Gail packing her bag and leaving Paul.
Harold, Henry and Bronwyn are in the kitchen, Henry laughing that Harold and Toby had it easy frolicking in the forest, picking nuts and berries. Harold, however, retorts that he'd hardly call days of searching for shelter, food and firewood 'frolicking around the bush'. He adds that he'd hate to see how Henry coped under the same circumstances. Henry declares:
HENRY: Henry Ramsay can handle any little thing!
HAROLD: Oh ho!
HENRY: Yes he can! And don't forget, it was yours truly who spotted your signal fire and alerted the rescue squad. You might still *be* there if it wasn't for me!
HAROLD (rolling his eyes): A fact which I'm sure you'll remind me of until the end of my days!
Bronwyn tells Harold not to take any notice of Henry: he's just stirring. The 'phone rings suddenly and Bronwyn answers it. She sounds surprised when her father comes on, and tells him that she was thinking about him earlier. She listens and then says she'll look forward to it. She hangs up and tells Henry that that was her dad: he's coming down from Narrabri tomorrow to see what sort of man she's marrying!
Paul arrives home and calls to Gail that he's sorry he had to leave her today—. He breaks off as he realises the house is empty. He walks across to the kitchen, where he sees the note that Gail has left for him. He picks it up and reads it. As he does so, his face begins to crumple...
Jim and Helen are working in the kitchen while Todd and Melissa sit at the table doing their homework. Helen announces that dinner is nearly ready and Todd tells Melissa that he'll walk her home. He then suggests that they see a movie tomorrow. Melissa tells him that it has to be a romantic one! The two of them head out. Paul dashes in through the back door suddenly and says to Helen and Jim in panic:
PAUL: Have you seen Gail?
HELEN: Not since she left here earlier. Why?
PAUL: She's left me. I found a note when I got home: says that I'm always going to put business before her and the kids. She's blaming me for Rob's death, so she's taken off.
Jim goes and puts his arm on Paul's shoulder and tells him that Gail is upset at the moment; she won't have gone far. Helen suggests that perhaps she's with Gloria, but Paul sighs that she's taken all her clothes; she *means* it. Jim guides Paul through to the lounge room and tells him to sit down while he makes a few 'phone calls. Paul sits there looking worried.
Bronwyn and Harold are sitting at the kitchen table while Henry potters around in the kitchen. Bronwyn tells him:
BRONWYN: It's only natural he'd want to meet you. He just wants to make sure that you're honest and hard-working - which you *are*, so you don't have to worry.
HENRY (sitting down): Yeah, but I'm probably not the sort of bloke he wants you to *marry*, though, am I?
BRONWYN: Well... I suppose not. He always saw me settling down with some farmboy - but that doesn't mean he won't like *you*.
Henry asks what they're going to talk about. He adds that if he just knew something about farming, *that* would impress him. Harold chips in that Henry is a gardener: that's not so far removed from farming. Henry, however, pooh-poohs that. Harold then says *he* used to be a stock and station agent: he's got a carton of old copies of the Stock Journal and he could give Henry some pointers about farming. Henry says excitedly that that's a great idea! He dashes out to the garage to get the journals, leaving Bronwyn looking worried.
Paul is walking from No. 26 to No. 22 at speed. Des comes along and asks him in surprise what's up. Paul explains about Gail leaving him and adds that he and Jim have been ringing everywhere, but she's nowhere to be found. Des suggests that she's probably just upset about her father. Paul, however, retorts that she's not coming home: she's taken all her clothes and everything. He goes to climb into his car, saying Gail may have checked into a hotel or something. Des, however, stops him and says *he'll* drive. Paul hands over the keys, saying impatiently as he does so:
PAUL: Just step on it, will you?
Bronwyn, Henry and Harold are sitting in the lounge room, Bronwyn testing Henry on questions based on articles in the Stock Journal. Henry is having trouble remembering what he's read, though, and Harold stares at him incredulously and demands:
HAROLD: Where is your head, boy?
HENRY (sighs): It feels like it's full of cotton wool.
BRONWYN (grins): You mean *lamb's* wool!!
Henry suggests that maybe he could use that joke on Bronwyn's father tomorrow, but Bronwyn says she doesn't think her father would find it very funny. Henry asks her if they can keep going with the study. Harold announces that he's going to bed, and he heads off to his room. Bronwyn asks Henry another question. Henry, though, just murmurs:
HENRY: Do you really think he'll like me?
BRONWYN: Course I do! You probably went to a whole lot of effort for nothing.
HENRY (uncertainly): Yeah... Can we keep going just in case?
Helen is talking on the 'phone, asking the person she's speaking to to get Gail to call if she sees her. She hangs up and tells Jim that that's the last of Gail's friends. She then sighs:
HELEN: Oh, I hope she doesn't do anything foolish.
JIM: Like what?
HELEN: I can't bear to think of her driving that car. Who knows *what* emotional state she's in?
JIM: If you're worried about her repeating Rob's tragedy, you can put that right out of your mind: I know how much she wants the triplets.
Helen nods that he's right. She then goes on that she sensed *something* was happening with Gail, but she had no idea it would lead to *this*. Jim murmurs that *none* of them did. Helen, however, says:
HELEN: I'm not so sure... This is not just because of Rob's death, you know: there's been a rift brewing between her and Paul for some time.
JIM: They had their problems, sure, but no more than other couples.
HELEN: Paul's obsession with his work has certainly taken its toll.
Jim says he wishes he knew what was going on in Gail's mind - to walk out like that, with triplets on the way; how she's planning to cope? The front door opens suddenly and Paul and Des come in. Helen looks at her grandson, but he sighs that they've checked every hotel in the area and there's no sign of her. Jim tells him to take it easy: Gail will come back as soon as she's had a chance to sort things out in her mind. Paul, however, snaps:
PAUL: Come off it, will you? She's blaming me for Rob's death. I don't think she's going to sort *that* out in a hurry.
The next morning, Henry is preparing breakfast, talking to himself about breeds of sheep! Bronwyn calls from the bedroom that she's getting hungry! There's suddenly a knock on the front door and Henry goes to answer it. He's wearing just his boxers! He opens the door to find a man standing there wearing a cape and hat. He grins at the man:
HENRY: Bit early to be flogging encyclopaedias, isn't it, bud?!
The man replies tersely:
MAN: I'm wondering if I've got the right house. Does Bronwyn Davies live here? I'm her father.
Henry's jaw drops!
Paul has fallen asleep at the desk in the lounge room. The front door opens and Des and Jim come in, Jim carrying a bag with some breakfast in it. Paul stirs and Jim comments to him that he looks like he hasn't been to bed. Paul tells him:
PAUL: No - I've been up half the night trying to find Gail. I rang her real father in Tassie - he hasn't heard from her, or so he said, anyway. I even tried contacting Jane in London in case Gail had contacted *her*, but I couldn't get through.
Des tells Paul that he looks wrecked: he should try and grab forty winks. Paul, however, sighs that he can't sleep: he's got to find Gail; he wants to talk to her. Jim points out that she might still come back of her own accord. Paul retorts that he hopes so - but the things she said in that note... Jim says:
JIM: You've got to remember her state of mind, mate.
DES: Yeah - just after the funeral and everything, eh?
PAUL: Yeah, yeah, yeah - but dad, she thinks that I care more about the business than I do about *her*, and you know that I don't, don't you?
JIM: Well, it might have seemed that way at times, but *I* knew it wasn't true. I'm sure that deep-down inside Gail did too.
PAUL (presses): But it seemed like that to you?
JIM (nods): Sometimes.
PAUL (looking at Des): You too, mate?
DES (awkwardly): Er, well, er, er, a career *can* take over your life, you know, if you're not careful.
PAUL: Great. So everyone thinks the same thing. [Raising his voice] Well it damn well isn't true!
Todd opens the front door to find Melissa standing on the step. He comments that he thought she was going to call. Melissa explains that her mum and dad have gone shopping, so she slipped out to see him. Looking surprised, Todd asks since when she's had to slip out. Melissa cries:
MELISSA: It's all Hilary's fault: she told mum about us kissing.
TODD: What for?
MELISSA: I don't know. She also said I wasn't in the library during the Sports afternoon. She asked me about it and I had to tell her I'd gone roller skating with you instead. She and dad hit the roof. They think you're a bad influence on me.
Todd exclaims that that's not fair. Melissa tells him that she tried arguing, but they didn't listen. She sighs:
MELISSA: Todd, I'm not allowed to see you anymore.
Todd stands there looking shocked.
Mr. Davies is sitting on the couch as Harold tells him that *he* was a stock and station agent for twenty years. Bronwyn comes in with cups of tea as Mr. Davies remarks to Harold that he hears he's a bit of a hero for saving a kid in the bush. Harold shrugs that that was nothing. He and Mr. Davies continue to talk about farming, Mr. Davies saying how he's had a good lambing year, with lots of twins. Harold comments that he hopes Mother Nature doesn't make up for it next year. Henry interjects suddenly to ask:
HENRY: Why should she?
Harold tells him that when a farmer has a bumper lambing year with lots of twins being born, there's every chance that the next year might not be so good. Mr. Davies looks at Henry and remarks to Harold:
MR. DAVIES: You couldn't expect *him* to know too much about sheep farming.
Henry, however, says quickly that it's one of his favourite subjects! He goes and sits down between Bronwyn and Mr. Davies on the couch and starts trying to talk about sheep. It quickly becomes clear, however, that he has no idea what he's saying. Bronwyn suggests to her father that they go over and see Sharon. Mr. Davies, however, retorts tersely:
MR. DAVIES: Oh, I'd rather stay here and learn more about sheep farming from Henry - he seems to know all the facts.
Harold sits and squirms in embarrassment.
Todd and Melissa are sitting together on the couch. Todd tells Melissa that they can still see each other at school, but Melissa retorts that they can't with her brother around: he'll lag to her parents the first chance he gets. Todd suggests that maybe she could get Jim or Beverly to talk her parents around, but Melissa points out that she's not even supposed to *be* there. Todd murmurs that he doesn't know what to say. Helen joins them from the kitchen and asks brightly if they've decided what movie to see. Todd just murmurs:
Helen offers them cake or biscuits, they both shake their head glumly. Helen leaves them to it. Melissa stands up. Todd tells her not to go yet, but Melissa sighs that she has to: her parents will be home soon. Todd cries:
TODD: Why does this have to happen to *us*?
MELISSA: I don't know. I'll miss you.
The two of them move to the door, where they kiss passionately. Todd then tells Melissa that he'll miss her, too. He opens the door and Melissa heads out, taking one last lingering look at Todd as she leaves.
Paul is pacing the floor when the 'phone starts ringing suddenly. He dashes over to it, picks it up and says agitatedly:
The caller is Prue, though, and Paul tells her that he doesn't know where Gail is. He hangs up again. He then picks up a Lassiter's brochure - with Gail's photo on it - from the desk and looks at it before screwing it up and throwing it down in anger. He goes and sits down on the couch, looking upset. His eyes alight upon the three Paddington Bears that he bought for the triplets: they're sitting in one of the armchairs. He stands up again and goes and picks the three of them up. He then sits down and stares at them in his arms. As he does so, tears begin to flow...
Henry is standing with Bronwyn in the kitchen, cursing himself for being such a dope in front of her father. Bronwyn, however, tells him that he's trying too hard: he should stop trying to convince her dad how likeable he is and he might actually *like* him! The two of them head back into the lounge room and Bronwyn puts down some plates of sandwiches. Harold realises the time suddenly and says he has to head over and see if Toby's all right. Mr. Davies shakes Harold's hand and says he hopes he's not going to be in the way there. Harold tells Mr. Davies:
HAROLD: Not at all, Gordon. Now, you stay as long as you like.
With that, Harold heads out. Henry sits down and asks Mr. Davies:
HENRY: So... do you have much of a problem with foot rot?
GORDON: You mean personally?
HENRY: No, your sheep.
GORDON: No, not really.
There's an awkward silence. Bronwyn breaks it by telling her father that Henry does lots of things besides gardening: he's actually a very good salesman; and he's good with his voice: he's just done an audition tape for the local radio station. Gordon comments that he *enjoys* the radio: he'd like to hear that. Henry, however, says nervously that he probably wouldn't like *this*. Bronwyn adds quickly that it's for a *younger* audience. Gordon says he'd still like to hear it. Bronwyn tells him that he should realise that there's a lot of difference between country and city radio: it's a lot racier round there. Henry reluctantly goes and switches the tape on. The three of them start listening to his and Clive's efforts. Gordon doesn't look impressed. After a few seconds, he announces that he's heard enough. Henry turns off the tape and asks Gordon what he thought.
GORDON: You really want to know?
HENRY: Well, I'm, I'm interested in your opinion, yes, of course.
Gordon stands up and looks at Henry. He then says:
GORDON: I reckon you're a bit of a twit and you prove it every time you open your mouth. You've got no brains, no prospects and not a hope of marrying my daughter as long as I've got a say in it. Now, that's not an opinion, it's a fact.
Henry stands there looking worried.