Sharon and Matt looking shocked as Kenneth Muir emerges from Hilary's bedroom at No. 30!
Hilary and Kenneth join Sharon and Matt in the lounge room and Hilary tells the kids quickly that things are not at all what they seem. Kenneth explains that he became rather ill last night – just a stomach thing – and Hilary suggested he stay, instead of taking the risk of driving home. Sharon comments:
SHARON: *I* probably would have suggested a cab!
MATT: Or an ambulance!
Hilary, ignoring this, says Kenneth was quite prepared to spend the night on the couch, but she wanted him to be comfortable during his illness and suggested he take *her* room. She adds indignantly that nothing untoward happened. Matthew muses:
MATTHEW: Why do I feel like a parent?
SHARON: Because your mother just got sprung!
Kenneth says he'd better go. Hilary, however, tells him that she's not having him skulking out like some naughty schoolboy, and she suggests they all sit down to breakfast and enjoy themselves.
Madge is sitting at the kitchen table, eating breakfast, when Harold says to her:
HAROLD: You haven't forgotten we've got a visitor tonight?
MADGE: No, of course not. Who?
HAROLD: Reverend Richards!
Harold reminds Madge that the Reverend is coming over about the church fête. He goes on that Reverend Sampson obviously told everyone about his previous contribution, so he's now on the organisation committee. Bronwyn emerges from the bedroom area, commenting that she thinks Henry really believes he's Wolfman Jack! She adds that he didn't want to damage his vocal chords, so he asked her for breakfast in bed – and she hit him with the pillow in response! She sits down at the table and then says to Harold:
BRONWYN: I was wondering if I could shorten my hours a bit this week – my finals start next Monday.
Harold suggests they do a deal: she give him something for the White Elephant stall and he'll give her some time off. Madge suggests to Harold that he try the neighbours for donations as well. Harold nods that that's good thinking.
Beverly is sitting on the couch, fussing over baby Rhys. Jim emerges from the bedroom area and comments that the baby behaved himself quite well last night; he didn't get a full night's sleep with *his* kids until they were months older than that. Beverly comments:
BEVERLY: It's such a huge responsibility, isn't it? There's so much I just wasn't prepared for.
JIM: That's true – but when it comes to children, experience is really the only way to learn. Actually, having little Rhys around has taken me back a few years!
BEVERLY: What – to all the things you thought you'd never have to deal with again?!
JIM: No – I'm talking about the *good* times!
Jim goes and sits down with Beverly and apologises for having been such a pain. He adds that he's relieved Debra called, though. There's suddenly a knock on the front door and Jim goes and opens it to Melanie, who asks if it's all right if she gets a lift. Jim tells her that it's fine. He calls to Helen and asks if she's ready. Melanie goes and starts fussing over Rhys, and she says to Beverly:
MELANIE: I think *I* might have a baby later, when I'm old – like 27 or 28!
Helen joins them and muses:
HELEN: That's *very* old.
MELANIE: You think so? Some women have babies even in their 30s nowadays!
As she, Jim and Helen head out, she adds:
MELANIE: You know, I didn't start talking until I was about 3!
JIM: And you've been making up for it ever since!
The front door bangs shut. Left alone with Rhys, Beverly looks at him and says fondly:
BEVERLY: You know, as far as *I'm* concerned, you are *never* too old.
Melanie and Helen are standing at the end of the driveway of No. 26, Melanie saying she was a late-developer too – she was as flat as a board until she was 16! Harold wanders over just as Melanie spots Mr. Muir walking to his car across the street! She tells the others that Mr. Muir was her old school teacher, and she calls across to him to ask him what he's doing in Ramsay Street so early! She adds:
MELANIE: Don't tell me: you're giving private lessons!
Helen and Harold give her a look! An embarrassed-looking Kenneth Muir just climbs into his car and drives off, leaving Melanie to ask:
MELANIE: What did I say?
HELEN (instructs): Into the car, Melanie!
No. 26/A rundown house
Beverly is standing in the kitchen with Rhys, commenting that he certainly has a healthy appetite! The ‘phone starts ringing and she goes to answer it in the lounge room. Debra comes on and Beverly asks her where she is. Debra is standing in the grotty hallway of a run-down looking house and she tells Beverly that she's at Adam's place. She adds that Adam's the baby's father, and he wants her to come back. Beverly smiles:
BEVERLY: That's good news. I'm sure the three of you will be very happy.
DEBRA (corrects): He wants *me* to come back; he doesn't want to be lumbered with a kid.
BEVERLY: But it's *your child*.
DEBRA: This is important to me.
BEVERLY: And your baby isn't?
DEBRA: What sort of a life would he have? A single mum... Do you know what the pension is?
BEVERLY: Well, yes, I do
DEBRA: I want to put him up for adoption.
BEVERLY: Debra, please, we must talk about this. Let me come and see you.
DEBRA: No! Look, can you do it or not?
BEVERLY: Well, yes, I can do it, but you must understand this will be final. You won't have a chance to change your mind. Debra, you may never see him again.
DEBRA: Just do what you have to do, OK? And leave me out of it.
BEVERLY: But that's impossible. There'll be papers: you'll have to sign.
DEBRA: *You* sign. I don't want any more hassles.
With that, Debra hangs up. At No. 26, Beverly hangs up as well and sighs heavily, looking worried.
Reception area/Office of the Robinson Corporation
Harold is standing in the reception area with Helen and Melanie and he asks if Jim is available. Helen tells him to go on through. Harold steps into the office and tells Jim that the annual church fête is next weekend and he was hoping he could put up some posters. Jim smiles:
JIM: As long as it doesn't involve *me*, Harold, you can do what you like!
With that, Jim heads out to the reception area. Helen comes in and Harold asks if she'd have something to give him for the White Elephant stall – a picture, perhaps...? Helen says uncertainly:
HELEN: Er, Harold, you want me to donate one of my paintings to a junk stall?
HAROLD: No! No, oh no, of course not. Just two thoughts overlapping there. No, I just thought an original work by an artist of your standing would make... a very good first prize in a raffle!
Helen nods that she might come up with something new for the occasion. With that, Harold thanks her and goes to head out. As he passes Melanie, she stops him and tells him that she could run the kissing booth! She closes her eyes, puckers up and lets out a long, slow kissing sound! Harold marches out, looking horrified!
Beverly is sitting at the desk in the lounge room, holding Rhys and asking him lovingly how anyone could give him up. She adds that *she'll* find it difficult... She looks at the ‘phone and then tells Rhys that she has to ring the welfare people – as much as she doesn't want to. She goes on sadly:
BEVERLY: I'm sure you'll find another mum and dad who'll love you just as much as I do.
She sighs heavily and then picks up the ‘phone handset. She starts dialling, murmuring to herself as she does so that the important things are never easy. The ‘phone starts ringing at the other end – but before it's answered, Beverly hangs up, saying in an anguished tone:
BEVERLY: I can't...
Matt, Sharon and Bronwyn are sitting at a table when Melanie comes in and says curtly and loudly:
MELANIE: Mr. Bishop – you walked out halfway through my kiss!
Sharon almost chokes on her drink! Melanie orders some cheesecake from Harold, then joins the teens. Sharon asks her in astonishment if she kissed Harold! Melanie, however, explains that she was just joking! She then comments that Helen told her that Nick gets out of hospital today, and adds that Sharon must have really missed him. Sharon, however, explains that they've split up. Melanie offers her sympathy and comments:
MELANIE: You feel really yucky when you get dumped, don't you?
SHARON: It was *my* decision.
MELANIE: Wow! And the guy lives right across the street!
SHARON: It's all right, Melanie – we're still friends and everything.
Matt stands up and says he's got a lot of homework to do, so he'd better get going. He heads out. Melanie watches him and then says to Sharon:
MELANIE: Now, *there* is someone you could really go for.
SHARON: I thought you liked *older* men!
MELANIE: I do, I do, but I think Matt's quite mature for his age, don't you?
SHARON: Yeah... if you like cheese!
Melanie sits down and remarks that it'll probably *kill* Nick seeing Sharon strutting out with another guy. Bronwyn nods that it *is* an awful thing to come home to – after being sick. Melanie, however, goes on:
MELANIE: You stick to your guns, Shaz. It doesn't matter how bad you make Nick feel; you make sure you have a good time. Don't worry about what other people say!
SHARON (blankly): *What* people?!
With that, Harold hands Melanie her cheesecake and she heads back to the office, leaving Sharon to say to Bronwyn that she thought she was *doing* the right thing.
Reception area/Office of the Robinson Corporation
Hilary – whose hair is back in its normal style – walks into the reception area from outside, to find it deserted. She marches into the office and tells Jim and Helen curtly that the front desk is unattended; she could have been a burglar with a gun. Helen asks quickly if they can do anything for her. Hilary retorts that she's simply protecting her interests: making sure everything is being looked after. Helen assures her that everything is being looked after quite well. Hilary says she could spare a couple of hours of an afternoon. Helen, however, insists quickly that that won't be necessary – and Hilary has the library. Jim adds:
JIM: Not to mention your private life!
HILARY (tersely): I'll have you know, Jim, I never let social engagements interfere with any professional duties.
JIM: I'm sure Mr. Muir will be glad to hear it!
Melanie comes in and Hilary starts to snap:
HILARY: And if *you've* started any scurrilous rumours—
Jim interrupts and assures Hilary that her private life is her own affair. Helen, however, tells Hilary that *Harold* is very upset. Hilary looks worried. She then turns and heads out, leaving Jim to muse:
JIM: Three guesses where *she's* off to!
Hilary is at the Coffee Shop, and she asks Harold if he's busy. He explains about being on the organising committee for the church fête and asks Hilary if she has anything for the White Elephant stall. Hilary says she's sure she can find something. She then takes Harold to one side and says quietly:
HILARY: Mr. Bishop, this... this is very difficult for me.
HILARY: I believe you saw Mr. Muir leaving my house earlier this morning.
HAROLD: I'm sure it has nothing to do with *me*.
HILARY: Look, I just wouldn't want you to get the wrong idea – I know how easily rumours are started.
HAROLD: Well, I am not a rumour-monger, Miss. Robinson, and I can assure you I am not the sort of person to stick their nose into other people's affairs. [Quickly] Business. I meant business!
HILARY: Oh, yes, of course, I do apologise. I didn't mean to imply that you would--; I just wanted to make it quite clear that the situation was and still is completely innocent.
HAROLD: I can assure you that I have never thought anything else. I am the kind of person who always gives the other person the benefit of the doubt.
HILARY: Thank you. I must say, I am very relieved to hear that.
At that moment, Madge comes in. Smiling, she comments to Hilary:
MADGE: The scarlet woman herself! Harold told me all about your overnight tryst with Mr. Muir!
Harold starts sinking down behind the counter. Hilary snaps at him:
HILARY: The benefit of the doubt *indeed*.
She then storms out.
Helen is standing watering the plants by the pavement outside No. 26. Harold and Madge pull up in their car in the driveway of No. 24, and Harold comments that it would look as though Jim has enlisted the entire household in an effort to win the gardening competition. Madge muses:
MADGE: And I suppose you didn't ask *me* to do the *weeding*!
She then warns Harold not to go overboard about this, reminding him about the leaves-in-the-pool tangle! The two of them climb out of the car and wander over to Helen. She asks if they've had a busy day. Madge comments that her feet are always screaming for mercy! She then says:
MADGE: I hope you realise that the battle-lines have been drawn: while you have that hose in your hand, you are the enemy.
HELEN: So it's trench warfare?
MADGE: No, we can't have trenches: they ruin the azaleas!
Across the street, Mr. Muir has climbed out of his car and is holding a bunch of roses. Madge spots him and calls across:
MADGE: Lovely day!
Mr. Muir stands there looking embarrassed. Madge muses that it's always the quiet ones!
Hilary is in the lounge room with Sharon and Bronwyn when she spots Kenneth coming up the path. She dashes and opens the front door and virtually drags him inside! He hands her the flowers, explaining that he wanted to show his appreciation for the way she looked after him last night. Hilary tells him that it was a great pleasure. She then suggests they find a vase for the flowers, and she shoves him into the kitchen! In the lounge room, Bronwyn giggles to Sharon that there's never a dull moment there! Matt comes in and says uncertainly:
MATT: That wasn't Ken Muir I just heard, was it?
SHARON: I think it *was*! He's just bought Hilary a rose garden!
Sharon says she wonders if Brad will give *her* flowers! She then heads off to get changed, leaving Bronwyn to ask Matt about Brad. Matt, however, explains that he barely *knows* the guy. Bronwyn asks if this is their first date. Matt nods that that's all Sharon seems to want at the moment: Trent last night, Brad this evening... Bronwyn says she hopes Sharon knows what she's doing. Matt muses:
MATT: Having a ball, I guess... and half her luck, too!
Madge opens the front door to find Melanie standing on the step. She's holding a basket full of cuddly toys, and as she heads through to the kitchen table, she tells Harold that she couldn't find any white elephants, so she hopes the other toys will do! She then suddenly spots a toy called Wally in amongst the others, and she takes him out, saying he means a lot to her. Harold assures her:
HAROLD: You've been very generous. I'm sure we can do without ‘Wally'.
Melanie then notices another toy – Rita, which appears to be a rubber chicken! – and says she doesn't think she can part with *her*, either! Changing the subject, she goes on that she's worked out what she can make for the fête: papier maché piggy banks – the only thing you can't do is save for a rainy day! She starts her walrus-like laugh as Harold sits there blank-faced! Melanie explains that they'd melt if they got wet! Harold says he'll tell Reverend Richards when he comes over this evening. Melanie says she'll bring one over then, to show him what they look like – and they can discuss the kissing booth with him! Harold, however, says quickly:
HAROLD: Oh, Melanie, no, I don't think that's really appropriate for a church function.
MELANIE: Don't be silly – I wasn't serious!
HAROLD: Oh, you weren't?
MELANIE: No! Why, did you think I *was*?!
HAROLD: Yes, I did. Bit of a silly sausage, eh?!
MELANIE (giggles): You *are* a bit of a silly sausage, aren't you!
Madge chips in and suggests to Melanie that she come up with some *other* ideas – some *serious* ones. Melanie says she was thinking about a fortune-telling booth. Harold says he doesn't think so. Madge, however, points out that it's all in a good cause, and Harold shrugs that he can suggest it to the Reverend, he supposes. He then tells Melanie that she's been most generous: the paper pigs will be most appreciated. Melanie suddenly lifts another toy out of the basket she brought and chastises:
MELANIE: Izzy – what are *you* doing here?!
Helen is painting in the kitchen when Jim comes in and says he can't find Beverly *anywhere*. He looks at Helen's painting and says he likes it. Helen explains that it's for the church fête. At that moment, the front door opens and Beverly comes in with Rhys. Jim joins her and tells her that he was getting worried about them. Beverly apologises, saying she didn't mean to be gone so long: Rhys was feeling grumpy, so she thought a drive might help. She hands Rhys – in his basket – to Jim, who starts fussing over him. She then says hesitantly:
BEVERLY: Er, Debra called again.
JIM: Oh yeah? What's she decided?
BEVERLY: Well, she's still very confused. She feels she needs more time. It can't be easy for her.
HELEN: That's more or less what she said last night. Why would she call and say the same thing?
JIM: Oh, I reckon she's missing *this* little fella, that's why – which is a very good sign for *all* of us, especially *you*, little Rhys.
HELEN: Yes, well, if she's missing him so much, why doesn't she come at least and say hello to the poor little thing?
BEVERLY: I'm sure she *will*
JIM: Yes, yes, I reckon Debra's about to make a decision. [Cooing over Rhys] In the meantime, we get the pleasure of your company for just a little bit longer, don't we? Yes we do!
Beverly stands there watching and looking worried.