Gloria discovering that No. 22 has been trashed and someone has left a painted message for her saying ‘LAST WARNING!'.
Jim is holding Rhys, fussing over him in the lounge room, telling him that they'll look after him, when the front door opens and Beverly comes in. She looks surprised to find Jim up, and he explains that Rhys has been whinging all night – from colic, he thinks – meaning they had to come home. Beverly asks suspiciously where he's been, and Jim explains that they were just having a friendly card game. Beverly grins:
BEVERLY: Poker! I'm ashamed of you, dragging an innocent child into a den of iniquity!
The two of them sit down and Rhys starts grizzling as Beverly comments that he *does* look a little flushed. She asks Jim if he's sure it's only colic. He tells her:
JIM: Rely on me on this: this is the fifth child I've nursed. No point over-reacting; let's just get him down and get some sleep, eh?
With that, Jim takes Rhys off to bed. Beverly sits on the couch, looking worried.
Madge is clearing up at the end of her shift. A male customer at a table comments that it's a bit quiet for a Friday night. Madge, however, tells him that it's always like that after the band finishes. The man asks for a drink for the road. Madge says she hope he's not planning to drive. She pours him a beer and tells him that it's definitely his last. He pays her and she puts the money in the till, looking weary.
Gloria is trying to straighten the upturned furniture in the lounge room when Paul arrives home and, seeing the state of his house, asks in astonishment what's going on. Gloria sobs:
GLORIA: I'm sorry – it's all *my* fault. They're trying to stop me testifying.
Paul looks at her, aghast, and snaps that he's calling the police. He goes to the ‘phone, but Gloria appeals quickly:
GLORIA: Oh, no, Paul, please, don't – the next thing that would be broken into pieces would be *me*. I'll never make it to court on Monday.
PAUL (curtly): Gloria, the police will *protect* you – that's what they're *there* for. The thugs who did *this* belong behind bars.
GLORIA: There's no guarantee of that – and even if they put Sid away, his mates would still be out there.
Gloria starts trying to turn one of the couches upright again. Paul stops her and takes over as she cries that the best thing she can do is just forget all about it. Paul exclaims:
PAUL: What – you mean not testify?
PAUL (angrily): Oh great, Gloria, yeah. That's playing right into their hands and it's doing exactly what they *want* you to do.
GLORIA (cries): Well at least it would stop all *this*. [She indicates the house] I just don't think I can take much more – and why should *you* be involved in it? It's just not your problem. Look, I'll get my things together and I'll move out now.
Gloria goes to head upstairs, but Paul stops her and asks if she thinks he's just going to let her wander off into the night like that. Gloria cries:
GLORIA: Look at the mess I've made...
PAUL: I can *live* with that. I don't want anything to happen to *you*. Look, it's only a couple more days: once Sid's in jail, your worries are going to be over.
GLORIA (sniffs): Maybe.
PAUL: Look, without Sid around to fire his mates up, they're not really going to be pulling this sort of stunt anymore, are they – especially if they know you're onto the cops.
As Gloria calms down, Paul tells her that he's still going to talk to the cops about this, but he'll deal with it in the morning. He then suggests that she go and get some rest. Gloria, however, insists that she'd rather clean up first. Paul accepts this and says he'll put some coffee on.
The front door opens and Matt, Lee and Hilary come in, Matt thanking Hilary for a good night and adding that he hasn't had a Mexican meal like that since he left Adelaide. As they head into the lounge room, Hilary tells him:
HILARY: You *deserved* a night out: your end-of-year results were very satisfying. That extra coaching and hard work has certainly paid off.
MATT: Yeah, well, don't forget: I'm repeating Year 11, so I've had a bit of a head start on everybody else.
HILARY: That's true, but there was a significant improvement in your results – more than anyone would have expected in twelve months.
MATT (smiles): Yeah, maybe.
HILARY: And if you sustain that positive attitude to hard work, Year 12 should be no problem.
Matt comments that he thinks it'll be nothing but *grind*. Lee says she's glad *she's* out of it. Hilary looks at her and says tersely:
HILARY: I don't believe *you've* made an intelligent decision, Lee. In this day and age, a lack of education can be a real obstacle.
LEE: Yes, but even if I wanted to go back I couldn't – I do have to start supporting myself.
HILARY: But your parents have made it perfectly clear they are willing to support you throughout your studies.
LEE: Oh, it wouldn't be worth it: they'd just suck me into their problems again. Besides, I'm looking forward to getting on with it: I'll have some freedom and independence at last.
Hilary muses that Lee will find freedom and independence very over-rated. Matt points out that it *is* Lee's decision. Hilary retorts that that doesn't make it a *good* one. She adds:
HILARY: I certainly wouldn't stand idly by if *you* were foolish enough to do anything similar.
Madge sees a couple of customers out. The male customer is still sitting at the bar, and Madge tells him that it's time to get on his bike. The man asks for one for the road, but Madge tells him he's already had it. The man asks her to ring him a cab, but Madge tells him to get out and ring one outside. As the man climbs off his stool, he asks Madge if she can lend him $20. Madge tells him to *walk* home and clear his head. The man walks over to her and snaps that she's got loads of money in the till. Madge sighs:
MADGE: Oh Wally, don't be stupid: if I've got to call Security, you're going to be barred from the Waterhole.
WALLY (mutters): Who cares? Stinkin' place.
With that, Wally goes to lunge for the till – but Madge uses her self-defence training, grabs his arm and pushes him down on to the bar. At that moment, the bar door opens and Harold comes in. Madge says:
MADGE: Harold, quick, help me.
Harold looks around, grabs an ice bucket and tips the freezing water and ice over Wally's head! He leaves the bucket over Wally's head! As Wally yells to be let out, Madge demands of Harold:
MADGE: What's *that* supposed to do?!
HAROLD: Er.... er... I don't know! What do you *want* me to do?
MADGE: Call Security, for a start – I'd rather not hold hands all night!
Harold goes to the ‘phone. Madge stands there, holding Wally's arm behind his back, a wicked grin on her face!
The next morning, Beverly is pacing the lounge room floor, holding Rhys. She comments in concern to Jim that the baby isn't happy: his nose is running and he's got a temperature. Jim takes Rhys as Beverly says that even if it *is* just a cold, she wants to keep a close eye on him. Jim asks her:
JIM: So what are you now: the doctor or the worried parent?
BEVERLY: A bit of both, I suppose.
Jim looks at Rhys and coos that he'll be right as rain in a couple of days. Beverly stands there looking worried.
Madge is making herself a cup of tea in the kitchen when Harold emerges from the bedroom and says to her:
HAROLD: How is Wonder Woman?
MADGE: She's fine, Harold! Mind you, she didn't sleep very well: the adrenaline was still pumping at three o'clock this morning.
The two of them go and sit down at the table as Harold says coolly:
HAROLD: Oh, I see: that was adrenaline, was it?
MADGE (tersely): You know, there used to be a time when people could walk the streets of Erinsborough at night in perfect safety.
HAROLD: You were hardly walking the streets last night.
MADGE: No, but I was a few weeks ago, when I got mugged.
Madge adds with a smile that she's glad she took up those self-defence classes: she certainly gave that creep at the Waterhole more than he bargained for! Harold, however, tells her in concern that she was very lucky things turned out the way they did: she could have been seriously injured – or worse. Madge grins:
MADGE: You're jealous because you didn't *do* anything! Oo – I stand corrected: you *did* put an ice bucket over his head!
HAROLD (retorts): Wally Brown is a very large man. Are you sure you're not becoming too over-confident? I mean, one day you might just bite off more than you can chew.
MADGE (sighs): All right, Harold, I get your point. I promise I won't attack any gangs of five or more!
With that, Madge gets up and heads over to the kitchen. Harold sits at the table, looking anxious. Madge asks him what's wrong, adding that she didn't mean to upset him. Harold tells her:
HAROLD: It's been a very stressful week, Madge. I'm very worried about being reported to the Health Department. Oh yes – Des and Bronwyn seem to think it was Hilary that reported us.
MADGE (mutters): Yeah, well, it would be right up her street...
HAROLD: I can't believe that she would jeopardise all of our livelihoods.
MADGE: Harold, look at it this way: you've been reported – now, either they take action or they don't. Just wait and see, but I'm sure you'll be all right. Worrying's not going to help.
The ‘phone starts ringing suddenly and Harold goes to answer it. He listens and then asks the caller to hold on. He turns to Madge and tells her:
HAROLD: It's a journalist: apparently your little escapade of last night has got around.
MADGE (hisses): Well, what do they want?
HAROLD: To *interview* you, of course. Will I tell him that you're too upset?
MADGE: Do I *look* upset?
HAROLD (wearily): No!
As Madge takes the ‘phone, Harold sighs heavily and asks her if she's sure she's not taking this too far. Madge listens to the journalist and then tells him that it was nothing, really: fortunately, she's been taking self-defence classes. Harold glares at her!
Lee has the vacancies section of the newspaper open in front of her at the kitchen table, but she sighs and comments that most of the jobs are in suburbs she's never heard of, miles away, or they want experience she hasn't got. She adds that she'll *never* get a job at this rate. Matt, however, insists that something will crop up – and besides, she can't be depressed on a Saturday, so after he's finished his laps, why don't they meet at the Coffee Shop and he'll shout her a milkshake? Lee accepts the offer. Matt adds that she can help him plan what he's going to do with his holidays. Hilary, however, interjects to say:
HILARY: Oh, I've already *done* that.
HILARY: Year 12 is looming like a shark on the horizon, and after our discussion last night I've decided to enrol you in summer classes.
MATT (tersely): *You've* decided?
HILARY (nods): Mmm. That way, you can get a flying start on the school year and on your mates.
MATT (exclaims in disbelief): You're quite serious, aren't you?
HILARY: Of course.
MATT: So it's not enough that I slave my guts out all through the year; you want me to work during my holidays as well?
HILARY: Oh really, Matthew, it's a very small sacrifice to make – and you'll need that discipline when you go to university.
MATT (gasps): Who said I was going to university?!
HILARY: If you want to enter the workforce at a [glancing at Lee] *meaningful* level, you'll need a degree. Your matriculation into university is absolutely essential.
MATT: Well, I hope *you* know what I'm going to do when I get there, because *I* certainly don't.
HILARY: Well, I think, um, Economics would be a possible option. It would open the door to a lot of opportunities – and the world is becoming more and more business-orientated.
MATT (sternly): Wait one second: Economics? I'm sorry if I sound a little ungrateful, but do I get *any* say in what I'm going to do with the rest of my life?
HILARY: Of course. What did you have in mind?
Matt stares at Hilary momentarily before admitting:
MATT: Well, I don't know, really – I mean, I haven't thought about it that much.
HILARY: Then it's just as well *I have*, isn't it? See you both later.
With that, Hilary gets up and heads off to work. Matt looks at Lee and sighs heavily.
Harold walks down the driveway of No. 24 – just about avoiding a run-in with the magpie! – and picks up his newspaper – but he stops in his tracks as he sees Hilary walking to her car outside No. 30. He mutters to himself:
HAROLD: *We* live in the street too, you know....
Hilary looks across at Harold. As he strides towards her, he calls out that she should watch her head if he was her. Hilary looks at him blankly and he explains that that blooming magpie's on the warpath again. Hilary shrugs:
HILARY: Well, one only needs to complain to the council and they'll relocate the nest – then we'll be free from attacks. *Aerial* attacks, that is.
HAROLD: Yes, yes, I suppose you're right.
HILARY: If there's a problem, *I'll* make the call. I have no qualms about contacting the appropriate authorities.
HAROLD (pointedly): No, you *don't* hesitate in contacting them, *do* you?
HILARY: Not if it gets the job done.
With that, Hilary climbs into her car. Looking annoyed at being ignored, Harold knocks on her window, which she winds down. He then tells her:
HAROLD: I had a brush with the authorities *myself* this week.
HILARY: Oh yes?
HAROLD: *Somebody* reported the possum loose in the Coffee Shop and the Board of Health sent an inspector around quick-smart.
HILARY: Well, I'm very glad to hear they acted so promptly. Of course, that's not *always* the case, is it?
HAROLD (tersely): Well, it was certainly the case *this* time. They haven't decided upon a course of action as yet, but a hefty fine is certainly a possibility.
HILARY: I'm sure there's a lesson to be learnt. The Coffee Shop is a restaurant, not a wildlife park. May I suggest you take far more care in future?
With that, Hilary starts her car and drives off. Harold mutters in irritation:
HAROLD: Thank you, Miss. Robinson.
Paul is sitting with Gloria at the kitchen table, having breakfast and telling her that whatever she says to the police is up to her, but she knows *his* opinion on the matter, and this is one crime that isn't going to go unreported. There's suddenly a knock on the front door and Paul goes and answers it. He finds Madge standing on the step and he invites her in. Back over at the table, Madge tells Paul that she thought she'd come and fill him in on last night's excitement. Paul, however, replies that the security guard already told him. As he pours her a coffee, he adds:
PAUL: Actually, I thought it was well done, Madge, but I don't know if it's such a good idea to risk your neck for the sake of $20.
MADGE: It was the *principle* of the thing: blokes like Wally have probably been pestering women all their lives. He'll think twice next time.
PAUL (shrugs): Yeah, maybe.
Gloria comments to Madge that the self-defence classes really paid off, and Madge nods that they certainly got her out of a tight spot. Gloria muses that, the way things are going, she should be taking them up *herself*. Madge asks what's wrong, and Paul explains about the place being up-ended last night as a warning to Gloria not to testify on Monday. Madge sighs:
MADGE: Gloria, this has gone too far. If you'd reported those *previous* incidents, it wouldn't have *happened*.
PAUL (curtly): Well let me tell *you*: *this* one's going to get reported.
GLORIA: Oh no, Paul, *please*. Look, I thought they were just trying to warn me, but after last night, I reckon they'd do me over if they got half a chance. Look, I reckon the best thing I can do is just forget all about it.
MADGE: Gloria, you can't let these animals stand over you. You've got to tell the police what's been happening and you *must* testify in court. You can't just think of *yourself* anymore.
GLORIA (cries): Look, I've been trying not to involve anybody else—
MADGE: Too late for that. Now, what if Paul had been here last night? He could've been beaten up when they broke in. Either of your boys could have been in the car when the paint was thrown, or in the car when the window was smashed. The fact that nobody has been hurt yet is sheer luck. Everybody close to you is at risk – and *you've* got to put a stop to it.
Gloria sits there looking worried.
Matt is sitting at a table with Lee, commenting that if Hilary doesn't get off his back soon about school and uni, he's going to get a job. He adds that he just can't believe the way she thinks she can take over and organise his entire life. Lee nods that she does go on a bit. She adds:
LEE: You won't really go to summer classes, will you?
MATT: No way! I've earned a break.
The shop door opens suddenly and Madge comes in, calling to Harold:
MADGE: Quick! Something hot and wet, please!
She then hands him some bags full of shopping and asks him to take them home later. Harold remarks that the weather's getting hotter, Christmas is getting closer and *he* is getting busier. He sighs:
HAROLD: Boy, I hope I find a replacement for Bronwyn soon.
Over at their table, Lee exclaims to Matt:
LEE: Did you hear that?!
LEE: There's a job going right *here*!
MATT: Well, ask! Come on!
LEE: Yeah, I will!
With that, Lee and Matt head to the counter and Lee asks Harold if he's after some help. Harold nods that he requires an assistant, yes. Lee smiles:
LEE: Well, *I'm* available. Come on – what do you say? Will you give me a go?
HAROLD (curtly): You can't be serious!
LEE (blankly): Why not?
HAROLD: Well, it's only a few weeks since you had a meal here and you couldn't pay for it.
LEE: Oh come on, I was starving.
HAROLD: This is not a soup kitchen.
LEE: Yeah, but I offered to work it off.
Matt chips in to tell Harold that Lee *needs* the job: she looks after herself; she's on her own. Lee adds that if she blows it, Harold will never see her again. Madge asks Harold where his Christian charity is, but Harold retorts that it's not a matter of charity: he can't afford to take just *anyone* in off the street. Lee insists that she can get some references, and she's had experience. Matt tells Harold:
MATT: Mr. Bishop, you've never met anyone who wants to work as much as Lee does. She checks the papers every day, applies—
HAROLD: I-I-I-I don't know about full-time.
LEE: Anything you could give me would help.
MADGE: Oh Harold, give her a chance. Where's your Christmas spirit?
MATT: Come on, Mr. Bishop...
HAROLD (giving in): Oh well, I suppose I can arrange for a few days – on a trial basis, starting Monday.
LEE (grins): I'll be here! Don't worry!
With that, Lee turns and hugs Matt happily.
Jim is sitting on the couch, reading the newspaper, when Beverly emerges from the bedroom area and tells him that Rhys's temperature is up again and his chest is all congested. Jim asks her what she thinks they should do. Beverly replies that they should take him to the hospital: she's going to call them now. She picks up the ‘phone.
Paul is sitting on the couch, putting on his trainers when Gloria comes downstairs and declares:
GLORIA: Paul, I've come to a decision.
PAUL: Oh yeah? What's it to be, then?
GLORIA: I'm going to testify – and I'm also going to tell them about these scare tactics.
PAUL (looking relieved): At last – the right decision. I just wish you'd made it a bit sooner.
GLORIA: Yeah, well, first I was worried about Sid's family... then I was just plain frightened. I mean, I didn't know what they'd do next; still don't for that matter. But after last night, and what Madge said—
PAUL: Yeah, I suppose she *did* come on a bit strong.
GLORIA: No, she was *right*! Those blokes are no good – I mean, breaking into your house, making threats... They *deserve* to be put away.
Paul tells her that she gets no argument from *him*, there. Gloria adds that she *is* sorry for Sid's wife and his kids, but when he started attacking *her* family, they went too far. Paul declares:
PAUL: Well, quite frankly, I hope they put him away for good. You see, if Sid hadn't have got Rob involved in those shady dealings, Gail and I might still be together. In fact, Rob might still be *alive*, too.
Gloria's face drops. She then murmurs that she can't think about *that* – but she *is* going to make certain that Sid can't do any *more* damage. Paul tells her that she's welcome to stay for as long as she needs – and if there's any more trouble, he'll put her up at Lassiter's. Gloria smiles gratefully and says she doesn't know how to pay him back for all his kindness. Paul assures her:
PAUL: Forget it – we're family.
With that, Gloria gives him a warm hug. She then says:
GLORIA: You go and do your thing now, and I'm going to have a very special treat waiting for you when you get home tonight.
PAUL: Oh, great!
GLORIA: Shepherd's pie!
As Gloria heads happily through to the kitchen, Paul mutters to himself:
PAUL: *More* mince...!
Jim is sitting in the corridor, waiting, when Beverly emerges from a treatment room. He stands up and asks anxiously what the news is. Beverly tells him:
BEVERLY: It's not good; in fact, it couldn't be much worse. Rhys is suffering from bronchiolitis.
JIM: What's *that*?
BEVERLY: It's a chest virus – and not a very friendly one at that. They're treating him with a drug called Ribavirin and he's on a ventilator. He'll have to be fed intravenously.
JIM: But he's going to be all right, though, isn't he?
BEVERLY (tears welling-up): We won't really know for a while. They're doing the best they can. I tell you *one* thing: we're lucky we brought him in when we did.
JIM (murmurs): Oh God, Bev – if anything should happen to him...
BEVERLY (cries): To lose him *now*, Jim, after all we've been through...
Jim puts his arms around Beverly as he assures her:
JIM: It won't come to that; come on...
BEVERLY (sobs): I wanted a baby for so long, and he's so beautiful. If he should—. Oh Jim...