Helen telling Paul that Gail wants him to pay rent on No. 22
Helen says to Paul quickly:
HELEN: Don't get upset.
Paul glares at Helen and exclaims:
PAUL: Don't get upset? Gran, I *bought* her this place. This is *ours*.
HELEN: I *know*, but she isn't able to work – not while the babies are so small – and she'll need the income.
PAUL (snaps): No. No, I'll be *damned* if I'm going to pay rent to her. No, no, she's going to have to take me to court first.
HELEN: Paul, there is no point in flying off the handle; doing something that you might regret.
PAUL (angrily): Gran, the only thing I regret is ever getting mixed up with that woman in the first place. After all we have been through, she wants me to pay rent on my own place!
HELEN: I'm sure she doesn't *want* to. She's not *happy* about it; she just feels that to maintain her independence she'll need the extra income.
PAUL: Oh, she's hardly down and out, gran. I mean, apart from getting a very healthy Director's fee from the Robinson Corporation, she is also making a regular income from her *own* investments.
HELEN: And she might own this house, but she also owns the mortgage.
PAUL: Yeah – a mortgage that we are *both* paying.
Helen pleads with Paul to try and be calm and to understand. Paul, however, yells:
PAUL: No, I will not calm down, gran, and I *do* understand. You see, I understand that *I* am the one that's been fair; *I* am the one that's gone out of his way to patch things up, and I get it all thrown back at me. You know, you're the *last* person I expected to stick up for her.
Paul then apologises, saying he's sorry: he doesn't mean to take it out on *her*. Helen suggests that he give Gail a call and they might be able to work things out. Paul, however, retorts that Gail obviously knows how she wants it, but he's damned if he's going to pay rent to her. He goes on angrily:
PAUL: You know, I agreed to her staying in Tasmania with the triplets, and she repays me by pulling a vindictive stunt like *that*. I wish I'd never *given* her the place.
HELEN: It was the right thing to do at the time.
PAUL: Yes, I thought so at the time, too, but if I had any idea that all of this would be happening now, there is no way that I would have done it; no way. But I *did*, didn't I? And now I have to live with my own stupidity.
HELEN: Well, first things first – a place to stay. Of course, you'll come to us. We'll make room for you somehow.
Paul, however, declines, saying they last thing they need at No. 26 is another body. He mutters:
PAUL: I'll stay at Lassiter's – once I find a tenant for *this* place...
Bronwyn opens the front door to Melanie. She heads inside and sits down and Bronwyn asks how last night was. Melanie smiles that it was good; Cass was nice. She adds that Cass got along fine with everyone – especially the Reverend Richards! Bronwyn asks if *Henry* and Cass got on OK, but Unknown to Bronwyn, Melanie doesn't hear this, and she goes on enthusiastically:
MELANIE: He seemed really rapt in her. They spent most of the evening in a huddle, talking about this... talking about that...
BRONWYN (frowns, thinking Melanie is talking about Henry): Really?
MELANIE: Yeah. Yeah... I reckon there was a real spark between those two.
Bronwyn asks in horror if anything *else* happened. Melanie replies that it didn't, but it's only a matter of time, she thinks. Bronwyn asks in astonishment if she's being serious. Melanie replies:
MELANIE: Sure! But you know what I think's a bit weird?
BRONWYN (curtly): No. What?
MELANIE: Well, last night he seemed so interested in Cass, and this morning he ‘phones me up and invites himself over for dinner.
BRONWYN (gasps): He *what*?! I hope you told him where to go!
MELANIE: Didn't your mother ever tell you that it wasn't nice to tell a Reverend where to go?
A look of relief crosses Bronwyn's face and she exclaims that she thought Melanie was talking about Henry! Melanie, however, assures her that Cass may be a little bit infatuated by Henry's star status, but that's about it. She then sighs:
MELANIE: I was hoping with Cass around, the old Rev would lose interest in *me* – but now he's invited himself over for dinner, I don't know *what* I'm going to do.
Bronwyn shrugs that he's a nice enough guy. Melanie giggles:
MELANIE: So is Santa Claus – but I don't want to go out with him!
She adds that she wants to let the Reverend down gently. Bronwyn suggests that she tell him she's an atheist. Melanie frowns:
MELANIE: He couldn't put a curse on me for that, could he?!
Madge serves a customer at the bar. Another man, in his forties or fifties, sits down at the bar and smiles at Madge that she's looking more gorgeous than ever! Madge grins:
MADGE: Same old Mick Tucker! I haven't seen you for ages – where have you been?
MICK: Oh, there and back again – same old story! Had a job interstate for a while – but lately I've had this strong yearning to see *you* again!
Mick pulls out some money and Madge goes to pour him a beer. The barrel is out, though, and the glass fills with froth. Madge sighs that she'll have to go and change over the lines. Mick offers to help her. Madge asks in concern if he knows how. Mick assures her:
MICK: There's two things a man learns on the road: the quick way out of town and how to change a beer line!
Jim is sitting on the couch, looking at a magazine, when Todd emerges from his room and tells Jim that he's got to talk to him. He goes on:
TODD: It's the school's 40th anniversary this year, right?
JIM (exclaims): What?! Erinsborough High's *forty*?
TODD: Yeah, sure!
JIM: It can't be! It makes me feel so old!
TODD: Yeah, well, anyway, I got dobbed in to do this article in the journal about its history.
TODD: Not so far. Look, I was wondering if I could talk to you about when *you* were there – in the old days!
Jim muses that he supposes it *was* a few years ago! He asks Todd what he wants to know. Todd says:
TODD: Were there any real interesting teachers – like real sadists or something, or students who made it big later on?
Jim, however, suggests that Todd should try talking to some of the old headmasters or teachers. Todd comments that they'd all be dead, wouldn't they?! Jim, however, points out that forty years isn't *that* long: he'll probably be able to find some of the names in the old yearbooks in the library. The front door opens suddenly and Helen comes in and sighs heavily. Jim asks what's up. Helen tells him that Gail wants to charge Paul rent for his house, or put a tenant in. Jim asks what Paul's reaction is, and Helen replies that he's furious. She adds that she feels so sorry for him: he's still feeling very badly about the separation. Jim comments that he thought Paul and Gail had both agreed to be civil with each other over this whole thing. Helen replies that there's obviously more animosity between them than even *they* realised.
Paul roars into a car park and pulls his car to a sudden halt next to some clothes-recycling bins. He leaps out of the car and stuffs the bags of Gail's clothes into the bins, muttering as he does so:
PAUL: Maybe the rent'll help you buy some new clothes.
He then climbs back into his car and roars off.
Melanie and Bronwyn are sitting at the kitchen table, giggling as Bronwyn suggests to Melanie that she could tell the Reverend Richards that she's been possessed by a demon! Melanie says:
MELANIE: What if I become a nun?
BRONWYN: It's a bit drastic – and besides, he'd probably go for the challenge!
There's suddenly a knock on the front door and Bronwyn goes to answer it. She finds a young woman standing on the step, who asks if Henry's home. Bronwyn explains that he's on duty at the radio station. The woman asks what time Bronwyn's expecting him. Bronwyn replies that it won't be for a while. The woman says she can call back later. She then asks Bronwyn:
WOMAN: Are you his fiancée?
BRONWYN: Yeah. Why?
WOMAN: I *thought* you might be.
BRONWYN: I'm Bronwyn. Bronwyn Davies. Who are you?
WOMAN: I'm Cass. Cass Boyle.
Madge serves a drunk-sounding Mick Tucker with another beer as Paul comes in. He asks if there have been any more visits from the police, but Madge replies that there haven't yet. She adds that the police are only going to check the place out on the nights when the band's playing. Paul sighs that maybe a live band isn't such a good idea if it's going to attract underage drinkers. Madge remarks:
MADGE: You're carrying on as though there's some great problem. It was only Nick and Lucy, for heaven's sake; there weren't any others.
PAUL: Oh yeah? You *sure* about that?
MADGE (demands): What's *that* supposed to mean?
PAUL: Well, it seems to me you were pretty slack in getting them off the premises. I mean, did you bother to check if there were any more?
MADGE: If you mean did I check their driver's licences and feel their faces to see if they shaved more than once a week, no I didn't.
PAUL: Well maybe you *should've*.
MADGE: Oh come on, Paul, I was run off my feet last night. What with serving, mopping-up, changing beer lines, humping barrels... I'm sorry – I don't have time to be the official bouncer.
PAUL (disbelievingly): Humping barrels?!
MADGE (admits): Well, I was just trying to make a point.
Paul apologises, saying he seems to be biting *everybody's* head off today. With that, he heads off. When he's gone, Mick Tucker tells Madge that her boss needs bringing down a peg or two. Madge insists that he's all right – he's got problems at the moment. Mick, however, slurs that she shouldn't have to put up with garbage like that. He then says:
MICK: Hey, princess, what say I take you away from all this?
MADGE: Oh yeah? What did you have in mind?
MICK: What you need, gorgeous Madge, is a real night out on the town.
MICK: Sorry – you'll have to come up with something better than *that*!
Cass is sitting with Melanie and Bronwyn in the lounge room, saying to Bronwyn that she must think she's *terrible*, turning up out of the blue like this. Bronwyn muses that Henry must have forgotten to tell her that she was coming round. Cass, however, explains that he doesn't know: she just thought it would be nicer to thank him personally for last night, instead of ‘phoning; she found the address in a book. Bronwyn frowns, and Cass clarifies that it was easy after Henry said they named a street after him! Cass goes on:
CASS: I can't remember ever having such a great night out – it was so much fun.
Melanie tells Bronwyn that she should hear Cass sing – she sounds really professional. Cass sits there looking embarrassed. She then says she'd better be going, if Henry's not going to be back for a while. She stands up. As she does so, she asks Melanie to say hello to the Reverend Richards for her. Melanie, however, says with a sudden gleam in her eye:
MELANIE: Hey, Cass, um, what are you doing tonight...?!
Todd is sitting with Jim and Helen, having dinner, as Jim tells a story about a football match he played in at school. Todd doesn't look very interested, though! Helen smiles as she tells Todd that on the way home from this particular match, Reg Wilkins and his mate threw Jim in the river! Todd bursts out laughing, as Jim insists indignantly that that's not strictly true! Todd comments that he's got some really interesting information; all he's got to do now is speak to someone that's been in the school in the last five or ten years. Jim suggests he should speak to Paul. Helen says quickly:
HELEN: I don't think now's the time to talk to Paul about *anything*.
JIM (retorts): I think now is *exactly* the time to talk to Paul – help take his mind off Gail.
Madge clears a table and then returns to the bar, where a now-very-drunk Mick Tucker slurs:
MICK: My heart is yours and yours alone!
Madge, however, tells him to cut it out – she's not impressed. Mick slurs at her to come out with him and he'll impress the heck out of her! Madge just reminds him that she's a married woman and she doesn't go out with other men. She heads over to clear another table. When she returns to the bar, she opens the till and puts some money in. She then goes to close it again – but it sticks. Mick looks at her and slurs:
MICK: Don't worry, lovely Madge. It just needs a bit of a push and a squeeze from Mick's magic fingers.
Mick makes his way behind the bar, but Madge tries to push him away, crying at him to leave her alone. As she sticks her hand out, she catches a tray of glasses and sweeps them off the bar and onto the floor, where they smash. She looks at them in annoyance.
Melanie is sitting with the Reverend Richards on the couch, telling him that when she was a little girl, she wanted to be a nun! The Reverend smiles that he thinks a *lot* of girls go through that stage. Melanie offers him more wine, but the Reverend suggests that they save it for dinner. Melanie nods that she'll start cooking soon. The Reverend asks what they're having and Melanie says she thought she'd do a roast pork. The Reverend frowns that that'll take quite a while to cook, won't it? Melanie, however, assures him that it'll be worth the wait! The doorbell rings suddenly, and Melanie says in a very obvious tone:
MELANIE: Who could *that* be at this time of night?!
She heads to the door and opens it to Cass! She invites her in and says to the Reverend Richards:
MELANIE: Look who's just dropped in, Craig!
The Reverend tells Cass that she looks lovely. Melanie tells Cass that she's cooking a ginormous roast pork for dinner, and she must stay and have some. Cass thanks her, looking bemused! Melanie heads over to the kitchen area and takes a joint of pork out of the ‘fridge, saying it shouldn't take more than a couple of hours! The Reverend says to Cass:
REVEREND RICHARDS: I hope you haven't already had dinner.
CASS: Well, no. Actually, Melanie had already *invited* me for dinner tonight.
MELANIE (quickly): Go ahead – get to know each other! I won't be too long!
Paul is pouring himself a glass of wine. There's a knock at the front door and he goes to answer it, wearily. He finds Jim and Todd on the step and Jim asks if they can come in. Paul mutters:
PAUL: Come in! You can *rent* the place if you like...
Jim asks if this is a bad time, but Paul insists quickly that he's glad to see them both. They all sit down and Jim explains that Todd has a favour to ask. Todd tells Paul that he's interviewing ex-students from Erinsborough High for the 40th-Year journal and he was wondering if Paul had any interesting memories. Paul shrugs:
PAUL: I don't know... Look, my head's not really into this at the moment, Todd.
TODD: Well how about I ask you a few questions—
PAUL (tersely): Yeah, how about *another* time? I've really got a lot on my mind.
Jim tells Todd quickly to run home and write up what he's already got, and maybe Paul will talk to him tomorrow. Todd heads out. When he's gone, Paul apologises to Jim, saying he really wouldn't have been much use at the moment. Jim says:
JIM: Listen – Helen was telling me about what Gail wants to do with the house. She says that you plan on leaving, rather than paying rent.
PAUL (retorts): What would *you* do? Look, there's no way I am going to pay rent on what's morally my own home.
JIM: Yeah, but legally she could—
PAUL: I know legally I haven't got a leg to stand on. I just wish she'd told me about her plans when I was down in Tasmania, that's all.
Jim suggests that maybe Gail didn't have that in mind then. Paul, however, retorts that it's been quite obvious to him that Gail's been planning on cutting him out of her life since day one of this mess. He adds bitterly:
PAUL: When Gail turns on you, she really turns, doesn't she? You know, it wouldn't surprise me at all if she denies me access to my own kids.
JIM (exclaims): She can't! No court would uphold that sort of application.
PAUL: Why not? Stranger things have happened. No, I'm not taking any chances on this. I am going to make her sign something that gives me complete, unrestricted access to my triplets.
JIM (warily): Well... do you think that's necessary? I mean, I'd hate to see this situation get too ugly.
PAUL: It's *already* ugly – and through nothing that *I've* done, either. I'm just playing by Gail's rules. Now, if she wants to get tough, well, that's the way it's going to be.
The pub is empty apart from Madge and Mick Tucker. Madge is trying to get Mick to go home, but Mick grabs her hands and starts trying to dance with her. Madge manages to dance him over to the door, which she opens and pushes him through. She then closes the door again. Mick shouts drunkenly from outside:
MICK: I'll wait out here for you, lovely Madge!
Madge mutters to herself that the way things have been going tonight, the ‘phone's probably on the blink. She goes to the bar and dials.
Bronwyn is sitting at the kitchen table at No. 24, studying, when the ‘phone starts ringing. She gets up and answers it. Madge comes on and asks Bronwyn if she can put Harold on, as she wants him to come and get her. Bronwyn, however, replies that Harold's not home from choir practice yet. Madge sighs that she supposes Henry's still working, and Bronwyn nods that she's afraid so. She asks Madge if she's OK. Madge explains that she's had a rotten night at work and didn't really want to walk home by herself. Bronwyn suggests a taxi. Madge, however, says she'd be home by the time it got there. She then tells Bronwyn not to worry: she'll clean up and then head off. The two women hang up.
At the Waterhole, Madge lifts a drips tray up from under one of the beer pumps – and manages to tip the contents over the floor and her shoes. She looks up above her and snaps:
MADGE: Oh great! Thanks a lot! Where's the bolt of lightning?!
The Reverend Richards and Cass are talking about their shared love of detective novels as they sit at the table after their main course. Cass smiles that she tried *writing* a detective story once! Melanie smiles as she watches them from the kitchen! She calls over to tell the Reverend and Cass to put some music on if they want some, but Cass says she doesn't mind. The Reverend suggests to her that she could *sing* for them later, as she was great last night. He adds that she should join the church choir. Melanie calls over from the kitchen:
MELANIE: The soufflé won't be long – um, about an hour, I think.
REVEREND RICHARDS (quietly, to Cass): Should be just about in time for breakfast!
Cass then tells Reverend Richards that she's not sure she's good enough for the choir. The Reverend, however, assures her that she's almost *too* good. He goes on:
REVEREND RICHARDS: To tell you the truth, I was supposed to be at choir practice *tonight* – and if I were to recruit you, I wouldn't feel half as guilty about playing hooky!
CASS: Well thanks! I'll think about it!
The Reverend puts his hand on Cass's and smiles warmly:
REVEREND RICHARDS: Please do.
Cass sits there looking slightly embarrassed but happy.
Madge is walking along a street, heading home. She suddenly stops, though, as she steps awkwardly. The heel of one of her shoes has broken off. She looks at it in annoyance and then takes *both* shoes off, muttering to herself as she does so:
MADGE: Just because I'm wearing new stockings. Honestly, I shouldn't have got out of bed this morning.
All of a sudden, she hears a clattering noise nearby, and she calls out nervously:
MADGE: Who's there? Mick Tucker, is that you? Come on – don't play games.
She takes a few more steps forward, but is confronted suddenly by someone standing in her path. She stares at the person in horror.