HILARY: For heaven's sake, Mr. Mangel, I have no intention of apologising to an *animal*.
Bouncer barks, and Joe smiles at Hilary that he accepts her apology anyway!
Nick, Helen Jim and Todd are sitting in the lounge room when Beverly emerges from the bedroom area, followed by Sharon, who's wearing her new dress. Nick beams that she looks fantastic! Sharon thanks Helen and Beverly for paying the extra money, and Beverly insists that it was their pleasure. Nick suggests that he pick Sharon up at around 7pm. Sharon, however, says quickly that she's just remembered that she promised to help Hilary set up the drinks stall. She adds that she'd better get going, and she heads out. Nick closes the door behind her, a delighted smile on his face.
In the kitchen, Hilary is ranting to Matt about having to apologise to a dog: she felt quite humiliated! She then goes on that she has to decide what to do about Arthur: Edith would never forgive her if it had to be put down. Sharon comes in, wearing her new dress. Hilary remarks that it's too low-cut, but Matt assures Sharon that it looks OK to him! He then tells Sharon that Hilary has decided to let Bouncer off the hook for killing the chicken.
SHARON (to Hilary): Fantastic - I *knew* you'd come around! In fact, I think it's so nice of you that I *will* help you set up your drinks stall!
Hilary comments that she's astonished by this sudden turnaround. Sharon explains quickly that she was thinking about it at school and realised she owes it to Hilary to help her. Matt says *he* could help too - he'll keep Sharon company. Sharon, however, replies nervously:
SHARON: No, no, it's all right - I'm sure Hilary and I can manage. You just meet me at the dance later.
Matt warns Sharon:
MATT: Don't be stuck there all night. You're still my date, remember?
It's evening-time and the dance is underway. Standing by the refreshment table, Hilary asks Mike if he brought a torch, but Mike smiles that he thought he'd leave the patrol duty up to her! Sharon is standing with them. Matt walks over and joins them and asks Sharon if she'd like a dance. Hilary tells Sharon that there's no need for her to stay, as Mike can give her a hand. Mike, however, says quickly that duty calls, and he walks off. Sharon sighs 'in annoyance' that she's going to have to stay and help Hilary, and she tells Matt to head inside. Matt does so - just as Sharon spots Nick coming in through the main door! She tells him that he looks wonderful! She then suggests that he head outside and see if any of their friends are coming along, and she'll bring him a drink out. Nick, looking puzzled, asks why he doesn't just grab a drink *now*. Sharon gives him a kiss and smiles:
SHARON: Because I want to bring one *to* you!
NICK: You're weird tonight!
Nick heads back outside just as Matt returns from the main hall and tells Sharon to come and dance, as they're playing some great tracks. He grabs her hand, saying he's sure Hilary can handle the drinks on her own. Sharon goes with him, but looks back at the main entrance nervously...
Joe, Kerry and Toby are having dinner in the lounge room and Kerry muses that she wonders who *really* killed that chicken.
JOE: Odds-on it was Hilary's old moggy.
JOE: Yeah - proven bird-killer.
Kerry asks what they're going to do about it. Joe, however, shrugs that even if they build a chook-house, the cats have got a habit of getting in anyway. Toby points out that they promised Mary they'd look after her chicks. Kerry says she's got a friend who owns a free-range chicken farm about an hour from there: *she'd* take them in. Toby smiles:
TOBY: As long as I can visit them sometimes!
Hilary tells Mike that it's about time she did a patrol. She heads off as Matt and Sharon emerge from the main hall. Matt suggests to Sharon that they grab a couple of drinks then head outside and cool down for a while. Matt goes to the drinks table. As he does so, Sharon slips-off the bracelet on her wrist. She then gasps at Matt:
SHARON: Oh no... I've lost my bracelet somewhere. It could be *anywhere* here.
MIKE: Maybe you lost it while you were dancing?
Sharon asks Matt if he can look around on the dancefloor while she checks around down by the refreshment table. Matt heads back to the main hall while Sharon walks off towards the main door. Nick is standing around outside and as Sharon approaches him he mutters that it's about time. He asks where his drink is, but Sharon doesn't have it and so Nick sighs that they'll go and get one. Sharon grabs his arm, though, and tells him quickly that she wants to make it up to him for leaving him for so long. They head up some steps and start pashing - just as Hilary approaches them with her torch! Nick spots her and runs. Hilary walks up to Sharon and demands:
HILARY: Who do you think *you* were with?
SHARON (retorts): That's none of your business.
Hilary marches Sharon down the steps and back inside the school, snapping as she does so:
HILARY: Of all the people to catch outside, it had to be *you*.
As they walk over to Mike, he asks what's happened, and Hilary tells him that her patrol proved very fruitful. Matt joins them and starts to say to Sharon that he couldn't find the bracelet. He suddenly spots that she has it on her wrist again, though. Hilary stares at Matt and says:
HILARY: You! But I thought you were the one outside with Sharon!
MATT (uncertainly): No, I was inside all the time. What happened?
HILARY: I caught Sharon necking outside with some boy - but the coward escaped before I was able to speak to him. I naturally assumed it was *you*.
MATT: No, it wasn't me.
Nick approaches the group as Hilary says to Matt:
HILARY: But you *are* Sharon's date for the night?
NICK: No he's not. No, *I'm* Sharon's date; *I* was kissing her outside.
Hilary snaps that she might have known. Matt tells Nick that Sharon was *his* date for the evening. Both guys look at Sharon, who sighs at Nick reluctantly:
SHARON: All right. I felt really awful about having to tell Matt that I couldn't come to the dance with him, and you were going to break up with me if I didn't, so I thought the best thing to do for everyone was have *two* dates...
Nick and Matt look at each other - and both guys burst out laughing! Nick chuckles that Sharon must have been run off her feet between the two of them! Hilary, however, mutters that she fails to see the humour of any of this: she assumes Sharon working the refreshments stand was part of the ruse, so as her punishment she can work the drinks stand for the rest of the evening. Matt and Nick walk off, laughing. Mike hands Sharon the tin of cash and remarks:
MIKE: Sticky web we weave, isn't it?
Jim is working at the desk in the lounge room. Beverly hands him a cuppa and asks how it's going, and he smiles that he's not used to it being so quiet! The 'phone starts ringing suddenly and Beverly answers it. She listens and then says:
BEVERLY: Annette! How are you?
She listens further. When the conversation ends and she's hung up, Helen, who's sitting on the couch, sewing, asks if something has happened. Beverly replies that Annette is fine: she's finally got her life organised again and she's feeling strong again - but she wants Todd and Katie back with her: permanently...