Paul sacking Joe.
Sharon is sitting at a table with Ryan and Matt, and she asks Ryan if he's got a girlfriend he can take to the Ball. Ryan admits that he hasn't. Matt grins at Ryan and warns him to watch out: Sharon's a man- eater! Nick rejoins them after making a ‘phone call and Matt asks him how he went with the rental place. Nick replies that it was fine: they told him to pick out what they want. He then adds that there's one detail: there are five people and six tickets; they need another girl to make it even. Sharon suggests Bronwyn. Ryan asks who she is and Lee explains that she's Sharon's sister. Nick adds that she's very pretty. Ryan comments that she sounds OK. With that, the three guys head out to go and try on their suits. When they've gone, Sharon comments to Lee that Ryan seems like a nice guy. Looking concerned, Lee says:
LEE: What are you going to wear?
SHARON: I've got this great dress – it's full- length; I think that's nicer for a Ball, don't you?
LEE: Yeah, I guess so. To be honest with you, Sharon, I don't have anything that's half- way decent. Maybe I'd better not go?
SHARON: Lee, you *have* to come! Why don't you try and do what the guys are doing and hire something?
The two of them head into the kitchen where Gloria is doing some wiping- up. Lee tells Sharon that it's not that easy to find really nice dresses for hire – and she wishes she could buy something new. Sharon assures her that she'll find something.
Lochy and Toby are still chained to the roundabout and Lochy – her legs twitching desperately – cries that she can't hang on much longer. Toby points out tersely that *she* got them *into* this; now they'll probably be stuck here all night – and it's all been a waste of time: he thought they were going to be on the news. Bouncer leaps onto the roundabout suddenly and Toby says to him eagerly:
TOBY: Bouncer! Go and get the key! Get the key!
Bouncer ignores them! Lochy gives Bouncer a shove and tells him to get the key. Bouncer, however, just dives his nose into the bag of food Toby brought!
Joe, Kerry and Sky arrive home, Kerry commenting glumly that at least they're out of debt now due to the money they made fruit- picking and the $5,000 her dad and Madge gave them. Joe, however, points out that the Lassiter's work is their main source of income. Kerry insists that he did the right thing. She then calls to Toby and Lochy, but there's no response. Joe says mutedly:
JOE: You can't eat principles, Kerry.
KERRY: Are you sorry you backed me up?
JOE: No – and I'm not blaming you that I lost my job. I'm just a bit mad, that's all.
KERRY: Yeah, well, Paul *was* a real jerk.
She calls for Toby and Lochy again, but there's still no answer. She heads out to look for them. Joe, who's holding Sky, comments to her:
JOE: I didn't know what I was getting myself in for when I got hitched to your mum!
SKY (giggles): Yeah!
Kerry comes back in, looking concerned, and tells him that the kids aren't in the back yard and neither's Bouncer. Joe insists that they won't be far away. They suddenly hear a noise at the front door and Joe says that'll be them now. He opens the door – but only Bouncer trots in. He barks and then runs out again. Kerry says:
KERRY: Joe, I think he wants you to follow him.
JOE (derisively): I think you've been watching too many Lassie films!
Bouncer barks again from outside and Joe comments to Kerry:
JOE: I think *he* has!
Matt and Lee are sitting in the lounge room at No. 30 when Hilary arrives home, looking weary. Matt asks his mum what happened, as they were worried about her. Hilary sighs:
HILARY: I spent the last few hours with my accountant – not that he was any help.
MATT: Yeah? So what's going on?
HILARY: The court refused to acknowledge that it was a matter of principle. They've insisted that I pay the taxes, plus fines that have accrued and all the costs.
MATT: How much?
HILARY: A small fortune.
Matt asks Hilary what she'll do. Hilary mutters that she supposes she'll have to pay it. Matt points out that at least now that she's marrying Mr. Muir it'll be fine: he's got money behind him, hasn't he? Hilary nods that she imagines they'll manage between them; she's sure Kenneth will be understanding. She then tells Matt and Lee that tomorrow she and Mr. Muir are both taking the day off to go and visit his mother; hopefully that will be relaxing and get her mind off *this* appalling business.
Joe is sawing through the chains locking Lochy and Toby to the roundabout as Lochy cries at him to hurry up – it's an emergency! Joe mutters that he should keep them there all night to teach them a lesson. Lochy exclaims:
LOCHY: You *can't*!
Joe tells Toby that he's not happy with him for wagging school, but Toby insists that they were only trying to help Kerry. Joe finishes sawing through the chains and Lochy leaps up and runs off to some nearby bushes. Bouncer trots over to them suddenly, the key in his mouth!
It's evening- time. Matt and Lee are sitting in the lounge room watching TV when there's a knock on the front door. Matt goes to answer it and finds Gloria standing on the step. She asks if Lee's home and Matt invites her in. Gloria says to Lee:
GLORIA: Listen, I was thinking about you not having a ballgown and I suddenly remembered one of *mine*. I mean, I've had it a few years, but I've hardly worn it. I was a lot thinner in those days, so I reckon it'll fit you.
Gloria unzips a protective case and shows Lee the dress, which is rather frilly! Lee exclaims that she couldn't... Gloria, however, says *she'll* never wear it again – and she'll be real hurt if Lee doesn't accept. Lee thanks her. Gloria tells her that she can go to the ball looking a million dollars. With that, she heads off. When she's gone, Lee looks at the dress again and sighs at Matt that she's not the frilly sort. She adds:
LEE: I really don't want to hurt Gloria's feelings. What am I gonna do?
Toby is sitting with Kerry and Joe in the lounge room as Kerry tells him gently:
KERRY: I really appreciate what you did today, Toby. I know you were trying to help save the playground, but I wish you had've talked to me about it first. And the idea of protesting about something if you don't agree is *great* – but you've got to make sure people notice.
She adds that she just doesn't want him getting into any trouble. Toby sighs that they wasted the whole day staying there. Kerry, however, tells him that he and Lochy were prepared to make a sacrifice for what they believe in, and she admires them very much for that. Joe, however, warns Toby that he doesn't want a repeat performance: he's going to school tomorrow! Toby muses:
TOBY: It wasn't that much fun being chained to the roundabout – especially when we didn't even end up on the news!
JOE: Well, you just leave the protesting to Kerry. Go on – off to bed.
Toby kisses his dad and Kerry goodnight. He then tells Kerry warmly that he really admires her, too. With that, he heads off to his room. When he's gone, Joe grins at Kerry that Toby's turning into a little radical! Kerry says seriously:
KERRY: I don't want to be a bad influence on him, Joe.
JOE: Who said anything about a bad influence?
KERRY: Well, I know you're not too happy about the stand I've taken.
JOE: I've backed you up, haven't I? I just wasn't too rapt about losing me job, that's all – and like you said to Toby, you know, you've got to make sacrifices for what you believe in.
KERRY: Well – maybe we're going to end up with *three* radicals in the house!
JOE (grins): Maybe we *are*! And then there's little Sky when *she* gets older...
JOE: ...and, er, maybe we could have another one...?
KERRY (smiles): Yeah? Oh, it would be *great* for us to have a baby.
JOE (warmly): Oh, wouldn't it! One big happy family!
The next morning, Kenneth Muir is standing with Hilary in the lounge room at No. 30 as she tells him tersely that she couldn't make them see that it was against her principles to pay tax for interest on money that's already *been* taxed. Mr. Muir points out that they do that for *everyone*; they couldn't make an exception in *her* case. Hilary comments in surprise that she thought he would have spoken out against injustice at *any* level. Mr. Muir tells her:
MR. MUIR: All I'm saying is that I find your attitude a little... naive. I mean, you must've realised you'd have to pay up in the end?
HILARY: Well, I hoped that once they understood it was a matter of principle, they'd be more lenient – as with a conscientious objector, so to speak.
MR. MUIR: Yes – but from *their* point of view, you weren't a conscientious objector; you were a tax cheat.
HILARY (sourly): Oh, that's charming! *I* certainly don't think of myself as a cheat. They did treat me like a criminal and obviously you agree with them.
MR. MUIR: I didn't *say* that.
Mr. Muir then glances at his watch and sighs that they'll be late at his mother's: she's a great believer in punctuality. Hilary mutters that she *would* be. She heads off to get ready.
Sharon is standing with Lee in the Coffee Shop, asking her why she doesn't just tell Gloria that she doesn't want to wear it. Lee explains that she doesn't want to hurt Gloria's feelings: they've only just started getting along. Sharon tells her that she's got to wear something she feels *comfortable* in. Gloria emerges from the kitchen and overhears the end of the conversation. She says to Sharon:
GLORIA: Lee's got a *lovely* dress to wear. Hasn't she told you? It's an old one of *mine*.
SHARON: Oh great! That's wonderful! Wouldn't it be a bit out of date, now, though?
GLORIA: Oh no, it's one of those styles that never date. ‘Classic', I think you call them. It's really going to set Lee off.
She then smiles distantly that that dress certainly brings back memories: she's really looking forward to seeing Lee in it. With that, she heads back into the kitchen. Sharon tells Lee to let her look at the dress later – there may be something they can do to salvage it.
Hilary walks into the lounge room and apologises to Kenneth Muir for keeping him waiting. She adds primly that she hopes it won't upset his mother *too* much if they're a little late. Mr. Muir glances at his watch again and says they should be right. He then adds hesitantly:
MR. MUIR: Um... I- I- I wouldn't say anything in front of her about your current difficulty.
HILARY: With the Taxation Department?
MR. MUIR: I know she wouldn't approve.
HILARY: Of what they've done to me.
MR. MUIR: Er, er, rather I meant of what *you* did. Mother is very strict about honesty.
HILARY (tersely): Are you implying I've been dishonest?
MR. MUIR: Well... I'm afraid *mother* might see it that way.
HILARY: Oh. And how do *you* see it, Kenneth? What do *you* think? After all, you did just now call me a cheat. I think we'd better bring this whole thing into the open.
Mr. Muir tells Hilary that he doesn't want to argue; he just hadn't realised the full extent of her problems. Hilary retorts that *she* was obviously mistaken expecting any *support* from him. Mr. Muir tells her:
MR. MUIR: Hilary, I can't pretend to sanction something I don't approve of. And I have to say that I feel that what you did was blatantly wrong, and not at all what I would've expected of you.
HILARY: Oh. Then perhaps you don't know me quite as well as you *thought* you did?
MR. MUIR (retorts): Perhaps I *don't*...
HILARY: Under the circumstances, perhaps you'd like to reconsider your proposal? After all, you'd hardly want to marry a woman you didn't really know.
MR. MUIR (warily): Now, let's not get this out of all proportion—
HILARY: And *I* certainly couldn't marry a man who wouldn't be prepared to back me on a matter of conscience. I think we should *forget* this visit to your mother today – I simply couldn't cope with it.
MR. MUIR (agrees): No, let's leave it.
HILARY: Oh. And what about our engagement? Would you like to ‘leave' that too?
MR. MUIR: We'll discuss that when we're both in a calmer mood.
HILARY: Oh – so you *do* want to call it off. I can see no point in prolonging this, Kenneth. Obviously it was a mistake to ever *consider* marrying.
MR. MUIR: Well, if you feel *that* way about it—
HILARY (snaps): Yes I do. Now, would you please leave? I have no wish to continue this painful discussion.
MR. MUIR: Hilary, I—
HILARY: I would feel a lot happier if we never see each other again.
Mr. Muir stands and stares at Hilary for several seconds. He then walks out, glumly.
Lee is standing in the lounge room of No. 24, wearing Gloria's dress. She sighs that it's just not her. Sharon, however, insists that it's not *that* bad. Nick, Matt and Ryan are looking on and Nick taps Matt's arm, prompting him to say:
MATT: It's OK. It's fine.
The three guys then burst out laughing, and Lee sighs that the dress is revolting; she guesses she's not going. Matt insists that she *has* to come. Lee says she can't go looking like an idiot. Sharon insists that she thinks she can do something with it: she's pretty good with a sewing machine. Nick says everyone has to meet there at 7:30pm: Helen's giving them a special discount on the limo. Matt takes Lee's hand and says cheesily:
MATT: Just remember, Lee: whatever you wear, you'll always look beautiful to *me*!
With that, the three guys head out. Sharon tells Lee that she thinks the dress is going to be fine.
Toby is practicing a magic trick on the lounge room floor as Lochy lies back on the couch and says to him:
LOCHY: You're being stupid. Just like a man to blame a woman. Well, I won't talk to *you*, either.
Kerry comes in and asks the kids if they've had an argument. Lochy tells her that Toby thinks it's all *her* fault they wasted all of yesterday on the roundabout, but he didn't have to do it if he didn't want to. Kerry looks at Toby and says:
KERRY: You don't turn against your friends when things go wrong, Toby. Friendships are a very precious thing and I think you two better make up before you're not friends anymore – because that would be a real shame, wouldn't it?
Toby turns to Lochy and tells her that he's sorry he blamed her. Lochy says that's OK – and the two of them head outside to play. Joe arrives home and joins Kerry in the lounge room. She asks him how his day's been and he grins that he's been trying to rake up(!) a bit of gardening work! Kerry asks him if he got any new customers and he replies that he did, but not enough to make up for the money he lost from the Lassiter's job. Kerry suggests that she could advertise to take in some more kids. The two of them kiss fondly.
Nick and Matt are getting ready in the lounge room, but Matt says in concern that it's just a thought but he doesn't really have any idea about ballroom dancing. Nick exclaims that he never thought of that! Matt, however, tells him that it's all right: a teacher gave him some lessons a couple of years ago and he might just remember them! With that, he pulls Nick towards him and tells him he can be the girl! With that, the two of them start waltzing around the lounge room! Hilary comes in, suddenly, and asks the two of them what on earth they're doing. Nick grins that he'd better get home! He heads out. When he's gone, Matt tells Hilary that he's sorry if they disturbed her. Hilary retorts that she was just resting. Matt asks:
MATT: How did lunch go with Muir and his mum?
HILARY: I didn't go.
MATT (looking surprised): What happened?
HILARY: Kenneth and I had an argument – a very unpleasant one. He obviously thinks I'm no better than a common tax cheat; so we broke off our engagement.
MATT (gasps): Oh mum, you're kidding.
HILARY (sadly): I knew it was too good to be true. I've always known I'd never marry... have a husband... never have a chance at happiness. It's just not my lot.
MATT: Listen to me: you go and talk to him as soon as you get to school tomorrow.
HILARY: I won't *be* going back to school tomorrow, Matthew – I've already tendered my resignation. And I won't be staying in Erinsborough, either. If Kenneth thinks I'm no better than a criminal, what will everyone *else* think? And they'll all know he broke off the engagement. No, I've been doing a lot of thinking today and I've made up my mind: you and I are going back to Adelaide, Matthew – just as soon as I can make the arrangements.
Matt stares at Hilary in shock.
Joe is talking on the ‘phone in the hallway, an upset expression on his face. He hangs up slowly and then heads into the lounge room. He calls to Kerry, who comes in and asks what's wrong. Joe tells her:
JOE: That was Noeleen. She said things are going pretty good up there and she's renting a nice little house...
JOE: She's coming down to get Tobe. She's gonna take him back with her – for good.
KERRY (looking shocked, murmurs): But... we're a *family* now.
JOE (murmurs): Yeah...